Archive | Side Dishes/Vegetables

The BEST Guacamole [EVER]

The BEST Guacamole [EVER]

Does everyone have the best guacamole ever recipe?!

I think I have the best but then so does everyone else! 馃檪

Most recipes are similar but what I think makes this guacamole different (and better) is the pickled jalape帽o. Have you ever tried them in your guacamole? 聽They’re found on the Mexican aisle of the grocery store. 聽We think it adds an extra flavor that makes a good guac so much better. 聽Try this recipe, or just try adding the pickled jalape帽os to the recipe you already love and see if you think it makes a difference.

The BEST Guacamole [EVER]

Ingredients

  • 3 medium avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced (white, yellow, or red)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalape帽os, minced or finely diced

Directions

  1. Slice the avocados in half and take out the pit. Scrape out the pulp into a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork to your desired chunkiness.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/the-best-guacamole-ever/

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Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Have you ever smelled the cinnamon roasted nuts at the mall or an arena event? 聽I think they smell so delicious.

Whenever I attend a sporting event with my hubby and I smell them I say I’m going to buy some, but then I always change my mind because they’re kind of expensive. 聽I’m glad I found this recipe a few years ago because these nuts taste very similar to those “other” nuts and my house smells heavenly from the baked cinnamon and sugar. And while this isn’t exactly a super healthy snack, I’m sure it’s better than cookies or cake. Isn’t it?

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Ingredients

  • 4 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  2. Combine the sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add the egg white to the bowl of a stand mixer; beat with the whisk attachment until it starts to foam.
  4. Add the vanilla and continue beating until it's very frothy and thick, but don't let the egg white form peaks.
  5. Add in the almonds and toss until they're well coated.
  6. Add the sugar mixture; stirring to coat the almonds well.
  7. Spread the almonds onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out to a single layer.
  8. Bake approximately 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes.
  9. Cool and serve or store in an airtight storage container.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/cinnamon-roasted-almonds/

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Easy Creamy Hummus

Easy Creamy Hummus

Hello friends. 聽With all the busyness of summer I’ve been absent from this blog for a little over a month, but I’ve really missed it. 聽I hope you’re having a great summer.

Today I have a simple, delicious recipe to share with you.

I love the creamy hummus that Mediterranean restaurants serve. 聽I’ve been making this hummus recipe fairly often over the last 12 months or so and I think it rivals good restaurant hummus – and it’s so much better than store-bought. 聽It’s super smooth and flavorful and makes a great snack or lunch – we like to dip tortilla or pita chips, pita bread, and sometimes sliced up veggies. 聽I love how easy this is to make – just throw everything in a food processor and process to your desired creaminess.

Easy Creamy Hummus

Ingredients

  • One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (you can also use bottled, but fresh tastes better)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Paprika, sprinkled over the top for serving

Directions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process to your desired creaminess.
  3. Spoon the hummus onto a plate or into a bowl for serving.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with paprika. (As you can tell from the above picture, we like a lot of paprika.)
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/easy-creamy-hummus/

Enjoy.

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Mexican Rice – Restaurant Style

Mexican Rice - Restaurant Style

We love Mexican food and one of our favorites is plain old homemade refried beans or slow-cooker pinto beans and Mexican rice mixed together with a little bit of melted cheese on top and then scooped up with tortilla chips.

Out of all the different Mexican rice recipes we’ve tried this one is our absolute favorite. 聽It’s super easy to make, the flavor is delicious, the texture is always perfect {dry, not wet}, we always have the ingredients on hand, and the leftovers are good for several days. 聽This rice is delicious served alongside your favorite Mexican dishes ~ tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc.

 

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup (8-ounce can) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the rice and gently stir until the rice is lightly brown.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, and cumin.
  4. Stir until the rice looks golden.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, water, chicken base, and cilantro.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
  7. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Notes

Leftover Mexican Rice freezes well.

http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/mexican-rice-restaurant-style/

Recipe source: Favorite Family Recipes, adapted.

This recipe was featured on:
Buns in My Oven

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20 Delicious Apple Recipes

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Freezing Corn for Year Round Eating

 

Freezing Corn for Year Round Eating

 

Isn’t shucked corn a beautiful site?

From mid August until mid September we always buy a lot of corn on the cob and eat it until we don’t think we can eat any more because it’s such a treat for that one month we can buy it from local farmers. 聽And from that corn we always freeze a few bags to make this Sweet Corn Chowder on cool fall and cold winter days. 聽It’s such a delicious soup that we look forward to.

This year, though, I decided to buy gobs of corn all at one time ~ 6 dozen ~ and cooked it all up, cut it off the cob, and froze it so we can just pull it out and eat it without having to shuck and cook every day or two. 聽And we’ll have enough frozen that we can eat it all through the next year. 聽In a couple of weeks I’m planning to get more for freezing, just to make sure we have enough.

It took me 3 hours to complete the task and I had help with shucking and bagging the cut-off corn.

These are the steps if you’re interested in doing the same:

1. 聽Shuck all of the corn and place them in large bowls.

2. 聽Fill one, or two, or three large pots聽with water. 聽Add about 2 tablespoons of sugar to each pot and bring the water to a boil. When the water boils, add the corn into the pot and bring it to a boil again. 聽After the water comes to a boil the second time, remove the pan from the heat and let the corn sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. 聽{You may cover it with a lid, but it’s not necessary.} 聽Repeat until all of the corn is cooked, adding more water and sugar to the pots when needed.

Corn on the Cob

 

3. 聽After the corn has sat in the hot water for 10 minutes, remove it, using tongs, to a large bowl to cool.

