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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh how I LOVE Risotto!

This is what I made the night before Thanksgiving.
While it is not quick and easy, for me it was cooking therapy.  
To have one pot with all your ingredients that you can watch over and stir, was relaxing for me.
Plus there is just something about the rich, creamy, slow cooked taste of risotto that I just can't resist. 
I don't think I would care if it took days to make, the payoff is great, and no matter how many ways I make it every time it is just as delicious.
This time was no different. 
Butternut squash is such a genius pairing with a creamy risotto, it was savory yet slightly sweet.
And really just OH SO PERFECT.
And sage, oh man can it get any better?
You should try this.
Now that you are finished with your big extravagant multi course turkey dinner and on to preparing for your Christmas feast....give yourself some food therapy and make a pot of risotto!
Serves 4.  Next time I would double it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Easy Pre-Holiday Meal

When you are gearing up for a big holiday meal do you find it hard to cook the few days before?
I do!
I'm usually prepping in my head, at the grocery store, and in my kitchen for the chaos that is sure to ensue.
Its impossible for me to think of anything besides the feast I plan to prepare.
So I need easy, quick meals like this one to ensure that my family (aka Logan) does not starve.
Recipe found here.
This is SO incredibly easy to prep and then you just pop it in the oven.
Serves 8.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moving on...

While I'm sure everywhere you look you are seeing Thanksgiving this, and Turkey Day that...
sad to say, you will not get that here.
I did cook a little, but I did not take any pictures, so sorry about that!
It was my first Thanksgiving spent away from home, which was tough, but we had a good day and ate some festive food so it was not all bad.
I've decided to share with you the meals I made leading up to this day of feast, because I have a feeling you are all Turkey'd out by now! 
Is there anybody out there anymore??
I haven't had a comment in a while, hope you're still reading!
And if you are, I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

This was actually much easier to make that I would have imagined, however don't be stupid like me and try it without the kitchen twine.  It is absolutely essential to get it to hold its shape and not turn into a mess of meat and spinach on your plate. The beans were much better than expected and the spinach mixture was a perfect compliment to it all.  A delicious pre holiday meal!

Spinach Stuffed Rolled Flank Steak
2 packages (10oz each) frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 T capers, drained and rinsed
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb flank steak
2 tsp olive oil

Heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat source.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Squeeze spinach in a clean kitchen towel or a double layer of paper towels to remove as much liquid as possible.  
Combine spinach, parsley, cheese, capers, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.  Season with S&P and toss to combine.
To butterfly steak, lay in on a cutting board with a short side facing you.  Using a long knife, slice steak horizontally, leaving on side intact, open up like a book. 
Cut several 12 inch pieces of kitchen twine, space evenly underneath steak.  Spread spinach mixture down center of meat.  Roll steak over mixture pressing firmly to compact filling; tie twine to secure roll.
Cut roll in half crosswise.  Place halves, seam side down, on a prepared baking sheet; rub with oil, dividing evenly and season with S&P.
Broil steak until browned on all sides, turning as needed with tongs, 8-10 min for med-rare; let rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, 10 min.  Remove string; slice steak 1/2 inch thick. 
Serves 4

White Bean and Tomato Saute 
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
3 plum tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1-2 T fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally until onion is tender, 4-5 minutes.
Add beans and tomatoes.  Cook stirring occasionally until tomatoes are tender, 3-4 min.  Remove from heat; add lemon juice.  Season with S&P.
Serves 4

Logan Rating: ***

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Perfect Fall Salad

These are candied pecans, and OMG they are like crack.
No I'm not kidding, I think they are laced with drugs, I can't stop eating them. 
Its a problem.
I may need an intervention!

Last night we went to a supper club, fried chicken was the main event.  Therefore I  knew I would need to bring some greens in order to balance things out.
I saw the recipe for this salad here, which is a great blog by a fellow Eaganite (person from Eagan, MN).
She got the recipe from another Eagan blogger so how exciting is that!?!
Anyway it really is the best fall salad ever, it was totally divine! 
I did substitute the Parmesan for some Gorgonzola, which I think was a great idea.
Everyone loved the salad, I made 2 bowls and they were both devoured, always a good sign.
Make this!

Also I swear I will start making recipes for this blog again...I don't know what my problem is...lately I've just been ignoring Martha.  I will get back to it, I promise.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A almost blog meal

This was supposed to be a meal that counted towards my tally...ended up not happening.
Oh the life of being an on call nurse.
I started this, got called in, Logan finished the meal, I came home and ate and then went back to work.
Logan didn't realize there was more to add to the rice, so we ate it as is (brown rice and golden raisins),
which was delicious, however does not follow the recipe.
So I will do it again, however I wanted to share this meal with you anyway, mainly because these Asian drumsticks are..excuse my 90's lingo...da bomb!
You will find the recipe here and you will not be stupid like me and add extra Sriracha sauce, why you ask?
Because you know that Sriracha is a very hot Asian sauce that will make things unbearably spicy and will leave you lips and tongue tingling. Thats why!
PLEASE MAKE THESE, they are amazing!

