• Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Cowboy Beans

    Inspired by Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday, these beans are my take on a beloved Mexican restaurant side. These beans were for the older boys first dinner home from school for the summer. Along with Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos, Mexican rice and Creamy Guacamole Sauce, big servings of Mexican comfort food were devoured at dinner. Smoky, a bit spicy, Cowboy Beans are sure to become a favorite with your family. Cowboy Beans Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6 Use this classic Mexican bean side to inspire all sorts of flavor combinations. You could add pickled jalapenos, roasted red peppers, or change things up and make a black bean version. Fresh cilantro would…

  • Recipes,  Sides

    Skillet Baby Potatoes

    Potatoes are a dinnertime staple in our house, so I am always on the lookout for new ways to prepare them. I have tinkered around with cooking them in a skillet, but they would never cook evenly, or would end up overcooked before they were done. Through trial and error I finally figured out that they have to be parboiled – that way you get a head start on getting them tender before adding them to the skillet. And now your oven is free for the rest of dinner. These savory potatoes are sure to be a hit with your family! Skillet Baby Potatoes Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6 These…

  • Asian,  Flavors,  Recipes,  Sides

    Skillet Miso Potatoes

    My current ingredient obsession is miso paste. I go through these phases of getting hooked on ingredients from time to time – it’s one of the most fun parts of making a living through food. Right now, it’s miso, specifically white miso. White miso is the mildest form of miso paste, so it’s the best choice to try. One tub, which only costs about $6, will keep in your fridge for months and adds a subtle, salty kick to so many dishes. Plus, because it has such a mild taste I can sneak it by my kids (another big plus). Recently I used white miso to make Grilled Baby Bok…

  • Asian,  Flavors,  Grilling,  Recipes,  Sides,  Vegetables

    Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms

    Few vegetables are more delicious on the grill than portabello mushrooms…they lend themselves to all types of flavor profiles and they grill beautifully. This mouthwatering marinade pairs perfectly with the mushrooms, but would also work well with steak. Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms Author: Kate Wagner Serves: serves 4 This marinade is soooo good! Your mushrooms need as little as an hour in the marinade, but up to overnight works well too. Planning a quick weeknight dinner – I would double the marinade and include a few steaks. Happy cooking! Ingredients 4 tbsp Soy sauce, low-sodium 1/2 of a Lime, zested and juiced 2 tsp Garlic, minced 2 tsp Sambal oelek…

  • Asian,  Flavors,  Grilling,  Recipes,  Sides,  Vegetables

    Grilled Baby Bok Choy

    Bok choy on the grill is so good, flavorful and interesting…and best of all quick, which makes it the perfect candidate for a weeknight dinner side. Of all the Asian ingredients I keep in the fridge, miso paste might be my favorite. I love it’s unami punch and versatility. Grilled Baby Bok Choy Author: Kate Wagner Serves: serves 4 I love bok choy on the grill, it’s just like grilled romaine, unexpectedly good in a way you never anticipated. I know it sounds crazy, but bok choy is actually very kid-friendly. You don’t need to do much for these ingredients, just toss them with a bit of butter or oil,…

  • Cooking for a Crowd,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Jasmine Rice

    Rice is a dinnertime staple in our house. I serve it with all types of meals, but especially with Asian dinners, so Jasmine is the rice I make over and over again. The secret here is the cooking technique. I bake my rice which means hands-off cooking and even more important, it cooks consistently. Perfect, fluffy rice every time! Jasmine Rice Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 8-10 Why is this rice so good? The secret to baking the rice is the consistent temp – unlike the stovetop where you can never achieve the same result. Make sure you have boiling water and chicken broth (by the way, the combination of the…

  • Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Oven-Baked French Fries

    We are a household of potato lovers, led and encouraged by yours truly. Roasted redskin potatoes are a dinner staple in our house, but sometimes you need to change it up a bit, so instead of our usual redskin cubes, I made russet fries. A big dinner hit! They crisped up great and sometimes all you need is a little change to mix up your dinner rotation. Oven-Baked French Fries Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6 These potatoes were gobbled up by the kids. But you can fancy them up a bit for grown-ups. Try sprinkling them with some grated Parmesan and fresh minced flat-leaf parsley. If you are doubling this…

  • Recipes,  Sides,  Southern,  Vegetables

    Southern-style Green Beans

    Green beans are a favorite of mine – grilled, roasted, steamed, sauteed – always delicious and enjoyed by the kids. But sometimes I crave them softer and more unctuous, and only a long-cooking time can coax out that level of flavor. I made these for Sunday dinner a few days ago, and served them alongside a baked ham. There’s an element of nostalgia in a meal like this…it’s comforting, delicious and feels like home – all on a plate of simple food. Southern-style Green Beans Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 8 I was a little apprehensive to make these beans for my kids, because they loathe mushy food, so instead of the…

  • Cooking for a Crowd,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Old Bay Potatoes

    How I LOVE potatoes! They are just my favorite food (and of course a carb downfall), but you only live once and everything is good in moderation. I am always working on new potato recipes and of course anything with potatoes, cheese, bacon and butter is going to be a winner, including this spicy potato casserole that’s perfect for an afternoon of football. It’s an ideal year-round side for pulled pork, brisket, ribs and burgers on the grill. Old Bay Potatoes Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 10-12 Just like a mashed potato casserole with some kick to it! There is a good bit of butter here, but consider this a special…

  • Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Pan-Fried Potatoes

    Jeff always finds it funny that for someone who really tries to watch her carbs, I am obsessed with potatoes. I just love them – baked, roasted, mashed, stuffed…you name it, I want it. I have been making my roasted potatoes for years, they’re probably one of my top 5 most beloved recipes of all time. The challenge I’ve found this summer, is that while I am lucky enough to have 2 ovens, the second is one of those half ovens, not particularly helpful when cooking for a crowd. I just don’t always have the oven space to devote to a tray of potatoes – which meant I needed to…