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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring, Happy New Blog

Hey everyone!  Well, we're well into 2012 and, as promised, I'm back.  I've had a LOT of requests to get started again - and wow, I'm really surprised at how many fans I have!  Thank you, thank you!  It means so much to me - I never thought I'd have a little fan-base going and it means a lot.

I'll be writing more as the Spring progresses; I've been at a loss lately as to new and creative ideas to post.  I am aware that many of my readers - especially ones with finicky eaters (that's not a bad thing!) aren't necessarily ready to try things like say, my Smoked Salmon Pizza or my Salmon in Pastry Dough.  (don't be scared - fish are your friends.  AND food.)  So I'll broaden my horizons, and that will keep everyone happy!

And I know you've missed me, right? :)

Some of the GORGEOUS flowers that E got me for our three-year anniversary!  I'm such a sucker for flowers.  :)
A dear friend of mine asked me last week to post some recipes to make which incorporate asparagus and other spring veggies and fruits.  So let me give you a few of my staples today, for good side dishes. Later, in the next few weeks, I'll provide some main-course ideas!

The first is a super-easy one which I didn't come up with - E did!  A few weeks back, he banished me from the kitchen to create a really spectacular dinner for us.  He made Shrimp Scampi over Linguine, and a side of Roasted Asparagus that was simple and so, so flavorful!  I normally steam my fresh veggies, but I'm learning to embrace roasting them as well, for that bolder, bite-ier taste - something really crucial to maintain the integrity of the season's freshness.  He did a GREAT job and hopefully will continue to treat me to dinner again soon!  Babe?  You reading this?  LOL!


Roasted Asparagus

All you need for this recipe is a cookie sheet, some tin foil, olive oil, salt, pepper, and asparagus.  Try to find the ones with a closed tip, those are fresher.   

Cut the woody ends (about an inch) off the bottoms of asparagus.  Align on a cookie sheet, lined with tin foil, and drizzle olive oil on each.  A few cracks of salt and pepper, and roll them around to be sure they're all covered.

Put in a 325* oven for 10-12 minutes or until asparagus are crisp and bright, but not under-done.  What I like to do is roast them in my toaster oven - it gets done a lot quicker and is much more convenient!

The spectacular meal that E made for me - his famous asparagus on the right!
Another idea that I use for steaming fresh veggies (which was also E's idea) is adding this spice before cooking.  It goes GREAT on things like broccoli, green beans, zucchini.. on and on.

This i s the salt-free version, and is also MSG-free, and while they used to carry it at ShopRite and Wegmans, I can no longer find it.  Thank goodness for Amazon

The ingredients include, among others: onion, orange, celery leaf and celery root, garlic, mushroom, parsley, spinach, tomato, toasted onion, soy flour, dill, curry, white pepper, green and red peppers, tarragon, saffron, rosehips, sweet paprika, oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme - quite a list. (via) You can really put this on anything - meats, scrambled eggs, fish, etc.  Check it out!

 Look forward to hearing from you, readers, on what you'd like to see this Spring.  Happy Eating!


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