Sheet Pan Veggies

Close up of Sheet Pan VeggiesVeggie Blues
Winter cooking can get a little boring. As much as I love potatoes, I do actually get tired of them. Cabbage, squashes, carrots, and fennel are great, but it is only January, and I am already longing for spring’s seasonal offerings. Something a little bit more exciting…

Sure, I could buy the stuff that comes from the Southern hemisphere where different veggies are in season but it’s not the same. I bought a tomato the other night to have as a garnish for the gyros I made for dinner. And, my husband commented that I hadn’t eaten any. After twenty-plus years you would think that he would pick up on my quirks…and refusing to eat out-of-season tomatoes is definitely one of my quirks. That being said, I find myself craving all things green, leafy, and rooty lately—which is somewhat out of character. I also want comfort. In essence, I am rather high-maintenance culinarily right now.

So, what does one do when one desires some tasty veggies that are interesting yet also comforting? Throw everything on a sheet pan, toss with your favorite herb blend and some olive oil, and see what happens…

You can get creative with the flavor profiles. It’s as easy as switching up the spice blend.

Sheet Pan Veggies
Yields 2-3 servings Read more…

Sheet Pan Salmon with Green Beans and Miso

Photo of Sheet Pan Salmon Rain Sheets and Sheet Pans
So here we are, swimming our way into January. Seriously, can someone turn off the water? I’m sure the last thing that most of us are thinking about while dodging raindrops, falling trees, and torrents of water, is dinner…but ya gotta eat.

In recent years I have become a big fan of sheet pan dinners because of how easy they are to throw together. And, also because the relatively small amount of cleanup avoids the nightly discussion about doing the dishes. This is important if you have teenagers in your household. Sheet pans are the workhorses of any well-stocked kitchen. If you don’t yet have a decent set of sheet pans, do yourself a favor and get at least one. You will find you use it for everything.

There are so many options when it comes to cooking your dinner entirely on a sheet pan. There is literally nothing you can’t do with a sheet pan. Fish, beef, pork sausage, shrimp…the sky is the limit people!! And, for whatever reason, it sort of feels like you are eating healthier (whether it is true or not). We all have our own delusions. This is just one of mine…

The Sheet Pan Salmon below actually is healthier. And, it’s a nice way to rebound from the bacchanalia that is the last two weeks of December. I make this New York Times recipe often. Though, I have adapted it to my tastes. The original version was just too sweet for me…

Sheet Pan Salmon with Green Beans and Miso Recipe
Adapted from New York Times Cooking
Yields 4 servings Read more…

Amy’s Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites

Photo of Amy’s Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites on a wooden board

Turkey Day Tidbits
Coming up with the menu for Thanksgiving is pretty easy. I mean it’s mostly cannot-miss staples. Obviously, there’s turkey, though you can supplement with ham or whatever floats your boat. But generally, there is always turkey. Mashed potatoes are non-negotiable as are sweet potatoes in whatever form your choose—be it mashed, puréed, or roasted. At least in my house. The hardest part of planning the Thanksgiving meal is what to have to get you through to the main event.

Depending on when your family will make its way to the table for, it can be a struggle to figure out the other meals of the day. You know you are probably going to eat an obscene amount of food at some point so having a sustenance strategy that leaves room for the gluttony to come is key.

My general plan goes as follows.
Wake up and eat a decent breakfast. I don’t make too many alterations to what I would have normally. Lunch is where things get tricky. If I am at my mother-in-law’s I try not to eat an actual lunch because we have Thanksgiving around 2 PM. That is totally changed if I am with my family because we eat at 5 or 6 PM and no way I’m lasting without some lunch. This year, I am hosting everybody so I have had to split the difference. And, am planning on eating around 4 PM—which means we will need snacks to maintain sanity.

Being one myself, I am a big fan of cheese balls. They are easy to make and look pretty on a platter with crackers. They can be dangerous and filling, though. So, one has to pace themselves. I found a version of this recipe while doing a search for cranberry recipes that aren’t cranberry sauce. It took me about two seconds to decide that these babies will make an appearance on the pre-turkey snack tray. I did make a few adjustments to suit my taste…

Amy’s Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites
Yields 18 servings
Adapted from Delish

These tangy cheesy bites are rolled in tart cranberries for the perfect satisfying appetizer. The rosemary makes them festive!
Read more…

Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate

Prepping pomegranates for Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and PomegranateIn The Pom Of Your Hand
I have a pomegranate tree. I inherited it when we bought the house. The tree is enormous and produces a ridiculous number of pomegranates—most of which end up food for the birds and squirrels because my tree does not follow the rules.

Pomegranate season runs from the end of September through November. The fruit on my tree tends to be ripe by the end of August but you would not know because they never quite get to that gorgeous red color that we associate with a pomegranate, even though they are super sweet. So we have to keep an eye out to see when they start to split. At that point, we pick the fruit that is intact and leave the rest for the critters. Needless to say, we get a lot of fruit in a short period of time and have to figure out ways to use, store, or preserve it.

The obvious method is to sprinkle the seeds on salads which we do, with abandon. But, it’s not enough. Yes, you can freeze the seeds. They last up to 6 months in the freezer and are a fantastic addition to any smoothie you might make. But, like all frozen fruit, they can lose some of their integrity when thawed.

Making pomegranate molasses is a no-brainer, especially if you are a fan of Middle Eastern food. And, pomegranate molasses is great in other dishes as well including homemade vinaigrette.

One of my favorite uses for pomegranate is this Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Seeds recipe that’s a great option for a weeknight dinner. Anyone looking for something different for Thanksgiving could easily double or triple just the squash for a great splash of color on the table.

Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Recipe
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields servings

This easy sheet-pan dinner is bursting with bright, comforting flavors inspired by Persian cuisine. Read more…