Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category

Oven Fried French Fries

June 13, 2010

This is another winning recipe from Annie — best.oven.fries.ever.

My only complaint is they’re a bit labor intensive and take awhile to cook…not exactly week-night friendly!

I’ve found a way to have them on weeknights (I slice the potaotes and soak them when I get home, then toss them in the oven and tell DH to watch them/flip them while I walk the dog) but it’s still definitely a weekend side dish for us.

My fries aren’t as evenly browned as Annie’s, but my oven is a menace and dislikes browning anything. 🙂

Oven Fries

(Annie’s Eats)

3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tbsp. vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
Âľ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
ÂĽ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

– Preheat the oven to 475Ëš F.

– Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl.  Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes.

– Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet.  Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this).  Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper.  Set aside.

– Drain the potatoes.  Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels.  Pat dry with additional towels.

– Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry.  Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

– Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

– Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes.

– Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer.  Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes.  Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

– When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.


Baked Garlic Rice Pilaf

May 16, 2010

It’s always nice to add a new side dish to the rotation.

This looks like “just rice” in the picture, but it’s actually amazingly delicious from the garlic and chicken broth. The baking also gives it a different texture than regular rice….it was phenomenal!

It takes a little more time than I’d normally want for a side dish (25 minutes+45 minutes), but I made it work by starting the cooking, and then after I’d added the second bit of chicken broth, I’d walk the dog or prep the rest of the meal. It worked out well.

I served it with the lemon chicken — great pairing by the way — and had made the lemon chicken in advance. I just re-heated it in the casserole dish it cooked in, while the rice was cooking. Everything was done at the same time. 🙂

Baked Garlic Rice Pilaf

(Annie’s Eats)
2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2½ cups chicken broth, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice

– Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Have ready a covered casserole dish.

– In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

– Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.

– Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time.

Mexican (Jasmine) Rice

February 21, 2010

DH and I love this rice. I think we’re just addicted to jasmine rice, and using this as an excuse to have it.

I should really make the jasmine rice — as is — and see if we enjoy it as much!

I serve this with tacos/burritos/etc.

Mexican (Jasmine) Rice

(Food o’ Del Mundo)

2-4 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced

1/2 cup diced onion

1 1/2 cups jasmine rice

1 tbsp taco seasoning

2 1/2 cups chicken broth


– Place olive oil in a good-sized saucepan over medium heat. I usually start with 2 tbsp — you can add more when you add the rice, should it prove to not be enough to coat the rice.

– Add the garlic cloves and onion, and stir, cooking until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant

– Add the rice, and pearl the rice in the oil/garlic/onion mixture for a few minutes, stirring to prevent burning. If there isn’t enough olive oil to coat the rice, add some now.

– Add taco seasoning and stir

– Add chicken broth, stir to combine, then cover and let simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes

– Turn the burner off and let the rice sit for a few minutes before serving.

Basic Parmesan Risotto with Peas

February 21, 2010

This isn’t a new recipe on the block, by any stretch of the imagination.

I’m just blogging it so it’s easy to find when I need it! LOL

Parmesan Risotto with Peas

(How Sweet It Is)

Parmesan Risotto

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup arborio rice

~ 20 oz chicken stock (vegetable, beef, seafood, etc can also be used too!)

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1/3 cup frozen peas


In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and garlic until fragrant.

– Add rice and continuously stir until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.

– Add stock in 1/2 cup increments and bring to a simmer, continuing until the liquid is absorbed and the rice has reached the desired consistency. Stir occasionally.

– Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese and peas

Baked Pineapple

November 21, 2009

I really love this side dish — admittedly, it isn’t the healthiest. I haven’t tried to adapt the amount of sugar, but I do put a minimum amount of butter on it.

If you serve ham for Christmas, I recommend making this for something different this year. It’s delicious with ham/pork! And it re-heats well.

Since it’s an old 1950’s-1960’s recipe, it’s written a little vague, but here it is!

You probably don’t need more than a 1 1/2 qt or so casserole for this, unless you’re doubling the recipe!

