Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get out your pots and pans ~

I have a treat for you!

Roasted Squash and Beet Soup {it's a fan-freaking-tastic new recipe I developed over the weekend}

ETA - for the perfect Halloween meal, serve this with a side of Meat Hand, and you can thank Nik for passing that along!

-1 medium butternut squash
-1 bunch golden beets (6, give or take)
-beet greens ~ remember to pick beets with greens and save them when prepping the beets
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 large carrots, diced
-2 cups potatoes, diced
-6 cups stock, vegetable* or chicken (I didn't really measure, so use your best judgement)
-1/3 cup olive oil, and a little extra
-3 large garlic cloves, crushed

Roast the squash and beets:
Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Peel and dice the beets. Cover a cookie sheet with some olive oil, place the squash cut-side down. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, place them on the cookie sheet with the squash.
Roast at 425 until the veggies are soft and the beets are slightly browned, stirring the beets to help them brown evenly.

Saute the carrots and onions in a 1/3 cup olive (use more or less to meet your needs) until the onions are clear. Add the potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Add the roasted beets and squash. Let simmer until all veggies are fully cooked.

Take soup of the heat, and blend in batches in the food processor. Remember to use caution when whirling hot liquids.

Beet Greens Garnish:
Saute the crushed garlic in olive oil, being careful not to let it burn. I find that adding a little more oil than I think is necessary, and keeping the heat a little lower than I expect helps to keep the garlic from burning. Wash and chop the greens, allowing excess water to remain on the leaves to help the steaming process. Add to the pan and cover to let the greens steam, adding a little more water if necessary.

Serve the soup with a garnish of greens. Enjoy*

*I have a new brand of veg bouillon that I really love, next time I'll remember to share the details.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

I love this song, you might recognize it because the Dixie Chicks made it popular {and their video for it is a bit scary}. It's a sad one, but a good one. enjoy*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baby Knits

As Nik mentioned, we had a fun, relaxing craft weekend about a week ago. My goals for the weekend were minimal (some knitting, some sewing), and really, all I did was this*:
A set of baby booties to match the baby sweater that I started back in August. That's EZ's February baby sweater in Lorna's Laces with a matching pair of Saartje's booties - that link takes you directly to a PDF of the pattern.
Both were well received at a baby shower last weekend!

*But I'm definitely not complaining for all the crafting I didn't do, there sure was a lot of visiting that doesn't get done often enough!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

This song has been on repeat all weekend, so it's only right that I share it with you::
Soldier by Ingrid Michaelson

I was lucky enough to be at the Boston show where this video was taped. It was a great show and she's definitely worth seeing in person. yay!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Preparations, Part III

Go Outside!!

Stop by the local, homemade ice cream shop for a combo pint of Pumpkin Custard & Maple Walnut. YUM.
Stock up on veggies from the market for a week of fall meals {cabbage, leeks, beets...}
And of course, for some extra flare*, plant the mums:

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fall Preparations, Part II

New fall hat? check::
Fall knitting? workin' on it::
Fall meal of the week? Leek, spinach and tomato quiche::
...and yes, there's been some candy corn.

This weekend it's Craftapolooza '09. I'll be rockin' the knitting & sewing.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

Keeping with the autumn theme, enjoy*

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fall Preparations, Part I

Step 1:: Move in with three cuddly cats {the top one's my buddy}

Step 2:: Finish up a new pair of socks

Step 3:: Start cooking {and remember that food is so hard to photograph}
Meal #1: Collards and such
For fun, here's the plan, in my plain jane, probably not correct use of cooking terms, but you get the idea ~
Saute 1 leek in olive oil until soft, but not browned. Add one carrot & one sweet potato, cooking at medium to low heat with a lid on to keep the steam in, but still not browning the leek. Add some water if necessary to keep things moist, but really not too wet, just not sticking to the bottom of the pan. I then added a spice mixture of equal parts juniper berries, whole cloves, coriander, cardamom, and dried rosemary that I ground together with a mortar and pestle.

After that mix cooked for a few minutes, I added the rinsed and coarsely chopped collards - with the water from rinsing still on them to help the steaming process.

Once the greens were steamed and the potatoes & carrots were soft, I served this over brown rice, topped with some herbed goat cheese. Thus the lovely picture you see above.

Meal #2: Bok Choy, Eggplant, and Tomatoes

Again, start off with a leek, softened, but not browned, in olive oil {there's a pattern}. Add the eggplant and chopped tomatoes. At this point, I generously salted everything and added two dashes of balsamic vinegar. Let this cook for a little while with the lid on, or off, depending upon your moisture levels. Once the eggplant is mostly done, add the bok choy {again, with some water to help the steaming process}. Once the bok choy was steamed, I added soy sauce {about two times the amount of vinegar}. Serve over rice, and smile.

Happy October!