Easy Peasy Cranberry Sauce

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you know that I’ve been busy preparing for Thanksgiving and Page’s Birthday right after. We are hosting Thanksgiving , which means that I will be doing most of the cooking. I spent most of the day writing out my menu, dividing up tasks I can accomplish throughout the next few days. Today I tackled prepping my desserts which just means I weighed the dry ingredients put them in bags, labeled, and sealed them. Now all I have to do is add the wet ingredients and bake. As you can see I’ve learned over the years that cooking a large meal like this requires a lot of forethought and staggering of duties. So today one of the other things on my to do list was to make this cranberry sauce! It takes 10 minutes, you throw everything in one pot, a little bit of stirring and you’re done! So easy and super delicious and definitely an upgrade to the canned stuff. Trust me once you make this you will never go back to the canned stuff!

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

12oz organic cranberries fresh or frozen

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

Zest of 1 organic orange

Juice of 1 organic orange

1/2 teaspoon of allspice (optional)

Directions:

Place cranberries, cinnamon stick, orange zest, sugar, water, and juice in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring as the cranberries begin to pop. The sauce is done once it thickens about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, serve immediately or place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

One of my favorite side dishes in the world is sautéed mushrooms. I love mushrooms in general, but there is just something that happens to a mushroom when it’s sautéed perfectly that sets off a flavor explosion in your mouth. Sautéing mushrooms is easy, but there is an art to it, not all sautés are created equally. The key to a good mushroom sauté is to let the mushrooms brown. Browning is an result of the Maillard reaction, and that reaction is where flavor  lives.

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Ingredients:
10 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I used crimini and oyster)
2 large cloves of garlic
1 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 tea spoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley finely minced
Sea salt to taste

Directions: add the olive oil and garlic to a sauté and let cook for 10-20 seconds or until you can smell the garlic:

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Add in the sliced mushrooms and season with sea salt:

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The mushrooms will begin to release water, toss and allow them to cook for 5-7 minutes. The water should begin to evaporate. Add in the tab of butter and toss the mushrooms:

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Cook for another 3-4 minutes without tossing, to allow the mushrooms to brown, add in soy sauce and toss, until the soy evaporates, about 1 minute:

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Transfer the mushrooms to a dish, sprinkle the parsley on top and enjoy!

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Crispy Smelt with a Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette

Crispy Smelt with Parsley Lemon Vinaigrette

Crispy Smelt with Parsley Lemon Vinaigrette

I LOVE Smelt, LOVE them. In fact I love them so much I wish that I could eat them year round.  If you’ve never tried smelt, then after you read this blog, stop by your grocery store, and get some! They are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, so not only are they delicious, but they’re great for you. Smelt are small boned fish, like anchovies, so you can eat them whole, even the head. if you’re so inclined. If you’re really lucky, like I have been thus far, you’ll find them fresh at your grocer.  I’m told that most grocers sell them frozen in bags.  Fresh is best, but these are so good that I would imagine they would still be good even after they’ve been frozen and defrosted. But if you have a choice, why not choose fresh?

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of Smelt (cleaned)

1/2 cup of coconut flour

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 cup of coconut oil

Ingredients for Parsley Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup of fresh organic flat leaf parsley finely chopped

5 tablespoons of Lemon juice

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic grated

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions: Melt the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet, and bring up to temperature. Season the smelt with sea salt and pepper:

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Dredge through the coconut flour, coating all sides of the fish with the flour:

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Carefully add the fish to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes:

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 Add the ingredients for the parsley lemon vinaigrette to a bowl and whisk until well combined, spoon over the fish and enjoy!

These make a great appetizer at a party, just make sure that you buy enough, because no one can eat just one of these! Like this recipe? Then you’ll love my video recipes, subscribe to my Lazy Girl Dinners Youtube channel for quick do it yourself and how to cook videos.

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Charbroiled Sardines with parsley and thyme

Charbroiled Sardines with Parsley and Thyme

Charbroiled Sardines with Parsley and Thyme

 

It’s not often here that I can walk up to my local Whole Foods Market fish counter and get fresh sardines. So when the opportunity to do so  occurred, I jumped at it.  I am a huge fan of small sustainable fish, like sardines, and smelt.  I’ll even go out on a limb and say that I like smelt fish more than sardines, but smelt fish are even harder to come by than fresh sardines.  If you’ve never made fresh sardines before, then you have been missing out! They’re so easy to make, and so delicious!

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Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 7-10 minutes

1 pound of fresh Sardines split down the middle

1/2 cup of parsley

1/4 cup thyme

1 clove of garlic

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Sea salt and Black pepper to taste

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Line a bake sheet with parchment or foil. Pulse all the ingredients with the exception of the sardines in a small blender or processor. You can skip the processor and opt to chop all the herbs finely and then mix with the oil and lemon. Place the sardines on the lined bake sheet, add the herb mixture to the inside of each sardine. Season with sea salt and black pepper then place in the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until sardines are cooked through and have charred on top a bit. Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!