Baked Pineapple

(Old family cookbook)

1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup water

1 tsp vanilla extract


– Mix all ingredients together in a bowl

– Pour into a casserole dish (2-4 quart work best, I think)

– Dot the top with butter (I use about 2.5 tbsp, broken into small pieces)

– Sprinkle with cinnamon

– Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

August 29, 2009

IMG_1349This had great flavor, but I wanted it to be a little more “creamy” — I may tweak it next time I make it!

Garlic Parmesan Orzo


2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

3 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper


– Cook orzo according to package directions, and drain

– In a large skillet, sauce garlic in butter until tender, then add orzo, parmesan, milk, parsley, salt and pepper

– Cook and stir until heated through

Taco Pasta Salad

August 2, 2009


This pasta salad is making the rounds! It was originally “wagon wheel” taco pasta salad, but I didn’t have wagon wheels!

Very tasty and different! I’ll make this again.

Taco Salad Pasta

(Cara’s Cravings)

1 lb pasta

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 10oz package frozen corn

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

8oz shredded Mexican-blend cheese

1 1/2 cups salsa

1/2 cup olive oil

3-4 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp cumin

1-2 tsp chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

freshly ground salt & pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado, diced


– Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

– In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.

– In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

– Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado.

Roasted Cauliflower

June 28, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower

I’ve never really roasted very many veggies, but figured cauliflower would be a good place to start.

This was actually really good. Which is amazing, because I generally SUCK at just ‘coming up with’ recipes.

Somehow this one came out unscathed. Probably because it’s easy 🙂

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, washed and broken into florets

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tbsp olive oil




– Preheat oven to 425 degrees

– Toss cauliflower, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil together to coat cauliflower

– Lightly grease a cookie sheet, and spread cauliflower out on it

– Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, stirring occassionally.

You want the brown bits — those are the parts that taste the best, I think!

Mexican Rice

June 21, 2009

 Mexican Rice

Since all of LeighAnne’s mexican recipes have been delicious, I decided to try her newest Mexican Rice recipe — and it was tasty!

The flavor is very mild — it isn’t like a Spanish rice that has a lot of kick — but it pairs beautifully with mexican — I think next time I make burritos I’m going to use this rice in them — I think it’ll be fantastic!

Mexican Rice

(your home based mom)

Mexican Rice

2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup long grain white rice (not the quick-cook stuff!)
2 cups chicken broth

1 small can tomato juice (no size on this…the really small ones. sorry!)
salt and pepper


-Heat oil in a skillet, add the rice.

– Stir frequently and slightly brown the rice (LeighAnne says: more like, make it tan) over a medium high heat.

-Add the chicken broth, and the tomato juice, along with some salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly.

– Reduce heat to simmer and cover tightly with a lid. (LeighAnne says: I ’stir’ the mixture several times while it’s cooking by just shaking/moving the skillet back and forth so that I don’t take the lid off.)

– Simmer/cook for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed.

– Once the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat and leave mixture alone with the lid on it for another 10-15 minutes or so.

Broccoli Slaw

May 10, 2009

I made this slaw to take to work with me for lunch. I halved the recipe since it was just for me, but below is the full recipe.

It was very tasty, and really brought back memories because of the ramen noodles! (I ate a lot of ramen in college. I think most people do?)

This is best day-of and next day. After that the noodles start to lose their crunch and it isn’t quite as good.

Broccoli Slaw
(Paula Deen)

2 bags (3-ounce) Ramen Noodle Soup in Oriental (other flavors will work, too)
3/4 stick butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 bags (12-ounce) bags broccoli cole slaw (in the bagged salad section of the grocery store)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Chopped green onions, for garnish

Dressing Mix:
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown or white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 ramen noodle seasoning packet

– Put the ramen noodles in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin while melting butter in a large skillet over low/medium heat.
– Add the crushed noodles and slivered almonds to the skillet and saute, stirring occasionally (keep temperature at low/medium heat).
– Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
– Place the shredded broccoli into bowl and toss with the noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds. – Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
– Garnish with chopped green onions.