Tag Archives: side dish

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

The frost is almost upon us!  That means it’s time to harvest the herbs!


I work at The Celtic Cup Coffee House in the small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee.  I don’t have my own herb garden, but The Celtic Cup does.  I love getting to use the fresh herbs when I bake quiches, casseroles, and savory scones.

Today I harvested all the basil for the winter months.  If you’ve never processed herbs before, you probably think it’s really complicated.  At least, that’s what I used to think.  I know there are a couple different ways to do it.  Drying herbs actually does take a while, so I prefer freezing them.  I think it preserves the flavors better, too.  It’s really a lot easier and faster than I imagined.  All you have to do is snip the entire plant, wash, pluck the leaves, and freeze  on a towel-lined sheet pan.  After about half an hour, the leaves should be stiff enough to store in a plastic freezer bag for the winter.  It’s that simple!

While we’re on the subject of basil, last week I made some delicious parmesan baked tomatoes.  I love how all the local markets are just bursting with fresh fruits and veggies from the garden this time of year.  I bought some beautiful plump red tomatoes and thought I would get creative.  All they needed was some leftover basil pesto and a hearty sprinkle of cheese.  Voila! Parmesan baked tomatoes! So fast and simple, but delicious and comforting.  They taste like pizza!  You can make them as a side dish or just a healthy snack.

I’m not religiously gluten free or anything, but I think I feel better when I stay away from bread.  So, to accompany the tomatoes, I baked some chicken and made fresh broccoli salad.  This broccoli salad was at my friend’s wedding last weekend.  It was so good I had to make it for myself.

Together it was the perfect guilt free/gluten free dinner!  It only takes about 30 minutes to make, so I hope this meal will find it’s way into your week as a tasty and stress free option!

Abby Hughes

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
 
Prep time
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A quick and tasty side dish or snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Thick slice the tomatoes and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan
  3. Spread about a tablespoon (more or less to taste) of basil pesto on each slice.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and broil on high until the cheese is lightly browned (about 4 minutes).
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Broccoli Salad
 
Prep time
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A light brunch or dinner side.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium red onion
  • ½ c. Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • ½ c. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
Dressing
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. white distilled vinegar
  • ½ c. mayo
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Small dice red onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, mayo, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, onion, craisins, and sunflower seeds.
  5. Toss to coat all ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

Autumn’s Best Cooked Apples

Yummy Cooked Apples!

When Abby shared some of her favorite things of fall, I knew it was time for me to put a pot of apples on the stove.  Apples are plentiful this time of year in the United States.  Not only are they available at farmers markets but even the grocery stores are selling from new crops.

Cooked apples compliment a breakfast casserole, work perfectly as a brunch side dish,  or easily stand alone in a healthy and delicious “I need a snack” moment.

My sous chef dish-washing mom will happily clean-up a kitchen full of pots, pans, and bowls when there are apples simmering on the stove-top!

Truly, any type apples work in this recipe. With over 2,500 varieties in the U.S. alone, here is a short list of common choices.

Comparing Apples to Apples

This information came from All Recipes.com site.

Braeburn

Braeburns have a sweet-tart flavor, with a texture that remains firm when it’s baked. An all-purpose apple, it works well in pies and tarts where you don’t want the filling to be overly juicy.  For cooked apples, Braeburn works well but add a little extra water to begin.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Braeburn Apples

Photo by Meredith

Cortland

Cortlands are juicy and slightly tart, with bright red skin and snowy white flesh. They are a terrific baking apple: Use in pies, cobblers, and crisps. When sliced, Cortlands are excellent for salads and cheese plates, as the flesh doesn’t brown and discolor quickly.  Cortland works well for cooked apples because they stay pretty and white while cooking.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Cortland Apple

Photo by Meredith

Empire

Empires are a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious apples. Firm-textured and sweet-tart, the Empire is a fine all-purpose apple good for juice, sauce, pies, baking, salads, eating fresh, and drying.  I haven’t tried an Empire apple but will be looking for these next trip to the market.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Empire Apple

Photo by Meredith

Fuji

Firm, crisp, and juicy, Fuji apples are among the most popular apples for eating fresh, but they’re also great for baking, as they hold their shape when they cook. We love Fuji apples and use them in cooked apples and soon I will share a fabulous apple pie recipe made by my Sous Chef Dish-washing mom!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Fuji Apples

Photo by Meredith

Gala

A crisp, sweet apple with a mild flavor, Galas have yellow-orange skin with red striping. They’re best for salads, eating out-of-hand, applesauce, and pressing into cider.  Gala are a perfect apple to use in cooking apples. Really sweet!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Gala Apple

Photo by Meredith

Golden Delicious

The Golden Delicious is sweet, with a rich, mellow flavor. It is one of the best all-around cooking apples, as it maintains its shape after baking. I don’t use Golden Delicious much because they always seem too soft and I don’t want them mushy.  Maybe if they are super fresh they will cook well.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Golden Delicious Apples

Photo by Meredith

Granny Smith

One of the most popular tart apples, Granny Smiths are crisp and quite sour. They’re a good all-purpose cooking apple, and their flavor is enhanced when paired with sweeter, spicier apples in pies and crisps.  When using Granny Smith for this cooked apple recipe you will need to add a little extra water to begin.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Granny Smith Apples

Photo by Meredith

Honeycrisp

Developed in Minnesota and introduced fairly recently, Honeycrisps are fantastic eating apples. As the name indicates, they are crisp and juicy, with a honey-sweet and tart flavor. Honeycrisps are also good for baking and applesauce.  I adore Honeycrisp apples and highly recommend for cooked apples!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Honeycrisp Apple

Photo by Meredith

Jonagold

A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, Jonagolds have a tangy-sweet flavor. With a yellow-green base and a blush stripe, is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Jonagold Apples

Photo by Meredith

Jonathan

Jonathans are quite tart, with a rich, slightly spicy apple flavor. They hold their shape well when baked. They are also good in salads and for applesauce.   Jonathan’s are a good apple to mix with a sweeter apple for rich cooked apples or chunky applesauce.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Jonathan Apples

Photo by Meredith

I haven’t even scratched the surface of apple choices and you can find a few more here.  Mainly I want you to realize you can use whatever you have on hand.

