Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category

Butternut Squash Soup With Toasted Pecans

Monday, October 8th, 2012

I love when I find a new ingredient to adore in the kitchen. I have started a mad love affair with butternut squash and I can’t wait to share with you a delicious dairy-free butternut squash soup that tastes creamy and sinful while actually be healthy for you. It is a butternut squash soup that will convert any squash hater into a lover of this fabulous and frugal ingredient.

It can be very easy to make a flavorless butternut squash soup. Without the right balance of spices and ingredients, it can taste a bit like indulging in a jar of baby food. What sets this soup apart from other recipes is the heat from a little curry, the warmth of nutmeg, a creamy addition of one potato, the depth of flavor from a leek, the lightness of the chicken broth, and the unexpected crunchy topping of toasted pecans on top. This unexpected list of ingredients truly yield a complex soup that offers layers of flavors that will have your guests wondering just what exactly is in the soup that can create such depth.

One investment that I have made into my kitchen is an inexpensive handheld immersion blender. Transferring soup to my blender usually ends in catastrophe and the immersion blender has paid for its space in my kitchen over and over again while preparing my favorite fall drinks and soups in my kitchen. I can’t recommend this little gadget enough- it is a game changer for soup preparation!

What makes this soup less labor intensive than other butternut squash soup recipes is the simple preparation of preparing the butternut squash with the skin on (be sure to check out my tutorial) and roasting the potato alongside the squash for your soup. Minimal blending and cooking will have to be done once these have been roasted and it makes the soup come together more quickly for an easy weeknight meal.

I have never become more quickly addicted to soup than I have to this one. I guarantee that this is the perfect soup to add to your soup rotations in the Fall and provides just the right warmth in your belly on these chilly Fall nights.

Butternut Squash Soup With Toasted Pecans
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
An easy weeknight butternut squash soup that has the perfect balance of spice and creaminess without the extra calories!
Ingredients
  • 1 large leek
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 potato, cooked and cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 small pinch of curry powder
  • ⅓ cup toasted pecans, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the skin of the squash and the potato with a fork a few times. Place them on a cookie sheet and roast them for one hour. Pull them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
  2. Halve the leek lengthwise, rinse thoroughly and chop the white and light green parts only. Discard the tough dark green parts. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and sauté until they start to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add chopped garlic to the pot and sauté for one more minute.
  4. Grab your potato and squash from the cookie sheet.
  5. Peel the skin from the potato and dice. Set aside. Next, cut your squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Using a spoon, gently spoon out your squash for your soup. The squash should easily pull away from the skin.
  6. Add your squash, potato, broth, and seasonings to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Let soup cool slightly. In a food processor or with a handheld immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth or to your own desired texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Toast pecans at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for five minutes. Watch carefully to not burn them.
  8. Scoop soup into soup bowls and top with a sprinkling of toasted pecans.

 

 

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How to Cook a Butternut Squash With the Skin On

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Preparing a butternut squash for a soup can be time consuming and back breaking work, especially if there is a lot of dicing and chopping involved. Today I want to show an easy way to cook butternut squash with the skin on for your soups that requires minimal effort, a single slice, and yields delicious and soft squash that can be instantly pureed for your soups. Cooking a butternut squash with the skin on can be done either in the oven or in the microwave with ease. Today’s tutorial showcases my easy way of preparation.

If you have not cooked with a butternut squash before, you are in for a real treat. Butternut squash is a winter squash and is also known as a butternut pumpkin in other regions of the world.  It has  the same  sweet and nutty taste that is similar to my favorite Fall ingredient and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

The best part about butternut squashes, in my opinion, is that they are relatively inexpensive and can keep for months in a cool dark place, making it a great frugal ingredient to rely upon when times are more lean or the pantry is bare. Stock up on this ingredient when it goes on sale and roast it for easy side dishes, create delicious soups with it, or add it into your favorite Fall casseroles.  The possibilities with this ingredient are truly endless!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

How to Cook a Butternut Squash With the Skin On
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the easiest way to prepare a squash with minimal work
Ingredients
  • Butternut Squash- Cook as many as you like at the same time and freeze the vegetable for cooking all season long.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Prick your butternut squash with a fork.
  3. Cook your squash for one hour. Allow it to cool.
  4. Slice the squash in half lengthwise.
  5. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
  6. Scoop the flesh out of the squash. It should be soft and pull away easily away from the skin.
  7. Alternate Microwave Instructions: Wash the squash in cool running water and pat dry. Use a knife to pierce several holes in the squash. Place the butternut squash in a large microwavable shallow dish, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove the dish from the microwave. Use a large knife to cut the squash in half. Spoon out the seeds and discard. Place the squash, cut side down, back in the dish and microwave for 5 more minutes. The squash’s flesh should feel tender. Leave it in the microwave to stand for another 5 minutes. Use the squash in your favorite recipes.

