Category Archives: Side Dishes

Carrot Salad

Hi Everyone,

Click on photos to ENLARGE and then hit the back arrow to return to the post.

Hope all is well. On this beautiful, but cold Easter Sunday I wanted to send all of you Easter and Passover greetings once again and share with you a quick side dish that I am making today.

Sometimes we need that extra little side dish on the table and this is quick and easy- Fresh Carrot Salad…..

So, have a wonderful day and I am back to cooking. I’ll be posting soon……. I hope you try this recipe.

CARROT SALAD

2 bunches topped carrots

1-cup mayonnaise

1/2 pineapple peeled and chopped OR a 14oz can of pineapple tidbits, drained

1/2-cup raisins

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Peel the carrots and grate them in a food processor fitted with a large grating attachment. (if you lay the carrots on their sides in the feed tube, you will have nice long grated strands)

Place the carrots in a large bowl and add the mayonnaise, pineapple, raisins, salt & pepper. Toss well and season to taste. Serve chilled or at room temp.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” “share” and JOIN  DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

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Potato Roses Wrapped in Bacon

Hi Everyone,

I hope your Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful and you made wonderful new memories to add to your Thanksgiving full of gratitude and blessings.

We had a terrific Thanksgiving and this year our son was able to come home for the holiday.

The last time we were all together for Thanksgiving was 2017. Four years is a long time to wait but our son either had to work on call at the hospital, then the pandemic started and last year Bob and I had Covid during Thanksgiving so this year was an extra special blessing for all of us.

I posted my complete Thanksgiving menu the other day in my previous post and below are a few additional pictures showing some of our finished courses and side dishes along with our dinner plate and a sample of our Thanksgiving meal.

Italian Wedding Soup with escarole and mini meatballs…
Stuffed artichoke with kalamata olive bread stuffing
Thanksgiving 2021 on a plate

The side dish that was enjoyed the most was my new addition to the menu- “Potato Roses Wrapped In Bacon”…big, big, hit.

Some of you may remember my apple dessert roses or my pasta roses and this is the same idea. (I posted the “Roses… Sweet and Savory” entry in the link below…)

Potato Roses Wrapped In Bacon

The potato roses are easy to prepare and make a lovely addition to your dinner plate and the taste is out of this world. I used Russet potatoes but you can use Yukon gold because they are smaller and might give you a better petal size for the rose.

My favorite thick-cut bacon is mail order from Amana Meat Shop and Smokehouse but you can use any bacon you prefer.

The link below is for the Amana Meat Shop website in case you want to browse their products.

(https://www.amanameatshop.com/product/amana-smoked-bacon/smoked-bacon)

I combined a few recipe tips from Tasty and Allrecipes sites and here is the recipe that I used. I hope you try these potato roses and they are a hit at your next special occasion dinner. Enjoy!

Potato Roses Wrapped In Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 5 Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 strips center cut bacon
  • fresh thyme, to garnish
  • grated cheese of your choice, to garnish

Equipment:

  • muffin tin
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F
  2. Using a mandolin or deli slicer and a hand guard, thinly slice the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. (My deli slicer was on opening #2- not too thin but pliable)
  3. Add olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, pepper, paprika, and salt to the sliced potatoes and toss with tongs until evenly coated.
  4. On a cutting board, lay out a long strip of bacon vertically (if the strips are too short than you can overlap two pieces).
  5. Line the bacon with the sliced potatoes (I use 7-8 pieces of potato per rose), making sure each potato is overlapping.
  6. Starting at one end, gently roll up the bacon, creating a potato rose.
  7. Place the rolled potato roses in a greased muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining bacon strips and potatoes.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover the roses with tin foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove foil.
  9. Top the roses with thyme and grated cheese. Bake for an addition 5-10 minutes uncovered.
  10. PLEASE WATCH THE BACON– some ovens run hot, so check the bacon and cook to your desired liking. It’s always better to start with less time and you can add a few minutes if you choose crispier bacon….

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

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We finished our Thanksgiving with a special “birthday cake” dessert for our son to make up for the two years of birthdays we couldn’t celebrate in person.

Rainbow Cookie Cheesecake

Thanksgiving Preparation 2021…..

Hi Everyone,

Well, the count down is on and we are all getting ready for Thanksgiving 2021. I am so excited this year because my son is coming home for the holiday.

Last year, Bob and I slept through Thanksgiving with a high fever and no sense of taste and smell when we contracted Covid 19- not a good memory.

