Thanksgiving is right around the corner so I thought I’d share some of my favorite holiday recipes over the next couple weeks to help prepare you for the big feast. Thanksgiving should not be stressful, so I ‘ve created side dishes that are both incredibly tasty and simple to make.

Roasted Brown Sugared Carrots

serves 6

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 30 min
Clean: 5 min

Ingredients
2 pounds small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a bowl toss the carrots with olive oil. Really get in there and mix well!
3. Place the carrots on a baking sheet, making sure not to overlap.
4. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and top carrots with salt and pats of butter and brown sugar.
5. Place the carrots back in the oven for the remaining 15 minutes.
6. Remove carrots from the oven. Place on a platter and sprinkle with thyme.

 

I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and have made it for my husband and I twice already. It’s so easy as well as fast and delicious. I had never cooked fish before this but it was much easier than I thought. I only got 2 salmon steaks to cook since our daughter doesn’t like fish but you can easily double the recipe.

Ingredients
2 salmon steaks (or filets)
1 lime
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a bowl, add brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix together. Lay salmon on a cutting board. Cut lime in half and squeeze each half on salmon steaks on both sides. Take the rub and coat the salmon on each side with fingers.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the salmon steaks (if using filets, put them skin side up) and cook, undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip the salmon on the other side and cook another 4 minutes until fish is firm and flaky.

I served this along with baked sweet potatoes and fresh steamed green beans. Delicious!

I hope you enjoy!
This recipe was originally featured on Elle’s blog, This Is Mommyhood

I tend to have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. There is a lot to love: the weather is still good, and so is the summer produce. But change is in the air. It’s the time to throw one more barbecue before the weather starts to take a turn and summer fades away. (This was especially true growing up in Tipperary, Ireland!)

Autumn will bring a new set of delights, but for now let’s enjoy the last bit that summer has to offer. So, that being said, this is the perfect summer salad to make before strawberry season comes to an end. Enjoy!

Spinach, Feta and Strawberry Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients
½ cup slivered almonds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large handfuls spinach
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions
1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, toast the almonds for about 3-4 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, and set aside.
3. In a bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and oil.
4. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries with 3 tablespoons of dressing. Arrange on 4 plates. Top with feta and almonds and serve.

Hello fellow tomato lovers. This is the time of year that I start prowling for tomatoes at the farmers markets around LA. Right now, especially, the great heirloom varieties are available. I like to fill my basket with so many different types of tomato, it’s actually kind of ridiculous. Tomatoes come into season around the end of July/beginning of August, so I wanted to share some of my favorite tomato recipes with you. 

Stuart’s Hearty Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, sliced in half
8 tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 1⁄2 pts. chicken stock
1 1⁄2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1⁄2 tsp. dried crushed chili flakes
small handful basil leaves, torn
crusty bread, to serve
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (Gas Mark 6 / 200° C).

2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a large baking tray. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour until the tomatoes are tender and have browned lightly.

3. Put the tomatoes and any accumulated juices into a food processor or blender and blitz for about 30 seconds until well blended

4. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and sauté for about 30 seconds, stirring until mixture is fragrant and the garlic is golden.

5. Pour the tomatoes onto the garlic in the pan and add the chicken stock and crushed chili flakes.

6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 25 minutes until the soup thickens slightly.

7. Remove from heat, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve at once with crusty bread.

 

Stuart’s Tomato Bread Salad

Serving suggestion: Buy a rotisserie chicken at the store, cut into pieces and serve with salad.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 slices day-old crusty country bread, cut into chunks
1 cucumber, cut into 2 inch pieces
1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsps. red wine vinegar
2 heads frisee lettuce, roughly torn
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes

2. Serve at room temperature.

Photo via

With summer quickly winding down, we had an urge to do a barbecue over the weekend. Not all of the kids could make it, but we had a great time nonetheless. As always, one of my mainstay recipes is this Quick and Easy Raspberry Vinaigrette Pasta Salad. Anytime we’re invited to an outdoor gathering or potlock, I like to make this dish to bring along. It’s simple to prepare and I typically keep the ingredients on hand just in case.

Heavy on veggies and flavor, this hearty raspberry vinaigrette pasta salad also makes an ideal main dish when paired with cooked, diced chicken or even bacon. Having to serve this to a picky bunch, I go easy on the variety of veggies. When I’m preparing it to bring to a party or event, I typically add chopped tomatoes, celery and pepper. You can also substitute Italian or Greek dressings if you’re not a fan of raspberry. Enjoy!

Serves 10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Ingredients
1 16 ounce box medium pasta shells
1 16 ounce bottle raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
1 Large cumcumber (peeled and diced)
1 Small bag shredded carrots ((or shred your own – approximately four medium size))
1 Medium onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
paprika

Directions
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse under cold water, and drain.
Mix diced cumcumber, carrots and onion together in large bowl.
Combine cooled pasta and vegetables together in large bowl. Pour salad dressing over mixture, add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and mix well. Spinkle generously with paprika.
Chill for one hour before serving.

Originally posted on Crystal’s blog, Mommifried.

With summer quickly winding down, we had an urge to do a barbecue over the weekend. Not all of the kids could make it, but we had a great time nonetheless. As always, one of my mainstay recipes is this Quick and Easy Raspberry Vinaigrette Pasta Salad. Anytime we’re invited to an outdoor gathering or potlock, I like to make this dish to bring along. It’s simple to prepare and I typically keep the ingredients on hand just in case.

Heavy on veggies and flavor, this hearty raspberry vinaigrette pasta salad also makes an ideal main dish when paired with cooked, diced chicken or even bacon. Having to serve this to a picky bunch, I go easy on the variety of veggies. When I’m preparing it to bring to a party or event, I typically add chopped tomatoes, celery and pepper. You can also substitute Italian or Greek dressings if you’re not a fan of raspberry. Enjoy!

Serves 10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Ingredients
1 16 ounce box medium pasta shells
1 16 ounce bottle raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
1 Large cumcumber (peeled and diced)
1 Small bag shredded carrots ((or shred your own – approximately four medium size))
1 Medium onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
paprika

Directions
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse under cold water, and drain.
Mix diced cumcumber, carrots and onion together in large bowl.
Combine cooled pasta and vegetables together in large bowl. Pour salad dressing over mixture, add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and mix well. Spinkle generously with paprika.
Chill for one hour before serving.

Originally posted on Crystal’s blog, Mommifried.