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You'll find over 450 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Quick Zucchini Sauté

August 2, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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Our neighbor has been generously sharing the bounty of her garden with us. (Thank you, Gail!) We do love zucchini and yellow summer squash. I’ve been roasting them and air frying them. Delicious, but I was looking for some different ways to prepare them.

Quite a while ago Laura and Byron told me how much they liked Deb Perelman’s Quick Zucchini Sauté. The recipe was published 12 years ago on her Smitten Kitchen blog. I made it but Bob didn’t really like it. I’m pretty sure I followed the recipe as written, including the optional pecorino Romano cheese.

Yesterday I stopped by Laura and Byron’s house to give them some zucchini. I mentioned  that I was going to make Deb’s Zucchini Fritters. They have made them and said that they are very good, but again told me how much they like the Quick Zucchini Sauté.

I revisited the Quick Zucchini Sauté recipe and thought, what’s not to like? I decided to try it again without the cheese. Bingo! It turned out to be a hit at Chez Dedon!

Think of this recipe as simply a guide. It’s not really necessary to measure anything. Cut up as much zucchini as you want to eat. For every cup or so of zucchini, use a tablespoon of almonds.

This is such a quick and easy recipe! I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon.

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Dinner out on our deck last night featured Quick Zucchini Sauté.

Quick Zucchini Saute

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Quick Zucchini Sauté

(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe on smittenkitchen.com)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 3 – 4

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1 large zucchini (about 1.3 pounds, 3 – 4 cups when cut up)

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons sliced almonds

Salt and pepper, to taste (I used a bit of Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt.)

Shavings of pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese for serving (Optional; we prefer it without the cheese.)

 

  1. Cut the zucchini into 1/8-inch slices and then cut the slices into matchsticks.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Swirl the oil around the pan and heat it up.
  4. Add the almonds. Cook, stirring, until they are golden-brown. This will take a minute or two.
  5. Stir the zucchini into the pan and cook for about 1 minute. The zucchini should be warmed and starting to soften, but fully cooked.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Top with the cheese, if using.

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Zucchini

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Quick Zucchini Saute - Copy

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Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

July 26, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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Last week we had a family dinner to celebrate Bob’s birthday. I planned on Kalua Pork with Cabbage. And then I got the bright idea to go in the direction of a Hawaiian plate lunch. So I added steamed rice and this Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.

My salad is adapted from Erica’s recipe on Favorite Family Recipes, the blog she writes with her sisters, Emily and Echo. Erica writes that she used to live in Hawaii; her goal was to replicate the macaroni salad that she had so often enjoyed at L&L Hawaiian BBQ.

Erica proclaims that this Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the “real deal”, and there are many comments on her blog post by people who agree with her. This was the recipe to try!

I followed Erica’s advice to use Best Foods (or Hellman’s) mayonnaise. She said there are NO substitutes! I was a bit horrified to see how much mayonnaise is used, but I trusted the recipe. Tasting the finished salad, I had to admit that it was the perfect amount of mayonnaise.

If you want to make it gluten free, I recommend Barilla Gluten Free Elbows. I followed the package directions, cooking the macaroni for 8 minutes. The Barilla elbows worked so well! They were the perfect texture and if you don’t tell anyone, no one will know that they’re eating gluten free pasta. I have tried many brands of gluten-free pasta and I know many of them would not work as well. (Note that boxes of Barilla Gluten Free Elbows are only 12 ounces, so you’ll need 2 boxes to have a pound.)

I subbed ¼ cup of water for the ¼ cup of milk to keep it dairy free and it worked fine. And I used 2 teaspoons of maple sugar instead of regular sugar.

With my changes, maybe my Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is not quite “authentic”, but it was probably the best macaroni salad I have ever had. Sometimes you just have to splurge a bit, and this Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad would be welcome at any barbecue or potluck party.

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Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

(Adapted from Erica’s recipe on the Favorite Family Recipes blog)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 10 – 12

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1 pound macaroni (use Barilla Gluten Free elbows for gluten or wheat free)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 carrots, shredded

2½ cups Best Foods or Hellman’s mayonnaise

¼ cup milk (or water for dairy free)

2 teaspoons sugar (I used maple sugar)

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it’s boiling, add the tablespoon of kosher salt and the macaroni to the pot. Stir and cook according to the package directions. The pasta should be well-cooked, not al dente. (I cooked the Barilla Gluten Free Elbows for 8 minutes.)
  2. Drain the macaroni and put it in a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar and the shredded carrots. Stir gently until the carrots are evenly distributed. Allow it to cool slightly while you prepare the dressing.
  3. Stir the mayonnaise, milk (or water), and sugar together in a smaller bowl or a 1 quart Pyrex pitcher.
  4. When the macaroni has cooled a bit (15 minutes or so), stir the dressing in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I added a bit of salt, but no pepper.)
  5. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Gluten-free Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs

June 24, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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These Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs taste like they’ve just been cut from a Perfect Ribeye Roast. And that was my goal!

