Tag Archives: recipes

3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

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3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

Everyone loves indulging in delicious meals that have been prepared with passion. But not everybody loves cooking these meals. According to a study, nearly 90% of people hate cooking. While eating out might be a solution for most people, it’s not the healthiest option and can increase your expenses. Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to use that space in your home, explore your culinary skills and creativity, and eat healthier meals. Sometimes, you cannot avoid cooking, but if you want to turn it around from a boring and time-consuming chore to a fun activity, here are some ways to do so:

Play some music while cooking:

Playing some of your favorite songs and playlists is a great way to liven up your ambience and make your kitchen more exciting. Cooking can be stressful sometimes, especially after spending a long day at work or school. However, creating a fun cooking environment can make the experience a breeze and boost your mood. You can create a fun cooking playlist with all of your favorite songs. It’s even more enjoyable if you have a portable speaker that you can place in a safe area of your kitchen. You can easily turn your time in the kitchen into a party.

Try new recipes:

Even if you enjoy cooking, it can get very boring, especially when your menu consists of the same recipes. Although you might master making those meals, you will likely lose interest in preparing and eating them. So, why not make your cooking more adventurous by including new recipes? Trying out new recipes is a great way to break your routine and challenge yourself. But don’t be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes. It could take some time before you master any new recipe. You can also switch things up in your regular menu by switching out some ingredients and giving it a new taste. You can check out new recipes by checking out blogs, watching cooking shows, buying a new recipe book, or following a recipe page on social media.

Use quality kitchenware:

Another way to elevate your cooking experience is by using quality kitchen products. When you cook with the right utensils, it saves you a lot of time in the kitchen, which can be especially useful if you have a busy schedule. Using quality kitchen products can also improve the taste of your meals. Plus, you could measure your ingredients better to improve your food’s consistency and texture. It can help you create some of the most beautiful food presentations if you are concerned with appearance. You must also ensure that any leftovers are properly stored, using the correct storage containers to maintain their freshness. Brands like OXO have amazing containers and other utensils that make cooking and storing food a snap.

Cooking might not be your favorite household task, but it is vital, especially if you want to better manage your finances and health. These tips should help you enjoy the entire process of cooking and make the experience a fun one!

Featured Image By: Pexels

First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

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First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Hello!! I love to cook and try out new recipes and during my last curbside order, Johnny requested fettuccine Alfredo for dinner. I have never made it before but I figured that it couldn’t be that hard! As per ushe, I consulted Pinterest for a recipe and settled on one by Self Proclaimed Foodie. Although I wasn’t blown away with the end result, it was still pretty good. Check it out:

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^^^ Obsessed with my tomato butter! YUM!

The Alfredo sauce recipe by Self Proclaimed Foodie only had four ingredients to it – butter, garlic, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. I went with this recipe for its simplicity but I think it was a little too simple for my liking. Even after adding parsley, salt, pepper, and way more garlic than necessary, it tasted really bland overall. I definitely plan on making Alfredo sauce again but I think that I will find another recipe for it.

During my next attempt at Alfredo sauce, I will also be steering clear of the Kraft Parmesan cheese! I didn’t even think about buying the thinly shredded kind, which probably would have made a big difference. The Kraft cheese didn’t fully melt down and that gave the sauce a slightly gritty texture. It didn’t make as much of a difference once it was poured over pasta but taste testing from the pot left a lot to be desired!

On the bright side, Johnny ended up really enjoying his requested dinner so that made me happy. I just hate when something I make doesn’t turn out exactly how I want it so here’s to a more flavorful and creamy sauce next time around!

What recipe do you recommend for homemade Alfredo sauce? Have you tried cooking anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza (SO Good!)

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Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza (SO Good!)

Hello! This past weekend was mine and Johnny’s housewarming/birthaversary party and we had the best time! We worked hard for almost an entire month to get our place into tip top shape for guests and it was so nice to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor… And also, actual fruit. The evening before the party, Johnny was on a cleaning spree and, myself, a cooking and baking spree.

