Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kids Say The Darndest Things: Whipped Cream Cake

There was a TV celebrity and humorist, Art Linkletter who had a show, "Kids Say The Darndest Things." It was sort of a Candid Camera with kids as the "victim". Children were put on the spot with questions like, "What did your parents tell you NOT to say on this show today?" The answers were always hilarious. A response might be, "They said not to tell that they always fight or that Daddy walks around the house in his underwear." The parents of these kids had bragging-rights.
Parents and Grandparents brag about their kids...a lot. Rightly so, most of the time. A baby is a beautiful miracle, but tell the truth, not all babies are beautiful...a few look like Mr. Magoo.  Anyway, I'm a Mom who is proud of my child and his accomplishments, BUT. Years ago, I made a promise that my son would not be the main topic of every conversation with friends and family. I might love him with all my heart, but no one has to hear about every detail of his quite ordinary life. As I've often told him, "The world's not gonna love you like momma loves you." On the other hand, I never said I wouldn't talk about him in a blog.
Food & kids is a topic I enjoy. Nothing pleases me more than a child that eats with gusto. A baby that is a two-fisted eater is a delight to behold. Most of my 17 nieces and nephews will agree that the Feast of the Seven Fish on Christmas Eve is a meal they look forward to all year. Bowls of scungilli & stuffed calamari in a tomato sauce get devoured on this special night. Plates of octopus salad, battered shrimp and baccala are inhaled in record breaking time. All I can do is sit back and grin. Broccoli, green salad and escarole pie are equally enjoyed by my not-picky younger generation of the family. Is there anything cuter than a wee one with chocolate smeared on his/her smiling face? Not in my books.
My favorite photo of my child is...he's less than two years old sitting in his high-chair. There's a bowl of mussels in marinara sauce in front of him. He's so excited about the frutta di mare before him that he's run his sauce slicked little hands through his hair. It's sticking out in every direction. A huge smile is plastered on his sauce splattered face. Now, that's my kind of kid! So not to sound like I'm bragging...I will tell you that this same child ate sand at the the hands full. In his defense, the doctor said it was nature's way of relieving his teething pain..the salt in the sand and the grittiness felt good.
Okay, now to get to the recipe for this post. I was waiting at the bus stop for my son to get home from school. He was about 5 or 6 years old. The bus pulled up and the doors opened. My child stumbled off, literally. What a sight he was. His shirt was half in and half out of his jeans, his face had a black smudge on it and his hair was mussed out of control. He was a mess! "What on earth happened to you?" I asked. He looked down, then back up at me. He gave out a long sigh and with grown-up seriousness said, "Today, I was whipped-creamed." He certainly looked it. say the darndest things.

Chocolate Whipped Cream Angel Food Cake

1 Box of Angel Food Cake
1 Quart Heavy Cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash salt
1 cup coconut flakes
8-10 chocolate candies or coffee chocolate beans (any kind you like)
Tube cake pan
Whipped cream tip: place metal mixing bowl and beaters in freezer for 10 min. before mixing.

Bake the Angel Food cake according to the directions and pour into a tube pan. Let cool. Once cooled, slice top off of Angel Food Cake about 2 inches. Scoop out a second "well" inside of cake about an inch from tube "well", set aside the cake you scooped out. Fill inside of cake (both wells) with chocolate whipped cream, packed tight. Put top back on cake and frost the top and the outside with remaining cream.

Frosting: put cold heavy cream in a mixing bowl & beat on medium speed until slightly thickened.  Gradually add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and cocoa. Beat on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat.

After frosting cake, sprinkle top with coconut.  Decorate top with candies. Left over pieces of the inside of the cake are good for dipping in fondue or remaining cream.

