Archive for November, 2011

November 30, 2011

Food: Butternut Squash Pasta Shells with Sage Butter.

I can’t stop thinking about butternut squash. and butter.

I think my clients are getting a little bored. I’ve been ‘hiding’ it in their meals…I think they are catching on. Seriously, this is a sickness. A Butternut Squash Intervention will be happening at my house very soon. Until that happens, I’ll continue to make these…

Goat cheese. Butter. Pasta. Mozzarella Cheese. Butter. Walnuts. more Butter. and the key ingredients, butternut squash and sweet potatoes..

This isn’t a meal if you are cutting calories. It is the holiday season, folks and winter is upon us. Pack on some warmth for the coming months. This meal will help you accomplish that.

I can’t imagine any other ‘sauce’ on these delicious shells. Sage, freshly ground pepper and butter…what is not to like.

Butternut Squash Pasta Shells with Sage Butter

Ingredients:

  • 16-18 pasta shells, cooked according to package
  • 4 tablespoon salted butter, divided
  • 1/4 white onion, small dice
  • 1/2 roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 roasted sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled walnuts, more for garnish
  • 3 pinches of ground/semi-ground dried sage, divided (fresh works too)
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable stock
  • 1 heaping tablespoon goat cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 mozzarella cheese, grated

Method:

Preheat oven to 425.

1. While pasta shells cool slightly, sweat onion in 1 tablespoon of butter on medium high heat. Stir occasionally; cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.

2. In a food processor, combine onion, butternut squash, sweet potato, walnuts, 2 pinches sage, vegetable stock, goat cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Taste test – add more salt and pepper, if needed.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour into 9×9 baking pan. To assemble shells, add 1 tablespoon of filling to each shell. Place each filled shell in baking pan on top of the melted butter.

4. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 pinch of sage together. Pour over filled shells. Top with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until filling is hot.

5. Melt the final 1 tablespoon of butter with some ground black pepper on high, until it is foaming. Pour over shells once they are plated. Add a few crumbled walnuts too!

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November 29, 2011

Life Lesson: Ms. Hepburn.

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
-Katharine Hepburn

November 28, 2011

Thoughts: My iPhone recaps Thanksgiving.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you have seen a few of these pictures already.

Here is the life of my iPhone in Montana…all food related, of course.

Amish Country Roll of Butter – it was more of a log than a roll. Let the cooking begin.

Dont have a kitchen scale, go ahead and grab the one from your bathroom (it was clean, don’t worry)

Experimental Apple Tart…turned out very well.

Local Brewery in Helena, Montana. Got to love really good beer.

Thawing out some ground Elk for some spicy chili.

We had a great visit with friends. Loved getting away for a much-needed break but always nice to return home. Let the week begin.

November 25, 2011

Food: Siracha and Cilantro Egg Salad Sandwich.

This is a really strange. And you’re probably shaking your head at this combination. Plus since it is the day after Thanksgiving and it has nothing to do with turkey – I’m in turkey overload at the moment…This post is the farthest thing from turkey..but I am thankful for it…

I really like egg salad sandwiches. I can really tell you why. I just like them.

I usually add mayonnaise and Dijon mustard and call it good. But I was feeling the need for some heat.

Siracha is a great condiment for that added heat that some dishes need. I don’t normally think that egg salad needs heat, but its all about trial and error.

I know some people don’t like cilantro. They think it tastes like soap. I don’t understand. It is one of my favorite fresh herbs. I love the spiciness and freshness it adds.

Are egg salad sandwiches only enjoyed in the Summer?

Siracha and Cilantro Egg Salad Sandwich

Yied 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and cooled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons Siracha (depending on your desired heat level)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 pieces Whole Wheat Nut bread, slightly toasted

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients (eggs through black pepper) in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the Siracha and/or salt/pepper level to desired taste.

2. Spoon egg salad over 1 piece of toasted bread. Top with other piece of bread. Cut in half and chow.


 

November 24, 2011

Thoughts: Thanksgiving.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? I mean, besides eating very large amounts of food…I CAN NOT WAIT for that part!!

I am thankful for so many things this year, it was hard to narrow it down to just 10…but here they are.

