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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spicing up my sidedishes

I spent a lot of time looking for some exciting but simple side dishes last week, and came across several! I'll be highlighting them as we try them out, with my plan being one or two highlights a week through the month of April.

As usual, my go to online recipe resource, Allrecipes was one source of inspiration. In addition, I hauled out several of my favorite cookbooks. Surprisingly, Betty Crocker isn't that big on side dishes. Luckily I thought to pull out one of my favorite, if not most oft-used cookbooks, Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking. It was my Dad's cookbook, one I'd purchased him for one holiday or another. Just like the raggedy bag of Creole spice from this same book that I treasure in my spice cabinet, it reminds me of how much Dad loved to cook and how he loved spicy food.

It seemed like Emeril was speaking right to me when he said in the intro to the side dish section, "Why go to the trouble of preparing a wonderful dinner if all you're going to do is throw some white rice, a plain baked potato, or some soggy vegetables on the plate next to the main attraction? The side dish is as important as the main dish if your goal is to create an exciting, satisfying meal." There are several side dishes from this cookbook that I've marked to try, starting with southern style black eyed peas.

Here's our menu for this week:

Monday: Crockpot rotisserie style chicken, "chicken soup" risotto
Tuesday: Spaghetti casserole, roasted asparagus, garlic bread
Wednesday: Chicken pockets, southern style black eyed peas
Thursday: leftover free for all
Friday: Breakfast hash with toast and juice

For more menu planning inspiration, visit OrgJunkie.

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Marva said...

Sounds yummy Steph! Way to step it up! Blessings!

Gretchen said...

Let us know how the side dishes go. This is always my problem too. I make black eyed peas but my style is to cook them with bacon grease.

HeatherPride said...

I agree - last night our side dish was baked Ore Ida french fries....exciting? Hardly!

Anne said...

Stopping by from SITS - that spaghetti casserole sounds great!

Mel said...

yummy i forget often about side dishes...i am such a one dish cooking mom.

The Johnson 5 said...

Is your family from Louisiana? I was born and raised there. We moved to Georgia 3 years ago. There is no place in the world like Louisiana for food.

I also love to cook! The spicer the better :)

I'm glad I clicked on your blog roll.