Maple roasted vegetables

We always enjoy roasted vegetables throughout the seasons, and this recipe is another way to prepare them quickly and easily.  I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine, March 2017.

I roasted the vegetables at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, although the original recipe said to roast at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time.  I found my vegetables were perfect and very tasty.

Try this idea for your next gathering.  I whisked 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, with a dash of salt and pepper to taste in a small measuring cup.

Mix with one-half box of Brussels sprouts, which have been cleaned and halved, along with a 1/2 bag of small carrots in another bowl.  Spread the vegetables onto a sheet pan covered with a Silpat mat.  Bake at 375 degrees in a pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes or until browned to perfection.

Enjoy these vegetables as a side dish to chicken, fish or red meat entrée.  Also, these vegetables could accompany a small pasta dish.

Chicken with white wine

Traditonally Coq au Vin is made with red wine.  In fact, I posted a version of that recipe on my blog back in 2012.  It is an excellent recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, which I adapted and truly enjoyed.

Recently, I found another recipe that I was inspired by in Southern Living magazine. Since I am becoming very skilled with one-pot meals in my Staub pot, I decided to try this one made with white wine. We really enjoyed this recipe and the delicious flavor from the wine after it is cooked on top of the stove and in the oven.

This is not a quick recipe, as it took me about one hour in prep time and then the dish baked in the oven for 70 minutes. It was certainly quite delicious.  The ingredients can be increased for a larger family.

Gather these ingredients to make this dish:  salt, pepper, 2 leg quarters, olive oil, 4 slices bacon, 4-5 large white stuffing mushrooms, 2 celery ribs, one yellow onion, tube of minced garlic, small can tomato paste, 2 1/4 cups white wine, 1 cup chicken broth, thyme, parsley, 1/2 package baby carrots, butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Season the chicken.  Brown the chicken in the Staub pot in 1 tablespoon margarine and 1 tablespoon olive oil on both sides.  Remove the chicken from the pot.

Next, cook the bacon in the dutch oven until crisp.  Remove from the pot and drain.  Saute the chopped mushrooms, onion and celery in the pot in some of the bacon drippings.  Stir in a squeeze of garlic to taste. Stir in the whole 6 ounces can of tomato paste and 1 cup of wine.  Cook until boiling for about 5 minutes.

Add chicken and crumbled bacon back into the vegetable mixture. Add broth, seasoning as desired, herbs, and carrots.  Bring back up to a simmer.  Cover the pot and place into the oven.

Bake for 70 minutes and serve with crispy potatoes, crusty bread, noodles, or even rice if desired.  This is a comfort meal all by itself without anything else.

The liquid used needs to be enough to cover the vegetables and the chicken. If more vegetables or chicken is added to the recipe, be sure to increase the liquid.  The liquid measurements do not have to be precise.  I used more liquid this time than I would recommend as it is not necessary.  I already adjusted the ingredients to reflect how I would change the liquid quantities.

Such a yummy meal for a chilly night.

Baked Easter carrots

These carrots are perfect any time of year, though I recently prepared them for Easter. I happened to find red carrots at the market, and they seemed to add an extra sweetness to the dish.  I would recommend them highly.

Here is how I prepared the carrots. I used two bunches of red carrots and trimmed the greens down to fit on a baking sheet, after peeling them. I prepared the sheet pan with spray Pam with olive oil and seasoned the carrots to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a sauce pot on the stove, I added 2 tablespoons margarine, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Bring up to temperature to melt the margarine and incorporate the ingredients.  Pour over the carrots on the sheet pan.

Bake for 30 minutes until tender.  I checked them and rotated them after 20 minutes.  If the carrots are very thick, they could be sliced again to help with the roasting time.

These were very tasty served with our Easter ham.

Roasted pork chops with vegetables

Are you looking for an easy way to make pork chops?  I found that roasting them with vegetables is a delicious way to serve them, as well as speedy, because the dish comes together in about 30 minutes.

For this sheet pan recipe, I used baby carrots, one Gala apple, Brussels sprouts and fresh mushrooms. Bone-in pork chops would be tasty in this format. I had boneless on hand and seasoned them with salt, ground pepper and rosemary.


Place the chops and sliced apples and vegetables on a sheet pan prepared with cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated oven set at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the ingredients over and bake until the chops are done, around 13-15 more minutes. Monitor and adjust the oven temperature as necessary. Some ovens may need to be decreased to 400 degrees during the roasting process.


This dish could be served with a starch if desired, such as potatoes or wild rice.


marmalade carrots



Spring vegetables bring a delicious excitement to any dinner plate.  I am encouraged by their fresh taste to begin planting my summer vegetable garden.  Colorful carrots are some of my favorites.  This recipe highlights their beauty with a spectacular glaze.

This recipe is super easy to make and compliments grilled chicken.  I often serve the carrots with fluffy rice, as the glaze is very tasty mixed together.

To prepare the carrots:  Select 4-5 medium-sized colorful carrots.  Peel and cut into bite-sized slices. Boil on the stove top for 12-14 minutes until tender.  Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, add these ingredients:

2/3 cup orange marmalade, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, and 1 teaspoon maple extract.  Cook until thickened for about 6-8 minutes and then add 1/3 cup sliced almonds.

Drain the carrots and add the glaze. Mix well and serve.



Baking Spring vegetables



Roasting vegetables can move beyond winter side dish favorites.  By choosing spring vegetables, this dish can transform a meal presentation with color and style.  The secret is finding a spring mix of colorful carrots.  At Trader Joe’s, I was able to find a bag of “organic carrots of many colors”. Along with the other vegetables, the carrots alone transformed the color of the dish.


Choose a variety of vegetables which are cut about the same size for even roasting.  I roasted for 30-35 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  If you have a hotter oven, these vegetables will also roast well but decrease the time based on how many of each vegetable is chosen.


Here is how I baked my mix of vegetables:  Cut in half 6 small red potatoes, use 4 colorful carrots sliced on an angle, one cleaned and sliced leek, one sliced shallot, and 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas.  Mix all of the vegetables except the peas in a large roasting pan.  In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, one cup of vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and ground pepper to taste.  Mix well.  Pour over the vegetables in the pan and sprinkle with dried basil.  Bake and stir half way during the cooking process.  Add the peas to the mixture at that time.  Serve with meat, chicken or fish.


cinnamon carrots

One of my favorite vegetables has to be carrots.  I usually purchase the petite or small carrots in the market, just for the ease of preparation.  Often, I just boil the carrots, drain and add some margarine and a teaspoon or two of brown sugar to finish the dish.

However, I recently tried adding one teaspoon of cinnamon instead of the brown sugar.  This simple addition made my side dish of plain carrots have a wonderful taste profile.  Sometimes just looking into my spice cabinet reveals a great new idea.