• couscous like never before

    A coucous salad is a must have for me in the summer.  Anytime I go to a restaurant that has a couscous side dish option it is always at the top of my list, only behind mac-n-cheese. Why Couscous? First, couscous is little pasta balls.  They have a delicious texture and can mixed with a variety of flavors making it a perfect ingredient for almost anything. Couscous is also delicious warm or cold.  I served this salad warm the first night and then ate it cold for lunch the next 2 days and it was DELICIOUS either way!! Veggies AGAIN? Yesterday I posted a new favorite grilled recipe…Grilled Veggies.  Now…

  • Grilled Vegetables like never before

    We love to grill here in the sparkles n sprouts house.  As I am sure you have seen we grill everything from burgers, to pork to fish….but these grilled veggies are a new favorite. Grilled Vegetables, Really? OK, I know what your asking.  Veggies are really a favorite?  YES, these veggies are loaded with so much flavor they are a new favorite for sure. Not only are they loaded with flavor but they are also not so bad for you either.  It doesn’t get much better than that. Loaded with flavor, Really? Yes!  That is the short answer…these veggies are loaded with TONS & TONS of flavor. So where does…

  • honey butter corny, corn, corn

    It is summer and that means it is time for CORN! It doesn’t matter how… I don’t know about your family but my family eats corn anyway we can. We love boiled corn, corn on the corn, kernel corn, creamed corn and of course popcorn…but my favorite is grilled corn for sure. Grilling makes it even better… Grilling corn on its own, without anything special is amazing…but when you add in some honey butter it becomes even better.  I also love how easy grilling corn is.  You can throw it on when you put your protein on and it will be done in no time, and you don’t have to heat…

  • zucchini for everyone

    I have found that zucchini is one of those veggies that people either love or not love…but I have found a solution with these zucchini spears. OK I know you maybe asking yourself…a spear for dinner made out of zucchini?  Yes, I made spears made out of zucchini coated in a  crispy crust that will make everyone a zucchini lover. The very first time I had zucchini (that I can remember) was in Missouri close to my grandparents farm.  There was a restaurant on top of the hill and we would eat there A LOT!  Every time we would go there we would always order the fried zucchini for an…

  • green beans in no time

    Green beans are a staple in our home.  The Hubby and I love them, my parents love them and my nephew REALLY loves them.  They were one of the first foods he ate and still asks for them all the time.   Over time we have fixed them all sorts of ways like these delicious green bean bundles, or my brothers favorite green bean casserole  or one of my favorites simply roasted green beans but now we all have a new favorite…these skillet green beans.   The beauty is they start out in the microwave for a quick steam, and then you finish them in a skillet until they are just…

  • Wes & the Asparagus

    Two of my most favorite people in the whole world are my niece and nephew Audra & Wesley.  Audra is just about 8 months and Wesley will be 2 next week and I am obsessed with them.  I try and talk to Wes once a day on the phone and see them as much as I can, and of course I am constantly spoiling them as much as I can.  One of my favorite helpers One of my favorite things to do for Wes is to cook for him.  From the time he could start eating real food I would bring him almost everything I made him…and sometimes when he see’s me he…

  • healthy + chips = new favorite

    The word healthy was a yucky word to me for many years.  Healthy meant veggies, no flavor and boring.  Did you ever think that?  Has the word healthy been hard to swallow before?  Well don’t worry…it is soon to become one of your favorite words because now healthy can be chips too! One of the first veggies I first fell in love with was zucchini.  It started with the fried appetizer version at a great local dive where my grandparents lived when I was a kid, and eventually it moved to a baked version.  When I say eventually I mean EVENTUALLY…it took like 20 years, but I did eventually get there.…

  • turning The Hubby into a sprout…

    It is no secret that I love brussel sprouts.  As I have mentioned before my sis-in-law started me on this brussel sprout love affair, and it has only continued over the years, but The Hubby has never been a fan.  I have made many variations of these cute little bundles of veggie goodness trying to win him over but nothing has worked…UNTIL NOW. My journey of the brussel sprout started with this simple roasted version and then I feel in love with bacon & balsamic sprouts but these lemon parmesan brussel sprouts are a new favorite for sure.   I started these by simply roasting them with my favorite spice combo and then…

  • green beans all bundled up

    ***If your looking to make your Holiday Green Beans something to remember then these bundles are a MUST MAKE!  I have updated the recipe to reflect a slight change I made the last time I made them…the addition of Worcestershire sauce adds a richness to this already wonderful side (updated November 2015) Several years a go we had a pre-Thanksgiving lunch at work and a coworker brought the most amazing green beans.  They were these cute little bundles wrapped in bacon, and I just couldn’t stop eating them.  That year I decided I would make them for our family Thanksgiving and ever since then they have been a staple at…

  • simple green beans are AMAZING!

    Simple sides are sometimes the best sides.  There is just something so good about letting the vegetable come through without a lot of extra seasoning or technique being used to enhance it and these simple green beans are AMAZING! For me I find that roasting a veggie with a few simple spices really brings out the best in most veggies and these green beans are a perfect example of this simple cooking technique.   Growing-up green beans was just about the only veggie I would eat, and the love for this little green spear has only increased as I have moved into adult hood.  I love them cooked low and…