All posts filed under: sides

Roasted Tomato and Wild Mushroom Bisque

So much good news to report! First, on November 4th, 2013, my life changed dramatically. I got a VitaMix. This one. Ten days later, I already don’t know how I ever survived without it. I’m bound to become obnoxious singing its praises; I apologize in advance. Second, the folks over at http://www.battr.com extended a very exciting invitation to share some of The Natural Ginger’s recipes on their new site.  Go check them out (and me too while you’re at it!). This soup is there, as are hundreds of beautiful, delicious looking recipes from the very best food bloggers around the net.  I want to eat everything I see. This soup! So good.  I had some tomatoes and, well, I just HAD to make something in the VitaMix (I think she needs a name). I feel like I’m in the infatuation stage of a new, exciting relationship. Every day still doesn’t feel like enough. First things first. Gather all your ingredients. 3 Vine Tomatoes, halved and cored 1/2 Onion, peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 Cup Wild Mushrooms (Shiitake, Crimini, etc.) Coarsely Chopped 1 …

Stuffed Portobella Mushroom Caps

I love when a trip to Trader Joe’s turns into a kitchen inspiration. I traveled past my usual store that’s on my daily trip home from work in favor of heading to the magical Brookline location that offers WINE. I know what you’re thinking, “Two Buck Chuck, that’s their thing! Don’t all Trader Joe’s have wine?” No. No they don’t. Thanks a lot, Massachusetts. The Brookline location really is an amazing place. Large aisles, room for carts to pass, products I’ve only dreamed of being carried in the Boston downtown location. I think I spent 30 minutes just wandering aimlessly, browsing my new options. Did you know they carry hard alcohol too? They really just have things figured out over there. After I grabbed a basket, I found the wine first. Obviously. Fun Fact: My big work bag can comfortably carry 6 bottles of wine in addition to a pair of shoes, a wallet, headphones, lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and even a jetBlue sleep kit (ok, maybe it’s time to clean it out). I wandered the produce for dinner …

Perfect Shoestring French Fries

Do you have one of these? It’s a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one, first things first.  Buy it here. Next, familiarize yourself with the most amazing and terrifying piece of equipment a kitchen has ever seen. Seriously, it’s like something out of a horror flick. I always vacillate between terror and amazement when I use it. Watch your fingers and always keep a reverent respect for this thing. Or prepare for stitches. If you’re wondering why I even bother, then you probably haven’t used one.  It’s only the most fantastic time saving device ever (and clearly designed by a Type A personality that craves uniformity). Plus, anything that has a “French Fry” setting is good with me. If you have the ability to slice up some potatoes, you’re already 75% of the way to making some fast food caliber french fries. (If you don’t think fast food and/or dirty drive thru burger joints provide the best french fries known to man, stop here. I can’t help you.) I usually go for a potato …

(Unauthorized) Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Yesterday I needed to get back on the proverbial horse with some baking. I’ve been out of the routine with summer taking over Boston and oppressive heat and humidity destroying any motivation to turn the oven on since about June. Then, last Wednesday, I questioned why I even keep an abundance of baking supplies and a robust selection of gluten free flours around when this happened. I can’t even describe to you the sound it made.  We were just thankful it happened at 9:30pm and not at midnight so we knew what happened. Once I saw the carnage I was wishing I could disappear. Do you know how much fun that was to clean up? Not fun at all. I was swearing off baking with every chard of glass. I’m still finding flour in unacceptable spots of the kitchen. Of course, I’m a sucker for savory comfort food, and all it took was a trip to Red Lobster to lift my baking embargo.  En route to a concert in Hartford we detoured for Red Lobster’s …

Herbed Biscuits

You know how your parents did something really cool when you finally left the nest? Some of my friends went home to find their room turned in to a gym, others found a sewing/crafting room (yes, I categorize that as really cool). Not me. My room is in perfect tact (thanks guys!). No, no… my parents went bigger. After years of always being the hostesses with the mostesses (I’ve been watching too many little kid AT&T commercials) they decided to make their love for a party earn its keep around the farm and turned the barn into a party venue. There’s a bar in the barn. Gone are the days of renting porta-potties for parties. The formerly hay floor has been paved over with blacktop and stained concrete. My favorite change though? The kitchen. As in – there is one. There’s a commercial grade kitchen in the barn. It has everything! (No, seriously, everything is out there. Just try cooking a meal in the house to figure out how much has migrated to the barn.) …

Quinoa Mushroom “Risotto”

Quinoa is weird. I found a few salads to make with it last summer that I enjoyed, but only because they were loaded with salami and cheese and olive oil (and they really were delicious). Since then I’ve had half a bag of quinoa in my cupboard that even made the cut in a move across town yet has remained untouched. I used it in place of arriboro rice for an attempt at a healthier version of “risotto” and now I’ve made variations of it twice since. Start with onion and garlic (a universal rule in my kitchen). The onion I used was small – about 1/2 cup when diced up – and 2 cloves of garlic that equated to about a tablespoon if you’re using jarred garlic. Please don’t use jarred garlic. Chop and dice to your liking and toss them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spice it up. I used salt, pepper, cayenne, celery seed and cumin. The combination was quite good. I wish I could tell you …

Mac & Cheese

It’s the ultimate comfort food isn’t it? Whenever the conversation of gluten free comes up with people, one of the first responses is “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. How do you live without pasta?!?” Ummm, I don’t? Really, there’s very little I live without. Of all things where there are appropriate ‘substitutes’, I’m not comfortable with that ‘sub’ word for gluten free pasta.  Substitute suggests it’s not as good as the ‘normal’ version.  There really is no difference.  Really. I swear. Pasta is a mild flavor with a familiar and well known texture.  They have perfected that texture in a cost effective (relative to other gluten free foods at least) and made it widely available.  I think I’ve tried about 10 different types and they’re all so good!  Brown Rice, Corn, Quinoa, Buckwheat… so many awesome grains out there that I never even considered.  Try some! And start with some Mac & Cheese. You know you want some. Focus. Mac & Cheese.  It requires two things: pasta + cheese sauce.  You can …