RSS Feed

Category Archives: Sides

Foodie Friday: Gluten Free Cornbread

In our group of friends here we have a lot of people with food allergies. Gluten, dairy, nuts… the list goes on and on.

We had a chili cook off recently and one of the gluten free girls mentioned how much she missed cornbread. I knew that there had to be a quick and easy (and cheap) way to make it for her, so I told her I’d take care of it.

I spent a good bit of time online looking at various recipes. Some called for up to 4 or 5 specialty flours that there was no way I was going to buy for one dish. Seriously. Cornbread should be cheap. I was raised on Jiffy cornbread in the blue box, which is a staple for most poor large families.

I finally found a few recipes that were simple enough, and after combining and tweaking them, came up with this one. Luckily, since I was making it for a crowd without tasting it first, it turned out great.

Gluten Free Cornbread

  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used rice milk.)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 cups fine or medium cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses (or you can just do 2 tbsp extra honey)
  • 11-oz can corn, drained
  • 2 tbsp coconut or canola/veg oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
Preheat your oven to 420.
Combine the vinegar with the milk, and set aside. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, corn (you can smash it a little if you want), and milk-vinegar. Then pour the wet into dry and mix until just mixed. It will look really weird and foamy and you’ll probably think you did something wrong. Pour into a greased 8×8 dish and cook for about 25 minutes. Let cool.

Foodie Friday: Grandmommy’s Sweet Dill Pickles

We all have certain flavors that trigger memories from our childhood. One of my most vivid is dill, which reminds me of the pickles my grandmother always seemed to have in her fridge all summer. She never canned them, but kept them in a big jar that she’d replenish whenever she ran out. Considering what a greedy little pig I was, I’m sure I helped make that a regular event.

While these are best with homegrown cucumbers, store-bought can be used instead. Just make sure that they’re small and thin-skinned.

We lost my sweet Grandmommy in June very unexpectedly, so I think I’ll make some pickles this weekend in her honor to celebrate the end of summer.

Dilly Onion Cuke

  • 1 large onion – sliced
  • 1 cucumber -sliced


  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • ½ c. white vinegar
  • ¼ c water


Combine liquid stirring until sugar dissolves and add the sliced vegetables

Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours

Stir occasionally

Grandmommy’s note on the recipe: I usually double the liquid and veggies. When the pickles are gone, I put a second batch in the same leftover liquid. It is too bland to use a third time .

Any other family recipes out there?

Foodie Friday: Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

When I was growing up, the child of hippies, we had many dinners that were entirely composed of vegetables. We ate meat often, but I still love to curl up with a big bowl of sliced tomatoes and avocados with dressing, just like I did when I was young. Weird, I know.

Josh did not grow up like this, so when I first mentioned that we were going to start eating less meat and more vegetables, he was understandably concerned.

I consider the fact that we nearly fought over the last serving of this bowl of roasted veggies to be a sign that a) I have an awesome and very open minded husband, and b) it was insanely good. Like, so good it will be on at least a monthly rotation.

Brussel sprouts have become one of my favorite vegetables in recent years, and this summer we discovered the beauty of  broccolini (aka broccoli rabe or rapini). They both have a certain bitter flavor, so tossing them with maple syrup and balsamic before roasting is perfect.

We chose to eat this as a main course and polished it off. It would also make an excellent side dish, and might possibly show up on my Christmas table.

Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts (recipe copied from here)

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 3 or so handfuls of arugula
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim the brussels sprouts and cut in half. Cut the broccolini into bite sized pieces.

Put the brussels sprouts on one baking sheet and the broccolini on another. Drizzle with the olive oil, maple syrup, and balsamic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss them around and make sure they’re well coated.

Place brussels sprouts in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes (they take longer to cook than the broccolini). Toss the sprouts occasionally.

At the 25 minute mark, put the broccolini in the oven as well. Continue roasting both for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. You really want some good color on them.