The Anova recipe that I used as a guide used a barbecue rub. I’m sure that would be delicious, but I really wanted the taste of a ribeye roast. I just used salt and pepper and finished the ribs with a bit of garlic powder. I also cut the sous vide bath time from 48 to 30 hours and that worked perfectly.

I’ve had my Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker for a little over a year, and I have just recently become comfortable using it. I don’t know why it took so long, because it’s really quite easy to use. I’m using it more and more often, but I don’t post all of the recipes to this blog. I recognize that probably most of you are not using a sous vide cooker.

I couldn’t find a lot of information on the Internet about using a sous vide cooker for beef back ribs. Bob and I enjoyed these Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs so much that I had to post this recipe so I would have it for the future.  🙂

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Bob’s ready for his beef ribs, seen served with spaghetti squash.

Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs

(Adapted from an Anova recipe online for Sous Vide Dry Rubbed Beef Back Ribs)

(print the recipe)

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Note that I did not add the garlic powder until I was ready to grill the ribs. I was concerned that it might develop an odd flavor after 30 hours in the sous vide bath.

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Serves 3 – 4

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1 (3.3 pound) rack of beef back ribs (sometimes referred to as prime rib bones)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garlic powder, for finishing

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  1. Fill a large container with hot tap water. Put your sous vide cooker in the container and set the temperature to 141°F (60.5°C). Set the timer for 30 hours.
  2. Generously season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper.
  3. Seal the ribs in a vacuum seal bag, or use a 2-gallon Ziploc bag. (If using a Ziploc bag, use the water immersion technique to seal the bag.)

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Beef Back Ribs

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4. When the sous vide water has reached the cooking temperature, put the bag of ribs in the water, making sure the ribs are fully submerged.

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Ribs in the water

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5. Use a lid, as I did, or cover the top of the container with aluminum foil to minimize water evaporation. (If your water does evaporate, you will have to add more water to keep the ribs submerged. I had no evaporation with my 12-quart container and silicone lid.)

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12 quarts of water

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6. Just before the 30 hours are up, heat your grill to high. (Or heat your oven to 450°F, 232°C.)

7. When the sous vide timer goes off, remove the ribs from the bag and pat them dry with paper towels.

8. Season the ribs with more salt, pepper, and the garlic powder.

9. Keeping your grill at the highest heat, grill the ribs for about 1 minute on each side. (Or roast in the oven on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.)

10. Cut into individual ribs and enjoy!

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs with Spaghetti Squash

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs - Copy.jpg

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Blondies

June 9, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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To me, Blondies are what you get when Brownies marry Chocolate Chip Cookies. You get a chewy bar, like a brownie, loaded with chocolate chips. It’s a great combination!

On Friday I said I would bring Blondies to a birthday party on Saturday. I realized that I don’t have a go-to Blondie recipe, so I turned to Eat Your Books for suggestions. The Cook’s Illustrated recipe came up high on the list. The Food52 blog shared it. Eat Your Books also said the recipe is in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. I know you’re not supposed to try new recipes for entertaining, but I trust Cook’s Illustrated so I decided to go for it.

My, oh, my! I now have a go-to Blondies recipe! These Blondies were incredibly good. The texture was perfect. I loved the crunch of the pecans. Cook’s Illustrated said they tried adding the white chocolate chips on a whim, and using them with the semisweet chips turned out to be the winner. I have to agree.

I would not change a thing about this recipe. It’s very easy and produces fabulous Blondies. Put this one in your back pocket to pull out when you want to take a dessert to a summer barbecue. You’ll be a hero!

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The Best Blondies

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Blondies

(Adapted, barely, from a recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and on the Food52 blog)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Makes 36 bars

(I haven’t tried it, but I’m confident that this recipe could be cut in half and baked in an 8-inch square pan if you wanted fewer Blondies.)

