Archive for the ‘Sides and Such’ Category

Broccoli Casserole

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Hello everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful beginning to 2013. Herb and I celebrated the New Year by taking a week long trip to Maine! We got to explore Portland and the surrounding areas, as well as go skiing and snowmobiling!

Now it’s time to go back to work! We are excited about the New Year and all the new opportunities we have.

Today I’m going to share one of our favorite side dishes. This is great for pot luck dinners, parties, or just as a side dish for your family meal. It’s very simple: with only a few short steps required before you pop it in the oven. I recently brought this to my best friend’s house for a ladies night get together, and it was quite a hit! In fact, one lovely lady told me it was the best broccoli casserole she’d ever eaten!

Without further ado…

Broccoli Casserole

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2 (10-oz) packages frozen chopped broccoli (or 4 cups fresh chopped broccoli)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 cup crumbled Ritz crackers (or other crackers!)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter

Recipe Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook and drain your broccoli. (I used my shortcut of microwaveable steam-in-the-bag broccoli.)

In a mixing bowl, combine soup, egg, mayonnaise, cheese, and onion powder.

Then stir in the chopped, cooked broccoli and mix well.

Stir in cooked, chopped broccoli

Stir all ingredients for broccoli casserole together

Add mixture to the greased casserole dish (I used a 2-qt round dish, but a smaller one would’ve worked).

Pour broccoli casserole into dish

Melt the butter in a small bowl, then combine with the cracker crumbs. Sprinkle this over top of the casserole.

Sprinkle Ritz cracker mixture over broccoli casserole

Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered), or until the crumbs are browned.

Broccoli casserole

 

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We give this recipe 4.5 out of 5 herbs! It is simple and delicious, and therefore one of our go-to recipes for get togethers!

 

Broccoli Casserole
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2 (10-oz) packages frozen chopped broccoli (or 4 cups fresh chopped broccoli)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 cup crumbled Ritz crackers (or other crackers!)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook and drain your broccoli. (I used my shortcut of microwaveable steam-in-the-bag broccoli.)
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine soup, egg, mayonnaise, cheese, and onion powder.
  4. Then stir in the chopped, cooked broccoli and mix well.
  5. Add mixture to the greased casserole dish – 1.5 quart works best
  6. Melt the butter in a small bowl, then combine with the cracker crumbs. Sprinkle this over top of the casserole.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered), or until the crumbs are browned.

 

Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Dip

Chocolate Chip Dip

Pinit
Happy New Year!¬† I can’t believe how quickly 2012 flew by.¬† Time flies when you’re having fun….or really stressed and so busy that the next thing you know, a whole year has passed!
But I’m sure nobody can relate to that ūüėČ
Last night, Mister Spice and I rang in the New Year with some friends of ours and their adorable girls, Ava and Ana.¬† We enjoyed finger foods and sparkling grape juice throughout the night.¬† And while I contributed some recipes that have already been featured on the blog (Mrs. Herb’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip, for instance) I also whipped up a delicious Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Dip.¬† It’s amazing how incredibly tasty and addictive a few simple ingredients can be!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (not pictured here because I’m forgetful like that)
  • 1 cup or so of miniature chocolate chips (I prefer Nestle’s semi-sweet)
  • Graham Cracker pieces, vanilla wafers, fruit, or anything else you can think of to serve with this dip!

Chocolate Chip Dip Ingredients

Recipe Instructions

Whip together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, then add confectioner’s sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Chocolate Chip Dip Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Dip Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Dip Ingredients

Stir in chocolate chips and transfer to serving bowl.

Chocolate Chip Dip

Chocolate Chip Dip

Then eat so much of it that you get a stomach ache.

Or don’t, and show that you have much more self-control than I do.

Chocolate Chip Dip

Pinit
My friends and I all agree:  This recipe deserves an easy 5/5 herbs!  Enjoy!

Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese

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I love sausage. And I love…er, sausage balls. This year, the trend on Pinterest seemed to be adding cream cheese to the typical sausage ball recipe. By typical recipe, I mean with three simple ingredients: sausage, Bisquick, and shredded cheese. I thought I would try to add cream cheese to my usual recipe this year for my Sunday School Christmas party.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage (mild)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups Bisquick
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

( I doubled the recipe to make extra sausage balls)

Recipe Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Plop the sausage into a mixing bowl, then gradually incorporate each ingredient.  I use my hands to mix, but if you have a mixer you could always use that.

Once ingredients are evenly mixed, roll into golf-sized balls and place on greased cookie sheets or parchment paper.

Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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The point of adding the cream cheese was to give the sausage balls more moisture and creaminess. However, Mrs. Herb and I both agree that my “usual” sausage balls (same recipe without cream cheese) is just as good, if not better. I give this recipe 4/5 herbs.

