Tag Archives: olive oil

Roasted Vegetables

19 Feb


February 19th, 2012 one year ago today was the day my life changed. I explain the events that took place in detail in my “Chapter Writings” listed under my categories. If you would like to read about what took place I suggest you start with Chpt 1 of course, then proceed through 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then my results.

I cannot believe it has been 1 whole year since all this has happened! Goodness, when you’re in such turmoil in your life you think it is never going to end! But, here I am today with a much different perspective on life, family, working out, doctors, and yes, even God. I’ve always believed in Gods’ peace, love and healing but, to experience His faithfulness in all these things, sure does puts my perspective of God on a whole different level, and I couldn’t be more thankful!

So, it’s been a year. For those of you that know my story, I will give you an update on my back and blood clots.

My back isn’t even an issue for me anymore! I have not experience any pain, numbness or sciatic nerve pain since surgery. Sometimes, there will be a little achy-ness in my lower back, but nothing to cause me any concern. I’m able to teach spin classes and run again.

Blood Clots, I haven’t been on blood thinners since late November. This issue has cause some mild mental damage for me! Grrrrrr! My father in law asked me the other day if I eat non-stop salads now? Nope! I sure don’t! I’m not anywhere near how picky or strict about my eating like when I was on Coumadin, but I sure don’t eat lots of greens yet. I’m still hesitant on the thought of eating lettuces’ and spinach salads with vitamin K. I’ll get over it, eventually!

I have no problem eating all other veggies besides, spinach! Especially roasted vegetables! I love vegetables roasted, all kinds of veggies, like; beets, brussels sprouts, winter squash, fennel and root vegetables. I always try to convince people that if they roast a veggie that they thought they didn’t like, they would be pleasantly surprised by the different dimensions of flavor that hated veggie takes. Seriously, try roasting brussel sprouts, outstanding!

Actually when I was finally off of my blood thinners and I had the freedom to eat “green” again, I chose roasted brussel sprouts! I remember telling this to my pastor and he was floored! His faced grimaced saying to me, “really? brussels sprouts!?” Yup, and they were delish!

This is my first bite after Coumadin!

Even through blood thinners, roasted veggies are something I never stopped enjoying. Ironically there is probably the same amount of vitamin K in the olive oil, as if I was eating a salad! Oh well, I’m over that now!

Cut your veggies. I used eggplant in this batch. Roasted eggplant is so good! Beckyf, stop curling up your nose!

Don’t cut your veggies too thin or small; they will get too soft and mushy. Drizzle with olive oil and season; toss together and make sure every cut is coated.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Serve as a side dish, filling in wraps, on top of a salad or if you’re like me, eat as your main meal!


Roasted Vegetables

2 medium zucchini’s chopped
2 medium summer squash chopped
1 small eggplant chopped
1 large pepper preferably red, yellow or orange (green can taste bitter when roasted)
1 medium sweet onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Clean all vegetables. Cut into medium sized chunks, place on a jelly roll pan. Coat with olive oil, crushed garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss all veggies together until everything is coated with the oil.

Roast for 15-20 minutes. Tossing once between baking time. Vegetables are done when their edges are looking slightly charred and toasted. Don’t over roast, or your veggies will get mushy. (I have done this many times, don’t throw out, the veggies are still yummy!)

Sprinkle with a grated parmesan cheese and chow down!

Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks.


Hasselback Potatoes

15 Feb

A couple weeks ago I had a cooking demo for a Ladies Day Event and the one item that got the most attention was….The Potato. The flipping Poe-Tah-Toe!

Ok, these aren’t your plain Jane potato. This is a HASSELBACK! I just shouted that at you. For some reason every time I say hasselback to myself I’m shouting it in my head!

HASSELBACK! HASSELBACK! Gosh, I have a headache.

I love way too much sour cream on my baked potato, along with it drenched in A1 sauce. Yes, I just said A1 sauce. I picked that one up from Nellie. It’s good, you should try it. Really, try it. (Hey Beckyf, I’m using my bossy voice)

Ok, I’m going to reveal a disgusting food combo; I eat my cottage cheese with BBQ sauce on it! I know, it’s strange! But, I can’t “quit” this combo. I’ve even got my older son eating his cottage cheese this way now! And I think my sister Becky eats it this way too!