Be sure to visit my Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Pecans recipe for a delicious Fall soup addition that the whole family will love!

 

What are your favorite ways to prepare butternut squash? Do you have a recipe to share with this ingredient? Feel free to link it up below!

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Fall Into Fall FOODS With MomAdvice

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The Best of Fall Recipes from MomAdvice.com.

As I begin creating new recipes for the site, I wanted to showcase a few of my favorite dishes that have been on our site in years past for the fall. Fall just so happens to be my favorite season and coincidentally, Fall foods and drinks happen to be my favorite type of sips & dishes.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite Fall foods that I can’t wait to eat this year!

Weeknight Roast Turkey Sandwiches

Few things say fall is here to me like the delicious flavor of roast turkey. While many think of roasting a turkey as only a routine done on Thanksgiving, I think of roasting a turkey as an easy weeknight dish that can be turned into delicious packed sandwiches for my kid’s lunchboxes and a lifesaver for busy weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking. You will love this easy (and frugal) technique for a great weeknight turkey sandwich!

Hearty Beef Stew

Nothing says the Fall like a great beef stew. This stew is so rich and decadent,  because of the use of bacon in this stew. The bacon fat is what all of the vegetables get coated in for cooking and then the cooked bacon is set aside for crumbling on top of the stew once it comes out of the oven.  I filled the broth with red wine and beef broth, to create a rich and flavorful broth that will have your whole family begging for more!

Soup, Soup, & More Soup

For a family that never liked soup, we have become the family with a soup night in our weekly rotation. Visit the link above to access my absolute favorite soups- an easy weeknight chicken noodle, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, our Pesto Chicken Tortellini, and so much more! If that isn’t enough soup for you this year, you must try my homemade tomato soup. It will change any negative feelings you might have about tomato soup- I promise!

Apple Pie Muffins

My family does not like apple pie (weird, I know!), but they do really love my apple pie muffins that incorporate those delicious flavors of the apple pie with a simple crumb topping. If you happen to have an abundance of apples on hand, I highly recommend giving these apple muffins a try

The batter is sweet, but not too sweet, and the apples have a warmness to them thanks to the cooked apple and the cinnamon that is worked into the crumb topping and within the muffin itself.  Serve these up with a big glass of milk and you have the makings of a perfect snack!

Apple Pork Chops

These pork chops are a satisfyingly sweet and savory dish that pairs ingredients that I typically have around our house. The brown sugar and cinnamon sauce adds a delicious glaze to this perfectly cooked pork.  Baking the pork helps it to achieve the perfect temperature and I believe you will be stunned at what a tender and juicy pork chop this recipe yields!

Baked Apple Pie Donuts

I love baking donuts and these Baked Apple Pie Donuts are the perfect treat to make for your family! The dominate flavor in this one is definitely the apple followed by the earthy and nutty flavor of ground nutmeg that helps round out the flavor profile of these donuts.  Once these delicate donuts are done baking, they are brushed lightly with butter and then dipped into a cinnamon and sugar coating that helps bring all of those delicious fall flavors together and that little bit of gritty, yummy crunch that just so happens to be my favorite thing about donuts.

Cheddar Apple Pie Dip

One of my favorite combinations for fall eating is cheddar and apples. If you haven’t tried this before, it is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and they all come together in this easy & delicious dip.  Diced on top  is a mixture of red and green apples that have been tossed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and coarsely chopped walnuts. The layer underneath offers a surprise of cheddar cheese mixed with cream cheese and sour cream, cooked until hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite cinnamon chip or cracker.

