Brussels Sprouts to the rescue and a little sweet potatoes on the side of my side dish

I absolutely adore going out to restaurants. One of the things I love the most is coming across a dish that I never would have thought to make myself. I love cooking but it is easy to run out of ideas. If it were up to me we would eat out more often than we actually do. My husband loves home cooked meals and likes to occasionally eat out. So, after I had these two side dishes at a restaurant I just had to learn how to make them myself. If I can’t go out to eat them then I’ll cook them right in my own kitchen. I was never a big fan of Brussels sprouts. To be honest I always thought they had a funky smell and not much in the taste department but after having them at a restaurant I soon became of lover of all things sprouts!! When it comes to fries I believe they should be a main dish and not just a side. They are delicious, so imagine my surprise when I discovered sweet potato fries. Even better and a welcome change from the regular french fries.

Hope you enjoy!

 

brussels sprouts.jpg

 

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core

¼ cup olive oil

1½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan.
  3. Cover the sprouts in the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix around with your hand to ensure they are all covered.
  4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are tender and browned.
  5. Remove from the over, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar, and toss again.
  6. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

 

sweet potato fries

 

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch long slices, then ¼ wide inch stripes

½ teaspoon of paprika

1 cup salt

¼ cup black pepper

¼ cup garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a sheet tray with baking paper
  2. In a large bowl toss the sweet potatoes with just enough olive oil to coat them all.
  3. Sprinkle the paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper on the sweet potatoes.
  4. Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning them occasionally.
  6. Let them cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: Mix some mayonnaise with Sriracha sauce and you have a delicious dipping sauce for the fries!!!

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Bruschetta for me and Bruschetta for you!

I love love love restaurants. Being served, choosing from a variety of dishes knowing that I don’t have to lift a finger is bliss. Then the fact that I don’t have to clean up or wash any dishes is also what fills my heart with joy.

Other than going out to restaurants to dine, I enjoy cooking for friends and family. When I lived in London we couldn’t always go out to dinner. Having a new baby meant that we were confined to the house when our friends had plans. So I decided to start inviting people around for dinner. Best solution ever. We got to spend time with our friends and socialize while the baby was asleep in the next room.

One of the dishes I loved making for my guests is tomato, basil and mozzarella bruschetta. As a starter it is simply delicious. It is quick to make and people always really seemed to enjoy it.

 

Brushette

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 handfuls nice mixed ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil , leaves picked
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • good-quality white wine or herb vinegar
  • 2 large French baguettes, sliced
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice bread and toast under the grill/broil in the oven or in a griddle pan
  2. Rub each slice of toast with a cut garlic clove then drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes, place the cherry tomatoes in a deep bowl and squash them roughly
  4. Tear the basil and put into the bowl, season with salt and pepper and add some olive oil and some vinegar
  5. Slice the mozzarella and place into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients
  6. Place the mix on top of each sliced piece of bread and drizzle with the remaining sauce, then put under the grill to lightly warm them.

 

Enjoy with friends in the comfort of your own home!

 

Bon Apettit!

 

 

 

 

 

Be the Chef when you can’t have a Chef!

Growing up I was blessed & privileged enough to have a live in cook. This tends to be the norm in Mexico. Basically, my mother was never in the kitchen. In fact my mother HATES cooking and will tell you that with a smile on her face. The only downside to having a cook was that I never got to learn how to cook. Imagine what it was like for me when I got to University and couldn’t even cook pasta. I did what any normal student does and bought takeout but eventually my bank account was taking too much of a beating so I had to learn how to whip something up in the kitchen myself. I’m no Julia Child but at least I try. Now with two kids I have no choice but to cook healthy. Below is a recipe that I love to make that is quick and easy. When you have kids spending hours in the kitchen is simply not an option. I have to get in and get out in 30min or chaos ensues. Hope you enjoy the meal!

Bon Apettit

Honey orange glazed salmon

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 14 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 18 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, dried ground
  • Rice
  • Asparagus

 

DIRECTIONS

Salmon

  1. In a small bowl mix together honey, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and ginger. Make sure you thoroughly combine the honey.
  2. Place salmon filets into the bowl and let it marinate for almost 1 hour. Turn occasionally to ensure even marination.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the salmon into a dish and pour the remaining marinade over it.
  4. Place the salmon in the oven and roast in a 375 F oven for 12-15 minutes. Fish will be done when it flakes easily with fork.

 

Asparagus & Rice

  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions.
  2. Trim the dry ends off of the asparagus. If the spears are thick, peel them lightly with a vegetable peeler.

Place them in the top half of the steamer pan set. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus, or until asparagus is tender.