I will re do this rice, because I can only guess how delicious it will be with all the ingredients included!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Still pretending its fall

I know this isn't the most attractive photo I have ever posted and I'm sorry for that, but now that it is dark when I leave and when I get home, not to mention we are still living in the basement, it is harder than ever to capture that little bit of sunlight that shines into our guest bedroom and makes my photos 100000000 times better.  So I guess for a little while at least you will have to deal with my lack of beautiful photos, until I figure out exactly how to work in low light and/or when I finally get a tri-pod.
Sorry about that tangent, onto the food!
This is yet another example of how I am pretending that it is still fall even though the outside temperature does not agree with me.  This squash was divine!  The balsamic and rosemary, such a great combo with the sweetness of the squash.  Logan does not agree, but his vote doesn't really count because he has it out for cooked vegetables.  Unfair I know.
I bought boneless skinless chicken tenderloins instead of skin on breasts and then I put the filling between two of the tenderloins.  It actually worked very well and I cut out the extra calories, kudos to myself. :)
Logan loved the chicken, so at least that was a hit.
Both of these recipes are very easy and makes a very nice week night meal.

Parmesan stuffed Chicken Breast
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
grated zest of 1 lemon, about 1 T
4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 3 lbs)

Preheat the oven to 450.  In a small bowl mix the parsley, breadcrumbs, parm and zest.  Season with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture into 4 mounds.  Carefully loosen the chicken skin with your fingers; tuck the mixture under the skin.  Season the chicken with S&P and place in a roasting pan.
Bake until the skin is crispy, the chicken is cooked through, and the temp registers to at least 165, about 30 min.   Serves 4.

Roasted Acorn Squash, Shallots and Rosemary
2 acorn squash, halved
8 shallots, peeled, root ends left intact, separate into lobes, if large
6 small sprigs fresh rosemary
3 T olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450.  Carefully cut each squash half into four wedges.
Combine the squash on a rimmed baking sheet with the shallots, rosemary, olive oil, and vinegar.  Season with 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper; toss well to coat, and spread in a single layer.
Roast, turning the squash halfway through until browned and tender, 35-40 min.  
Serves 4.

Logan Rating: ***

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Apples are everywhere

Fall for us means tons of fresh apples, pears and plums.
We have trees in the backyard that are producing like crazy this year.
In the midst of picking, dehydrating, and canning I decided to use some apples in their most fresh state.
So right off the tree I grated these apples up and stirred them into some pancake batter.
Best decision I've ever made.
Not only because they were amazing, but also because it has now snowed and Fall is essentially over.
Got this recipe here, check it out, make it, eat it and ENJOY!
You won't be sorry! 
 Either with apples fresh from the tree or fresh from the grocery store these would be great either way!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A lovely and simple pasta

I haven't been cooking as much as I should be.
Things have been busy around here, working, wedding planning, thinking about moving...etc.
Excuses, excuses, I KNOW!
But really I am sorry and I'm getting back into the swing of things.
Hopefully some of you are still tuning in and cooking as well!
This pasta surprised me, it was incredibly easy and had a very nice fall flavor to it.
It was a total hit in our house and I bet it would be in yours as well.
It doesn't call for many ingredients, which I love and what it does call for is cheap and things that you may already have on hand.
I used only a red pepper, because yellow were spendy at the amazes me that 1 pepper can be $3.
Thats NUTS!
So I just got two really big red pepper and called it good.
You could add other veggies if you would like, but this combo is pretty perfect.
So try it, and ENJOY!

Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers
2 medium red bell peppers, ribs and seeds discarded
2 medium yellow bell peppers, ribs and seeds discarded
1 lb orecchiette or other short pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 T butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup grated parmesan 

Heat the broiler, place the peppers skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet; broil 4 inches from the heat until charred, 18-20 min. (watch closely it may take less time).  Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 2-3 min.  Using a paper towel, rub off the pepper skins, reserving any juices in the bowl.  Thinly slice the peppers crosswise into 1/4 in strips; return to bowl and set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions.  Drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over med heat.  Cook the sausage breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 7-10 min.  Add the roasted peppers, cook until heated through.
Transfer the sausage mixture to a large bowl; add pasta, butter, reserved pasta water and parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
Serves 6.

Logan Rating: ****

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tis the season for Pumpkin Chili

I'm not sure about where you all are, but here in MT it is speeding right past fall and into winter.
However before my favorite and the shortest season in MT leaves me, I am determined to cook some fall things.  Such as cider, squash, pumpkin seeds and well really just all things pumpkin.
We made this twist on a traditional chili about a week ago.
We had our friends Tim and Maggie over, watched some football and chowed on some of this delightful stuff.
It was a hit!  I was very relieved, wasn't sure how pumpkin chili was going to go over, but it was delicious.
I got the recipe here, so not only was it delicious, but it was nutritious as well.
I pretty much enjoy just about anything that can be thrown into a crock pot and cooked for 6+ hours, especially during the week.  
Try this one out!

More actual blog recipes to come!
Hope you are still tuning in! 

Logan Rating: *****