Sauteed Carrots with Dill


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We took a little trip to New York City so that our kids could experience the Macy’s Parade in person.  This was something I’ve had on my bucket list for a few years and I’m glad we had the opportunity to do it.  We did lots of touristy stuff while in the city, but I have to admit I did miss cooking all of the Thanksgiving goodies this year.  To make up for it I’ll be cooking up a storm for Christmas Day with ham, deep fried turkey and lots of side dishes and desserts.  I’m testing out some new side dish recipes before the big day and this one courtesy of  The Barefoot Contessa was easy and delicious so I thought I would share it with you.


2 lbs of carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 coin slices

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 T unsalted butter

1 1/2 T chopped fresh dill (or you could use flat-leaf parsley also)

1/3 c water

In a large saute pan combine water, carrots, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over medium low heat for 7-8 minutes until carrots are tender.  Add the butter and saute for another minute until water has evaporated and butter has melted.  Toss in the dill and stir to combine.  Taste to see if any additional salt and pepper should be added.



Mama Mia Meatball Lasagna


I decided to do a lasagna using veggies instead of noodles and then topping it with some savory meatballs.  The result was a yummy italian casserole and my kids didn’t even know there were veggies inside.  I also made some homemade ricotta to go inside which was fabulous!  I will share that recipe with you later.


1 eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 large zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch slices

salt and pepper

olive oil

2 c riccotta

1 c italian cheese, shredded

1lb mozzarella ball, shredded

1/4 c chopped italian parsley

1 jar of your favorite GF pasta sauce

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 egg beaten

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

3 medium baking potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch slices

1/4 c chopped fresh rosemary and thyme

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

granulated garlic

1/4 grated parmesan cheese

2 sliced of GF bread (process into breadcrumbs using food processor)

Lay eggplant and zucchini slices on a kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt.  Let drain for 30 minutes.  Pat veggies dry and brush with olive oil and roast in 400F oven for 6-10 minutes until slightly golden.  Combine beef, pork, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.  Form into meatballs and then brown in a large stockpot with some 2 T olive oil.  Once all sides are browned remove meatballs to plate to drain on papertowel.  Combine pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, sugar and salt and pepper in saucepan.  Using hand blender puree until smooth and heat just until warm.  Combine ricotta with 1c of cheese, the mozzarella, parsley, egg, salt and pepper.  Mix to combine.  Lower oven to 400F and spread 1c of sauce in bottom of 9X12 baking dish.  Layer in eggplant and zucchini and then cover with some of ricotta mixture.  Layer with potatoes and then top with salt, pepper and half of the chopped herbs.  Repeat layers and then top with meatballs and some additional sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Rosemary Cumin Glazed Carrots and Parsnips

I haven’t worked with parnsips much, but I like trying out different veggies.  I get tired of the same old corn, green beans, broccoli, etc. items that we eat day in and day out.  I mixed things up this time by using parsnips with my carrots and creating a nice little saucy glaze to go over them.  I enjoyed the flavor very much, but I will warn you the carrots will get fork tender before the parsnips so remove them out of the pan as they get done so they don’t get mushy on you.


3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t finely minced fresh rosemary

3 small scallions, thinly sliced

3 T unsalted butter, separated

2 T honey, separated

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place veggies face down in a large skillet and barely cover with water.  Cook over medium-high heat and add cumin, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Add 1 T honey and 2 T butter and contineu cooking for about 12-15 minutes.  Remove veggies from the skillet when all are fork tender.   Most of your cooking liquid should be evaporated.  Add remaining honey and butterto the pan and then add your veggies back in.  Season with salt and pepper and toss the veggies in the sauce.  Remove from the pan and sprinkle scallions on top.


Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Thanks to Robert Irvine my family and I were treated to this lovely salmon with lots of crunchy, nutty flavor.  I adapted his recipe to gluten-free by using Udi’s gluten-free bread for my breadcrumbs.  I keep this bread in my freezer and when I need breadcrumbs I just take a couple of slices and put them in my food processor and whiz them up.


  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) side salmon, skin on
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Arrange the side of salmon on an oven proof baking sheet, skin side down. Mix the lemon juice and mustard together in a small bowl and spread sparingly over the top of the salmon.

Coarsely grind the pistachios in a food processer. Add the panko bread crumbs, the oil and salt and pepper, to taste. (The bread crumbs should be slightly wet, as it helps the stick to the salmon.)

Sprinkle the pistachio mixture over the mustard to cover the salmon evenly.

Put in the preheated oven and bake until the salmon reaches the correct doneness, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving platter.

Tuscan Chicken and White Bean Ragout


The ragout in this recipe on its own is brilliant!  I paired mine with some chicken breast lightly coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and granulated garlic and then sauteed until golden brown.  This recipe is really simple and packed with lots of flavor.  Hope you enjoy!


14.5 oz can of cannellini beans (drain the liquid and reserve it – add water to equal 1 1/2 cups)

1 T olive oil

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1 medium onion diced

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flake

3 c of escarole or spinach leaves, torn

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 T unsalted butter

2 T flat leaf parsley chopped

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic.  Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant and then add onions, rosemary and red pepper flakes.  Cook gently for about 7-8 minutes until softened.  Add the beans and bean liquid with water and season with salt and pepper.  Let mixture simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in escarole or spinach and simmer until wilted.  Add tomatoes, butter, parsley and cheese.  Remove from heat and stir until butter is melted.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  You can drizzle with additional olive oil or flavored oil when serving.



Rosemary Paprika Roasted Potatoes

Here is an easy and hearty side dish to serve along a grilled steak or a grilled burger.  These potatoes are slightly smoky and I love the sprinkling of rosemary mingled in.  Make sure you salt them liberally before going into the oven.  The result will be a crispy potato wedge packed with flavor and yummy potato softness on the inside.

