Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Gouda Cheese Sauce



We are officially in party season and I'm always thinking of new, fun appetizers to serve. This whole roasted cauliflower is a show-stopper and it's so easy to make! If the cheese sauce is too rich for you, you can also serve this with a fresh basil pesto or chimichurri sauce (both can be found on my blog). Pair this with sparkling rose and get the party started! If you have any extra cheese sauce, serve some fresh-cut veggies and sliced baguette on the side for dipping.





1. Preheat oven to 425. Trim any leaves from the cauliflower and place the cauliflower head in a cast iron skillet or pie plate. Drizzle with olive oil and rub until the cauliflower is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour, or until golden brown and tender.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic powder, ground mustard, paprika and flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook for 4 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the cheeses and hot sauce and and whisk until the cheese is fully melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.






3. Once out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cauliflower. Spoon the cheese sauce over the top and garnish with paprika and parsley. Cut into wedges and serve any extra cheese sauce on the side.




Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Gouda Cheese Sauce
Serves 4-6

All you need:
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, for finishing

Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons flour (gluten-free or regular)
2 cups whole milk
8 oz. freshly grated gouda cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Dash hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Paprika and chopped parsley, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Trim any leaves from the cauliflower and place the cauliflower head in a cast iron skillet or pie plate. Drizzle with olive oil and rub until the cauliflower is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour, or until golden brown and tender.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic powder, ground mustard, paprika and flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook for 4 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the cheeses and hot sauce and and whisk until the cheese is fully melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
3. Once out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cauliflower. Spoon the cheese sauce over the top and garnish with paprika and parsley. Cut into wedges and serve any extra cheese sauce on the side.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Meatballs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce


Blueberry season is almost here and it's one of my favorite things about living in Holland. The fresh blueberries are so sweet and delicious and I always make sure to buy them in bulk and keep them in the freezer to enjoy throughout the year. Adding them to barbecue sauce provides a pop of sweetness that pairs perfectly with meatballs or grilled chicken, salmon, pork, ribs and salmon. 



1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 16 balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.




3. Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender (or carefully transfer the mixture to a regular blender and blend for 15 seconds).



4. Toss sauce with the meatballs. Serve topped with goat cheese and chopped basil, if desired.




Meatballs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Serves 4

All you need:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup ground oats (gluten-free or regular)
1 egg
1 small sweet onion, grated
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

BBQ Sauce
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Splash hot sauce

Crumbled goat cheese and chopped basil, for garnish (optional)

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 16 balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender (or carefully transfer the mixture to a regular blender and blend for 15 seconds).
4. Toss sauce with the meatballs. Serve topped with goat cheese and chopped basil, if desired.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Watermelon Mint Moscow Mule


Ahh summer - it's so close! If there's one thing I always look forward to, it's sitting on our patio with friends with a crisp, cold drink in hand. I love mint, and it always seems to be one of the herbs that grows like crazy in our herb garden, so I'll add it to drinks and my bottled water to add a refreshing note. If you prefer or need your beverage to be a mocktail, this drink is just as good without the booze. Cheers!




1. Place watermelon and mint in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into 2 glasses (I prefer copper mugs for this).


2. Place one shot of tequila (or vodka) into each glass. Fill each glass with ice.


3. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime into each glass. Fill with ginger beer.


4. Garnish each glass with lime wedges and fresh mint. Serve immediately.




Watermelon Mint Moscow Mule
Serves 2

All you need:
1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
5 fresh mint leaves
2 shots tequila (or vodka)
Ice
1 lime, halved
1 (12 oz.) can ginger beer (diet or regular)

Lime wedges and fresh mint leaves, for garnish

All you do:
1. Place watermelon and mint in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into 2 glasses (I prefer copper mugs for this).
2. Place one shot of tequila (or vodka) into each glass. Fill each glass with ice.
3. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime into each glass. Fill with ginger beer.
4. Garnish each glass with lime wedges and fresh mint. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Italian Chimichurri Marinated Mushrooms


Mushrooms - with my job I've noticed people either love them or hate them. I, however, have always been a huge fan. I like how they are so meaty and soak up any sauce you put on them. This salad is nice for summer gatherings because it is served at room temperature and gets better the longer it sits. I recommend serving this with grilled chicken or steak. It would also be wonderful with spaghetti or pasta salad. Add some crusty bread on the side and a glass of crisp, chilled white wine and dinner is served!