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Keilbasa and Hash with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Kielbasa and Hash with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Kielbasa and Hash with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I have a confession: I’ve never eaten corn beef and cabbage, or corn beef hash. I haven’t a clue what either taste like. I see hash a lot on breakfast menu’s when we go out to eat, but I have shied away from ordering it since I didn’t know what corned beef was.  I’ve seen co-workers bring canned hash to work and eat it for lunch, let’s just say that it never looked or smelled appetizing! Quite the opposite of appetizing actually. As a result canned hash has become the equivalent to canned spam in my head–an anomaly. I haven’t a clue what spam is, and have yet to meet anyone who can enlighten me on what it is. Being that I am the queen of food transparency, and need to know exactly what I’m eating at all times, I  just avoid it altogether. I was discussing wanting to try to make a hash with a friend, and she suggested I try it with an alternative to corned beef. She makes her hash with ground meat or sausage and suggested I do the same. So I decided to try to make hash with kielbasa. I’m so glad I did, it’s delicious! I can’t believe that I waited so long to try hash.

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Ingredients:

12oz of kielbasa cubed

2.5 cups of golden potatoes cubed

3/4 cup of bellpepper diced

3/4 cup of brown onion diced

1 large clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

14oz of brussle sprouts bottom stem removed, and sprout slit down the middle

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and give it a spray of coconut oil or olive oil. Add brussel sprouts, season with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil, cook for 7-10 minutes or until the brussle sprouts brown a bit, remove from oven and set aside. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 5-7 minutes, just until you are able to pierce them with a fork, they should still be very firm, drain and set aside.  Add the kielbasa to a cast iron pan and cook until brown, remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the skillet with the remaining oil from the Keilbasa, sauté until onion becomes translucent. Add in the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cook until potatoes take on some color (7-10 minutes) add in the browned kielbasa, thyme , sea salt and pepper and toss well. Serve the hash with the Brussel sprouts and enjoy! So yummy!

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Do you know what spam is?

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Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

My daughter has reached a turning point in eating! I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the fact that she her 2 year molars are coming in, which makes things easier to chew. But in the last few weeks we’ve seen a change in her mindset too. She’s taken to saying “to eat is good for you?” Or insert name of food item “is good for you?” If we say yes, then she eats it! I feel like I’ve struck the mommy lotto because now things she wouldn’t consider eating, she’s now eating, all because we say it’s good for her. One of the things I have been trying to get her to eat, but she never would, is cucumbers. It has been a complete over night shift! She wouldn’t touch them before, but now she loves them because they’re good for her. She also loves tomatoes, this Persian salad is one of my favorite salads to order when we go out for Persian food. So I thought I’d try it out on her and of course she loved it! I’m not a big fan of onions in my salads, because they tend to over power the rest of the ingredients in a salad. I don’t know where I learned this tip, but soaking the onions in water before adding them to things, mellows the onions a bit. I let them sit for 5-10 minutes and drain them before adding them to my salad, the onions still have flavor, but less of a “oh my god I just ate a raw onion” bite! I prefer to use red onion, or shallots in this recipe, but brown onion works just as well.

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Prep time: 5-10minutes
Cook time : none

Ingredients:
1 cup Organic Persian Cucumber cubed
1 cup of organic cherry Tomatoes quartered or halved
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons of red onion finely chopped, soaked in water for ten minutes then drained just before adding them to salad.

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to a bowl toss well and enjoy!

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Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

One of my favorite “cook” books is The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It is my go to book when I need inspiration for a new recipe. If you own it, then you know it’s not a cookbook in the traditional sense, because it doesn’t contain any recipes. It’s more of a reference for exactly what it title states, flavors that work well together. Yesterday I was browsing it for an idea for what I could do with some ground lamb that I needed to make for dinner. It was a hot day here in California–go figure–so I wanted something light and cooling. I opened The Flavor Bible up and landed on Chimichurri and it hit me! Inspiration at it’s best!! I decided to make lamb lettuce wraps with a mint Chimichurri! These are DELICIOUS!! My husband raved at every bite! If ground lamb isn’t your thing, or you can’t get it in your grocery store, try this with ground beef or chicken, the mint Chimichurri sauce will work with either.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:
1 lb Lamb
9 leaves of organic Butter lettuce
1 cup of organic Green onion sliced white parts included
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh organic mint chopped

Ingredients for Mint Chimichurri
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup of mint
3 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
Place all the ingredients for the Chimmichurri in a blender or processor and blend until smooth, set aside. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet, add garlic, and green onion, toss for 20-30 seconds, then add in ground meat. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and cook until meat is browned and cooked through, add in the mint and toss, remove from the fire.
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Scoop meat into lettuce leaves, top with Chimmichurri and enjoy!

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