It’s strawberry season here! The kids and I spent yesterday morning at one of our favorite local farms picking a whole flat of gorgeous berries – so now we’re making everything strawberry.
Do you want to take bets on how many things I can stick strawberries in over the next few days?
We have three weeks left of school and I honestly couldn’t be more excited for this summer to start. Our last summer was crazy with the move, so I’m purposely leaving as much time wide open this summer as possible so we can all just play.
Lazy backyard days capped off with dinner on the deck? That is totally my idea of a perfect summer.
Spring has arrived and it’s time to start looking forward to fresh produce and fresh springtime recipes! This month we have a lot of recipes for breakfast, sides and salads, main dishes, as well as desserts featuring a lot of early spring flavors like asparagus, eggs, peas, garlic, berries, lemon, and more. Keep reading to see all the recipes we have to help you plan out your April menu!
Hey Friends! Starting this month I’m joining up with a great group of bloggers to bring you some awesome recipes every month. I hope you enjoy seeing what everyone is making and make sure to read to the end for a great giveaway!
March is here and for this month we are sharing some of our family favorite recipes. We have recipes for breakfast, dinner, sides and soups, as well as a few desserts that we hope your families enjoy as much as all of ours do. Keep reading to get ideas for your March menu planning. Just a reminder that our group of bloggers post a themed recipe round-up on the last day of each month to help you with meal ideas for the upcoming month!
Side dishes are on my list of “things I regularly forget about”. I’m not the only one that can plan main dishes for every night and conveniently forget that I should serve something along with it, right?
Except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me. And this would be a great one.
Simple ingredients and quick prep make this a winner any night, but it’d be especially great for your holiday table, given how great butternut squash are this time of year.
Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
(from Chew Out Loud)
1 large butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a bowl, toss the squash with the oil until evenly coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Spread out on the baking sheet evenly.
Roast for 40 minutes until the squash is fork-tender and the edges are browned.
I hosted Thanksgiving for years before I tried making my own cranberry sauce. I always assumed it would be difficult and not worth it. It’s not – and it is.
This only takes about fifteen minutes to make and tastes so, so much better than the canned version. It’s also make-ahead friendly and is the perfect dish to bring with you if you’re travelling because it can be served warm, cold, or at room temp.
(from Savory Sweet Life)
Makes about 2 cups
1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
You’ll hear the cranberries popping as this cooks – that’s okay! You want them to open up!
This can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
It’s officially November which means my Facebook feed is all “hey! let’s do Christmas!” Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and I totally have Christmas prep going here (like, the fill-it-yourself advent calendar I bought about a month ago and have been obsessing over what to put in it), but I also don’t want to brush other holidays under the rug. We did Halloween big (as it should be!) and now I’m thinking about Thanksgiving.
One of the hardest things about coordinating a Thanksgiving dinner is getting everything on the table at the same time. Either space in the oven/on the stove top is at a premium or there are just too many balls in the air to keep track of it all. Using other kitchen appliances other than the stove can help things go more smoothly. I’ve always been a big fan of the slow cooker, but this year I’m excited to throw the instant pot in the mix.
These mashed potatoes are basic, but they’re hands-off and perfect for your Thanksgiving meal. I used my stand mixer to make things go super fast but if you don’t have one (or it’s tied up with other Thanksgiving prep!) a hand mixer would work just fine too.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
(adapted from The Baker Upstairs)
2 lbs. potatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash the potatoes. Peel, if desired, and quarter.
Add the rack to the instant pot, then the potatoes. Pour the chicken stock over the potatoes.
Using the manual setting, set to cook for 8 minutes and then quick release the pressure.
Drain the liquid and add the hot potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add remaining ingredients and mix until you reach the desired consistency.
I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon when they were on sale on Prime Day, but honestly, aside from cooking chicken to shred, I haven’t used to much. What seemed so versatile and useful on my computer screen now seems overwhelming on my kitchen counter. I guess that means I’m getting old? This recipe seemed simple enough so it became my first real Instant Pot test – and I fell in love.
What I loved here was that it was simple and hands-off. When I roast potatoes, I feel like I’m checking them a million times, they have to be flipped, etc. – with this I just threw potatoes in the IP and went on to do the rest of dinner. They cooked and you could switch up the seasonings to make it fit whatever meal you’re making.
I’m really excited about playing with the Instant Pot more and seeing what else I can do – is anyone interested in seeing more IP recipes here?
Instant Pot Garlic Rosemary Potatoes
(slightly adapted from Pressure Cooking Today)
Serves 4 as a side
1 lb. potatoes
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash and slice the potatoes and add them to the steamer basket of the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into the pot. Lock the lid in place, set to high pressure with a 4 minute cook time.
While the potatoes cook, whisk together the oil, garlic and rosemary in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until the garlic is fragrant.
When the Instant Pot beeps, turn it off and do a quick pressure release. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and pour the oil over. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Does anyone else crave fresh produce in the summer? I’d blame it on pregnancy, but this happens every year. Farmers’ markets become crazy dangerous because I just want to buy everything.
Summer also makes me lazy, though. I can’t tell you how many times I end up cooking up those impulse farmers’ market just before they go bad. Salads like this that require no cooking are always my best bet.
To my surprise, the toddler really liked this too. I fully expected him to just pick out the cranberries and apples, but the dressing was just sweet enough that he would happily eat it all.
Broccoli Apple Salad
(from The Recipe Critic)
Serves 6-8 as a side
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 large Gala apples, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli, carrots, onions, apples, pecans and cranberries.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the broccoli mixture and toss until evenly coated.
Refrigerate until serving.
One of the fun parts of #CookoutWeek has been getting acquainted with some of the sponsors. I got the opportunity to try out True Made Foods sauces and I’m a total convert.
If you haven’t heard of them, the gist is this: they infuse their sauces with vegetables and cut back on the sugar to make a product you can feel good about. Why am I so obsessed with this? I have a toddler that LOVES to dip anything and everything. If I can get some extra veggies in him while he slathers his dinner in ketchup, I’m all about it. This isn’t just a toddler ketchup, though – they’re really good and will easily please a more sophisticated palate. Wins all around.
I used two of the sauces they sent – the ketchup and the bbq sauce – to make up a batch of slow cooker baked beans. They were amazing. While most baked beans are loaded with sugar, these are pretty modest – but you don’t miss it at all. They’re full of flavor and a perfect accompaniment to any cookout.
Slow Cooker Barbecue Baked Beans
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 8-10 as a side
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 cup True Made Foods Ketchup
1/2 cup True Made Foods Barbecue Sauce
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
Add beans and onions to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour over beans and stir to combine.
Cook on low for 6 hours. Vent the lid for the last 15-20 minutes to thicken the sauce, if desired.