But this year, we are grateful that we are well and we can see our son and the full menu will be served. My menu this year is listed below…

We couldn’t decide on our favorites so I decided to make scaled-down versions of each item so there is more variety and not a week’s worth of leftovers. (Have to save room for the turkey soup with tortellini the next day for lunch).

Thanksgiving 2021 Menu

Antipasto

Assorted cured meats and cheeses served with a Prosecco Holiday Toast

1st course

Italian Wedding Soup (or to us – “Uncle Vinny Soup”)

2nd course

Sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter sauce

3rd course

Roasted Turkey

Sage Cornbread Stuffing

Cranberry/Orange Compote

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

Potato Roses

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Glazed Rainbow Carrots

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts in a Dijon Mustard / Bacon Dressing

Roasted Asparagus with Pumpkin Gouda Cheese

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Artichokes

4th course

Vertical Pear Salad with Mixed Greens, Cranberries, Pecans and Goat Cheese

Dessert Course

Apple Cake

Pumpkin Amaretto Pie

Apple Cider Donuts

Butterscotch Ice Cream

Warm roasted Chestnuts

I was cooking today in preparation, and I decided to share some recipes as I go along in case you wanted to add them to your menu.

Have a wonderful, safe, Happy Thanksgiving

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Vertical Pear Salad

THIS PHOTO WAS FROM THANKSGIVING 2018

This has to be the easiest salad to pull together and the best presentation….

In a large bowl add your choice of mixed greens (I love to use fresh baby spinach for this salad), cranberries or pomegranate seeds, pecans (optional), and goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon vinaigrette*.

* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice whisked together with 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper – ADD ON OPTIONS- 2 cloves of fresh crushed garlic or 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.

Slice a pear into 3 sections and add some salad to each layer and attach the sections together with a large bamboo toothpick (can be purchased at any large chain party store). Once the pear is secured altogether, add a little extra salad to the plate and drizzle the entire pear with honey. — Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

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Sage Cornbread Stuffing

8 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs (from a 1-lb white loaf with crust removed)

4 cups coarsely crumbled buttermilk corn bread
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 turkey liver or 3 chicken livers (2 to 3 oz total), trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup
turkey giblet stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Spread all breadcrumbs in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven until dry, about 15 minutes total. Cool crumbs in pans on racks, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in parsley, sage, salt, and pepper.

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, and then add onions and liver and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with crumbs and toss well. Add eggs, stock, and cream and toss well.

Transfer stuffing to a buttered 2 1/2- to 3-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.

Cooks’ note:
• Stuffing can be assembled (but not baked) 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Sour cream cornbread

1 cup All-purpose flour

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup sugar 

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp baking soda                                                             

½ tsp salt

1-cup sour cream

¼ cup whole milk or Buttermilk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a bowl, mix 1-cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup yellow cornmeal. ¼ cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, and ½ tsp each baking soda and salt. Stir in 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup milk, 1 beaten egg, and 2 TBSP melted butter.

Pour into a greased, 8-in square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cut in 16 squares. Best served warm.

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Stuffed Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

16 Mushroom caps

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves peeled and minced

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

¾ cup grated cheese

½ cup breadcrumbs

Salt & pepper

(1/4-cup parsley –optional)

½ cup water or chicken stock

Wipe the mushrooms with a clean damp towel and remove the stems.  Cut off the root end of the stem, and coarsely chop the rest. Heat the 3 TBSP olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook the onions with 1 TBSP butter, add the garlic and chopped mushrooms stems. Sauté until tender & just beginning to brown—5 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Add the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt & pepper and mix well. Place the mushroom caps flat in a baking dish already coated with cooking spray. Spoon the filling into each cap. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and fill the dish with ½ cup water.

Bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees or until mushrooms feels soft when pierced with a fork. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I hope you enjoy these recipes and have a wonderful holiday and make special memories you can hold dear to your heart for years to come.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in a Roasted Acorn Squash

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. I can’t believe we are two weeks away from my favorite holiday- THANKSGIVING!

I just love Thanksgiving, no pressure of gift-giving, a great meal and desserts, and a great time of the year – I enjoy the Fall season.

This year I am especially thankful because I passed my 1,000 days from a heart transplant and I am feeling well, and my son will be able to visit for the holiday this year.

Last year I slept through Thanksgiving because Bob and I were stricken with Covid. Thankfully we recovered without hospitalization and life is good. I do pray that the pandemic comes to an end soon and life returns to pre-pandemic 2019 days… I am hopeful and waiting for the day when we can all gather once again without worry or fear….. Be safe!

