Crispy Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos

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I saw this recipe online…and for all the recipes I find, I always do a bit of tweaking to make them my own, suit my flavor preferences, and just doing it exactly the same as someone else is cheating! ūüôā Changing¬†them is much more fun anyways. This is a really delicious recipe, and the chicken itself would be great¬†just for a meal or an appetizer.¬†This is also a great way to fry chicken breasts without dropping into frying oil. I know this isn’t qualified as ‘health food’ but its better than a deep fryer, that is fo’ sho’. These tacos will appeal to everyone, no matter their taste bud likes. I think you could easily turn this into a salad if you removed the tortilla. Lots of fun ideas for this super crispy, sweet & spicy chicken. Hope you love these as much as we did.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs (no seasoning)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs – whisked
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce – pull two small peppers from can and puree¬†in a food processor
  • 1 tbsp siracha or your preference of hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (unsalted butter)
  • non-stick spray
  • corn tortillas
  • ranch dressing
  • avocado slices
  • chopped cilantro – about 2 tbsp
  • 1 lime¬†cut into 4 wedges
  • extra salt & pepper on the side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray
  3. Cut each breast into three long strips. Then cut those strips in half. You should end up with about 12 total strips give/take.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken strips lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Find three shallow bowls. In #1: combine both bread crumbs. In #2: pour in eggs. In #3 pour in flour, measured salt & black pepper and cayenne pepper
  6. Starting with your right hand, pick up a chicken tender and drop into the flour. Turn around to coat well. Drop into the egg bowl but do not touch the eggs w/ your right hand.
  7. Now with your left hand, turn the strip around in the egg until coated well. Continuing to use your left hand, remove from the egg and drop into the bread crumb bowl. Using your left hand still, coat the strip in the breadcrumbs pressing down to ensure they stick. Remove from bowl and place on baking sheet.
  8. Continue with right hand/left hand process to keep your hands from getting totally sticky with all the ingredients. Keep lining the baking sheet w/ chicken strips leaving space in between them.
  9. Once all strips are breaded and on the pan, wash hands and you are now done with the bowls.
  10. Take melted butter and pour all around the chicken strips, directly onto the baking sheet.
  11. Put in oven and set timer for 10 minutes.
  12. In a sauce pot on the stove top, add the following ingredients: honey, ketchup, chipotle puree, garlic, hot sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, onion powder and a pinch¬†of salt and pepper. (A ‘pinch’ is how much you can pick up between your thumb and pointer finger – its about 1/8 teaspoon)
  13. Turn heat to medium-high and whisk until ingredients are combined well.
  14. In a small bowl whisk together corn starch and water. Set aside for now.
  15. When timer goes off, using tongs, flip the chicken onto the other side and set timer for 8 minutes.
  16. When sauce is bubbly and thick, add in the starch mixture. Continue whisking as the sauce becomes thick.
  17. Add in chicken broth and turn heat to low.
  18. When chicken is done, remove pan from oven and turn oven off. Allow chicken to cool for about 5 minutes so the crust sets up.
  19. Heat tortillas in cooling oven or in microwave. (I usually wrap in damp cloths in microwave or oven to keep them moist)
  20. Using tongs, drop fried chicken strips one by one into the sauce. Moving around until they are covered – about 10 seconds. Pull from sauce and set on a plate.
  21. Continue until all chicken strips are ‘dipped’ and on the side plate.
  22. Pull tortillas from microwave or oven.
  23. Put 2-3 strips on each tortilla (sometimes I doubled up the tortillas if they were too thin)
  24. Top with avocado, ranch dressing and cilantro. Squeeze a bit of lime juice onto the top and serve on the side too.
  25. Enjoy!

HELPFUL NOTE: You will have sauce leftover, so I put it in a small mason jar to freeze so I can do this again with sauce that is already done! (I’m a smart cookie sometimes).

