Roasted Beet and Kale Salad

Hi – I finally have a quick recipe post for you. I honestly haven’t been cooking or baking much of anything new lately. We have had a really busy summer running around doing this and that and I have loved it. As I mentioned on this site, we are members of a CSA and we have been living and loving veggies this summer. In fact, I have become a fan of some veggies I thought were “gross”, like kale AND beets. I have added Swiss chard, zucchini, carrots and tons of other veggies to our regular meals we eat and it is such a good way to add veggies in sneakily – you hardly notice.

I LOVE this salad. I found recipe on AllRecipes.com and altered it to fit what I had on hand. It is a perfect mix of earthy/healthy tasting, sweet, crunchy and just a bit of tang.

I encourage you to try veggies in different ways. Beets are quite good seasoned and roasted. I LOVE them pickled also. Kale is kind of stiff and hard straight out of the garden, but massaged with this vinaigrette and left overnight to soak up the flavors it is like a hearty type of lettuce.

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Roasted Beet and Kale Salad, serves about 6 as a side – adapted slightly from AllRecipes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 large beets
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, cut into bite-size pieces (about 6-8 cups, discard the tough, thick stems)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped (red onion would also work here)
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • 7-8 pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Trim roots and stems from beets. Place beets onto prepared baking sheet.
  3. Roast beets for 60 minutes or until tender. Let beets cool. Peel skins from beets and cut into 1-inch cubes or slices. Set aside and let cool in refrigerator.
  4. Whisk apple juice or cider, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and cider vinegar in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into apple mixture, whisking constantly, until dressing is combined. Pour dressing over kale and onions (I used about half of this recipe – save the rest for another salad) and gently massage into greens. Let it sit overnight in the fridge.
  5. Before serving, add beets, nuts, dates and any additional dressing if needed. Toss to incorporate. Refrigerate any leftovers and eat within 2-3 days.

I took this salad to a friend’s house. She made Marathon Lasagna from the Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook. It had ground turkey, sweet potatoes, ricotta, eggs, noodles, spinach and tons of cheese. It was super hearty and delicious. I recommend it to anyone. My other friend brought asparagus wrapped in egg roll wrappers (maybe?) with a spicy dipping sauce. So good. I could eat those three things on the daily! We were well fed and happy ladies that evening!

Just a few additional notes:

  • Use some or all of the dressing, that is up to you.
  • Any leftovers would be a great marinade or dressing on a salad.
  • I think this would be glorious served with feta or goat cheese, any crumbly cheese.
  • I waited to add the beets so they didn’t stain the salad a pink/red color.
  • Serve this to your friends who doubt they like beets or kale.
  • Enjoy!
Posted in Appetizer, Dinner, Dinner idea, Healthy Living, Salad, Sides, Uncategorized, Veggie | Leave a comment

Hazen Painting and Wine Night, 2016

For four different Wednesdays at the end of July and beginning of August, people were invited to sign up for a Painting and Wine night. For a $45 fee, you were provided all the art supplies, wine and small snacks as well as an instructor to guide you in creating artwork. Each Wednesday featured a different painting. The only date that worked for me to attend was the last evening offered, Wednesday, Aug. 10. My friend and I signed up a few weeks in advance at the Union State Bank to secure a spot. I understand a few of the evenings were sold out!

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The event started at 5:30 and when we showed up to the Brooks House on Central Ave, tucked in behind the Pocket Park and across from Union State Bank. The Brooks House is an art gallery of sorts that sells handmade items including pottery, fused glass, clothing items and more. They have some really nice, affordable pieces. What I didn’t know, is they have a lovely backyard, nice and secluded and quiet where the art class would take place. Easels, paintbrushes and water buckets were set out in the yard and we could take a glass of wine, snacks and a seat.

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I never did catch our instructors name but she was very nice, helpful and gave us tips as the evening went on. We filled up our palette (OK, it was a Styrofoam plate) with paint as instructed and got going. Throughout the evening, we could refill our wine, visit and we were also lucky to listen to live music that was taking place in the Pocket Park while we painted.

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It may seem like I am forever championing any event I go to and I guess I am? We feel very lucky that Hazen offers so many events for young people in our town. Many towns don’t have these options and I am more than happy to sign up for and attend these events. It seems to me that so many people stay home or go to Bismarck for events. It’s sad – we live in our town for a reason, so let’s support them. Whether it is a family event, a weekend band or what not, I try to go to as many events as I can – whether to volunteer or just check things out.

