I don’t need to tell you it’s fall because there is really no escape from the autumn frenzy happening across the nation right now. Pumpkins are in everything and pumpkins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the new norm. In our house one of the kids favorite things to eat, and boy do I mean eat, is pesto. Ok, I admit, when it’s requested I always agree –– It’s one of my favorites too. Often times I just make a simple basil leaf based one, or our favorite zucchini pesto (have you tried it?), but today we made a (slightly creamy) pumpkin seed pesto and it was devoured. I honestly don’t know how these littles can consume so much, I mean where does it go? We have reached a shift in our household where the little people are eating more than half of the big people –– craziness. Anyway, Creamy Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta –– rigatoni drenched with a creamy, pumpkin-seed-y sauce is not a bad way to spend these gorgeous fall evenings as of late.
In a food processor add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined and set aside.
Make pasta according to directions and set pasta back into it hot pan once well drained but not rinsed. Add in the cream and the pumpkin pesto and stir until well combined. Once well combined, portion out and serve.
We went to New Mexico last week –– Ahhh, “The Land of Enchantment” –– and while it was absolutely beautiful with it’s fall foliage and large mountains, the menu selection while traveling through that part of the country was well … kinda limited. Not in a bad way, but in a green chiles must-be-on-or-in-everything-we-serve on the menu kind of way. Don’t get me wrong, I adore green chiles but … I was, ok we were, ready for a change of food scenery once we landed home. Rosemary Potato + Apple Fritters to the rescue –– shredded rosemary potatoes laced with sweet apples and a touch of cinnamon in a warm, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside little package. Now, I suppose you could top these with some sort of green chile sauce and they would be delicious only we are breaking-up with green chiles for the moment (a few weeks) at least. For now just enjoy these with a side of scrambled eggs at breakfast or as a main course with a fresh green salad minus the chiles.
Place potato, apple, rosemary, flour, cinnamon, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and mix together until well combined.
Place a paper towel lined plate near by and set aside for later use.
Place a heavy duty pan over medium high heat and add in enough oil to coat the pan with a 1/2" and let the oil heat up for 1-2 minutes. Oil should be hot but not burning. Using a fork, grab a heaping of the potato + apple mixture and place into the hot oil pan. Gently press down and form into a pancake-like shape.
Continue process until pan is almost full but not crowded. Let fritters cook until lightly golden brown for about 2-4 minutes. Once golden flip over and continue to cook until the other side is golden as well -- about another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set onto paper towel to drain off excess oil. Continue process until all of the fritters are cooked. Serve
There was a time when my only real comfort food was a big dish of Italian pasta. You know, a heaping bowl of hot steamy noodles with a light tomato sauce –– simple, yet, satisfying and well, comforting on a cool night. Over the years my tastebuds have evolved and grown to enjoy a wide array of comfort foods. My latest addiction of these has been ramen –– there’s just something about those noodles that makes me happy –– rich broth-y noodles loaded with flavor, yum. Now I am not talking about ramen from collage days that came in a square package shaped into a hard sponge-like form with some sort of mystery “flavoring” packet to mix up into the hot water –– no, no, no. I am talking about this Roasted Butternut Squash Ramen Bowls ––a rich vegetable stock with hot ramen, roasted butternut squash, cilantro, carrots slices, green onion, and a hard boiled egg aka a big bowl of comfort on a cool night.
Watch my video to get more tips on prepping and roasting butternut squash and grab the recipe below.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chopped butternut squash onto a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Using a spoon or your hands toss the squash into the olive oil to coat. Once coated place into the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, use a spatula or a spoon or flip the squash over and then place back into the oven and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Once tender remove from the oven and set aside.
Place butter into a large pot over medium high heat. Add in garlic and let cook for 1 minute while gently stirring. Next add in vegetable broth, salt, and soy sauce, stir together and let heat up for 5-7 minutes or until almost boiling.
Portion ramen noodles into serving bowls. Gently ladle broth over the noodles leaving some room at the top of each bowl. Top bowls with carrots, cilantro, eggs, green onion, nori pieces, and butternut squash. Serve.
