Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

Potatoes, bacon, cheese, need I say more?  Actually in this case, I think so.  These aren’t your standard cheddar loaded potatoes you’d get at happy hour in some family restaurant, they’re a deliciously sophisticated and yes, slightly decadent dish that is now definitely on my go-to side dish list.

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

iNgredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb hickory smoked, thick sliced bacon
3 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesan (preferably freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano)
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
fresh parsley, chopped

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Peel the potatoes and place in a large pot with water covering them.  Bring water to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Cut bacon in small pieces (freeze the bacon slices for about 10 min, it will make easier to cut)
  3. Cook bacon in a skillet until golden, but still flexible. You don’t want it crunchy. Remove cooked bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. While potatoes are cooling, preheat the oven to 425° and mince the garlic and parsley. Also, grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  5. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt,pepper and rosemary. Place in 425° oven for 35-40 minutes. Rotate potatoes halfway through the baking time to ensure an even color.
  6. Reduce temperature to 375°, turn potatoes over and sprinkle with the bacon, garlic, and parmesan and cook for additional 15 minutes or until browned and cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. And voila, enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked BaconRoasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

Since this lemon cake is made with fresh lemon juice, and lemons are fruit, and fruit is healthy, then lemon cake is a health food, right?   At least that’s what I will tell myself as I enjoy a delicious piece of lemon cake with coffee every morning this week.  If you want to make your own (and trust me you do!), it’s easy and delicious!

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon
  • Rind of two lemons, preferably organic Meyer lemon

Lemon Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • about 2 tbs. lemon juice and a 1/2 tsp. water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC)
  2.  Butter and lightly flour the pan  (If you’re using any Nordic Ware pan or other pan with an intricate design, trust me, you’ll love the non-stick baking spray by Baker’s Joy).
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  4. Mix butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add one egg and a few tablespoons of the flour mixture until blended. Continue this way until all the eggs are incorporated, but about a cup of the flour remains (you’ll add the remainder in shortly).
  6. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, lemon rind, and mix well.
  7. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the remaining flour with a spatula.
  8. Place cake batter into prepared loaf pan and put into preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 325ºF (150ºC) and continue to bake for another 40 to 45 minutes, or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and place on rack to cool completely.
  10. For the icing, simply mix the confectioner’s sugar, lemon and water until smooth. Spread or drizzle over cooled cake.
  11. Allow the icing to set at least 5 minutes before cutting the cake.
  12. Enjoy!

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

  1. Iced Lemon Pound CakeIced Lemon Pound CakeIced Lemon Pound CakeIced Lemon Pound Cake

 

Raw Beet, Carrot & Zucchini Salad

Raw Beet, Zucchini & Carrot Salad

It’s been on my wish list for MONTHS, and finally I have it, the Paderno Spiralizer  (thanks to my hubby for this wonderful Valentines Day gift)!  It magically transforms vegetables into spaghetti, potatoes into spiral french fries, cucumbers into thin slices, and is capable of any number of other fantastical vegetable transformations.

Spiralizer Photo

 

Using blade C, the thinnest spaghetti blade, I decided to test my new toy and make a vegetable pasta salad.  The beets and zucchini squash turned out perfectly, making long “noodles”.  The organic carrots I had were a bit too small in diameter and only made pieces about an inch long.  I tossed them together with a homemade Lemon Feta Dressing, and garnished with a little more Feta.

Raw Beet, Zucchini & Carrot SaladRaw Beet, Zucchini & Carrot SaladIMG_8450Raw Beet, Zucchini & Carrot SaladRaw Beet, Zucchini & Carrot Salad

Lemon Feta Dressing

(serves 2-3)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Tbs Feta Cheese
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbs Lemon juice
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • Pinch of Cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients (I used a Magic Bullet to quickly mix them)

15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle SoupWe got to spend a wonderful long weekend with my brother and his family in DisneyWorld last week.  The parks were so much fun, and the weather was great… until the last day, when it starting raining at 2pm and didn’t stop until well after midnight.  And when I say it didn’t stop, I mean not even 5 seconds of relief from the heavy downpour. Long story short, my husband brought back one souvenir, a cold.  I needed to whip up something quick for the both of us, so, this homemade chicken noodle soup came to the rescue.  The key time savers here are a rotisserie chicken from Costco and a bag of mixed frozen veggies, and 15 minutes later – Voilá!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 tbs fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2Tbs diced sweet peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped chicken
  • 3/4 cup mixed frozen vegetables
  • 1 tsp Better than Bouillon
  • 3 tbs stelline pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the  olive oil to sauce pan on medium heat.   Add the garlic and onion; cook until the onion is partially transparent and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and brown for 2 minutes
  3. Add celery and brown another 2 minutes
  4. Add remaining vegetables, cook 3 minutes
  5. Add water, Better than Bouillon and mini-pasta, cook about 4-7 minutes until pasta is tender
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley
  7. Enjoy!15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle Soup15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle Soup15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle Soup15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle Soup15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle Soup15-Minute Homemade Chicken Noddle Soup