1. Place sliced mushrooms in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine chimichurri ingredients. Pour over the mushrooms and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.




3. Place mushrooms on a serving platter and garnish with more parsley and parmesan, if desired.



Italian Chimichurri Marinated Mushrooms
Serves 6

All you need:
16 oz. sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)

Chimichurri
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup capers, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Place sliced mushrooms in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine chimichurri ingredients. Pour over the mushrooms and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Place mushrooms on a serving platter and garnish with more parsley and parmesan, if desired.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dill Pickle Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Ranch Dip


It's officially grill season! I've been waiting so long to get outside and make dinner on the grill. I especially love grilled chicken wings because they get super crispy and smoky. The dill pickle brine on these wings gives them an incredible salty flavor and helps to keep them juicy. The ranch dip is the perfect compliment if you like a spicy kick. Serve this as an appetizer or as a meal with a side of fries or roasted veggies. I will definitely be making this one over and over again this summer!





1. Place wings in a 13x9 pan and pour pickle juice over. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.



2. Remove wings from the bring and pat dry with paper towel. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, dill, garlic powder, pepper and salt.




3. Preheat grill to medium (about 350 degrees). Grill the wings for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your wings), flipping occasionally.



4. Meanwhile, combine the spicy ranch dip ingredients in a small bowl.


5. Place the wings on a platter and serve with pickle spears and spicy ranch dip on the side. 



Dill Pickle Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Ranch Dip
Serves 6

All you need:
2 pounds chicken wings (I prefer Smart Chicken brand for this)
Juice from 1 jar of pickles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried dill
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Dip -
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup hot giardiniera relish (or hot sauce)
Pinch salt

All you do:
1. Place wings in a 13x9 pan and pour pickle juice over. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
2. Remove wings from the bring and pat dry with paper towel. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, dill, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
3. Preheat grill to medium (about 350 degrees). Grill the wings for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your wings), flipping occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, combine the spicy ranch dip ingredients in a small bowl.
5. Place the wings on a platter and serve with pickle spears and spicy ranch dip on the side.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Italian Sheet Pan Nachos


If there is one meal I will never refuse, it's nachos. And while standard nachos are amazing, I decided to switch up the flavor profile and instead top my chips with some Italian yumminess. The sweet Italian sausage and crispy pepperoni pair perfectly with the salty cheese and chips. The romaine on top adds a burst of lemony freshness. Serve this as an appetizer at your next party (I recommend pairing this with pinot noir) or serve it as a meal with a side of fresh fruit or roasted veggies.


1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink, stirring often. Transfer to a bowl.



3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the diced pepperoni. Cook until the pepperoni starts to crisp up and become golden brown. Transfer to the same bowl as the cooked sausage.



4. Place the tortilla chips in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Top with the cooked sausage and pepperoni as well as the mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.



5. While the nachos bake, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and salt in a mixing bowl. Add chopped romaine and toss gently to combine.


6. Once out of the oven, top the nachos with the romaine salad. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and serve.



Italian Sheet Pan Nachos
Serves 4 (meal) or 8 (appetizer)

All you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 cup diced pepperoni
8 cups tortilla chips
2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained

Salad topping
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch salt
1 large romaine heart, cored and chopped fine

Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink, stirring often. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the diced pepperoni. Cook until the pepperoni starts to crisp up and become golden brown. Transfer to the same bowl as the cooked sausage.
4. Place the tortilla chips in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Top with the cooked sausage and pepperoni as well as the mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
5. While the nachos bake, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and salt in a mixing bowl. Add chopped romaine and toss gently to combine.
6. Once out of the oven, top the nachos with the romaine salad. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and serve.