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The completion of the painting probably took only about 2 hours if that? We grabbed our painting and headed off on our merry way before a storm blew in that night – we were lucky. A palette or two might have flown off in the wind, but for the most part, our masterpieces were saved from any errant winds.

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Thank you to Hazen Arts Council, the Brooks House and Union State Bank for getting this fun event lined up. I’m no Picasso, but I’d definitely try this again!

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I won’t show you the original or the instructor’s finished art but this is mine. Good enough. I have even hung it in my house where other people will see it. Fun times in Hazen.

Posted in Entertainment, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why wake up early

I have not always been a morning person. In fact, I don’t know that I am currently a morning person? Maybe I am just getting older? Yeah, that is most likely the answer.

Now that “kids” are back to school, Labor Day is over so I guess the summer is unofficially over. My morning workouts are now done completely in the dark. Soon, most all of my workouts will be done in the gym (though I am hoping for a long autumn!)

As a tribute to my love of summer, here are a few things I love about early morning outdoor workouts that I will miss.

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You get to wake up with the world. For the most part in summer, my workouts started in the dark (I usually run or bike) but they ended as the sun was coming up. I love going through the neighborhoods and seeing people (this sounds creepy but some people leave their windows open with lights and no curtains) reading the paper or making morning coffee. I must have a strong sense of smell because I can smell coffee brewing, syrup, toast, eggs, people having a morning smoke, dill growing in the garden and I swear one day I smelled a Pizza Corner pizza cooking. Hey, no judgment. Sounds delicious. It is just so satisfying getting your workout done as the town gets ready for the day.

Get it in before you know what is going on. My alarm goes off, I roll out of bed, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, pull my hair back and get into my workout clothes. I think when I start my workout I am barely awake but by the end the sun is up, the birds are out and everything is good with the world. I have an endorphin high and want to smile at the sun as it comes up.

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Weather. This is a huge bonus, the mornings are usually cool with little wind. I’ve had some windy and quite a few rainy days of course, buy generally this will be the best part of the day to get your fitness in outdoors. Humidity is much more tolerable in the early morning verse the heat of the day.

After work freedom. By scheduling my workout in the morning I really don’t have an excuse to skip. AND my time after work is free. Things tend to come up (happy hour, meetings, etc.) between the morning and quitting time. Too many excuses can be brought up during the day to skip an afternoon workout.

Habit. I have been working out for so long now as a part of my schedule that I will honestly miss it if I don’t get it in. I have slept in or skipped mornings but then I just go in the afternoon because I really feel it is a part of my day. I prefer to start my summer days out with a sweaty workout.

The view. North Dakota has some glorious sunrises and sunsets. I have been witness to so many beautiful sunrises throughout this summer, it really makes you appreciate your life and starts your day out calmly and peacefully.

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Grocery store/cleaning/cooking. What? Ok, yes I meant to type that. After exercise, I feel good about myself and energized. Sometimes after showering and getting ready, I’ll go grab groceries at the market (they open at 6:30 a.m. during the week and it is the BEST time to shop – no crowds) or do some dinner prep and or clean. You can get A LOT done in just a half hour.

Being outside. As any North Dakotan knows, summer is just way too short. I try to take advantage to be outside as much as I can in the nicer weather months. I know it’ll be back to indoor workouts and stuck inside in just a few months, maybe even weeks. Even as the weather is growing colder, I’ll stick it out for a while yet.

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Like everything, there are a few downsides. I generally go to bed before the sun sets. I am OK with that and don’t have too much trouble sleeping generally, but I know some people can’t do that. This also means I usually go to bed before my friends/partner. But, do what works for you. If you prefer exercising outdoors in the heat or another time of day works better for you, GO FOR IT!

In a few months I will be back to going to and returning from work in the dark. I’m definitely not ready so I’ll be soaking up the outdoors as long as I can. Have a great week!

Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery

I recently was able to visit Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery just outside of Dickinson. I wrote a quick article about my visit that is posted today on my fellow North Dakota blogging pal’s website, Prairie Style File. Please head over to her website to check out my article and get more ideas for great events going on in North Dakota and surrounding areas. She is always on an adventure finding great events, food and beer!

Here are two quick photos of the beautiful grounds Fluffy Fields is on – please make sure to visit and support this vineyard and winery when you are in the area.