**Kudos to my co-worker, Kathy, for baking this cake and giving me the recipe.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The "Tomato Sauce" Incident

Growing up I thought everyone ate and cooked Italian. I had Irish friends, Spanish friends, and lived in a neighborhood where Blacks and those of Polish descent all hung out together. But, I just thought that Italian food graced their tables most nights. Sure, it was fine to have a non-Italian meal. My mom, Eugenia, is a diverse cook. During the Jewish holidays she made potato latkes and brisket, on St. Patrick's there was always corned beef and cabbage, Chinese New Year..homemade wonton soup, stir fry and fried rice. She cooked International long before it was vogue. But come on, didn't everyone have pasta and "gravy" each Sunday... rich tomato sauce with braciole, meatballs, pork, sausage? Sundays the house smelled heavenly. Mom was up early as usual. The scent of garlic, onion and meat browning in olive oil filled the air. It was the day one of her seven kids got his/her hand slapped for dunking Italian bread in the gravy pot. That drove Mom crazy...pieces of bread floating in her sauce. We did know enough not to double dip so at least we kept it sanitary. Italian food made from scratch...was there anything else?
Not all pasta was mixed with tomato sauce. Nope. Pasta with peas and onions, with cauliflower, ceci beans, and one of my favorites--broccoli and pork. Whatever could be fried, sauteed, poached or baked could be combined with some type of pasta be it fusilli, shells, farfalle, penne and so on. Everything was great with pasta... well, except for that lunch in Cape Cod, Massachusetts when I was about 9 years old.
Mom and Dad took their seven children and Nonna on vacation every year. My parents wouldn't dream of a get-away alone. No two people deserved quiet time without their brood more than they...but we were family, their family. So off to Lake George, NY, the New Jersey Shore or Cape Cod we would go. Dad would rent a large house somewhere near a lake or the ocean where his kids could run wild, swim or explore. Poor Mom still had to cook as it was too expensive to take 10 out to a restaurant. At the Cape, Nonna carrying a bucket would take us to the sea and we'd all gather fresh mussels. Back at home, Mom would make a pot of marinara sauce and in would go those mussels....cook up linguine and the feast would begin.
One lazy summer day, my sister Judey and I made friends with two girls renting the house next door to our rental. Graciously, their mom invited us to lunch with them. Knowing we were of Italian descent, she offered to serve spaghetti and tomato sauce. It sounded great and Mom agreed. She sent us over with a plate of cookies (you never went to someones house empty handed). It turned out to be a meal I'd never forget.
Four little girls giggling at a chipped formica table waited for their Italian lunch. Mrs. G filled a separate bowl with the spaghetti water, then scooped out a hearty serving of pasta into each kid's dish. She reached for a bottle of ketchup and proceeded to mix it with the pasta water she'd set aside. She whisked the ketchup and water together and poured it over our pasta. Judey and I were horrified! I looked over at my younger sister. Tears pooled in her eyes. Her lip quivered. I squeezed her knee under the table. We were taught that no matter what was ate it. It was bad manners to put your nose up at food. But this had to be an exception...ketchup over spaghetti? It was criminal, I tell you. We said "thank you" and we all bowed our heads to say grace. I prayed I wouldn't throw up. Judey prayed that her "big" sister would get her out of this mess. I couldn't. We ate half our lunch, said we were full and couldn't eat another bite. Judey and I quickly bid them goodbye and high-tailed it back to our rental. Mom couldn't image what had happened, the way we carried on! Ketchup in place of tomato sauce...oh, the inhumanity of it all! We had been traumatized. Mom understood, led us into the living room, snuggled us under a blanket on the couch and turned on the TV. We never spoke of the "ketchup" incident ever again.
That evening, Mom made pasta with broccoli and pork. Tomato sauce would have been a cruel reminder of what we'd been through that day.

Pasta, Broccoli & Pork

1 lb. box shells style pasta
1 large head of broccoli: remove end of stalks & cut into pieces with florets intact
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 boneless pork chops, diced *pork is not the main ingredient. This is a pasta dish. Pork is for flavor.
Seasoning & Browning sauce (i.e. Gravy Master-just for color)
olive oil
salt & garlic powder
*reserve a cup or so of pasta water

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add diced pork and begin to brown it. Season to taste with salt and garlic powder. When almost browned, add onion and saute until pork and onion are cooked. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Put broccoli in pot and cook for 5 min. Add pasta in the same pot as broccoli. Cook until al dente. With a slotted spoon, remove broccoli and add to the skillet. Mix gently. When pasta is cooked, drain, add to skillet, too. Add a bit of Gravy Master to color the pasta. Mix gently so as not to break up the broccoli too much. Add a drizzle of olive oil to moisten. Add pasta water. Mix gently. Season with salt and garlic powder to your taste, if needed. Serves 4. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with Italian bread.
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Husband At The Stove: Crab Cakes