1. Love

2. Health of family, friends and myself

3. Following my passion

4. the Best Girlfriends

5. Good food..and wine

6. Nature

7. Unconditional Support

8. Exploring my dream job

9. opportunities

10. Having a funny husband

Thanksgiving also gives me an excuse to get together and eat with people who I care about. This year we will be in Montana. I could not be more excited. It just happens to be a state that I adore. Dreams of chicken coops, endless herb gardens with a view of the mountains – sorry got distracted.

Our dear friends live there and we couldn’t be more thrilled to crash their last Thanksgiving before their first-born arrives! Party time.

Hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 23, 2011

Thoughts: Playing practical jokes…on yourself!

How to play a practical joke on yourself?

Set your ‘new email’ alert tone on your phone to a door bell, that just happens to resemble the same one you have for your actual door bell.

Wait a few minutes. Receive new email and the alert tone ‘rings’…you go to the door to answer and no one is there. Repeat. It happens over and over again…and it takes you 8 new emails to figure it out.

Holy cow. Yes, this just happened to me.

What am I to do?

First, laugh.

Second, shake my head, roll my eyes and keep laughing.

Third, change my ‘new mail’ alert tone.

WOW!

November 22, 2011

Food: Mushroom Thyme Scrambled Eggs.

It is true. Scrambled eggs are pretty easy to make. I don’t think I have to tell you that.

But it takes talent to add more flavor to simple scrambled eggs.

Okay, that is pretty easy too. So when you are in need of spicing up your everyday scrambled eggs choose this combination.

Mushrooms, yellow onion, thyme, Asiago cheese, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and eggs…oh and half and half.

Simple yet packed with different layers of flavors and textures. They are in fact a perfect addition to a breakfast line up.

Oh and of course adding grated Asiago cheese is a must and super important. Yes, eggs with cheese are in fact good. Try it.

Mushroom Thyme Scrambled Eggs

Yield – 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 4 0z. or a handful of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons Half and Half (milk works just fine too)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated Asiago cheese

Method:

1.  Heat medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat with 1 teaspoon butter. When butter is melted, add mushrooms, onions and thyme. Saute until mushrooms are brown. Remove them from the pan. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel. Return back to the heat, lower to medium low.

2. Whisk together eggs, half and half, pinch of salt and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon butter to pan. Once melted, add eggs and scramble on low heat until done. Add mushroom mixture right before eggs are done. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

3. Serve with a side of Dijon mustard for dipping fork fulls of eggs into – DEVINE, I tell you.

*sourdough toast is excellent with these too.

 

November 21, 2011

Thoughts: FarmHouse Foods.

As you have noticed I have been a little absent from my blog. It was never far from my thoughts. Instead of publishing silly inconsistent posts, I decided to take most of last week off. But I’m back! And….

I would like to introduce you to FarmHouse Foods.

It is a full service Personal Chef business based out of Denver, Colorado.

You can learn more about it on the ‘Hire Me’ page, which I just added to the taskbar at the top of the blog.

For those of you that live in Denver and know someone who could benefit from my services, please put them in touch with me.

www.farmhousefoodsco.com

November 17, 2011

Life Lesson: Joy, Happiness and Love.

If you’re not cooking with joy, happiness and love, you’re not cooking well.

-Danny Kaye

November 14, 2011

Life Lesson: Don’t behave.

Well-behaved women rarely make history.

-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

November 11, 2011

Food: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Muffins.

When you have left over Halloween candy, what do you do with it? I mean besides taking detours in your kitchen to snag a few pieces, 16 times a day.

They kind of look pitiful when naked..don’t be fooled.

Add some chocolate syrup.

And a scoop of ice cream.

Dessert is served!

That drip of chocolate syrup on the side, kills me. Don’t you just want to drive into that picture and catch it from falling?

Heat these up. Serve with ice cream. Grab a fork or not. Open your mouth and enjoy!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, rough chop

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray.

1. Melt 1 cup of chocolate morsels and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stir until smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Add melted chocolate and butter into large mixing bowl. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking soda. Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate morsels.

3. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of batter to each individual muffin tin. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top of each muffin. If any batter remains, pour over the top.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. The centers will subside – leaving the perfect place for some ice cream or whipped cream. When storing them, cover completely with plastic wrap or in a sealed bag.

 

November 10, 2011

Life Lesson: don’t turn back.

I could not, at any age,
be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on.
Life was meant to be lived.
Curiosity must be kept alive.
One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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