Try it! Tell me some of your “closet food” combos! I won’t judge you, I will probably say, “eww” like you just did to me!

Alright, onto this delicious potato. I really do like making this starchy side-dish. It’s a different way to prepare the potato then always whipping them up into mashed, scalloped, or just a plain baked potato.

Hey, now don’t get me wrong, I love the potato prepared in all these ways listed, I’m just saying this is a fun, interesting, delicious and different method that impresses company and family.

The only thing you need to know is the technique. And that technique is learning how NOT to cut all the way through the potato. Your goal is to create a bunch of fanned slices that will bake into crispy individual slices that are fun to pull-apart, like a buttery chip to dip in sour cream, ketchup or even A1 sauce. 🙂

Grab a cutting board and start.

After you have the slices completed to the end of the potato, you can run it under water flexing the slices to remove some of the starch that can prevent the slices to fan open.


Bake for 45-50 minutes basting every 10-15 minutes throughout.

Once the potato skin is nice and crispy, and the center is soft & buttery they’re done! Serve with sour cream or French onion dip and eat like chips! Yum-o!

Hasselback Potatoes

4-6 medium potatoes (I used Idaho )
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sour cream to garnish

Clean potatoes. Place a potato between two wooden spoon handles. Cut slits almost all the way in, the wooden spoons will help prevent the cut from going all the way through. Rinse in cold water. Dry each potato before applying the olive oil and seasonings.

Place the potatoes in a 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flex the cuts to get the seasonings and oil in between. Bake for 5-8 minutes then start basting with the garlic butter. (Add other herbs, if you prefer)

Bake at 425°F for 45-50 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the melted butter. MAKE SURE YOU GET BETWEEN EACH CUT!

Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

*Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks

Becky’s Greek Couscous Salad

9 Oct


I have a confession. I was catering a bridal shower and this customer wanted a Mediterranean style pasta salad made with orzo. Well, I took a risk and made this Couscous Greek salad instead. I didn’t even discuss this change up with the customer first. I knew that it would be a delicious switch. I was being lazy at first, I just came from the store and forgot to get the ingredients I needed for the Mediterranean salad. But, I had everything I needed for the Greek Couscous salad and I had just the person home to make it, my sista’ Becky, she was over to my house so I put her to work!

The bridal shower was a great success and the salad was never even mentioned that it was the wrong one. I’ll tell you why….it’s cuz it wasn’t the wrong one it was perfect. I didn’t say anything until I heard some chatter from the hostess saying that she loved that salad. Slam Dunk! She never even noticed it wasn’t what she ordered. And later that night she came up to me and said that pasta salad was delicious and that was a great choice.

I have learned being a caterer that people love what ever is made for them. And that the majority of people will eat whatever is put in front of them. Not a lot of people eat good quality food. So, when they do, it usually is a marvelous awakening to their palate. Not a lot people these days eat home cooking. Or, it could be just the fact that someone else made it. Anything is good if you didn’t have to make it yourself!

I got this recipe from Becky (my youngest sister) awhile ago but never made it. Shame on me! When Becky came home this summer from Okinawa she made it. I love having people in my kitchen that know how to cook, it is so relaxing. Now that I have tried this recipe, I use it for catering jobs frequently. And, boy when I do people love it. It is pretty too.

Couscous is a coarsely ground pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat. There are so many recipes you can make from couscous. It can be savory, sweet, side dish or even as a main dish. Whatever “add in’s” you mix in the flavors are absorbed to turn your side dish into something fabulous!