 

The Best of Fall Recipes from MomAdvice.com.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Syrup Frosting

I wanted to figure out a way to use the leftover cans of pumpkin we had from our Thanksgiving feasting last year, and I decided to create my very own Baked Pumpkin Donuts with a Maple Syrup Frosting that would be the perfect use for the pumpkin leftover. What started as a way to use up leftover pumpkin is now worked into our fall activities and this year my kids will be enjoying these with big mugs of  homemade hot cocoa on our little front step outside when we do our raking this year.

These are flavorful and almost like a glass of wine, you can taste all the different flavors as you eat them. You can taste the hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, the rich pumpkin flavor, and then that maple syrup sweetness from the light glaze drizzle. The texture is different than a fried donut and more like a muffin or a good piece of cake. They are not overly sweet though and the pumpkin really seems to add a savory quality to these.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

I can’t tell you how many of my friends have made my pumpkin pasta a part of their fall routines. It is one of those dishes that surprises me about just how much it is loved!

Have you ever tried pumpkin pasta?  Over the years this dish has become the most favorite dish for fall and one bite of this will tell you why! The kids think it looks like macaroni and cheese so it does not take much coaxing to get them to try a bite. My husband loves the turkey sausage and the meaty flavor of this dish. Me? I just love the creamy pumpkin taste in my mouth!

If you are worried about how your family will react to pumpkin pasta, scale the pumpkin back. You can do between 2/3-2 cups of pasta, depending on your personal taste. Start with a little and ease your family into the two cup ratio.

The pumpkin recipes go on for days and days on our site! Be sure to visit my article on 11 Recipes to Try this Fall with Pumpkin!

What is your favorite Fall recipe you have tried from our site? Have any of these recipes become a yearly tradition for your families? I would love to hear from you!

 

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Homemade Enchilada SauceOne of our family’s favorite weeknight meals is a big batch of our favorite weeknight chicken enchiladas. The first recipe I ever tried instructed me how to make my own homemade enchilada sauce to go along with our yummy enchiladas. I had never made enchiladas before so I assumed that a homemade enchilada sauce was the only way to make this recipe. Once I made and realized how easy it was to make my own sauce though, I never once considered buying my enchilada sauce.

Making your own sauces and mixes is a fantastic way to save money and you also have the opportunity to control the quality of ingredients that go into your dishes. With a sauce like an enchilada sauce, for example, you also can control the spiciness of the dish to your own preference.

Once you make this simple and fast enchilada sauce, I guarantee you will never buy the pre-packaged sauces again. The best part about this recipe though is that it is made from items you already have in your pantry and spices that are likely already lurking in your cupboard.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

We serve this yummy sauce on top of my favorite chicken enchiladas. These enchiladas never last long in our house and are awesome reheated in the oven (I reheat mine at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes on a baking stone) for an easy lunch. When reheated in the oven, they taste just like the day you made them and are delicious served with a little fresh fruit for a yummy side.

I hope you can give these recipes a try in your house! I just know you will love them as much as we do!

4.0 from 5 reviews

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Once you make your own enchilada sauce, you will never go back to buying it on the shelf. This recipe is both easy in preparation and frugal on your wallet.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (we adjusted to 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 garlic cloves,minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the onion and salt and cook until softened, about five minutes.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, garlic, cumin, and sugar. Cook until fragrant, about fifteen seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about five minutes.
  5. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


Be sure to visit my Make Your Own Mixes & Convenience Foods article on other easy and effortless recipes you can create in your own kitchen and save your family hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill!

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Cheddar Apple Pie Dip

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

I am so happy that Fall is upon us and that I finally get to enjoy all of my favorite things about Fall cooking. One of my favorite combinations for fall eating is cheddar and apples. If you haven’t tried this before, it is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and they all come together in this Cheddar Apple Pie Dip.

Diced on top of this dip is a mixture of red and green apples that have been tossed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and coarsely chopped walnuts. The layer underneath offers a surprise of cheddar cheese mixed with cream cheese and sour cream, cooked until hot and bubbly.

This appetizer can be served with cinnamon pita chips or cinnamon & raisin bagel chips if you lean more towards the sweet or a hearty wheat cracker if you lean more towards the savory. I like to platter these two options together and let my guests choose their favorite for dipping.

Allow this appetizer to set up for ten to fifteen minutes before serving to allow the flavors to merry together and to let the dip set up.

