Monthly Archives: October 2010

Steak with roasted acorn squash

I got this squash recipe off of one of my favorite blogs, This Week for Dinner. The recipe is here: http://thisweekfordinner.com/2010/10/19/simple-roasted-acorn-squash-with-shallots/

The recipe is unbelievably easy and is perfect for fall. It’s also pretty tasty, so it makes it easy to eat your veggies!

 

I started by cutting the squash in half (each serving is half of a squash).

 

 

 

Then I cleaned out the squash, like I would a pumpkin.

 

 

 

Next, I chopped up the shallots.

 

 

 

Then I put half of the shallots in each half of the squash.

 

 

 

Then I put two thin slices of butter in each squash on top of the shallots.

 

 

 

Next, I sprinkled one teaspoon of brown sugar in each half of squash.

 

 

 

Finally, I sprinkled cinnamon over the entire squash. I then put the squash into the oven and baked for about 40 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted easily into the squash.

 

 

Meanwhile, my bf helped by making the steaks.

 

 

 

First, he sprinkled some meat rub on both sides.

 

 

Then he cooked the steak on really high heat for a few minutes on both sides, until they were cooked through to our liking. I like mine a little more well done than he does, so he usually takes his steak off before mine.

 

 

Right about the time the steaks were done, the squash was finished as well.

 

 

 

Here was our dinner!

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Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus and Bacon

I’ve made this recipe before, but it is the first time since I started my blog. It’s super tasty and one of the fastest dinners I make. It’s also nice because it has protein (bacon), tons of veggies, and pasta. Here is the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fettucine-with-Peas-Asparagus-and-Pancetta-358490

I started by chopping the bacon (I use turkey bacon almost always, including tonight). Then I cooked it in a large skillet for a few minutes until it was nice and crispy, but not burned.

While the bacon was cooking, I chopped the asparagus and the green onions. The recipe says to separate the dark green parts of the green onions from the light green and white parts. Tonight, I really didn’t feel like doing that, so I just left them in one bunch.

 

 

 

Once the bacon was done, I put it in a small bowl. Because I use turkey bacon, there aren’t any drippings in which I can cook the vegetables. So I added a little olive oil, added the asparagus, then cooked the asparagus for a few minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After cooking the asparagus for a few minutes, I added the green onions, the peas, and the pressed garlic. Frankly, I think the recipe would be better with chopped garlic. Not only is it easier to do and far less annoying, in my opinion, but I think it would mix into the recipe easier.

 

 

Once the peas had defrosted and the veggies were tender, I removed the skillet from heat and put it aside. While cooking the veggies, I started the water boiling for the pasta. I boiled the pasta for about 10 minutes and then reserved 1/2 of pasta water before draining the pasta.

 

 

Once the pasta had drained, I returned it to the pot.

 

 

 

 

 

I then added the rest of the ingredients. I put in the veggie mix, the bacon, the cream, 1/4 cup of the pasta water, the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan. As a side note- I always use light cream in this recipe. It doesn’t harm the flavor at all, and it’s healthier. I didn’t have any fresh basil, so I put a little dried basil in, and mixed everything together over low heat.

 

 

I then served the pasta into bowls. Make sure you get enough of the cream sauce, veggies and bacon from the bottom- that’s the really yummy stuff.

 

 

 

 

So tasty! And looks pretty darn good too, if I say so myself!

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Announcement

Dear Friends and lovely readers,

First, I want to apologize for my lack of posts this week. My parents were in town and I had work events, so this week has felt like a swarm of activity. On Wednesday, when I did intend to cook, DC decided it wanted summer to return. My kitchen felt like a sauna, so I simply couldn’t bring myself to turn on the stove or oven, and instead turned to trusty Chinese take out. I promise I will have a recipe post later tonight and this weekend will get back on track! Thank you for sticking with me!

Second, it was brought to my attention that I was quickly using up my quota for pictures online. Evidently, (what I think are) the beautiful, large pictures I’ve been posting for you all to see take up a lot of space! If I keep going at this rate I’ll have to pay for space pretty soon, and I’m just not quite ready to take that step. Eventually, maybe I’ll take the plunge, but for now, I’m enjoying blogging for free.

That being said, I think blogs, especially food blogs, with no pictures are just dull and no fun. So, I’m thinking I’m going to do little pictures (like the very first picture in my red velvet cupcake recipe) to document my steps. Then at the end, I’ll do one big picture to show how the meal turned out.

I hope you all understand, I will do my very best to still document the recipes clearly!

Love to you all…

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Holiday Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are an old family recipe that we make for any holiday. We all have stashes of cookie cutters with Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Easter and Christmas shapes. This time I did pumpkins and cats for Halloween, but the cats didn’t work out very well because the tail in the cutout was too skinny, so it was really hard to get the dough out. So I only ended up making 3 cats and the rest were pumpkins.

I absolutely love this recipe. I have never met anyone who doesn’t like these cookies and they are so versatile. My only complaint is that the recipe doesn’t make enough cookies!

First, I combined the sugar and the butter until it was a creamy mix.

Then I added the egg and mixed again.

Next, I added the remaining ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla, milk and a little bit of orange zest.

Then I wrapped up the dough in parchment paper and put it in the fridge for an hour.