Sister’s Sweet Potato Casserole

 

Pinit
Everyone has his/her favorite Thanksgiving dish, and while my dad’s deep-fried, cajun-seasoned turkey is heavenly, I do love a good sweet potato casserole.¬† For this Thanksgiving, I switched up my usual sweet potato casserole and tried a version found in Southern Living.¬† Usually, I don’t like anything crunchy on my casserole (certainly no nuts; I HATE NUTS!), but this casserole has both marshmallows and a brown sugar-cornflake mixture.

Recipe Ingredients (for sweet potato mixture):

  • about 5 lbs of sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Recipe Ingredients (for topping)

  • about 2 cups marshmallows (NOT PICTURED)
  • 1 1/2 cups cornflakes
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (ALSO NOT PICTURED…forgive me)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter

First, stick the sweet potatoes directly on the rack in the oven at 400 and cook for about an hour to an hour and 10 minutes.¬† I don’t even prick mine; just stick ’em in there.

While the potatoes cook, do something fun like peruse Pinterest, complete a crossword puzzle, or take a nap.

Once potatoes have cooked, set aside to let them cool for about 20 minutes and reduce oven heat to 350.

By the way, these potatoes were, indeed, pricked, but only to check to ensure that they were cooked through.

Once they’ve cooled, their skin should easily peel off.

See?  Just like dees.  Now, peel all of the potatoes and put them into a large mixing bowl.

Then mash ’em.¬† Mash ’em real good.

Next, add the milk, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, and salt.

Beat the mixture on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth.¬† Spread into a greased 9×13 pan.

Next, prepare the cornflake topping by crushing the cornflakes in a small mixing bowl.  Stir in brown sugar.

Then, add the melted butter and give it a good stir.

Place the cornflake mixture in diagonal rows two inches apart, then bake for 30 minutes.

It should look a little something like this.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then add marshmallows, gently pressing into casserole.

Bake for another 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the marshmallows to make sure they just turn a lovely golden brown.

Pinit

Voila!¬† Sweet potato casserole is ready to be served.¬† Since I actually made this the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I haven’t had a chance to taste it, but if the spatula from the mixing bowl is any indication, I have a feeling I will be giving this recipe 5/5 herbs.¬† Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Homemade Peanut Butter Hummus

Homemade Peanut Butter Hummus

Pinit
I discovered a couple years ago that I really like hummus. ¬†I have always wanted to make it at home once I realized it was made with just a few simple ingredients. ¬†The original recipe called for one ingredient we didn’t have in our pantry, tahini. ¬†After searching a bit on the internet I learned that a good alternative is peanut butter.

Homemade Peanut Butter Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 19-ounce can of garbonzo beans, half the liquid reserved
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Recipe Directions

In a blender, chop the garlic.  Pour the garbonzo beans into the blender, reserving about a tablespoon for the garnish.  Place the lemon juice, peanut butter, chopped garlic and salt into the blender.  Blend until creamy and well mixed.

Homemade Peanut Butter Hummus

Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl.  Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top.  Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans.

Homemade Peanut Butter Hummus

We really enjoyed eating this Mediterranean treat!  We gave it a 4 out of 5 herbs.  Super easy to make and goes great with chips or quesadillas!

Zesty Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

 

Pinit

On Tuesday, I posted the recipe for blackened catfish.¬† For the first time that same night, I experimented with quinoa and made a zesty quinoa and black bean salad.¬† I discovered that quinoa is delightful!¬† It doesn’t require the cooking time that rice does, and it is packed with protein!

 Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of two limes
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place rinsed quinoa in medium saucepan along with water and bring to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, cover and reduce heat to low-medium.  Allow to simmer about 10-15 minutes, until fluffy.

In the meantime, give the black beans a toss in the skillet, just for a few minutes to get them warm.

After beans are warmed, prepare the dressing by pouring olive oil into a medium bowl.  Squeeze two limes into bowl as well.

**NOTE** This was too limey for Mister Spice and me.  I believe one lime is sufficient.

 

Then add cumin and salt.

Whisk ingredients together and allow to chill in refrigerator while quinoa cools as well.

Once quinoa has cooled, add beans.

Add quinoa and beans to bowl with dressing and stir well.

Pinit

 

I give this recipe 3 out of 5 herbs.  As stated earlier, two limes was too much.  Also, while I love the fluffy, nuttiness of the quinoa, I think I would like some additions to the salad like perhaps some Roma tomatoes.  It was great paired with the blackened catfish.  I will certainly make quinoa again!

