Category Archives: side dish

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve (Closer)

OK… I’ve been focusing a leeeetle too much on the sweet stuff lately. Here’s my first recipe post in a little while; this one has both sweet and salty going on.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas
from the Cupcake Project

Ingredients :

  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


1) Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. Note from the Cupcake Project: You didn’t miss anything here. You don’t oil or season them until after they are done. In fact, for an extra healthy treat, try them when they get out of the oven before even adding the oil. They are enjoyable all on their own.

Chickpeas Ready to Bake (closer)

Oven Roasted Chickpeas (even closer)

2) Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
3) Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.

Here’s what the roasted chickpeas look like after they’ve been tossed in oil and spices:

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve

Instead of straight cinnamon, I generally go for fivespice to shake things up a little bit. I may try this recipe with a little pumpkin pie spice next time around. The spice combinations are really up to you on this one!

There are many things to love about this recipe.  The recipe is very simple and the finished chickpeas are easy to transport from place to place. While the chickpeas tend to lose their crunch the longer you keep the chickpeas, they are still really tasty days after you bake them. They are like beer or corn nuts, but I think a lot better tasting and possibly a little better for you. Once I pop one into my mouth, it’s tough to stop myself (sorry, Pringles 😉 ).

Need to figure out a way to keep ’em crispy/crunchy once they have been out of the oven a while, though.


Eat Your Veggies: Honey Glazed Carrots

Finished Glazed Baby Carrots

Carrots are a veggie that DanGr and I can generally agree on (to his credit, his palate is expanding in leaps and bounds). It is also one of the few veggies his much more pickier dad will eat.  Generally, we eat carrots steamed with no other accompaniments. I’ll even go for raw — either way, they already have a natural hint of sweetness to them. We’ll often use this recipe for special occasions or for potluck dinners, like the one we went to Friday night.

Honey Glazed Carrots

from Sunny Anderson @


  • salt
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper (Hapa note: season to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions and (more or less) step-by-step shots after the jump…
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Eat Your Veggies: She’s Choppin’ Broccoli (and Cauliflower)

On Wednesday evening, I made a very simple veggie recipe found at Eating Well. The veggies will be taken to a friend’s house for a potluck dinner this evening.

Roasted Florets from Eating Well

  • 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets, or broccoli florets (about 1 head), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, (optional)

I chopped the broccoli and cauliflower into smaller pieces and placed then in a bowl. I tossed them in olive oil and garlic salt, then placed them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil like so:

Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets: Ready to Bake

Here are the pre-baked florets (and some stem pieces) a little bit closer…

Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets (closer)

I baked them in the oven for 20-30 minutes, making sure to turn the veggies about halfway through baking. The cauliflower ultimately had tinges of brown, and the broccoli: a darker green.

Pan of Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets

I moved them from the cookie sheet to another pan so they can be carried to our destination this evening. Here are the finished florets and stems (a little bit closer):

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets (closer)

Hoping my fellow dinner guests enjoy them as much as I liked sampling them; I will get the verdict tonight once they’re heated, served, and eaten.

And for dessert…Some Dana Carvey audition deliciousness.

Eat Your Veggies: Simple Sautéed Spinach

Often I enjoy the simple things
“Often I enjoy the simple things” by Flickr user niquimerret. Used under CC license: BY-NC-SA

Yep… another spinach post. What can I say? I really like the stuff!

A quick and easy recipe this go around.  I don’t really measure what I put in here, but this recipe from Eating Well comes pretty close (…well… if you omit the red pepper).

Simple Sautéed Spinach
From: Eating Well Magazine


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20 ounces fresh spinach, (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Note: Baby spinach is immature or young spinach—it’s harvested earlier than large-leaved mature spinach. We like the sturdy texture of mature spinach in cooked dishes and serve tender, mild-flavored baby spinach raw or lightly wilted. Baby and mature spinach can be used interchangeably in these recipes (yields may vary slightly); be sure to remove the tough stems from mature spinach before using.

I prefer to put the garlic through the press before browning it; it saves me a little time. Here’s the garlic cooking in a little olive oil.

Garlic... Cooking in Olive Oil

I can’t leave them in for very long, as the garlic cooks quickly. I’ll then add the spinach and toss everything together. About a minute later,  lemon juice and a little kosher salt are added to the mix.

Sautéed Spinach w/Garlic (in pan)

This batch used frozen cut spinach (I usually keep a bag or 2 on hand). Fresh spinach works just as well (though the finished product will naturally look a little different).

Here’s the finished product close-up…with little flecks of garlic within…

Sautéed Spinach w/Garlic (closeup)

How to Train Your Cornbread*

Ah… Cornbread…

Depending on where you come from it can be a completely different being. Where I grew up, cornbread meant a slightly crispy, unsweetened creation… sometimes a little bit salty even. Pieces were often wedge-shaped as the cornbread was made either in a skillet or a round pan.

Don’t forget that it’s also often cooked with bacon grease… mmmm… bacon.

A prime example of southern-style cornbread is pictured below, from Charleston, SC’s Hominy Grill. (Yes…you’ll see this slice later…):

Hominy Grill's Cornbread...

…and here’s its northern cousin… Usually with a higher ratio of flour to cornmeal, more sugar than its Southern counterpart, and is cut in a square/rectangle . One from Hard Times Cafe is pictured below:

Cornbread @ Hard Times

Sometimes there are variations on the two themes. For example, jalapeno peppers or cheese is sometimes added to the more savory cornbreads. Sometime maple syrup is added to the more sweet ones.

