Monday, November 24, 2008
I got a bit of a nesting bug this weekend, and felt I just HAD to bake something. So I flipped to the back page of all my Everyday Food magazines until I found something from their "Cookie Jar" that sounded just right. I landed on Fig Crumble Bars. They looked simple, but not so simple that I wouldn't curb my craving to bake. Plus, I just love fig.
The recipe is available on Martha's site. I did use apple sauce and some water instead of apple juice, because I forgot to buy the juice. It worked fine. These are sweet, buttery, a little earthy and have a nice brightness from the lemon zest. They would be great with some hot tea. I bet I'd enjoy them more if I didn't have a toothache :(
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Yay! I finally got a chance to cook! Did you miss me?
I've had the Cooking Light Recipe Annual 2005 from the Library for more than a month (Don't worry, I renew). There are all sorts of little paper scraps sticking out of it marking recipes I want to try. Last night I picked "Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta." I love Cooking Light as a source for healthy recipes...they realize that you can use real ingredients, not sweetners and subsitutes, to make a healthy meal. And this one has Bacon innit!
So I got to the store and they were out of Butternut squash. Dang! I decided to stick with the plan, though, using Acorn squash instead. I also adjusted the recipe to use a whole box of pasta rather than the 8 oz. they called for. If I just used half the box, I doubt I'd ever use the other half. I also incorporated garlic...as I do with most recipes, it seems. Gotta have it! The result was quite good...a great comfort food with yummy winter flavors.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Bacon Penne
3 medium acorn squash
ground nutmeg olive oil
6 cloves garlic
8 slices bacon
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
16 oz. mini penne pasta
1/2 cup AP flour
3 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup sharp celtic lite cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
handful of pecans
salt and pepper
1. Roast Squash: preheat oven to 425. Cut Acorn squash in halves and remove the seeds with a spoon. Rub with olive oil, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Put a garlic clove in each half and roast in casserole dish for about 40 minutes, until squash is softened but not too mushy. Let cool until you can handle them, then scoop the flesh out of the skin with a large spoon and chop up along with the garlic cloves. Set aside and turn oven temp up to 450.
2. Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside with Squash. reserve a bit of the bacon drippings and cook the shallots and minced garlic in the same pan until they are soft and brown. Combine shallots, bacon and squash and set aside.
3. Cook Pasta according directions and drain well.
4. Combine flour and some salt in a pan over medium-high heat. Gradually add in milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until it thickens. Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat well. Combine pasta with squash mixture, taste and adjust seasoning, and pour into a baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and pecans and bake at 450 for about 10 minutes until cheese melts and begins to brown.