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This is gross…but fun

 

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Breading the chicken

 

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Chicken breading assembly line

 

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Chicken after its breaded…ready for oven

 

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Sauce ingredients – before cooking

 

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Chicken done cooking

 

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Dipping chicken in sauce

 

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Chicken post-dipping

 

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Final product!

 

Restaurant/Retailer Redo: IKEA Swedish Meatballs

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Sweeeedish Meatballs

 

My mother-in-law’s family hails from Sweden. My husband talks often of her Swedish meatballs and I can attest that they are delish! The only other time I’ve had Swedish meatballs is at IKEA. I know there are mixed reviews, but the ones I had at the Orange County IKEA were quite yummy. So, in an effort to remind my husband of his mother’s home-made meatballs, and to try something new…I give you my version of Swedish meatballs. I have to say, I am quite proud on how they turned out and how good they were as leftovers!

INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALLS:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – divided into two parts
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

INGREDIENTS FOR GRAVY:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large frying pan/skillet – medium heat
  2. Add chopped onions to the pan and stir until translucent
  3. Add in minced garlic and stir for about 2 minutes more until onions are beginning to carmelize just a bit
  4. Turn off heat & remove onions from pan. Put cooked onions/garlic in a large mixing bowl
  5. To the large bowl add all other ingredients for meatballs: egg yolks, panko, both proteins, nutmeg, allspice, salt & pepper
  6. Mix well until all combined thoroughly
  7. Place in fridge for about 15 minutes until chilled a bit. This allows for easy rolling later
  8. Pull from fridge and roll the meat into small 1 to 1.5 inch balls. As you complete the balls add back to the pan (which should be cooled by now). I actually needed a 2nd pan for all those meatballs. Since I needed a 2nd pan, I also needed an additional tbsp of olive oil for cooking.
  9. Once your pan(s) are loaded with meatballs, pour olive oil around the meatballs directly onto the pan. Turn to medium heat and start  to cook.
  10. Set up two plates lined with paper towels next to the cook top
  11. Cook the meatballs about 4-5 minutes on one side, then 4-5 minutes on the other. Keep cooking, rolling balls to cook all over for about another 4-5 minutes. The sides should be brown and crispy, but no pink showing.
  12. Once cooked all the way on the outside, remove them from the pan and place on paper towels to cool
  13. In a microwave or stove top, heat the beef broth until hot, but not boiling.
  14. Turn the pan to medium heat, add the butter to begin the gravy
  15. Once butter is melted,whisk in the flour until thick and bubbly.
  16. Cup by cup, slowly pour in the beef broth and whisk until thick. Continue until all broth is integrated smoothly.
  17. To the gravy, add 1/2 cup of sour cream and whisk until combined. Stir in other half and whisk again until all sour cream is melted and integrated.
  18. Add onion powder. Stir again until all is combined. Taste to add salt or pepper as you feel its needed. I always end up adding more pepper. ūüôā
  19. Ensure heat is still at medium/bubbly and add in the meatballs one at a time as to not splash the sauce.
  20. Stir sauce to cover meatballs and cover for about 10 minutes.
  21. Pull one meatball to test. Cut in half to ensure its cooked all the way through, no pink. If it’s still pink, add the halved meatball back to the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes and test another meatball for done-ness.
  22. Once meatballs are cooked, sprinkle them with parsley. ¬†You can serve over rice, egg noodles, or just on their own in gravy. I like them with just a side of fresh bread. My husband likes them over egg noodles. Since these aren’t 100% health food, I also serve with steamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower to get those veggies.

NOTE: I doubled the required recipe for the gravy since my husband likes them over noodles so we need extra sauce!

HELPFUL TIP: When you refrigerate leftovers, the gravy becomes thick and jelly-like. Reheat in a pan over the stove. Whisk in about 1/4 -1/2 cup milk to the gravy as it heats to ensure the consistency isn’t too thick and gelatinous.

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Onions cooking in pan with olive oil and garlic.