Now on to the recipe I want to share with you …

Every year on Thanksgiving, for our first course, we have chicken soup with escarole and meatballs, which some would recognize as Italian Wedding Soup. In our home, we lovingly call it “Uncle Vinny Soup” because that was my Godfather Vinny’s favorite soup and he would be happy if you served it every day even on the hottest day of the summer he loved it so much. He was thrilled when we named the soup after him.

The link below is for the soup and the story.

If I don’t add a small pasta to the soup such as Acini de Pepe, then we have the second course as a complete pasta course and usually, it is a small taste of either a filled pasta such as tortellini or stuffed rigatoni.

When I was growing up we had the soup with the pasta and then an additional pasta course after that. There was no such thing as skipping courses.

A few years ago, I decided to combine both a pasta dish and a side vegetable as my second course and it was Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in individual Acorn squash.

Acorn squash is usually small and you can pick out the smallest size you can find and add a small amount of pasta. This is an eye-catching presentation served in the squash with a delicate butter sage sauce.

This looks so beautiful when served and it is a lighter course so that you are not full before the “main event” of the turkey.

I have to say that in an Italian home and I do hate to admit this, but the turkey is usually not the featured attraction (at least not when I was growing up). There was the antipasto, the soup, the pasta, then the turkey and many sides, a salad, followed by fruit and nuts, and dessert which included apple pie, pumpkin pie, coconut custard pie, and Italian pastries with after-dinner liquors and espresso. It is a full day of food and a marathon of eating.

I have reduced and altered the menu quite a bit over the years but still include all my family’s favorites.

I just wanted to share this recipe in case anyone wants to add something different to their Thanksgiving table this year. I made homemade sweet potato ricotta gnocchi but there are so many packaged and frozen varieties of pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash gnocchi, or tortellini in stores that you could use either one of them to save some time.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it.

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Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi


By combining the sweet potatoes with ricotta, you retain the flavor and end up with pillowy soft gnocchi, just what gnocchi should be!

Ingredients:
2 Pounds Sweet Potatoes
2/3 Cup Ricotta Cheese (Full Fat Is Best)
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
1 1/4 Cups All-purpose Flour (Approximate)


Browned Butter Sage Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
20 Fresh Sage Leaves
Salt & Pepper- cinnamon and nutmeg


To Serve:
Freshly Grated Parmesan Or Pecorino Cheese, a dash of cinnamon, and some fried sage leaves.


Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prick the potatoes with a sharp knife and place them on a baking sheet.


Bake until very tender, about 55 minutes to an hour.

Cool slightly, cut in half,
and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.

Use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes into a bowl. (You should end up with approximately 2 cups of sweet potato pulp.)

Add the ricotta, egg yolk, and salt,
and pepper and mix well.

Lightly flour a baking sheet and set it close to your work area.

Adding about 1/2 cup of flour at a time, add just enough to create a workable dough.

Take a fist-sized
ball of the dough and roll it into a 1-inch roll on a lightly floured counter.

Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 1-inch pieces and set it aside on the floured baking sheet.

Cooks Note: you could get fancy and roll the piece of dough over the back tines of a fork to get the desired lines or leave it as is to look like little pillows.

Continue to work the rest of the dough in this same manner.

Refrigerate the gnocchi on the baking sheet until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In the meantime, place the butter in a small saucepan and allow it to foam.

Add the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the butter is lightly browned, and keep warm.

I add a dash of nutmeg and some cinnamon to taste to the butter sauce.

Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water just until they rise to the surface.

Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a heated platter.

Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and gently toss to coat.

Serve immediately offering grated cheese at the table.

Roasted Acorn Squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20- 30 minutes or just until tender to touch but not falling in.
  5. Scoop the gnocchi into the acorn squash shell and add some shredded gruyere cheese to the top.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven…dig in!!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Hi Everyone,

I just had to share this recipe that I found the other day while looking for some new side dishes. I am always changing my recipe ingredients and experimenting with new flavors and I came across this recipe that intrigued me.

“Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites”.

I have used cauliflower to make tater tots and General Tso’s “chicken” in the past and posted it to the blog, but this was another way with cauliflower that I never tried before.

(Here is the link for my previous cauliflower recipes)

Since this recipe caught my attention, I felt it was the perfect side dish to go along with some chicken, rice and black bean enchiladas that I made for dinner last night. I absolutely loved the result.

(Sorry only one photo but I didn’t plan on making this a blog post since it is not my original recipe).

