Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Delicata Squash Bisque

I found this recipe at Vegan Yum Yum and it looked so easy and I had a squash just sitting there so I had to try it. I made foccacia to go with it (see previous post) and guess what folks--it was easy and delish! It calls for Delicata Squash, but you can use any kind of fall squash that you have. My only problem was that one of my sons broke out in hives, allergic to cashews. UUUUGGGGHHHHHHHH. Will I make it again? Most likely, the allergic child just won't get any cashew cream in his...

Serves 4 large bowls, 6-8 Cups

3 Pounds Delicata Squash, (2 pounds after prepping)

Oil for roasting

1 tsp Thyme (or another herb if you prefer)

Lots of Black Pepper

1 1/2 tsp Salt, more or less to taste

Cashew Cream

1 Cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews

1 Cup Rich Vegetable Broth, divided

Preheat oven to 400º F.
Peel squash and chop off the ends. Halve the squash and scrape out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet cut-side down and brush lightly with oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender and beginning to brown. Flip squash before the baking is finished if needed to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, add the cashews to your blender and 1/2 cup of veggie broth. Begin pulsing to incorporate, eventually turning the blender all the way on while slowly adding the other 1/2 cup of broth. Once all the broth is added (1 cup total), let the blender run for 1-2 minutes until very, very smooth. Set cream aside. If your blender can’t get the cream completely smooth, strain before adding it to the soup.

Remove squash from the oven. Using a spatula, transfer it into a large soup pot. Break up the squash into chunks with a spoon or your spatula and add 4 cups of veggie broth, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
Working in batches if needed, blend the soup until very smooth, being careful not to overfill your blender. My 64 oz blender fit the entire batch of soup.

Return the blended soup to the pot and add all but 1/4 cup of the cashew cream. Season with salt and more pepper. How much salt you add with depend on how salty your broth is to begin with. I thought 1 1/2 tsp salt was perfect for my batch, but yours might differ.
Remove soup to bowls (or mugs!) and garnish with extra cashew cream drizzled on the top and some fresh black pepper. Little squigglies of cream look nice, but you can also draw hearts or stars or swirls, whatever!

Sunday, November 2, 2008



This recipe is so good and it's fast and easy. I did find my pic online, because lets face it, I'm not a good photographer, my phone camera can only do so much... I got this out of a recipe book from my old ward and tweaked it just a little to suit my taste.

Mix 1 c. warm (not hot) water, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 pkg fast acting yeast (1 Tbs).

Let sit 5 mins.

Meanwhile, mix 1 tsp.(each) dried rosemary, basil, oregano, onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder & 1/4 tsp thyme.

Mix the yeast with about 2 c. flour ( I usually end up using about 2 1/2 c.) and 1 tsp salt.

Add in about half of the herb mixture. Reserve the rest to go on top.

Knead by hand or machine to form a soft dough.

Let rest for 10-15 mins.

Spray bottom only of 9x13 cake pan (or for thicker bread a 9x9 pan). Press the dough in to pan. Cover and let rise for 30 mins. When dough is done rising, press fingertips into dough to make inentaitions all over it. Drizzle with 3-4 Tbs evoo. Sprinkle herb mix on top. (Sometimes it's easier for me just to mix the oil in the bowl with the herb mix and brush the mix on top with a pastry brush.) Grate parmesan cheese over the top (optional).

Bake at 400 F for about 20 mins. Let cool in pan. Serve as bread with Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil or slice horizontally for sandwiches.

Warning: your kitchen may smell heavenly after making this aromatic bread. :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Super Easy Potato-Onion Gratin

I found this recipe in a magazine and it looked interesting and had few ingredients so I thought I'd try it. It's from Gordon Ramsay (Hell's Kitchen guy). I have to admit, it's a little different than most Potato Gratins but it was good and so easy. I just grated (sliced) the potatoes, fried up some onions, put it all in a pan together, poured over the broth and viola! So here it is, and I'm sorry the pics aren't so great. :)

Potato-Onion Gratin
6 servings

3 Tbs Olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
4 cups thinly sliced onions
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/8 in-thick-rounds
3/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1&1/4 cups low-salt chicken (I use vegetable) broth.
Heat 2 Tbs oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until onions are golden, about 8 mins. Add thyme and rosemary; saute 2 mins. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hous ahead let stand at room temp.
Prehead oven to 425 F. Brush 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish with oil. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Top potatoes with half of onion mixture. Repeat, top with potatoes. Pour broth over. Drizzle with 1 Tbs oil.

Cover dish with foil. Bake potatoes 30 mins. Uncover and continue to bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden, about 25 mins longer. Let stand 10 mins and serve.
*If you don't have fresh herbs you can still use dried, just don't use as much (dried is stronger than fresh.)

We had a Cesar salad, the potato-onion gratin, peas&corn and garlic bread.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pasta Arribiata!

Okay, I've been meaning to post this forever.....Anyway, this is our favorite summer-time meal, especially if you have lots of parsley growing in your garden as I do. It is yummy, yummy, yummy and extra easy! Enjoy. Sorry the picture is NO good, but I never claimed to be a photographer. In case you're wondering, the drink is Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade--also a favorite at our house!

Pasta Arrabiata

¼ c. olive oil
6 cloves fresh garlic, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
sea salt to taste
½ tsp. crushed red peppers
1-2 cups chopped Italian parsley
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. penne pasta

1. Sauté garlic in oil until golden (not brown) add tomatoes and simmer till thickens (about 15 minutes). While simmering, add salt and red peppers.
2. Cook pasta, add to sauce and let sit three minutes
3. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Menu Plan

Over at Simple Mom today she posted her ENITRE menu plan for the month of August! Incredible! I guess I know what I'll be making this month.

See you in September!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

summer pasta and grilled veggies

Last night I made this pasta dish just kind of on the fly. It's super easy and you can use whatever you have in the house. This is what I did:

boil 1 pound of pasta (I found these cute "sun" shaped pastas in a local grocery store
grill one or more chicken breasts
toss veggies of choice with olive oil, salt, and pepper (I used zucchini, asparagus, and tomatoes)
grill those veggies
cut up the chicken breast
toss all together with a little balsamic salad dressing
top with a little shredded cheese of your liking

My 5 yr old ate the pasta plain (I pulled out some for her before I added the dressing), the chicken, and asparagus. It was a healthy meal all around!
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tilapia, shrimp, & green beans

This is for all of you who love the Costco frozen food section and for all of you who are not fortunate to live by a Costco, yet make fun of us who buy EVERYTHING there. This meal takes about 10 minutes!

First I pulled out a Tilapia Fillet and rubbed olive oil over it and seasoned with Mrs. Dash . Bake this for 10 minutes @ 425 degrees. While this is cooking, pull out the frozen shrimp and defrost in cool water. Next, grab your frozen green beans and a couple of garlic cloves (Costco fresh foods) and saute in a little olive oil adding salt and pepper to taste. My kids will actually eat this up!