Steady my heart. My meat-and-potato husband, Steve, mentioned in my 1st post about Squash Soup is suddenly a Male Cooking Diva. Yep, the guy who believes that if God wanted us to eat fish, He wouldn't have put it way out in the ocean, volunteered to cook! In fairness to him...he makes a great meatloaf, fried chicken cutlets and shake 'n bake pork chops. And this workin' woman, truly appreciates the meals. This supper would be different. He'd find the recipe and I was not to help him in any way.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane to get a better understanding of my reaction to Steve's sudden desire to cook. You see, Steve eats healthy meals, but he prefers basic cuisine. Indian food, never. Greek? No way. Hot or gotta be kidding. He'd rather eat canned green beans than fresh from the vine, something about fresh vegetables tasting...well, fresh...ya know crunchy, and grassy like. His extent of fish is tuna out of a can, shrimp cocktail or fried and lobster tails. No claws, thank you. He was in his twenties when he first tasted lobster. It was a matter of eating this crustacean or starve. He was out with buddies and they all ran out of money before supper rolled around. A kind uncle of one of his friends offered to pay for dinner IF they would dine at his favorite seafood restaurant. To make matters worse or better, he ordered lobster tails for ifs, ands or buts. So rather than starve, Steve made a great sacrifice and ate lobster. And he liked it. Thank you uncle Whoever-You-Are for adding this ocean jewel to Steve's culinary repertoire.
I have tried to entice him with a forkful of macadamia crusted tilapia, honey-mustard Dover sole and crispy catfish tacos smothered in homemade coleslaw. He tentatively takes a bite as if an unseen octopus is going to pop out and spit ink in his eye, chews slowly and washes it down quickly with whatever is close at hand...soda, beer or like a ten year old...milk. He hasn't branched out much. So, you can imagine my surprise when my recently retired husband announced, "Honey, this Thursday I'm cooking supper. I got everything under control." What in the world would he come up with? I started to sweat as Thursday drew near.
Finally, the Recipe Reveal Night came. I was amazed and delighted when I arrived home and the table was set, salad fixed, and my man was standing at the stove flipping...drum roll, please,...crab cakes! I don't think I've ever found him more sexy than at that moment. He was smiling, but I could see concern in his blue eyes....would his passionate-for-cooking wife like what he'd prepared? Indeed, I did! The crab cakes were seasoned perfectly...garlic, onion, parmesan cheese, and just a lovely hint of mustard. He used Ritz crackers instead of breadcrumbs which gave the cakes a more buttery taste. He knew enough to have the oil at the right temperature so the cakes were crispy, golden and not greasy at all. WOW! Though the crab cakes were the center of attention, I can't forget to mention the potato au gratin...creamy, cheesy and oh-so-good. What a wonderful combination.
That night, I ate like a queen--relaxed, content, with no flour on my cheek or grease spot on my blouse. I was in heaven. I couldn't stop complimenting the chef. And impolitely, smacked my lips a couple of times. After supper, I told him to go inside and read the newspaper, I'd clean the kitchen. And I did it gladly. What a treat. What a meal. What a guy. That night as we snuggled before falling asleep, Steve whispered, "Honey, I think I already know what I'm going to cook next." I started to sweat.

1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
12 oz crabmeat, flaked, picked through
1 teaspoon garlic powder
20 Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
OR 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 green onions, sliced
fresh parsley
1/2 cup oil (peanut or vegetable)for frying
Beat egg and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add mustard, garlic powder, cheese, parsley & onions. Mix well. Add crackers. Mix. Add crabmeat. Mix gently. Let stand 3 minutes. Shape into cakes. Heat oil and fry crab cakes 4 minutes on each side. Place on paper towel to drain. Makes approx. 16 cakes
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunny With A Chance Of Corn Pudding