I loved the Cauliflower Buffalo Bites so much that I had to share with all of you immediately so you could try it too. And kudos to the author, Dani Spies, she is brilliant.

The recipe is easy and tasty and comes together in very little time.

The cauliflower bites were a little too spicy for Bob between the spices in the batter and the Buffalo hot wing sauce, so remember that if someone in your family is not a lover of spicy to tone it down a little.

Next time, I will have to cut the spice level down for Bob to really enjoy them, but I loved every bite with the original ingredients.

I am a lover of spicy foods and this recipe was fantastic for me.

This is a great party food for the vegetarians on your guest list that can’t have Buffalo Hot Wings and it makes a nice presentation.

Plus, it’s baked and not fried which helps with the calories and the clean up. I added some celery and carrot sticks and a little ranch dressing as another layer to our meal to complete the traditional Buffalo style.

The recipe is from “Dani Spies” and she has various you-tube videos showing her creations. I find her to be fun and entertaining and this recipe is a keeper for sure. So, thank you Dani for this fabulous recipe….

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Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites-

courtesy of Dani Spies

Course: DIET, DINNER, snacks + starters

Cuisine: American, Super Bowl, vegan, vegetarian

Author: Dani Spies

Prep Time-10 mins Cook Time 30 mins -Total Time 40 mins 

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup of white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce I used Franks
  • 1 tbsp. butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, water, salt, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika and stir until smooth. Add in cauliflower and stir gently until florets are evenly coated with batter.
  • Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet that has been coated with some cooking spray. Be sure the pan is not over crowded (use two pans if needed). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  • In a separate bowl combine hot sauce and melted butter. Pour evenly over the cauliflower and gently toss until evenly coated.
  • Pop bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower begins to crisp up. Serve with carrots, celery and blue cheese dressing.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Baked Cod and Cold Broccoli Salad

Hi Everyone,

I hope this weekend finds you all well.

I made another quick meal that I wanted to share with my members. I posted this to my personal Facebook page and received a lot of requests for the recipe so I wanted to share with all of you. It is simple and healthy and a break from pasta, beef or chicken.

I made a baked cod in butter sauce with blistered tomatoes garnished with lemon, scallions and parsley. And as a side dish I made an Italian style COLD broccoli salad with garlic and lemon. Two quick dishes to make one great meal.

I tweaked this recipe from the author Katya at the Littlebroken.com website a few years ago. Her original recipe called for 4 tbsp of butter and I cut that down and she used 1/4 tsp sugar which I eliminated and I added some dry herbs and white wine. I always tweak recipes to my liking.

So here is my version of Cod with Tomatoes and Herb Butter….

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of fresh Cod cut into 6 oz portions
  • 1 medium shallot- finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes- cut in half
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs (basil, parsley, chives) for garnish
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ lemons – 1 full lemon for juice / ½ sliced for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally

Add the cherry tomatoes, chicken stock, and red pepper flakes (if using). Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatoes break down and release their juices. Add white wine and simmer a minute or two longer until the liquid has almost evaporated.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the butter and fresh herbs. The butter will make a velvety and thick sauce. Cover and keep warm while the cod bakes.

Drizzle the bottom of a casserole dish with the 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil. (Choose a dish where the cod will fit in a single layer with some room around each piece).

Pat the cod dry and place in the casserole dish in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste. Drizzle the top lightly with the remaining ½ tbsp. of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 12-18 minutes or until easily flaked. (Baking time depends on the thickness of the cod).

Remove from the oven and evenly spread the tomato butter mixture over the cod. Cover again with aluminum foil and let in stand at room temperature for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.

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Now for the side dish… The beauty of cold Broccoli Salad is that it can be made ahead of time. I usually make this is the morning so the lemon & garlic have time to flavor the broccoli.

This salad is a staple for our Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve.

Cold Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads of broccoli crowns
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the broccoli)
  • 2-3 larges cloves of garlic- chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (preferably from Italy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooks Note:

  1. whole broccoli can also be used too- just peel and slice the stalks into bite size pieces
  2. adding kalamata olives is also an option
  3. if you prefer, you can also sauté the garlic in the olive oil for an infused garlic flavor and pour over the broccoli once it cools. I do this step when I have extra time.

Directions:

Cut the broccoli crowns into bite size pieces

I steam the broccoli for approx. 6 minutes until a knife can be inserted easily and they are tender. I think this keeps a nice green color ( Boiling is another option if you prefer).

