Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category
Working hard and playing hard is the motto in advertising. This past week was a testament to that. Thankfully I got to let lose over the weekend by hanging out with my BFF Hillary and spending time with Tristy (aka Tristan).
I figured 8 months was a long enough wait before his first baking session. This kid is going to be a prodigy in the kitchen if I have anything to say about it.
We started his lesson with a boxed cake mix. I use the term “lesson” loosely. It pretty much included Baby T in his high chair banging the measuring cups and grabbing an NSYNC magnet off the fridge (why my mother has kept that for so long, I have no idea). Still, he loved the cake. So I think this is promising.
Last night I tested a recipe for an article I’m working on for the paper. For a side dish, I made roasted acorn squash.
Best acorn squash ever.
In our house, our squash runneth over. Literally. Oliver was almost plummeted by some of the squash that fell off the counter last week. The truth is, I’ve hit a rut, which is why that squash pile isn’t getting any smaller.
I’ve already made Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Gnocchi, Butternut Squash Soup and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. With so many squash recipes under my belt this year, I have finally figured out what makes squash taste great.
Mascarpone and fig jam.
I’m pretty much convinced that mascarpone is one of the best foods ever created. Schmear some on a quick bread and you’ll be kicking yourself for not trying it sooner. Dolloping a bit on top of squash gives it creamy texture that makes the squash melt in your mouth. The jig jam offers some added sweetness plus a hint of fruit flavor.
Although this is the least glamorous thing you’ll ever eat (hence no picture), it is by far one of the best ways you can prepare squash.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone and fig Jam
Serves 6 side dishes or 3 main servings
- 1 Acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons butter (I used Brummel and Brown)
- Cinnamon sugar, to taste
- 6 tablespoons mascarpone
- 6 teaspoons fig jam
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a knife, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out.
Coat the inside of each half with 2 teaspoons of butter. Sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon out the flesh and mix in mascarpone and fig jam. Serve.
I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but I’m celebrating my 2-year blogiversary on Wednesday! To celebrate, I’ll be giving away something extra special that any cook would die to have. I left a hint in this post. Can you guess what it is?
I’ve been into Greek Yogurt for awhile now. My favorite is, by far, Chobani – especially the fruit-on-the-bottom kind. I had no idea if homemade Greek yogurt would be hard to make, which is why I wanted to test it for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s DIY Kitchen. (Find out how the process went by reading the full article here).
This recipe is adapted from one for regular yogurt from “Joy of Cooking.” The original recipe yields 2 cups. However, straining it to make Greek yogurt will leave you with 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup of whey. (I suggest doubling it, so you’ll have 2 cups of Greek yogurt).
Makes 1 cup
2 cups milk (any kind, but I used 1%)
2 to 3 tablespoons plain yogurt with active cultures, room temperature
Heat milk in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees, or almost boiling. (Note: An instant-read thermometer works great.)
Take the milk off the heat and place it in a glass bowl. Let cool to between 105 and 110 degrees. Stir in the plain yogurt.
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and place in an oven that is turned off but has the light on. Let the bowl sit in the oven overnight, or for 8 to 10 hours. Remove it from the oven when a custardy consistency is reached.
To make your plain yogurt Greek, place three layers of cheesecloth in a strainer over a large bowl. Place the yogurt in the cheesecloth and fold over the sides to cover completely. Place it in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, or until very thick. You can discard or save the whey at the bottom. The yogurt will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Ta da! Greek yogurt.
Question: What’s the most off-beat thing you’ve ever made? This definitely takes the cake for me, but I’ve also make homemade fruit roll-ups, homemade peanut butter and homemade granola (a must if you ask me!)
Back in November, I entered my Thanksgiving Day Turkey Sliders for a blogger recipe contest.
The three finalists each won a cookbook, and I got this baby in the mail.
I love how all the recipes feature local, sustainable ingredients (they’re even categorized by what’s local each season).
Since we have a few weeks of winter left, I picked out this recipe for Garden Fries with Garlicky Leek Dipping Sauce.
What I love about this recipe is that you can customize is based on the root veggies and spices you have on hand, creating completely new flavors each time. Instead of the garlic sauce, which I’m sure would be fantastic, I made a batch of Mama Pea’s Mmmm Sauce. It’s the BEST sauce I’ve ever made. You HAVE to try it.
Garden Fries (Roasted Root Vegetables)
From “Cooking Close to Home”
1 pound root vegetables (I used a combo of carrots, yukon gold potatoes and turnips)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Spices to taste (I used garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and Old World Third seasoning from The Spice House in Milwaukee)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Peel all vegetables and cut into thin rectangles (or if you want to get particular, 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch, 3 inches long). Place in a large bowl and cover with olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Shake the vegetables. Then add your desired seasonings and shake to coat.
Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. Serve with dipping sauce.
Question: What’s your favorite winter vegetable? This was the second time I’ve had turnips and I’m growing to like their slightly-sweet flavor. And somehow, roasting vegetables makes them much more tasty.
Although it seems like just yesterday that She’s on the Run came to be, one whole year has gone by (I can’t even believe it).
But when I look at my first post, it reminds me how much has changed.
I’ve moved, switched jobs and have been through more life experiences than I’d care to admit (such as being hit by a tough economy firsthand). I’ve also had my share of good times and discovered a new passion. Take this blog for example. It combines my two great loves: cooking and writing. And it’s great to look back at all my culinary accomplishments this past year (and laugh at the ones that haven’t gone so well).
To celebrate, I’m compiling my favorite recipes.