 

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Meatballs mixture

 

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Meatball mixture ready for rolling

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Meatballs rolled and ready to cook

 

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Meatballs cooking in olive oil

 

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Parsley chopped and ready for garnish

 

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Meatballs placed into gravy

 

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Final product! Take that IKEA!

 

Butternut Squash Gratin

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FullSizeRender_4I make a mean potato gratin, but I will tilt my hat to the ingredients more than I will my cooking skill. Its not hard to make a delicious dish when you have cheese, cream, potatoes and then some more cheese. This summer we had a backyard full of butternut squash. Beware if you choose to grow it – as it will take OVER your lawn. It is a blessing for me though since it kept the grass from growing meaning less¬†yard work and lots of yummy yummy squash. Butternut squash is one of my favorite veggies and this gratin was born from the question I posed while staring at the buckets of it in my basement: “if gratin is good w/ potatoes – is it just as yummy¬†with squash’? The answer – IT IS. Its actually BETTER in my opinion.

I used the exact same process as I did with my potato gratin, but instead I used squash and added sage to balance the sweetness of the roasted squash. It added a sweetness and depth to the dish that you can’t get with just potatoes. Plus the bright orange is just so beautiful. Its a perfect dish for any parties or hosting you do this winter.

I made this for Thanksgiving at my in-laws house in Omaha. It was a HIT! I also made one for e close friend who injured her shoulder and couldn’t cook this holiday, apparently they loved it as well – so you’ve got a winning dish here. Enjoy!

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me and my husband getting ready to feast!

 

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The table is ready!

 

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our spread for Thanksgiving!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two medium sized butternut squash – peeled, deseeded and cut¬†into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 fennel bulbs – thinly sliced and core removed
  • 1 yellow onion ‚Äď thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp dried rubbed sage
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a larger baking dish. 9×13 should work and you can always use two smaller pans if needed
  3. Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the core and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise. Keep a few of the fennel fronts, the pretty green feathery leaves ‚Äď for garnish.
  4. Melt butter and oil in large saute pan on medium heat
  5. Add in fennel, onion garlic, salt & pepper. Cook for 15 minutes stirring often until all items are very soft and starting to caramelize. Turn off heat and remove from burner.
  6. Put squash into a large bowl
  7. To the squash in the bowl, add cream, milk, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup of gruyere and 3/4 cup of gouda cheese. Stir well to combine.
  8. Next add in the fennel, onion, garlic mixture to the bowl and mix all again. Sprinkle again with a pinch more salt and pepper.
  9. Pour mixture into the baking pan(s).
  10. Press squash mix down into the pan, don’t be forceful, the point is really to smoosh down/arrange so they are in level rows as much as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means.
  11. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup gruyere and 1/4 cup gouda on top
  12. Place in oven for 45 minutes. At the 45 minute mark check squash¬†with a knife ‚Äď if you can insert easily w/ no ‚Äėcrunch‚Äô or stiffness. The knife should insert¬†easily into the squash but it shouldn’t be mushy. If still crunchy, let cook another 10 minutes and check again. Repeat until the dish is¬†cooked through.
  13. The top of the squash¬†should be a crispy golden brown cheese layer, if its not crispy enough ‚Äď turn the broiler on low and¬†set timer for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye so it doesn‚Äôt burn!
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Sliced butternut squash

 

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Sautéing the butter, fennel, garlic and onion

 

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Sautéing the vegetables until they caramelize

 

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CHEESE!

 

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Mixing squash, fennel/onion mix, cream and cheese

 

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Mixing all ingredients before putting in the oven

 

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Final product!

 

 

 

 

Easy like Sunday Chili

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FullSizeRender-4I’ve won TWO chili competitions at work, and those recipes are pretty in-depth. They take a llllloooooonnnnnnggggg¬†time to make, are really complex, have many ingredients – and sometimes, I just want chili and I want it NOW. I want comfort food that taste¬†like it took a lot of work and time. I needed to create a super simple and quick recipe that got me amazing chili but fast. THIS is that recipe.

