Green Bean, Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart

Green Bean and Mushroom Tart
Simple sauteed green beans, mushrooms and onions has to be one of my favourite side dishes but it is always nice to change things up and to use that fabulous combo in other dishes! I recently came across the idea of using the combo in a green bean and mushroom tart on A Spicy Persective and of course I just had to try it. I have been enjoying the ease and simplicity of puff pastry tarts for a while now and you really cannot get much easier that rolling out some puff pastry, topping it with your favourite toppings and baking it for a few minutes in the oven! For this particular tart we are topping it with blanched green beans and caramelized mushrooms and onions. Of course it is always nice to have something on your tart to hep the other ingredients stick to it as you eat and some blue cheese works wonderfully well with green beans and mushrooms on this tart!

Pizza Quesadillas (aka Pizzadillas)

Pizza Pizza Quesadillas (aka Pizzadillas)
I was immediately captivated by the idea of topping a quesadilla like a pizza when I first came across it a while ago! I mean you really cannot go wrong combining two great things like quesadillas and pizza! Ever since I made the taco quesadilla pizzas I have been wanting to try making pizza pizza quisadillas and I could not hold off on making them any longer! The basic idea is that you make a pizza quesadilla, stuffed with your favourite pizza ingredients including pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and black olives, and then you top the quesadilla with more of the pizza toppings and quickly bake it to melt the cheese on top!

Butternut Squash, Mushroom, Kale and Sausage Frittata

Butternut Squash, Mushroom, Sausage and Kale Frittata
I have had the idea of using the flavour combo of butternut squash, mushrooms, kale and possibly Italian turkey sausage in a recipe for a couple of weeks but I could never really decide what to use them in and I never really had the time to think about it. Now that things have calmed down a bit I finally got to thinking about it and although my initial idea to use them in a quinoa salad sounded good I was looking for something a little different and a frittata sounded perfect! A frittata is an egg dish similar to a quiche except that it does not have a crust and it is cooked on the stove top until the eggs have set on the bottom before being transferred to the oven to finish baking. Frittatas can be filled with pretty much anything and I was thinking that the butternut squash, mushrooms, kale and sausage combo would be a great one! Even though this frittata takes a bit of time time make everything is pretty straight forward and easy and the final result is well worth the effort!

Apple Crumble Quinoa Parfait

Apple Crumble Quinoa Parfait
I have been a fan of quinoa ever since I discovered it and I am always looking for new ways to enjoy it. I recently came across the idea of using it in an apple and quinoa parfait with a crumble topping on Epicureean Mom that sounded so good that I had to try it! I have used quinoa in parfaits before so I knew that it worked well in them and that this apple crumble one would be a winner! This parfait layers vanilla yogurt with cinnamon spiced quinoa and a simple apple compote and it is topped with a rolled oat crumble! Not only is this parfait easy to make but it is also pretty healthy and makes for a great breakfast! If you have any leftovers, simply throw the components into separate containers and refrigerate them all except the crumble topping and the next day you can use them to throw another parfait together in a few minutes.

Apple Crisp Pizza with Caramel Sauce

Apple Crisp Pizza with Caramel Sauce
I am a huge fan of apple desserts and I always enjoy fall and early winter with their huge selection of apples to use in them. Some of my favourite apple treats include apple crisps and apple pies so when I came across a recipe that combined the two an served them up in pizza form as an apple crisp pizza on The Girl Who Ate Everything I knew that I would have to try it! The basic idea is that a pie crust is rolled out like a pizza dough and topped with a layer apples coated in cinnamon and then topped in a layer of rolled oat crumble. Not only is this recipe amazing but it is dead simple to make once you have your pie crust! Really the hardest part is peeling and dicing the apples! If all of this was not enough, the finished product is smothered in caramel sauce and the apple and caramel flavour combination is simply divine! You will have to excuse me while I go and warm up a another slice!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal
With the cooler weather here I have been getting back into warming bowls of oatmeal for breakfasts and one of my favourites at this time of year has to be pumpkin pie oatmeal with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices. I often prefer to go with steel cut oats rather than rolled oats as the have a chewier texture and nuttier flavour. The only problem is that it takes a bit longer to cook and who wants to be cooking early in the morning while rushing to get to work? Up until recently I was using my rice cooker with a timer to cook the steel cut oats overnight but it recently died so I thought that I would try using my slow cooker instead. After a bit of experimentation I found that it is actually pretty easy to cook steel cut oats in your slow cooker overnight, you just need a slow cooker with a timer. It takes about 4 hours on low to cook in the slow cooker without burning on the bottom so you need one that has a timer based start or one that can be programmed to cook for 4 hours and then switch to keep warm mode and it works like a charm. Of course I sweetened the pumpkin pie steel cut oats with caramel sauce rather than sugar and the flavour combo is simply amazing!

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala
It seems that I have really been into chicken these last few weeks and when I made the pan seared chicken breasts in a mushroom, tarragon and mustard pan sauce the other day it reminded me of another chicken and mushroom dish that I had not made in a long time, chicken marsala. Chicken marsala is a quick and tasty dish where the chicken is sauteed in a pan and then the Marsala, an Italian fortified wine, is used along with mushrooms to make a pan sauce to go with the chicken. Pan sauces are so easy to make and always full of flavour and this one is no different coming together in no time at all!

