Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Scallion Dressing

Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Scallion Dressing

A few weeks ago, I went home for a last minute trip back home to Tennessee. The timing was just right, and I was overdue for a visit: my grandmother had open-heart surgery recently and was recuperating. I also wanted to spend some time with my niece and nephew before they moved back to North Carolina. Luckily I was able to find a reasonable fare, and I bought a ticket with 2 days notice to make my way back south.

Let me just say that my niece and nephew are 1 and 3 years old, and after three days with them my appreciation and respect for my sister-in-law went through the roof. Being home all day with those two requires an energy level that I just didn’t know possible. If I could figure out a way to bottle those kids’ energy and sell it, I could quit my day job.

It goes without saying that they’re absolutely adorable; they just happen to also be ornery little monsters. I was relieved to see that my grandmother is spunkier than ever and made sure to provide large spreads for us each day. Even though we beg and plead for her to let us help, she refuses and goes about her way making salads, sandwiches and corned beef – plying the wee ones with popsicles and conveniently hearing “sure, one more slice” when offering pie.

In addition to the food and baby time, I got to spend time with my dad and brother doing one of our favorite family activities: watching horrible action movies. My brother and I spent most of the evening trying to convince my dad to watch a good action movie and take him to see Pacific Rim. We were not so successful on that front, but it was a delightful visit, nonetheless.

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Potato and Bread Salad with Sautéed Vegetables

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A few weeks ago, I could have sworn that I had invented the idea of using bread as a base for a salad. Cube up some white bread, drizzle with a little olive oil, toast those suckers in the oven until just quite crouton territory, and then mix in some roasted tomatoes and BAM – you’re transported into summer on the coast. Little did I know the Tuscans figured that one out just a wee bit before my time.

For this particular salad, I decided it needed something to make it a bit more filling, so I thought adding in the potatoes would suit up just fine. I will say that this is something I came up with when I obviously needed some carbohydrates in my life. Now if only I could come up with a way to add some meat between two slices of bread, what would I call it?

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Spiced Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Goat Cheese

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Today was a day that just felt long. Nothing particularly interesting or noteworthy happened, it was not even particularly stressful, just long for a reason of undeterminable origin. The only reason I could come up with was that I didn’t eat breakfast this morning, and by the time I got home I was ravenous. I’d eaten a large salad for lunch, snacked on a couple pieces of babybel cheese, and even threw in a banana to try and quench the hunger. Nothing was working.

Then I keyed on to something I had heard earlier in the day – use vegetables for volume. I had already planned on eating poached chicken with roasted zucchini and tomatoes, but fearing I would decide after dinner to add in some needless carbs, I thought it best to add in another veggie instead. (Tennessee being a land of meat and threes – this was really quite a logical leap for me.) I’d had this side in mind for a while and thought it a perfect night to execute and sure enough I can say in full confidence, I am finally full.

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Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup

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I’ve got a confession that might put my marriage in jeopardy – I’ve been carrying on a long and torrid affair…with soup.  For years, I’ve been engaged in an intensely passionate side relationship that borders on obsessive. I wade with my love in a deep river of emotion and in the immortal words of Emma Thompson “true love lasts a lifetime.” (Extra points to anyone who can identify what movie that is from.)

Soup season is tragically coming to an end. As the temps pick up, making a big steaming pot of anything is sadly losing a bit of its allure. I’m not sure how many recipes I write up that consist of me entertaining friends on the fly and having to utilize what’s readily on hand. It’s a reoccurring theme on Roxie Ginger and really why would this be any different?  Continue reading

Roasted Cauliflower & Fennel with Chicken Sausage

Roasted Cauliflower & Fennel with Chicken Sausage

We’re no stranger to roasted vegetables here at Roxie Ginger, but it’s fun to see the different combinations that can come together and taste amazing. Carrots and dill never seemed to make much sense to me once upon a time, and what do you know – they sing together in perfect harmony.

On a grocery run this week, we found a really interesting sounding package of chicken sausage stuffed with spinach and gruyere and decided to give it a shot. I head scratched for a bit to think of what would be a good accompaniment. For me, sausage always matches with potatoes, but catching in the corner of my eye was a pretty head cauliflower and I thought, “well don’t you look interesting.”

This is a really simple recipe good for a busy night. While individual ingredient tastes wonderful on its own, but the combination of all three goes together like bread and butter. Or cauliflower and fennel and chicken sausage. Whatever you prefer.

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Roasted Parsnips & Carrots with Dill

Roasted Parsnips & Carrots with Dill

As we roll into mid-December, with its cooler temps and spatters of rain, I feel I missed New York’s most perfect season, fall. Luckily for me, some steaming root vegetables are right at home in the cold and wet.

This recipe actually makes a lot and is perfect on a colder day. Pair it with anything you want, or just eat it on its own. Due to the brevity of the ingredient list, it’s important you use really good olive oil and fresh dill. Otherwise, it’ll come out a bit meh-tastic. Nobody needs that; the weather’s “meh” enough on its own.

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Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

During our jaunt through London we came upon a restaurant that advertised a sweet potato and cilantro hummus. Unfortunately, we were not able to try the dish due to a persistent and insatiable desire for Sunday roast; you only have so many meal opportunities when you’re on vacation. Still, I thought it sounded interesting enough that I wanted to try and see what we could do with these flavors at home.

I had originally wanted to make this as the filling for a “quesadilla” using red peppers, but I couldn’t get the texture quite right. You need the crunch of the pepper to make the quesadilla concept work, but the flavor of the roasted red pepper is required to create the best taste. Unfortunately, roasting the pepper means no more crunch. The compromise I found was to add the red pepper to the hummus and serve with crunchy crudités. The flavors together work in almost perfect harmony. Yes, it’s a simple recipe, but who says that easy can’t be tasty, too?

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