Category Archives: side dish

roasted eggplant and red pepper bruschetta

i think i’ve done more cooking over this long weekend than over the past two weeks. it’s been pretty lazy cooking too, but fortunately recipes like this taste like you spent a lot more time on it than you really did. plus its not the hamburger helper version of “homemade dinner!”

bruschetta at restaurants is generally caprese served on toasted crusty bread. why not call it caprese with bread? this is a hearty version of the classic bruschetta that can be made once tomatoes are out of season, mealy, or unripe. it’s meant to be served as an appetizer or for a snack at a party. that said, we ate it for dinner last night and i see no problem with that.

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mom’s macaroni salad

remember how last week i said it was back to work and the kitchen was a mess? well i didn’t think it could get any worse but then boyfriend went back to work, the dishes continued to pile up, we continued to eat quesadillas all week, and (full disclosure) it took a couple days for us to replace the garbage bag in the kitchen after taking it out for trash day. that bad.

so friday after work we got down to business and the kitchen surfaces are clean once again, there is a trash bag in the garbage can, and the fruit flies have left for someone else’s messy kitchen. let’s never let that happen again.

saturday was the first excuse to cook something real because it was a friend’s birthday potluck. i have been craving childhood food all summer, whether that be sourdough pancakes (coming soon!), salmon dip, or this macaroni salad. this salad is just the way my mom made it when i was a kid with a few exceptions. she used straight up ranch for dressing and i think that is gross (so is 3/4 cups of mayonnaise, but whatever). i also couldn’t find the cute little eden organic alphabet noodles which according to their website…don’t exist anymore! i made do and it was pretty delicious.

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summer squash and potato casserole

so this really isn’t a casserole. but it also really isn’t a torte, which is what it’s called on smitten kitchen where i got the recipe that created this deliciousness. what it really is, is a layered almost hash of potatoes, squash, and parmesan. whatever you call it, you’ll love it.

this is the last recipe i brought back from alaska. i tend to make this every time i go home because my mom loves it. don’t worry though, smoked salmon dip is on its way.. making that was one of the first things i did when i got back to oregon.

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lemon goat cheese pasta with green bean and tomato

i feel like i’m saying this all the time, and it may be a reflection of how i cook (especially in the summer), but this is so easy! and delicious! you don’t even have to throw things in the food processor for a dressing, or the skillet or oven for roasting. oh no, this is a one pot plus cutting board meal. just to really drive in how easy this pasta is to make, i made it with a broken collarbone, i.e. one functioning left arm when i’m right-handed, when i could barely make toast.

the idea comes from smitten kitchen and deb’s amazing asparagus, goat cheese, and lemon pasta. i’ve made her version and mixed it up by adding or substituting herbs, tomato, roasted garlic, and green beans. like most pasta salads i’ve encountered, this is good warm or cold.

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sesame soy green beans with bell pepper

you’re going to kick yourself for not thinking of this first. it takes under ten minutes to prep and cook and it is deliciously simple.

however, i cannot take credit for this creation. a few years ago at the most meaty thanksgiving i have been to this was one of the only dishes i could eat, and i ate a ton of it. below is a rough recipe, though ratio is all you really need to know if you taste as you cook.

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