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Fluffy Fields tasting room/bar.

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Posted in Entertainment, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc, Other sites, Restaurant Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maah Daah Hey Half Marathon Trail Run, 2016

The first annual Maah Daah Hey Trail Run was held on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. The unique challenge of running on North Dakota’s awe inspiring Maah Daah Hey trail was most definitely an experience I won’t soon forget. The Badlands are an amazing place with beautiful sights and I was lucky enough to see even more remote areas on this run.

The run options were a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, 54 mile, 79 miles and 106 miles. I thought I was just insane enough to attempt the half marathon with an elevation gain listed at 1,374 feet. My Mom was doing the 5k and my good friend the 10k. Considering I always run on mostly flat roads, I knew this would be a challenge and I was hoping for agreeable weather.

We arrived in Medora on Friday to take in a few sights and specifically to see the annual musical. When we arrived, it was pouring rain but that quickly gave way to mostly cloudy skies and a beautiful, cool evening. We grabbed a few brews and a bite to eat at the charming Little Missouri Saloon. We picked up our race packets at Dakota Cyclery right in town with ease. We made our way to watch the musical with my parents. It was a great show as usual.

After the show, we headed back to our hotel for a good night of sleep. I had a few things stacked against me for this race – I had gotten a blister the Monday prior (my first one all summer) and came down with a horrible cold on Tuesday, in fact, I even called in sick to work on Thursday. That Wed. night/Thurs. a.m. I did get over 12 hours of sleep and that helped a lot. I ran Monday and Tuesday, took off Wednesday and Thursday due to illness and ran an easy 4 miles on Friday morning. I could breath but definitely felt sluggish and harder to breath than normal. This was my “before” photo on the way to catch the 6:30 a.m. shuttle to the half marathon. The weather was cool outside and the run was scheduled to start at 8 a.m. I didn’t get to see my Mom or my friend as their shuttles left at different times. This race is a point to point so they started at various spots on the trail.

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The shuttles left from the Chimney Park/Medora Family Fun Center area. Our departure area was the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch. I had never been there and it was a cute area with a bar/restaurant, some stores and a place to stay. This would make for an extremely easy departure for the race. My only (minor) complaint comes at this time. The shuttle out only took about 20 minutes. So we were at the ranch from before 7 a.m. until the 8 a.m. start. A LOT of standing around and nerves. If possible, it would be nice to have more shuttles to depart us closer to the starting times. If not, this wasn’t horrible as I got to make a few new friends by chatting and the waitress was kind enough to offer us pitchers of water and even sunscreen. I had eaten before we left, but would definitely like to return some day to eat or visit.

We were able to send our backpacks back with the gentlemen who was calling the start time so I could take off my long sleeves as it was warming up a bit. Overall, the weather was perfect – just a breeze and I think the hottest it was during the run was maybe low-60’s? A few places it was really beating down but then was cool when it went behind the clouds. I was grateful for this nice weather.

There were about 20 of us doing the half and we simply stood by the flagpoles and when he said go, we took off. We went up a gravel road until we got onto the trail. This was slightly uphill and I honestly was so nervous as I was tired, out of breath and my upper body felt so weak. I did not think I’d make this run. Most of the pack took off ahead of me and within a few miles I couldn’t see them anymore. Trail runners are a strong bunch of runners! I also didn’t have anyone behind me within eyesight. I was all alone.

About 5 miles into the run I got to the only aid station. Throughout the trail there were a series of gates we had to open and close due to wildlife. There was a gate here and it was before crossing a highway. I stopped to remove my shoe as I felt I had a rock or thistle in there. I was surprised it was actually a tiny pebble. I can’t imagine what something bigger would feel like. I didn’t take any aid since I had my water bottle and a packet of Gu gel.

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For the sake of brevity, I’ll do some bullet points even though as always, I have a lot to say!

