Lemon Garlic Yukon Gold Potatoes

Hey there strangers! I’ve missed you!

Right now I’m at my parents house in Ohio cuddled up in bed with my cats. I only have 2 more days left with them before I leave for China and I am going to love their faces off while I still can. It’s been a pretty traumatic couple of weeks for them so I think they’re appreciating this cuddling down time.

2 weeks ago Tiffany flew home with my sister. Then Biggie had to adjust to her being gone and I moved everything out of the apartment and she was really not happy about that. Then, 1 week ago Biggie flew home to Ohio with me. Once in Ohio I expected a beautiful reunion between the 2 of them but that just didn’t happen. Instead Biggie hissed at Tiff and Tiff sat there with a sad look on her face and it took 3 days for them to get back to normal. It didn’t help that there are 2 other cats in my parents house so tension is already high and they have basically been locked up in my room for the past week.

Wish there was a way I could explain all of this to them. I know they will get lots of love and attention at my parents house but it doesn’t make this process much easier. I’m sad, they’re sad, and there is just no way to tell them why it’s all happening. So while I can I am cuddling with them, playing with them, and, like I said, basically loving their faces off. 🙂

But today’s post isn’t just about cats. I also have a recipe to share today. (woohoo!) I made these potatoes a few weekends before the mass craziness of moving ensued. Lemon Garlic Potatoes are a great way to add variety to your menu by taking a break from your usual side dishes. They come together quickly, require minimal work, and I love the subtle but fresh flavor of the lemon. Plus, it’s nice that the ingredients are all things that I usually already have on hand. The baking time is a little longer than some side dishes, but since that time is basically hands off you can work on the main course or just sit back and watch and episode of FRIENDS.

Lemon Garlic Yukon Gold Potatoes

1-1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into quarters
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
Juice of one whole lemon
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium baking dish, toss the potatoes with the melted butter, garlic, and salt, then drizzle with lemon juice. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 15 minutes, uncovered. When they start to turn golden brown and are fork tender, they are done.

Slightly adapted from Pennies on a Platter

Apple Cider Vinegar Glazed Green Beans


I have nothing against the traditional green bean casserole that is found on so many Thanksgiving tables. I’ve even been known to sneak an extra spoonful or two when going back for seconds. But it’s also not my favorite way to eat green beans. I like them crisper and, like so many other things in the world, with bacon. So when the menu planning was entirely up to me, I opted for my style of green beans.

After doing an online search I knew what kind of flavor I wanted to go for. Tangy and savory, and of course with bacon. But I also wanted to bring in something “fall” like. So I adapted a recipe to use apple cider vinegar and the broth/drippings from the turkey. Like most of the things I made for our Thanksgiving dinner, the picture was AWFUL! So I recreated the dish, only using regular chicken broth, to get a better picture. Of course it was a little richer with the turkey drippings, but both ways we were good enough for me to eat half of them all by myself!

Apple Cider Vinegar Glazed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

1 lb fresh green beans, blanched or steamed for 4 minutes (I used fresh “steam in bag” beans)
3 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 shallots, cut into strips
1/4 cup broth
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a large skillet or wok, cook bacon over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallots and cook for another minute. Remove bacon and shallots from pan and set on a paper towel lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the green beans to the pan, stir to coat with bacon grease. Add the broth, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook over medium high heat for 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat and return the bacon and shallots to the pan.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Adapted from Cooking Light, via My Recipes

Cranberry Sauce

With Thanksgiving less than a week away now, I thought it might be a good day for a double dose of sweetness. Don’t forget to check out today’s other post, pumpkin pie!

Sometimes instead of picking out the melon from my fruit salad, I’ll give it a try, just to see if I suddenly like it. I don’t (still tastes like watered down perfume to me) but I try because you just never know. Like for example butterscotch, cooked carrots, and small pieces of apple in foods like Stuffed Acorn Squash or Asian Lettuce Wraps. I never liked any of those things, but over the years my tastes have evolved. Which is really great for someone that loves food as much as I do.

That’s sort of what happened with cranberry sauce. Every Thanksgiving I would put a little on my plate, give it a try, and pretty much always decide that there were just more important foods on the plate.

That may still be a little true (the part about there being more important foods on the plate) but I’ve really come around in the cranberry sauce arena. It’s not my favorite food on the table at Thanksgiving, but it’s totally necessary, especially when you have a delicious recipe.

With hosting a Thanksgiving meal on my own for the first time this year, I searched for the perfect recipe. And I think I found it! A little sweet and a little tart. The only changes I made were to cut the recipe in half (and it’s listed that way below). And bonus, I re-purposed the leftovers into a killer muffin.

Cranberry Sauce

1 12-ounce bags fresh cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
scrapings from half of a vanilla bean (optional, they can be expensive, but if you have one use it!)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugars and salt in the water and orange juice. Add the cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop (this part is fun! sounds like popcorn!) Cook cranberries, stirring occasionally for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Once thick, remove from heat and add stir in the orange zest and vanilla bean. Cool to room temperature and store in fridge until ready to serve. For a nice touch, garnish with a little orange zest when serving.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Soft Yeast Rolls


These yeast rolls were one of my non-negotiables for my 48-hour Thanksgiving. I love, love, love these rolls. They’re buttery rich with a soft, fluffy texture. Yes, a bag of store bought rolls would have been faster. But it wasn’t something I was willing to budge on, even if it meant a little extra work. Not that I really mind that kind of work. I mean, extra work doing dishes, not my cup of tea. Extra work watching dough rise, punching it down, and shaping it, my idea of a good time.

Let’s say you have more than 48-hours to plan your meal. Perfect! You can make this dough ahead of time! To do that, follow all the steps through the shaping. Once the dough is shaped, freeze them on a cookie sheet until hard, then you can transfer them to a Ziploc bag if you like. The day before you need them take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge. Bring them to room temperature and then let them rise another 30-45 minutes before baking.

All in one day or frozen for later, you’re going to love these rolls!

Soft Yeast Rolls

4-1/2 tsp (2 packets) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp honey

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes, until it starts get foamy and the water looks milky. Add the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, and salt and turn the mixer on low to combine. Add 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth.

Remove the paddle and replace it with a dough hook. Add 4 more cups of flour and let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should become smooth and elastic and just slightly tacky to the touch. Add up to 1/2 cup more of flour if the dough is too sticky. Move the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Towards the end of rising, butter two 9×13 pans. After the dough has risen, punch it down in the center and turn out on a floured surface, knead it by hand for a minute or so. Cut the dough into 24 even pieces* and place in the prepared 9×13 pans. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and stir in the honey. Brush the tops of the rolls. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

*Usually I do 12 rolls per pan (and 1/2 recipe for just one pan) but for Thanksgiving I made smaller rolls. For smaller rolls divide into 40 pieces (20, 4 rows of 5, per pan).

Adapted from Taste of Home