Once the broccoli is cooked put it in a large bowl and while still warm, add the lemon juice and toss well.

Add the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and toss well to cover the broccoli with all the flavors.

Can be served warm or cold, but I usually chill this is the refrigerator and take it out 10-15 minutes before serving.

Cooks Note: can also be made with cauliflower or Romanesque.

I hope you try one or both of these simple dishes and enjoy. Leave me a note in the comments as to what you think of the recipes and include your pics of these dishes. Stay well.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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I Love hearing from you.

Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumbs

Photo Dec 03, 7 33 11 PM RACK OF LAMB

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

I hope all is well and your holiday plans are coming together. I still can’t believe that it is December and Christmas is right around the corner.

Last night, I posted on my private Facebook page a photo of my dinner that consisted of rack of lamb, glazed carrots and creamed spinach and I was shocked to receive over 392 comments.

So many people want to make this meal for their holiday celebration that I decided to post all the recipes on the blog as a guide. I made the lamb and carrots from scratch but I have to say, I cheated because of time and used Boursin cheese to help me make the creamed spinach.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

I used the rack of lamb recipe from one of my recent cookbook purchases. 

The recipe in the book is slightly different from the Williams Sonoma website recipe printed below. I listed all the differences in the “Cooks Notes” below.

Williams Sonoma- Steak and Chop.

Photo Dec 04, 11 56 54 AM cookbook

Roast Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumbs 

Rack of lamb is elegant yet easy to prepare, making it a perfect dish to prepare for a special dinner party. Ask your butcher to French the bones—that is, scrape off any meat and fat from the top 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of each bone—for the prettiest presentation, then carve the racks into chops at the table in front of your guests.

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb, each 1 1/2 to 2 lb. (750 g to 1 kg), Frenched
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups (6 oz./180 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bunch radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives

Directions:

Season the racks of lamb generously with salt and pepper. Spread the mustard evenly over the meaty sides of the racks. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic and rosemary. Using your hands, press the bread crumb mixture into the mustard, covering the meat in an even layer and pressing the crumbs firmly so that they adhere. Place the racks of lamb, with the bread crumbs facing up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the radishes in the pan, around and underneath the racks of lamb. Roast until the crust is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, about 25 minutes, or until done to your liking.


Transfer the racks of lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the chives on top of the lamb, then carve the racks into double chops and serve immediately with the radishes alongside. Serves 8.

Cooks Note: I seared the racks first in a frying pan with olive oil to brown on all sides and set aside to cool before adding the mustard.

Cooks Note: I added a little olive oil and 2 tsp. of garlic powder to the bread crumb mixture.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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Carrots Glazed with Mustard and Brown Sugar

Brown sugar caramelized with butter and Dijon mustard creates a sweet-hot glaze for carrots. A sprinkling of fresh chives adds a colorful finish.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the
     diagonal
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf
     parsley

Directions:

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the carrots and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Return the carrots to the pan and set over medium heat. Add the butter, mustard and brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the carrots are evenly glazed. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Serve hot.

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Creamy Boursin Spinach Recipe

Total:15 mins

Prep:5 mins

Cook:10 mins

Yield:4 Servings

Boursin cheese makes a quick and easy sauce for fresh spinach. Make this dish for a weekend meal or special holiday dinner, and garnish with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 ounces baby spinach(rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 container (4.4 ounces) light Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in butter over medium heat. When onion is softened, add the rinsed spinach. Cook, stirring until spinach has wilted.
  2. Stir in the Boursin cheese, nutmeg, and pepper until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve garnished with a little shredded Parmesan.

 

Summertime Potato Salad…

Photo Jul 22, 12 44 32 PM potato salad

 

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

I have to share this recipe with you. Whenever I am invited to a barbecue, everyone asks me to bring the same thing- my potato salad.

This has to be the easiest recipe around and it is always a crowd pleaser, so I wanted to share this with all of my members.

I have been making this potato salad over 20 years and I don’t remember where I got the original recipe from. Of course, I have tweaked it a little here and there over the years (I couldn’t help myself).

In my house, we have made it a tradition that this potato salad does not make an appearance until the 4th of July. After that, I make it the rest of the summer.

The recipe calls for 1 dz. hard boiled eggs, so make sure you check your eggs for freshness.

Check your eggs for signs of cracks. Since fresh eggs are harder to peel it is best if you purchase your eggs a week prior to boiling.

