Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kitchen Confessions: Favorite Side Dishes

Our Mother's Day was a busy one this year filled with two soccer games and a baseball tournament game. Some people may not think this is the ideal way to spend Mother's Day, but for me, I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else.  I just love watching my kiddos do what they love and this day was perfect!  

First up was Boo-Boo's baseball game. His team played great, but lost so they are officially out of the tournament now and his season is over. He told me he wasn't sad, but he was disappointed because he didn't want it to be over! After the game they gave each of the boys a rose to give their moms which was so very sweet.

Then we headed over to catch Blondie's 2nd soccer game where she ran hard and played her little heart out!  

After that we were ready to come home, get out of the heat, and relax!  We had Jen and  her family over for dinner on Friday night, but a crazy allergic reaction sent me to urgent care with Boo-Boo so instead of grilling out as planned, we ended up ordering pizza. That just meant that I still had a yummy dinner sitting in my fridge that we were able to cook on Mother's Day instead. It ended up being two of my favorite sides - roasted sweet potatoes and crunchy Asian slaw.  These are two of my go-to sides, especially when we grill out.  

Roasted Sweet Potatoes 
This side takes a little bit of planning just because it takes a while to cook, but it is so worth it!  I can't even say it is a recipe I'm sharing because it really is so simple. I just wash and cut sweet potatoes into large bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bag. 

Next I add olive oil and a bunch of random seasonings (anything from salt/pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, rib rub, basil, parsley, etc. ...honestly anything I have in the cabinet).  I shake the bag to coat all of the potatoes.

Last I spread the potatoes on a cookie sheet I've sprayed and bake at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes.  That is it!  You do have to be careful and flip the potatoes every 15 minutes or so or they will burn on one side, but other than that, it's a super simple side!

Crunchy Asian Slaw 
I've had a lot of different varieties of this dish, but they are all always so good and I love it because it is something you can make ahead of time and just toss with the dressing when you are ready to serve.  I've played around with mixing and matching several different recipes to find the right combo of what tastes best and the funniest thing that is in every one of them is uncooked ramen noodles. I know it sounds weird, but trust good!  I've taken this side to potlucks and picnics and it is always a crowd pleaser.

Bagged coleslaw mix
Bagged broccoli slaw mix
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 packages Beef flavored Ramen Noodles
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon worcestershire

1. Combine bag of slaw mix, 1/2 bag broccoli slaw, green onions, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
2. Crush uncooked raman noodles and add to slaw.  Set aside flavor packets.
3. Prepare dressing with oil, vinegar, sugar, flavor packets from raman noodles and worcestershire sauce. Mix well, but note, all sugar may not dissolve.

4. Toss slaw with the dressing and serve!

What are some of your favorite sides for grilling out? Any easy, make-ahead sides you love?  
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