Teriyaki mushrooms and asparagus with chilled tofu

Teriyaki mushrooms and asparagus with chilled tofu

I made this simple Japanese meal for dinner a few weeks ago, and both Michael and I agreed that it was delicious. I used a pre-made ginger teriyaki sauce to quickly glaze the shiitake mushrooms and asparagus, but you could definitely make your own if you prefer.

The chilled tofu (hiyayakko) is topped with green onions, bonito flakes, and soy sauce. Pressing the block of tofu before serving allows it to absorb more of the flavor of the soy sauce. Give it a try — it’s delicious!

Continue reading Teriyaki mushrooms and asparagus with chilled tofu

Raisin and wild rice stuffing

Raisin and wild rice stuffing

My mom makes homemade dressing (stuffing) every Thanksgiving, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the meal… along with pretty much everything else. Last year, I made cheesy grits for Michael and myself instead, and was planning to do the same this year. But, we changed our minds on Thanksgiving morning and decided to make a more traditional stuffing recipe.

So, Michael looked up some recipes online, and we decided to make a wild rice dressing with ingredients from our pantry and freezer. It was fabulous! We used cinnamon raisin English muffins for the bread, but you could easily use plain English muffins and add a handful of raisins along with the almonds.

Continue reading Raisin and wild rice stuffing

Sausage, mushroom, and wild rice casserole

Sausage, mushroom, and wild rice casserole

This recipe is so delicious that you’ll want to wake up in the middle of the night and eat the leftovers. I made it for Sunday dinner last weekend, along with sweet mashed potatoes, and we proceeded to eat the leftovers for every meal after that until they were gone. So we’ll definitely be making this one again.

Wild rice is Minnesota’s state grain, and it has a hearty flavor that compliments the sausage and mushrooms in the casserole. If wild rice isn’t available where you live, brown rice might work as a substitute, though we haven’t tried that.

Continue reading Sausage, mushroom, and wild rice casserole

Carrot, sausage, and rib stew

Carrot, sausage, and rib stew

Michael made this simple and delicious stew for lunch today when we finally cleaned out our fridge after returning home from our honeymoon. We found an abundance of celery about to go bad, and 4 already-opened bags of baby carrots — and so immediately thought stew.

This delicious stew takes a couple hours to simmer on the stove, and so it would also be a perfect recipe to cook in a crockpot on a busy day. Michael and I enjoyed the hearty combination of flavors from the bratwurst, pork ribs, and shiitake mushrooms. We served this simple lunch with rye toast and baby dill pickles, and recommend that you give it a try too!

Continue reading Carrot, sausage, and rib stew

Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff

When Michael returned from a conference in Spain this past weekend, he mentioned that he had eaten stroganoff while he was there. While stroganoff is by no means a Spanish dish (it’s actually Russian), it did remind him of how much he liked it. My knowledge of stroganoff, on the other hand, was limited to the Hamburger Helper variety. So Michael decided that we had better make the real thing.

Just as he promised, the beef stroganoff we made was delicious. Not only that, but it’s a simple recipe made with common ingredients. The hardest part is patiently waiting for it to simmer on the stove while you’re smelling its delicious aroma. Next time, we think that julienned red and green peppers would make a tasty addition.

Continue reading Beef stroganoff

Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

I’ve always been intrigued by recipes for stuffed peppers, though I’ve never made them. So, last weekend I decided enough was enough — and planned to make stuffed green peppers.

Last Sunday, Michael and I ended up spending a leisurely afternoon with friends at an antique show at the HarMar Mall in Roseville. While there, Michael went to Cub Foods for me to buy a couple green peppers to stuff. He came back with 3 red peppers instead — they were on sale for $1 each! So naturally, we then returned to the store together and bought even more of them, and my plans were changed to stuffed red peppers.

Well, it turns out that my first attempt at stuffed peppers was quite the successful attempt, despite my approach of using as many leftovers as I could find in the fridge. By using leftover rice in the recipe, total prep + cooking time is an easy 45 minutes. The filling in this recipe makes enough to fill 3 peppers, halved lengthwise, though I only stuffed 2 peppers and saved the rest of the filling to use later.

Continue reading Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

Vodka sauce and meatballs on rice

Vodka sauce and meatballs on rice

Oh, boy. This is one FANTASTIC meal. It is, and we’re not even kidding. When I first moved to the Twin Cities, I began shopping at my local Cub and Rainbow for groceries. Every time I passed through the aisle with spaghetti sauces, I somehow managed to notice a jar from Classico labeled “Vodka Sauce”. I began to wonder what such a sauce would taste like, so I went home and threw a shot of vodka into some marinara sauce. It was horrifying. After that point, I began to wonder who in their right mind would even like such a crazy sauce.

Then, one day, I was brave and thought, “Well, you know, I must have just screwed that one up, and I bet Classico could do a better job.” At this point, I searched online for what vodka sauce really was to discover that it was a tomato sauce mixed with cream and vodka. I forgot to add the cream (and probably other things too) when I foolishly tried to create such an amazing sauce. So I ran to the store and picked up a jar of the wonderful bliss called vodka sauce.

The recipe described here is amazing, yet also very simple. It was discovered as a result of thinking “what if we were to mix…” etc. We created a recipe for a sauce that can be served with meatballs and rice. In fact, it’s not a necessity to use meatballs, as this recipe goes quite well with stir-fried pork meat on rice or even pierogies.

Continue reading Vodka sauce and meatballs on rice