She's been all over the best friend, Sunny. She has dined with Presidents, Famous Athletes, Celebrities, and Kings. Her adventures and misadventures are the stuff novels are made of. Our shared passion of anything food is one of the first topics discussed when Sunny returns from a jaunt or she's regaling me with an exciting story from her past. It seems that regardless of the excursion, past or present, a description of a fabulous restaurant, an unusual menu or a succulent street cart fare weaves its way into the story. I feel the sea breeze of the Amalfi coast as she tells me about the sweet-tart taste of gelato al limone. The creamy texture of formaggio (cheese) lingers on the taste buds of my mind as well as the fragrant saltiness of prosciutto when she speaks of Parma, Italy. In Japan, she found that a picky eater is not appreciated and one must eat rice to the last grain. Soba (buckwheat noodles)swimming in a broth with bits of Kani(crab)is comfort food in a Nihonjin household. She was careful not to draw frowns from her Japanese host,never--never leaving her chopsticks vertically into her rice, as this resembles incense sticks during offerings to the dead. Etiquette is ever so important and well it should be. Ah, in Greece....baklava, what else. That sinfully delicate pastry oozing with honey and crunchy walnuts. Diet isn't even considered when this rich επιδόρπιο (dessert)is presented.
My husband and I have the best time when we spend a long weekend with Sunny and her husband, Russ, at their seaside summer home in Rhode Island. They are the perfect host & hostess, always seeing to the needs and comfort of their guests. The men take advantage of the down-time and know how to relax; each reading a newspaper and making short relevant comments on this or that. On the other hand, Sunny and I gab straight through the day and into the next morning if given the chance. We are infamous on making a simple meal such as a few panini into a 2 hour fiasco! We get side tracked, talking-over each other and dissolving into fits of laughter...a third glass of wine doesn't help the situation. But our men are patient, knowing the meal will eventually get to the table and always worth the wait. So whether we are breakfasting at a dockside-cafe, brunching elegantly at the Union League Club in Manhattan or dining on a mouth-watering teriyaki steak at the Dakota in the, glorious food binds our friendship together. In a custom made kitchen, a cozy fire burning in the pot-belly stove, two forever friends cook side by side. There are even moments of easy silence as one stirs a sauce in a pot while the other sautes something aromatic in a pan. Sunny has pulled together a traditional New England Clam bake, lobster bibs & all, prepared a crown roast...finished off with little white "socks", presented an Italian feast that Chef Batali would raise his glass to, but it's the simple meals that memories are made of...the pizza baked on a grill on a warm summer evening, blueberry pancakes on her porch overlooking sand dunes and the sea, and my most favorite--corn pudding that compliments many an autumn meal. George Bernard Shaw said, "There is no sincerer love than the love of food." That has much truth to it, but I think that when food is part of making memories with the perfect friend that is one of the sincerest love of all.
1 (16) oz container of sour cream
1 large can of creamed corn
1 large can of corn (drain)
4 large eggs (slightly beaten)
1 & 1/2 sticks butter (melted)
2 T sugar
2 boxes of corn muffin mix
9X13 baking dish (greased)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients and blend well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. If toothpick comes out clean when inserted then corn pudding is done. If not, bake another 10 minutes or until done. This recipe can be halved by cutting all ingredients in half, but use 1 stick of butter. It also freezes well.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another 30 Years: Escarole Pie