  • I finished! Alive and healthy! And happy!
  • The views were amazing and inspiring. Everything from prairie like land to steep hills, jagged rocks, narrow trails on steep ledges, greasy muddy areas (due to the rain the day before), dry sand, overflowed creeks (feet got wet) and everything in between. You always had to be paying attention.
  • Going in, my goal was to finish under 3 hours due to my illness and not having trained for hills.
  • Miles 8-9 were a lot of walking, mostly uphill.
  • I ate one packet of Gu on the race. I tried to imagine it giving me super powers to run the entire race. That didn’t work. Lots of walking which I was actually OK with. Better than not moving at all.
  • The last 2 miles or so were all downhill. Lovely, but also steeply downhill so it was a bit painful.
  • I only almost got lost once after we got off the trail and went into town. It wasn’t marked well so I wasn’t sure if we continued on the trail or not? Sadly, one of the men in our group did go on the trail and ended up doing like 19 miles or something. How frustrating!
  • I did my best to run the whole last mile but there was walking involved. I saw my Mom from the distance and she motivated me to run!
  • My goal to finish about half way through moved up to 2 hours and 30 minutes when I could tell I felt well enough to continue after briefly wanting to quit at mile 1.
  • I only saw normal animals (no bison or elk), one cow did MOO at me. Thanks for cheering.
  • After going on the trail I only ever did see one more woman who I passed in the last 3 or so miles. A few times it was pretty lonely out there but always beautiful.
  • I genuinely thought a few times I might get lost/never found/live in the wild/get eaten by rattlers, etc. You really have a lot of alone time out there to think!
  • The warm chocolate chip cookies at the finish line were amazing.
  • It was fun to be called out with my hometown at the finish.

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Here I am a while after the race. We stuck around a bit after to chat with others and then watch the kids races. They were so cute! I am actually wearing my Mom’s medal here. They ran out! There must have been more than expected last minute sign ups. They assured me they will mail me one out. I am anxiously awaiting it! My shower afterwards was glorious. I was pretty dirty from the mud and dust and extremely salty from sweating.

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After we were cleaned up, we went downtown to walk around to all the cute stores. I saw a few cute dresses and a lot of bicycle decor I liked. (I love bikes.) I had Mom snap this photo of me by these pretty flowers. I am not ready for summer to be over yet. This was such a perfect afternoon weather wise.

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My husband and Dad were golfing the awesome Bully Pulpit golf course while us ladies raced. We met up with them later for pizza (the Badlands Pizza & Saloon is great!) and beer and I showed my husband a few of the bike pieces I liked. He surprised me with this awesome wall decoration. What a nice gesture and I was very, very surprised. We went afterwards to meet up with my friend for some ice cream. I don’t know what it is about Medora, but I always have to get their ice cream. So good!

My parents went back home while we stuck around for another night. We enjoyed some leisuring by the motel pool and later some cocktails downtown with live music. It was a wonderful day.

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Here’s one more pic my Mom snapped of me coming into the finish. I was all smiles because I saw her and I was done. I am very proud of myself for taking this on. Trail runs are a blast and the camaraderie is amazing. Maybe I’ll even do it again? For now, I think I am going to take a bit of a break and go back to shorter distances and enjoy the end of the summer. Below are stats according to my Garmin and the official finish times. Also, Experience Land runs a great Facebook site, go give them a like.

 

Garmin Stats
Total Time: 2:29:59.8
Distance: 13.24 miles
Minute/mile: 11:20

  1. 9:56 (wanted to quit, upper body felt so tired oddly?)
  2. 9:57
  3. 10:21
  4. 10:42
  5. 11:06 (I think this includes my brief stop for the pebble in the shoe)
  6. 11:22
  7. 12:19
  8. 12:08
  9. 13:34 (so much uphill on this mile)
  10. 11:01
  11. 12:14
  12. 12:02
  13. 11:04
  14. 9:13 (0.24 miles)

Official Race Finish Time: 2:29:57 (yay!), 9th of 12 women – lots of room for improvement but I am very happy with this finish time and results.

Enjoy the long Labor Day weekend – I’ll be back sometime next week with another post!

 

Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Healthy Living, Misc, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bison Bar & Grill, Hazen

The Bison Bar & Grill formally opened on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 11 a.m. The bar and grill is located where the former Woodshed used to be, next to Cenex and Cinema Flix.

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The above photo is in the bar area. They have added several flat screen TV’s throughout the restaurant. The sections of the restaurant are the bar, dining area and what I’ll call the conference room. We were happy to be invited to the soft opening on Tuesday. There was a good group of people and we were greeted at the door, into the bar area. There was a fountain of whiskey sour we could help ourselves to – that was lovely along with an open bar.

