Showing posts with label carrots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carrots. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Parmesan Roasted Baby Carrots

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Three shelves full of cookbooks, including two fat binders of recipes we’ve clipped or created ourselves. Dozens of recipes in a folder on my computer. Food blogs I adore and subscribe to, including Williams-Sonoma and the Smitten Kitchen.

And still, I can’t stop myself from ripping recipes out of magazines and catalogs (Williams-Sonoma again!), from the articles AND the ads! The stack is growing ridiculously high.

So I can’t tell you where I found this easy recipe, though it may have been the Costco magazine. Or not. Doesn’t matter—I’m not giving it back.

If, like many of us, you’re looking to shed a few pounds in the new year, I can tell you from experience that the best way is not to head to the gym, although that won’t hurt. Instead, double up on veggies. If you usually eat a salad with grilled chicken or salmon, add a handful or roasted carrots or kale. Cut back the carbos if you must, but double your rainbow of beauties, and results are nearly guaranteed!

Admittedly, there are a few carbs in carrots, and the bread crumbs add some as well, but not much. Panko, the coarser breadcrumbs, work best. (One grocery store I frequent stocks them in the baking aisle, with other breadcrumbs; the other has decided that Progresso Italian breadcrumbs belong in baking while Panko, originally a Japanese style, should live in the “ethnic foods” section. So, you may have to scout, but they’re worth it!)

A sprinkling of parsley is pretty and delicious, but my plant finally gave up the ghost, so I had to go without last time.

We typically use those adorable baby carrots, but larger carrots halved or quartered and cut in 3-4" lengths work just as well.

Parmesan Roasted Baby Carrots

3-4 cups (about one pound) baby carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
chopped parsley, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the carrots in a bowl with the oil, garlic, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and seasoning. (You can also mix them right in your roasting pan.) Spread onto roasting pan and roast 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are tender. (Stir the vegetables once or twice while roasting, either with a spoon or spatula or by shaking the pan.) When done, place in your serving dish and sprinkle the parsley on top. Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 half cup servings.

From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming in March 2017!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Spicy Carrots

I love traveling. Or more specifically, I love being somewhere else—in this case, Ireland. Not the getting there (where’s that transporter when you need it?). 

Even when you’re there and having a wonderful time, after a while it gets very tempting to forget about cooking (much less going out and wandering the dark lanes trying to find a town with a restaurant) and settle for a dinner of bread and cheese (assuming it’s one of those countries that produces both good bread and good cheese, which Ireland does).

So what say you make one dish fresh? This is another one based on that lovely pub cookbook, intended as a side dish. There are always carrots, everywhere, right? They seem to keep forever. Well, here’s a way to dress them up, when you’re scraping the bottom of the vegetable keeper.

Note: Of course I have to use West Cork Irish Whiskey. The West Cork Distillers in Skibbereen is fairly new, but the three relatively young guys who run it are doing a great job. I should know, because I checked out the place and sampled a few of their products (which are now available in the U.S.). Research, of course—I do write about an Irish pub, where whiskey is served. 

And then I included the guys as characters in A Turn for the Bad.

Glazed Carrots with Whiskey and Ginger

1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup peanut oil
3 Tblsp salted butter
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), sliced into half-inch thick circles (if you want to get fancy you can slice them at an angle)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into matchsticks
2 Tblsp Irish whiskey
½ cup chicken stock


Mix together the sugar, pepper and salt and set aside.

Heat the oil and half the butter in a large skillet. Add the sliced carrots in a single layer and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, then turn the slices (carefully, because you want to sort of caramelize both sides) and lower the heat if they seem to be cooking too fast. When the carrots are slightly browned on both sides (maybe even starting to blacken at the edges) remove them from the pan onto a plate.

Clean out the skillet with paper towels (do not wash!). Add the ginger and cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until golden (but not burnt!). Add the ginger to the carrots on the plate.

Add the remaining butter, the whiskey, and the stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes or until the liquid thickens and becomes syrupy. 

Return the carrots and ginger to the skillet and swirl for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

There you go: quick, easy and colorful. And tasty!

If you want to find out what my friend the whiskey-maker does to help save the day, check out A Turn for the Bad (County Cork Mysteries #4, from February 2016).

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and lots of other places (I hope!).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring Fever Pasta

Spring! I finally saw my first crocus! The lilacs have buds! I am positively giddy, and I may have gone a little crazy in the supermarket this past weekend. I’ll blame it on spring fever.

I promised you a recipe that wasn’t fish or cookies (or even Irish!). I was mulling over options when I found myself in the vegetable section of our local market and saw one of those bags of tiny peppers, in vivid yellow, orange and red. Ooh, pretty! (Hey, it’s been a long, dull, brown winter in New England.) Then I turned around and there was a basket of tiny tomatoes in the same colors. Light bulb moment!

And if that wasn’t enough, I had some humongous carrots waiting at home (they label them Rainbow Carrots, and they come in shades of orange, yellow and red). That clinched it. I wanted bright! Sunny! Cheerful!

I grabbed a package of fresh chives for color contrast and headed home to throw together a quick and easy pasta dish. This one’s simple, once you get done cutting up your vegetables.

