Nov 24 2013

apple butternut squash gratin

Apple Butternut Squash Gratin 9 apple butternut squash gratin

I first made this apple butternut squash gratin for my sister’s baby shower last year and it was completely devoured. Not a crumb was left. I was a little sad because once I had had a taste of it, I was  already dreaming about leftovers. I’ve been meaning to make it again every since, but it somehow slipped from my mind and then the next thing I knew, it was spring. When a good friend and his mother made the trip up to have dinner with us earlier this fall, this gratin instantly came to mind. It just seemed like the perfect dish. Warm and satisfying, while being perfectly seasonal with roasted butternut squash, sautéed apple, fresh rosemary, nutty gruyere, and a dash of cream, all topped with crunchy, garlicky breadcrumbs, this gratin is both deliciously sweet and savory. It is also guaranteed to make your house smell absolutely amazing.

The dish is  substantial enough to serve as a main dish, pairing beautifully with a harvest salad of  pear or apple, walnuts, and gorgonzola, but it would work equally well as a side to any fall meal. It would be an especially nice accompaniment to a Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you are looking for something that will work for both your vegetarian and meat-eating guests alike.

Apple Butternut Squash Gratin 1 apple butternut squash gratin

Apple Butternut Squash Gratin 10 apple butternut squash gratin

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Jun 23 2013

cuban avocado, pineapple, and watercress salad

pineapple avocado salad 6 cuban avocado, pineapple, and watercress salad

April was an unusually rough month for me. Some personal things came up that were pretty hard to deal with, followed closely by the bombings at the Boston marathon, and then a shootout and a manhunt for the bombing suspect in my normally very quiet neighborhood. It was all a lot to take in and I had been desperate to get out of town for a little bit and get some much needed R&R.

The opportunity finally came when my wonderful aunt and uncle offered up their beautiful house on the pond while they were visiting my cousin in Texas. Joseph and I spent the weekend taking it easy, sipping Champagne and eating cheese, reading, napping, and watching the birds on the pond.

pineapple avocado salad 9 cuban avocado, pineapple, and watercress salad

pineapple avocado salad 10 cuban avocado, pineapple, and watercress salad

A favorite part of the weekend was when the lighting hit the house just right and suddenly became an amateur photographer’s dream come true. I got so lost in the excitement of taking photos that nothing else mattered. All in all, it was a perfect weekend where the toughest decision faced was whether to sip on beer or wine while sitting on the porch with my feet up.

The other big highlight of the weekend was without a doubt this salad. Joseph and I both concluded that it was the most amazing salad that we had ever had. With the creamy avocado, luscious broiled pineapple, peppery watercress, and a hint of cumin in the tangy dressing, this salad has it all. While each component brings so much to the recipe, the sweet and tangy pineapple is particularly outstanding.

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Jan 19 2013

roasted vegetable enchiladas

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas 61 1024x731 roasted vegetable enchiladas

Is football getting in the way of your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier? Well lament no more, because these enchiladas are  absolutely deeeelicious and they are loaded with healthy veggies.

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Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas 3 1024x682 roasted vegetable enchiladas

Joseph first made these enchiladas for me a year and half ago after one of my knee surgeries and afterwards I only vaguely remembered some yummy thing with sweet potatoes. When he made it again and I wasn’t hopped up on painkillers, I begged him to make it again and again and again. I adore roasted veggies and am especially in love with sweet potatoes and poblano chilies together. If you’re not familiar with poblanos, they’re the mild peppers typically used to make chilis rellenos.

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Sep 17 2012

spicy, crunchy dill pickles

pickles 10 1024x1024 spicy, crunchy dill pickles

One of the best things about the end of summer is the abundance of fresh, ripe veggies at their prime. Even better is when you have friends trying desperately to unload their gardens’ bountiful yield. So far I’ve been enjoying zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes from friends’ gardens. A coworker e-mailed me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted some pickling cucumbers. Her CSA’s crop had just come in and they were giving them away. My first thought? Umm..not really. I’ve just been so busy lately and the idea of pickling cucumbers and canning them and everything was just a little too much. But then I learned about refrigerator pickles. All you have to do is make your pickles and let them sit in your refrigerator until you eat them all up in the next month or so. I love pickles, so I figured I should give it a try.

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pickles 2 1024x681 spicy, crunchy dill pickles

When Patty arrived at work with an enormous bag of cucumbers, I started having my doubts again. I got home and weighed my new bounty and quickly decided that there was no way I could use seven pounds of cucumbers. Seven pounds!! Luckily another coworker was more than happy to take 3 pounds off my hands, still leaving me with an incredible pile of cucumbers.

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