July 25, 2012

In exchange for teaching her some tricks in the kitchen, my friend Brittnee from L’ing the L came over and did delightful food-inspired nail art for me tonight.

Dinner was artichoke with Sriracha mayo and pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, spinach squash and basil with homemade tomato sauce.

Inspired nails: tomato, cheese and green squash faces! (plus some studs and a disco nail). 
Recipe post coming soon, I just needed to show my nails off!

January 14, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone, Toasted Squash Seeds, Brown Butter & Black Pepper (inspired by Betto)Last night Mardi from Sprout & Pea and I had a menu brainstorming session over dinner at Betto for our upcoming Kitchensurfing dinner party. Not only did we sample half of Betto’s menu, but we also came up with some delicious recipe ideas.
1 Acorn Squash2 heaping Tbsp Mascarpone Cheese (room temp)2 Tbsp unsalted ButterFresh Black PepperSalt3-4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out the seeds and innards and set aside. Cut the squash in half and peel the outside skin with a vegetable peeler and/or knife (those crevices are tricky!) Cut the squash into 1 1/2 inch rings and then cut rings into thirds. Toss squash in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread one layer thick on a baking pan and roast on the bottom rack until golden brown (flip occasionally).
In a colander, wash squash seeds clean. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven on a baking pan until brown. They will start to pop once when they get too hot, so remove from oven, stir to cool down and put back in the oven until they’re the color you want.In a pan, melt butter on low medium/heat. Milk solids will begin to brown. Remove from heat.Assemble roasted squash on a platter and top with mascarpone. Drizzle with brown butter, sprinkle with toasted seeds and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot. 

October 6, 2010

I blinked a few weeks ago and now suddenly it’s October and I’m tracking leaves and mud into my apartment and cursing myself for not thinking to bring a jacket. With this colder weather comes the craving for heartier, warmer meals full of greens and gourds.
Mmm soup. 

Vegetarian MinestroneDoes anyone else get Olive Garden flashbacks from the word “minestrone”?1/2 large yellow onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, chopped1 large tomato, chopped2 carrots, chopped1 red pepper, chopped2 cups kale, chopped2 cups of dry pasta (I used Ditalini)2 tbls dry oregano1 tbls dry basil1 1/2 containers vegetable stocksalt & pepper to taste2 tbls olive oilIn a large pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add tomato, basil and oregano. Add red pepper and carrots. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in dry pasta and continue to simmer until al dente. Finally, stir in kale and remove from heat. Season to taste and serve immediately. A few notes: I mistakenly did not use enough liquid, and once the pasta started absorbing, it quickly started to disappear. Feel free to add a bit of water (and reseason accordingly) prior to adding the pasta.

Squash Soup with Thyme and Honey1/2 large yellow onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, chopped1 squash, rind(?) removed, chopped (I used Spaghetti Squash.. more on that later)1 1/2 tbls honey1 tbls fresh thymeolive oilsalt & pepper to tastewater In a small pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Add in chopped squash and cover with water. Season with salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until squash is soft. Add thyme and honey and stir. Continue to simmer. Once everything is incorporated, turn off heat and let cool.Use a hand blender, blend soup until smooth consistency. Return to heat and simmer until soup is at the thickness you prefer. Serve.
Some notes: My mom used to make us “spaghetti” using spaghetti squash as the noodles. I can’t remember the squash being bitter, but this soup had a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Next time I would probably use a different squash – butternut perhaps? I’d love to update you on what I’ve been up to since the last time I did a proper post, but there’s been too much to cover. Instead I’ll just share some of my favorite photos from the last few weeks and let you come to your own conclusions.

The next few weeks are full of birthday celebrations, visitors & house guests, some CMJing and the start of my photo class (ack!) I love fall.