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We grabbed a few drinks and sat in the bar for a bit to chat with friends we saw there. I was sadly feeling under the weather but still managed to have two drinks! My husband tested out the beer and reported back it was nice and cold. They have a variety of boozes, bottles beer and 3 beers on tap – Bud Light, Coors Light and Fat Tire. The tap beer is also available in pitchers.

We went over to the conference room side of the bar and grill where the staff had set up a buffet of appetizers for us to try out including pizza, tortellini, steak and mushrooms, meatballs and more pizza. My personal favorite was the pizza, in particular the white pizza. The meatballs were also good. I’m not a mushroom fan so I can’t comment on that dish. This room is available to reserve for meetings or parties (free of charge!) and can accommodate up to about 60 people I think they said. They have TV screens and equipment to hook up your laptop for presentations.

Shortly, we were greeted by one of the owners who explained the process of opening the bar and grill and their hopes for the future. Then, the manager spoke about the menu, the employees and what to expect. The restaurant seems to be staffed well and everyone seemed eager to serve us. We were broken into groups to be seated.

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We were seated with another couple who we hadn’t met before so it was fun to visit with them. The menu is huge – there is a nice selection of appetizers (nachos, cheese curds, wings, etc.), burgers (beef and bison), wraps, salads, sandwiches, pizza and stromboli and then what I’ll call the larger main meals that are served with soup or salad, a side and the main dish – steaks, seafood, pork, etc. They have several cuts of beef available to order and would like to be known as a steakhouse. My husband went with the prime rib while I ordered Angel’s Quesadilla (named for the chef training in the new staff). The prime rib came with crab chowder (soup of the day) and garlic mashed potatoes with gravy. My dish came with a side of cottage cheese. You can see the serving sizes are quite generous. My dish is on the menu for about $11. The quesadilla was stuffed with melted cheese, chicken, peppers, onions and cilantro. I loved it! It tasted so fresh and I loved it has cilantro in it. I had water and iced tea with my dish. I took half of my dish home as leftovers.

Our dining mates had steaks with salad – a sirloin and a ribeye. Their sides were also the mashed potatoes and the other one was grilled veggies. He said they were great – they were seasoned nicely and I believe it was zucchini and squash. I appreciate they have a veggie side instead of just potatoes. The steaks were cooked as requested and the ribeye looked especially good. The main dishes are served with a fresh loaf of bread.

I felt prices were reasonable. A burger is about $12 and that includes a side. You can upgrade to onion rings for another $2. Steaks of course are more up in the upper $20’s. Pizza and strombolis come in large or small and are about $15 and $20 respectively, depending on toppings.

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Dessert was served to everyone in a nice, small portion. This was a homemade brownie with strawberries and ice cream.

We have been to the restaurant once more as paying customers with my parents and another couple. The nachos were a hit at our table and the burgers are huge. The table ordered a brownie to share and I would recommend sharing it. It was HUGE and came with two scoops of ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It was great. Our service has so far always been great.

We really hope the bar and grill succeeds. Our little town needs a place to go for a nice meal or even just a few drinks and an appetizer. They are open Monday-Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. They have daily specials available. We can’t wait to visit again and again! Best wishes! Be sure if you are local to check this place out and support our local businesses.

Posted in Dinner idea, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc, Restaurant Reviews, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Instant Pot Glazed Carrots

It is that time of the year, garden carrots are popping up in all their orange and yellow glory. We had a bunch in our CSA basket and I also had a bunch I had purchased on sale. I personally really like the sweet, glazed cooked carrots BUT I didn’t want to heat up the oven and my house. So after looking around the internet, I came up with this method to glaze the carrots in the Instant Pot using a secret ingredient.

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Baking soda. Yep, I’m not a scientist but there is some reaction with the baking soda that will allow the carrots to glaze. I figured it was worth a try and was quite happy with the results. I left my carrots whole (I like the look) but you could chop them if you wanted to.

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Instant Pot Glazed Carrots, serves 4-6 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb. carrots, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Directions:

Place your IP on high saute and add butter. Let it melt and add in your carrots saute for just a minute or two. Add in the baking soda and honey. Put on and lock lid in place with IP on manual for 4 minutes. Once it has come to pressure and time is up, quick release the steam using an oven mitt. Remove from IP and serve.

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I found no need to add more liquid – the butter and natural juices from the carrots was enough for this short time. These reheat just fine in the microwave. Enjoy!

Posted in Sides, Veggie | 2 Comments