Easiest Roasted Asparagus

IMG_1955We probably have this once each week.  What I love about it is that it’s always consistent and I can do it in the oven if it’s chilly out or outside on the grill in warmer weather.  I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t love asparagus this way (except those who generally hate asparagus overall!)

Asparagus was once classified as being in the lily family, like onions and garlic, but the they have been split and the onion-like plants are now in different families. Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.

Water makes up 93% of asparagus’s composition and it is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

So now that you have some history, give this recipe a try!  You’ll love it!

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 6.47.24 PMEasiest Roasted Asparagus
Serve 4

1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning (I use McCormick)

  1. Heat the oven to 375˚F or heat a grill for medium heat.
  2. Snap off the woody stems from the end of the asparagus and peel if desired.
  3. In a plastic bag, combine the asparagus, oil and steak seasoning.  Massage the asparagus so that all spears are covered with the oil and seasoning.
  4. Remove the asparagus from the bag and place on a baking platter or in a grill tray*.
  5. Place in the oven or on the grill and cover. Bake 10-12 minutes or until bright green.

*Do not use a grill tray in a conventional oven. The oil will drip through the grid of the tray onto the bottom of your oven and that is a big fire hazard!

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!


Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

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Grandma Finley’s Meatloaf

This meatloaf isn’t my grandmother’s recipe but I have named it in her honor.  She was an amazing woman and entertainer.  I have some special items of hers, two in my kitchen. First is her recipe box with all of her hand written recipe cards.  The second is a little notebook she kept about dinner parties.  Back in the day, instead of going out to dinner on weekends, couples would entertain each other.  God I wish this would come back into style!

IMG_1969In this little notebook, she kept track of the date of the party, who attended, the menu, a description of the centerpiece and tablescapes as well as what the “prizes” were.  Each guest would go home with a little something from the host and hostess… most common prizes were a deck of cards for the men and a compact for the ladies.  I just love looking through it.  The date of the first entry is August 27, 1936.  My dad was 8 years old then.

Popular menus included Chicken A-la King, Lobster Newburg on Toast, and Grilled Steak. According to the book, cocktails were served upon arrival… most commonly Manhattan’s for the ladies and Highballs for the gentlemen. They really knew how to do it!

I always loved going to Grandmas’s for dinner. The table would always be set when we arrived and it always seemed so elegant!  Usually we would have a dinner in August near the date of my brother’s birthday. She would always make a cake and somewhere in the cake would be a quarter wrapped in wax paper. I always thought the baked the quarter into the cake but realized later on that she inserted it after the cake was baked. We would all wait in anticipation as to who would receive the quarter! Usually it was my brother. After all, more often than not, we would be celebrating his birthday. I remember the time I got the quarter though. It seems to be one of the best days of my life. After that, on occasion, when I make cakes, I’ll slip a quarter wrapped in wax paper into the cake so I can share the story with others.

IMG_1971The other fun item I have is her recipe box.  It’s an elegant (just like her) wooden box with her gorgeous penmanship… each recipe written out on index cards.  =-Maybe I’ll look through it again and update some of her recipes!

In the front “Main Dishes” section, her recipes include Chicken Divan, Spanish Rice, Corned Beef Casserole, Crabmeat Thermidor, Lobster Newburgh, Crab Royal, Chicken Fricasse and her famous Spaghetti.  I’ll have to do a post on that amazing recipe soon!

For Sunday dinner last weekend, Bill requested meatloaf.  It’s one of his most frequent request and while it is May, it’s rainy and a cool 58˚F here.  I decided to mix it up a bit and create this meatloaf version.  I’m excited with the results and I hope you enjoy it too!