You can test the freshness of the eggs by placing them into a glass of water. The freshest eggs will lie on the bottom of the water on its side. As an egg ages the air pocket inside grows so your egg will start to stand up on end. An egg that floats to the top should be discarded.

If you try this recipe, PLEASE let me know what you think.

***************

DIANE’S POTATO SALAD

PREP TIME : approx. 2 hours

Ingredients:

5 lb. bag of red potatoes -NOT PEELED -boil whole until fork can pierce skin but not mushy/ DRAIN

2 ½ C         Hellmanns mayo –not light

5 TBSP      Red Wine Vinegar

3 ¾ tsp       Kosher salt

2 ½ tsp       Sugar

¾ tsp          Pepper

2 ½ C         Celery (chopped)

1 ½ C         Red onion (diced)

1 dz            Hard boiled eggs

Directions:

Mix mayo and vinegar together—Add salt, pepper, and sugar and mix thoroughly.

Add celery and onions—Next add potatoes WARM  (cut into bite size pieces)

Add eggs (sliced) and fold all ingredients together.

(Best when chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours).

ENJOY!

******************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to become members of DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

 

 

Scallops Provencal with Lemon Orzo

Photo Aug 22, 8 00 06 PM SCALLOPS PROVENCAL

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone, 

Today I posted a photo on the DishingwithDiane Instagram page and received an overwhelming number of emails for the recipe.

The Instagram posts can be seen here on the blog in the right hand column.

Included with the blog photos, I also include some personal pics (mostly food) on the Instagram page, to use as a reference for future recipes that I will feature on the blog.

The scallop photo was a photo from last night’s dinner.

I was quite surprised to get such a response.

I decided to make scallops for dinner last night because I have been wanting to try Ina Garten’s recipe from Foodnetwork for Scallops Provencal. 

I recently purchased scallop shells from Sur La Table just for this recipe.

So after a morning full of email requests; I am sharing the recipe with all of you.

It was delicious, quick and extremely easy. Just make sure to have all of your ingredients ready.

I made this dish along with Lemon Orzo and I will include that recipe as well.

Have fun cooking!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

*******************************************

Scallops Provencal

From Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced …( I used two cloves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in 1/2

Directions

 

If you’re using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you’re using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

Cooks Note: I kept the sea scallops whole.

In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer.

Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total.

Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Pairs well with Pinot Grigio

************************************************

Lemon Orzo

from All Recipes website

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray … Cooks note: I used 2 tbsp butter instead
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Cooks Note: I used 2 tbsp butter.

Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in pasta, broth, wine, and thyme; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente. Stir in chopped chives and lemon juice. Keep warm.

4th of July – 2017

Photo Jun 21, 12 24 07 PM.jpg INTRO - USE THIS !!!!!

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

I will be very busy the next few weeks so I decided to post a “4th of July” tablescape a little early.

 I am serving a very American menu and not the usual Italian influenced 4th of July menu I grew up with.

I know it is an American holiday with the standard barbecue fare of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, but being Italian, my family always celebrated the Italian way with antipasto, linguine with crabs, chicken, steak, fish, lamb kabobs, sausage and peppers, caprese salad, roasted peppers, potato/onion/string bean salad, panzanella salad, tomato salad, rice salad, tossed salad, focaccia with olives & rosemary and zeppoles.

I can’t even start to name the desserts we would have…

My American menu this year will be hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, corn on the cob, French fries, apple pie, and ice cream.

This year I even purchased red, white and blue popcorn.

Another Homegoods find.

Photo Jun 21, 1 47 31 PM.jpg POPCORN

I made a test batch of popcorn. The kernels didn’t pop as red, white and blue as I wanted, but it tasted great with a little butter and a dash of cayenne.

Photo Jun 21, 12 23 44 PM.jpg POPCORN IN BUCKET

***************

I love decorating for the 4th, but seriously, there is just so much you can do with red, white and blue. I already have two sets of dishes that I use for 4th of July and if you have been following the blog you have seen both of them.

Here is a little reminder….

2015-05-23 21.49.09- MEMORIAL BUFFET

2015-07-04 00.57.34- BUFFET

I try to mix it up every year with the standard stars and stripes, but this year I happened to wander into Sur La Table one afternoon and it changed my 4th of July decorating world.

Instead of the usual stars and stripes, Sur La Table is featuring a new design called “Fireworks” and I love it. I bought the platters, plates, napkins, serving bowl and salad tongs. This is a very cheery pattern. I think you will like it…..

