Friday, December 30, 2011

Homemade French Onion Dip

I like to make simple, homemade versions of traditional Thanksgiving foods. One of the easiest things to make was onion dip. The Good Husband will eat an entire container and bag of chips in one sitting, if allowed. So instead of buying a container at the store, I wanted to make my own this year.

With everything else I had to cook this year, this one was actually one of the easier ones.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
2 cups thinly sliced onion 
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves 
3/4 cup mayonnaise 
3/4 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
Potato chips, for serving 

~Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and sage. Cover and cook until onions are deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

~Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk together mayonnaise and sour cream in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in the cooled caramelized onions, salt, and pepper. Cover dip and refrigerate until flavors blend, about 2 hours. 

recipe by: The Food Network

2011 - A year I didn't shut the hell up

It seems like now is the time when everyone likes to recap the year and make a list of hopeful goals for the coming months. I do have some big plans for the next year but I will save that for upcoming posts.

So now, let's take a look back, shall we, in the same way that we watch the VH1 top 100 of the year and say," 'Sing' by My Chemical Romance came out a year ago? It seems soooooo long ago."

 In January I talked about my kid and how I am fat. Not spectacular.

In February I made a list of all the ways you can be environmentally friendly while having a kid.

In March I remade mashed cauliflower, with better success.

April saw everyone lose their motherfuckin shit in the face of the looming government shutdown.

In May I created a series of Household Binder, aka The Brains of the Operation posts which everyone seemed to love. I posted about Party Planning and Menus and Shopping Lists and Daily and Weekly Dockets and Important Account Numbers and Contact Lists and Cleaning Schedules and a Calendar and a Budget Worksheet and an Automobile Log.
Heading into June, I almost lost my motherfuckin shit as The Good Daughter turned two!

In July I made some kick ass pretzel bites. Thank you Pinterest!

August made my ass get fatter (you knew I wouldn't keep up with the fat camp, didn't you?) when I made twice baked 'tater casserole.

In September I coped with the stress of my last semester in grad school with a sweet grilled cheese

And I swallowed that bitch down with some copycat Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets.

In October I revealed that Target is crack for suburban chicks

In November I talked about my CSA. Again.

And finally, in December, I generally slacked off while finishing up school and posted about this mushroom and leek gratin.

It looks like 2011 was the year when I didn't know when to shut the hell up and to date, was the most post-whoreish. I hope that is a good thing. I can't make any promises that 2012 will be just as exciting, but I hope it will be. I have so much to post about if only I can find the motivation.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has read anything on this little dog and pony show. Most of the time I imagine writing these words and sending them out into the great black void of The Internets. But the fact that I do have and continue to get readers amazes me everyday. Thank you guys for being awesome!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

This was a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted something light to have as a first course along with salad and I needed to use the last of the squash from my CSA.

Overall, I was happy with the soup. My mom, however, LOVED it and got the recipe before she left. 

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
For soup:
~Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

~Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.) 

For croutons:
~Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

recipe by: epicurious

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mushroom and Leek Gratin

A while back I picked up the newest edition of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. In it were several recipes I wanted to try out. The one for mushroom and leek gratin stood out to me and the next day at the holiday market, I made sure to pick up some leeks.

The end result was far less pretty than the dish in the magazine because, honestly, I wasn't going to line up all the mushrooms in a pretty little row. I just wanted to EAT it. 

The dish turned out amazing! It was hearty but not heavy and it made a great dinner with a salad and some bread and butter and a glass of wine. The Good Daughter ate almost half of one dish. This is going in my recipe rotation.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds large portobello mushrooms (6 to 8), stemmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 leeks (white and light-green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons and rinsed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated

~Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, add 2 pounds large portobello mushrooms (6 to 8), stemmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick, and cook, tossing occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

~Wipe out skillet, return to heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. Add 2 leeks (white and light-green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons and rinsed, 2-3 cloves garlic, minced and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as chardonnay, and cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes to 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves.

~Transfer leek mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with mushroom slices, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with 1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (1/4 cup) and bake until edges are bubbling, about 20 minutes to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

recipe modified from: Martha Stewart

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Farmer's Market

With my CSA this year, I didn't get to go to as many Farmer's Markets as I normally do. But I always make sure to go to the holiday market. I have been all three years now and it gets better each time, even if they put it in a smaller building each time. 

This year I came home with 'taters (of course), organic all purpose seasoning, broccoli, beef jerky, green onions, leeks, turnips, carrots, celery root, tomatoes and rolls. Not pictured - brats.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagna and CSA Potluck

Way back in September our CSA farm hosted a potluck for all the members of the CSA.  We got pumpkin that week and I was burned out of sweet pumpkin dishes.  I decided I would make a pumpkin lasagna with chard and walnuts. Because I had to corral The Good Daughter, I was practically last in line for the food and when I got to my dish, it was all gone. So I take it, it was well received and I hadn't fucked it up.

I made a smaller batch later that week for dinner and it was amazing!  I added some sage sausage in our version and it was so hearty that even The Good Husband had a bite. I am so happy to have a savory pumpkin dish.

The Good Daughter is in love with chickens. They are able to get out of the fence and walk around the property. The first time a chicken jumped out of there, she gasped and looked at me in horror, like she knew that chicken was going to get in trouble.



our party

the chicken coop

  more fields

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 pounds Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and chopped
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup walnut halves
3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1/2 cup milk
9 no-boil lasagne noodles (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter 

~In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the chard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 tablespoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the chard is wilted and no liquid remains in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes.

~Heat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups of the pumpkin, 3/4 cup cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 tablespoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. 

~Pour the milk into an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Top the milk with one third of the noodles, then spread half the pumpkin mixture over the noodles. Layer half the Swiss chard over the pumpkin and top with half the walnuts and top with a second layer of noodles. Repeat with another layer of pumpkin, Swiss chard, walnuts and noodles. Combine the remaining 1 cup of pumpkin and 3/4 cup of cream. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the lasagne, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan, and dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Alternative version:
~Brown one pound of sage sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain and allow to cool. Add in with the Swiss chard layer. Bake as normal.
recipe modified from: Food and Wine