Monthly Archives: July 2012

How to Roast Garlic

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I wasn’t sure if I should do a post on how to roast garlic. I thought maybe people would read it and say, “Well duh Bobbi I know how to do that!”. But then I remembered back, not so long ago, when I didn’t know how to do it so I figured that this would be for those people. I don’t want one person to miss out on the great taste of roasted garlic! I use it in all sorts of things. One of my favorites is Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes  or the healthier version Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower. Roasted garlic can be substituted for regular garlic if you want a milder, sweeter flavor. Raw garlic can be up to 4 times stronger than roasted garlic. 

So let’s get started. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. You can roast garlic ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for several day. But trust me, if your house is anything like my house it will be eaten like candy and be gone in a heart beat so you might want to make extra! 
With a sharp knife cut the top off the garlic head. Just far enough down to expose the cloves. 
Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the bottom of a pan, I used an 8 x 8 cake pan but use whatever pan fits your garlic and works for you. Lay the garlic on the flat end. If it is not flat enough youcan cut just a bit off the other end to make it lay flat.
Drizzle each head with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Let it sit a minute or so to let it soak in and then add another tablespoon.
Now they are nice and greased up and read to get their roast on! I can’t wait!! Cover the pan tightly with foil and pop it into the oven. Now comes the bad part, you have to wait for an hour!! Cook time may be less for smaller head with smaller cloves so start checking it around 45 mins. Once the cloves are nicely brown, soft,  and pulling away from the skin, you are in business!
WALA roasted garlic!! OK I agree it does look kind of like an alien but it tastes really good I swear!! Once the heads have cooled a bit just give them a squeeze and the cloves will pop right out for you. Now you can try it in/on everything. We eat so much garlic here I swear we will ever have to worry about vampires!
I hope this was helpful!
ENJOY!!

Manic Monday Party #8

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A great quick meal Vietnamese Style Steak

Good morning foodies. I woke up feeling a bit under the weather so I am in major need of some manic Monday ideas! Last weeks party was awesome. So many terrific posts to choose from. Don’t forget I pin every recipe that you all post here so if you want to check out past Manic Monday posts you can do it here.

Let’s kick off the party by sharing the top 3 posts from last weeks party.

Frito Pie & Chili Con Carne from Mooshu Jenne
Quinoa Cheddar and Zucchini Bake from Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Alu Paratha from India from Quick Asian Recipes
Thank you everyone for all of your posts. Don’t forget that I have added a vote link below each picture so you can vote for your favorites. That will decide who’s recipes will be featured next week. 
Please make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

If you would like to check out all of the past submissions go to my#manicmonday Pintrest board. Also, please make sure to link back to me as well (either in the post itself or on the side of your blog). I promise I will have buttons soon!

Leave as many recipes as you want that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble.

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don’t forget to click on the other recipes and tell them Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen sends them tons of foodie ❤ and kisses!! 

Ok, let’s get this party going!!!!

Vietnamese Style Steak

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This is kind of part 2 of Episode Cilantro Pesto Pasta. In the first half I explained how I was basically kicked out of my kitchen and told to go sit down and let a man handle dinner. If you haven’t read that post yet you need to so you can get caught up……go ahead I will wait…..*insert Jeopardy music here*……oh good, you are back, now on with the show!

Kevin can’t really take all of the credit for this steak. I mean I did marinate it so that counts for something, right? In all actuality this recipe isn’t hard for anyone and I love those kinds of recipes. That’s why I do them!! This would be a wonderful weekday dinner with just some white rice if you’d like. Throw a little lime zest and cilantro in the rice to add a bit of flavor, and I have taken to making my rice with chicken stock instead of water most of the time, but you could use beef stock if you wanted a deeper flavor to the rice. Oh wait, this post was about the meat not the rice Bobbi. Sorry about that, I do tend to get carried away from time to time. That was just a glimpse into what happens in my head when I start thinking about food, it’s a crazy place I tell ya!

