Tag Archives: Garlic

Garlic Lemon Grilled Asparagus with Feta Cheese

Garlic Lemon Grilled Asparagus with Feta Cheese

I just redecorated my balcony with all new furniture and decor, and now all I want to do is grill everything and hang out on the balcony!

And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for a week straight!

Read the full post here!

Italian Baked Potato Soup

Italian Baked Potato SoupFor my Housewarming party last weekend  I went with a new menu planning approach.  I went to the grocery store with no list, no ideas and simply let the ingredients do the planning for me.

I arrived home with two giant bags of potatoes. Potatoes are an excellent way to feed a lot of people on a budget. One three-pound bag of potatoes was $.99.  You just don’t see those kind of prices anymore!

Then it was time to decide what I was going to do with those potatoes! I knew I wanted to make a couple of crockpot recipes for the party as they’re easy to put on in the morning and ready when guests arrive. That was when I got the idea for baked potato soup.  Of course it had to be Italian style as that was the theme of the party!

Italian Baked Potato Soup

The result was a creamy, rich, flavorful soup that would be perfect for upcoming fall evenings and cold winter weekends!

Italian Baked Potato Soup IngredientsIngredients

  • 3 lbs potatoes
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 10 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Start by dicing the potatoes into cubes.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipeNext, add the potatoes, onions and garlic into the crock pot.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Then pour in the chicken stock.  There should be just enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Next add in the thyme and rosemary.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

Ladle out 2 cups of the chicken stock.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipePour in the milk, sour cream and butter and blend with an immersion blender or hand mixer.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipeStir in the mozzarella, parmesan and pancetta.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipeCook on low for an additional 2 hours.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

This is one of those recipes that makes the whole house smell like rosemary thyme amazingness!

Italian Baked Potato SoupLets zoom in…

Italian Baked Potato Soup

… then dig in!

Italian Baked Potato Soup

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the pancetta and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock to make this recipe vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad

This roasted butternut squash and mozzarella salad is drizzled in a balsamic vinegar reduction for a sweet, delicious, gluten free and vegetarian salad made in under 45 minutes!

Balsamic Vinegar Mozzarella Squash Salad

Today’s lunch was inspired by a lovely salad I had at the fabulous La Piazza Ristorante Italiano at The Grove.

Butternut Squash Mozzarella Salad

The salad is sweet, salty and Italian, so pretty much a combination of all of my favorite things!

Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 12 oz butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese balls

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, then prepare the butternut squash.

I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance to Trader Joes (which is pretty apparent in all of my ingredient shots!) so I purchased pre-cut ready-to-go butternut squash cubes.  If you aren’t so fortunate (holler to my Oklahoma peeps!) just buy a couple of medium size squash and cube them yourself. Place them on a baking sheet (I like to line with foil bc I HATE to do dishes and it prevents them from sticking to the baking sheet so easier clean up!)

Drizzle the olive oil over the top.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Next, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Then on to my favorite part… BROWN SUGAR!  I feel that everything in life would be better if it had a little brown sugar involved!

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butternut Squash

Now the squash is ready to go in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Toss them about half way through.

While the squash is roasting prepare the balsamic reduction for drizzling over all of this yummy salad! Heat a skillet over medium-high heat then add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to the skillet, followed by 2 crushed garlic cloves. Bring it to a boil then lower the temperature and allow it to reduce by half.

Next, toast the walnuts.

Once again, I bought already chopped walnut pieces from Trader Joes, but if you have whole walnuts just give them a nice chop and you’re ready to go!

Throw these on some foil on a baking sheet and in to the oven for 3-4 minutes, these little babies toast up quick in the 400 degree oven!

Once the squash and walnuts are out of the oven and the balsamic is reduced it’s time to put it all together. Use tongs to move the squash on to a plate in a nice little pile, then top each pile of squash with 4-5 mozzarella balls, next sprinkle a few toasted walnuts on top, then it’s time for that yummy, syrup-y, balsamic reduction goodness to get drizzled all on top!  Your plate should end up looking something like this ↓

But are those two plates I see?!??!

Yes those are two plates of deliciousness you see!  So if you are thinking back to yesterdays blog and thought “didn’t she say she experimented with cooking at lunch because she was only cooking for herself” why yes, yes I did say that so now I guess I’m a liar, but all in good reason!!

Time to introduce my best friend Erin, she’s the kind of girl who will drink a case of bud light with you and enjoy an enormous burrito all while wearing 5-inch heels and approximately 68 pieces of jewelry, needless to say she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  Well I had the fortune of feeding her lunch today after she arrived home early from a work trip and had the day off! Watch as she intently stares at her food, raising her fork in anticipation of that first magical bite:

And here she goes… time to dig in!

Mmm delicious!  Definitely recommend this dish for a great appetizer or lunch salad, or I was thinking I might skewer a ball of mozzarella between two pieces of the roasted butternut squash and drizzle with the balsamic reduction for cocktail parties! Who wants to come to my next cocktail party now, huh? Yeah I know you do 🙂

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 oz butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese balls

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, then prepare the butternut squash.
  2. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet then drizzle the olive oil over the top.
  3. Next, sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  4. Place the squash in the oven for 25-30 minutes, toss half way through cooking.
  5. While the squash is roasting prepare the balsamic reduction.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat then add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to the skillet, followed by 2 crushed garlic cloves.
  7. Bring to a boil then lower the temperature and allow it to reduce by half.
  8. Next, toast the walnuts by placing them on a baking sheet and in to the oven for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Use tongs to move the squash on to a plate, then top the squash with 4-5 mozzarella balls, next sprinkle a few toasted walnuts on top, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
http://whitneybond.com/2011/08/25/whats-for-lunch-butternut-squash-and-mozzarella-salad/