There are definitely partisans of their regional style of cornbread. I’m good for both depending on where I am and whether or not I’m in the mood for sweet or savory. I end up making/having the below recipe more often than not, though. Yep…my sweet tooth betrays me (nothing wrong with that, IMHO).

Recipe and shots behind the jump…

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Potatoes with Afritude 2: Electric Boogaloo

As promised in my original post on this recipe, a second try on Potatoes with Afritude, with update…

This time, the usual suspects (redskin potatoes) were cut a little bit longer…

Red Potato Wedges (longer this time)

Here are the potatoes with the spices and oil mixed in… The curry powder produces both a wonderful yellow color on the potatoes and an equally nice scent.

Red Potato Wedges With Spices

The unfortunate thing about curry powder, though is it makes everything it touches yellow, and that tint doesn’t go away easily (I think there’s still a yellow curry powder mix spot on the counter).

…and the finished potatoes…ready for the potluck.

Potatoes With Afritude 2: Electric Boogaloo

This batch of Potatoes with Afritude was made for the same potluck party I made the Adobong Gulay. I’d say I’m almost there… I don’t remember if I actually mixed the spices and olive oil in separate batches like I said I would (since I was doing a lot of cooking…) , but this batch definitely had a better balance between potato and spice than the first try.

Potatoes with Afritude…Sorta…

Sunday Morning:

Dan: You know, we have some leftover potatoes. We need to cook them soon.
Hapa: I think I have just the recipe for them…

I stumbled on AJ’s Disney Food Blog the night before, where I remembered looking at a recipe for one of Boma’s* offerings: Potatoes with Afritude. While I don’t recall having this dish when my brother, sister, and I had breakfast at Boma during our August weekend at Disney (I also am not the best at taking pictures when buffets are involved), and Dan never dined at Boma,  it seemed like a simple, tasty, and relatively healthy recipe… It was definitely worth a try.

The recipe is below:

POTATOES WITH AFRITUDE, Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yield: 10 servings


  • 5 lbs. Red Skinned Potatoes (any variety of potato may be used)
  • 2 ounces Olive Oil
  • 3 T. Curry Powder
  • 2 T. Turmeric
  • 1 T. Garlic Powder
  • 1 T. Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Note: I added 1 T. Light Brown Sugar… (per a commenter suggestion on Disney Food Blog)

Method: Wash potatoes well, and cut into wedges. In a large bowl mix the spices and olive oil. Add the raw potatoes. Coat the potatoes with the spice mixture. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Credit: via .

The leftovers Dan referred to were a small amount of reds. I supplemented them with a russet initially and later added another…

Uncut Russet and Red Potatoes

I wedged the potatoes the way I would when I make herbed potato wedges.

Raw, Wedged Potatoes

For visual reference: here are the herbed potatoes I was talking about (these are tossed in olive oil, garlic salt, and thyme and/or rosemary before baking at 350 degrees).

Herbed Potatoes

Back to the potatoes I was making this afternoon: I then added the olive oil and spices like I would have with the aforementioned herbed potatoes. They were then placed in a cookie sheet to bake per the recipe.

Curry and Tumeric Spiced Potatoes

I ended up cooking them closer to 45 minutes to an hour after mixing them up at the 30 minute point and discovering the reds weren’t quite cooked all the way through.

Here’s how they looked coming out of the oven:

Curry and Tumeric Seasoned Wedges Out of the Oven

And a couple of finished product shots: A little closer each time…

Curry and Tumeric Seasoned Wedges in Storage Container

Curry and Tumeric Seasoned Wedges (a little closer)

While these potatoes certainly taste like they could come out of Boma and passed the Dan taste test, the finished product definitely didn’t look like the “Potatoes with Afritude” pictures I’d seen on Disney Food Blog or Dining in Disney.

Changes I’ll make next time:

  • Cutting the potato wedges a little longer (and perhaps thinner?)
  • Actually referring to the blog pictures…
  • Making sure I actually mix the spices and the olive oil separately before adding the potatoes (as the recipe indicates).
  • Either making sure I actually have 5 lbs of potatoes (I had about 2.5-3 lbs on hand between both russets and the reds) or doing a better job at adjusting the proportion of spices.

Things I probably won’t change:

  • Adding the 1 T. brown sugar to the recipe.

You can almost bet there will be a follow-up blog post when I make my tweaks… We’ll also see which way we also end up liking best…

*Boma is a buffet-style restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Villas’ Jambo House.

Blue Box? What Blue Box?!

Granted, I think Kraft’s macaroni and cheese is OK, but I much prefer the homemade stuff. 😉 Dan made this batch of mac-and-cheese the other day using his mom’s recipe.

Mac and Cheese (Closeup)

Combine the following in a large pot:

2 eggs
1 cup flour
4 cups milk

Bring the ingredients to a boil on stove set to medium heat. Sautee 2 tbsp onions with a stick of butter. Add the sauteed onions to the mixture in the pot. Add 4 cups of shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly and cook on medium heat until the cheese is fully melted. Once the cheese is fully melted, cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. (Note: This produces a thick sauce. For a less thick sauce, use less flour and/or more milk).

Cook 1 pound of pasta until it is al dente. Once the pasta is done, combine with the sauce in the large pot. Stir until the pasta is fully coated. Pour the contents of the pot into a 9×13 inch roasting pan. The mixture should be 2 to 3 inches deep throughout the pan. Liberally pour bread crumbs on top. Cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Substitutions: Dan uses grated parmesan-romano instead of bread crumbs atop the mac/cheese.

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