Green bean and red potato hot dish

Green bean and red potato hot dish

According to Minnesotans, this recipe would be considered “hot dish.” When I moved to Minnesota last year, I had no idea what “hot dish” was, but I soon found out that it was essentially a casserole — usually with a cream of mushroom or chicken soup. Michael made this green bean and red potato hot dish last week with the green beans that my parents gave us.

The verdict? Michael says it was one of the best “haaaaat dishes” he’s ever eaten. I, on the other hand, have never liked green beans all that much. But I liked this casserole too — especially the delicious red potato topping!

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Garden-fresh polenta pizza with homemade pesto

Garden-fresh polenta pizza with homemade pesto

Michael went to the farmer’s market at the University of Minnesota this past week, and picked up some fresh veggies for our kitchen. While we didn’t have anything specific in mind to make, we figured we could cook something delicious with them. While browsing the internets, Michael found a polenta pizza recipe that looked good–but we didn’t have the ingredients it called for. So we made our own, substituting homemade pesto and grilled veggies as pizza toppings.

This polenta pizza recipe is chock-full of fresh garden veggies, and was as delicious as we had hoped. While it’s not difficult to make, it does take a bit of time, as the polenta crust needs to chill in the fridge before the pizza can be assembled.

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Fresh blueberry pie

Fresh blueberry pie

This pie is brought to you by my parents, who drove to Minnesota for our wedding with a 5 quart pail of freshly-picked blueberries and the gift of a Kitchenaid stand mixer (thanks, mom and dad!).

I don’t have a lot to say about this pie, except that it’s delicious and fairly simple to make. I mixed the pie crust in the Kitchenaid, and then put the filling together while the dough was chilling in the fridge. This pie does need to cool for about 2 hours after baking, so it pays to plan ahead with this recipe.

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Provencal stuffed peppers

Provencal stuffed peppers

A couple months ago, Michael and I stopped by a Barnes and Nobles bookstore on our way home from the mall. In the entrance-way, we found several cookbooks with enticing recipes pictured on their covers. I selected the vegetarian cookbook, which boasted over 300 recipes, and proudly brought it home.

Today I finally made the first recipe out of it — which was, in fact, the recipe pictured on the cover. These stuffed peppers are filled with delicious vegetables, and make a simple, light summer meal. If you have a garden, this would be a perfect way to use some of its bounty. Michael and I served the peppers with a grilled bratwurst, rice, and homemade applesauce.

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Tomato sausage polenta

Tomato sausage polenta

My mom found this recipe in one of her Taste of Home cooking magazines several years ago, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. It combines a cornbread-like polenta with a simple tomato-sausage sauce, which is topped with cheese and baked to perfection.

As my mom could tell you, I often request this dish when I’m visiting my parents’ house. Last week, I decided to try my own hand at making this delicious polenta. And, believe me, it was DELICIOUS. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list — it does take around an hour to make, but it’s still an easy weeknight recipe.

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