This recipe is based on one that I saw on Saveor.com. I remember it called for a sauce called maggi I believe. Since I knew I would never find anything like that in my little town, I passed it up and went on with my day. A few weeks later I happened to read something on a food website, imagine that, me on a food website! Seriously though, is there anything else worth looking at on the internet? Don’t answer that question, I know, I am a smart ass as my father so loved to point out. Annnnyway, I found a website that was giving substitutes for hard to find seasonings. What pops up? Tada maggi seasoning sauce. Yesssss, happy dance, err I mean yay that’s awesome! It turns out that you can just sub equal parts of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Who knew it was that easy? And why in the heck didn’t I just look that up in the first place?

But seriously, if you want a meal with no hassle this is your meal! You can marinate the meat for as little as 30 minutes, get your side dish going, fire up the grill or grill pan, and wala dinner is served!

Vietnamese Style Steak

4 tablespoons low sodium so sauce
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 cloves of garlic, minced or grated 
3 pounds of top sirloin steak (I used 2 steaks)
Combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oil, and garlic in a ziplock bag. Shake to combine well and add the steaks. Rub them around in the back to make sure they are evenly coated. Let marinate at room temperature for a half hour or refrigerate for longer marinade. Just make sure the steaks are at room temperature for cooking.
Grill the steaks over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Then slice the steaks thinly against the grain. Serve with rice or the Cilantro Pesto Pasta if wanted.

Champagne Poached Strawberries with Mascarpone

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This has to be one of my favorite desserts, hands down! I discovered it one day while watching Take Home Chef on TLC. Remember that show girls? The one with the hunky Chef Curtis Stone *swoon* ambushing women in the grocery store and then going home with them to prepare a gourmet meal for whoever they were cooking for that night? I swear I used to make sure my hair and make up were done every time I went to the store those days, just in case. Alas, no hottie chef for me *sigh* but I did find some really good recipes! I mean, how can you go wrong with strawberries and champagne? Right?

This is is a very elegant dessert. It is great for dinner parties or for that special dinner for two. But I will tell you that I have craved this so much that I have made it just for me, and whoever might be lucky enough to stumble upon the leftovers. Very not elegant at those times. Me, hair in pony tail, sweats, no make up, mowing down a huge bowl of this stuff. Not an attractive scene I know, but man oh man it was good!
I did have a little kitchen “mishap” the first time I made this though. So you can learn from my explosion errrr mistake. I boiled the strawberries in the champagne, as the recipe calls for, then placed them in a bowl, juice and all. You need to chill them before you can assemble the dish. Sooooo me being the braniac that I can be at times, placed the bowl in the fridge. A couple hours later I come back and opened the refrigerator door. I swear it looked like Freddy Kruger had murdered someone in my fridge. There was sauce and strawberry

shrapnel everywhere! I didn’t know whether to grab a mop or call CSI!! I ended up having to take everything out of my fridge and deep clean it. It had even seeped into my freezer!! YIKES! I will never make that mistake again I can tell you that!

Champagne Poached Strawberries with Mascarpone

2 1/2 cups Prosecco (regular champagne can be used, I just prefer Prosecco)
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound fresh strawberries, green caps removed
4 ounces crème fraîche
4 ounces marscapone cheese
Fresh mint leaves


Combine the champagne and 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan.  Bring the champagne to a boil over medium-high heat.  Place the strawberries in a medium bowl.

Once the champagne has come to a boil, pour it over the strawberries ensuring the strawberries are covered completely.  Allow the champagne to cool then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  The strawberries will keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, mascarpone and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar to blend.  Scoop the crème fraîche mixture in the center of 4 bowls.  Place the strawberries around the outside of the crème fraîche mixture.  Pour a little of the champagne juice into each bowl. Garish with mint leaves.

ENJOY!!!