After an hour, I put a little flour on a big cutting board. Then I rolled out the dough to about 1/3 – 1/2 of an inch thick. Then I used the cookie cutters and cut out shapes and placed them on the cookie sheet with parchment paper.

I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes, or until the edges were just beginning to turn golden brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the cookies were completely cool, I made the frosting. It’s made of powdered sugar, a little milk, a drop of vanilla and whatever food coloring you prefer.

(This was the leftover frosting after my second batch). Then I frosted the cookies and put a few sprinkles on the stems of the pumpkins.

I didn’t have any dark chocolate sprinkles to put on the kitties so I just left them white.

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Proper English scones with clotted cream and jam

I got this recipe out of the New York Times dining section recently and it immediately appealed to my old-fashioned nature. I immediately wanted to try these while sipping tea and reading Jane Austen…but I imagine anyone would enjoy them with or without the British literature. Here is the recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/dining/13minirex.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

I started by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a bowl: cake flour, salt, baking powder and a little sugar.

Since I only have a baby food processor, I had to be a little creative with my next step. I put have the dry ingredients in the food processor with half of the cut up butter. Then I chopped that up until it resembled course cornmeal. Next, I repeated with the other half of the dry ingredients and the butter.

Next, I combined both halves of the mix in a big bowl, added the egg, and slowly added the cream. I mixed together, adding a little more cream until I had the right consistency. The dough should stick a little to your hands but not be gooey.

Then I floured the biggest wood cutting board we have in order to pat out the dough.

As you can see, I kept a little extra pile of flour on the side which came in very handy for covering my hands and adding extra to the board. Biscuit dough like this kind can’t be rolled out with a rolling pin, so you have to use your hands to gently push out the dough. As you cut out the dough with a round cut out, you also may need to add a little extra flour here and there so it doesn’t stick to the food.

One of the things I really need to add to my kitchen wish list is a round cookie cutter. I don’t have one, so I need to be creative. I ended up using a round glass that was approximately 2 inches across. I cut out about four scones in the dough above, then re-balled the dough, flattened it and cut a few more out. I repeated this process until the dough was gone.

Then I brushed a little extra cream on top of each scone and sprinkled a little sugar on top too. I put the scones in the oven and cooked for 8 1/2 minutes at 450 I think.

Meanwhile, I started the clotted cream. Real clotted cream is made with unpasteurized milk, but that’s near impossible to find in the US, so I made a modern version. I put heavy cream, marscapone cheese, a little vanilla and some sugar in a big bowl.

Then I whipped the stuff together for like 5 minutes on high until the cream was stiff.

When the scones came out of the oven they looked like this:

We had them with a dollop of cream and a smear of jam and they incredible. They could also be eaten plain or with butter like biscuits.

A word of warning, however, if you have cats. The old wives tale that cats like cream is not false. If I so much as bring out the bowl of clotted cream, Winston will follow me around, then climb on whatever furniture he needs to in order to get close to the cream. Out of curiosity, I let him try it, and I swear, he likes it better than meat. So just be careful not to turn your back on a cat and cream.

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Pasta with butternut squash and sage

This recipe is one of those rarities, that looks unhealthy, tastes unhealthy (and amazing), but is actually really pretty good for you. I told my bf what we were having dinner and he was less than thrilled. But when he smelled it and tasted it, he was beyond pleasantly surprised. I originally decided to try this recipe because I had leftover squash from the risotto I made last week. It was so easy, I just can’t say enough good things about it: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/102942

I started by chopping the onion.

Then I peeled and cut up the squash. I then put the pieces into the food processor and finely chopped the squash.

Next, I added some olive oil to the chopped onion and cooked for a few minutes until it was golden brown.

After a few minutes, I added the water, the squash and some salt.

While the squash was simmering (for about 15 minutes), I chopped up the sage and the parsley.

While all of this activity was taking place, I was also boiling the water for the pasta and cooking the pasta. The pasta was done right about now, so I reserved a cup of the pasta water.

After about 15 minutes, I added the sage and simmered for another minute.

After the last minute of simmering, I returned the pasta to the large pot, added the squash mix, the butter, parmesan cheese, parsley and some pepper.

I stirred until the butter had melted and the cheese had mixed in and then served.

This pasta literally tasted like incredible mac and cheese….but wasn’t! Try it! Please! You’ll be happy you did!

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Fall Vegetable Curry

My mommy told me about this recipe. It’s so incredibly healthy and is perfect for fall. It’s also super fast and really easy. Here is the recipe: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000002012769

The recipe was good, but not great, or maybe I just made it wrong. The curry sauce wasn’t very thick, although I just used my regular curry and it’s possible I needed a special kind. I also made it with quinoa rather than rice.

First, I started the quinoa boiling.

Then I cut up all of the vegetables: the sweet potato, cauliflower and onion.

Then I heated up the olive oil and sauteed the sweet potatoes for three minutes.

Then I added the onion, cauliflower and the curry and cooked for another minute.

Then I added the chickpeas, tomatoes and chicken broth and brought the mix to boil. Then I reduced the heat and simmered for 12 minutes.

I served it over the quinoa with cilantro sprinkled on top and a dollop of plain yogurt.

As I said, it was good, but the sauce could have been a little thicker and creamier. But it was so fast and easy I’d probably make it again.

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