Rather than ordering pizzas or pre-made dishes, I decided that I wanted to be the one making the food for the party. I spent about five hours in total making cold veggie pizza, pasta salad, spinach artichoke dip, and sugar cookie fruit pizzas. I had made everything but the cookies before and was pleased, as always, with how the dishes turned out. The cookies are definitely what I was most proud of, though:

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I found this recipe from Cooking Classy on Pinterest.

When it comes to baking, I like to leave that to my mom and sister because they are both excellent at it. I much prefer to cook but you can’t have a party without some sweet treats! Prior to the big event, I spent a lot of time scouring Pinterest for party dishes and thought that the sugar cookie fruit pizzas would be perfect for a warm day. Not to mention that any leftover fruit could be used as garnishes for drinks… I am nothing if not economical!

For my take on Cooking Classy’s delicious recipe, I used the Pillsbury pre-made sugar cookie dough to save time. I also have never baked sugar cookies before and didn’t want my first time being an epic fail. That is the only thing I strayed from, however, and used the recipe for frosting that was provided and the recommendations for fruit toppings. And, I hate to toot my own horn BUT it turned out amazing and was, easily, the biggest success from my spread.

I am really not a huge dessert girl and am all for savory treats, instead. I don’t like things that are overly sweet and that wasn’t the case with these cookies at all. The cream cheese frosting used salted butter in it to balance out the powdered sugar. And, as my mom always taught me, I added a lot more vanilla extract!

This not too sweet base was ideal for the variety of fruits that Cooking Classy used as a topping. I went with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, pineapple, and kiwi and the only thing I left out was grapes. This medley of fruit provided for a sweet/tart sensation thanks to the zippy flavor of pineapples and berries paired with the softer strawberries and peaches. SO. Good.

I would happily make this recipe by Cooking Classy again and her page is full of yummy recipes so do be sure to check it out. I can’t recommend these cookies enough for your next party or event and they are sure to be as big of a hit as they were at mine!

What is your favorite dessert? What is your favorite food to make for a party? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! When I go grocery shopping, I try to get enough fresh ingredients so that I can cook dinner several times per week. Once the fresh food is gone, Johnny and I will turn to our frozen options until it is time for another curbside pickup. One of our favorite meals that I cook has got to be jalapeno popper quesadillas (Peep the recipe here!).

My mom used to make these back in the day and I always have to buy the fixings to whip them up for dinner:

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*Note: I substitute the regular tortilla chips in the quesadillas for Nacho Cheese Doritos, instead.

The popper quesadillas are a bit of a tedious meal to make between cutting and broiling the jalapenos, assembling the tortillas, and frying them. Especially because I make several extra ones because Johnny loves to take them for lunch at work. However, it is so worth it once the finished product is complete. They are cheesy with the perfect amount of crunch thanks to the chips. Broiling the jalapenos and the cream cheese also takes away a lot of the spiciness, which allows for a fairly mild level of heat.

As a side dish for the quesadillas, I made some nacho bites out of scooped shell tortilla chips. These consisted of a dollop of queso, salsa, and shredded cheese and then I broiled them for about two minutes. The nacho bites were a little something that I came up with and were just as tasty as I imagined them to be. They are the perfect appetizer for a Mexican meal or could be great for snacking on during your favorite show. I will definitely be making them again!

Although I have been branching out with new dishes, you can’t go wrong with tried and true favorites. The jalapeno popper quesadillas are a wonderful dish to spice up your dinner time!

What is your favorite thing to cook? What are some of your favorite meals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! Ever since discovering the joys of Pinterest super late in the game, I have spent many an enjoyable evening cooking up new recipes for myself and Johnny. It has been great fun because I love to cook and I was so bored with all of the dinners that I have been making time and time again. This past Friday, I cooked a feast for dinner and while it was a lot of food, it also meant leftovers for days and that’s always good! Check it out:

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The Menu:

My sweet Johnny spent most of the week being bummed out that he had to go to work on Saturday. I planned on cooking a big dinner on Friday anyways but when I got a surprise day off, I decided to go even bigger to help cheer him up. Johnny’s love language is definitely sharing his favorite music for me and since I have not one ounce of musical talent, cooking our favorite meals is my love language for him.

