• Classic Guacamole
    Side Dish

    Classic Guacamole

    I am fairly confident that Guacamole is pretty close to universal at this point.  It makes a great topping for tacos, nachos, or just by itself as a dip. For me, I make it just about any time I am doing a Mexican inspired dish.  It adds s cool refreshing note to the dish, while generally being a lot healthier than other toppings.   What is also great about guacamole is the ability to really vary it up.  You can just about make it with whatever you’ve got.  Just about any onion type works and can bring different flavors.  Want to throw in some tomato, go ahead!!  Don’t like cilantro, you can make…

  • Chipotle Salsa
    Side Dish

    Chipotle Salsa

    If I could eat chips and salsa everyday, I would be a happy girl.  I could easily polish off an entire basket of chips and salsa from Chili’s given the opportunity; which is dangerous since they are bottomless.  To erase any doubt, NO, this recipe is not inspired by the restaurant Chipotle.  I use canned chipotles to add a delicious smoky spice to the salsa.  I just love the flavor the peppers provide it contrasts so nicely with the typical brightness of salsa. Print Recipe Chipotle Salsa Prep Time10 minsTotal Time10 mins Course: SnackCuisine: Mexican Servings: 8 People Ingredients1 can tomatoes whole peeled2 large chipotles in adobo sauce1 lime juiced and zested1/4…

  • Chicken Platter
    Dinner,  Instant Pot,  Side Dish

    Dijon-Tarragon Roast Chicken Platter

    If there is anything I have in common with Ina Garten, its a love for roast chicken. It’s easy, tasty, and allows for near infinite variation. As a side benefit, roast chicken can be an easy weeknight meal for the family or romantic date night special. Normally, I do a pretty basic butter-herb mixture to spread over the chicken, but I wanted to mix that up a bit for this meal. I also was looking to have a complete meal where the core flavors were tied into all of the dishes. So, I ended up with a Dijon-Tarragon Roast Chicken along side Tarragon Mashed Potatoes and Charred Brussels Sprouts in…

  • Instant Pot Risotto
    Instant Pot,  Side Dish

    Instant Pot Risotto

    Alright, I have to backtrack on some previous statements about making risotto. It turns out that there is a bit of a “hack” for making it with less effort: the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot has been a pretty awesome purchase for us after only a few uses. It took the entire arm workout aspect out of risotto making and honestly came out really very well. The nice thing with the Instant Pot was being able to do the very simple and quick prep phase and then just letting the machine take care of actually cooking the rice. I was concerned that it would really work out and would be…

  • Make Ahead Mashed Potato
    Side Dish

    Make-Ahead Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    As I have previously mentioned back around Thanksgiving , mashed potatoes are easily the food Rob has the strongest opinions about.  This was another of his mashed potato creations.  He wanted to make a slightly more simple flavor profile and focused on doing a “make-ahead” style. If you are anything like Rob and I, the holidays can involve a lot of travel and celebrations in different places, at different times so that you can see all of your family.  We needed a good dish that could be prepped in advance and easily reheated a few days later.  Enter these potatoes. Rob roasted a whole bulb of garlic to go into…

  • Risotto
    Side Dish

    Shallot-Asparagus Risotto

    I absolutely love Risotto.  Is it an arm workout?  YES! But it is so worth the time and effort to make.  The key is to stir almost constantly while adding liquid a little bit at a time so that it properly absorbs.  This was a bit a mash up of other recipes that I have made to match a new main coarse and I really liked how it came out.  I wanted to include a veggie with some elements of a black pepper and sage version I made a long time ago.  Thats one of the great things about risotto, you can pretty much add whatever to it and it…

  • Turmeric Mint Couscous
    Side Dish

    Turmeric-Mint Couscous

    This couscous recipe is so easy to whip up and has so much flavor.  Couscous is one of those go-to weeknight sides because it takes no time at all to cook and can be made with so many different flavors to suite any situation.  This is my take on a fresh Mediterranean flavor.  We were looking for a good side dish to go with our Za’atar crusted chicken and these flavors just jumped out at us.  Credit goes to my husband, who has an intuitive ability to come up with flavor profiles.  I use chicken broth for my couscous as I like the rich flavor it provides, but you could…

  • Green Bean Casserole
    Dinner,  Side Dish,  Thanksgiving,  Vegetable

    Green Bean Casserole

    This is not your traditional green bean casserole, and many people may not even consider it one.  But I wanted to try and make a richer flavor profile while keeping the classic look.    I make mine using something very similar to a mac-and-cheese base.  I start with a roux, add some milk, and melt in some gruyere cheese to really give it a unique flavor.  You could use other cheese options or even add some warm season spices to. While you could try and make your own crispy onions, store bought in this case are just way easier and consistent; no need to spend that effort. Store bought is…

  • Orange Tarragon Rainbow Carrots
    Side Dish,  Thanksgiving,  Vegetable

    Orange Tarragon Rainbow Carrots

    I really love rainbow carrots, they add a fun pop of color variation that makes them look great.  The purple ones are especially fun as the color changes inside so it provides even more visual interest.  For this recipe, I wanted a bright, fresh note to go with some of the more savory sides and turkey for Thanksgiving.  To do that, I added Tarragon, which has become one of my favorite herbs, and some orange to tie it in with my turkey recipe. What I really love about these carrots is that they are the easiest side to whip up last minute while you let your turkey rest for your…