Even though some apples are better suited for certain kinds of recipes than others, you don’t have to limit yourself to using just one kind of apple when you’re cooking or baking. Many cooks like to use a mixture of apples to get more complex flavors and textures.

If you’re buying apples during autumn’s apple season at farmers’ markets and specialty grocers, you have a better chance of finding regional and heirloom varieties. Be sure to ask the grower how they work in recipes!

I often cook these apples while making the rest of the breakfast.  A few minutes peeling and chunky apples and they can simmer until you are ready to put on the table.

One thing I know for sure — as soon as my Chief apple-loving husband and Sous Chef Dish-washing mom see this blog post they will be asking “when? soon? today?”  I can count on it.

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine


Autumn's Best Cooked Apples
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Uses for cooked apples can be as varied as types of apples available! Learning how to cook up a pot of apples will make this a go-to recipe when in a only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="193" data-gr-id="193">hurry, when planning a special breakfast or brunch, or just to cook up for the kids when they get home from school!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack!
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 apples - your choice of variety - you can also mix and match for awesome flavors
  • water
  • 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup brown sugar*
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel apples and cut in 1" chunks. Place in 2-3 quart saucepan.
  2. Cover bottom of a saucepan with ½" to 1" of water. If the apples are not a juicy variety, you may add more water as they cook.
  3. Sprinkle with spice.
  4. Cook over medium bringing to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Add sugar. Cook at least 10 to 15 minutes until apples are starting to release juice. Stir often. Stirring a bit briskly will mush the apples some and provide more of an "applesauce".
  5. Add more water if there is not enough juice released to cook the apples.
  6. Check taste for sweetness - sugar to taste. Add vanilla extract.
  7. Remove from stove, cool slightly, Enjoy!
Notes
* Apples can be sprinkled with Jack Daniels Whiskey or favorite bourbon before serving for an added kick of conversation!
* Spice can be varied to taste.
* Honey may be used in place of brown sugar.

Oh My Goodness, Where Do I Start?

Happy September 1, 2017!  It has been 10 months since I stopped blogging and as I sit at my computer my heart is beating extra fast at the excitement of writing again for My Daily Bread Body and Soul.

The past 10 months have been filled with many blessings as I stepped away from blogging and concentrated on other aspects of my life.  When I stopped blogging last year I thought it was a permanent “stop.”  However, many times this year I clearly have heard God saying the stop was temporary, much to my surprise and delight.  I look forward to sharing many God moments with you as I move forward.

I want to share Romans 8:28 with you today because this scripture has been meat for me these past months.  What I have come to realize through the Apostle Paul’s writing of Romans 8:28 is that we can trust that God desires everything together for good for his children.  And that “good” doesn’t necessarily mean earthly comforts but instead a closer fellowship with God and bearing good fruit for His kingdom and ultimately His glory!

In full transparency, I will admit I haven’t been cooking or baking a lot of new recipes.  I have however relied on the many fabulous recipes I’ve collected and shared on this blog since 2011.

Our friend George is arriving tomorrow from Denver.  In true southern style, I am making my list and checking it twice for some yummy treats for him this week.  Tonight we stopped by the local truck farm vegetable stand and the green tomatoes called my name!

Fried green tomatoes are a delicious treat but especially in September when green tomatoes are a plenty as gardens wind down and tomatoes can be picked early.  Some of the grocery stores have even been stocking them!  Yummy, yummy put on your list for this long holiday weekend.  From appetizer to side dish – click here to get the recipe!

Have a blessed weekend,
~Catherine

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Plate Empanada and cuc tom salad
Empanadas de Picadillo with Tomato-Cucumber Salad and Lime Creme’ Fraiche

In the spring I visited my son Cory, and he introduced me to Blue Apron meal delivery service.  The Sumac-Spiced Salmon he made for us was outstanding.  Recently he sent me an invitation to try Blue Apron and they sent me one free delivery of 3 meals for 2 people.  One of the meals was for Empanadas de Picadillo with Tomato-Cucumber Salad and Lime Creme’ Fraiche.

Cucumber Tomato Salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad

Please forgive me for posting another salad recipe  on the heels of this Family Favorite Fresh Vegetable Salad!  But it is garden season in the USA and the vegetable stands and farmer’s markets are brimming with fresh vegetables like juicy wonderful tomatoes and sweet tasty cucumbers.

This may be a no-brainer salad for you but for me it shocked my shoes off!  I have never made a vegetable salad that is dressed with only a little olive oil, salt, and pepper!  Yep, that’s right – never.  In my mind, the vegetables need a little help dressing – like a bottle of salad dressing, a creamy homemade dressing, or something more than olive oil, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice

Cucumber and Tomato salad plated

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

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