How to make cauliflower rice

How To Make Cauliflower Rice

Let’s all take a moment to embrace the fact that the idea of eating cauliflower is super boring.

Ok, now that that’s been addressed, let me say that I’ve recently lost 20 pounds.

Thank you, for what I imagine is your cyber-congratulations, and let me tell you that it is solely due to my recent increase in cauliflower consumption.

Alright, that’s not true at all. It’s mainly been due to a very slight increase in physical activity coupled with the fact that I’ve stopped eating like an asshole… or rather like a six year old.

I simply can’t eat the same foods that my six year old and two year old can. Who knew?! Apparently our metabolisms are set on completely different cycles, and in order for me to lose weight I’m going to need to eat less pasta and more what do you call them? Oh yeah, vegetables.

Here’s one of the first steps I took in my plan to regain control of my body: Cauliflower Rice.

How to make cauliflower rice

It couldn’t be easier to learn how to make; and it takes the place of (not only) rice but also grits! Yes, for all of you shrimp & grits lovers out there, this is the perfect cheat for you. Cauliflower also scores a big win for being super boring. That’s right! Having a, let’s just say, less than lively flavor profile actually works in cauliflower’s favor here. It’s sort of like the potato of veggies… wait a minute, never mind.

It’s sort of like potato’s friendly cousin with a good personality.

However you look at it, Cauliflower Rice can be flavored in almost any number of ways to fit virtually any dish, and it’s not going to add to your waistline the way that rice, pasta, or potatoes would. And for a friendly cousin with a good personality, I’d say that more than exceeds expectations.

Cauliflower Rice

Skip the carbs with this super easy technique for making Cauliflower Rice from CravingCobbler. You'll make this all the time once you see how easy it is to make Cauliflower Rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to Large Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Start with your head of cauliflower...
Head of Cauliflower
Step 2
and rip all the extra stems and leaves off. They add nothing to this party.
Trimmed Cauliflower
Step 3
Now pop off each branch of your cauliflower tree, one at a time, chopping them into bite-sized pieces and avoiding any large stem pieces.
Chopped Cauliflower
Step 4
Once you're finished, it should look something like this.
Cauliflower in food processor
Step 5
Blitz in the food processor for around 10 seconds and you'll be left with something like this.
Fresh Cauliflower Rice
Step 6
At this point, it's just a matter of slightly cooking the cauliflower, so you don't end up eating a mouthful of veg that seems to expand as you chew it. I'm just saying eating raw cauliflower that's been pulverized by a food processor is akin to eating a mouthful of raw rice. Unpalatable and tedious.
Step 7
So at this point, I heat up 1 Tbs of coconut oil in a skillet over med/low heat because I'm planning on serving this "rice" with a Thai Chicken Curry. But feel free to play with the fat and/or flavorings here.
Step 8
Once the oil and the pan are hot, add in all of your cauliflower rice and sprinkle with the salt. Stir around until the rice seems thoroughly coated with oil and salt.
Step 9
Continue to stir occasionally and cook anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on desired doneness or how al dente you enjoy your pretend rice.
Step 10
Here is mine after exactly 7 minutes, which is my norm.
Cooked Cauliflower Rice
Step 11
And there you have it! Yummy low-carb Cauliflower Rice that's the perfect base for any number of super star meals.
Cauliflower Rice
Step 12
Cauliflower is a blank canvas, so feel free to play around with the flavor profile depending on what the finished dish will be.
Step 13
To turn this into the perfect base for our Thai Chicken Curry, I used coconut oil and then finished my Cauliflower Rice off with plenty of cilantro.
Cilantro Cauliflower Rice
Step 14
However you choose to jazz up your Cauliflower Rice, enjoy eating a veggie that feels carb-a-licious in a paradoxical kind of way. It's totally boring and phoney, and yet that's what makes it all the more thrilling!
Sriracha Bacon

Sriracha Bacon

Sriracha Bacon is the way of the future.

I realize that it’s not exactly front page news that Sriracha is the best hot sauce in the universe. The whole world knows that at this point. But what you might not realize is that Sriracha Bacon is the best bacon in the universe. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but this truly is genius!

