Friday, December 2, 2016

Ham and cheese spaghetti squash boats

We eat winter squash all fall and winter long in our home. We often get a bunch from my father-in-law's garden and we always get a big assorted basket the last day of our farmers' market. This makes winter squash a staple around here and I'm always coming up with new ways to enjoy it. This recipe is a modified version of my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash side dish. I upgraded to larger spaghetti squash, added some ham, and made a couple other changes to turn it into a main dish. This was so creamy and cheesy, but also full of vegetable goodness at the same time by using the spaghetti squash instead of something like pasta or rice. It may be a good way to get some pickier eaters to give spaghetti squash a try! 

This recipe will serve 2 adults as a main dish. It's easy to double though. It's also a terrific way to use up leftover ham, especially if you are making a ham for the upcoming holidays. I love recipes that re-purpose leftovers into something completely new. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sour cream cranberry bars {Secret Recipe Club}

Sadly, today is my last post for the Secret Recipe Club because it is ending this month. I've enjoyed participating in it so much! I love making something from someone's blog and I really love seeing the recipe someone picked from mine. It also helped keep me motivated to post after having the babies. I will miss it a lot. For my last post, I was assigned to make a recipe from Our Eating Habits. This blog is written by Jamie who loves her family, Christmas, Disney, and, of course, food. While looking through her blog, I was looking for a Thanksgiving appropriate recipe and was tempted to make her Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie (still am a little!), Cranberry Cornbread, and Rosemary Au Gratin Potatoes. I ended up choosing her Sour Cream Cranberry Bars. I chose these because I think cranberries are so underutilized outside of juice and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner. I love to use them in recipes. I also thought these bars would make a nice non-pie Thanksgiving dessert and also a nice Christmas dessert to add to your cookie tray. Plus since I made Sour Cream Apple Pie, I'm really loving desserts with sour cream in them. The recipe below I modified just slightly.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Turkey and apple cheddar-biscuit pie

This meal is full-on autumn comfort food at its best! Turkey, apples, and vegetables in a cider gravy all topped with light and buttery cheddar biscuits and baked until golden and bubbly. It has easily become a new favorite of ours. This recipe is a modified version of a similar dish in one of my favorites books: Apples of Uncommon Character: Heirlooms, Modern Classics, & Little-known Wonders. It's not a cookbook, but a beautiful book all about apples that also has 20 apple recipes in the back. I sometimes dream of living on an apple orchard one day and have a bit of an obsession with all the different varieties and with apple recipes

This dish is delicious as is, but I think different vegetables would also work very well such as replacing the celery with celery root, replacing the potato with turnip or rutabaga, or even adding a bit of cubed winter squash like butternut. This recipe will serve about four to five people.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Vinegar-braised cabbage with caraway {Secret Recipe Club}

This month the Secret Recipe Club is having a special Fall Dishes reveal! While pumpkin and apple are generally thought of as the ultimate fall stars (and of course I love them both as you can tell from a quick browse through my blog), I also love to highlight autumn vegetables like other winter squashes, root vegetables, and Brassicas like cabbage. I really enjoy harvest time and all of the terrific vegetables that come out of gardens in September-October in our region. I happen to really love red cabbage in particular. I think it's so pretty and it adds such a colorful punch to any meal. When I saw this recipe on Dessert Before Dinner's blog, I knew this was one I wanted to try. I have another sweet and sour red cabbage recipe that is my go-to, but I really liked the use of caraway as well as onions and garlic in Stephanie's recipe. We had this dish when my mom was over for dinner and we all enjoyed it a lot. We served it along with some German brats, pierogi, and applesauce. It was a perfect fall meal! Below is my slightly modified recipe.

I have previously had Stephanie's blog for Secret Recipe Club and said if I ever had her blog again I was going to make some of her sourdough recipes. However, during the move and my difficult pregnancy, my sourdough started died.... So I have to start a new one soon to try out these doughnuts! They also would be a great fall recipe with a glass of apple cider. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sour cream apple pie

Apple pie is taken to the next level with this recipe! I saw this recipe on Taste of Home's website and have had it pinned to make for a while now. I finally had some time to make it and am glad I finally did. The use of sour cream in this pie adds a nice touch of tang with the sour apples, but the sugar and brown sugar topping help to still make it sweet - a perfect contrast in flavors. Another thing I love about this pie is that it is free of spices. As much as like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with apples, it's nice to have a dessert where the flavor of the apple itself really shines through and is the star. Of course we went on our annual apple picking trip this year so we have a bushel of apples waiting to be used. I try to make at least one new apple recipe each fall because apples are a big deal in western New York and for me they are one of the best flavors of autumn. Plus we always have a bunch to use up!

The babies are beginning to sleep better. They are almost 3 months old now! I'm starting to not be as much of a sleep-deprived zombie most days now and am having a little more ambition and time to cook and bake again. It's still hard, but I try because we like to have good food haha. Some days though it ends up being frozen chicken strips and waffle fries, and that's okay (I cut up some celery to make me feel a little better haha). 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Chocolate beetroot cake {Secret Recipe Club}

It's time for October's Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month I was assigned to make a recipe from My Wholefood Family. This blog is written by Susan who lives all the way over in Australia. She is a mom of three and focuses on creating recipes from real, whole foods. I found a lot of interesting and tasty recipes on her blog like these Sweet Potato Brownies and Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice (the rice sounds fantastic). I ended up choosing her Chocolate Beetroot Cake because it sounded so intriguing and also because I thought the mixture of the dark chocolate color with flecks of red would be a fun treat for Halloween time. I adjusted the recipe slightly for my more American way of measuring (though I did measure out my chocolate in grams!) and cooking and I also used regular flour and sugar in my version. You can see Susan's original recipe at the link. I used Susan's suggestion of also replacing a bit of the flour with cocoa powder and was really happy with the results. This cake is very chocolaty but also has the very earthy taste from the beets. It's a unique cake that I'd make again in the future.