Creamy Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy

When it comes to side dishes everyone in our family loves creamy mashed potatoes. They are a true comfort food that enhances chicken cutlets, flank steak, meatloaf & so much more. On occasion, we make Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes that are also delicious if you want to step it up a notch. Either way, these mashed potatoes are so creamy and buttery our mouths are watering just writing about them! Enjoy them plain, garnished with some fresh chopped chives or gravy. 😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 2lbs Yukon gold potatoes,  peeled then cut in half and cut in quarters
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt for water
  • 3/4 – 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan filled with water to generously cover the potatoes. Add  1 Tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat & drain well. Place potatoes back into saucepan & return to low heat. Stir potatoes constantly for about 1-2 minutes to dehydrate the potatoes.
  4. Remove potatoes from the heat. Add the butter. Using a handheld masher, mash the butter into the potatoes. Add enough cream & continue mashing until the desired texture is achieved.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste then mash to combine.

Notes:

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Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy

To us, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be complete without candied yams. There are as many different ways to prepare them as there are feathers on a turkey! We always loved our Mom's version; however, we slightly tweaked it through the years to accommodate our family's taste buds. These are sweet, buttery, and melt in your mouth delicious. In our family, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (8 Tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter. Once melted add the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and maple syrup. Stir & heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla & orange zest. Mix well.
  4. In a 9 x 13 baking dish add the yams & sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Pour the syrup over the yams.
  6. Cover with foil then bake in 375ºF oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from the oven. Spoon the syrup from the pan over the potatoes.
  8. Return pan to the oven UNCOVERED and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Notes: Our Mom always used canned cut yams but believe us when we say it’s worth the extra time to peel and slice fresh sweet potatoes or yams. We can’t always get yams so we use medium-sized sweet potatoes.

 

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Eggplant Zucchini Lasagna Casserole – Twiins Style 🍆🍆


  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Easy

Casseroles are a great way to combine your family's favorite vegetables into a one-dish meal that is sure to please. Our family loves eggplant, zucchini, ricotta cheese & mozzarella (among many other foods) so we combined all those ingredients into a delicious casserole? They loved this dish so much that they requested it 3 nights in a row! You can make this casserole with or without sausage because it's just as hardy without it plus you get the added bonus of it being Gluten-Free and Keto friendly if you follow a keto diet. You and your family will love it! 😋😋

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, firm to touch
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash (or 1 of each,  personal preference )
  • 1 lb bulk Italian Sweet or Hot Sausage, optional (bulk country sausage can be substituted)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 8-10 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • enough EVOO to lightly coat all the sliced eggplant & zucchini before roasting, plus extra for lightly coating the baking sheet
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to season eggplant & zucchini before roasting
  • 1 cup ricotta (we used whole milk but you can use skim or fat-free if desired)
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  •  2 shakes crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated plus extra for between layers
  • 8 oz. mozzarella, grated & divided in half
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped & divided plus a few whole leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Cut the end stems from each end of the eggplant, zucchini or summer squash.
  2. Slice into 1/2-inch thick round pieces.
  3. With a small pastry brush, lightly brush EVOO over both sides of the eggplant and zucchini.
  4. Position your oven racks to upper and lower thirds of your oven.
  5. Preheat oven to 500ºF. Once it reaches 500ºF lower to 425ºF.
  6. On a small rimmed baking sheet (no parchment paper) place tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves.
  7. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon EVOO over the tomatoes & unpeeled garlic. Toss with your hands to coat, roast on the top oven rack for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes blister & garlic is soft & caramelized. Remove from oven when done and set aside to cool.
  8. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and drizzle a very small amount of EVOO in each pan.
  9. Arrange the eggplant slices in a singer layer in one of the pans then arrange the zucchini in the second pan.
  10. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over the tops of eggplant & zucchini only.
  11. Using a pastry brush, use 2 Tablespoons or more of EVOO to lightly brush over the eggplant and zucchini slices in both pans (both sides).
  12. Place pan with eggplant on top oven rack and zucchini on middle rack and roast at 425ºF for 15-25 minutes until nicely browned but not burnt. Zucchini might brown before the eggplant so check often as individual oven temperatures vary.
  13. Once browned, use a spatula to flip eggplant & zucchini over. Continue roasting the eggplant & zucchini until brown, about 10 minutes, checking often.
  14. Once done, remove from oven & let cool.
  15. In a medium skillet brown the bulk sausage meat until fully cooked. Drain & set aside in a bowl until ready to begin layering process.
  16. In a medium bowl combine 1 cup ricotta, red pepper flakes, 1/2 beaten egg, 2 Tablespoons chopped basil, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and 6 oz mozzarella. Drizzle a tsp of EVOO and mix with a fork to combine. Add salt to taste.
  17. Remove the cooked garlic cloves from the cooled tomato pan & move to a cutting board. Using a fork, press on the skins to remove the soft, caramelized garlic. The skins can be discarded. Mash the cloves into a paste then add to the ricotta mixture and combine well.
  18. In a shallow 2-qt baking dish drizzle some EVOO on the bottom. Arrange 1/3 of the eggplant & zucchini in a single layer. Add 1/3 the blistered tomatoes and scatter them around. Add a dollop of ricotta evenly over each vegetable section (do not spread, leave dollop as is). Add half the drained cooked sausage and sprinkle on top of ricotta dollops. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
  19. Tear some of the basil leaves and generously scatter around the first layer.
  20. Repeat step 18 & 19 for the second layer.
  21. Add remaining ricotta mixture on top of the second layer, top with remaining slices of eggplant & zucchini then add the remaining tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Roman cheese and top with remaining shredded mozzarella.
  22. Bake approximately 20 – 25  minutes at 425 ºF or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.
  23. Remove from oven. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