The idea for Sriracha Bacon occurred to me a couple weeks ago when Brian and I were having yet another conversation about how awesome Sriracha is, and trying to think of what to put it on next. It hit us at almost exactly the same time that it’s nuts, with as much as we use it, that I hadn’t added any Sriracha recipes to Craving Cobbler yet. This, of course, kicked off a whole new conversation. Well shouting match would probably be a more accurate description. Not the angry kind, just us shouting out recipe ideas at each other as fast and loud as our little Sriracha loving brains would allow.

Sriracha Bacon from cravingcobbler.com

The bacon idea was one that I shouted out I think, and it just seemed so simple. We both stopped shouting. Could something that seemed so simple and obvious once said out loud be as good as it sounds like it would be? It couldn’t. It’s just to easy.

Well I’m here to spread the word dear friends. It IS that easy! The only problem with this recipe is the fact that I haven’t already been making it for years.

Make this now or regret it later.

Sriracha Bacon Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10oz thick sliced bacon (about 8 slices)
  • 1/3 cup Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the sriracha, honey, and sugar to a bowl.
Sriracha Bacon Sauce
Step 2
Give it a good whisking, and then set up your bacon assembly line. This should include: your sweetened sriracha sauce, your bacon, and an aluminum foil lined rimmed baking pan topped with an oven-safe cooling rack.
Dipping bacon in a delicious Sriracha sauce!
Step 3
Give each slice of bacon a thorough dipping/coating of the spicy sauce only on one side. Lay the strips sauce side up on the cooling rack, being mindful not to overlap the slices.
Sriracha Bacon ready for the oven
Step 4
Pop them in the oven for around 40 minutes. I know it seems like a long time, but because of the Sriracha and sugars we have the oven at a lower temperature. To keep your sweet and spicy strips of awesome from scorching in areas, you really want to roast these babies lower and slower.
Sriracha Bacon is what your life has been missing
Step 5
There's really nothing left to say except, "Pass the bacon!"

Sriracha Bacon

Kale-Pot21-373

Roasted Potatoes with Kale Pesto

These potatoes are so delicious you’ll forget that they’re good for you!

Roasted Potatoes with Kale Pesto

A while back, my husband and I realized how much we love kale. It’s one of those veggies, like brussels sprouts, that were almost too scary to try. They seem ominous and a little bit threatening. I mean if they’re that good for you… how could they be tasty? Well I’m sure everyone won’t agree with us on this one, but we love getting down with some kale!

When I was working at Whole Foods I discovered three or four kale salads from the prepared foods department that really turned me onto kale, and it didn’t take long before Brian was on that healthy leaf train right along with me. We’ve played around with lots of different kale salads and sides, but one of our favorite kale recipes (that our son will actually eat) is my Kale Pesto. It’s absolutely delicious! The raw leaves are simply pureed along with garlic, oil, nuts, and cheese to make an easy sauce that works with almost anything. We put it all over noodles, of course, and our other favorite way to use the pesto is like a condiment on sandwiches. The pasta and paninis have been awesome, but we’re always trying to think of new ways to use up our kale pesto.

Roasted Potatoes with Kale Pesto

The other week the idea for these roasted kale potatoes hit me, and now it seems like such an obvious one. I had a jar of kale pesto hanging out in the fridge from a pasta night, and I actually thought of tossing the potatoes in it as they were roasting in the oven. It worked out beyond great! Pesto is an uncooked sauce, so I think it’s nice to keep it that way. I have a feeling these would still be tasty if you coated the potatoes in pesto pre-roasting, but I really think the flavor of the pesto gets to pop more as a finish.

Roasted Potatoes with Kale Pesto

As for the recipe itself it couldn’t be easier. Large chunks of potato are tossed in kosher salt and olive oil, and roasted to tender, wrinkly skinned perfection. While they’re still hot from the oven simply toss them in a large bowl with a generous amount of the pesto. That’s all it takes to enjoy some of the best potatoes ever!

Roasted Potatoes with Kale Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3lb red potatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup kale pesto

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Step 2
Wash the potatoes and cut them into roughly 1 1/2 inch chunks. The size of the chunks isn't as important here as making sure that the pieces are a consistent size. So just keep in mind that larger pieces might take a bit longer or a little less time for smaller ones.
Step 3
In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, olive oil, and salt.
Step 4
Spread out into a single layer on a baking sheet, taking the time to flip the cut side downs.
Step 5
Roast about 35 minutes or until fork tender.
Step 6
Toss the potatoes in the large bowl again, this time with as much or little kale pesto as you prefer.