It takes total time about 2 hours from start to eating – which isn’t bad considering the longer chili stews, the better the flavor. This recipe works because the flavors can meld and saturate in the 1.5 hours. You can let it stew¬†longer if you want, but 1.5 hours does the trick. Lets get started so you can make some chili.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion – medium dice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 – 15 oz cans plain tomato sauce
  • 1 – 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 can kidney beans – rinsed
  • 1 can black beans – rinsed (I used cuban style black beans which has onions and green peppers included)
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup beer (8 oz)
  • 1 cup beef broth (8 oz)
  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce (something on the sweet/mild/smokey side – not spicy)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-12 inch skillet.
  2. Add onions and ground beef and garlic. Saute until all beef is browned. Pour off the fat grease and put the cooked meat/onions/garlic in bottom of large stock pot. Discard skillet.
  3. Open can of chipotle peppers, remove 3 peppers and chop to a small dice. If you like spicy chili you can add another pepper or add more adobo sauce. You can also add this at the end if you want to to the taste/see on the spice level.
  4. Turn up heat under the stock pot to medium-high.
  5. To the meat mixture in the stock pot, add ALL other ingredients including the chipotle peppers.
  6. Mix all ingredients well.
  7. Heat until the mixture begins to bubble/boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1.5 – 3 hours.
  8. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese. I also serve with Fritos or tortilla chips.
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Raw meat, onions and garlic

 

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Browning beef, onions and garlic

 

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All ingredients in the pot – ready to stir

 

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Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – about to chop

 

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Final product

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

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So I’ve explained how much I love butternut squash right? Well, I LOVE it. Plus I grew a ridiculous load of it in my garden this summer and have like 13 huge squash to use so if I didn’t like it I’d be in a bit of trouble. Butternut squash soup is likely my favorite way to eat squash, but don’t quote me on that. I may change my mind tomorrow.

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Now, to be clear this is NOT a soup that is mealy, fibrous or baby-food like in its¬†texture. I prefer¬†creamy/silky soups and this falls into that category. This is not a complicated process re: skill or technique, BUT it does take a bit of time. I’d say you will likely spend about 1 hour total cooking time meaning ‘on your feet active in the kitchen time’. But its WORTH it and you’l end up with about 3 mason jars full of soup to eat that week, freeze, give to neighbors and be all Norman Rockwell-esque during¬†the holidays – its your soup…go nuts.

The best part about this soup is how it tastes. The second best is how you can top the soup with whatever you want – I used goat cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts this time around. I’ve used things like fried sage, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, the world is your oyster. So lets get to work!

Equipment:

  • High powered food processor, high powered blender (Vitamix-like), or immersion blender
  • If you do NOT have¬†a food processor or immersion blender,¬†you will need some sort of low powered blender and a fine mesh strainer.
  • I used a high powered food processor AND the fine mesh strainer. I like my soup extra smooth. Using the high powered blender alone would’ve been ok, I tasted the soup and it was really good texture, but I did the extra work anyways.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size butternut squash (about 4 lbs)
  • 1 cup buttermilk or half/half (you could use cream but I tried¬†to be ‘light’)
  • 2 small granny smith apples
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 gloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (canned or fresh). You can use vegetable stock if you prefer.
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 10 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tsp salt measured + more on the side for use
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper measured + more on the side for use