 

Notes:  2 large and 1 small rimmed baking sheets are needed for this recipe. We used Neese’s Country Sausage (bulk) in this recipe; however,  the meat is optional.  Add some sauteed mushrooms if you’re a mushroom lover like Teresa is. Can be served as a main dish (4-5 servings) or a side dish (6-8 servings).

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Mom’s Asparagus Patties

Mom's Asparagus Patties

  • Difficulty: Easy

Whenever we saw our Mom and Grandma Florence mixing a batch of asparagus patties it sparked our excitement for the upcoming holiday meal. The aroma of cooked asparagus, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, and grated cheese filled the air and made our mouths water. As kids, we really didn't like a lot of vegetables but asparagus patties were always one vegetable we looked forward too. We would always sneak some from the covered aluminum tray where they piled them up until cooking was complete. To this day we are brought back to our childhood when we make them with loving memories. You don't have to wait for a holiday to make this wonderful side dish. It's a great side that goes well with most poultry, beef, and pork.

Ingredients

  • 2 bundles fresh asparagus, cooked until soft then cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 5  eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs (add additional bread crumbs if the mixture is too loose)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  •  5 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Canola or Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Cook the fresh asparagus spears in salted, boiling water until soft, approximately 6-8 minutes. Drain all water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the grated cheese, parsley, salt, pepper & garlic.
  3. Mix together until everything is combined.
  4. Add cut asparagus to the mixture then add the bread crumbs and mix well. The mixture should be on the thick side but not dry. If too loose add additional bread crumbs 1 tsp at a time. (Not too dry) If too dry, add another egg.
  5. In a large skillet pour oil to 1/8-inch depth and heat on medium until hot then lower flame to medium-low. Using a regular tablespoon drop mixture into skillet to form patties. Don’t overcrowd the skillet.
  6. Let cook until brown. Turn over and cook another minute or two until browned.
  7. Remove each pattie with a spatula and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Make layers of patties using paper towels in-between to absorb the excess oil.
  8. When all patties are cooked, pat excess oil off and place on a serving platter.
  9. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes: Try adding some crumbled bacon or diced pancetta to the mixture for a punch of savory.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

 

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Gluten-Free Asparagus Patties

