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Easy Cheesy Zucchini ♥

It doesn't get easier than this! Just chunks of zucchini cooked in a skillet with lots of garlic and tossed with a little cheese. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian and easy to adapt to Vegan. Weight Watchers PointsPlus 2. Did I mention, Easy Peasy?!
2007: My mom added a big hunk of butter to every bowl of vegetables – except when she draped them with a slice of cheese. No wonder: butter and cheese are fast and cheap and reliably turn even turn-up-your-nose vegetables into tasty bites. (And if I'm representative, it also raises first-borns to be, well, vegetable-obsessed. But my sister loves vegetables. The real test is my dad, who didn't eat vegetables when he and my mom first met. Now, get this, he eats Brussels sprouts!)

So now, when vegetables recipes call for butter or cheese and the cook near-audibly moans, my immediate reaction is always, "Well, duh. Of course it tastes good. It's fat with butter. It's sticky with cheese!" But when Kalyn's Kit…

Quick-Cook Kohlrabi ♥

Fresh kohlrabi grated and cooked quickly atop the stove. Low carb and Weight Watchers friendly.
~recipe & photo updated 2010~
~more recently updated recipes~
2007 Original: Have I mentioned that I love the Benriner, the Japanese mandoline that slices vegetables so beautifully? Sorry, of course I have. Once. Twice. Thrice.

But each time, I'm struck by how 'basic' and yet 'entirely new' it is to slice a vegetable small-small-small, then cook it in a small bit of butter, seasoned with little more than salt and pepper and tonight, a few shreds of Parmesan.

I have always liked kohlrabi, especially raw kohrabi. The small ones can be sliced and eaten an apple. But this kohlrabi side dish is something entirely different. Fresh and airy. Earthy and deep. Delicious.

Arugula Pesto ♥

Yikes, this arugula had a bitterness I wasn't expecting! It was past peppery, into something slightly caustic. So I knew that a simple arugula salad wasn't the ticket.

Enter arugula pesto, where arugula's bitterness is moderated by toasted almonds and Parmesan. It was quite delicious with a quick side pasta. (And in case you're wondering, no, arugula doesn't create a neon-green pesto. The noodles themselves are an Asian noodle of that color. They do brighten a plate, yes!)

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER ARUGULA PESTO Leftover pesto is handy to have around! One night I tossed it with tiny new potatoes for a no-mayonnaise potato salad. Another night, I stirred it into some goat cheese and then slightly warmed it in the microwave - a terrific appetizer. Another night I added some vinegar to make a quick salad dressing.

Kitchen Parade Extra: Parmesan Chicken ♥

July 1 is Canada Day and July 4 is, well, the 4th of July! And that means long weekends at the cottage, family picnics and neighborhood potlucks, hometown parades and of course, the fireworks.

To celebrate, here's a 2003 column for a long-time family favorite, Parmesan Chicken, published online for the first time. Parmesan Chicken is so perfect for summer, quick, easy, make-ahead, good hot or cold, as is or atop a salad or tucked into a sandwich. I made it recently for family visitors and oh, it was so convenient to have on hand.

And it's time to stock the frig with refrigerator salads, ones that mix up in a flash, travel well and feed a crowd. Here are some favorites:

Confetti Potato Salad Made with both sweet potatoes and white potatoes, also without mayonnaise so perfect for outdoor

Holy Slaw! A coleslaw with an unusual dressing that's a real hit all the time, made with peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a bit of heat

Bloody Mary Salad Tomato-y gelatin packed wi…

The How & Why Guide to Growing Garlic at Home

I was feeling so proud ~ my first home-grown garlic! It's been a long row to hoe, as they say ...

MY FIRST ATTEMPT TO GROW GARLIC: THE LATE & LAME WAY I read somewhere - FarmGirl, perhaps? - that it is simple to grow garlic, just stick it in the ground and a few months later, harvest it. But thanks to perennial, ahem, garden procrastination, the garlic got into the ground late. I missed the fall planting, suddenly it was late winter, okay yes it was really early spring. (We plant nearly everything else in the spring, why not garlic?)

Standing next to the herb garden ready to plant, I wondered, Should I plant the cloves or the head? Dumb, dumb! Rather than look it up or give it any real thought or even ask a Smart Fifth Grader, I stuck the head into the ground and hoped for the best.

MY SECOND ATTEMPT TO GROW GARLIC: THE LAZY WAY Late last fall with snow about to fly, I stuck a few cloves (yes, that's right, you plant the cloves!) into a big pot on the patio, figuring that th…

Easy Salsa Dressing ♥

So yes, we could chop tomato and onion and peppers and then spice to taste. Or we could just make a great salad dressing from a jar of salsa!

And did I mention that I'm loving Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless? One more reason is that it includes sooo many recipes for unusual salad dressings. Some are a little more complicated. Others, like this, are no brainers.

NUTRITION NOTES I 'watered' the dressing a bit to create no-calorie volume and reduced the oil. So each tablespoon of dressing has zero points -- though 2 tablespoons does add up to a point. It was so easy and tastes great.


FROM THE ARCHIVES Check the Recipe Box for salad dressing recipes.

TWO YEARS AGO I was on vacation but featured a 2003 Kitchen Parade that just happens -- how lucky is this? -- three favorite salad dressings!

GREAT FOOD BLOGS that also USE SALSA in SALAD DRESSING
Kalyn's Kitchen ... South west Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
The Savory Notebook ... Mexican Chicken Salad with Chipotle Sal…

Custard with Rhubarb Sauce ♥

There's not a year that doesn't pass without serving this easy custard and rhubarb at least once. It's a favorite to take along to dinner with friends -- it's an old-fashioned treat but everyone loves it, especially rhubarb lovers! The custard is made on the stovetop and with whole milk (half & half and cream are too rich) so it's even, as desserts go, a healthy dessert recipe.
~recipe & photo updated and republished 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~
2007: We remember that rhubarb's a vegetable, right? Thank goodness -- otherwise, what lengths might a certain Veggie Evangelist be forced to take in order to eat vegetables for dessert?

All by itself, rhubarb sauce is one of the simplest of all luscious desserts. Pair it with a creamy stovetop custard, and, oh my, heaven in a bowl. Yet they're both so simple to make. With time to spare for kitchen busy-ness, I made both the custard and the sauce in 35 minutes -- and it would have taken maybe 25 if…