Because Life Happens…Easy Roasted Root Vegetables

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Busy, it’s happened. Between, triathlon trainings, yard work, removing popcorn ceiings, and painting the house – there’s little room for some fun. Also, my husband graduated with his Masters. Such a smart cookie, so proud of him!

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But for me, it’s my passion for chopping, sautéing, recipe making and blogging about food! I’ve missed being here.

Here’s recipe in execution, is very simple. Chop, bake, and 45 minutes later you have a delicious side dish. Choose your favorite root or dense veggies, as they will not become mushy. Examples: potatoes, winter squash, fennel, onion, radish, turnips and you can pair these with your preferred herbs and spices. Yum! Hope you enjoy…

Roasted Root Vegetables

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Serves 4, Prep 15 minutes, Roast 45 minutes

  • 6 fingerling potatoes (3 purple and 3 yellow)
  • 6 radishes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons herbs (fresh dill)
  • spray olive oil or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, and grease the pan.
  2. Wash, dry, and chop your vegetables. Make sure your chop is an even cut so they roast well.
  3. OIive Oil: 2 methods. Either toss veggies in a bowl with the oil OR lay veggies on the baking sheet so they are not touching. Spray with oil until well coated.
  4. Finely chop herb of choice and sprinkle on top of the veggies. Add salt to taste.IMG_1665
  5. Bake 45 minutes or until nicely browned.

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So yummy!

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Springtime in Saint Louie! Visiting the Farmers Market

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Buy Local. Support Local. Eat the freshest produce you can buy!

Saint Louis hosts many farmer’s markets around the city. In fact, there were so many to choose from! We choose the Lake Saint Louis Farmers and Artist Market because of the volume of vendors and bonus, dog friendly!

Guide to going to the market:

  1. Pick a market. Post Dispatch Listings
  2. Check you local seasonal calendar. AgriMissouri Calendar
  3. Research the attending vendors.*

*I recommend double checking your vendors are selling what is in season, organic, free range, and most importantly local. There is such a difference in the quality and flavor of your food. No, we do not always buy these items due to cost. However, we do when it comes to the markets.

What did we get? For $20 dollars we came home with this bounty:

  • green onions
  • radishes
  • Italian lettuce
  • a dozen free range eggs
  • morel mushrooms (not sure what these are? Click here) These are costly due to short growing season.

Most embarrassing pug moment at the market. There were a few dog treat vendors. Penny dearest would have nothing of it! Guess, they were too “healthy.” Nothing like having your dog refuse to eat the vendor’s treat.

Favorite market? Let us know!

Something Borrowed: The Ultimate Greek Salad

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While visiting family in Michigan, we had a delicious Mediterranean style dinner. It was beyond amazing! The salad was on par with how the Greeks served their veggies. Minus the lettuce.

Lucky me, I had a chance to visit Greece. Whenever we ordered salads, the lettuce was missing! How could that be? Well, it really didn’t matter.The Greeks have this amazing way of taking relatively simple ingredients and making it taste so complex – it’s irrestibly good. So, of course, I had to share the with you. This recipe serves about 6 small salads. Unfortunately for my husband, I ate 5 of the 6 servings.

Ultimate Greek Salad

  • 1 cucumber chopped into half moods
  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup herb crumbled feta cheese OR regular crumbled feta plus 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 romaine heart chopped (1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Start by chopping your vegetables. In a large bowl, layer your vegetables: cucumbers, olives, feta, romaine, grape tomatoes.

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Pour olive oil into the salad and toss with your hands.

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Enjoy!

Want MORE yummy St. Louis Greek food? Try the gyro and saganaki here!

Olympia Kebob House and Taverna in Dogtown.

1543 McCausland

Saint Louis, MO 63117

It’s Lettuce Season! Yummy Grilled Romaine Hearts

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Spring has sprung at The Yellow Brick House! Nature has awoken from this dreary winter. It’s showing it’s beautiful dogwood and lilac blooms around the yard.

