I don’t know if I’ve ever told you guys but I really don’t like rice. I don’t dislike rice but it’s not something I’d choose to eat. The exception being Mexican restaurant rice and even then, I mix it into the refried beans because… that’s just the way it should be done.

Oh, and any kind of casserole that includes rice, cream of- soup, and tons of cheese.

But, like, plain rice? Nope. I don’t even like the cilantro-lime rice at those burrito joints (that this recipe is based on) unless it’s absolutely covered in salsa (and queso if we’re at Qdoba).

Weirdly enough, I really dig cauliflower rice. It’s the perfect substitute for those of use that either don’t like rice or maybe we’re trying to cut back on calories. But yeah, I eat cauliflower rice with everything. At one point, before my husband deployed, he had to tell me to cool it with the cauliflower rice because he was sick of it.

So naturally I switched to mashed cauliflower and he was not amused.

Since I’m currently going through one of my Mexican food phases, this Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice has become a staple in my diet. It’s really good and the perfect side dish for all the stuff I’m currently coating in cumin, dousing in lime juice, and covering in jalapenos.

Quick warning: if you don’t like cauliflower, you won’t like this. No amount of lime zest and cilantro can hide the taste (and smell) of cauliflower. If you do like cauliflower, you will looove it!

 

Click for the full recipe

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Summer has officially come to Colorado. Unless you’re on Pikes Peak because there is still a ton of snow up there! Y’all remember that time I went up there in JULY and it was snowing?! Colorado weather is absolutely nuts.

But anyway, it was hot hot hot this weekend and we took full advantage. I took the boys on their first hike on Saturday. The littlest is finally at a good age for activities like that but I have to tell you, I was shaking by the time we got to the car. Walking up a mountain on a thin trail with 3 rambunctious boys who don’t always watch where they step is terrifying! But, we did it and we’ll do it again.

The only way our day could’ve been better was if we’d come home, cranked up the grill, and had delicious burgers or hot dogs or anything.

But I don’t know how to work the grill.

Big, disappointed sigh.

If I had been able to grill something, I would’ve served it with these baked beans. Baked beans are definitely my favorite side dish ever. Like, leftover baked beans is something I’ll fight you over. Cold, right out of the fridge.

I just love them.

These start with cans of Pork and Beans so it’s super simple and since I love really sweet baked beans, the root beer in it made me so happy!

Root Beer Baked Beans

Ingredients

3 bacon slices
1 small onion, diced
2 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans
1/2 cup root beer (not diet)
1/4 cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
  3. Sauté diced onion in hot bacon drippings in skillet over high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir together onion, crumbled bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.
  4. Bake beans, uncovered, for 55 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/02/root-beer-baked-beans/

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Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved day off.

I wanted to talk to y’all about something today.

I think I’m going to skip posting Thanksgiving recipes on the blog this year. I’ve done them in years past and cooking them and then eating them for days afterwards… it really takes away the magic of Thanksgiving. You know, the one day of the year that you can eat whatever you want without guilt. The special, once a year casseroles. Stuff like that just loses it’s specialness (not even a word, I know) once you’ve already done it, photographed it, and yapped about it on your blog.

But depending on how many glasses of wine I’ve had by the time Thanksgiving dinner is ready, I plan on photographing and blogging. No promises, but… maybe.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a recipe that is definitely Thanksgiving-appropriate.

I’ve been hearing about these potatoes for years but since I’m not really a potato person unless they’re deep-fried and served with chicken nuggets, I’ve kind of just ignored them. But I’ve been obsessed with The Shaytards lately and they mentioned them in a vlog recently and all of the sudden, the potatoes seemed really appealing.

They are SO good. I had three bowls of them. I skipped everything else I cooked and just ate potatoes. And now I may end up making them on Thanksgiving because they are just that good.

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Two years ago: Monster Cookies
Three years ago: Jalapeno Popper Dip
Four years ago: Sweet Cream Biscuits
Five years ago: Enchiladas in Pumpkin Sauce

Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup dried onion
32 ounce package cubed hash browns
3 cups coarsely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, melted butter and onions. Fold in the hash browns. Spread in the prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on top of the mixture. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of butter over the corn flakes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven. If using shredded hash browns, cook for 30 minutes. If using cubed hash browns, cook for 55-60 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/11/11/funeral-potatoes/

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I have been trying to get on a Monday – Thursday posting schedule for months now but it seems like every week something happens that just messes everything up.