I started with homemade mac n’ cheese with the tried and true recipe that my mom has been making since I was little. It was and is still one of my favorite dishes and my niece is especially partial to it too. However, I still think it turns out better when my mom makes it! Although it’s not quite up to JANE level standards when I make it, it is still really yummy and I like to make mac n’ cheese grilled cheeses with the leftovers.

Then, it was on to the jalapeño popper rolls, which were delicious! This recipe was another one that required pizza dough to make but I figured Pillsbury croissants would work too. At least, I hoped so because the last time I substituted croissants for pizza dough for a recipe, it didn’t turn out the best. This time around, Pillsbury did me right and the rolls were a highlight of the meal and something I would happily make again.

I didn’t have pickled jalapenos as the recipe called for so I cut mine up and broiled them in the oven for about five minutes. The end result tasted exactly like the jalapeño popper quesadillas that are mine and Johnny’s favorite. In fact, it was almost an identical recipe minus the crushed up tortilla chips to give the quesadillas some extra crunch. 

Originally, I just planned on cooking the mac n’ cheese and the rolls but I figured I might as well try and clear some food from my pantry, fridge, and freezer since I had extra time on my hands. For example, I love the idea of baby carrots. However, whenever I buy a bag, they always just end up sitting in my crisper drawer.

I figured it was now or never to use the carrots so I just threw them in a pot of water and cooked them up. It took about thirty minutes for the baby carrots to be completely tender. Then, I drained the water and put them back in the pot with butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper and let that simmer for five minutes. This is something that I made when I first moved into my apartment and it was just as tasty as I remembered it being. They are also still really good leftover!

Similarly to baby carrots, I always find myself buying onions and garlic during grocery shopping even though I rarely use them! I guess it’s just a habit because those were ingredients that were never not available at my parent’s home. I had a box of perogies that have been sitting in my freezer for a while so I knew just what to do: Saute the veggies and the perogies along with honey mustard. 😀

This was not a complex meal to make at all and, even though I might have went a bit overboard, we ate like royalty on Friday night… and also every night that we had the leftovers lol! I enjoyed my cooking session so much and it was the best to see how surprised Johnny was when he got home from work. ❤

What is your favorite meal to cook? What is your love language? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! Ever since discovering the joys of Pinterest, I have become a woman obsessed and have spent a considerable amount of time checking out vegetarian recipes. During my last shopping trip, I bought the ingredients to make baked ziti and spinach and ricotta Stromboli and was daydreaming about it until I finally made it this past week. 

Once I arrived home from work, I spent about an hour cooking with the recipes I found from DeLallo for the ziti and Kitchen Cat for the Stromboli. Johnny and I agreed that they both turned out excellent and I will definitely be making this meal again in the future:

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^^^ And, yes, I am so aware that I need a bigger casserole dish but you work with what you’ve got lol!

Both of these recipes were incredibly easy to make but next time I make the Stromboli, I will be following the recipe to the T and making calzones, instead. My lazy ass decided that the Pillsbury croissants would be a simple fix as opposed to pizza dough and I was dead wrong. While in the oven, the croissants pulled away from each other leaving the middle bare of breading. It still tasted great but it looked less than presentable and was a pain in the butt to cut into pieces.

I also will be the first to admit that I should have left the ziti in the oven for longer than a half hour because it wasn’t piping hot. But, Johnny and I were starving and it was nothing that a little blast in the microwave couldn’t fix. We were both already hungry before the food went into the oven but when the aromas started wafting around the apartment we were ravenous!

Although there were little blips in this dinner in terms of heat and presentation, they are both still recipes worth trying out. Peep DeLallo and Kitchen Cat for the full posts! 😀

What is your favorite thing to cook? What do you like to look at on Pinterest? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Delicious Baking Recipes For The Holiday Season

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3 Delicious Baking Recipes For The Holiday Season

Tis the season of going home for the holidays, staying close to those you hold dearest, and decorating everything with a sprinkle of joy. Most importantly, tis the season to experiment in the kitchen. Yes, most people have enough extra hours at work, renovating with a Renewal by Andersen Windows, or being a full time parent. But, you’ve seen the films of families getting together and baking a splendid dessert. There’s no reason for you to miss out!