Photo Jun 21, 12 24 44 PM.jpg EXTRA

I am starting off with a navy tablecloth with white stars that I use quite often for my 4th of July and Memorial Day tablescapes. It has always been a “patriotic” favorite of mine. 

(PHOTO looks black with the lighting but the tablecloth is navy)

Photo Jun 21, 1 42 05 PM.jpg TABLECLOTH

To that I am adding red woven placemats and galvanized metal chargers. You have seen this combo before, but I think this combination looks best with the tablecloth.

Photo Jun 21, 12 11 09 PM.jpg PLACEMAT AND CHARGER

My dinner plates are a solid navy melamine plate with a white star border. Very bold and matches the tablecloth. 

Photo Jun 22, 9 49 02 AM.jpg DINNER DISH

The salad plates are also melamine and they are my new “Fireworks” purchase from Sur La Table. Red, white and blue fireworks bursting across the plate. I think they are great with the dinner dishes.

Photo Jun 21, 12 03 55 PM.jpg SALAD PLATE

I also bought the “Fireworks” napkins and I am using a red, white and blue spray napkin ring made out of glass and plastic beads. 

The napkin rings also remind me of a fireworks display.

Photo Jun 21, 1 41 35 PM.jpg NAPKIN AND RING

Cutlery is red enamel by Cambridge.

Photo Jun 21, 12 14 38 PM.jpg RED CUTLERY

I usually use red and blue striped glassware, but this year I am using cobalt blue goblets for a little change.

Photo Jun 21, 1 42 27 PM.jpg COBALT GOBLETS

 I have used this centerpiece before for the 4th of July and I just love it.

The centerpiece is a crème, red and blue water pitcher with stars and “America the Beautiful” written around the neck of the pitcher. 

Adding a Flag with some red, white and blue carnations and Gerber daisies makes it complete. Simple and perfect for the table.  

Photo Jun 21, 12 16 41 PM.jpg CENTERPIECE

Table accents for this tablescape will start out with mini galvanized pails that I found in Dollar Tree. I am going to use the pails as votive candle holders with just a little bit of sand in the bottom of the pail to hold the candle in place.

Photo Jun 21, 12 05 24 PM.jpg PAILS FOR CANDLES

You can also string a tag on the handle and use the pails as place-cards instead of candle holders.

Photo Jun 21, 1 45 16 PM.jpg PAIL PLACE CARD

Next, a flag salt and pepper shaker set added to the table. Remember, salt and pepper shakers are great for a tablescape to enhance the theme and small enough not to get in the way of the serve ware.

Photo Jun 22, 12 29 59 PM.jpg SALT AND PEPPER - USE THIS !!!!!

The last table accents are patriotic table scatter and a wooden sign that reads “God Bless America” which I found at a spa gift shop of all places. You never know where you’ll find things.

Photo Jun 22, 8 06 54 AM.jpg TABLE SCATTER

Photo Jun 21, 1 43 40 PM.jpg GOD BLESS SIGN

The serving pieces are quite large so I am setting them up on the buffet server and not directly on the table.

The first piece of serve ware is the large “Fireworks” melamine platter. The platter is 14 x 20. I will be using this platter to serve hot dogs and hamburgers. 

Photo Jun 21, 1 52 00 PM.jpg LARGE TRAY

The next piece of serve ware is a large “Fireworks” melamine serving bowl and I am using stars and stripes melamine salad tongs. I didn’t want to use the Fireworks  salad tongs and have them blend into the design on the bowl.

This serving bowl is 14 x 4 and has the capacity to hold 5 quarts.

I will use this bowl to serve my 4th of July potato salad.

Photo Jun 21, 1 53 02 PM.jpg SERVING BOWL.jpg WITH FRAME - USE THIS !!!!

 Since I got married, the first day of the year that I make my potato salad has always been 4th of July and never a day sooner. It has become a family tradition.

I will repost the potato salad recipe for you at the end of the post, absolutely delicious.

2015-07-04 07.59.17- POTATO SALAD CLOSE UP

Along with hot dogs and hamburgers you have to have French fries. I will be serving Tuscan French fries* and serving them in mini fry baskets along with condiment cups for ketchup.

* Tuscan Fries are made with garlic & fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage) added to hot oil and drizzled over the French fries.)

Photo Jun 22, 8 09 22 AM.jpg BASKET WITH CUP

 I am lining the fry baskets with red and white check basket liner tissue. This tissue is food grade so it doesn’t leak or fall apart (especially with greasy French fries).