I used about 1/4 cup and it coated them perfectly for my personal taste, but feel free to add less or more!
Roasted Potatoes with Kale Pesto
scalloped-potatoes-kielbasa-373

Scalloped Potatoes with Kielbasa

Scalloped potatoes with kielbasa is my version of creamy scalloped potatoes – just kicked up a notch with meat… sweet smokey meat.

This recipe for scalloped potatoes is absolutely delicious on its own, but every now and then I like to add in the sausage. It transforms them from a hearty side dish into a main course. Wyatt loves kielbasa. Of course he’d probably say no if you were to ask him. We’ve always referred to it as “hotdog” to help him be a bit more openminded. He’s prone to claiming that he doesn’t like something before he’s even tried it. It drives me nuts! I’d heard that the “I don’t like that” food days were coming… but it’s so sad to see them here already. It’s especially sad and frustrating when you’ve spent time and money preparing a meal you know your kid would love… if they’d just pop it into their stubborn little mouth! Besides, what’s not to like about potatoes, cheese, and smoked sausage?

If you have an answer for that, I don’t want to hear it.

Anyway, rest assured that this is a dish that should please everyone at your table… even your pickiest of four year olds!

Scalloped Potatoes with Sausage Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8oz cheddar cheese
  • 12oz polish kielbasa
  • 6 small-medium sized potatoes

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and peel your potatoes.
peeled potatoes
Step 2
I made this up and it had been a long time since I'd made these. So I had no idea how many potatoes I would need to fill my dish with deliciously starchy layers. I ended up with about three extra potatoes worth of slices.

As you can see, this is by no means an exact science. But my (now experienced) guess would be about 6 small to medium sized potatoes.

I split each one in half lengthwise; then sliced the halves into thin slices.
slicing scalloped potatoes
Step 3
Speaking of inexact sciences, the success of this dish does not depend on using exactly 12 ounces of sausage. You just need the smoked polish kielbasa of your choice.

Here's what I was working with:
smoked kielbasa
Step 4
Feel free to use as much or little of this to bulk up your potatoes. These things seem to last forever, so if you hold some back it'd definitely be tasty on a rainy day.
Step 5
My family never shies away from extra sausage (or "hotdog" for Wyatt) so I chopped up the whole kielbasa.
chopped kielbasa
Step 6
Heat up a skillet to medium high heat, and toss in the whole bunch.
browning kielbasa
Step 7
Toss around for a few minutes to give them some nice color like this, and then pull off the heat.
browned kielbasa
Step 8
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and get ready to make the creamy sauce that really makes these potatoes "scalloped".

Heat the 2Tbs of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
melted butter
Step 9
Add in the flour once the butter has melted and is just beginning to bubble.
adding flour to melted butter
Step 10
Whisk the flour into the hot butter. It will become a thick bubbly paste.

Keep cooking and whisking for at least 30 seconds up to a minute. If you begin to add the milk/broth mixture too soon, it'll taste like raw flour... yuck.
making a roux
Step 11
Be ready with your liquids.

I measure the milk and broth in the same measuring cup, and then I'm ready to slowly add the whole mix.
milk and beef broth
Step 12
Slowly pour in some of the liquid and whisk.

It will become a thick paste yet again.
adding milk to roux
Step 13
Continue adding and whisking until you're left with what appears to be a saucepan full of milk.
cream sauce before it's thickened
Step 14
Whisk regularly for about 15 minutes or until thickened.

I know this seems like it takes forever, but that's just the nature of cream sauces.

Add in the spices and you're ready to layer up this bad boy!
Step 15
Butter the baking dish of your choice.

I'm sorry I don't know the exact size of this one. I've had it for years, and it's the one I seem to use for almost everything.
buttered baking dish
Step 16
Ladle about half of the cream sauce into the the dish, and spread it around to cover the bottom.
ladling on cream sauce
Step 17
Shingle on potato slices into a complete layer next.
potato layer
Step 18
Sprinkle over about half of your browned kielbasa.
sprinkle on kielbasa
Step 19
Now for about one cup of shredded cheddar.
polish kielbasa scalloped potatoes "pre-oven"
Step 20
Repeat one more of each layer: cream sauce, potatoes, kielbasa, and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Scalloped Potatoes with Sausage
Step 21
Yum, yum, yum!
Scalloped Potatoes with Sausage
Step 22
It's insanely good!
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with bacon and candied pecans!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

If you like sweet potatoes, then you’ll love Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes!