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
For my pan seared chicken breasts in a mushroom, tarragon and mustard pan sauce dinner I want to serve it on top of something that could soak up all of that amazingly tasty sauce! One of the first things that normally comes to mind at times like this is mashed potatoes but I have really been into cauliflower lately and I have been wanting to try mashed cauliflower for a while! The mashed cauliflower is pretty much the same as mashed potatoes except that it is made with cauliflower instead of ptoatoes. You pretty much just steam the cauliflower until tender, mash it and mix in seasonings and flavours of choice. Since the sauce was the star of the show for my dinner, I wanted some pretty basic mashed cauliflower with little or no flavour to overpower the sauce so I went with a basic garlic mashed cauliflower with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and a touch of miso paste for umami. Really you could mix in whatever flavours you wanted and you could easily do any mashed potato recipe with mashed cauliflower. I am already thinking about an aged white cheddar mashed cauliflower for next time!

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts in a Mushroom, Tarragon and Mustard Pan Sauce

Chicken in a Mushroom, Tarragon and Mustard Pan Sauce
With grilling season over we are now forced to cook indoors but that does not really bother me so much as I have always enjoyed cooking meat in a pan over the stove where you can get a good sear and some caramelization. Of course when you caramelize meat in a pan you get those brown bits of flavour stuck to the bottom of the pan and they are just begging to be scraped off with a nice deglazing to reclaim all of the flavour. It is with this that I made these super tasty pan seared chicken breasts in a mushroom, tarragon and mustard pan sauce which is really easy to make and quick enough to do on a weeknight. The tangy mustard and anise-y tarragon are an amazing flavour combination in this creamy pan sauce and you really cannot go wrong throwing some mushrooms in to fill out the sauce!

What are your favourite pan sauce recipes?

Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Crispy Baked Onion Rings
With all of the experimenting that I have been doing with crispy baked vegetable fries lately, such as the eggplant parmesan fries and the portobello mushroom fries, I cannot believe that I did not think of using one of the most obvious vegetables, onions! I mean onion rings are so addictively good and they are the one upgrade that I pretty much always take if it is available when ordering out. My initial thought was to take the same recipe that I had been using for the other vegetables, where I dredge them in flour, dip them in egg and then coat them in panko bread crumbs, and although it worked and they tasted great, it was not all that easy to coat both the insides and outsides of the onion rings with just two eggs! I am all about easy recipes and the first recipe was just not easy enough so I put my thinking cap on and eventually I found myself thinking about fish and chips where the fish is dipped not in egg but in a batter and I had my solution! Using the batter it was super easy to coat the onions rings, the bread crumbs stayed on and the baked onions rings tasted fantastic! Now I can enjoy onion rings whenever I want at home!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

The other day when I made the slow cooker bacon wrapped apple BBQ chicken it reminded me of another bacon wrapped chicken dish that I wanted to make, bacon wrapped jalapeno popper stuffed chicken. The basic idea was to stuff the chicken with all of the flavours of jalapeno poppers and then to wrap them in bacon and grill or bake them. Jalapeno poppers are commonly filled with cream cheese and or cheddar cheese and they are either coated in bread crumbs and fried until crispy or wrapped in bacon and grilled or baked until cooked. Although I liked the sound of a crispy coating on the chicken the bacon wrapping was calling my name and I could not resist going with that option! For the filling I went with a simple mixture of cream cheese, cheddar and diced jalapeno peppers. The bacon wrapped jalapeno popper stuffed chicken tastes just like jalapeno poppers and makes for one really tasty light meal!

Prosciutto Wrapped Gorgonzola Stuffed Figs

Prosciutto Wrapped Gorgonzola Stuffed Figs
The other day I came across some nice looking figs at the market and they immediately reminded me of a pin that I had recently made on pinterest for figs with gorgonzola and speck and I could not resist picking some up so that I could try the recipe! Sweet figs and tangy gorgonzola are a fabulous flavour combination that I have used many times and I was immediately taken with the idea of wrapping them in a salty cured ham! Not only do we have the fig, gorgonzola, and prosciutto flavour combination going but they are baked until the cheese starts to melt and the prosciutto gets nice and crispy on the edges making it even better! What an perfect appetizer for any occasion!

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa

One of my favourite side dishes has to be cheesy broccoli rice which is a quick and easy dish where with the amazing broccoli and cheddar cheese flavour combo! Ever since I discovered quinoa I have been trying my favourite rice dishes with the rice replaced with the healthier quinoa and it was finally time to try a cheesy broccoli quinoa! This dish is super easy to make and you pretty much just cook the quinoa with the broccoli and then mix in the cheese once the quinoa and broccoli are cooked. Some of the things that I like about this recipe are that it is a one pot dish and that it is a stove top dish which is great for holiday dinners where there never seems to be enough oven space or time. I think I now have a new favourite side dish!