This recipe also shared on;

Thursdays Treasures on Recipes for My Boys

Foodie Friends Friday

Cod with Grilled Ratatouille Pasta

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One of the families past favorites is Cod Ratatouille en Papillote. I was so happy to find a way that we all liked veggies we just don’t normally eat. Eggplant? Zucchini? Not everyday food for us in this house. I have been lucky enough to sneek them in a few dishes that everybody liked but this was a BAM in your face you are eating eggplant right now! So like I said, pleasantly shocked errr surprised that everyone fell in love with the dish. 
Now it is summertime and I am going through a grilling obsession. It is  bad, really bad, I want to gill everything!! It has gotten to the point that my dogs go to the other side of the yard when I am standing by the grill. They just aren’t going to take any chances! But my mind was not on how to grill my dogs eewwwww *shudder* but rather on this cod dish we had loved so much. How could I make that dish on the grill? I contemplated using tin foil but I decided against that since it really isn’t grilling so much as steaming something on the grill. 

I had just read a blog post from a friend of mine, Melissa at Chin Deep and she had just done Baba Ganoush using grilled eggplant. Yessssssss I will grill all of the veggies that were in the dish, grill the fish, and then put it all together. We have a plan working now!! I could just taste all of those wonderful flavors. Oops gotta run to the store! So I picked up a few more things to grill through the week. One of them being Melissa’s Baba Ganoush, and got home in record time! As I sit down to flip through my new Everyday Food magazine what do I see? Grilled Ratatouille Pasta! Wow here I thought I was being so original *sigh* oh well. But I did like the addition of the pasta to the game and they didn’t have fish with theirs so it is kind of a marriage of the two recipes now. I don’t really care, all I know is that it tasted very very good. There were 5 people eating and this dish got a thumbs up from all of them. How could I be any happier?
How pretty do these babies look? Is it bad when you get all giddy over fresh produce? Hhmmm maybe I need to get out of the kitchen more often.
With the grill on medium-high heat, and lightly greased, we tossed all the veggies on the grill. It takes our grill about 5 minutes or so per side but your grill times may vary so start checking after about 3 minutes or so.
See how yummy they start looking? I kept wanting to pick a tomato off and eat it but I knew I would burn myself!! But it was worth the wait for the finished dish. 
This really is an amazing dish. The fish, the veggies, the pasta? Mmmmm heaven!!
Cod with Grilled Ratatouille Pasta
4 6-ounce fish fillets
1/2 pound curly pasta
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into thick slices
1 orange bell pepper, halved, stemmed, and seeded
1 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into thick slices
1 small to medium red onion, halved
4 tomatoes, cut into thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup ( a generous handful) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, reserve a tablespoon or so for garnish
Bring a medium pot of water to boil, salt well and add the pasta, cook according to package instructions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the hot grill and place the vegetables on the grill. You may have to work in batches. Brush the veggies with oil and salt and pepper them. Cook on each side until browned and tender. Transfer to a cutting board to cool. 
Rough chop the veggies and add them to your cooked pasta along with the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and the parsley and toss.
Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper and place the fillets on a clean oiled grill.  Allow to grill without moving until the fish becomes opaque about half way through. Carefully turn fish and finish cooking. 
To serve place a heaping pile of the pasta in a bowl and top with a fish fillet, sprinkle with parsley.
ENJOY!!
This recipe was also shared on;
Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays

Tipsy Tuesday – Fresh Raspberry Lemonade

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Happy Tipsy Tuesday everyone! Does it seem like the days are just flying by to anyone else? I don’t know, maybe it is just because we only get a few of weeks of summer here if we are lucky and I don’t want it to end! We have had a few rainy days sprinkled about but for the most part the weather has been absolutely gorgeous! In the 70’s to low 80’s clear sky and so beautiful! This is what we Washingtonians live for the other 10 months of the year. It doesn’t seem worth it until it gets here and then you think “Ah yes, this is what we have been waiting for!”.
Of course with the gorgeous weather, nice fresh fruit drinks are called for. It is just a requirement in my mind. We were at a new local Mexican restaurant and I saw they had a margarita made with fresh muddled citrus, no mix, just fresh fruit. Yum!!! So when I was thinking about what I wanted to make for this weeks Tipsy Tuesday I knew it had to use fresh fruit. I just couldn’t decide what to use. I mean I could literally stand in the fresh produce isle and stare for hours at all of the beautiful fresh ingredients available this time of year! 

