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On Hiatus

The time has come (the walrus said) to recognize the inevitable. After nearly 4 years I simply do not have the time to devote to this blog these days. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it in a few months, so it’ll stay up, but I’m not going to be updating it for a while. But it’s been awesome and I hope you all have enjoyed the recipes I’ve posted over the years!!

Super Pretty Fall Pasta

It’s fall my favorite time of year. And it means the return of red wine and butternut squash. So, naturally, I had to make a fall, butternut squash recipe this week to celebrate it’s return. This is largely a “variation on a theme” kinda thing – linguine with kale and roasted butternut squash.

2 servings linguine
3 kale leaves, ripped into pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 onion, chopped
1 cup or so chopped butternut squash
olive oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt
Pepper

Heat the oven to 400. Toss the butternut squash chunks with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until soft – probably 25-30 minutes. While those are roasting, saute the onion and garlic, and then add the kale. Be careful not to use too much oil. Once the squash is done, mix with the kale and veggies. Add the pasta and toss all together. Serve with Parmesan cheese if you like.

fall-pasta

Pretty Fall Pasta

So, not only was this pretty, but it was also really tasty. And it’s vegan if you don’t add the cheese. Lots of veggies, super filling, and perfect for dinner in the fall with a glass of red wine. So omg, so it’s been over a month since I last posted. Between work, finishing up some writing projects, and family craziness I’ve been neglecting cooking. But things have calmed down now and I’ll have a travel post coming in in the next couple weeks too! Song of the Week: Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. So it’s the 10 year anniversary of this album, and omg, I forgot how good it is and how much I like it. You should listen to the whole album, but if you don’t, at least listen to this song.

Apple-Blue Cheese Pizza

Yep you read that right – this week I decided to make a pizza with apples and blue cheese on it. I originally got the idea from a recipe that I can no longer find, but it was an apple and gorgonzola pizza. My issue with it though, was that it was just a crap ton of cheese and apple. I needed something with more vegetables. I make two little personal-sized pizzas, since I just cook for me. You can always double the recipe to get something closer to a full pizza.

1/2 recipe pizza dough
1 medium shallot, diced
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained (or 3 cups fresh)
1 medium apple – honeycrisp, granny smith, or fuji would all work
2 ounces mozzarella, shredded
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese.

Roll out the pizza dough (I make mine from my all-purpose yeast dough) and stick it on the pizza stone. Cover with a bottom layer of spinach. If you use frozen like me, make sure you remove all the excess water or it will make the pizza soggy. On top of the spinach, scatter the shallot. Thinly slice the apple and place the slices on the spinach. Scatter the cheese on top and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

apple-pizza

This was really good. I was surprised how much I liked it actually. My only complaint was that I could have used a bit more shallot but the combo of flavors was awesome. Definitely making this again. And it’s perfect for fall. Song of the Week: No Diggity by Blackstreet. I have absolutely no idea what sparked this, but for whatever reason I’ve listening to the song a ton this week. ¬†And hey, it’s a pretty great song.

Recipe Mash-Up Stuffed Pattypan Squash

This week I did, for lack of a better word, a recipe mash-up. I bought new patty pan squash at the store and decided to stuff them with almost the same filling that I did for the tomatoes. Well, with one exception – I took out the olives and added cheese. Because I love cheese.

Stuffed pattypan

3 large-ish pattypan squash
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1-2 ounces fontina cheese, grated
handful of toasted pine nuts
salt

Trim the top and bottom of the squash. Then use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the squash. Brush the squash with olive oil and bake at 375 in the oven for about 15 minutes. While the squash are in the oven, sautee the onions and garlic in a little olive oil (just a little, I always use slightly too much). In a bowl, combine with the bread crumbs, parsley, cheese, and pine nuts. Stuff the filling into the squash and return till they are fully cooked, around 30 minutes.

This recipe was good, but, and here’s an odd but, I really liked just eating the stuffing by itself more than I enjoyed eating it in the pattypan squash. I think partially this is because I didn’t cook the squash long enough – I thought it was done, but I might have just been inpatient. The other reason was, well, the filling was just super good. I really enjoyed eating it and kinda just want to find a way to have it without bothering to stick it in a vegetable. I’ll let you know if I figure out a good method for that in the future. But it is a good summer recipe regardless, and a fun one to try if you are interested in pattypan squash. Song of the week: Here Comes a Thought from Steven Universe. I heard of this TV show a couple weeks ago on NPR, started watching, and immediately got hooked. It is amazing. This song (there are lots of songs in the show) is also just so incredible, from an amazing episode dealing with trauma and how to cope with it in a healthy way. And yeah, this is an animated kids show.

What Cheese Goes with What Vegetable?

I’ve have been so focused on some of my other projects I have not been cooking as much lately. However, a couple days ago my BFF emailed me asking for some advice about a recipe and was worried about paired the wrong cheese with any given vegetable. And that’s something I’ve had concerns about over the years too.

So I pulled together a list of common cheeses and what kind of vegetable I’ve consistently successfully paired them with:

Feta: Spinach, kale, onions, sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini

Zucchini pancakes

zucchini pancakes with feta

Blue cheese: butternut squash, bitter/more intense greens, portbello mushrooms

stuffed mushroom

Cheddar: broccoli, onion, cauliflower, tomato

tomato crostada

Tomato crostada with cheddar

Fontina (the kind at Trader Joes): Asparagus, eggplant

spring potato salad

Spring vegetable salad with fontina

Parmesan: basically everything

FullSizeRender

Parmesan roasted Cauliflower

Goat cheese: pretty much everything, although not always ideal for baking

zucchini pizza thing

Sauceless pizza with zucchini and goat cheese

I hope you found this little table (illustrated by some of my recipes from this blog) helpful if/when you’re pulling together a new recipe. Let me know if you have any cheese/veggie pairings I missed that you think are awesome! Song of the Week: La La La/Bang Bang mashup from Penn Masala. This is a super fun mashup by one of my favorite a capella groups. It’s fun and super pop-y and I’ve been listing to it a lot when doing tedious stuff at work.