This is all my sisters and I. They all enjoy to cook to a certain extent. Jaime is my oldest sister and is so blessed with the talent of art. She even has dabbled in the world of edible art. She uses different colored chocolates and will paint with them and make cake toppers or for cupcakes. Really cool! My sister Staci is 3rd in the line up and has a soft spot for old fashion type of foods like, grama P’s pasta salad, glorified rice, fluff, and Boston baked beans (the candy peanuts that come in a brick printed box) she also loves chicken patties 😉 Staci is a good cook too. Then the baby….Becky. She loves to cook and is passionate about desserts. She loves her cup of heavy cream to join her splash of coffee in the morning. She has got down the art of making a great breakfast every morning when her husband is home, no cereal in the morning at her place!

20121008-140401.jpgYes Kent… I took a picture of a picture. I’m a dork.

20121009-090945.jpgMake sure you use plain couscous. This gives you control of the flavor and seasonings. I peel the cucumber with my zester, this gives the cuke a fancy look. Also, if you didn’t splurge on buying the English cucumber (the seedless kind) then I recommend scraping out the seeds with a teaspoon. Well worth the extra step, this will prevent a soggy salad. You want the crunch not all the water!


20121009-092227.jpgPrep the remaining veggies. Try to keep everything uniform in size. Except the red onion, I finely chop. That’s my preference, I don’t care for big chunks of raw onion. But I do love the added flavor

20121009-092952.jpgWhile I was prepping the veggies I had my broth with the dry herbs heating to a boil for the couscous. I use low sodium chicken broth 90% of the time for my cooking. This gives me control of the saltiness. I also will never use any type of broth with MSG in it. Not good for you! Once your couscous has steamed in the pan (with the heat off) for 5 minutes fluff with a fork. Don’t let it sit there longer then that because it is harder to fluff. It can become a glumpy (not sure that’s a real word) solid


20121009-095943.jpgDressing…..Yummy! You could use this dressing with a regular green lettuce salad and it would be delightful. The recipe calls for only 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, but….Becky made it using the whole lemon! The whole lemon! I knew something was wrong when I heard her say “oh shoot!” We debated on trying to remove some of the zest but by doing that we were also removing the crushed garlic. We both decided to leave it alone and see how it turned out. It was one of those GREAT mistakes! So, now whenever I make this salad I now use the whole lemon. A regular size lemon, not a grapefruit sized lemon! I find by adding lemon to any dish it always brightens the flavor without taking over. Also, if you add lemon instead of salt it gives you the same effect. And saves you on the sodium intake


20121009-100049.jpgPour over the warm couscous, mix in the feta and cut veggies


20121009-100444.jpgPlate up and enjoy! Max just came in from outside with this flower behind his back and gave it to me with an “I love you, mom” He couldn’t of gave it to me at a more perfect time, in more ways then one.

Becky’s Greek Couscous Salad

1 can (14.5 ounce) Chicken Broth enough to make up 2 cups
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1 box of dry Couscous about 11/2 cups (use plain)
1 med Chopped cucumber peel if that’s your preference
1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup of sliced in half kalamata olives
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional)


1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (I use more)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves pressed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Bring broth and herbs to a boil. Add couscous, shut off heat and cover. Set aside for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork. Let couscous cool. Add all the chopped veggies, feta and parsley. Gently toss together. Make vinaigrette.
Add all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Pour over couscous and veggies. Eating this right away is delicious, but if you can wait at least a couple hours and let marinated you will enjoy even more! Garish with a sprig of parsley and wedges of lemon to squeeze on top if desired.

Roasted Green Beans

11 Sep

Thank you Lord for giving my mother-in-law the gift of using your rich soil to grow such a beautiful harvest that she is so willing to share.

Isn’t that beautiful! Now let’s get to sniping those beans! I think for something different I will roast them instead of boiling. Even the word “roast” sounds better then boil!

Rudy likes to “break” instead of snip. He likes to say, “good mommy?” after each break.

I put in some thin slices of red pepper for a touch of color. (my mom suggested) 🙂

Into the oven.

Yummy! Sprinkle with a little extra sea salt if needed or sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds.

Nothing beats eating outside, soaking up what’s left of the summer with family.

Roasted Green Beans

1lb Trimmed green beans
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
A fresh squeeze of lemon (this brings out a nice brightness of flavor)
Thin slices of red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Toss and pour all ingredients onto a jelly roll pan. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!