I decided this week to make a drink that can be with or without alcohol, your choice. Either way it is a winner. The fresh lemon and raspberry flavors just seemed to be made for each other and the vodka plays nicely with them. My daughter (Miss Picky Pants), who is here from California visiting for a few days, loved this is quickly drank two before I could bat an eye (virgin ones). I sipped mine and enjoyed the flavors. 
This drink is perfect for a beautiful summer day. Sitting on the back patio, smelling the grill cooking away, and just enjoying the sunshine on my face. There are those moments when time seems to stand still, this was one of those moments, and with everything seeming to wiz past so quickly it was a moment to cherish!
Fresh Raspberry Lemonade
1 lemon, sliced and the slices cut in half, reserve one slice for garnish
8 fresh raspberries, reserve 2 for garnish
1 to 2 ounces of simple syrup, to taste preference
1 to 2 ounces ounce of vodka, your preference
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemons and the raspberries. Add some ice and the simple syrup and vodka. Shake well. Fill a glass with ice and pour the mixture into the glass. Remove a few of the slices of lemon if wanted. Garnish with lemon slice and raspberries.
ENJOY!!

Manic Monday Party #7

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My most popular post from last week, Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon
Ahhh yes, it is that time of the week again. Manic Monday! The day we wake up in a bit of a daze that the weekend is gone and we again have to start a new week. The day we would all love to just pull the covers up and request another day off before we have to get down to business. 
It was definitely one of those mornings for me. Cloudy, cold, cuddle up and stay under the covers morning here in Western Washington. I am hoping the sun will show itself sometime today, but not holding my breath. The only saving grace is that Miss Picky Pants is visiting from California for a few days. Yay!!! I can’t believe she has already been gone for 3 months. It seems like a year! She is only here for a couple more days so it will be a Manic Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday for this girl. Movies, lunch out, shopping, catching up, who has time to cook? But you know I won’t get away without cooking something for her. The funny thing is that the one thing she asked for when I posed the question of what she wanted me to make, was Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches, which fits right into the whole Manic theme as well.

OK, let’s get the show on the road here Bobbi! Here are your favorite posts from last week.

from La Difference Catering

from Skinny Kitchen
from Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Now that I am very hungry I am going to get the party kicked off so I can hit my kitchen to see if I have any  of the ingredients needed to make one (or more) of these wonderful dishes!!
Please make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

If you would like to check out all of the past submissions go to my#manicmonday Pintrest board. Also, please make sure to link back to me as well (either in the post itself or on the side of your blog). I promise I will have buttons soon!

Leave as many recipes as you want that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble.

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don’t forget to click on the other recipes and tell them Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen sends them tons of foodie ❤ and kisses!! 
Ready?
Set?
LET’S PARTY!!!!



