One of my highlights of summer is the availability of fresh, local produce. Between our CSA and local farmer’s market, we’ve had an abundance of seasonal fruits and veggies. This week, I’m sharing some of the things I’ve been cooking up as part of #FarmersMarketWeek.
My first recipe is a quick, no-cook salsa. Instead of tomatoes, the base of this is watermelon – making a perfect summery salsa with a touch of sweetness.
Have you ever tried garlic scapes? These curly, green shoots are the top of the garlic plant – and they taste just like garlic! The first time they showed up in our CSA share I had no idea what to do with them – now they’re something I look forward to every year.
One of my favorite uses for garlic scapes is this easy dip. It’s delicious, and only takes a few minutes to put together.
Disclosure: This post is part of the Tresomega Nutrition Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.
I have a plan for Christmas this year. Instead of doing the big ham dinner that involves being in the kitchen for hours, we’re just going to make a bunch of appetizers and spend the day hanging out. It sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s filling enough that it could count as a meal, but it’s also something we can eat while lounging around the Christmas tree. It’s pretty much the prefect holiday bite: spaghetti smothered in a to-die-for alfredo sauce, topped off with a miniature meatball and some homemade tomato sauce. And some more cheese just for good measure. Are you drooling yet?
This recipe features Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti. We have a few gluten-free family members so we’ve tried a bunch of gluten-free pastas and I can say that this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. My husband – who grew up in a very Italian family – admitted he wouldn’t have know it was gluten-free pasta if I hadn’t told him. Win!
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One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes 3 dozen
1 box Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 oz. cream cheese
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tsp. garlic power
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
36 small meatballs – homemade or frozen
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, combine the butter, whipping cream and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat – stirring frequently until all melted together. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves, the garlic powder, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, until smooth. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes more.
Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.
Using a fork, twirl up some sauce-coated spaghetti and place in the well of a mini-muffin tin to form a little next of spaghetti. Press down slightly to pack and add more spaghetti if necessary. Repeat until all wells are filled.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While the spaghetti bakes, combine the remaining ingredients, except parmesan cheese, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
When the spaghetti is done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then use a spoon to scoop out the spaghetti bundles and place on a serving platter. Top each bundle with a meatball, 1-2 tsp. of sauce, and parmesan cheese, to taste.
Even though it’s October (and the weather is still feeling like August…), I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving. I know, I know, but I get to host this year and I’m pumped! We’re not sure if we’ll have a big crowd or just the four of us, so I’ve got several menus floating around in my head.
I knew this month’s Improv Challenge theme, Sugar and Spice, was perfect for trying out some of the recipes I’m considering. Sugar and spice is SO fall – apple spice, pumpkin spice – but I couldn’t get these nuts off my mind, so they won out.
This is such an easy recipe – the slow cooker makes it totally hands off. Just mix, let the slow cooker do it’s thing, then spread them out to cool. They were so good – and a perfect pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack!
Jake loves dip. Or, as he says it “deeeep!” Anything that can be dipped is a hit – and that extends to spreads, too. It’s common now to get halfway through a meal and then have him start asking for dip. I’ve been keeping things like hummus in the house so we have some healthy options to dip – but sometimes you just need something fun.
This was fun.
It pairs well with crackers and we loved it with cucumbers, too. And it really couldn’t be easier. This is an awesome option for summer potlucks!
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the onion, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the ricotta and egg yolk until smooth.
Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet and fold in each edge about 1 inch to make a crust. Spread the ricotta mixture over the puff pastry and sprinkle about half of the Parmesan cheese over the ricotta mixture. Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the cheese and top with the remaining Parmesan. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden. Slice and serve.
I was so excited when I found this recipe. First, it was another no-cooking-involved appetizer that was still fun and festive. Second, I knew any leftovers would be awesome alongside my favorite use of leftover turkey – Turkey Cranchiladas. Seriously, though – can you think of a better day-after-Thanksgiving meal?
If you’ve already have your Thanksgiving menu set, keep this in mind for Christmas. The color is such a beautiful, rich red that would be super festive on a holiday table!
I’m thankful for a lot. My husband who works so hard for our family in so many ways. My little guy whose smiles just make my day. That we’re all healthy, fed and safe. And my friends – because I really don’t know where I’d be without them.
Last night, we had some friends over to celebrate an early Thanksgiving. Friends I went to middle school with who have loved me since before I’d really learned to love myself. Friends from college who have been supportive of us as we dated, got married and grew the family. And newer friends, who helped me stay sane during the early months of motherhood. It was just a small cross-section of our friends, but as I looked around the table it reminded me just how lucky we are.
I think something that often gets lost in prep for these big meals is that the goal is really to spend time together – not hours cooking. With that in mind, I whipped up a few no-cook appetizers. This one is whipped up in about five minutes and can be ahead of time. For a busy day like Thanksgiving, it’s a definite winner.
Cranberry Pumpkin Walnut Spread
(from Pen and Fork)
Makes about 2 cups
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup dried cranberries, plus a tablespoon for garnish
3/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients, except cranberries for garnish, in a food processor and pulse until nearly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with crackers or toast points.