June 19, 2019

Sharp cheddar & chive quick bread

A cheesy quick bread full of fresh chives and a bit of garlic powder makes for a delicious and easy side dish. I've been looking for ways to use more of my fresh herbs from our herb garden. We have a ton of chives, parsley, sage, oregano that came back from previous years and we currently have new Italian basil, Thai basil, lavender, thyme, and dill that we planted this year. Most of them are flourishing, so I want to take advantage of them as much as possible. However, we do have a rabbit nest in our garden again this year and I've seen three babies so far -- and lots of nibbles on my basil and bean plants lately! They always get in past our fence, but the babies are so cute.

I like quick breads because they are so easy to make. They take a while to bake, but the preparation is easy and the varieties are pretty endless. I made this bread recently to have along with some barbeque chicken and roasted asparagus. It went really well with our meal. It would also pair well with chili or soups and leftovers are great toasted with eggs for breakfast.

June 10, 2019

Easy roasted edamame (mukimame)

Make an easy side dish, appetizer, or snack using frozen shelled soy beans right from the freezer. You don't even need to thaw them first - just take them from the freezer right to the oven! I like to make a bowl of these when we have Asian inspired meals and put the bowl in the middle of the table for everyone to munch on and share while we eat. Even the toddlers will usually enjoy them this way (one usually will eat them very easily; the other will only eat the very roasty ones). Shelled soy beans are also referred to as mukimame (while edamame is generally used while still in their pods). I'm using edamame here as it is a more familiar term for most people. Either way, they are a simple and tasty snack! The outside gets golden and toasty flavored, while the inside stays creamy. I like mine topped with a fair amount of sea salt, but you can do this part to taste. You can also top them with some toasted sesame seeds for a bit of added flavor and crunch, and to compliment to toasted sesame oil.