Food Star Friday – Alton Brown’s Vichyssoise

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Happy Food Star Friday everyone! I am so excited about today’s post. Well, I am always excited about Food Star Friday, but today I tackled a Food Star that I not only adore, but admire for all of the knowledge he has about everything food. Jessi (Miss Picky Pants) and I used to watch every, and I mean every episode of Good Eats. We even taped them for a while (that tells you how long ago it was, we had a VHS still). They were not only educational, but so entertaining. He is somewhat of an odd bird and, having grown up in theater, I feel like I could fit right in with him. Birds of a feather and all of that you know.
I was watching an Episode of Good Eats the other day and he was highlighting leeks. I love leeks and am always trying to use them in as many dishes as I can. I love it when the nice fresh ones come into the store. Like I have said in the past, my produce guy must think I am nuts because I do happy dances all over the place when new produce comes in. I know he thinks I need to get a life, or serious medication, not sure which.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Good Eats. I was watching the episode but we were on our way out of the door so I was very upset that I missed the whole show. Enter the wonder of youtube.com. After a bit of a search I found the episode I was looking for. It was in two parts, but it had the info I was looking for. How to make vichyssoise. Just that word used to strike fear in my little foodie heart if I thought about trying to make it. It sounds so ominous doesn’t it? OK, maybe it is just me, but I would just think there was no way I could make it, it must be difficult just listen to the name of it!
Now that I have been cooking for a while I guess I have gotten braver. I actually think it has a lot to do with the fact that I used to be afraid to try something and then mess it up. Now that I have had a few epic fails under my belt (lets just say I have an issue with baking bread *sigh*) I am more courageous about flexing my culinary muscles and jumping it to just about anything and I am so glad I did. 
As I was making this Kevin kept asking me “What is that?” a little bit later “What is the name of that?” and then later again “What are you making?”. I think he was partially throw by the name but mostly by the fact that I said we were having cold soup. When I told him that his nose wrinkled up like I was telling him to drink expired milk or something. I just told him to stop giving me the stink face and went on with making the soup. 
I will admit, this does take quite a bit of time. With prep and cooking you are probably looking at about an hour and a half or more, but it is well worth it, trust me!! I can’t wait to have a dinner party and watch my non-foodie friends make that face when they here what I am making for a starter. Then watch their faces as they taste it!  
I can’t stress enough how good this was. It was gone so fast I am surprised I was able to take a picture. Everyone was hovering over me like a bunch of vultures!!
Here is the 2nd part of the Good Eats episode on leeks. 

Vichyssoise
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 leeks (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter)
Kosher Salt
14 ounces Yukon potatoes (3 or 4)
1 quart vegetable stock (I had to use chicken because I forgot the vegetable stock DUH me!!)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon white pepper

Cut the root end and dark green leaves off of the leeks. Cut each one in half length wise and place in a large bowl of cold water, swish and shake them to get the dirt out of them. Take them out of the water and dry them a bit. Cut each half into 3 strips length wise and then chop them across the entire length of the strip.

In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once the butter has heated up, add your leeks. Stir them a bit to coat them in the butter and add a healthy pinch of salt, at least a teaspoon. Then turn your heat down to medium-low. You don’t want to hear the leeks sizzling or see them getting brown at all or they are sauteing, you want them to sweat and stay nice and green. Cook for 25 minutes.

Add the potatoes and stock and bring the pot to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 45 minutes. Remove lid and blend the potatoes and leeks with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can blend it in batches in a food processor or a regular blender. Just be careful, it is very hot.

Once everything is blended well, add your cream to the buttermilk before you pour it into the soup. Add to the soup and blend again. (if you are using a food processor or regular blender you can do this before you return the soup to the pot).

At this point you can ladle into bowls and serve hot or chill it before serving.

ENJOY!!!

This recipe was also shared on;

Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays

Cilantro Pesto Pasta

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Today’s post is a bit different than usual. A few days ago I was flipping through my Everyday Food Magazine and came across this recipe. Since Kevin has finally decided to like pesto, as long as it is homemade, I have been thinking of all sorts of combos I could make. One that had really been staying in my head was a cilantro pesto. I adore cilantro, I mean seriously love it! I could put cilantro on just about anything, and if I see it in a recipe I am game to try it no matter what it is. So you know when I saw a recipe for a cilantro pesto pasta I was a very happy girl!! I had wanted to come up with my own, but hey, you have to have a jumping off point right? I figured I would get some experience with it and then go from there. Well, it didn’t quite work that way. I never made the meal. How do I have a picture of a completed dish you ask? Good question, I will tell you. Kevin made it! Yes, you didn’t miss read, I said Kevin made the meal. 

