Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

Sweet Potato Experiments

For the longest time, I would wander through the produce section and look dreamily towards the sweet potatoes wondering why they were there if it wasn’t November or December. What a waste.

But guess what?!

I have two amazing, quick, and EASY options for your sweet potatoes! I am always looking for meals/sides I can prep on Sunday and munch on throughout the week. Every week I have the hardest time deciding which of the two following spices to use!

Littlest over at The Schell Cafe loves sweet potatoes cubed and tossed with olive oil and cinnamon in a ziploc, and that was the original go-to snack of mine.

Until the fabulous guys over at the The Bitten Word posted a slight variation. They claimed that cubed sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil and fajita seasoning (I use the chicken variety) would please anyone.



I decided to try these out one night when I had a group of my favorite guinea pigs over for dinner! 3/5 of us supposedly disliked sweet potatoes. I told them that it was hypothesized by the chaps over there that anyone would love them.


After observing and collecting data, the conclusion of this experiment supported our hypothesis! Not only did all 3 of them totally dig the potatoes, a few beers and games of wii bowling later they were digging through my fridge looking for the remaining cubes.

So try them I say, you will be pleasantly surprised (and so will your guinea pigs).


Disclaimer: If you have guinea pigs, I wouldn’t recommend dropping the leftovers in the bowl, don’t know how the olive oil would do in their squeaky little systems!




Romanesca Cauliflower

Happy Monday!



I am so addicted to the farmer’s market. The last trip, I couldn’t take my eyes off this strange vegetable, it was the most splendid thing I’d ever seen and I couldn’t wait to purchase it and show Nerd. 


Which I have to resort back to calling Nerd because of his comments of this plant. Observe. “Wow. This is the most mathematically perfect plant I’ve ever seen. It’s a perfect example of Fibonacci as well as Mandelbrot’s fractal… blah blah blah.” 


Whatever. It’s a mighty cool looking plant to me.


I baked this guy with a bit of olive oil and garlic cloves (both to taste), but I think simply steaming it would be delicious! The vendor said that it steams quicker than cauliflower. 

Thought I’d share this interesting find!


I love mushrooms!!! The other night when I had mi familia y mis amigos over for dinner I used my favorite simple mushroom recipe found on PW’s site by Pastor Ryan to make as a side for manicotti.

I love shallots and I love mushrooms and this recipe is UH-MAZING! See the above link for pictures and original recipe. I make a few small changes and voila! I make this mix about once a week. It’s inexpensive and versatile – I eat it plain, mix with green beans, or scramble with my eggs, etc.

I don’t go by “poundage” on my mushrooms, just buy whatever, and then use 4-5 shallots because I love them so much.

Cremini mushrooms
shallots to taste
shot of EVOO
1.5 t of butter
SALT to taste

Dash your warm pan with EVOO, add mushrooms, then SALT (ok so Pastor Ryan was NOT kidding, one time I forgot to add salt, and everything looked different and tasted not as delectable), stir until mushrooms are reduced and looking mighty fine, taste to see if ‘shrooms are salty enough for you. If not, you know what to do.
Add butter and onions and stir constantly until onions are tender.


Kristacular’s Scalloped Potatoes

I halfway created this recipe for Saucymama’s Fall recipe contest last week.

I searched the internet for a while and found a few recipes to mimic my grandmother’s recipe, as she is MIA on another senior cruise:):)

I took a few ideas from each of them and came up with the following recipe!!!!! The spices rise up to the top of the mixture, and leaves the bottom creamy and the top crunchy with lots of flavor. I was pleased with myself:):)

3 lbs. Potatoes
4 Shallots
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 T Butter
1 cp. Milk
1 cp. Cream ( I used half & half)
8 oz. Goat cheese
1 t Salt (or to taste)
1 t Pepper
1 T Herbs De Provence
1 T Flour


1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan ( you can have less if you so desire)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Skin the potatoes and slice them to about 1/8″ thick. And layer in a casserole dish.

Mix topping ingredients together

Melt butter in your dutch oven, and saute the onions until tender, add garlic once onions are tender.

Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and seasoning. Cook stirring constantly until bubbly and remove from heat.

Stir in milk and cream and cheese, heat until boiling stirring constantly until cheese is melted.

Pour mixture over potatoes and spread topping over. Bake for approximately 1 hour. (My stove is a bit weaker than yours is I’m sure) Until golden brown and crispy and potatoes are tender!