By the time these make it to your plate, all the work has been done for you. You’re left with a shell that’s filled with creamy sweet potatoes and topped with a brown sugar, candied pecan, and bacon awesomeness! It’s almost dangerous. Once you start eating it, there’s no going back… and there’s also no keeping count of how many you’ve had!

On that note, this recipe makes 6 stuffed potato shells. It would easily double or even triple depending on what kind of crowd your feeding. I think this would be a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving feast! This is a great recipe for doubling or tripling because it’s just a matter of adjusting your measurements without actually adding to your cook time!

Try these for Thanksgiving or any other meal that you’d like to make deliciously special!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Meal type Side Dish
Occasion Thanksgiving

Ingredients

Potatoes

  • 3 sweet potatoes (on the small to medium size)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into small bits)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping

  • 2 thick slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup candied or honey roasted pecans
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into small bits)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour

Directions

Step 1
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees, and washing your potatoes.

I thought I'd show you a reference picture of the potatoes I used since saying "small to medium" might be taken differently from everyone.
size reference for the potatoes
Step 2
Hopefully this will help, considering that almost everyone knows the size of an iPhone!

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, and poke around on your potatoes with a fork.
pre-baked sweet potatoes
Step 3
Pop these guys into the preheated oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.
baked sweet potatoes
Step 4
When they're finished, you should be able to squeeze the sides and actually feel the potato squeezing.

It's up to you how you choose to cook your bacon slices, but here's my little tip.

I've started baking my bacon in the oven on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and it's so easy!
baking bacon
Step 5
As you can see, besides the fact that I accidentally baked four extra slices (yeah that's right, I thought I might need to sample a little bacon to make sure it was safe for my family to eat!) the bacon sheet baked right along with the potatoes.

I usually cook bacon at 400 degrees for anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes depending on the thickness.

Once your potatoes have cooled enough for you to handle them without yelping, slice them in half lengthwise.
sliced sweet potatoes
Step 6
Carefully scoop the insides right into the bowl of your mixer.
sweet potato insides
Step 7
It doesn't have to be perfect, but try not to poke through the skins. Also try to leave enough in them to give you a fairly sturdy vessel for your fancied up insides.
sweet potato vessels
Step 8
Add one tablespoon of the butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in with the potato innards.
flavoring sweet potato mash
Step 9
Now beat the ever lovin' sweet potato out of it!
beaten sweet potatoes
Step 10
Seriously though, I beat mine on high for about two minutes... scraping down the sides once.

Lay your sweet potato shells on a parchment lined baking sheet, and refill with their new and improved insides.
almost twice baked sweet potatoes
Step 11
Make sure your oven is reset to 400 degrees, and prepare the yummy topping for the potatoes.

I wanted to show you that when I say 1/4 cup chopped candied pecans I measured out a heaping 1/4 cup first,
1/4 cup candied pecans
Step 12
and then chopped them up.
chopped candied pecans
Step 13
Add the chopped pecans, butter bits, bacon bits, sugar, and flour into a bowl.
pecan sweet potato toppings
Step 14
Give it all a good toss,
twice baked sweet potato topping
Step 15
and evenly distribute amongst your taters.
twice baked sweet potatoes pre-oven
Step 16
Try to make sure that everyone gets a little of everything the topping has to offer, and bake for 10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, pull them out of the oven and check for spots where the sugar still looks like sugar. Dot these with small bits of butter.
almost twice baked sweet potatoes
Step 17
Bake another 5 minutes, and prepare to fall in love!


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with bacon and candied pecans!
Step 18
These are insanely good, so I'd say bake more than you think you need!
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with bacon and candied pecans!
Step 19
I ate two easily, and I don't regret a single bite!
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

My four year old ate a bowlful of noodles coated in kale pesto!

If that doesn’t convince you that this is a tasty way to get some raw kale into your diet, then I’m not sure what will. This is my traditional pesto recipe just replaced with kale instead of basil.

I actually love kale. It’s something that I had to talk myself into trying, but now I can’t believe how much I love it! It’s basically a nutritional powerhouse, being one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. However, as much as I may love raw kale in a nice fall salad with dried cranberries and pears, trying to talk Wyatt into eating a kale salad is laughable. Believe me… I’ve tried. He’s been blackmailed into trying small bites of raw kale before in exchange for the promise of dessert. It’s never been worth it. He takes the smallest bite humanly imaginable, shudders while he dramatically chokes it down, and then gets to eat a cookie for his trouble.