Actually it started off as Kevin doing something nice for me, or at least it seemed that way. I was outside visiting with Dylan’s girlfriend Elitia and my friend Melissa when Kevin asked when dinner would be ready. I said I would be right in to start cooking when Kevin announced that he would be making the meal.
Me – I am on my way in, I will get it going in just a few
Kevin – No don’t worry about it, you stay outside I will make dinner.
Me – *stupid look* Waaaa?
Kevin – What?
Me – Are you sure you want to do this? 
Kevin – Ya, I said I will make it. I mean what’s the big deal? It’s not that hard.
Me – *evil glare* Oh reallllllllllllllllly?
Kevin – Ya, how hard could it be?
Me – Go get ’em big boy!!
In to the kitchen he went with recipe in hand. I hear drawers opening and closing and mumbling.
Me – Do you need some help?
Kevin – No I am fine
Me – You sure?
Kevin – Well…..where is the ginger?
Me –  In the veggie drawer
Kevin – Oh OK. Ummmm where is the cilantro?
Me – in the crisper drawer in the ziplock baggie labeled cilantro. It is wrapped in paper towels.
Kevin – Oh, great idea. Uuummm where is the red pepper flakes?
Me – in the spice drawer toward the front, laying sideways.
Kevin – It’s not here
Me – *walking in the kitchen and looking in the drawer* here it is, are you sure you don’t want help?
Kevin – No, I am fine
Me – Okaaaaaaaaaay
On to the business of prepping and cooking he went as I sat outside the kitchen window on the patio drinking a cold beer. There was a lot of mumbling, a few damn its, and I think one oh crap, but he didn’t ask for anymore help. The next time I heard from him it was to ask me how I wanted the presentation for the pictures. I was pleasantly surprised when I went into the kitchen. It was clean, nothing broken or spilled, and the food was very good! 
Me – Wow this looks really good!
Kevin – Thanks
Me – Wow it tastes really good
Kevin – See I told you it’s not that hard
Me – gggrrrrrrrr
Kevin – OK well maybe it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was
Me – Ya?
Kevin – Ya, I don’t really want to do that again
Me *satisfied grin*
Kevin – But I want to see you try to work on a car just from reading instructions
Me – *eyeroll* 

Cilantro Pesto Pasta
1 bunch cilantro, 1/4 cup leaves reserved for garnish
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon light-brown sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked according to package instructions
In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red pepper flakes, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup peanuts. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine. In a large bowl toss pesto with pasta. Roughly chop the remaining peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with remaining cilantro leaves.
This recipe was also share on Baked in the South’s Made it By Monday

Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon

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Roasting potatoes and veggies is one of my favorite ways to cook them, aside from grilling. The flavors gets concentrated and the outside gets crispy, just the thought of it makes my mouth water! I am so happy that I finally learned to love vegetables. I am sad it took me so long, I was missing out on so much! Of course if you throw a little bacon in there it doesn’t hurt either right? But like I say, everything in moderation so as long as you aren’t eating bacon with every meal (which I sooo could) you are doing fine. 
This night was one of those refrigerator clean out meals. Find a protein, find a side, and awaaaaay we gooooo! Those kinds of nights used to scare the bejeeezus out of me. I used to get frazzled “Oh no, no recipe? What the heck am I going to make? Aaaahhhhhh someone call Domino’s!!!” But now I embrace te challenge of coming up with something off the cuff. The other night I grabbed odds and ends out of the fridge that needed to be used up. I ended up making chicken in herbed rice pilaf with red peppers and peas and added a bit of leftover marscapone cheese at end. Who knew creamy rice pilaf would be so good? Plus WALA no leftovers!! I love it when nothing goes to waste!!

One thing I know I can never go wrong serving here is potatoes. When my father was alive he would be happy to just make a meal out of those. Whenever he wasn’t so sure about what was on the menu and if he would like it, he would ask
Dad – Are you making potatoes
Me – Yes Dad
Dad – Oh good, at least I know I will have something to eat
Me – Thanks for the vote of confidence Dad
Dad – Well hell a guinea pig needs to eat something right?
Me – Ya Dad, don’t you have a wheel to run in somewhere?
Dad – Yup you are mine, a total smart ass!
Me – Love you too Dad
I miss my Dad!!

Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon
2 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut into quarters
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
Kosher salt,
Pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large skillet, cook chopped bacon over medium high heat until it begins to crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the skillet and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Allow the bacon fat to cool a bit
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, red pepper, garlic, shallots, and bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the mixture once halfway through. 
Remove from the oven, top with chopped bacon and parsley.