#SRC Reunion: Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

Secret Recipe Club ended its run about a year and a half ago, but today we’re back with a reunion meeting! I’d by lying if I said I didn’t want this group to regain its strength and come back in full force.

For this reveal I was assigned Cookaholic Wife written by Nichole. I’m fairly familiar with Nichole’s blog as we’re both members of a group called Festive Foodies. Nichole, as her blog title would suggest, is a loving wife who loves to cook and bake! On her About Me page she says, “I find the ocean soothing in a way that nothing else can compare.” Though she lives in Maryland and is staring at a different ocean, that is absolutely something I can agree with her on! There is nothing that makes me calmer than getting to listen to and watch the waves crashing on the sand.

And that’s not all we agree on! I’m thinking she’s my twin across the country! I, too, am a compulsive list maker and am addicted to my planner (bullet journaling is a little too “creative” for me to pick up, but I adore goggling at bullet journaling ideas on Pinterest and Instagram), I love Sharpies, and challenge that “too much” popcorn isn’t a thing.

When looking through Nichole’s Recipe Index I limited myself to side dishes. We were invited to a friend from church’s house for Easter dinner – and I said I’d bring the side dish and my grandmother’s pound cake. (It felt so good to have a secret SRC pinterest board again!)

Okay, so the recipe I’m ultimately sharing today didn’t make it to Easter dinner. I got too excited by it and cooked it in March instead. (We’re moving mid-April… so probably as you read this and simply needed to get this fabulous post scheduled!)

I picked this side dish because I love green beans and my husband loves mushrooms. Winner!

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 container (5 oz) sliced shitaki mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the green beans, mushrooms, oil, and vinegar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Season to taste with S+P. (Check out my kids’ technique here.) Roast 20-25 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan. Serve warm.

*This recipe is adapted from Nichole at http://www.cookaholicwife.com/2012/03/roasted-green-beans-with-mushrooms.html*

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club reunion click here:

#EasterWeek: Whipped Ricotta Salad

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Wait a minute.

Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Am I allowed to admit I feel like I haven’t reached a level of organization for 2018 yet?

And we’re talking Easter!?

Well, since we’re talking about it, might as well cook about it!

This year’s #EasterWeek, hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, convenes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and providing you plenty of time to come up with your perfect Easter menu. (Easter is April 1st – that’s 13 days from now!)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

To start your menu, I propose a light and bright, spring-timey salad.

This salad comes from the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis and is featured in her Las Vegas restaurant.

I quite like ricotta cheese, but when I have leftovers I never know what to do with it besides make some lasagna, ravioli, or pasta sauce. I have done muffins before, which is quite delicious.

With an almost full container of ricotta in my refrigerator, I selected one of Giada’s cookbooks hoping she’d know what to do.

Guess what.

She does!

This salad is both refreshing and satisfying.

The basil vinaigrette paired with the fresh tomatoes and the creamy ricotta reminded me of a caprese salad.

Whipped Ricotta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 C packed fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta cheese, chilled
  • 3 C baby greens salad mix (I used a blend of kale and spinach)
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved

Steps:

  1. Make dressing: Place basil, toasted pine nuts, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and blend. Add in 3 tbsp of the olive oil until the dressing comes together. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the ricotta with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the salad green, peas, and tomatoes with the dressing.
  4. Plate: Spoon whipped ricotta onto a plate and top with the salad. Serves 4-6 people.

Whipped Ricotta Salad for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great Easter recipes:

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bunny Cinnamon Rolls by Family Around the Table

Bunny Mary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Carrot Roll Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Chocolate Dipped Robin’s Egg Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Crunchy Easter Bird Nest Granola Bites by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Deviled eggs with creme Fraiche and herbs by Simple and Savory

Easter M&M Blondies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Easter Mini Chocolate Rum Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes

Egg Benedict Quiche by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Orange Ricotta Pancakes by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Puff Pastry Eggs with Ham and Cheese by All that’s Jas

Sausage and Spinach Pie by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread by Caroline’s Cooking

Whipped Ricotta Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. But I really only prepare it one way, so I was excited to see the article “Asparagus, 10 Ways” in the spring edition of Cook Fresh magazine. 2 of the 10 I’ve done before and 5 of the remaining 7 were dogearred. One of those 5 was a soup. I don’t tend to think “soup!” when it’s spring and summer, but this one was a simple option for a great weeknight dinner.

The recipe indicated it would serve “8 as a first course.” I figured I could halve it and it’d be perfect dinner for two; simply serve with with some great crusty bread or garlic bread. Surprisingly, there was a tiny portion left for lunch the next day. My husband gave it to Treat on my first outing without the kids since the move. I’m told he quite enjoyed it!

Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • heaping 1/2 C sliced leeks
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1/8 C heavy cream
  • squeeze of lemon
  • fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt. Give the leeks a quick stir, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mustard seeds, 1 tsp Kosher salt, asparagus, broth, and water. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and cook uncovered until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove soup from the heat and puree with an immersion blender, or carefully transfer to a blender.
  4. Stir in the cream, lemon, and S+P to taste. Garnish with parsley.

*This recipe is modified from CookFresh Spring 2016*

Asparagus Soup  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Blogger CLUE: Lemon Loaf

blogger CLUE

Easter is coming early this year (March 27th) and the Blogger Clue crew and I have been on the hunt to provide you with some wonderful Springtime dishes.

This month I was assigned the blog Confessions of a Culinary Diva. Christy describes herself as a “food enthusiast, wine aficionado, Food & Cooking Channel fanatic, and cookbook bibliomaniac, who suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust.” On quick look at her blog and you just know her mini-bio is true – there’s wine everywhere! And countless recipes that take you to another place (France mostly).

While on the hunt for Easter foods I was immediately drawn to her Easter Pie and next year I’ll be sure to try it! The only reason I didn’t stop, drop, and cook it was because I didn’t have Arborio rice and I wasn’t about to buy some while I’m trying to rid my pantry (via cooking) of my current stock before the big move.

I thought about what foods I think remind me of Easter. I don’t serve a ham and my family has always done our own thing. Growing up we would always have a dish traditional to my mom’s family. We would have a dish called Swienconka (pronounced shven-shun-ka). Swienconka is Polish and translates to “blessed food.” My mom’s grandfather was a butcher and he would bring home the leftover meats for this dish – veal, smoked butt, two kinds of Polish sausage, and ham. These meats would be cooked and mixed with hard boiled eggs. The mixture would then marinate in vinegar and fresh and jarred horseradish.

I decided to look for brunch ideas! I almost made Onion Biscuits. And I took a peek at what cocktails could fit an Easter morning: Earl Grey Mimosa and this beautiful Sangria would definitely fit the bill.

And then somehow I stumbled upon a Lemon Loaf (which she presented most beautifully) and I was sold! Lemon always reminds me of spring time and Easter. Probably because my grandmother’s annual pound cake has lemon extract in it. This loaf cake reminded me very much of her recipe, and I almost made a cream cheese frosting to pair with it but instead decided tolemon loaf 4  Sew You Think You Can Cook create a simple glaze of powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and a little milk to pour over the top of the loaf. It definitely amped up the lemon flavor!

This cake was a hit. Firecracker saw it on the counter and had to have some. He earned his half a slice, too, by helping clear off space for me to photograph it!

 

Lemon Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • zest of 2 extra large lemons
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 5 1/2 tbsp melted butter

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the sifted flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing until combined after each addition.
  4. Whisk the heavy cream into the cake batter. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Option to top with a simple lemon glaze or a cream cheese frosting.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.treats-sf.com/2012/04/twd-lemon-loaf-cake.html*

Lemon Loaf for #BloggerCLUE from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

A Spring Time Potluck Party

When we moved to Ohio my neighbor told me about a group of gals who get together once a month for a potluck. As soon as we were settled in I knew I had to go with her to one of these events. And I’m so glad I did – I’ve made many friends through this group and there’s always someone new to meet.

The person who organized this club moved at the end of March and I have since taken over the organization. We always host the event at one of the neighborhood clubhouses so all I have to do is bring the collection of plates, cups, and bowls and make sure the clubhouse is cleaned up when we’re done. But the fun part is getting to be the one to pick the theme for the month’s potluck!

A Spring Time Potluck

For April we did Spring. We had such a vibrant and colorful display of food. Here are just some of the recipes from the night:

  • Mango Black Bean Salad: 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 mangoes (diced), 1 red bell pepper (diced), 1 bunch scallions (sliced), 1/2 C chopped cilantro, 1 jalapeno (minced), 1/2 C red wine vinegar, zest and juice 1 orange, zest and juice 1 lime.
  • Creamy Cucumber Salad: 1 cucumber (thinly sliced), 1 tsp salt – laid flat and then patted dry after an hour. 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tsp chopped dill, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp sugar – combine and refrigerate for an hour before tossing with prepared cucumber slices.
  • Pineapple Fried Rice: I don’t know if she used my recipe but it was very similar – https://sewyoucancook.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/pineapple-fried-rice/
  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad: 4 C baby spinach, 1 pint strawberries (sliced), 1/2 oz sliced almonds – for the salad. 1/4 C sugar, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 C red wine vinegar, 1/2 C EVOO – for the dressing.
  • Fruit Salsa: 32 oz strawberries (diced), 8 oz raspberries, 3 kiwis (chopped), 1 golden apple (diced), 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp fruit jelly.
  • Lemon Squares: 2 C flour, 1 C butter, 1/2 C powdered sugar – whisked and pressed in 9×13″ pan, 20 minutes @ 325deg. 4 eggs, 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 C sugar – place on crust, 20 minutes @ 325deg.
  • Chocolate Cheesecake Filled Peanut Butter Bundt Cakehttps://sewyoucancook.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/bundtbakers-hidden-surprise/

