Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

chocolate walnut chunk cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic treat, that everyone I know loves and enjoys. They were invented in 1938, by Ruth Graves Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Inn at the time. There are so many ways to put your own spin on them! My salted brown butter chocolate chip cookies , pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies and  chocolate chip cookies (that have the addition of milk powder I learned this from Chef Christina Tosi) are a few of my favorites!

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving sides

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I have been receiving many requests for easy side dish ideas. Here I have complied 4 sides that will make the perfect addition to any menu! In this post, I will share the recipes for four Thanksgiving side dishes that can each be made in less than 25 minutes! I begin by sharing my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, the ultimate silky smooth mashed potatoes, garlic-parmesan green beans and roasted delicata squash! 

 

Cranberry Sauce

I start with the ever classic, cranberry sauce. If you plan to serve cranberry sauce, please do not use that stuff out of a metal jar. Its SO easy to make fresh and you won’t have that weird tin taste. 

I infused my cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and topped it with mint for freshness! 

cranberry sauce

Here is my recipe:

4.3 from 3 reviews
Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 nutmeg pod
  • ½ tablespoon fresh chopped mint
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combined cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and nutmeg pod.
  4. Allow to cool completely and top with fresh mint.
  5. Enjoy!


Mashed Potatoes 

One of my favorite side dishes are mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes that are rich, creamy and smooth! I first learned about mascarpone while watching Giada DeLarentes on Food Network. She added them to her potatoes and I had to re-create them immediately. There are a few important steps to take with mashed potatoes.

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4.3 from 3 reviews
Mashed Potatoes
Author: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, for topping
Instructions
  1. Boil potatoes until soft and tender
  2. Drain water off potatoes.
  3. Add in the butter, mascarpone, heavy cream. Using an electric mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth.
  4. Taste for salt and add additional to your liking
  5. Top with chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper and remaining butter
  6. Enjoy!

  1. Potatoes must be cooked properly. Inserting a knife into the center of the potato, it should come out easily and clean. 
  2. Be sure butter, mascarpone and cream are at room temperature. 
  3. Use a mixer to mash the potatoes, this ensures they are smooth and even throughout. 

thanksgiving side dishes

I mean look at this *drools over keyboard*


Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

With the oven being occupied with the turkey, a casserole and maybe some roasted sweet potatoes, I like to make veggie sides that can be made on the stove top. These are super easy, yet delicious green beans, that can replace a heavier side and provide a crisp, bright, side dish to the table. 

The key to making the perfect textured green beans, is blanching. This means placing the green beans in boiling water, then immediately immersing them in ice water to stop the cooking process. 

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4.3 from 3 reviews
Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • ½ teaspoon malton flake salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Bring 5 quarts salted water to a rolling boil
  2. Prepare a bowl of ice water along side the pot
  3. Place the green beans into the water and boil for 3 minutes
  4. Remove the green beans from the boiling water and place immediately in the ice water
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté garlic
  6. Add the green beans to the skillet and heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat
  7. Top with parmesan
  8. Enjoy 🙂


Roasted Delicata Squash 

Delicata squash is great for many reasons. One being is you can eat the skin, making preparation very easy. For this dish, I sliced the ends off the squash, spooned out the seeds and roasted the squash. 

4.3 from 3 reviews
Roasted Delicata Squash
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large delicata squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • micro-greens for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut ends off squash and spoon out the insides.
  3. Slice squash into ¼ inch rings.
  4. Place on lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and top with pomegranate, goat cheese and micro greens
  7. Enjoy 🙂

delicata squash

 

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Make any of these recipes? Put your own twist on them? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate #CreateAmandasPlate 

I am so thankful for all of you who continue to read and support Amanda’s Plate! I appreciate that you trust in my recipes and make them in your homes for your loved ones! THANK YOU <3

 

 

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Roasted Delicata Squash & Couscous Salad

delicata-squash

One of my favorite things about fall is the cool air that allows for slow roasting in my kitchen! A few weekends ago, my family and I spent the day at the Birmingham farmer’s market. We picked up a ton of beautiful squash and I set out to making some new dishes! 

One of favorite ways to prepare squash is by roasting them. The roasting intensifies the sweetness of the squash making it the perfect addition to any meal.  

delicata squash and couscous salad

I’m also really excited because I will be working on more video recipes for you all! Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions or ideas! Eventually, I hope to do full recipes with me talking you thru step by step 😀 If you have not already, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel @AmandasPlate

Here is the recipe: 

Roasted Delicata Squash & Couscous Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Squash
  • 2 medium sized delecata squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Pecans
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sage Leaves
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Dijon Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons whole seed dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • ½ cup pomegranate ariels
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • micro greens, for garnish
Instructions
Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut delicata squash length wise and remove seeds.
  3. Slice into ½ inch pieces and arrange on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tender.
Pecans
  1. Melt butter in a skillet. Allow butter to melt and stir in the pecans, brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Cook for 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Spread on parchment paper and allow to cool.
Couscous
  1. Bring broth to a boil. Add in 1 cup dry pearl couscous. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
Sage
  1. Melt butter in a skillet. Add the sage in and cook until crisp. Remove from heat and drain from butter.
Dressing
  1. In a mason jar, combine dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake until evenly combined.
Assemble
  1. Place couscous on bottom of serving plate. Top with roasted squash, candied pecans, fried sage, pomegranate, goat cheese and microgreens. Drizzle dressing over the top.
  2. Enjoy!