I had just washed the grit out of 6 heads of Escarole, each leaf rinsed and re-rinsed in cold water. I had two more heads to go. My fingers were prune-like, cold and cramped. My back ached from bending over the sink. My back hadn't yet straightened out after 16 hours of baking the weekend before. I was preparing my annual Escarole Pie. It is a family Christmas tradition. Out of six sisters, I'm the one who bakes this fabulous pie. Now, don't fuss at me sisters...I don't mean that not one of you has ever made this pie, but I'm the one who makes it EVERY year. Which brings me to the title of this blog. It was at head #6 that I looked over at the two left to clean and groaned. I didn't say to myself, "You have two more to go." I said out loud, "I've got 30 more years to go." You see, my mom, Eugenia, and I are exactly 30 years apart in age, and on this day as I prepare Escarole Pie in New York, she's doing the same in Florida. In 30 years, will I have the desire or stamina to bake this to-die-for pie? It is a long cooking process and can only be done when I'm home all day. So it's a day that I put all the ingredients into a pot and as it simmers, I wrap Christmas presents. So, Saturday is set aside to clean the escarole. Each washed head is torn into bite size pieces and placed in several plastic bags layered with paper towels to soak up as much water as possible. It takes hours to do this first and vital step. If so much as a grain of sand is left on a leaf and someone bites into this grit..the pie is a failure! I can't recall a Christmas without a perfect pie being on the table. My Nonna made it, then my mom, and now I bake it. I'm not sure if it is solely our family recipe, a regional recipe or what. I've never seen it in any cookbook or heard any other person of Italian descent speak of it. My father's family is from Abruzzo, and my mom's from Naples. I would love to hear from anyone who bakes this pie ...I can always learn a tip or two. So, on Sunday...I put all the ingredients into a large pot (my spaghetti pot). Yes, all 8 heads fit, a little at a time as each piece wilts. One ingredient some will turn their nose at. Anchovies. But believe me after 8-9 hours of cooking, you will never taste it. Can you leave it out, probably, should you? No. Aside from the escarole, the pie is created with a few simple ingredients...the best meal always is, isn't it? The pie consists of olive oil, garlic cloves, anchovy, pignoli, black olives, capers, escarole and pizza dough. NO salt. Once all the ingredients are placed in the pot....not cooks for 8-9 hours. Why? Not a drop of liquid can be left in the drop of liquid means a soggy crust and after grit...a soggy crust is the second mortal sin. When this pie is placed on the holiday table, it is impressive. I swear a hush falls over the room. It reminds me of the scene in A Christmas Carol when mother Cratchit presents the plum pudding to the family. There on the Christmas Eve table among the calamari, battered shrimp, Octopus (polpo) salad, bacala, eel, sits "The" Pie, a fragrant masterpiece of escarole with the best savories of Italian cuisine nestled between yeasty-scented crust. Slices of Italian bread is used to sop up the "gravy" during the first course of spaghetti & fish in tomato sauce. The main course of fish is maneuvered around the plate with a heavenly slice of Escarole Pie. If I had to bring a gift to the manger of the Christ would be this pie. I take pride in this Pizza 'Scarole. It's a dish of simple ingredients that is a labor of love. Nonna placed it on the Christmas Eve table, Momma still does and I do, too. I have hopes that my dear daughter-in-law or a grandchild might continue this tasty tradition. I know my son will cook the fish. So, will I be baking Pizza 'Scarole 30 years from now? You bet...because...It wouldn't be Christmas without it.
Pizza Escarole
8 heads of escarole: washed thoroughly, and torn into bite size pieces
2 cans of anchovy
3 cans of large pitted black olives:broken into small pieces
1 jar of small capers, drained
1 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
4 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
2 one pound balls of pizza dough
1 lasagna pan (dark metal is the best) approx 9X13 in size

Put a few Tablespoons of olive oil in a large, tall pot. Add garlic cloves and saute lightly. Add the pignoli and saute until garlic and pignoli are golden (careful not to over-brown). Add anchovies with its oil to pot. Stir and cook 1 min. Add capers and stir. Cook 1 min. Add the black olives. Stir. Start adding the escarole...little by little as it begins to wilt. After half the escarole is put into pot...drizzle what is in the pot with some olive oil. Add the rest of the escarole. Cook for 8-9 hours over a low flame (simmer) until every drop of liquid has evaporated. Sir often to keep escarole from sticking or burning in the pot esp. as the liquid evaporates. Filling can be refrigerated until pie is ready to assemble.
To Assemble: Let pizza dough come to room temp. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat the sides and bottom of pan with olive oil. On a floured board or counter stretch out one ball of dough to fit pan (can be rolled out with a rolling pin). Place stretched dough in pan, bringing the dough up the sides. Place all the escarole on dough. Even out across the pan. Stretch out the second ball of dough and cover the escarole with it. Tuck the dough snug on all sides to keep filling from oozing out. Drizzle top with a bit of olive oil. Bake for a half hour at 450, then lower to 400 degrees for another 15 min. Remember, you are really just baking the crust and warming the filling. The pie is ready when the crust is golden brown. Peek at the bottom of pie to check that this is golden and crusty, too. Cool and cut into squares. This is so worth the effort!
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Friday, January 1, 2010