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel, seed, and cube the squash¬†into 1″ cubes.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil
  4. Put all squash in a bowl. Sprinkle with some of your ‘on the side’¬†salt and pepper.
  5. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and pour into bowl. Mix well and spread all squash on the baking sheets
  6. Place in oven for 20 minutes. After cooking for 20 minutes, with a spatula flip the squash/move around a bit. Cook for another 20 minutes or until they are VERY tender, easily pierced with a fork or a knife. The fork or knife should go into the squash like its butter.
  7. While squash is cooking, peel the apple, core it, seed it and chop into a medium dice (about 1/2 inch)
  8. Peel the onion and chop into a medium dice (about 1/2 inch)
  9. Peel and mince the garlic
  10. Pull squash from oven.
  11. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, melt the other 2 tbsp butter and toss in the onions, apples, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
  12. After another 5 minutes when onions are beginning to soften, toss in the sage leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. Add in the squash to the onion/apple mix and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  14. Add in all water and chicken stock.
  15. Bring to a boil.
  16. Lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  17. Pull from heat and stir in the half/half.
  18. Working in batches, put spoonfuls of the soup mixture into the blender until its about half full. Leave the smaller center lid off and cover with a dish towel (to allow steam to release).
  19. Blend for about 15 seconds or until smooth. It may seem very thick in the first batch or two, but you still have a lot of mixture to work with and the majority of the liquid comes at the end. Patience friends.
  20. Pour the blended soup out of the blender bottle and either into a large pot OR you can first run it through a mesh strainer to give it one more ‘get rid of clumps’ round. I usually taste it to test the texture so I can decide what I want to do.
    • If you DO decide to run it through¬†a strainer¬†that is easy! Just hold the strainer in your left hand and pour in the soup with your right. Grab a spatula and stir the soup around the strainer until its all pushed through. Then rinse the strainer so its ready for the next batch.
  21. Continue steps 18-20 until all soup is blended, strained (if you prefer) and into the new pretty pot of soup.
  22. Add the measured salt and pepper…tossing in more as you like.
  23. If you want the soup any thinner, you can add more stock or milk…just add a little at a time so it doesn’t dilute the flavor too much, or make the soup too thin.
  24. Serve immediately so its still hot, or pour into mason jars (once cooled) to eat later or eat another day.
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About to pour melted butter on the squash and mix. it. up.

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Squash about to be roasted!

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Squash roasting in the oven

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Cooking apples, onion, sage, garlic in butter

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Adding roasted squash to the onion/apple/sage mix

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Simmering and almost ready for the blender

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About to blend the soup

 

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Straining soup after its been blended

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Straining the soup

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Final soup in large pot

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Final product served w/ toasted pecans, goat cheese and breadsticks

 

Butternut Squash Roast

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Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables. If you haven’t tried it you are missing out! It is so yummy! I use it in pasta, sauces, soups, salads, and its great just on its own. This recipe really highlights the squash and is super duper simple. Its only got 6 ingredients!! Just in time for Thanksgiving, here is a delicious ooey gooey delicious butternut squash roast recipe.

Ingredients:

  • One¬†large butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan regiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ground dried sage
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Peel butternut squash. Get through all the peel and any veins in the peel – get down to the super 100% orange part
  3. Cut the ends off the squash and cut the stem/neck away from the bulb portion
  4. Cut the stem in half and cube into 1 inch pieces
  5. Cut the bulb in half and remove all seeds/gunk inside (gunk is a technical term)
  6. Lay the bulb halves flat side down and slice into 1 inch rings…and then into 1 inch cubes. This doesn’t have¬†to be perfect, some of the bulb angles will be ‘off’ because it was a round shape
  7. Put all cubed squash in a deep glass baking dish
  8. Pour in the cream and mix well.
  9. Add in salt, pepper and sage – and continue to mix until all cubes are coated in cream and the sage.
  10. Sprinkle in 1/4 of the cheese and mix yet again.
  11. Place dish in oven for 30 minutes
  12. At 30 minutes, pull from oven and stir well yet again.
  13. While squash is out of the oven, test a few pieces of squash by inserting a fork. The fork should easily insert and not be firm. It should feel like a fully cooked potato. If not done, put back in oven for another 10 minutes and continue this cooking until the squash is cooked through.
  14. When the squash is fully cooked, sprinkle the rest of the parm/reg cheese on top and put back in the oven for about 3 minutes until melted.
  15. I like to turn on the broiler for an additional 1-2 minutes to get the cheese topping bubbly and brown.
  16. Pull from oven. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve!
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Butternut squash, bulbs and necks of vegetable – ready to chop

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Getting the gunk and seeds from the squash

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Butternut squash, ready to chop

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Butternut squash in baking pan

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All ingredients in baking pan – pre mixed and pre cooking.