Photo Jun 21, 1 58 39 PM.jpg BASKET WITH LINER

I just love mini serve ware of any kind. It must go back to the days when I had mini everything in a doll house. I just find the mini items too cute to pass up.

Remember the mini colanders?

For the corn on the cob, I will be using another melamine platter, but this one is  white stars on a navy background with a red border. 

This tray is 7 x 15.

Photo Jun 21, 1 54 01 PM.jpg OBLONG TRAY

The main dessert has to be red, white & blue of course, so I will be serving vanilla ice cream with strawberries and blueberries along with some apple pie.

Bob needed a dessert sampler ahead of time, so here are the photos. 

Photo Jun 22, 11 30 11 AM.jpg ICE CREAM

Photo Jun 22, 9 58 11 AM.jpg APPLE PIE FROST

I have one more 4th of July family dessert tradition to tell you about.

Every year we purchase Friendly’s Watta -Melon roll. It just isn’t 4th of July without it. My son came up with this tradition many years ago and it has been going strong for decades.

Watermelon and lemon sherbet with chocolate chips as the seeds. To me, this means Summer has arrived.

I bring it to the table on a platter with fresh watermelon cut into the shape of stars (using a cookie cutter) and the addition of some sparklers. 

I love sparklers.

Reminds me of my Uncle Vinny. He brought sparklers every 4th of July.

rolls_ice-cream-rolls_wattamelon-roll (1).png 2.jpg FRIENDLY'S IN BOXrolls.jpg watta.jpg WATTA SLICE

And that completes this year’s 4th of July tablescape. I hope I gave you some inspiration for your own 4th of July celebration.

Have a wonderful holiday and take this opportunity to make beautiful memories with your family and friends.

Be safe and keep your pets safe too.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Photo Jun 21, 1 48 50 PM.jpg BUFFET.jpg WITH NAME - USE THIS FINAL

Place Setting

Photo Jun 22, 8 03 09 AM.jpg PLACE SETTING ON THE 22ND

Table Details

Navy tablecloth with white stars from Macy’s

Red woven placemats from Homegoods

Galvanized chargers from Pottery Barn

“Fireworks” cloth napkin from Sur La Table

“Fireworks” serving bowl from Sur La Table

Star and Stripes salad tongs from Sur La Table

Large “fireworks” platter from Sur La Table

Stars oblong platter from Sur La Table

Navy and white star dinner plates from Sur La Table

“Fireworks” salad plates from Sur La Table

Mini fry baskets and condiment cups from Sur La Table

Mini galvanized pails from Dollar Tree

Red, white and blue glass spray napkin rings from Pier 1

Patriotic pitcher from Homegoods

Patriotic artificial flowers from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Patriotic table scatter from Pier 1

God Bless America wooden sign from Drew Patrick Spa

Red, white and blue popcorn from Homegoods

Blue goblets from Crate and Barrel

Red flatware from Amazon

Food grade basket liners from Amazon

Ice cream dishes from Williams Sonoma

Ice cream spoons from Chefs Catalog

NOTE: ALL melamine serve ware is indoor/outdoor and is ONLY top rack dishwasher safe.

*******************

Potato Salad Recipe

2015-07-04 07.59.17- POTATO SALAD CLOSE UP

Ingredients:

5 lb bag of red potatoes- NOT PEELED – boil whole until a fork can pierce the skin but not mushy – DRAIN

2 ½ C         Hellman’s mayo – NOT LIGHT  

5 TBSP      Red Wine Vinegar

3 ¾ tsp       Kosher salt

2 ½ tsp       Sugar

¾ tsp          Pepper

2 ½ C         Celery (chopped)

1 ½ C         Red onion (diced)

1 dz            Hard boiled eggs

(Shredded carrots are optional)

* Safety check…

Check your eggs for signs of cracks. Since fresh eggs are harder to peel it is best if you purchase your eggs a week prior to boiling. You can test the freshness of the eggs by placing them into a glass of water. The freshest eggs will lie on the bottom of the water on its side. As an egg ages the air pocket inside grows so your egg will start to stand up on end. An egg that floats to the top should be discarded.

Directions:

Mix mayo and vinegar together—Add salt, pepper, and sugar and mix thoroughly.

Add celery and onions—Next add potatoes WARM  (cut into bite size pieces)

Add eggs (sliced) and fold all ingredients together.

ENJOY!

*Cooks Note: I think the potato salad tastes best after it has cooled in the refrigerator for a few hours and all the flavors have blended together. 

*******************************

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Photo Jun 21, 12 24 44 PM.jpg EXTRA