Tag Archives: roast

How I Cook: Balsamic Cider Glazed Salmon with Rosemary


Hey, guess what!

I love to cook.

No, really… I love to cook.

You’re likely reading this thinking, “Ok, Jen… Good for you.” Or, perhaps, you’re even thinking, “It’s a good thing you like to cook, Jen… You’re a food blogger.”

Yup, I am. And, that’s why I’m finding it so amazing that I love to cook. Continue Reading

Roasted Applesauce


I’m convinced that toddler’s are bottomless pits.

When the kiddo finds something that she likes to eat, she can just eat and eat and eat and… Well, you get the idea. One day last week, she ate 5 clementines with breakfast. Yes, five. She also had a pancake. She’s been known to devour pretzels like she hasn’t eaten in days.

Her favorite, though, happens to be those squeeze packets of flavored applesauce. It started as baby food.  We didn’t do a lot of pureed baby food, but there was a time when she wasn’t such a voracious eater. Squeeze packets of baby food (i.e. flavored applesauce) got us through. The thing is, she never dropped the habit. Continue Reading

How To Roast Peppers


I’ve been making roasted peppers for years. Until recently, I always made them under the broiler. That was the way I learned to do it (most likely from someone on the Food Network 6 or 7 years ago), so that’s how I’ve always done it.

Sometimes my pepper roasting method worked well, but there were plenty of times when it didn’t. I’d end up with mushy peppers that completely fell apart when I tried to peel the skins off. I am one who tries to roll with the punches in the kitchen, so I’d always just throw them into a soup and blend it up. Problem solved.

But, what about those times when I really wanted nice roasted peppers?

I decided it was time to try a new method. I’ve heard of people using a kitchen torch on their peppers… And, some others have put a pepper on a fork and roasted it marshmallow-style on their grill or gas burner. Both sounded like good ideas, but I wasn’t in the mood to burn the house down (or give the toddler any ideas… she’s in the “monkey see, monkey do” stage).

I decided to roast the peppers on my stovetop in a skillet. It takes the direct heat idea from torching or grilling on a fork, but keeps it a bit more hands-off. Perfect. Continue Reading

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Calzones

I love when I find dinner inspiration in unexpected places. This recipe for roasted butternut squash and mushroom calzones, for example, came from paging through a catalog. Others have come from a commercials on TV, overheard conversations at the grocery store, and forgotten items from the back of the freezer. No matter where the idea comes from, I’m always happy when dinner inspiration strikes.

As I mentioned, these calzones were inspired by a catalog – the Williams-Sonoma catalog.  I had just told my hubby not to throw away the catalog.  No, I didn’t really need anything from Williams-Sonoma, but I wanted to page through it just to see what they had in the fall catalog.  I especially love fall catalogs. As I paged through, I admired some lovely baked goods, commented on the price of the gummy candies they were selling for Thanksgiving, and then I saw it. There was a slow cooker recipe for a gorgeous looking lasagna made with their jarred pumpkin parmesan pasta sauce. Sure, the sauce sounds tasty, and I do like lasagna, but what caught my eye was a photo of some beautiful mushrooms that were being added to the dish. Mushrooms are often a forgotten ingredient in my kitchen, so I was happy for a reminder to add them to something.  After seeing the recipe, I couldn’t get the pumpkin and mushroom pairing out of my head.

A few days later, I had some leftover pizza dough in the fridge that I needed to put to good use. Then I remembered the mushrooms.  Of course, I didn’t have jarred pumpkin sauce on hand.  But, I had some butternut squash from the garden sitting on my counter, so I decided to make butternut squash and mushroom calzones. I roasted the veggies with some fresh sage and added a bit of cheese for a simple and tasty dinner.  Both the hubby and I agreed that the recipe was a winner. It’s perfect for a chilly fall evening!

If you’re participating in October Unprocessed, you’ll be happy to know that this recipe fits the bill pretty well.  If you make your own pizza dough with 100% whole grain flours (which is pretty simple to do) and use good quality cheeses (not the processed cheese-like stuff you can sometimes find at the store), you’re good to go! Continue Reading

Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

I’ve heard a lot of people say they think it’s easiest to eat well in the summer… After all, there is a wide variety of fresh produce readily available and we are all supposed to just whip up a salad for lunch and dinner every day. I don’t know about you, but that’s not generally how it works at my house.  Sure, we certainly eat our share of veggies throughout the summer, but I am much more likely to use that fresh, local lettuce to garnish a cheeseburger than I am to whip up a giant dinner-sized salad. Salad really isn’t my thing.

Strangely enough, I actually find that I tend to return to healthier meals in the fall. Part of it is that I enjoy cooking in the fall… It’s much more fun to stand in front of the stove when it’s no longer 100 degrees outside. I also love the flavors of fall produce.  I could eat butternut squash pretty much all day long. I also find that I develop more of a taste for hearty whole grains in the fall. While I’m still not always reaching for the lettuce (though, I do like the fall mixes of lettuce better than giant heads of leaf lettuce), I tend to make a lot of vegetarian dishes that are full of whole grains and veggies.

On a chilly day not too long ago, I decided to put together a nice warm salad for lunch (have I mentioned that I also prefer warm food to cold food?).  I started with some butternut squash from our garden and decided to pair it with quinoa.  For a dose of some green, I wilted some arugula (one of my favorites) into salad.  Topped off with a quick Balsamic dressing, some walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese, I had a hearty and flavorful salad that both my hubby and I enjoyed. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think this kind of salad beats a bowl of lettuce and cold veggies any day. Continue Reading