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About 1 tablespoon of softened butter to grease the pan

1 cup pecans

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups packed (10 ½ ounces) light brown sugar (Tip: if you have a kitchen scale, measure the brown sugar by weight in a small bowl.)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup (3 ounces) white chocolate chips (For best results, Cook’s Illustrated recommends Guittard Choc-au-Lait or Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chips. I found Ghirardelli at Safeway and that’s what I used.)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Use 2 long sheets of heavy-duty foil to make a sling in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Use one sheet lengthwise and the other across the width of the pan. Gently press the foil into the corners and along the edges, leaving the extra foil to hang over the edges. Use a paper towel to grease the foil with the softened tablespoon of butter.

foil in the pan

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4. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, until they’re lightly toasted and aromatic. Watch closely because they can quickly burn. Coarsely chop the pecans and set them aside.

5. Melt the 12 tablespoons of butter and set aside to cool slightly.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

7. Put the light brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the butter until it’s well-combined with the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

8. Use a spatula to fold the flour mixture into the brown sugar mixture. Do not overmix; fold just until it’s combined.

9. Fold in the pecans and the semisweet and white chocolate chips.

10. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

ready to bake

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11. Bake until the top is shiny and a bit cracked and the surface feels firm, 22 – 25 minutes. (In my oven 24 minutes was perfect.)

Done

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12. Put the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

13. Use the foil sling to lift the Blondies to a cutting board.

14. Cut into 2 x 1½-inch bars. (I used my pizza cutter to cut the bars and it worked great!)

 

Blondies

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Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower

May 19, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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I have made this Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower about 4 times now. I love it!

The recipe was developed by Carolyn Ketchum for A Sweet Life. She has contributed many great recipes to the site, which is a program of the Diabetes Media Foundation. Their goal is to help people with diabetes live better lives.

The first time I made Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower I followed Carolyn’s recipe exactly, including the 6 slices of bacon. Bob and I both loved it. But Bob, Mr. Bacon-Lover, actually said he didn’t think the bacon was necessary. So I’ve made it without bacon ever since.

Since you cook it on Low for 3 hours, this isn’t a slow cooker recipe that you can start in the morning before working all day. But it’s great if you’re home and want to get a great side dish going a few hours before dinner.

This makes a really good vegetarian main course, too. I doubled it for Easter (which is possible if you have a 6-quart or larger slow cooker) and served it with ham, green beans, and a Greek salad. I think our vegetarian guest appreciated having something a bit more substantial to eat with the beans and salad.

Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower will certainly be something that we will enjoy now and then. It’s easy and tasty. And did I mention that leftovers are delicious? I may have eaten some cold out of the refrigerator for breakfast.  But then, I am someone who thinks cold pizza makes an acceptable breakfast.

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This particular night I served the Pepper Jack Cauliflower with pork chops and a big salad.

Pepper Jack Cauliflower

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Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower

(Adapted from Carolyn Ketchum’s recipe on asweetlife.org)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6

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I have included the bacon as an optional ingredient. It truly does take it over-the-top and is delicious, but we like it without the bacon, too.

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Cauliflower cut in fourths.

Cauliflower cut in fourths

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It’s easy to cut the core out after cutting the cauliflower in fourths. Then break, or cut, it into florets.

Cut the core off

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1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

4 ounces cream cheese

¼ cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional, but really good)

 

  1. Grease the inside of a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Put the cauliflower, cream cheese, whipping cream, and butter in the slow cooker. (No need to stir them together.)
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Cream cheese, cream, butter, salt and pepper added

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4. Cook on low for 3 hours.

5. Stir in the cheese and continue to cook on Low for another 30 minutes to an hour.

6. Stir in the bacon, if using, and serve.

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Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower

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Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

April 20, 2019

By Kath Dedon

 

We love these Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites!

My friend, Becky, introduced me to Starbuck’s Sous Vide Egg Bites when I was visiting her. Have you tried them? Well, they are quite tasty and are popular enough that the Internet has many copycat recipes for egg bites.

I actually have a sous vide cooker, but I’m not really as comfortable with it as I am with my Instant Pot. So when I saw recipes for Instant Pot egg bites I was excited to give it a try.

Some recipes use cream and/or cream cheese. I was drawn to the simplicity of Erin’s recipe on her Platings and Pairings blog. She uses just eggs and cottage for the egg base. And she gives five different variations. You can easily customize the egg bites to suit your taste.