Cookie Dough Truffles
For those of you who make chocolate chip cookies just to sneak bits of the dough, these tiny treats are for you.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
The most delicious way to cook with butternut squash.
Taffy Apple Salad
I’ve easily made this salad a dozen times (including a tasty batch last week). The combination of apples, pineapple and marshmallows puts me over the moon.
Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes
A unique twist on traditional potato pancakes.
Tater Tot Casserole
This may not be the best looking dish of the bunch, but it’s definitely the most comforting.
Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Shaped like a muffin but with the flavor of a doughnut…make these for a truly special breakfast.
My preferred way to use up Summer’s fresh rhubarb.
Gnocchi with White Beans
This dish is easy and impressive – definitely worthy of serving to company.
My Birthday Cake
So what if I didn’t exactly make this? The carrot cake from Simma’s is the best I’ve ever had. in. my. life.
Happy Birthday, She’s on the Run! Here’s to many more!
Most people have a food phobia. Whether it’s yeast breads, pie crust or raw meat, we all have our vices. Mine is squash.
Not zucchini or summer squash…but real autumn squash. I tried making butternut squash fries and added way too much seasoned salt and it tasted terrible. Strike 1. I also almost cut off my hand trying to peel it. Strike 2.
Because this was a few years ago and I’ve learned so much in the kitchen since then, I decided to give it another go – this time with spaghetti squash.
I’ve been hearing bloggers talk about this stuff for years, and how it makes a great substitute for spaghetti noodles. With a few simple ingredients, I not only pulled it off (no strike 3 here), but loved the flavor as well.
Pasta with Spaghetti Squash
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
Large jar of homemade marinara sauce (I loved a local Italian restaurant’s sauce so much that I purchased it right from the chef. It was from Casa Di Gorgio in Franklin, WI)
Tuscan Sunset seasoning from Penzy’s (or an Italian seasoning blend of your choice)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half (length-wise) and scoop out the seeds and pulp. (But save the seeds! I’ll post a tasty recipe for Curried Spaghetti Squash Seeds soon). Place peel side up on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.
Take squash out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the squash into a bowl (the consistency will be thread-like). Top with Italian seasoning, heated marinara sauce and shredded Mozzarella cheese. Enjoy with fresh garlic bread and your favorite glass of red wine.
Question: Do you have any food phobias?
For most people, apple season has just begun. Me? I’ve been thinking about apples for the past two months – in preparation for a feature article I wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Through research, interviewing and recipe testing, I learned a whole bunch about apples – and the people who grow them. Tom Ferguson, president of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, told me he eats 4 to 5 apples a day once his apples come in (holy cow!). Both him and Dave Flannery gave me some great advice for making the perfect apple pie…use several different varieties. Ideally a mix of tart and sweet (I think I nailed my French Apple Pie with Apricots when I mixed Viking and Gala). Although most people love adding Granny Smith, those apples are rarely grown in Wisconsin, so support your state and buy local varieties (like Honeycrisp, Snowsweet, Zestar, Fuji, McIntosh…the list goes on).
In my article I included a recipe for Apple Butter that I found on Martha Stewart’s web site. I love the fact that there’s no added sugar (almost every recipe I’ve seen has at least a few cups of sugar). Still, this recipe has all the flavor you want from apple butter with the unique citrus twist of lemon.
I love putting apple butter on toast, as a topping for waffles or even straight out of the jar (just a spoonful, I promise!). But when I found myself out of granola yesterday, I figured there must be a way I could mesh the two together. And thankfully for the blog, On Food and Baking, I found what I was looking for – Apple Butter Granola. I veered from the recipe slightly based on what I had in my pantry.
Apple Butter Granola
Adapted from On Food and Baking
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup cranberry pecan cereal
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup honey
½ cup apple butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, combine oats, cereal, almonds and cranberries. Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Gradually add to dry mixture until clumpy. Pour onto a large casserole dish (mine is from Rachel Ray). Bake for 30 minutes, flip mixture with a spatula, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, stir and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until it begins to brown (so bake for about an hour total). Let cool before storing in an air-tight container.
I also love that there isn’t any oil in this recipe. Yes, maple syrup and honey pack a fair amount of calories, but it’s all for flavor. And considering the amount of granola this makes (about 5 1/2 cups), it doesn’t bother me.
Question: What are your favorite ways to eat/use apple butter?
Happy Monday! This weekend was a whirlwind. Although I had off on Friday for summer hours, I spent the day running outside, doing errands and going to my internist for a checkup. Besides talking about the usual, my knee has started to bother me lately, so I wanted to get her thoughts. Like I suspected, she thought my runner’s knee was creeping up on me again (I started having problems with this last year while training for a half marathon, but it went away after I took a break from running after the race).
Needless to say, although I’ve been working out like crazy, my diet has been less than stellar (especially on the weekends where we are much more social). My solution is clean eating during the week – more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and less sweets!
Last night, I cleaned out our fridge to make a pasta salad for today’s lunch. This is a great on-the-go meal that you can assemble once and eat for days on end.
This pasta salad is a great way to use some odds n’ ends veggies in your fridge. Here’s the recipe:
Clean the Fridge Pasta Salad
Makes 4 servings
2 cups leftover spiral pasta (whole wheat or enriched pasta preferred)
½ cup shelled edamame
¼ cup sliced black olives
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 sweet banana pepper, diced
1 tablespoon imitation bacon bits
1/3 cup Newman’s Own Light Caesar salad dressing
Crumbled goat cheese for garnish
Mix everything together in a large bowl and refrigerate. Ta da!
Question: How do you get back on the horse after a weekend of indulgent eating? And for those of you with runner’s knee, any advice?