The night I made this pesto, I made sure to use a fun-shaped noodle that he hadn’t seen in awhile. I also never used the “k-word”. It was strictly referred to as “green noodles”. Dinnertime with Wyatt has become hit or miss as of late. Some nights he’ll just eat happily, and others (I’m afraid the majority) he needs to be coaxed or hounded into taking every single bite. I have to say that this was one of the easiest dinners (not to mention tastiest) in recent memory!

Please try this and let me know what you think!

Kale Pesto Recipe

Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 6 cups washed baby kale (most of a 9 oz package)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped marcona almonds (or salted nut of your choice)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Even though pesto is a raw sauce, I decided to turn the olive oil into garlic oil. It's a really easy process.

Add the 1/2c olive oil into a small saucepan, and add a tablespoon of minced garlic.
making garlic oil
Step 2
If I'd had a fresh head of garlic I would have simply added in about 2 or 3 cloves. We always have a jar of minced in the fridge, so even though it's more to scoop out later, it'll taste just as garlic-y!

Heat over low/medium heat. Usually I say medium/low heat, but you really want to be careful not to scorch the garlic here so make sure it's set to the lower end of things for this. Give it about 10 minutes to really infuse the oil.
infusing garlic olive oil
Step 3
Expect some bubbles the last couple of minutes, but pull it off the heat early if you think it's about to really boil! After about 10 minutes pull the pan off the heat; allow to completely cool before you add it into your pesto.

Add two overflowing cups of kale into your food processor.
one overflowing cup of baby kale
Step 4
I have a mini-prep food processor, which I love, and use for almost everything. Now, however, is definitely the time for your large food processor if you've got two size options.

Look how full my larger processor is with just two cups... I can't imagine how long it would have taken if I'd had to use my mini-prep!
baby kale in food processor
Step 5
Pulse kale about 4 times. Add 2 more cups kale; pulse again. Add the last 2 cups of kale; pulse again.

Here's what 6 cups of pulsed kale looks like, if you'd ever wondered.
6 cups of pulsed baby kale
Step 6
Add in the chopped nuts, parmesan, and lemon zest.
adding ingredients to kale pesto
Step 7
Pulse about 8 times.
making kale pesto
Step 8
Add the tablespoon of lemon juice, and pulse about 3 more times.

This smells fantastic by the way!

Now, using a slotted spoon, scoop the garlic out of your cooled oil, and add it into the pesto.
scooping garlic out of olive oil
Step 9
Replace the lid of the food processor. Turn it onto the lower setting (mine has 1 or 2... I picked 1) and slowly pour in the garlic infused olive oil.

Unfortunately I'm not skillful enough to pour a steady stream of oil into a running food processor and photograph it... so here's what it looks like after adding the oil and letting the machine run for about 20 seconds.
Kale Pesto
Step 10
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. I added 1/2tsp salt and 1/4tsp black pepper.
adding salt and pepper to kale pesto
Step 11
Run the processor one last time for about 10 seconds, and you're left with this beautiful pesto!
Kale Pesto
Step 12
Of course the obvious use for this is simply tossed with your favorite pasta shape of the moment...
Kale Pesto Pasta
Step 13
but you can really use as you would any other condiment. Brian's already tried it as a sandwich spread and inside burritos!
Homemade Kale Pesto
Step 14
I was thrilled that Wyatt ate up the "green" noodles without a fight, and I hope that everyone in your house is delighted with these healthy dish as well!
Raspberry and Spinach Salad

Raspberry and Spinach Salad

This salad is the perfect balance for me. I think salads are best when they have a nice mix of different flavors and textures. This one has it all! Spinach is my favorite base for salads, plus there are plenty of digs (the fun stuff that keeps you digging in salads to find them). Feel free to mix up the ingredients to please your palate.

I always like little pockets of sweetness. If it weren’t a great time of year for berries, my go to would be sweetened and dried cranberries. I caught these raspberries right at the end of their season and I say if you can find any kind of fresh berry use them here. The other fun “dig” for me in this salad is the goat cheese. Use any kind of cheese you like, or leave it out if you’re not a cheese in my salad kind of person. Mine is a mild and creamy goat cheese from a local dairy farm Capra Gia that my husband and I both love.