My blog went down Monday – my apologies if you were in dire need of a muffin recipe or something and couldn’t reach it – and I didn’t really think anything of it. Technical issues with the blog are one of the only things in life that I’m pretty laidback about. My host usually knows of an issue before I do and I figure they can fix things faster if they aren’t having to respond to my emails every 5 minutes. But anyway, on Tuesday morning it was still down and since I had a few “wtf” tweets and emails I decided to contact them. The guy emails me and says “There are no files in that database. That’s why nothing’s there.” And I’m all “Good joke but no really, where’s my 5 years of blog posts?”

He eventually got all my posts up but I had to go searching for my header and such and since I’m on my third computer this year, I didn’t have it saved. So I had to go digging through my external hard drive and once I pull that thing out, I’m done. Because why would I fix my blog and get a post up when I can go through every single photo I took in 2006?

And then I took the fat baby swimming for the first time.

So that’s my incredibly long story for why I won’t have 4 blog posts up this week. Stay tuned for next week’s excuse.

These quinoa bites are the new favorite side dish around here. Even my husband loves them and he’s anti anything weird like quinoa. They’re really easy to adapt to fit your needs too – like maybe add some diced ham to make a portable lunch!

One year ago: Everything Bread
Two years ago: Chocolate Chip Scones
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Cheesy Quinoa Bites

Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in low-sodium chicken broth, preferably)
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded carrot
2 stalks green onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, basil, cheese, flour, seasoned salt and pepper.
  3. Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bites are firm to the touch.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/07/31/cheesy-quinoa-bites/

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Today I’m going to be sharing a couple side dishes for the big turkey day. I know side dishes are the hardest thing for me to come up with so when I was asked to come up with a couple using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, I jumped at the chance. I’ve worked with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in the past and was even lucky enough to make some brownies in the Unilever kitchens:

Whoa flashback!

Anyway, I’m obviously a big fan of using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. I almost always have it in my fridge and I absolutely love the sticks for baking! Plus it has 0 grams of trans fat!

For my side dishes I went with a basic mashed potato recipe but jazzed it up with some roasted garlic. If you’ve never roasted garlic, it’s super simple. You cut off the top of the garlic bulb to expose all the little cloves, rub it with some olive oil, and then roast it for about 30 minutes. The little cloves practically fall out after that. Once roasted, the garlic doesn’t have quite the punch that raw garlic has – it’s absolutely delicious and you could easily mix it into a ton of different foods.

These Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are perfect for Thanksgiving because they can be made ahead of time. Which means less stress on you! You simply refrigerate them until the bird is ready and then quickly bake them until they’re heated through. The roasted garlic and the Parmesan are perfection together and they are really fantastic with gravy poured all over.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

For the roasted garlic:
1 bulb of garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
For the potatoes:
5 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, melted
1/2 - 1 cup milk, warmed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    To make roasted garlic:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Slice off the top of the garlic bulb, making sure to expose the top of each clove of garlic. Rub the olive oil over the exposed tops. Wrap in aluminum foil and roasted for 30 - 35 minutes or until the cloves easily slide out. Set aside.
  3. To make the potatoes:
  4. Wash, peel (if desired - I leave mine with peels), and dice. Place in a large pot; fill with water to a couple inches above the potatoes. Boil until fork tender. Drain and mash.
  5. Place the potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer; add cream cheese, melted I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, and warmed milk. Beat slowly at first to combined everything and then at a higher speed to further mash the potatoes. Continue beating until the potatoes are as mashed as you prefer. Beat in 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
  6. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the potatoes into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  7. At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight if you need to.
  8. To bake the potatoes:
  9. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/11/05/thanksgiving-side-dishes/

The second recipe I chose to make is inspired by something I got from one of those fancy health food store hot bars around this time last year. It was a rice dressing that had a ton of cranberries in it. I thought it was the strangest thing when I loaded it into my little cardboard box but I definitely fell in love once I tasted it.

I used a wild and brown rice mix but if you can’t find it, an equal amount of wild rice and brown rice works just the same. This version is loaded with cranberries, pecans, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, all the good stuff. It’s absolutely scrumptious and is perfect for Thanksgiving.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Ingredients

2 tablespoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups wild rice blend
4 cups vegetable broth (or a mixture of broth and water)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted; add onion. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add rice; stir to combine. Gradually pour in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; cover and lower to a simmer. Let cook for about 50 minutes (check package instructions).
  2. Stir in cranberries, pecans, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/11/05/thanksgiving-side-dishes/

Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member ofClever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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