Gluten-Free Asparagus Patties

  • Difficulty: Easy

Whenever we saw our Mom and Grandma Florence mixing a batch of asparagus patties it sparked our excitement for the upcoming holiday meal. The aroma of cooked asparagus, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, and grated cheese filled the air and made our mouths water. As kids, we really didn't like a lot of vegetables but asparagus patties were always one vegetable we looked forward too. We would always sneak some from the covered aluminum tray where they piled them up until cooking was complete. To this day we are brought back to our childhood when we make them with loving memories. We adapted Mom's recipe to be Gluten-Free for Jack and found it to be just as good as the original. You don't have to wait for a holiday to make this wonderful side dish. It's a great side that goes well with most poultry, beef, and pork.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ bundles fresh asparagus
  • 5  eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons Gluten-Free Italian seasoned bread crumbs (add additional bread crumbs if the mixture is too loose)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  •  5 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pepper to taste
  • Canola or Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the grated cheese, parsley, pepper & garlic.
  2. Mix together until everything is combined.
  3. Add cut asparagus to the mixture then add the bread crumbs and mix well. The mixture should be on the thick side but not dry. If too loose add additional bread crumbs 1 tsp at a time. (Not too dry) If too dry, add another egg.
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet until hot then lower flame to medium-low. Using a regular tablespoon drop mixture into skillet to form patties.
  5. Let cook until brown. Turn over and cook another minute or two.
  6. Remove each pattie with open spatula and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Make layers of patties using paper towels in-between to absorb the excess oil.
  7. When all patties are cooked, pat excess oil off and place on a serving platter.
  8. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes: Try adding some crumbled bacon or diced pancetta to the mixture for a punch of savory.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Jasmine Rice Pilaf – Twiins Style


  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy

Jasmine rice, with its fragrant characteristic aroma, is a wonderful side dish on its own; however, when we added just a few simple ingredients it exploded with flavor and has become a family favorite. Although Jasmine rice is typically used in Thai cuisine it is equally popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and has become our go-to rice for many side dishes. Although it has a unique fragrance it won't interfere with any cuisine and is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice
  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup EVOO, for sautéeing
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1  Red Bell Peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  •  salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1.  Add rice, salt, water or broth, and butter in a deep saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. When it comes to a boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover the pan tightly and cook without stirring 18-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.  Keep covered and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  5. In a large deep skillet or wok heat EVOO until hot.
  6. Sauté onions and bell peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add fresh or frozen peas and continue to cook 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir to combine well on low-medium heat.
  9. Remove from heat and serve.

Notes: The fresher the rice is, the more aroma it will have. 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Refreshing Cucumber, Tomatoes & Dill Salad 🥒🍅 😋

Refreshing Cucumber, Tomatoes & Dill Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy

Every year Gary & I along with Teresa & Jack, celebrate 4th of July on the USS Battleship NC. We sit on the deck with our friends and neighbors and have great conversations, shared laughs and view the most spectacular fireworks display. Everyone brings their own chairs, snacks, food, and drinks. My friend and neighbor, Rob Sherman, brought the most delicious cucumber, tomato & dill salad to share. It was delicious! He said he found the recipe on the internet some time ago & has been making it ever since. We are happy to share Rob's recipe with you. It's light and refreshing for these hot, humid summer nights & naturally gluten-free. Rob, we thank you for sharing your recipe with us so we can pass it along!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium cucumbers, sliced 1/8 inch thick rounds, skin on. (We used a mandolin slicer for uniform slices)
  • 2-3 whole tomatoes, quartered or 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half (more or less if you  prefer)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons red onion, sliced thin then chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp sea salt, or more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

 

    Directions

    1. In a large bowl combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk together.
    2. Add the sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and dill then toss to combine.
    3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to come together.
    4. Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if needed before serving.

    Notes: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.

    I recently made this salad with grilled flank steak, chimichurri, and a jasmine rice medley. Pairs well with our Slow Cooker Spare Ribs and corn on the cob.

    This recipe is naturally Gluten-Free.

