Herb Gardens and Honey-Glazed Carrots with Lemon Thyme

When I say Lemon Thyme, I’m not referring to Lemons and Thyme. In my herb garden, I’m growing Lemon Thyme. I don’t know if this variety of thyme can be found in the produce section of your grocery store. I’ve just always grown it in a pot on the back patio.

Lemon Thyme (2)

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Bacon Wrapped Maple Glazed Carrots

Do you have a bacon lover in your house? I swear, Kiddo is the equivalent of the Cookie Monster when it comes to his love of Bacon. When it comes to breakfast meats, I’m a sausage eater at heart. However, I do appreciate a good, smoky piece of bacon every now and again. I don’t know about the bacon eaters in your house, but mine tends to shy away from vegetables. Well, there’s more than one way to get him to eat his carrots . . .

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Apricot-Glazed Carrots

So often in our pursuit for a new main star or dessert that will knock our socks off, we have a tendency to skip that equally important side dish. While not always the case, most of life requires supporting characters to round things out. Side dishes are supper’s supporting characters.

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Alton’s Ginger Ale Glazed Carrots

How many of you are fans of Alton Brown? I know his show, Good Eats, was corny, but it was also very educational. I like knowing the background of a recipe. And I really like knowing why – why put the salt into the bowl before the sugar. The Why factor is an extremely important component in the creation process. It brings a clarity and depth of understanding. It breaths life into everything.

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Not So Traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Supper

Today is the fifth day of the Lenten Season. Saint Patrick’s Day is less than a week away – that magical day when everyone suddenly becomes just a wee-bit Irish. Throughout the country, there will be parades as our rivers run green. It is a party in the streets. While the rest of America may be eating Corned Beef and Cabbage and raising a pint or three of Guinness, we will be dining on a less than traditional Irish-American fare.

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Butter Glazed Carrots with Tarragon

I love the flavor of Tarragon, don’t you? Not only does Tarragon impart that wonderful licorice flavor, but the health benefits abound. Tarragon leaves are high in potassium, essential for healthy hearts, livers and kidneys. Did you know that raw tarragon also contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps keep blood vessels free from artery-clogging plaque? Tarragon leaves lower blood sugars and reduce water retention. There are all sorts of wonderful health benefits to using Tarragon as more than just a flavor enhancer in foods. But then again, the biggest benefit has to be flavor. And the flavor of butter glazed carrots with tarragon goodness is awesome!

I love the colors of this dish. It’s great as a side at Thanksgiving with its bright autumn orange color and pairs beautifully with my whisky-infused Irish Roasted Salmon.

Butter Glazed Carrots with Tarragon
1 lb Carrots, cut into ½-inch rounds (about 2 ½ cups)
Water as needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoon Sugar
Kosher Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Tarragon, finely chopped

Wash and peel carrots. Cut into rounds. Place cut carrots into a small sauce pan. Make sure carrots are arranged snugly. Add enough water to the pan to just barely cover the carrots. Add butter, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring carrots to a boil over high heat.

Continue to cook carrots over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally until the liquid is reduced to a glaze and the carrots are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Should the carrots be done before the liquid has reduced to a syrup-glaze, use a slotted spoon to remove the carrots from the pan and continue to cook liquid until it has a glaze consistency. Should liquid boil off before carrots are tender, add more water in ¼ cup measurements as needed and continue to boil until a syrup consistency is achieved.

Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the tarragon and toss to combine. Taste and season the carrots with additional salt as needed. Place carrots in a serving dish and enjoy.

 

Browned-Butter Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with a Kiss of Kahlua

If you have been around for a while, you know that Brother Dear was not a vegetable eater. Corn – that was the extend of his vegetable tolerance. While Brother Dear was with us, his biggest complaint every night at dinner was that the table was set with the vegetables at his end. Meat at the head of the table, starches (potatoes, pasta and so forth) in the middle, vegetables at the foot of the table. Our plates were  passed around the table until everyone had a serving of what was offered. Naturally, Brother Dear passed on the vegetables, unless it was corn. Every night, Kiddo would bug his Uncle to at least try a vegetable. Kiddo’s argument was how do you know you won’t like something if you have never given it a try. (Same argument I use with Kiddo. And guess what? Sometimes he will try something new to discover that he likes it.) Brother Dear liked both the butter and the brown sugar, so when it came time to finally give in to Kiddo’s nagging, he was willing to try Browned-Butter Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots. Much to his surprise, he liked it. So picky eaters be warned – you just might like this wonderful dish.

One of the things I like best about glazed carrots (besides the taste) is how colorful it looks on my plate. I love to serve anything with bright color.

Browned-Butter Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
1 Bunch Baby Carrots, tops intact
2 Tablespoons Water
Pinch of Salt
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Kahlua

Trim tops of carrots, leaving about 1 inch of the “green” intact.

Wash and peel carrots. Place in a microwave safe dish.

Add water and a pinch of salt. Microwave on HIGH for 3-5 minutes, until carrots are tender-crisp.

Heat empty skillet until almost smoking. Remove skillet from heat, add butter. Butter will begin to brown almost immediately. Swirl pan around and let butter become a light amber color. Add brown sugar, swirl until sugar has dissolved to create a nice glaze.

Add Kahlua, swirl pan to blend. Place carrots in pan with butter. Swirl to coat carrots, spooning the glaze over the carrots. You really want the glaze to be thick and shiny rather than have the carrots swimming in syrup. Place pan on low heat. Continue to swirl until carrots are nicely glazed and everything is hot.

Transfer to serving platter, allowing excess glaze to drip back into the pan. Serve immediately.

Valentine’s Day: Chicken Marsala and A Dash of Romance

Valentine’s Day 2018 poses some major problems for Catholics. Not since 1945 has Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fallen on the same day. For those of you not familiar with Catholic teachings, Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Lenten Season; a somber day of fasting and abstinence. Simply put, by today’s rules, fasting means small meals and abstinence means “no meat”.  Somber Days are not days for celebration, indulgence and chocolates. A real killer to all the romance of a fancy dinner, champagne and caviar, wouldn’t you say?

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