This appetizer is a potluck and tailgate winner that is sure to surprise your guests with this delicious combination of flavors.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Cheddar Apple Pie Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A delicious combination of apple and cheddar perfect for your Fall entertaining.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 each: red and green apple, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup low-fat sour cream
  • Assorted crackers for dipping
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  3. Add apples and walnuts; toss until evenly coated. Set aside.
  4. Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese in medium bowl. Add sour cream; stir until well blended. Spread into 9-inch pie plate; top with apple mixture.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Serve with your favorite crackers for dipping.
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Roasted Corn Salsa

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

If there is one food that I love, it is a delicious fresh salsa. Today I wanted to share with you the world’s most delicious roasted corn salsa that is the perfect dish to take to your next potluck or tailgating event.

The unique flavor in this salsa comes from a unique process of broiling the corn under your oven’s broiler until the corn gets a beautiful brown hue to it, imparting a roasted taste within each bite of your salsa and adding another layer of flavor to this simple dish.

Fresh chopped tomatoes, roasted corn, and parsley are tossed with just a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to create this unique and easy appetizer.

Serve this fast & easy dish with your favorite tortilla chip. I guarantee that wherever you bring this dish, it won’t last long!

Roasted Corn Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A fresh and healthy salsa made from roasted corn, tomatoes, parsley, and a few other pantry ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 6 Roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 onions, diced (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (depending on how spicy you like your salsa)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat a broiler or prepare a charcoal fire and let burn to a gray ash.
  2. Place corn on a broiling pan or grill set about 6 inches from heat source.
  3. Cook, turning often, until kernels have softened and are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then cut off kernels from each ear (you’ll have about 3 cups).
  4. In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Add parsley and stir well. Chill until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with your favorite tortilla chip.

 

 

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Three Cheese Grilled Potatoes

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Anything that can be thrown into a foil packet and heated on the grill is a winning recipe for me. It is because of this firm belief in foil packet grilling as the solution to all kitchen clean-up that I couldn’t wait to try these three cheese grilled potatoes for our cookout this weekend.

I was inspired by my best friend to give this recipe a shot. My husband and kids tend to be of the belief that “potatoes should only be french fries or mashed.” I find myself hesitating to waste my time and effort on potatoes, but if someone else wants to put in the time and effort…I am totally on board!

Of course, my family absolutely loved these and I couldn’t wait to make them at home for my family.  The flavor of these can be adjusted to your own personal taste. I substituted turkey bacon for the regular bacon and added fresh parsley in lieu of fresh chives in mine. No matter how you top them, make sure to remember to spray the tin foil well with nonstick cooking spray so you can enjoy every delicious bite.

To save grilling time, poke your potatoes with a fork and microwave them for five minutes. Allow them to cool slightly and then dice for your foil packets. These are a great make-ahead side dish when entertaining, and can be created and tucked in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.

I hope you enjoy these half as much as we did and special thanks to my best friend for getting us out of our sad fried/mashed potato rut.

Three Cheese Grilled Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
An easy foil-packed grilled potato that is loaded with cheese and bacon. It makes the perfect accompaniment to any grilled meat and is a cookout winner!
Ingredients
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced Italian flat leaf parsley
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup crumbled cooked turkey bacon
  • ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Wash your potatoes and dry well. Prick each potato several times with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes on high. Allow the potatoes to cool.
  2. Dice potatoes into 1″ cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the diced potatoes, Parmesan cheese, parsley, seasoned salt, and pepper.
  4. Transfer to a double thickness of greased heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square).
  5. Dot with butter.
  6. Fold foil around potato mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Carefully open foil. Sprinkle the bacon cheeses over potato mixture. Grill 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  8. Open carefully and enjoy with your favorite grilled meats.


Be sure to visit my other post today to find out how to make the perfect steak to go along with your delicious three cheese grilled potatoes. You won’t want to miss this Labor Day steak feast for six created with less than $100 in supplies! 

 

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Basic Vinaigrette for Salads

Monday, June 11th, 2012

If there is one thing I love to eat in the summers, it is a delicious fresh salad. Making homemade salad dressing is easier than you think and this basic vinaigrette is the recipe I rely upon for dressing all of my salads. The best part about making your own salad dressing is that you can control the quality of the ingredients that go into it and how much sodium is in your dressing.