6 medium to large red potatoes (cut each potato into six wedges)

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp granulated garlic

1 T smoked paprika

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425F and place a baking sheet in oven.  Toss potato wedges with oil and mix to moisten each potato.  Toss in garlic granules, paprika, salt, pepper and rosemary and mix thoroughly.

Roast for 20 minutes turning over halfway through cooking.


Cajun Meatloaf

This recipe was modifed from The Pioneer Woman and converted to gluten-free.  The result was a tangy meatloaf that will knock your socks off.  This is not your run of the mill, ordinary meatloaf.  This loaf is packed with cajun flavors that will have you thinking you have been transported down to New Orleans.  I served mine with a twice baked potato and green beans.


  • 1 ½  whole Bell Peppers (red, green, yellow or orange will do)
  • 1 whole Medium Onions
  • 3 ribs of Celery
  • 4-5 cloves Of Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Optional: A Few Shakes Of Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup Ketchup, Divided
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • ½ – 1 cup GF breadcrumbs ( I used about 3 slices of Udi’s GF bread that was frozen and crumbled in a food processor)
  • 1 pounds Of Lean Ground Beef 
  • 1/2 pound Ground Pork
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoons Honey

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop all of the fresh vegetables (peppers, onions, celery) into a small dice and mince the garlic. Over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Once butter has melted, add the diced vegetables and garlic. Add about 1 teaspoon salt.

After these have cooked for a few minutes add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. If you like it hot, add a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce. Next add about ½ cup of ketchup. Continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Remove from heat.

After allowing the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes, add about ½ cup of milk. Stir until combined. Next add at least 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Continue adding breadcrumbs and stirring until mixture is a nice, thick paste.

In a large mixing bowl place the ground beef and pork. Whisk 3 eggs and add to the meat. After allowing the pasty vegetable mixture to cool down a bit, begin incorporating it into the meat. Keep working all of the Cajun-Vegetable mix into the meat until all is blended well.

Spray a sheet pan with some non-stick cooking spray. Next, using your hands, form your meat mixture into a loaf on the sheet pan. Make the loaf around 6-8 inches wide and about 1 ½ inches thick.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together ¾ cup of ketchup with about 2 tablespoons honey. Slather this sauce over the whole meatloaf.

Place in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Incredible St. Louis Ribs

I used Tyler Florence’s ultimate rib recipe for these and they were lip licking good!  The recipe calls for baby back ribs, but I used the St. Louis style.  This is what summer is all about….eating great barbeque and soaking up some of that warm sunshine.  I served mine with some crispy kale and potato salad.  Try them for yourself.


  • 2 slabs baby back ribs or St. Louis style ribs (about 3 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup peach or apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Put the ribs on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stick them in the oven, and let the ribs bake, low and slow for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the middle of the thyme sprigs and tie with kitchen twine so you have a bundle. Heat a 2 T of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme bundle and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes to cook out some of  the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Add all of the rest of the sauce ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes. Put some sauce in a separate bowl for basting, reserving the remaining sauce for serving.

Baste the ribs with the sauce and let them continue cooking, basting twice more, for 30 more minutes. When the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven.

When ready to eat, preheat the broiler or grill for 5 minutes and cook the ribs, basting with the sauce. They should become crisp and charred, about 5 minutes on each side. Pick the onion and garlic out of the sauce and serve with ribs.

Easy Parsnip Fries

I’ll confess.  Sometimes I enjoy watching Martha Stewart.  I know she may not be that likeable, but the woman knows how to cook and decorate.  I find her magazine to be filled with beautiful recipes and projects, but some of them are a bit on the complex side.  Today I bring you a simple recipe from Martha Stewart for parsnip fries.  Okay, another confession.  I had never eaten a parsnip before making this recipe so I wasn’t sure what was in store.  I found the flavor to be a cross between a carrot and a turnip.  I happen to like both so I thought these were pretty yummy. 


2 1/2 pounds medium parsnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Trim tops and bottoms of parsnips, peel and slice crosswise in half to separate wide and narrow portions.  Cut into equal size pieces about 3-4 inches long.   Preheat oven to 450F.  Toss parsnips with olive oil on two baking sheets.  Season liberally with salt and pepper and spread out into one layer.  Roast for about 25 minutes tossing halfway through cooking time.

These are a healthier snack for a party or a different side dish to have with lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!

Japanese Fried Chicken

I was flipping through the May issue of my EveryDay with Rachel Ray Magazine which happened to feature 10 different styles of fried chicken.  Immediately after reading this issue I was craving….you guessed it….fried chicken.  Once of the styles featured was gluten-free so I decided to try my hand at it this weekend and it was soooo good.  Crispy and flavorful, this fried chicken was mouthwatering.

Marinade Ingredients:

8 pieces of chicken with skin on

1/2 c water

1/2 c gluten-free soy sauce

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

1T grated ginger

1T grated garlic

Combine all above ingredients in a large ziploc or brining bag and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.  Remove chicken pieces from marinade, but don’t toss out marinade.

2 c cornstarch

2 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

3 c vegetable oil or shortening

sesame seeds

3 scallions sliced on the bias

Coat chicken pieces in seasoned cornstarch and let set on parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes then coat again.  Meanwhile heat oil or shortening in cast iron skillet to 350F.  Carefully fry chicken in batches and cook for 25-30 minutes total turning over halfway through cooking.  In a small saucepan boil remaining marinade for 3 minutes and then strain.  Add 1/4 c honey and 1T rice wine vinegar to the sauce.  Once chicken is fried brush on sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced scallions.