 

Grandma Finley’s Meatloaf
Serves 8

IMG_19571 pound lean ground beef
1-1/2 pounds meatloaf mix (mixture of beef, lamb and pork)
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced or grated
1 6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten-free)
1 egg
1 cup tomato sauce, divided
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (I use this one)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 375˚F.  In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, meatloaf mix, red peppers, yellow onion, artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, garlic cloves, italian seasoning mix, salt and pepper just until combined.
  2. Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 6.31.47 PMPack the mixture into a loaf pan.  If the pan is packed to the rim, place on a baking sheet to catch any juice that may drip over the edge.
  3. Bake 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and spoon the remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce over the top.
  4. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes.  Slice into 8 pieces and serve warm.

SHOP MY KITCHEN!


Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Asparagus Eggs Benedict

IMG_1521When my mom was visiting, we decided to make Asparagus Eggs Benedict.  It was so yummy too!

I haven’t been having this delicious breakfast entree since I’ve been GF/DF so I was excited to give this one a try!

Asparagus Eggs Benedict
Serves 2

8 asparagus spears
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 slices prosciutto (I used the Busseto brand)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 3.15.52 PMDairy-Free Hollandaise Sauce:
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup dairy-free margarine (I use SmartBalance)

  1. Using a double boiler set over simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, milk, water, salt, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and mustard.  Continue whisking until blended.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken.  Be sure to whisk often so clumps do not form.  When it reaches your desired consistency (mine took about 13 minutes to get there), remove from the heat and whisk in the margarine.
  3. Place the sauce back over the simmering water until ready to use.  Check on it from time to time and whisk to keep it smooth.
  4. In the meantime, snap the woody stems from the asparagus and peel (if desired… my mom likes her asparagus peeled).  In a small skillet, bring the water and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Once simmering, place the asparagus in the water and heat through until bright green, about three minutes.
  5. Poach your eggs as desired.  I make mine using the Pampered Chef Microwave Egg Cooker. Crack one egg into each well.  Puncture the yolk with the tip of a very sharp knife or use a toothpick.  Pour 1/3 cup water over each egg.  Add 1/8 teaspoon white vinegar into each well.
  6. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH 60 to 90 seconds or until the eggs are firm.  Remove using a slotted spoon.  While the eggs are cooking, finely chop the chives.
  7. To serve, place 4 asparagus spears on each plate.  Cover the asparagus with a slice of prosciutto and one poached egg.  Spoon the hollandaise over the top and garnish with the chives.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  The recipe for the hollandaise is great over eggs, asparagus, and poached fish.

SHOP MY KITHEN!


Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Help Whip Cancer 2018

help-whip-cancer-03-may2018We all know someone affected by breast cancer.  16 years ago, a close friend of mine lost her life to the disease at the age of 33. That is just one of the reasons Pampered Chef’s Help Whip Cancer campaign is so personal to me.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have remained steady in women younger than 50, but have decreased in older women. The American Cancer Society believes this decrease is the result of early detection and increased awareness, as well as better treatments. Pampered Chef began its Help Whip Cancer campaign in May 2000 to raise funds to assist the American Cancer Society with breast cancer education and early detection programs. To increase our impact, we added our October campaign in 2008. Since the beginning of our Help Whip Cancer campaign, Pampered Chef consultants and customers have contributed more than $12 million to aid the American Cancer Society’s fight against breast cancer. More than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors are celebrating another birthday this year!

How can you help?  First, you can host a Help Whip Cancer Fund-Raiser! Up to 25% of the total sales will be contributed to the American Cancer Society for their breast cancer education and early detection programs. You and your friends can shop, try a delicious recipe, and make a big impact in the fight against breast cancer.  I’m available for live parties if you’re local to me in PA or we can do a virtual event via Social Media.  Simply comment here on this blog post and we’ll set it up!

Second, you can purchase our exclusive PINK products. These are specific products to help raise breast cancer awareness. For every Help Whip Cancer product purchased during May, Pampered Chef will contribute $1 to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer education and early detection programs. These limited-edition kitchen tools are the perfect addition to your kitchen so that you can to enrich lives; one meal and one memory at a time.

