Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween White Chocolate Party Pretzel Rods

Whether you're throwing a Halloween party at home ... or you're needing to make goodies for a Halloween social function this year at work or school, these white chocolate-dipped pretzels are sure to please. No tricks here! This is a Halloween party treat that couldn't be simpler to prepare.

With just a few items from the grocery store, you can bring your guests that perfect combination of sweet and salty that they crave. This is a great DIY party favor that even the kiddos can help make. Serve these to your guests at home. Or, take them along to work to share with co-workers.

Of course, the kiddos in your child's classroom would go batty for these fun and festive treats, too.

NOTE: I prefer Wilton White Candy Melts and Wilton Candy Eyeballs for this recipe.

Yields 30 Pretzel Rods.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots

I was able to utilize freshly harvested carrots from our garden recently for this recipe. (Granted, they were chubby, stubby guys, but still amazing and sweet.) Within minutes of plucking them out of the ground, these orange beauties were roasting in my oven. Roasting carrots brings out the natural sweetness and depth of flavor. They make such a fantastic side dish ... one that pairs well with so many main dishes this time of year. This dish shines at holiday dinners, yet its easy and quick prep make it ideal for casual weeknight dinners, too.

The cast of supporting characters here are ingredients that I always have on hand in my kitchen. So, while the result is complex and ultra-flavorful in taste, this recipe really couldn't be much more simple and humble.

I do recommend using the best balsamic vinegar that you can afford. I adore the tang of balsamic vinegar and love how it plays with the sweetness of the honey in this recipe. As I mentioned, such a simple ingredient list ... but the end result is complex, deep and satisfying on so many levels.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Simple Oven-Roasted Salmon

My children are salmon fanatics. I don't often prepare it at home, however, because it is difficult in our area to get good-quality, fresh salmon. We usually have to drive over an hour to visit a store that sells salmon worth buying. So, when I do buy it, they thoroughly enjoy it. I prefer to oven-roast it. This recipe is so incredibly simple and comes out perfectly every single time.

There really are only a handful of simple ingredients needed to prepare this. Of course, you can embellish this recipe a bit by using any spices or herbs of your choosing. It's really the method that's worth taking note of here. I keep things simple by utilizing only butter, salt, pepper and a fresh garnish. Your dinner guests will go nuts for this. Leftovers are fabulous atop a salad the next day, too.

Serves 4.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Preserving Herbs in Frozen Olive Oil Cubes {Two Versions}

Perhaps you have some fresh herbs leftover after buying a large amount for a particular recipe. Or, perhaps you find yourself with an over-abundance of fresh herbs in your garden at summer's end. My post will show you a creative and super useful method to preserve those fresh herbs for future use.

In addition to a garden full of vegetables, we planted lots of fresh herbs earlier this past spring. I had been looking for a way to preserve my bounty of herbs without just simply drying them all as I have done in the past.

Since my family enjoys roasting whole chickens and other meats throughout the cooler months, we can now easily grab a few of these cubes as needed. The olive oil keeps things nice and moist during cooking while the herbs (and other add-ins) bring amazing flavor to each dish. I have found that tossing a couple of these cubes onto a tray a vegetables for roasting is awesome, as well.

And, we've used some in a few pasta dishes, too. (My sixteen-year old recently added a couple of the "Italian" cubes into a pot of plain, cooked spaghetti noodles and tossed it all together with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.)

Below you will find the ingredients and method that I used to make two different versions of these cubes. There really aren't exact measurements, however. The size of the wells in your ice cube tray(s)and the number of wells in each tray will determine how much of each ingredient you will use, for example. So, this is really just a guideline. Also, you can use more garlic, for example, if you love, love, love a strong garlic flavor.