Freezing Corn for Year Round Eating

 

4. 聽After the corn is cool enough to handle, cut it off the cob.

Click {here} to view a video if you don’t know how to cut corn off the cob.

5. 聽Place the cut cut-off corn in quart-size {or gallon} ziploc bags in the quantities you need for your family. 聽One cob of corn equals about 1/2 cup, two cobs equals about 1 cup. 聽{I made bags with 2 cobs and 3 cobs of cut-off corn.} Flatten the corn in the bag so you can stack the bags for storing in the freezer. 聽{I placed all of my bags in a box and put it on a shelf in my freezer.}

Then pull out your corn, thaw it, and serve it up whenever you’re wanting fresh off-the-cob corn. 聽So easy and delicious!

Fresh Corn off-the-Cob

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Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime DressingThis is a simple summer fruit salad that’s light and refreshing and can be made with any fruit you like or have on hand. 聽We like it with all fresh fruit but sometimes throw in canned mandarin oranges like in the above photo. 聽It’s delicious with pineapple, strawberries, grapes, bananas, kiwi, peaches, blueberries, all berries, and melons. 聽I’m sure you get the message now that it’s delicious with any fruit. 聽Give it a try.

Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups of fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • {If you're using canned fruit drain it well}
  • Zest from one lime
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, optional

Directions

  1. Combine all the fruit in a medium-sized serving bowl.
  2. In a small bowl combine the lime zest, honey, and poppy seeds.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and stir gently to coat the fruit.
  4. Refrigerate for up to an hour and serve.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/summer-fruit-salad-honey-lime-dressing/

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Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots

These delicious, yet simple, glazed carrots are such a versatile side dish for so many meats ~ grilled or baked chicken, roast beef, pork chops, ribs, or pork roast, etc.

I like this particular recipe because the carrots are cooked until crisp-tender in boiling water, and the sauce is cooked separately and then stirred into the carrots when they’re ready to be served. 聽For me, this reduces the incidents of over-cooking or under-cooking the carrots, or burning the glaze, and I can proudly serve up perfectly cooked glazed carrots that are buttery and slightly sweet with a very mild tangy flavor.

The leftovers are just as delicious as they are when eaten fresh so don’t be intimidated by the large quantity of carrots in the recipe.

Sprinkle with a bit of parsley, if desired.

Slow-cooked Italian Roast Beef with Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut on the bias 1/4 inch thick
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Parsley, optional

Directions

  1. Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water {the water should taste salty} to a boil.
  2. Add the carrots and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan over low heat, add the butter, brown sugar, and mustard. Heat through, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  4. When ready to serve, return the carrots to the saucepan.
  5. Add the vinegar and stir to coat the carrots.
  6. Season with additional salt as needed.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/glazed-carrots/

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Grits for Breakfast ~ one of my favorites

Grits for Breakfast ~ one of my favorites

I think there must be a bit of the south in me because I LOVE grits ~ for breakfast or dinner, and cooked almost any way.

The word “grits” is derived from the Old English word “grytt”, which means coarse meal. 聽It originally referred to wheat and other cooked cereals but now refers to ground corn ~ stone-ground coarse cornmeal, and it’s oftentimes called polenta, which is basically the same thing but some people think grits should be ground from white corn and polenta from yellow corn. 聽I purchase mine from the bulk section of the local store where I shop, or I sometimes coarsely grind my own corn using my Wondermill Grain Mill. 聽If neither of these is an option for you just purchase packaged stone-ground coarse cornmeal. 聽It’s also possible to buy instant grits which have been processed to speed up cooking. 聽They聽can be found in the cereal area of most grocery stores, which is what we used to buy lots and lots of years ago when we first started eating them. 聽They were pretty good but not as nutritious, hearty, or delicious so I much prefer the coarsely ground grits.

One of my favorite ways of eating them is for breakfast with just a bit of butter melted over the top and sprinkled with some brown sugar. 聽YUM. 聽Have you tried them this way?

 

Grits for Breakfast ~ one of my favorites

Grits for Breakfast ~ one of my favorites

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-3/4 cups coarsely ground grits (cornmeal)
  • butter
  • brown sugar

Directions

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt.
  3. Gradually whisk in the grits.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the grits are tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup more water if the grits thicken too much and/or stick to the pan while cooking.
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. Serve with butter and brown sugar.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/grits-breakfast/

 

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Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Oven-Baked Brown RiceOven-Baked Brown Rice turns out perfectly every time. 聽Put the ingredients in a baking dish, pop it in the oven, and walk away. 聽Easy! 聽Until聽I tried cooking my brown rice this way it never turned out right. 聽It was either under-cooked, over-cooked, had too much water or not enough. 聽For some reason it was always a guessing game. 聽For about the last 2-1/2 years I’ve been cooking it in the oven and there is no more guessing. 聽It turns out perfectly EVERY time. It takes seventy minutes to cook it so plan ahead. 聽But while it’s in the oven you’re free to do other things. 聽The leftovers store well in the refrigerator and can be eaten as a snack or in other meals like fried rice or wraps like this Asian Beef Lettuce Wrap. 聽Give it a try the next time you make brown rice.

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Yield: serves 6

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth {or plain water if you don't want your rice flavored}
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice {long or short grain}

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
  2. Bring the butter, water, and broth to a boil in a small saucepan.
  3. Place the rice in the prepared baking dish. Pour the boiling broth mixture over the rice; stir.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake on the center rack for 1 hour, 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  6. Stir before serving.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/oven-baked-brown-rice/

Recipe source: Family Feasts for $75 a Week, slightly adapted

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