When they’re thoroughly roasted, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Once they’re no longer sizzling, toss with the arugula and cranberries, and taste. You can add a little more maple/balsamic/oil or whatever you like at this point.

Serve, and fight for seconds.

Foodie Friday: Lady Peas

In my dad’s family there is one thing more precious than the family silver. Lady peas. Seriously. My grandmother recently moved out of her house and we had to go through all her posessions. The frozen bags of lady peas were the most sought after item.

These tiny peas of deliciousness are in season and if you can find them at your local markets, buy some.

I prepare them by washing them and then boiling them with season salt and a slice of bacon. They don’t take very long (20-30 minutes) and are the perfect simple side during the summer. Serve with grilled meat and fresh veggies.

Foodie Friday: Beer Battered Asparagus

Confession: I myself have never made these. Josh makes them for me. I’m spoiled.

The recipe includes a dipping sauce that’s mayo, lemon juice, zest and pepper, but we have never made it. We prefer ours drizzled with lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt. Then we inhale about a pound of them. Seriously. the first time Josh made them, he thought he had made way too many of them. Then he looked away for a second and I inhaled about half of them.

What can I say? As a true Southern girl, there’s nothing better to me than some good fried vegetables.

Beer-battered Asparagus

•1 cup all-purpose flour
•1 tsp salt
•1 Tbsp lemon zest
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1 cup beer (We prefer Harp, but any lager would do)
•About 4 cups vegetable oil
•1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed
Combine flour, salt, zest, and pepper in a bowl, then add beer and whisk well.

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a 3-4 quart pan (we use my dutch oven), over medium high heat until hot. The recipe calls for 375, though I don’t think we even really measure the temperature.

Dip asparagus into batter, then drop into oil, no more than about 10 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Stir gently to prevent them from sticking to each other. Fry until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle sea salt over them before serving.

Foodie Friday: Roasted Vegetables

This is hardly a recipe. More like a reccomendation.

You trust me, right?

If any of you refuse to eat brussel sprouts, you need to change your mind now and make this.

I might have eaten thirds. Maybe.

Don’t judge.

One of the most popular things we cooked for our Christmas feast were brussel sprouts.

Now I’m even more obsessed with them than ever, and this combo is pretty dang fantastic.

Please try it. If you don’t like it, I’ll… well, I won’t do anything but be sad for you.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Friends

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow (sweet) onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (I love sea salt)
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminium foil. Trim the outer leaves and bottoms of the sprouts and quarter them. Cut the squash into small pieces (I put mine in the microwave for about a minute to soften it before I ever attempt to cut it. I like my fingers and intend to keep them for a long time). Cut the onion into whatever sized pieces you’d like. Just not too small, or they’ll get burned.

Toss the veggies in olive oil and lots of salt and pepper, spread out on the cookie sheet and cooked for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. It’s done when the squash is tender and everything is delicious and amazing and life changing.

We served this with, well, I don’t remember. Probably a lamb chop or pork chop. I just remember eating lots and lots of this.

Foodie Friday: Sassy Green Beans

Since Rachel asked, I decided I should post this recipe, especially since I’m pretty sure I’ll be making them for Thanksgiving too.

Yeah, they’re that good.

My sister and I have been making these for years, adapted from some super fancy bacon wrapped green bean bundles. Forget the bundles, and just mix together a big pan of these. Everyone will thank you.

Granted, these are a true Southern vegetable in every since of the word, meaning they have loads of fat and probably zero nutrional value whatsoever.

Make them. Give thanks for butter. Give thanks for bacon. And have a very large drink.

Sassy Green Beans

  • 4 cans of cut green beans, drained (can use 5 if serving a large crowd. I like french style)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. of garlic salt
  • 8 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled ( I’ve totally used precooked here, and it’s been just as tasty. No judgement here)

Pour green beans in a tall baking dish. In separate bowl melt butter and add sugar, soy sauce, bacon and garlic salt. Mix well. Pour mixture over green beans and stir to combine. Cover dish and bake for 50 minutes on 350 degrees. Stir twice while baking.