Spring Fever Pasta

1 bag mini sweet peppers (in assorted colors)
1 package tiny tomatoes (likewise)
1 giant carrot (or a couple of smaller ones)
A bunch of fresh chives (use plenty, because 
they give a bit of onion flavor to the dish,
   as well as color)
Olive oil for cooking

Pasta of your choice (I used fettucine, but the kind doesn’t make much difference. This amount of sauce was about right for 12 ounces of pasta (not quite a full supermarket box), or two servings for hungry adults.)

Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse your peppers and tomatoes. For the peppers, cut off the stems and remove the seeds and any thick membranes. Cut into julienne strips. For the tomatoes, halve or quarter them (depending on size) and remove the seeds.

Teeny tiny cutters
Now here’s another crazy part. I love buying the colored carrots. They all taste about the same, but the colored ones are pretty. For some reason, recently the ones in our market have been immense (although reasonably tender), and I had a few left. I grabbed the pale yellow one.

I also had a set of miniature cutters, which I think was one of my flea market finds. It turned out they were all of tiny birds and animals. I looked at my giant carrot, and I looked at my cutters—and I decided to make birds and bunnies. (I could have made cows, but that made less sense to me.) So, peel your carrot(s), slice thinly, and cut out whatever shapes you feel like (that will fit inside a carrot slice). Or if you’re a normal sensible person, just julienne them like the rest of the vegetables.

Put on your pasta water to boil. Read the label, because cooking time for pasta is all over the map. Mine happened to need 11 minutes cooking time, which I figured was about right for putting together the sauce. Once the water came to a boil, I added the pasta and then turned to the sauce.

See? Fish and birds
In a sauté pan, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom over medium heat. Put in the carrots (they will take the longest to cook) and cook a couple of minutes until they’re softened. Add the peppers and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes and let them release their juices for a couple of minutes. Toss in the chives last. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Drain the pasta and place a serving in individual bowls. Spoon the vegetables over the top. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese if you like, or just enjoy the flavor of the vegetables on their own. And take a moment to enjoy the colors!

A Turn for the Bad is still sailing along.

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


And coming in June: Dead End Street, the next book in the Museum Mystery series.

The New York Times bestselling author of Privy to the Dead returns to Philadelphia for more history—and a chilling mystery . . .
When the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society discovers it owns some unique real estate, a deadly plot unfolds . . .
Society president Nell Pratt believes life is finally going her way. Everything’s running smoothly at work, and her love life is thriving. Then some unexpected news rocks her foundation. Two members of a local neighborhood rescue program, Tyrone Blakeney and Cherisse Chapman, inform Nell that her society owns an abandoned row house in a rundown area of Philadelphia and they insist on taking her to see the property before its date with the wrecking ball.
But soon after they arrive at the house, Cherisse is fatally shot and Tyrone is badly injured. The police believe it’s just random violence in a bad neighborhood, but Nell thinks there’s more to it and is determined to find answers before someone else becomes history . . .

Available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Welcome guest author Paige Shelton! Veggie recipe + Book Giveaway

Please welcome delicious author, Paige Shelton! 

Paige recently moved to Arizona where she’s trying to balance all the cool stuff (the scenery, the people, the pools) with the not-so-cool stuff (the summer temperatures.) For more information, check out her website:

Take it away, Paige!
* * *

It’s great to be on one of favorite sites today. Thanks, Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen for letting me stop by. Hello, readers – always good to see you.

I’m here to talk about leeks. Other than potato leek soup, what in the world are you supposed to do with these onion-like flavored and uber-healthy vegetables?

That was my quandary when I titled my newest cooking school mystery “If Onions Could Spring Leeks.” Between you and me, I included other vegetables in the story so I wouldn’t have to come up with a bunch of leek recipes. The challenge of leek-only was too daunting, and, really, who wants a bunch of recipes highlighting leeks? Between you and me again – actually, now that I’ve become so well acquainted with them and really like them, I could use a bunch of leek recipes, but, alas, I only have one that I consider extra tasty.

In fact, it has turned out to be one of my favorite dishes and something I’ve already made for many dinners. It fills you up and is pretty healthy – a rare combination. It’s also super simple and my family likes it too.

I can’t take credit for the original recipe. I found it online and didn’t do much to it except add one thing from Costco.

It’s called: Sautéed Carrots and Leeks, and Costco Chicken 

2 leeks, almost finely chopped (original recipe said ‘finely’ chopped, but I’m too impatient for ‘finely.’)
2 carrots, almost finely chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter (I use salted)
1 tablespoon white sugar
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Costco chicken (any baked chicken will do). Free it from its bones and tear it to pieces. 

Combine everything except the chicken in a skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer and stir every now and then until liquid evaporates and leeks and carrots are lightly browned, about 15 minutes or so. Add the chicken and stir until chicken is warmed through – minute or so. Serve.

If you don’t add the chicken, it makes a great vegetable side dish. If you add the chicken, it’s a one-skillet, healthy, and filling meal.

Easy as that. Hope you enjoy it as much as I and my family do.

Thanks for letting me stop by today!


Paige has generously offered to give away a copy of IF ONIONS COULD SPRING LEEKS to one lucky reader today. Leave a comment [by clicking the word comments, and include your email, cryptically if you need to!]

And tell Paige what your favorite veggie dish is!