I was caught up in making sure I had everything needed for hosting my first potluck that I forgot my camera! A big thank you to my friend Emily for remembering to take some pictures. So, I’d like to give her a little shout out – Emily is a very talented crafter and has started her own blog, Emmy’s Crafty Corner! Please go check it out, I promise you you’ll find something unique!

Next week we’re throwing a Cinco de Mayo party – and I couldn’t be more excited! Stay tuned next time for a round up of Mexican favorites, even if it’ll be after the holiday.

Carrot Risotto

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you might have noticed a lot of “sneak peak” photographs utilizing some sponsored item. All of those goodies will be shared for #BrunchWeek which starts next Monday. I am so excited!

One of our generous sponsors is Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice Family. A beautiful box of fresh organic produce and juices arrived on my doorstep. The kale and radishes will be utilized next week. The baby carrots have been a perfect healthy afternoon snack – reminding me how much I enjoy carrots! Cal-Organic also sent a bag of Colorshred carrots. The beautiful bag of carrot confetti was used to create a colorful spring time risotto.

We grilled up some chicken to serve alongside this side dish. As a side dish, the recipe below will serve four people. My little man really enjoyed this risotto and even had some of the leftovers for lunch the next day. Look who’s coming around to carrots after all!

Carrot Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1 1/2 C shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 C arborio rice
  • 1/4 C white wine
  • 3 – 4 C chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp parsley

Steps:

  1. In a dutch oven over medium-high heat melt half of the butter and half of the oil. Add the shredded carrots with 1/4 C water, salt, and the sugar. Cover and cook for five minutes. Uncover and allow to cook until the liquid is evaporated. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. In the dutch oven melt the remaining butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat, and cook about one minute. Deglaze with white wine.
  4. Once the wine is absorbed add the warm stock a ladleful at a time, stirring, waiting for liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking this way until the rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the carrots, ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley. Season to taste with S+P. If needed, thin the risotto with additional stock.

*This recipe is adapted from Debi at http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/spring-and-caramelized-carrot-risotto/*

Carrot Risotto | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: I was provided a bag of Colorshred carrots and other produce through #BrunchWeek, however all opinions and statements are my own.

Blogger CLUE: Spring Green Risotto

blogger CLUE

Today is my first month posting with Blogger CLUE. Much like the game, this blogger society involves secrecy, fun, challenge and cooperation with the other game playing members. The good news about this, however, is that in the end, everyone’s a winner. All of the participating bloggers are assigned a blog to find, pick, and make a recipe. But the twist with this group is that there’s a theme! 

This month I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme and had the task of finding a recipe utilizing spring vegetables. I was on a personal mission to use asparagus. It’s my favorite spring vegetable, and while we do enjoy it year round, it’s always better in season! I found three contenders: Spring Green RisottoPasta with Proscuitto, Asparagus, and Peas; and Warm Salad with Grilled Asparagus.

I chose the risotto for a few reasons: I already had mascarpone in my fridge, which is very rare, I’ve been wanting to try fennel, and my husband had been asking for risotto for a few weeks. Win – win – win!

We enjoyed this risotto for Easter supper! My 9 month old even enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the peas but they didn’t phase him. Which makes me very excited. It’s been hard getting him to eat vegetables – other than sweet potato.

I made a couple changes to the recipe: by using what I had I combined chicken stock and vegetable stock to have enough liquid and instead of blanching the asparagus and adding it later, I chopped it up to about the size of peas and added it with the leeks and fennel.

Spring Green Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination of both)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, diced
  • 1 1/2 C arborio rice
  • 2/3 C white wine
  • 1 1/4 C frozen peas, thawed
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. In a pot bring the stock to a simmer.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil over medium high heat. Saute leeks, fennel, and asparagus for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat in the veggies, cook a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Once the wine has been absorbed add the stock a ladleful at a time. Stir often and add more stock after the previous addition has been absorbed.
  4. At the halfway point, add the peas and lemon zest. Season to taste with S+P.
  5. When rice is creamy remove from heat. (Note: You might not use all of the stock, although I did.)
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mascarpone. Stir into the risotto along with the parmesan cheese.

*This recipe is adapted from Kate at http://aspoonfulofthyme.blogspot.com/2010/05/two-fer-one-grilled-herb-shrimp-and.html*

spring green risotto | Sew You Think You Can CookHere’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

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