Ok, I’m officially on the pumpkin-must-be-everywhere-and-in-everything bandwagon. It’s taken me a few weeks to really wrap my head around the fact that we are in O-C-T-O-B-E-R and the end of the 2014 year is only and couple of months out –– crazy, right? Spied in the stores alongside exuberant amounts of black, orange, white, and purple Halloween chotchkies have been an abundance of all things green, red, gold, and sparkly reminding us that there is yet another band wagon to jump on soon. For now, I plan to take it easy with all of the hoopla and holiday hype and just try to enjoy these cooler nights of autumn with a hot bowl of Sage Brown Butter Pumpkin Risotto. Buttery sage mixed with creamy bits of pumpkin has long been a favorite combination for me and this risotto fits the bill to knock out one wagon at a time.
Place a large heavy duty pan, over medium heat, sauté butter, sage and onion for 2-3 minutes or until butter just starts to brown a little. Add rice and olive oil, stirring for about 1-2 minutes until risotto starts to sound like beach glass. Stir in white wine and let reduce while continuing to stir. Stir in 1 cup of broth; continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed. Gradually stir in remaining broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup until risotto is ala dente –– or cook a bit longer if desired.
Remove risotto from heat and stir in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and parmesan cheese. Continue stirring until well incorporated and serve.
Can you feel it? The shift in the air with an earlier darkness upon us in the evening, a few changing leaves, and a slightly cooler temperature –– fall is here. We went for a bike ride last night and it was perfect, well … except for the copious amounts of jumbo mosquitos lurking about trying to get a nibble but otherwise, perfect … the autumn season is really here. My oldest son can’t seem to get enough of apples right now and it seems as though they disappear within minutes of reaching the fruit bowl on the kitchen table. He told me apples are in his “top three” of favorite fruits (next to strawberries and peaches) and I asked him why? He says he loves their flavor and texture but what he really loves *most* about them is that they help loosen his teeth so he can get a visit from the tooth fairy –– ah, clever boy. So apples it is and the more the better around here apparently. With a dwindling bounty of apples and the threat of taco Tuesday looming –– Chicken, Kale and Apple Tacos came to be in our latest of apple frenzy days and they were delicious. Healthy, hearty and loaded with flavor they pleased the masses around here –– including the fairy seekers.
Place a large pan over medium heat and add olive oil followed by the chicken. Saute chicken for 6-8 minutes, until it's almost cooked through. In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper and mix together well. Add mixture to the chicken and continue to stir until well incorporated. Once well combined, add in one cup of water and continue to stir. Next, add in the kale and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the water reduces down, the sauce begins to thicken, and kale begins to soften. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
Lay a tortilla out onto a plate. Layer in a few Tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. Top that with a few apple sticks followed by a dollop of sour cream. Continue process until tacos are all made, serve.
Dang we are a busy people and the rumor is that we are only going to be getting busier –– what the what?? There are those moments that I have been stuck across town or at an appointment that ran long when I think, crap, what am I going to make for dinner tonight? What is in the refrigerator that I can throw together for a quick, easy and wait for it … crowd-pleasing dinner? Ugh. You know those moments, I think everyone has had them at some point in their life (or week). Whole Foods asked my to try their new Instacart system –– have you heard of it? Well, let me just tell you it’s a delicious modern convenience. You simple go online, type in your zip code, and choose your items. From there you can set up what time you want them to arrive at your house. I am not talking about that giant window of a time, like the cable company sets up, but this is down to an hour window. They politely send you a text when they are on their way and voilà –– you’ve got groceries. If you are a picky shopper they accommodate for you as well example: only want 4 green bananas and 2 yellow –– make a note and it will be so. I ordered a skirt steak because it’s an easy cut to cook up fast and when one doesn’t have time to marinate simply add butter, yes butter –– Fresh Herb Buttered Steak.
Right now if you place an order of $10 or more, get FREE delivery. AND they are hosting a contest running through October 12th that offers shoppers the chance to win FREE groceries for one year and other fun prizes ~ YAY! Not on the computer? No worries, they have an Insatcart App for that.
Check it out and let me know how you enjoy it!
This quick and easy fresh herb butter adds a lot of flavor to the steak.
Instacart, Whole Foods team member Chelsea delivers right to my door.
Set the steak out onto a plate and season well with salt and pepper. Place grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat for 1 minute then, add steak to the pan. Let steak cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Then flip steak over and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes or until desired temperature is reached. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a small bowl combine butter, parsley, rosemary, garlic and a pinch of salt. Stir until well combined. Slice steak and serve with the butter on top.
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