Another wintertime solution would be using your favorite bottled raspberry vinaigrette. Really there are tons of dressing flavors that would work great here. I’ve used my homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette. If you’ve got some berries and an extra ten minutes check out the recipe here.

Raspberry and Spinach Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • fresh spinach (chopped)
  • fresh raspberries
  • red onion (thinly sliced)
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • marcona almonds (chopped)
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette

Directions

Step 1
It's a salad. So I'm afraid there's not really much to the steps. It's not so much making it as it is assembling it.

Start with your chopped spinach.
Spinach
Step 2
Sprinkle on the sliced red onions.
add red onions
Step 3
Add the raspberry polka dots.
add raspberries
Step 4
Crumble over the goat cheese. Blue cheese would work great here also if you'd like a bit more punch.
add goat cheese
Step 5
Now for the crunch!
add marcona almonds
Step 6
I've chosen chopped marcona almonds, but I came really close to using sunflower seeds. Feel free to add any or all crunch you'd like.
Step 7
Drizzle over as much or little of the vinaigrette as you choose.
Raspberry and Spinach Salad
Step 8
This is great as a fresh side,
Raspberry and Spinach Salad
Step 9
or make it the main attraction and feel really good about yourself!
Raspberry and Spinach Salad
raspberry vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinaigrette

This raspberry vinaigrette is so easy to make, and the results are fantastic!

We’ve used this vinaigrette on salads obviously, but it also works great as a dipping sauce or marinade for meats. If you have fresh berries and an extra ten minutes go the extra mile and make a thick raspberry syrup to use as the base of the dressing. If you’re short on time or berries, then just substitute raspberry jam for phenomenal results as well.

It’s just a matter of measuring and whisking to get a sensational dressing!

Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe

Ingredients

syrup

  • 6oz raspberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (raspberry if you can find it)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup

Directions

Step 1
This whole idea came about because these beautiful raspberries were on sale at work for $2 off per container. So, of course, I bought three with no plan whatsoever.

Aren't they gorgeous?
fresh raspberries
Step 2
I try not to use words like gorgeous because it makes my husband make fun of me, but seriously... look at them!
Step 3
I dumped a freshly washed 6oz container into a saucepan,
dump raspberries into saucepan
Step 4
and added 1/4 cup water and 2 Tbs. sugar.
add water and sugar to the berries
Step 5
Stir together over medium heat, and bring to a bubble.
boiling raspberries
Step 6
As you stir, break up the berries, so that you're left with a bubbly mush.

Let it keep bubbling away for a few more minutes.
simmering raspberry syrup
Step 7
The whole process should take about 10 minutes from the time you turn on the heat.

You'll be left with a delicious smelling ruby porridge.
raspberry syrup
Step 8
Ok so technically I guess it's not really a syrup as most people think of it, but for our purposes that's what I'm calling it.

Add 2 Tbs. of the raspberry syrup to a bowl.
add 2Tbs raspberry syrup
Step 9
If you can find raspberry balsamic definitely use that here.
raspberry balsamic vinegar
Step 10
Any balsamic will do the trick however, so add 1/4 cup of whatever is handy.
add balsamic
Step 11
Pour in 1/2 cup good quality olive oil.
adding olive oil
Step 12
Set about the whisking.
begin whisking the dressing
Step 13
It's just a matter of a few minutes and some vigorous whisking before you're left with a thick, sweet, and tangy dressing.
raspberry vinaigrette
Step 14
Now you're ready to spruce up any meat or salad.
RBvinsquare
Step 15
It's so easy and so good!
Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Fresh Tomato Pasta Salad

This is so fresh and so clean it should be an Outcast song. Ok I’m sorry, but it really is great.

The tomatoes are in season and just so sweet and juicy. They were the reason this dish became an idea, and I’m so glad that it did. The little mozzarella balls are light, soft, and pick up the lemon flavor of the dressing so well. Put it all together with fresh basil and homemade lemon salad dressing, and you’ve really got a winner.

Even our three year old ate an entire bowl for dinner! Of course at first he informed us that he did not like cheese in balls, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about the rainbow of tomatoes. However, after thirty minutes and some early bedtime threats he gave them a try. Needless to say he’s now a big fan of cheese balls and orange tomatoes.

It’s such a flavorful dish to be so nice and light, but the thing that really makes it worth a try is how unbelievably simple it is to make!

Fresh Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12oz mini shells pasta (or whatever shape you like)
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Start by boiling the pasta so it won't be so hot that it melts your cheese balls.