Creamed Spinach

Pinit
I have never made creamed spinach before, and was honestly a little hesitant to try it for some reason. However, I really wanted some creamed spinach to go with the Parmesan Pork Chops I was making (recipe coming soon!), so I decided to try some!
The best thing about this was that the leftovers made a great dip to eat with tortilla chips!

Creamed Spinach

Adapted from Sunny Anderson

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 & 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach

Recipe Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a square casserole dish (we used an 8×8). Thaw your spinach according to package directions. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute’ for 2-3 minutes.

Next, add the heavy cream, Parmesan, and nutmeg.

Stir constantly and heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then turn heat off and add sour cream and spinach, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into your baking dish and add the french fried onions to the top.

Bake the creamed spinach for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

We give this recipe 3/5 herbs. It was pretty good, though I would like to try a few more creamed spinach recipes for comparison. However, I’d give this a 4/5 herbs as a spinach dip!

Pinit

Amazing Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Pinit

Fall is in the air! This is without a doubt my favorite time of year. Beautiful Autumn colors, cooler temperatures, scarves and sweaters, boots, and most importantly, PUMPKINS!

Herb and I love to make different pumpkin goodies throughout the fall months. We have tried everything from pumpkin muffins to pumpkin chili!

This is one of our favorite pumpkin recipes: PUMPKIN PANCAKES! They turned out absolutely amazing. The best part is that we made them on our new Cuisinart Griddler that Herb’s Aunt Melinda got for us at our wedding shower. Before the griddler, we made pancakes in my small skillet, one at a time. The griddler sped this up considerably!

Amazing Pumpkin Pancakes

Recipe adapted from Saveur.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3¬†Tablespoons sugar
  • 4¬†teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¬†teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1¬†cup canned pumpkin pie filling
  • 1¬†cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2¬†eggs

Recipe Directions:

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Whisk in the rest of the ingredients until well mixed.

Cook pancakes over medium-high heat in a skillet or on a griddle for several minutes on each side until done.

Serve with butter and maple syrup!

Pinit

We give this recipe 5 out of 5 herbs. The pancakes were simply amazing (thus the recipe title!) We will definitely be making these again! Did I mention I LOVE FALL?!

Cinnamon Baked Apple Slices

Pinit

Oh, Autumn. Time for that winning apple cinnamon combination!
This is the first time I’ve ever attempted baked apples, and I’m pretty satisfied! Herb especially liked that this recipe for baked apples includes raisins.

Cinnamon Baked Apple Slices

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2-3 apples (a tart variety is preferable. We used Granny Smith’s)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Recipe Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core, and slice your apples.

Warm the cup of water and add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the water to dissolve. Layer apple slices in a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle raisins in between.

Pour the sugared water evenly over the apples.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes. When serving, spoon some of the liquid back over the apples. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

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We give this recipe 3.5 herbs. The general sweetness is subtle and the raisins make these baked apples a little different.

 

Cinnamon Baked Apple Slices
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2-3 apples (a tart variety is preferable. We used Granny Smith’s)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core, and slice apples.
  2. Warm the cup of water and add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the water to dissolve.
  3. Layer apple slices in a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle raisins in between.
  4. Pour the sugared water evenly over the apples.
  5. Cover and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. When serving, spoon some of the liquid back over the apples. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Pinit

This recipe is definitely a crowd-pleaser!
 
It has quickly become a family favorite of ours, and whenever we share it with friends, it always gets great reviews! So when some of our friends had a cookout recently, we knew exactly what side dish to bring.  When I told everyone that I was bringing cheesy tater tot casserole, our host replied, “You had me at tater!” The best part is that this recipe is quick and easy and only has five ingredients in it!

 

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 – 32 oz bag of frozen tater tots, preferably the mini ones or the potato rounds if you can find them. We’ve found they work better than the full sized tater tots, though those are okay too!
  • 16 oz container of sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 small can (6 oz) french fried onions

Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. Cover the bottom of the baking dish evenly with the tater tots.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the sour cream, cheese, and cream of mushroom soup. Then pour over the tater tots, spreading evenly to the edges.

 

Sprinkle the french fried onions over top of the casserole. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Then dig in!

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We give this recipe 5/5 herbs. It is extremely tasty and the perfect combination of melty cheese and crispy tater tots. Great for cookouts and parties!

 

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 – 32 oz bag of frozen tater tots, preferably the mini ones or the potato rounds if you can find them. We’ve found they work better than the full sized tater tots, though those are okay too!
  • 16 oz container of sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 small can (6 oz) french fried onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Cover the bottom of the baking dish evenly with the tater tots.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the sour cream, cheese, and cream of mushroom soup.
  4. Pour mixture over the tater tots, spreading evenly to the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the french fried onions over top of the casserole.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes.
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