 

delicata-squash

 

Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Take me @AmandasPlate or using #CreateAmandasPlate

 

Happy cooking,

 

Amanda

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Pumpkin Goat Cheese Crostini

amandas plate pumpkin goat cheese crostini

During the weekends, I am often looking for a quick and easy appetizer to go with dinner. One of our family favorites are crostini! One really can’t go wrong with toasted bread and some kind of cheese. 

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Crostini are the perfect fall crostini as they capture all of the delicious flavors of fall. The crostinis are topped with sage leaves that are perfectly crisp from brown butter-YUM!

pumpkin goat cheese crostini

I also added pumpkin seeds to the top for added

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Caprese Chicken Pasta

caprese chicken pasta

Coming home from work after a long day, dinner can be a daunting task (yes, even for me). You know the drill; come home, kick shoes off, flop on the couch. Ask partner “what do you want for dinner?”, they respond “I don’t care”, you sigh loudly. Open the fridge, close the fridge, repeat. Repeat. 

I came to this recipe during the process of opening and closing the refrigerator. Isn’t that how

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Zucchini Cakes with Herb Dipping Sauce

zucchini cakes

I love zucchini, but I feel that it must be transformed somehow. Zucchini fries, little zucchini medallions with mozzarella, zucchini bread (my mom was sneaky like so many moms are about vegetables) or zucchini cakes!

Zucchini is currently in season, as demonstrated by the monster piles of zucchini I found at the Farmer’s Market. I brought a few home and decided to make some zucchini cakes with a herb dipping sauce.

zucchini cakes

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Lobster Rolls

lobster-rolls

We absolutely love lobster rolls and usually only have them when eating out at a seafood restaurant. I decided it was time I should make my own lobster rolls!

The lobster roll is comprised of a delicious butter toasted roll, lettuce, lobster and the ever important sauce that encompasses the lobster.

lobster rolls

I begin my sauce with Best Foods Organic mayo. I add in melted butter for added richness, fresh lemon juice and zest for freshness and minced celery for crunch! This sauce works great with shrimp, halibut and salmon! Feel free to substitute the lobster for any of these fish! I found lobster tails on sale and used those! Feel free to use whole lobsters 🙂 

I also found that these sandwiches make for the most perfect picnic! Prepare everything ahead and build them at your picnic site 🙂

LR07

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lobster Rolls
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 lobster tails
  • 4 brioche hot dog buns
  • ½ head butter lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ cup Best Foods Organic Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup finely minced celery
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced chive
  • lemon wedges, for serving
Instructions
  1. Begin my cooking your lobster tails in salted water for 7-8 minutes. Removed from water and de-shell. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the Best Foods Organic Mayonnaise, melted butter, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, celery and chive. Whisk until evenly combined.
  3. Fold the lobster meat into the sauce
  4. Brush butter on the outside of the brioche buns. Toast the buns.
  5. Place the butter lettuce on the inside of the bun, scoop the lobster into the lettuce.
  6. Enjoy 🙂

 

This blog post was created in Partnership with Best Foods and FeedFeed, all opinions and content are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who allow me to create and share these fun, new recipes! They help keep this blog going 🙂 

lobster rolls

Have you made your own lobster rolls? I’d love to hear about it 🙂

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Spring Salad with Tobys Chunky Feta

spring salad with tobys feta ranch

May is National Salad Month! A perfect reason to combine all of springs delicious vegetables, eat some greens and top it off with a delicious dressing. Which led me to created this crisp, filling Spring Salad with Toby’s Feta Ranch Dressing!

Toby's Chunky Feta

I was introduced to Toby’s recently and have been enjoying it since. The chunky feta is my absolute favorite. It’s rich, thick, creamy and tangy. 

I created a salad of quinoa, baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, radishes, asparagus, cucumbers, chives and the beautiful chive blossoms, almond slivers and Toby’s Chunky Feta!

tobys chunky feta

If you have access to some chive blossoms (Can be found at your local farmers market) please pick them up! They are beautiful and delicious! Also, to get your radishes to curl, place them in ice cold water with a few ice cubes and viola! 🙂

spring salad with tobys feta ranch

Another reason I love Toby’s Family Foods Chunky Feta Ranch is because the cheese is in the dressing! So there’s no need for additional cheese.. its all built in 🙂

 

On to the recipe:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spring Salad with Tobys Feta Ranch
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoons sliced radishes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chive
  • 1 cup sliced English cucumber
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • ½ cup Toby's Chunky Feta Dressing
Instructions
Asparagus
  1. Bring 6 quarts water to a rolling boil. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes, removing from boiling water and placing directly into bowl of ice water.
  2. Pat dry and set aside.
Assembly
  1. Arrange baby arugula onto a plate.
  2. Top with rolled quinoa.
  3. Arrange remaining vegetables on top of the bed of arugula and quinoa.
  4. Drizzle with Toby's Chunky Feta Dressing
  5. Enjoy 🙂

 

**This post is brought to you by Toby’s Family Foods. All content, ideas and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors who allow me to create and share these fun, new recipes! They help keep this blog going 🙂 

spring salad with tobys feta recipe

If you make this dish, I’d love to see! Please Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate 🙂 <3

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