Corn Caprese Salad

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Doesn’t this salad SCREAM fresh, vibrant, and delicious? Ok so just a quick confession… I LOVE CORN! Cob, creamed, steamed, in pancakes (you’ll get that recipe later), in salads, you name it, I LOVE IT..whew ok I’m better.

I ran across this recipe 5 years ago by Cuisine magazine, and after a couple of tweaks, it has been my FAVORITE HANDS DOWN. I decided to share this recipe during a “‘Girls Night In” and after a couple of bottles  glasses of wine, the ladies not only cleaned their plates, but I believe they may have been licking of the plates as well. Take a few minutes to create this easy breezy masterpiece, I’m sure it will be your favorite too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh or frozen corn (fresh is always best)

2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 c. fresh mozzarella, chopped (you may also use shredded if you’re in a pinch)

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of sugar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Blanch the corn in boiling water for 3 minutes drain and cool.  Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and corn in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, sugar then toss with the corn mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

201 calories per cup

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Glazed Carrots with Dill

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If you have a can of lemon-lime soda and a carrot, you have the beginning of an unexpected side that’s perfect for a busy week night or an elegant meal. As a lover of vegetables, it doesn’t take much for me to eat my veggies. A recent trip the farmers market in Charlotte lead to long conversations over the different types vegetables from India, how they look, and how to cook them. Any who…back to the carrots and soda. If you love glazed carrots, but you never master the art of the perfect sugar or honey ration to water, lemon-lime soda is the answer! Take a peek at this gourmet recipe made easy and leave your comments! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 lbs. carrots, sliced

12 oz. lemon-lime soda

1 Tbsp butter

¼ tsp fresh dill weed

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice the carrots uniformly to promote even cooking. I prefer a mandolin, yes this is one of my favorite kitchen tools ♥. In a medium sauce pan, add the carrots and lemon-lime soda over medium-high heat cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to eat for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the carrots are tender and the liquid is almost evaporated.  Add the butter stir until melted and add seasons.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 cups. 110 calories per ½ cup

 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Many years ago, my children and I decided we DID NOT want to eat the same thing we just ate four weeks ago (Thanksgiving Dinner in the form of Christmas Dinner); therefore, our Non-Christmas Dinner Tradition began!  It started with a very Mexican Buffet, progressed to Sushi, and an elegant and super easy Standing Rib Roast–the sky’s the limit–and our imagination can get pretty creative (as long as there are no leftovers 🙂 )

So I am on a personal quest!  Think outside the box with holiday meals, try something you’ve never heard of, it’s okay, you may like it. This leads me to the beloved BRUSSELS SPROUT (trumpet sounds)! Let’s face it, it looks like a baby cabbage. I’m convinced it’s HOW they’re cooked that gives them a “bad boy” reputation. Come on look at them…

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…aren’t they beautiful….awww…

That leads me to my first Non-Christmas Christmas side: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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Ingredients:

2 lbs brussels sprouts

3 shaved garlic cloves

1 Tbsp Canola oil

8 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp white wine

Salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste

Directions:

You have two options here, first, thinly slice the brussels sprouts with a knife crosswise and discarding the root ends OR pierce the end of the brussels sprout with a fork and shave it across the mandolin into thin ribbons. The finished product will look like confetti. Shave the garlic in a similar fashion.

Heat the saute skillet with the canola oil on high heat and add pancetta, stir until slightly crisp, 3-5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-high adding the shaved brussels sprouts and shaved garlic, stirring consistently until the sprouts are bright green and tender 3-5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and white wine, cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. #BonAppetite