This year, our featured products are:

  1. Pink & White Twixit! Clips #100007 $6.50 – Twixit! Clips provide a sure seal for all types of bags and are safe to use in a freezer, microwave or on “boil in” bags. The set of 10 includes two giant, four large and four small in pink and white. And they are Dishwasher-safe!
  2. 2-cup Prep Bowl Set #1742 $16.50 – Store prepared ingredients, melt butter in the microwave, make mini cakes, store leftovers and more! These tempered glass bowls measure 1 cup to the rim. The set of two are dishwasher-, freezer-, microwave- and oven-safe to 350°F; lids are dishwasher-safe.
  3. Pink Whipped Cream Maker #1797 $25.00 – Ditch the store-bought toppings and make your own with the Whipped Cream Maker. With just three ingredients and 30 seconds, you can make your own flavored toppings for pie, sundaes, cakes, waffles, other baked goods, coffee, and hot cocoa. You can also make fresh, homemade butter and super-fluffy scrambled eggs.  It has a 1-cup capacity to fill line that makes 2 cups of whipped cream. The pumping lid locks in place, the nonskid silicone base doubles as a storage lid and it’s dishwasher-safe.  Click here to see it in action!
  4. Mini Skinny Scraper #1704 $7.50 – The Mini Skinny Scraper is ideal for mixing ingredients in small bowls, and scraping food from jars and cans. It can also be used for mixing, stirring, scraping and transferring small amounts of food. The thin head and pointed end help you get into corners and hug the sides of rounded bowls.Measuring 7¾”, the Heavy-duty silicone head is fused to the nylon handle for strength and durability. It won’t come apart, split, stain, burn, melt or crack and the it is heat-resistant to 450°F. And it’s dishwasher-safe!

To purchase any of these products and support our campaign, click here!  Plus, there are additional pink products in our outlet!

Inspiralized & Beyond Book Signing

IMG_1951About two months ago, one of my favorite food bloggers and cookbook authors posted in her Facebook group that she was planning a book signing in New York City on May 1st, the day her latest cookbook became available.  I had already pre-ordered her book and was excited to head up to the city to attend!

I asked my sister who lives in NYC to go with me so we met up for a drink at Terroir and then headed over to Maman Tribeca for the event.  When we arrived, there was Ali being so gracious greeting everyone and a HUGE spread of food from the new book!

Some of the recipes we tried were the Vegan Cheese Ball, Ricotta & Fig Golden Beet Crostini, the Zucchini Pork Dumplings and BLT Sweet Potato Sliders.  I loved all of them!  (My sis wasn’t so keen on the Cheese Ball though!)

IMG_1863Since I knew I was attending the signing, I change the shipping on my pre-ordered book to my oldest sister for her birthday.  Unfortunately, when we arrived at the signing, they didn’t have books for purchase.  But Ali being on the ball, had stickers she signed and personalized for our books!  The next morning my first stop was at Barnes & Noble to pick up two copies!

I knew I’d love the book when she shared on IG some of the chapter contents.  Everything sounded delicious!  I’ve been cooking from her other two cookbooks for the last few months and have yet to try anything that I didn’t love.  She just knows how things should go together and features other things I would have never thought to try.

My favorite part of the book is “how to go beyond”.  This was the info that I’ve been searching for!  Ideas like how to use vegetable slabs to replace toast, using jicama as taco shells and using mushrooms and lentils to replace meats.

IMG_1952Last week she did a live demo of her Hoisin-Pulled Hearts of Palm with Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Ginger-Lime Slaw.  I can’t wait to give that recipe a try!  I went to the store this morning and the recipes in the lineup this week to try out are the Chickpea “Tuna” Salad with Avocado & Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Shrimp & Green Beans with Scallion Kohlrabi Rice and the Chicken Saltimboca Skillet with Spinach & Rosemary Potatoes.

Ali has been such an inspiration to me and I’m excited to test a recipe this week… revamping an old favorite to make it healthier and GF/DF (more on that later this week!)

It was such a wonderful few days in NYC and meeting Ali was so special.  She was so kind and gracious!  She took her time to talk to everyone who came and took pictures as well.  She’s very, very inspiring!