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At the same time, we are quickly preparing our gardens. A perfect spring treat is romaine lettuce. Here’s an oldie but goodie. It’s a unique twist on a traditional salad. The simple trick is to not cook it too long or it will wilt.

Grilled Romaine Hearts

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Serves 2

  • one romaine heart
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Wash romaine heart and set out to completely dry. Wet lettuce will steam and wilt!

Cut romaine heart in half leave the stem attached. This will hold the lettuce together on the grill. Spray oil lightly on both sides of romaine heart.

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If using an outdoor grill, place lettuce on direct heat 20 to 30 second per side. Enough to char the lettuce but still has a nice bite. For a stovetop grill, turn heat on high. Cook 20 to 30 second per side until char nicely on each side.

Grilled Romaine Hearts

Grilled Romaine Hearts

Remove from heat and divide cheese in half between lettuce halves. Drizzle simple garlic lemon dressing or your favorite dressing such as Italian or Balsamic vinaigrette.

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Simple Garlic Lemon Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • juice and zest one medium lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

Whisk all ingredients and chill at least 20 minutes before serving. Drizzle on lettuce.

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Enjoy!

Let’s get dirty! Worms and Dirt Trifle

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It’s almost here, my husband’s “dirty thirty.” But, I have been listening all these years to a certain treat. He mentioned this foreign dessert called worms and dirt. It does not sound very appetizing at first. But, I had an idea to make my own version for his special day.

Traditionally, the dessert has chocolate pudding, ground Oreo cookies and gummy worms. For lent, I gave up cookies and needed to be creative. My version has homemade chocolate pudding and brownies mixed with gummy worms.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Recipe adaptation from the Brown Eyed Baker

  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir together 3.5 cups milk, the sugar, chocolate and salt, and place over medium-low heat. Cook, constants whisking, until the chocolate is completely melted over medium high heat.

Whisk corn starch and the half cup remaining milk until dissolved and add to sauce pan.

Whisk mixture until it begins to thicken. This may take 5 to ten minutes. Once it begin to thicken, remove from heat and stir. Pour into bowls and cover top of pudding with plastic wrap or wax paper. This will prevent a skin to form. Chill in the fridge overnight.

Homemade Brownies

  • 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Grease a 13 X 9 pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour.  Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave and add to the batter. Beat well to avoid lumps and pour into greased pan.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Making you Worms and Dirt Trifle:

You will need one package of gummy worms, chilled pudding, and cooled brownies.

  1. Add half of your pudding to the trifle bowl and smooth it evenly to the bottom.
  2. Crumble your brownies and add half of your brownies to the bowl.
  3. Top with half package of gummy worms.
  4. Repeat both layers.
  5. Chill in the fridge until serving.
  6. Now dig in!

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Pesto Me Up: Parsley and Walnut Pesto

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Springtime has come to Saint Louis! This includes torrential downpours, tornadoes, flowers, and green grass. And yes, that is quite the mix. But, some of my favorite garden plants are my herbs. I sneak these tasty leaves into many dishes.

But, my favorite herb recipe is pesto. One batch makes many servings; it freezes and stores well, and has such intense flavor. Traditionally, pesto is made with basil and pine nuts. But, both are very expensive food items. Parsley runs cheaper at a dollar per bundle and I always have walnuts in my freezer.

Pesto has just a few ingredients but has such lovely color. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Parsley and Walnut Pesto

  • 1½ fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup  walnuts
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Romano cheese, finely grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation In the bowl of a food processor, add walnuts and garlic pulse several times to break down. Add parsley and while the food processor is running pout the olive oil slowly into the parsley mixture until well mixed. Add Parmesan, blend with salt and pepper.

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Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for 3 to 4 months.

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Simple Pesto Mayo: add 2 parts mayo to 1 part pesto. Add to your favorite sandwich. So yummy.

Penny Tails: Our little sun worshipper.

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