Category Archives: Make Aheads

Yes. I Cheat. Done.

Who wouldn’t cheat. Seriously, fall seasonals take FOREVER to chop, prep, and serve (15 minutes of excitement for a DAYS WORTH OF prep…I’ll opt out). That being said, I love all things pumpkin/acorn squash/butternut squash. So I found my workaround.

1. Pre-chopped butternut squash
2. Pre-chopped onions (WHO KNEW!…$2.99 for 10 oz of pre-chopped onions…definitely worth it for me)
3. Minced garlic in a jar

Done.

The recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30466-roasted-butternut-squash-soup

I modified it

4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed 2lb bag of pre-chopped butternut squash (from Trader Joes)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces) –>We used whatever red apple we had on hand
1/2 medium yellow onion 1/2 c pre-chopped onions
8 fresh sage leaves 1 t Rosemary (dried)
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 t Kosher Salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4c Heavy Whipping Cream

Recipe boils down to: Roast–>Simmer–>blend
Pre-heat your oven to 425

ROAST for 1 hour:
1. Roast squash, chopped apple (I left the skin on), and onion in a pan.
-I lined 2 9×9 glass pans with foil
-I also put one tablespoon of butter in each glass pan.
-I put a dash or so of Rosemary in each pan

Roast Butternut Squash, Onions, Apple for 1 Hour
Roast Butternut Squash, Onions, Apple for 1 Hour

Simmer/Melt flavors 15-18 minutes
1. Put roasted stuff in pot
2. Add 2.5 c broth
3. Add salt and pepper
4. Add the rest of the Rosemary

Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors

Blend.
1. Add the Heavy Whipping Cream
2. Blend with stick blender

DELICIOUSNESS!
DELICIOUSNESS!

IT WAS AMAZING.

Advertisements

Frittata: Who Knew (IT WAS SO EASY!)

My latest find has been: grab and go breakfasts. When I read the Food Network’s article on “Fun & Fast Frittata Combos” I thought I’d give it a shot. A frittata, I found, boils down to: veggie, protein, cheese, egg. Pretty much in that order.

The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/potato-and-zucchini-frittata-recipe.html
The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/potato-and-zucchini-frittata-recipe.html

Since I can’t find the specific recipe online, this is what I did:
0. Prep eggs. Stir 8 eggs in a bowl with about 1/3 c milk. Set aside.
1. Choose a veggie (I chose a bag of spinach…the ENTIRE thing). Saute in oven friendly pot (I used our cast iron pot). Set aside in a bowl.
2. Cook protein. (I chose mild Italian sausage). Cook until done. Turn off the heat.
3. Evenly distribute protein and veggie in pot. Add cheese (I chose Feta).
4. Pour eggs over protein, veggie and cheese.
5. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes (or until the eggs are partially set…essentially so that only the top 1/4″ of the egg mixture is the only thing moving when you gently move the pot)
– During this time, turn on your broiler to high.
6. Broil for 5″ from heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned and almost set.

I made this for George when I went on work travel. He had breakfast for the week!

Other combinations:
1. Feta, green onions, asparagus
2. 3 plum tomatoes (seeded and sliced thinly), 1/2 c fresh basil, 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3. Kale, 4 oz turkey italian sausage, 1/2 c chopped red pepper, 1 ounce feta cheese
4. Spinach, 2 cloves minced garlic, cooked bacon (or proscuitto) 1/4 c carmelized onions, 1 T chives, 2 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese

Confessions of a Cook-aholic

Ok, fine.  I like to cook.  This past week or so, I made the decision to go anti-paperless.  I made a binder for the house divided into tasks, menus, trips/vacations/and other such goals….only to realize having something written in the …written form apparently helps me get things done.  

With that being said, I pulled out this month’s Food Network Magazine and Cooking Light and began cutting out recipes for my newly created binder.  After selecting 10 menus, I put them into my pretty plastic page covers and smiled.  Such organizational pretty-ness.

Anyhow, I keep feeling that recipes that say “40 minutes to complete” lie.  They never take 40 minutes.  Maybe that’s because I keep adding onto the meal??? Anyhow…this one went fast and was definitely delicious.

Mediterranean Cornish Hens -- The Food Network
Mediterranean Cornish Hens — The Food Network

I didn’t have Israeli couscous but the regular couscous were great!  I roasted the zucchini to add flavor to the couscous but everything else was exactly as written: Food Network Magazine: Mediterranean Cornish Hens.   

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Is it me, or are all the studies I grew up with being proved wrong? Fat: IT’S BAD FOR YOU–GO LOW/NO FAT!!! Wait, hold the breaks, eating fat in your diet might be good? http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/31/295719579/rethinking-fat-the-case-for-adding-some-into-your-diet

While we’re at it, don’t eat Butter!! It’s so fatty! Eat Margarine…But wait some butter is good but don’t eat the ones that have GMO. Watch out for Monosato….http://foodbabe.com/2014/01/20/is-butter-secretly-ruining-your-health/

Personally, my sensitivity level for “studies” has been completely desensitized. There is a study out there for pretty much everything to the point where various studies disprove the other theory. This whole fear mongering tactic has gone on from the beginning of, what I perceive as, time. I recently saw an ad from perhaps the early 1900s stating that “LET US CURE YOUR ACID MOUTH WITH OUR TOOTHPASTE” we’ll even send you strips to see if you have acid mouth. Well shucks, the human mouth is slightly acidic.

Point being, I am done with studies and scare tactics. “It” just has to make sense to me. So somewhere in this, I am trying to find what a balanced diet looks like. I am not a doctor, nor do I have experience in this field, but at the end of the day: natural should make sense right? The whole adage: “you are what you eat” should prevail?

I hadn’t intended to go on a rant, but apparently I did. I intended to say hey! I made homemade butter recently! It was alot of fun! I bought a small thing of organic, gmo free whipping cream, threw it in the mixer and about 8 minutes later had beautiful yellow delicious butter!

So delicious on toast!
So delicious on toast!

Coconut Oil????!!!!

I’ve kind of fallen in love with coconut oil. When my sister in law mentioned that she used coconut oil as a moisturizer I was highly skeptical. I kept seeing articles online that sang the glories of the oil, so I decided to give it a shot (step aside my long favorite Clinique). As I moved past my evening face care routine, I started looking for other coconut oil uses.

I found Plantain Chips

They were slightly delicious
They were slightly delicious

Recipe from http://www.hollywoodhomestead.com/plantain-chips/

3 green plantains
2.5 cups coconut oil for frying (I used 3/4 cup)
Sea salt to taste (definitely a must)

1. Chop plantains very thinly
2. Heat oil in large pan (I used 3/4 cup because I just didn’t have 2.5 cups to spare)
3. Add one plantain to heated oil (move with spatula after first few seconds to make sure it doesn’t stick)
4. Fry on each side on medium high for about 6 minutes ish per side
5. Place on absorbent paper towel and lightly salt while hot
6. Repeat for the other two plantains