This article will teach you baking is for everyone and give you the chance to impress your loved ones. It’s time to get creative, throw on an apron, and decide what type of dessert calls out to you:

Gingerbread Cookies:

Gingerbread cookies are a holiday tradition and for a good reason. They are a taste of holiday possibility best accompanied by hot cocoa with marshmallows. Baking gingerbread cookies is a fantastic activity for young children to participate in and feel included in the festivity preparations.

Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Molasses
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter

Prepare: For this recipe, you will have to whisk the following ingredients together in a bowl: baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, ginger, and flour. Next, you will beat the dough and add the butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Finally, add the previous flour mixture to the dough and beat until combined.

Then, you must chill the dough, first dividing it into two parts and rolling them into a ball. Next, flatten the ball and wrap it in plastic wrap inside the fridge for close to an hour. Once chilled, unwrap the dough, place it on a floured surface, and use a cookie cutter of your preference.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to ten minutes. Finally, take your cookies out of the oven and let them sit for five minutes. Eat them with a glass of milk, coffee, hot chocolate, or start decorating to enjoy at a later time.

^^^ Image By: Jill Wellington on Pixabay

Linzer Cookies:

Nothing like some good Linzer cookies to dip into milk

Ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Almond flour
  • White sugar
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raspberry Jam

Prepare: Like most baking recipes in this article, you’ll prepare the dough. Have the butter, white sugar, and cinnamon ready to beat in a bowl. Carefully add the yolk and vanilla to combine them. Whisk the salt, flour, and almond butter together in another bowl. Combine both of the mixtures.

Just like the gingerbread cookie recipe, repeat the process of dividing and refrigerating the dough. Take out the dough from the fridge and allow it to soften for five minutes. Roll one disk on a floured surface and use the desired cutter to give shape to the cookies.

Bake the cookies for fifteen minutes and then let them cool for a few minutes. Powder your cookies with powdered sugar and add jam to their center. Cut a hole on top of other cookies and place those on the first ones.

Picture By: Devanath on Pixabay

Cinnamon Rolls:

The smell of cinnamon rolls is truly enchanting. Ask anyone within reach of a bakery and they’ll tell you how cinnamon rolls bewitch the heart. 

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Instant yeast
  • Two percent or Whole milk
  • Salted butter
  • 1 Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla

Prepare: You’ll have the perfect cinnamon rolls to dig into in six easy steps. First, you will add salted butter, yeast, milk, egg, salt, brown sugar, and water in a bowl. When you’re done with the mixture, heat water, butter, and milk together to add it to the butter mixture.

Time to knead the dough! Don’t be afraid to make a mess. With your hands, knead the dough. Let it rest for a couple of minutes and prepare the ingredients for your filling: sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Get your dough, roll it out, spread some butter, add cinnamon, and sprinkle some sugar. Roll the dough and cut it into even pieces. Grease a round pan and place your rolls inside. Allow the rolls to rise for sixty minutes.

Finally, bake the cinnamon rolls until they look golden brown. The only problem left is resisting the temptation to eat them all in one sitting!

Picture By: Monika on Pixabay

Call a friend, bake with family members, or spend this time with whoever makes your day. You will have amazing memories and treats to show for it!

Featured Image By: Jill Wellington on Pixabay

Kicking Off A Keto Lifestyle   

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Kicking Off A Keto Lifestyle   

If you’re looking to start a keto diet, then you had better be prepared to commit to it. It can take some time for the effects to start showing but, once they do, you will be surprised at how much you might lose. However, before you jump into it head first, it’s best to plan your approach and make sure that you’re not inadvertently setting yourself up for a harder journey than you should. Here are some tips on how to start:

What is a keto diet?

Keto diets are all about keeping your food intake low in carbs, high in fat, and with good protein content to better control your blood sugar levels. This is to encourage the body to switch from burning glucose to burning fat as fuel. When your body starts to rely on burning fat for fuel primarily, you can reach weight loss goals more easily.

Get tracking:

One of the better things about keto diets is that you don’t need to necessarily track calories. You can if you want, but what you want, instead, is to focus on your macros. These are the nutrients themselves that are in the food you eat, with carbs, protein, sugar, and fat being those that are tracked primarily. There are keto macro trackers that can help you track those macros and see what foods might push you over the balance you’re aiming to maintain.

