Archive for the ‘sides’ Category

When you buy what we, as Americans, know as “jell-o” over here in the UK, you get what they call “jelly.”  It’s not powdered, it looks like it’s already made and ready to eat…

The first time we had “jelly” I didn’t know I was supposed to melt it, add water, and re-refrigerate it.  So I cut it into slices and handed the kids each a piece.  They didn’t complain, so how was I to know any better?

A couple days later I learned that you prepare it by putting it in a “jug” (glass measuring cup), adding water, and microwaving it until melted.  Stir it up, then add the rest of the water.  Seems pretty simple, right?  Lesson learned. 😉

Anyway.  To make the strawberry fizz jelly (jell-o)… prepare the jelly-jello as you would, melting either the above gel blocks, or dissolving the powder.  At this point, add a can of carbonated lemonade (that’s how we roll back here).  Gently stir, pour into a bowl, and refrigerate until set.

My kids claim it tastes like lotion, but they all ate it without any prodding!  I found the fizziness to be a bit odd, but nothing I couldn’t get used to!



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roasted asparagus

Place asparagus on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt (& pepper, optional).  Roast at 400 for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.

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FYI:  all of the following quick recipes use fresh green beans.  I’m sure frozen would work as well, but I wouldn’t use canned.


Basic Beans

Spread a single-layer of fresh green beans (ends snapped) on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350… or about that.  It depends on how crispy or tender you like your beans.


Beans & Cranberries

Steam or boil fresh green beans and 1 tsp orange peel.  When done to your liking, place beans in serving bowl.  Stir in 1/2 cup cranberries and 2 Tbsp honey.  Optional:  top with bacon bits or bacon crumbles.


Green Beans w/ Garlic Vinaigrette

Cook 2 1/2 lbs beans to your preference (oven, steam, boil, doesn’t matter).  Combine & whisk in large bowl: 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp evoo, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves.  Add beans, toss to coat.  Top with toasted almonds.


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orange sweet potatoes

Time-consuming, but delicious, beautiful, and a Thanksgiving tradition!

4 lb cooked, peeled sweet potatoes

8 oranges

2/3 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp orange zest (freshly grated)

5 Tbsp brandy or grand marnier

2 tsp salt

pinch pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

12 Tbsp butter, divided

1 cup brown sugar, divided

3 egg yolks

1 cup chopped pecans (4oz)

1 tsp cinnamon

*Cut sweet potatoes in half and bake until soft.  Let cool, and hollow into a large bowl.

*Mix potatoes (I use an electric hand mixer); add orange juice and zest, brandy, 1/4 cup butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and egg yolks.  Beat until soft/smooth.  Set aside.

*Cut off tops of oranges and a little off the bottom (to sit flat).  Scoop out pulp (a spoon works best for this).

*Scoop sweet potato mixture into oranges.

*Topping:  combine remaining butter, cinnamon, pecans, and brown sugar.  Top oranges with mixture.

*Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.


from Jenn’s kitchen


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spiced cranberry dip

I haven’t tried this, but thought it looked perfect for the Holidays!

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

*Spread cream cheese onto bottom of 9″ pie plate

*Mix cranberry, marmalade, & red pepper.  Spoon over cream cheese

*Sprinkle with almonds


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fancy apple pinwheel

2 Granny Smith apples, sliced
2 Tbsp.  chopped pecans, (option: toasted) 
2 Tbsp. Gorgonzola  or Bleu Cheese
1/2 cup Italian Dressing Mix, prepared with balsalmic vinegar
from Kraftfoods.com

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mashed potato casserole

8 large Yukon gold potatoes (4 lbs), peeled & cut into chunks

8 oz cream cheese, at room temp, cut into pieces

2 Tbsp butter, plus extra to butter baking dish

1 1/3 cups milk

1 Tbsp salt


4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

2 Tbsp chopped chives

*Preheat oven to 350.  Place potatoes in large pot with water to cover.  Cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and mash.

*Stir in cream cheese, butter, milk, salt, & pepper.  Fold in cheddar cheese, reserving 1/4 cup.  Fold in chives.

*Butter 2-quart casserole and fill with potato mixture.  Top with remaining cheese. 

*Bake 20-25 minutes, or until hot and cheese is melted.

*Makes 10-12 servings


from Amber’s kitchen


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