     

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    Valerie’s Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Pignolis

    Valerie's Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Pignolis

    • Servings: 6
    • Difficulty: Easy

    Today my dear friend Valerie Kachura served this delicious cauliflower side dish while hosting our weekly social bridge group.  Now, I'm not the biggest fan of cauliflower but I know it has many health benefits so when I saw our good friend Roz's face light up with delight, I knew I had to try it! It was delicious! I think this will be my new favorite side-dish.  Thank you, Valerie, for feeding our group so well, and graciously letting me share your recipe.  😋❤

    Ingredients

    • 1 large head of cauliflower, rinsed and separated by large florets
    • 1/4 cup pignolis
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. ground curry powder
    • 1/4 -1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
    • 1/4 tsp. pink  Himalayan salt
    • 1/4 tsp.  black pepper
    • 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F
    2. In a large bowl combine, cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and curry powder. Mix well.
    3. Place in a casserole dish and bake 20 minutes until almost done.
    4. Sprinkle pignolis and grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the top of cauliflower.
    5. Place casserole back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes until starting to turn golden brown.
    6. Remove from oven and serve.

    Notes: This is a naturally gluten-free side dish

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    Stuffed Mushrooms Alla Grandma Florence, Gluten-Free

    Stuffed Mushrooms Alla Grandma Florence, Gluten-Free

    • Servings: 8-10
    • Difficulty: Easy

    One of the dishes we missed most at the holidays was Grandma Florence's stuffed mushrooms. Wow were they delizioso! 😋 We are excited we nailed it as they taste just like Grandma's did. We're happy to share it with you and hope you enjoy them as much as our family does. These can be served as appetizers, a side dish to a roast, chicken, veal or pasta or a main dish if using large Portobello mushrooms.

    Ingredients

    • 28 Baby Bella Mushrooms (1 – 1/2 inches wide)
    • 10 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup  Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 cup  4C Gluten-Free Seasoned Bread Crumbs (may substitute with regular Italian seasoned bread crumbs if gluten is not an issue)
    • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, melted to combine with bread crumbs
    • 1 Tablespoon salted butter to sauté mushroom stems

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
    2. Wash & clean all the mushrooms, gently removing the stems. Set stems aside to chop.
    3. Dry mushrooms well with paper towels.
    4. Line a baking pan with tin foil and drizzle EVOO just to coat the pan.
    5. Place the mushrooms on the baking pan.
    6. In a small skillet on high heat, sauté the mushroom stems with 1 Tablespoon of butter, about 5 minutes until butter is absorbed.
    7. In a medium-size bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, oregano, parsley, melted butter, and minced garlic.  Mix well then add the sautéed mushroom stems. Combine well.
    8. Using a small spoon, spoon mixture into each mushroom cap (about 2 spoonfuls for each)
    9. Place into a preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or just until golden.
    10. Remove from oven. Let sit about 5 minutes then serve.

     

    Notes: We also made a batch of large Portobello mushrooms that were a meal in themselves with a side salad!

    Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

     

     

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    Twiins Style Rustic Cornbread – Gluten-Free

    Twiins Style Rustic Cornbread - Gluten-Free

    • Servings: 24 squares
    • Difficulty: Easy

    We have been experimenting with cornbread for a while now. Not only did it have to taste good but we wanted to make it gluten-free as always for Teresa's husband. We don't want to leave him out of our recipes because anyone that knows Jack, knows he loves to eat!!! Traditionally northern style cornbread is sweet while southern style is savory with no sweetness. To us the perfect combination would be both slightly sweet & savory. After may experiments we finally agreed we really liked this one; you won't know it's gluten-free. We hope you like it as much as we do.

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup sugar (use 1/2 cup for sweeter cornbread)
    • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 cups buttermilk, shake well before measuring
    • 1  20-ounce package Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix
    • 1  11-ounce can sweet corn, drained
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • additional melted butter to baste the top of batter in the pan before baking

      Directions

      1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Generously grease with butter a 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan.
      2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter together.
      3. Add eggs and whisk to combine.
      4. Whisk in the shaken buttermilk. Add the drained corn and stir.
      5. Add the cornbread mix and stir until few lumps remain. Don’t over mix.
      6. Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly. Take additional melted butter and generously baste the top before placing in the oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
      7. When done, remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes.
      8. Remove from pan and continue to cool on a rack.
      9. When cooled, cut into squares and serve with Chili – Award Winning Twiins Style, Gluten-Free or enjoy with your favorite beverage.

      Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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