Find keto recipes:

As mentioned, a keto diet will involve you eating fewer carbs, eating more fats, and maintaining a moderate amount of proteins. It’s not like a carnivore diet, in that vegetables and certain grain based foods are still allowed. However, you want to find low carb varieties of foods, like this recipe for keto pancakes available here. There are plenty of keto recipe sites on the net. You should do some scouring, find enough to get you through a week’s worth of meals, and experiment to see what you like.

Learn to love keto snacks:

When it comes to snacks, we tend to reach for the high sugar or high carb things first and foremost. Clearly, this isn’t possible on a keto diet. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut out snacking entirely. While it’s always smart to keep it to a managed level, being unable to indulge cravings at all makes it a lot easier to quit out on a diet early, so you can look at these low-carb snacks featured here for some ideas of what you can have instead.

Keep up with water:

When you’re in a state of ketosis, burning through fat for fuel, you will find that you excrete fluids a lot more. You will sweat more during exercise and are also more likely to go to the bathroom more often. As such, you can easily find yourself dehydrated and feeling awful if you aren’t also increasing your water intake.

With the tips above, starting a keto diet can be a lot easier. It’s not “easy”, but it can definitely be more manageable.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Eating For The Season

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Eating For The Season

As summer is starting to come to an end, so is the harvesting of all our summer vegetables. Finding joy in eating seasonally is something that your family can experience – all it takes is a little creativity at dinner time! As fall begins, explore the following in your meals:

Root vegetables:

Root vegetables are coming into the season, which means an abundance of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. All the good stodgy veggies that are best stewed or cooked into wholesome foods. There are so many lovely recipes out there for the autumn and winter months that allow you to just sink into and enjoy.

We all live a busy life and finding the time to cook those proper homely meals can seem like an inconvenience after a full day at work. So, what’s a better time than to dust off the old slow cooker and put it to good use.

Pumpkins:

Lots of cuisines use pumpkin because of the sweetness so to add a kick of it to your curries why not add pumpkin? A tasty Japanese alternative is pumpkin Kuroki, which is a pumpkin patty covered in panko breadcrumbs and fried. It’s delicious. However, you can just put pumpkin in your stews, it’s a healthy colorful vegetable that can’t be forgotten about. You can pick pumpkins up everywhere in the autumn and for extremely low prices… so when you are pumpkin picking don’t forget to eat the inside before you carve the outside!

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Butternut Squash:

Butternut squash is such an underrated vegetable. It is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and is a great source of nutrients. This funny-looking vegetable is so versatile. It can be used in the same way as a pumpkin but has become much more popular in soups and curries.

Butternut squash and apple soup is one to try this season, the contrasting flavors of the savory and sweet makes the perfect warming meal. Butternut squash can also be used as a lower carb option for spaghetti in pasta dishes as its form stays solid when spiraling it. It can also be added to stews but is equally as good as the main star of a meal.

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Potatoes:

The king of root vegetables, the potato is one of the worlds’ favorite foods due to its versatility. There are hundreds of ways to cook potatoes that are warming and hearty and just make you feel good. Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese or cold fillings are a quick meal. You can cook a jacket potato in the oven or microwave and you can add whatever toppings you like. This is a staple food for the whole family in the autumn.

Have you ever thought about widening your repertoire of cooking potatoes? What about crispy roast potatoes, where you parboil them and then shake the pan to fluff them up before roasting. Or creating dauphinoise potatoes, which can be achieved very quickly. Hasselback potatoes, with lots of cuts on one side with spices and fillings melted into the slots? There are so many ways to use potatoes through the autumn and winter months to create gorgeous additions to your recipes.

Carrots:

The only real way to eat carrots at this time of year is roasted with honey. They are divine and, of course, that is not the only way to eat carrots, but they certainly should become a household staple. Honey glazed carrots with any meal is a sweet addition to offset any savory flavors. The color adds a pop to what can be an otherwise muted plate of food. During the autumn and winter months, if you are eating seasonally, there isn’t usually a lot of colors to foods so carrots are a great way to brighten your plate.

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There are far too many recipes to list in one simple blog post so it is great to research and find some different recipes to spice up your autumn/winter menus for the family. Bon Appetit!

Featured Image By: Pexels