Brittany wrote this on 28 August 2016
Goodness! August has just flown by and I am trying to keep up with everything!
I have been woefully behind with my posts and I want you all to know I have a good excuse! My husband is finishing up a degree in nuclear engineering, and since it is all online, I have had to share my computer lately. Between the kids, activities, keeping the house running, etc, my time at the keyboard has been limited! But trust me….I have so much in store for you! My kids went back to school last week and in addition to everyday things, I have started a new project for Brittany’s Pantry! I am SUPER excited about it and will share with all of you soon, but for now, you will have to be content with this stellar roasted veggie recipe.
I had slipped into a bit of a rut lately with my family meals and felt like I was making the same things over and over. When that happens, I tend to start randomly rifling among my cookbooks and all the recipes I have saved to my computer. I click, flip pages, scroll, and page through to see if anything looks appealing to me at that moment. After I realized I was zeroing in on a lot of roasted veggie recipes, I decided to try and create something with what I had in my fridge. This recipe is the result!
I have made this with different veggies, different meats, and with and without bread to soak up all the pan juices. The recipe below are the flavors that we loved the best (WITH crusty bread 🙂 ) but the goal is to roast the summer veggies that you have to make a meal out of them. This is fast and easy and incredibly fresh, but obviously should be modified to suit your family. Do you really love okra in the summer? That would be AWESOME added to this. Not a fan of tomatoes? No worries, leave them out. My only advice is to keep the gorgeous rainbow of colors as best you can. Not only is it healthy, but kids-and adults-eat with their eyes first. Variety will help stave off any boredom with dinner and the more of it you have in this dish, the better! It is a pretty gorgeous, and may I say, tasty, way to finish out August. Roasted Summer Veggies W/Sausage
I have made this with sweet Italian sausage, kielbasa, and eventually want to try it with chorizo. So far, using bratwurst is our family favorite. The combo of flavors is quite awesome. We LOVE to eat this with crusty bread to sop the juices (gaaaaah its so good) but this would be just as fantastic served over a scoop of plain couscous or quinoa.
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into bit sized pieces
2 bell peppers, any color, cored, seeded, and chunked
1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
1 pint whole, small portabella mushrooms, stems trimmed, rinsed well, and patted dry
1 package (5 links) bratwurst, cut crosswise into bite sized coins
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Pile all of the vegetables in the middle of a large sheet pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, the oregano, and drizzle (again, liberally) with the olive oil. Toss with your hands until everything is mixed and coated, and spread evenly on the pan. Add the sausage, spreading the pieces out so that they roast evenly and add flavor to all the veggies. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Toss gently with a spatula and return to the oven until the meat is cooked through, about another 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary based on the type of veggies you decide to use. Scoop the sausage and vegetables onto serving plates, being sure to get some of the amazing juices on the bottom of the pan. Serve with lots of crusty bread! Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 4 August 2016
A few months ago I hosted a summer birthday shindig for my husband.
You know what that means, don’t you? Man food. Spicy things and salty things and meat. Wanting to play and visit and chill with our guests, I tried to plan a menu that would be more hands off, ensuring I didn’t spend the day in the kitchen. I knew I wanted to make a slow cooker full of beans, but decided to do something different in order to meet the spicy, salty, meaty requirements.
These aren’t very salty, and actually, not very spicy either, but the men (and women and children) were more than happy to devour them. It is entirely possible that I may never make beans any other way again. Like, ever. They are that good.
In addition, they are a great dish to travel to a potluck type of situation, so be sure to share. The slow cooker is a beautiful thing, friends and this one is our absolutely favorite! Especially in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the house. Perfect for a birthday shindig or any other event you need ‘man food’ for.
Just mixed up and ready to cook! You can tell because the color hasn’t deepened yet and the onion is still raw. You can absolutely make these the night before and then start them in your crockpot the next day! Summer Baked Beans
You can substitute cannelini beans for this recipe, but they don’t hold up to long cooking times as well as great northern beans do, so don’t let them go all day! Also, note that this feeds a crowd! Feel free to halve the recipe, but leftovers reheat wonderfully!
4 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1-14 oz package, smoked sausage or kielbasa of your choice (we like the all beef versions), diced
1 large onion, diced small
1/2 c ketchup
1 c brown sugar
2 T dijon mustard
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a standard, 3 quart slow cooker (or a larger one) and stir carefully. It will be full! Turn it on low for about 6 hours (or high for 3) or until the flavors meld and the onion is cooked. Depending on your sausage and the size of your onion, the time may vary, but the beans hold up well so no worries. Give them a stir once or twice if you can so that they heat evenly. Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 29 July 2016
Just dropping in to pass along a quick recipe for the weekend!
Simply put, this fresh and crisp cucumber salad is just an easy kind of dish to make. It is light and refreshing and great along side heavier barbecued or grilled food. There is very little to it, making it so easy your kids can make it! I like to use it when I need a vegetable, but don’t want to cook anything. Because…yeah. The whole country is hot and steamy right now. We do NOT need to be making anything that will add to the heat and make us wilt any further. It can sit in the fridge for several hours before you serve it and won’t spoil if it is out on the table for too long. No mayo here!
So lets review.
Green? Check. (I’m not sure why this is a requirement, but I think green food is pretty and gravitate toward it…)
No cook? Check.
Healthy and easy? Check check.
Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnddddddddd…my work here is done!
Honey-Ginger Cucumber Salad
My favorite cucumbers to use are the English cucumbers. They have very thin skins so there is no need to peel them, and less seeds inside as well so they are easier to digest. We LOVE them at our house and they are the only kind I buy anymore. SO much easier! Look for them with the rest of the produce; they will be shrink wrapped in plastic to protect them from damage.
2 large English (hothouse) cucumbers, cut into bite sized pieces
1 T honey
1 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly grated ginger, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and toss well to evenly distribute the flavors. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if needed. If you like the string flavor of fresh ginger, feel free to add a bit more. Chill until ready to serve.