Working Mom to Homemaker

Embracing The Change

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Broccoli





1 head broccoli, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces (I used thawed out frozen broccoli florets)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheeseDIRECTIONS:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash the broccoli and cut it into bite sized pieces. Place the broccoli on a large rimmed baking sheet.
3. Mince the garlic and toss it in with the broccoli.
4. Drizzle 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the broccoli, then season with coarse black pepper and kosher salt.
5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
6. Toss in lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil and serve immediately. 


August 18, 2014 Posted by | Soups, Salads & Sides | 1 Comment

Parmesan Truffle Tater Tots


Actual Pinterest Link

Ok, here’s the deal with this recipe. I found it on Pinterest and thought it sounded perfect because we like tater tots around here, and if there’s a way to spice them up, I’m all for it. The only issue I had with this original recipe was that I couldn’t find Truffle oil in my local grocery store. We do have other higher end stores around town that I didn’t check out, because I was crunched for time, so I did with out it. I thought good old EVOO would work just fine, until doing a little research and realizing Truffle oil has a special unique taste to it.

I hopped on Google to see if there was a substitute for Truffle oil. Everything I came across, I either didn’t have all the ingredients for, or stated that you just can’t “remake” truffle oil. But I did stumble upon one post that listed a close substitute and included ingredients I had. TRUFFLE OIL SUBSTITUTE. I have to admit, It turned out amazing!!! I still don’t know what actual Truffle Oil tastes like, but I may just use this “substitute” recipe from now on.

How I made the substitute:

 I did this before I baked the tater tots so the ingredients had time to infuse (I don’t know how necessary that is, or if it even made a difference, to be honest)

1. Recipe calls for 4tsp truffle oil, so I poured 3tsp olive oil in a small bowl

2. Pour 1 – 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce into the small bowl

3. Add several whole cloves to the mixture and whisk until blended well (I mixed it several times while waiting on the tater tots)

4. I strained out the whole cloves and gave the mixture another good whisk, then went on with the original directions


1. 4 cups tater tots, frozen
2. 4 tsp truffle oil
3. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4. 3 tsp dried parsley
5. Pinch of salt


1. Place tater tots on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake according to package directions.

2. While still hot, combine the cooked tater tots with the truffle oil, Parmesan cheese and dried parsley in a large bowl.

3. Gently toss to evenly coat the tater tots. Add salt to taste and serve immediately.

September 15, 2013 Posted by | Soups, Salads & Sides | Leave a comment

Baked Zucchini Sticks & Sweet Onion Dip



I have made these a few times. Twice I made them in the “stick” form that this recipe calls for and one time I made them sliced so they looked like thick chips. Both options work and taste the same, but I just found the slices easier to cut and deal with. Also, I thought the leftover dip tasted great on burgers. 🙂


Actual Pinterest Link



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste


1) To make the dip: Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
2) Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.
3) Place the onions and vinegar into a small food processor. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth.
4) Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.


Zucchini sticks INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3″-long stick
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse, dry bread crumbs (e.g., panko)
  • scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute; or 2 large eggs; or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten

Zucchini sticks DIRECTIONS:

1) To make the zucchini sticks: Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.

2) Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and pizza seasoning; set aside.
3) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.
4) Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
5) Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
6) Serve immediately, with sweet onion dip.

Yield: about 3 dozen zucchini sticks, and 1 1/2 cups dip.

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Soups, Salads & Sides | Leave a comment

Baked Meatballs



I made a good amount of these, baked them and then froze them for later. Whenever we had spaghetti, I would just thaw enough out for us for the one meal and heat them up in the microwave.


Actual Pinterest Link



1lb hamburger

2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup panko or bread crumbs

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt,

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup minced fresh basil



Mix all ingredients with hands. Form into golfball sized meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Soups, Salads & Sides | Leave a comment

Bacon Feta Beans


Actual Pinterest Link

6 servings


8 slices bacon – cooked, crumbled and divided

1 (16 ounce) package frozen cut green beans

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons water


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly browned but only slightly crisp. Drain grease, leaving a small amount in the skillet for later use. Crumble bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish, and set aside.
  2. Cook frozen beans in a covered, microwavable dish for about 3 minutes until thawed, but not fully cooked. Drain liquid, pat dry, and set aside.
  3. Reheat skillet with residual bacon grease over medium-high heat. Stir in bacon and garlic until garlic is lightly golden. Add green beans and feta cheese, and season with onion powder and black pepper. Cook and stir until most of the feta cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with remaining feta cheese and crumbled bacon. Serve hot.

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Soups, Salads & Sides | Leave a comment

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