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Squash mixed in pan w/ all ingredients – ready for oven

 

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Final product!

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Final dish. Steak, squash, asparagus.

 

 

Cheesy Potato Fennel Gratin

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First I will apologize for being MIA from my blog. I have been cooking but just not as much as I usually do. Lots of work lead to a promotion (yay!) which means more work – ack! Then I was sick, then went out of town a few times, then work got nuts again…bla bla…I’m back!

We recently went to Table Rock lake near Branson, MO. Its about 3.5 hours from our home in Kansas City. We took off with another couple as it was their anniversary and my husbands birthday. We rented a cabin in the woods, did some biking, exploring, lots of cooking, competitive card games, wine-induced dancing…all very relaxing and fun.

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Now onto the cooking. Everyone on this trip is a fan of steak and potatoes, so that is what we made. Delicious filets of tenderloin and potato gratin. As an FYI, a gratin is not a potato dish but rather a culinary technique in which an ingredient (in this case, potatoes) is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter.

This gratin¬†recipe is uh-maz-zing. It will amaze¬†anyone you make it for, and it is VERY easy.¬†This dish is¬†made w/ very simple ingredients, including one of my favorites: fennel.¬†Fennel is an aromatic herb and a member of the celery¬†family. It has a large pale green bulb, celery-like stems and feathery leaves. When raw it has a slight licorice/anise flavor which I like in salads when sliced VERY thin, but when cooked that flavor disappears completely and is very delicate, comforting, like a cross between celery and onion but with a bit stronger. Both my friends hadn’t had fennel before and are believers now.¬†Onto the gratin show…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 yellow onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup skim milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes to about 1/4 inch slices. Place in a bowl of water to keep them from oxidizing while you finish your prep
  3. Butter the bottom and sides of a larger baking dish. 9×13 should work¬†and you can always use two smaller pans if needed
  4. Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the core and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise. Keep a few of the fennel fronts, the pretty green feathery leaves – for garnish.
  5. Melt butter and oil in large saute pan on medium heat
  6. Add in fennel, onion and garlic and cook for 15 minutes stirring often until all items are very soft and starting to caramelize. Turn off heat and remove from burner.
  7. Pour water off of potatoes and put into a large mixing bowl.
  8. To the potatoes in the bowl, add cream, milk, salt, pepper, 1 cup of gruyere and 1 cup of gouda cheese. Stir well to combine.
  9. Add in the fennel, onion, garlic mixture to the bowl and mix well again.
  10. Pour mixture into the baking pan(s).
  11. Press potatoes down into the pan, don’t be forceful, the point is really to smoosh down/arrange so they are in level rows as much as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means.
  12. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup gruyere and 1/4 cup gouda on top
  13. Place in oven for 45 minutes. At the 45 minute mark check potatoes with a knife – if you can insert easily w/ no ‘crunch’ of a potato, the potatoes are ready. If not, let cook another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat until they are cooked through.
  14. The top of the potatoes should be a crispy golden brown cheese layer, if its not crispy enough – turn the broiler on low and¬†set timer for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye so it doesn’t burn!
  15. Pull from oven and garnish with fennel fronds.
  16. Serve warm.
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Rebecca slicing potatoes. Joel in background just being Joel.

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Slicing potatoes in a dish

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Garlic all cut up. Removed stems from fennel. About to slice & core the fennel bulbs

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Cutting out the core.

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Removing core.

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Beginning to saute in butter and oil (fennel, garlic, onion)

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My husband and a lot of cheese!

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Mixing cream, milk, potatoes, cheese, S&P

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Layering into pan

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Topped w/ cheese and ready for oven

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Fresh out of oven!

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FINAL PRODUCT

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FINAL PLATE!