Busy Woman's Butternut Squash Soup

No one does culinary shortcuts better than Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee. Her only flaw? Too perfect. Let's face it..On a given day, I clean up fine, no not my house, me. Or my tablescape (as she calls it) has an artistic flair (kind of) or my meal has been given a five-star rating, BUT...all 3 elements at the same time...I-don't-think-so. I don't have Sandra's beauty, her money (she earned it), hours to pull it all together, or ingredients galore. I couldn't imagine changing my curtains, my outfit and the paint on my walls to match the tablecloth of the day. What I do have is the good fortune of having a Mom who put a feast on the table after a full day of teaching school and seeing to the care of her husband and 7 children. And to have the good fortune of inheriting some of her culinary skill. At 80 something, she's still turning out mouth-watering meals. More on Mom in another blog. Anyway, each New Year one of my resolutions is to cook many meals over the weekend so I have fantastic meals throughout the week. Like that's ever gonna happen. So like some working women...I plan that night's menu while putting on my eyeliner in the morning. It's a vague menu at that, the main ingredient is yanked out of the freezer to defrost. The point is this...a wonderful meal doesn't have to be made from total scratch, more than proving Ms. Lee right. Example. A few months ago, I decided to make Butternut Squash Soup. It's not something my meat-and-potato-husband would normally enjoy, but we had Thanksgiving Dinner at a quaint B&B in the Berkshires this year and the choice for soup was Clam chowder or Butternut Squash Soup. Now, to a meat-and-potato man clam chowder is never gonna pass his lips, so Butternut Squash soup it was. The fact that it was delicately flavored with cinnamon, ginger, clove (had he known that spice was in it he wouldn't have ordered it) and brown sugar made it a recipe that I knew I'd attempt at home. So when a local farmer dropped off a case of butternut squash to my work place...I knew it was a sign from heaven to give that soup a try. AND it took a whole damn day to make it. I nearly broke a knife and wrenched my wrist cutting that sucker in half. I roasted it in the oven for over an hour oh did I tell you what a pain those seeds were to clean out? Let it cool...and I mean let-it-cool. It's New Year's Day and I just took the gauze off my fingers. Scooped out all the good stuff, then put it in a pot with lots of veggie broth, seasonings, spices, that lovely touch of brown sugar and let it simmer away. Last but not least, I added heavy cream to it and a bit of this and that. I would say Voila! but that would make it sound like this soup happened in a Yes, it was delicious...double delicious, but.... I found out after the fact, er after the work...that I could buy a bag of frozen butternut squash in the supermarket add all the other ingredients and Voila! it could be done in a jiffy. Cheating you say? Not as wholesome? Oh, poppycock. Once a veggie like butternut squash is tossed into a pot of broth, seasoned, spiced, and drowned in ya think it mattered that it was fresh from a farm, hacked apart, roasted, scooped out at the cost of a whole day, burned finger tips, wrenched wrist and utter exhaustion? I-Don't-Think-So. Semi-Homemade is a word that every busy, working (outside or inside the home) woman should have in her vocabulary. I doubt I will ever find the time to cook several meals over the weekend for that week's suppers...But I will always have the time and strength to tear open a bag of butternut squash, add a little of this and that and have a tasty, wholesome meal any day of the week...and a meal that a meat-and-potato husband will love. Thank you, Sandra.... I can't imagine anyone actually reading this blog. But I think it's healthy to have some place to go and put to "paper" what is in one's head (and heart). So, I'm going to write what I enjoy and if someone else enjoys it...well...the better for it. Make Memories. N
2 good size butternut squash: halved lengthwise & seeded
Or see post for shortcut
1 c chopped onion
1 T butter
2 T brown sugar
1 t allspice or pumpkin spice
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 t salt
1/2 pint heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and place the squash cut side down. Pierce each squash several times with a fork and bake covered with foil until tender 45 min to 60 min. Let squash cool, then scrape out squash meat, discarding peel.
In a large stock pot, melt butter over med. heat. Add onion and sugar and cook, stirring until onion is soft (10 min). Add spices and cook 1 min stirring constantly. Add the butternut squash, broth, and salt and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-45 min. With an immersion blender stick, puree the soup on high speed. Add more spices or sugar to your taste if desired. Then add cream and cook for 5 min. Yields 6 servings. Enjoy! This freezes well, too
* 2 bags of diced frozen butternut squash from the supermarket works, too!
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original recipe from chef E. Lagasse, 2000 has been altered