Archives for Side Dishes

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Brûléed Butternut Squash- Guaranteed to Please

by TT November 24th, 2014| Recipes, Side Dishes
bruleed butternut squashTwo weeks ago I wrote about the easiest way to cook butternut squash.  If I only needed to serve myself, I would make squash this way and top it with the smallest amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. However, I usually have at least two other diners.  One of them is our 16 year old daughter, and she does not have the same love for winter squash that I do.

I will give her credit; she will eat almost anything that I serve without complaint. We go by the "no thank you" serving rule at our house.  So, if I
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Homemade Rice Pilaf- An Indulgent Side

by TT November 17th, 2014| Recipes, Side Dishes
riceA former relative of mine used to bring this rice dish to family gatherings.  My children adored it.  When I asked for the recipe, I understood why this dish was popular- butter and salt.  For a weeknight dinner, it's a bit indulgent for my tastes.  For my children, well, they'd be glad if I made it every week. 

Cooked to a consistency more similar to risotto, it is quite a comforting dish. A little bit of bite to the rice, unctuousness from the butter, and nice flavoring from the bouillon, it usually receives praise when served.  Plus, the ingredients required
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Butternut Squash- The Extra Lazy Way

by TT November 10th, 2014| Recipes, Side Dishes
lazy butternut squashLast Friday, Think Tasty featured some cooking advice on winter squash. If you haven't read it, feel free to click here, read, and return. I'm a patient person. If you have read it, give yourself a gold star for being a dedicated reader.

Jane offered lots of good squash advice in her article.  As opposed to Jane, winter squash is one of my favorite vegetables.  During the fall and winter months, it becomes the center of my lunch menu probably every other week. Simply puréed or transformed into a soup, it provides a warm, hearty, and healthy lunch
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Korean Egg Custard- A Different Kind of Side

by TT November 3rd, 2014| Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
egg custardWhen you make shrimp pancakes as an entrée, what do you serve as a side dish? If it is Tapas Monday, you serve egg custard and cucumber salad.  The pancakes were the center of the meal, the most filling part around which I built the rest of the menu.  The cucumber salad provided something light, crisp, and tangy.  The egg custard provided a whole different set of flavors and textures.

What was most amazing about the egg custard was that it was incredibly silky yet light.  Its flavors are quite delicate, so I wouldn't suggest serving this dish
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Fresh Corn Cakes- Local Produce in a Delightful Package

by TT August 25th, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
corn fritter cakeLast Tapas Monday, I made a menu that placed a spin on southern flair.  I started with pulled pork, which I let simmer in a mini crock pot for the afternoon.  It was incredibly tender by the time our 8 o'clock dinner rolled around.  Rather than serving it on white bread, I went with the healthier option of lettuce wraps.  Of course, using lettuce as the vehicle leaves more room in the stomach for a second (or third or fourth) serving, so maybe it isn't that much healthier!

I wanted another dish that had hints of southern style.  I automatically
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Mexican Zucchini- A Zippy & Simple Recipe

by TT August 18th, 2014| Recipes, Side Dishes
Mexican zucchiniWe don't have a garden at our house, at least not a vegetable garden.  We have a small herb garden, and we have a decent amount of blackberry bushes. But that's it.  We have had gardens in the past, but over the past few years we've taken to traveling more in the summer. What we learned is that traveling (even for short three or four day trips) can be detrimental to the garden.  So, rather than worrying about hiring a caretaker for the garden, we've decided to buy our produce.

About the time that we stopped gardening, a road-side vegetable
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Yogurt & Blueberries- A Cool & Light Summer Lunch

by TT July 21st, 2014| Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes
yogurt blueberriesMany of my summer lunches tend to be produce-oriented.  As the options for fruits and vegetables increase in late July and August, I choose my meals based on a couple key questions.  One, do I want a cold or warm dish? Two, how filling do I want the dish to be?  As it is just past the midpoint of July, I have a handful of produce options.  One of these options is blueberries.

Typically, you may not think of blueberries as a key lunch component.  However, I have incorporate blueberries into many a lunch dish.  I quite often will have
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Grilled Onions with Tomales “Bay Blue” Cheese

by TT September 23rd, 2013| Recipes, Side Dishes
grilled_onionsSummer may be coming to the end, but that doesn't mean that grilling season ends along with it.  Even here in chilly-ish New Hampshire, we still are grilling dinners outdoors and probably will do so for a month or two longer.  Of course, the regular menu of hamburgers and hot dogs can become quite boring, which makes today's recipe a delightful treat.  Provided to us by Chef Ray Tang at Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, I am excited to give this recipe a try.  Served with a grilled steak, it could make for a yummy Tapas Monday
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Warm Eggplant & Goat Cheese

by TT September 16th, 2013| Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes
eggplant_goat_cheeseIt is so nice when the main dish for dinner can be planned based on a purchase at a roadside produce stand.  All summer, I have made several trips weekly to a local stand.  Even though there are two farms in town, I love to stop by this house to purchase our veggies.  I know that everything for sale there was grown locally.  The prices can't be beat; three zucchini for a dollar.  Yes, I will take three, thank you.  Plus, the "farmer" is a kind, older gentleman who seems to thoroughly enjoy his gardening and chatting with stoppers-by.

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Creamy Polenta

by TT June 24th, 2013| Recipes, Side Dishes
creamy_polentaPolenta is a popular dish in our house, for most of us.  In fact two of our teens and my husband absolutely adore this side dish.  When I make this dish as part of a dinner, I usually try to keep it healthy, using skim milk and little butter.  However, my husband often reminisces about the fabulous polenta we had at a restaurant several years ago.  Both of us are certain that what gave it such wonderful creaminess and flavor was lots of cream and butter.

For Father's Day, I decided to create a multi-course dinner that would provide my
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Greek Eggplant Wheels

by TT April 8th, 2013| Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
eggplantI spent several days with my parents last week.  On my last evening there I decided to cook dinner for the three of us.  Knowing that my mom enjoys lamb and my dad doesn't, I decided to make two types of meatballs: lamb for us and beef for my dad.  With lamb as the entrée, my mind immediately went to Greek-inspired dishes for the rest of the meal.  So, I made tzatziki in which to dip the meatballs and took a shortcut and bought pita bread.  For a vegetable side dish,  I was leaning toward eggplant.

I wanted to keep the
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Green Bean Bake

by TT December 17th, 2012| Recipes, Side Dishes
When we think about dishes special to the holiday season, there tends to be a focus on sweet items.  It seems that almost everyone has a grandmother, uncle, or other relative who makes a delicious cake or special batch of cookies every year.  However, there are other dishes that grace the dining table only at the holidays.  That was true for a member of our team, Jacob P., who fondly remembers Green Bean Bake.  Jacob had the following to say about this veggie side dish, "I like green bean casserole because I have memories of eating it at
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