I admit that I used a lot of specialized equipment for these Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites. If you have an Instant Pot and love egg bites, you may want to consider a couple of accessories to make it easier to make them. This is the egg bite mold that I used. And I bought this silicone sling that makes it much easier to lift the egg mold (or any other dish or cake pan) out of the Instant Pot. (Alternatively, Jill, on her blog, shows how to make a sling using aluminum foil. I haven’t tried it, but I have no doubt that it works.)

So far, I’ve only made this cheddar and bacon version. I’d love to try swapping the bacon for some cooked broccoli or mushrooms. (Bob might object to that.) I’m thinking that leftover Easter ham and Swiss cheese would be good. Be sure to check out Erin’s blog post to see some of her other versions for inspiration.

Bob and I both love these Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites for a quick bite to eat in the morning. Frankly, I think they’re great cold out of the refrigerator. But they reheat beautifully in the microwave. In ours it takes 20 seconds at 70% power to heat them up beautifully.

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Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

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Instant Pot Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

(Adapted from Erin’s recipe on Platings and Pairings)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes 7 egg bites

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4 large eggs

½ cup cottage cheese

½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

4 slices of cooked bacon (or about ¼ cup cooked vegetables or ham or sausage)

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  1. .Put the eggs and the cottage cheese in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Distribute the cheese among the 7 egg cups.
  3. Cut the bacon slices in half. Crumble 7 halves into the egg cups. Eat the 8th half.

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Cheese in the egg cups, adding bacon

cheese and bacon in the cups

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4. Pour the egg mixture into the egg cups.

Eggs poured in

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5. Cover the egg mold tightly with foil to keep moisture out of the eggs.

6. Lower the egg mold into the Instant Pot with a silicone or foil sling.

Covered with foil in the Instant Pot

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7. Seal the Instant Pot and press Steam. Set the time for 10 minutes.

8. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release for the remaining pressure.

9. Let the egg bites cool for a minute or two before removing them from the mold.

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Cooked egg bites

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Bacon and Cheddar Egg Bites

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Easy Cashew Chicken

March 12, 2019

By Kath Dedon

 

This Easy Cashew Chicken was truly very easy. It required a bit of time to prep the ingredients, but then it took less than 15 minutes to cook. I loved it! Bob thought it needed some heat, but he remedied that with some Tabasco. (I tried to tell him that not every dish needs to be, or should be, spicy.)

I found the recipe on Megha Barot’s and Matt Gaedke’s Keto Connect blog. If you click on the link you can see Megha’s excellent video that shows just how easy it is to make.

Megha says it serves 3. It made 2 servings for us, which was perfect. It would double easily for a family dinner.

I will definitely be making this Easy Cashew Chicken again. I loved the non-spicy flavors and the ease with which it came together. I’ll just make sure we have Tabasco or Sriracha on hand for Bob. 😉

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Cashew Chicken

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Easy Cashew Chicken

(Adapted from Megha Barot’s and Matt Gaedke’s recipe on ketoconnect.com)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 – 3

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3 raw boneless, skinless chicken thighs

½ medium green bell pepper

¼ large white onion (about 4 ounces)

3 cloves garlic

1½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce (I used the Huy Fong brand)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free tamari for gluten-free)

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

¼ cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for serving

1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional, to drizzle on the finished dish – I didn’t use it.)

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It looks like there are a lot of steps, but I wanted to make the directions really clear. The recipe is so much easier if you have all of the ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

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  1. Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  2. Cut the green pepper and white onion into equal-sized squares and set aside on a different plate from the chicken.
  3. Mince the garlic and add it to the green pepper and onion.
  4. Measure out the chili garlic sauce into a small dish.
  5. Measure out the ginger and salt into another small dish.
  6. Put the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar in a small dish.
  7. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add the cashews and cook, stirring often, until they are starting to get toasted. It will take 5 – 8 minutes. Remove the cashews from the pan and set aside.

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Toasted cashews

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8. Increase the heat to medium high. After it has heated for a couple of minutes, add the coconut oil and let it melt.

9. Add the chicken to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until it is done. It will take about 5 minutes.

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Chicken cooking. Not done yet.

Chicken thighs cooking

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10. Add the green pepper, onion, garlic, chili garlic sauce, ginger, and salt to the chicken in the pan. Stir and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.

11. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and toasted cashews to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes. Cook until the liquid in the pan has reduced until there is no more liquid in the pan.

12. Serve topped with the sesame seeds and sesame oil, if desired.

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Easy Cashew Chicken

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