The only tip I have for boiling pasta is to make sure that you really season the water with plenty of salt. Apart from that, it's just a matter of cooking the noodles to your personal preference. We don't do al dente in my house. I cooked these shells for exactly 10 minutes, drained them, and then let them cool off and wait for the rest of the gang.
Step 2
Here's the inspiration for this dish.
gorgeous cherry tomatoes
Step 3
I saw them in the store and had to figure out a way to use them.

Aren't they beautiful?

The only things they need are to be rinsed, de-stemmed, and sliced in half.
Step 4
I decided on these soft little balls of mozzarella to match the shape of the tomatoes.
mozzarella balls
Step 5
I felt bad doing it since they seem so perfect, but I chopped them in half as well. Who am I kidding? Slicing those soft little suckers was extremely gratifying!

I used a whole package of fresh basil. You know the little plastic rectangles of fresh herbs that hang up in produce? One of those minus a few of the smallest, cutest leaves held back for garnish... cause I'm a priss that way.
fresh basil
Step 6
Slice the pile of leaves into thin strips. Then chop the strips into a pile of herby bits that looks like this.
chopped basil
Step 7
In a large bowl dump the shells, tomatoes, cheese balls, and basil.
mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes
Step 8
While the rest of your salad waits in the bowl, make the dressing.

Start by zesting some lemons, and always remember to scrape off all the good stuff on the back of your zester!
lemon zester
Step 9
My lemons were really small today, so it took three whole lemons to barely get a tablespoon of zest.
one tablespoon zest
Step 10
Squeeze your lemons directly over your liquid measuring cup to know exactly how much you're getting. It took two and a half of my little guys to get the 1/4c. of juice I needed.
1/4 c. lemon juice
Step 11
Pour the olive oil right on top of the juice.
adding olive oil to dressing
Step 12
Next add in the salt, pepper, and zest.
add salt, pepper, and zest
Step 13
Give it all a good stir with one of your measuring spoons. Why dirty another dish?
stir lemon dressing
Step 14
Pour the lemon dressing over your bowl of fresh colors,
pouring lemon dressing
Step 15
and give everything a toss.
Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Step 16
This pasta salad is so fresh and light! It's just the perfect summer side dish to any meal.
Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Step 17
Please add this to your next summer picnic while these delicious tomatoes are in season!
Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Creamy Cheese Pasta with Asparagus and Corn

Cream-y Cheese Pasta Recipe with Asparagus & Corn

Kerry recently started working one night a week, leaving Wyatt and I to fend for ourselves at dinner. When it’s just Wyatt and I, we spend a lot of time out of the house. Coming up with quick and easy dishes is the difference between a home cooked meal and the two of us grabbing a burrito.

The flavors of this pasta are light and creamy, accented with bursts of asparagus and corn. If you don’t eat all of it in one sitting, served cold it makes a great pasta salad.

This dish can be prepped, cooked in 45 minutes. During two of the steps, when things are boiling, you have time to wash what you’ve already dirtied. Something else that’s great about this dish, it can all get cooked in one pot!

It took Wyatt a few minutes to realize the sauce on the outside of the asparagus was a cheese sauce, but once he did he tore through his entire serving.

Cream(y) Cheese Pasta with Asparagus & Corn

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 box Pasta
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons Cream Cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for finishing)

Directions

Step 1
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil
Step 2
Snap the ends of the asparagus off. You should be able to get a sense of where they will break without a lot of resistance. Discard the ends.
Asparagus Ends
Step 3
Chop the remaining asparagus into pieces about an inch long. Then drop them into the boiling water for 4 1/2 minutes.
Chopped Asparagus
Step 4
Fill a bowl with ice water. Once the asparagus is done, use a slotted spoon to move them from the boiling water to the ice bath.
Ice Bath
Step 5
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as directed on the package.
Step 6
When there is two minutes left on the pasta, add the corn.
Corn in Pasta Water
Step 7
While the pasta cooks, mince up the rosemary.
Rosemary
Step 8
Drain pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. The starchy water helps bind the sauce and the heat helps melt the cheese.
Drain Pasta
Step 9
While the pot is off the heat add cream cheese, rosemary, granulated garlic, pepper, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, pasta, corn, asparagus, and reserved water. Stir well.
Combine Ingredients
Step 10
Plate and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Creamy Cheese Pasta with Asparagus and Corn