We decided to celebrate “World Vegetarian Day” yesterday with a hearty vegetarian entree. This macaroni is cheesy and crusty and saucy and flavorful and not terribly difficult or time-consuming. I grated the cheese and tore up the bread a little earlier in the day, to get it to come together even more quickly. I also microwaved the milk in a large, glass batter bowl (about 3 minutes,) which was a little quicker and more “hands off” than waiting for it to warm up in a saucepan. Recipe here. I added a couple of pinches of dried herbs (parsley, oregano and basil) to both the breadcrumbs and the cheese sauce and also a bit of dry mustard powder to the sauce.
Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread
Great all-purpose, easy, spicy and moist pumpkin bread recipe. I doubled the batch (it was Girl’s turn to bring snack to school), which required two cans of pumpkin, with one cup left over (which I froze) for another batch in the future. I may try the Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe (listed in the link), possibly for Thanksgiving.
Bacon and Butternut Pasta
This was really yummy, but we are a household (mostly) of veggie-loving folks. If you already love kale and butternut squash, you’ll love this pasta (the nutty Gruyère and luscious crème fraîche are a fantastic and classic combination). If you don’t, this recipe isn’t going to be the one to convert you (try this or this, instead). This recipe isn’t the simplest or the quickest (there is decent amount of peeling and chopping of kale, squash and onions and many of the components must be cooked individually first, before assembling the casserole,) but it was quite good. The red pepper flakes add a nice kick, too.
Flexitarian Note: I simultaneously prepared a veggie version of this for The Girl. I made a 1/4 batch (one pound of pasta, in total, for both versions) for her, cooking the onions in butter instead of the bacon grease. I cooked all of the pasta, kale, squash and sauce (substituting veggie broth, instead of chicken) together, then separated out 4/5ths of the mixture and just added the bacon and bacon-fat onions to that to create the carnivorous batch. I baked it in a smaller dish, but for the same amount of time.
If I haven’t scared you off, the recipe can be found here.
Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce
These scallops (recipe here) were really easy and tasty. I don’t know why, though, the recipe says to use a separate saucepan to make the sauce. I would take advantage of all of the crusty caramelizing in the shallot pan and just make the sauce in there. I suppose since this sauce is kind of an ersatz beurre blanc, they were trying to keep it lightly-colored and delicate, but I would always fall on the side of incorporating more flavor (and washing less pots and pans!) The side dishes I made with this were easy (Farfalle with pesto and toasted pine nuts and sautéed zucchini), but they did make the plate look very white and green. I wish I had added some roasted red pepper strips or cherry tomato halves to the pasta or some yellow squash to the zucchini (or both) just for a little color variety.
Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
Very simple, elegant and tasty side dish. Recipe here. Served this to my brother and his sweet family with Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin and The Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes.
Shrimp Florentine Pasta
This was SO fast and easy (recipe here.) Very tasty, too. Even Hubby, who has historically not been a big shellfish fan, loved it. Filling and healthy and VERY fast to make.
Bread and Butter Pickles
These pickles (recipe hehttp://www.nytimes.com/recipes/12579/Bread-and-Butter-Pickles.htmlre) are SO easy and delicious. They perish quickly, but don’t last long, at least not at our house, so it hasn’t been a problem. I haven’t tried the ketchup and mustard recipes (also included in the article) but am planning to try soon. I do occasionally make my own mayonnaise, which is absolutely transcendent (and surprisingly easy), so I’ll post that recipe and photo the next time I make it.
This dessert (recipe here) was simple and tasty. VERY sweet, but good. Not something that I’m likely to CRAVE but would be fun for a potluck or to cap off an Italian dinner with friends.
Fresh Tomato and Goat Cheese Strata with Herb Oil
This recipe from Giada (recipe here) was so wonderful and creamy and grassy-herby and nutty and ripe and juicy…just not enough adjectives to do it justice…I will definitely be making this again…
Peanut Butter-Caramel Pound Cake
This wasn’t evil enough, on its own, so I decided to serve it with a little ice cream on the side. Quite rich and buttery and thoroughly indulgent. This recipe (here) is another winner from Giada.