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Side Dish

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

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Yesterday marked my return to the real world after a solo staycation that was beyond necessary. It was so nice to be home while my husband was at work and my son was at school. I’m not one who usually needs my “alone time” but, I actually think I am considering how much I enjoyed removing all the hats I wear for a week and just being me during the day. Of course, when everyone got home that changed, but I was much happier. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and I did not realize how far down that rabbit hole I was. So, speaking of rabbits and returning to the real world, I wanted to share the most delicious side dish, possibly ever (though I would also argue Chrissy Teigen’s green beans are right up next to these). I’ve never been one of those folks who proclaim “It’s no issue for me to eat vegetables, I love them”. They are fine, I enjoy them, but I’m not rummaging through my kitchen excitedly to see what veggies are available as a side dish. Especially in the winter months when they veggies are more hearty. Pop some brown sugar and whiskey on a vegetable, mind blown. I’ve made these a few times now. I first made them for Thanksgiving and they got gobbled (pun absolutely intended) up. It’s not a side I serve often, but when we have carrots, it’s a delightful way to prepare them. It’s a bit heavy, so probably best to save them for a special occasion, like every time you need to make carrots…I kid. But really, I was concerned with the whiskey since it is so strong, but it’s really pleasant here. I think the butter and brown sugar help to offset the heftiness of the liquor. I added some chives to the top which added great flavor to the whole dish.

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large skillet, over high heat. Add in the carrots - in two batches - cooking for 60-90 seconds each batch. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Pour whiskey into the skillet and allow to evaporate 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining butter. Once the butter has melted, sprinkle in the brown sugar. Stir together. Add carrots back to the pan and continue to cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and add in the salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the carrots are done and the glaze is thick, about 5-7 minutes longer.
  4. Pour the carrots and glaze onto a platter and serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Notes

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Healthy Rustic Panzanella

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Salad is a struggle. I like it, but not all the time. There are so many delicious salad recipes, but then you look at the ingredients and to make it taste good you’ve added so many calories you should probably just go eat the burger you really want and call it a day. But then I found panzanella. It’s unbelievably refreshing and versatile. I’ve made another version of this, a Greek panzanella, and sort of fell in love. The large pieces of toasty bread are like oversized croutons and the vegetable/herb combination is so refreshing. In this particular recipe I stuck to the olive oil and left it at that, but you can add a drizzle of vinegar and chop of some fresh herbs and toss them in. It’s certainly a taste of summer, something that I was craving here in chilly New England. Another benefit is that you can use up some of those veggies that sometimes go to waste. Also, I highly recommend freshly baked bread that’s a day old. It just takes those toasty croutons to the next level. Especially when you need to test a few pieces to be sure they are toasted just right!

 

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion and set aside.
  2. In a large pan or cast iron skillet, add the bread cubes and spray liberally with oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Toast the bread in the skillet until the outside of the bread is toasty and getting golden brown. You can also grill the bread which will give it a delicious rustic flavor. To do this, slice the bread rather than cube it, spray with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on top on a heated grill. Watch closely, the slices can go from perfect to burnt in seconds! Once cooled slightly cut it into cubes.
  3. Once the bread is toasted, add it to the bowl with the veggies. Add the cheese and torn basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Maybe a tbsp or so. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Let the salad sit for about 30 minutes...if you can wait that long! This will allow the flavors to combine.

Notes

This recipe is only slightly adapted from Skinnytaste.