I prepare all of my dressings in a mason jar that I keep in my pantry for my salad dressing. Just a quick measure of ingredients, putting the lid back on, and giving the jar a shake will yield a perfect dressing every single time. No need to mix it in a bowl with a whisk, the shaking helps pull the dressing together quickly and easily, with minimal effort.

How long your dressings will last depends simply upon the ingredients that are used in your dressing. This dressing has vinegar and oil in it as its main components. This dressing can last for up to three months easily. A dressing that incorporates mayonnaise (like my Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad) though will last, at most, just three days in your fridge. Since this dressing lasts forever, I always use this one as my go-to and switch it up with different vinegar choices to personalize it for my salads.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Tomorrow I am sharing a great way to make salads part of your summer eating routine, that I think you will really love!

 

Basic Vinaigrette for Salads
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Once you know the secrets to making your own dressing, you will never buy the bottled stuff again!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup good vinegar (you can use sherry, balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar.
  2. Shake, shake, shake
  3. Taste to adjust salt and add more oil or vinegar if needed.
  4. Store in the fridge
  5. Bring back to room temperature before using.

Want to make this for a salad for one? Combine 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, and 3 to 4 tablespoons oil.  Add pepper, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or oil as necessary.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman (this is an affiliate link).

Have a favorite homemade recipe? Feel free to share your recipe or a link to one on your own blogs that you love to use on your summer salads?

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Double Tomato Bruschetta

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Whenever I go out to restaurants, I always want to order a big plate full of bruschetta for an appetizer. I don’t know why it has never occurred to me to make a batch of brushetta to eat at home, but when I noticed the tomatoes were on sale at my local supermarket, I just knew that I had to make some of this for myself.

This bruschetta is a double tomato bruschetta which combines the super sweet and chewy flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes with the delicious juiciness of the Roma tomatoes. The flavors together are phenomenal and are mixed with just a little balsamic vinegar,olive oil, garlic, and a little fresh garlic.

This appetizer can be prepared a few hours in advance, allowing the flavors to marinate together and break down the tomatoes a bit, or you can prepare it and eat it within ten minutes of preparation.

I have a feeling that this quick and easy appetizer will be my new go-to dish for summer potlucks and barbecues. I also have a feeling that once you make this bruschetta, it will be your go-to dish too.

Double Tomato Bruschetta
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A quick & easy bruschetta recipe that combines the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes with Roma tomatoes for a perfect merriment of flavors.
Ingredients
  • 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, stems removed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut your baguette into ¾ inch slices.
  3. On a cookie sheet, arrange your baguette in a single layer. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Broil for 2 minutes, until just slightly brown.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes (or as long as three hours).
  5. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices.
  6. Top the slices with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Looking for other great appetizers to mix up in your kitchen? Here is a list of my personal favorites that I love to serve for holiday gatherings and when entertaining!

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Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo

Monday, February 20th, 2012


Side dishes can get pretty boring around our house so I am always on the lookout for a fun new spin on a simple side dish. Orzo pasta tends to be one of our favorite go-to side dish pastas and I love to find easy ways to liven up our traditional side dish fare. This Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo definitely illustrates how the simplest of ingredients can pack just as much of a punch as a more complex dish.

If you haven’t tried orzo pasta, it really is one of my favorite short pastas that is an ingredient in some of my favorite dishes. It stands well alone in Spinach & Tomato Orzo Pasta Salad, offers a delicious accompaniment to my favorite saucy Slow Cooker Pot Roast Italiano, and is a fantastic accompaniment as a Cheesy Orzo with Parmesan Sage Pork Chops for one of my favorite Italian weekend dishes.

This Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo though is sweetly simple with few ingredients and loads of flavor. The sun-dried tomatoes add chewy sweet flavor, the basil and lemon zest add a bright freshness, and the Parmesan cheese adds creaminess to this dish.

Definitely add this fun new dish to your tired side dish rotation and I promise you won’t be disappointed with this easy and simple side.


Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Simple ingredients yield a tasty side dish that will spice up your usual side dish routines.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon (zest & juice)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Place basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor.
  5. Pulse 4 or 5 times until blended.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together the orzo, basil-tomato mixture, olive oil, the zest of one lemon, the juice of one lemon, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm or chilled.

I am participating in Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

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