Monday, October 18, 2010

Sweet Treats

I spent my rainy saturday baking and frosting for our girls sleepover. Here are my pumpkin spice cupcakes and sugar cookies. Happy baking.

Weekend Happiness

Weekends were made for sleepovers. Hope everyone had a great one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Embracing the Season


4 tbsps unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt (top liquid poured off) or sour cream (I like to use Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan with butter or cooking spray and dust with flour. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, milk, yogurt (or sour cream), and sugar. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir together until just blended. Don’t overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Just take care not to overbake or else the cornbread will be too dry. Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Pasta

Homemade Tagliatelle with Brown Butter & Butternut Squash
serves 4-6

1 batch homemade tagliatelle, or about 1 pound of any dried or fresh pasta
(click here for pasta recipe, instead of cutting into rectangular sheets, cut into 1 1/2-inch wide strips)
1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 medium-large shallots, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced sage
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled Gorgonzola and chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the cubed squash and shallots with the olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and spread evenly on a silpat lined baking sheet. Roast on the middle rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour, flipping the squash a few times, until browned and starting to caramelize.

Transfer 1/2 of the squash and all of the shallots to a food processor, (set the remaining squash cubes aside) along with the heavy cream and pulse until you have a smooth paste. If needed, add additional hot water and process until sauce has thinned enough to be able to coat the pasta. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the fresh pasta for 4-5 minutes, or until just al dente.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook for a few minutes until just starting to brown. Add the sage and fry for about a minute, stirring, until butter has turned a amber brown, and sage is fragrant. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the squash puree to combine with the browned butter.

When the pasta is cooked, transfer directly from water to the skillet with the squash sauce and toss to combine. If sauce seems very thick or clumpy, add pasta water by the 1/4 cupfuls until sauce has evenly coated the pasta. Toss in the reserved cubed butternut squash, transfer to individual serving bowls and top with a generous amount of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and fresh parsley.

Please make this sometime, but invite friends over to eat it with you. The reheated leftovers, while still very good, were much more dry and lacking that silky smooth texture that the sauce had when it was fresh from the skillet. Try it with a pumpkin beer for the full fall effect.

Autumn Soup

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  1. Peel and cut into cubes the two squashes and the sweet potato. (okay, this is a lot harder than it sounds for the acorn squash – those things are almost impossible to peel)
  2. Melt butter in a large pot. Add garlic and onions and saute over medium heat until tender.
  3. Add all squash and potato cubes and chicken stock to the pot, along with half the salt and the pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
  5. Working in batches that fill about 1/3 of your blender, ladle out portions of the mixture into the blender and puree. Hold your hand on the top of the blender whenever blending hot liquids.
  6. Return entire pureed mixture to the original pot and add the heavy cream, honey, and remaining spices.
  7. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until desired thickness is achieved. At this point, taste and add salt, pepper, or sugar to your liking. We ended up probably adding a little more sugar and salt than we listed above, but we like things salty and sweet.

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

serves 4


  • 8 oz uncooked macaroni or other pasta
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) 1/3-less-fat neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese (can sub in any good melting cheese, such as monterey jack)
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more depending on heat preference
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together and heat pumpkin puree and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot.
  3. Reduce stove heat to low. Whisk in cheeses until fully melted.
  4. Stir in nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir drained pasta into the pumpkin-cheese sauce and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. At this point, the mac & cheese might appear a bit soupy. If this is the case, let the mixture sit off of the heat for a few minutes. The cheese sauce will firm up as it slightly cools.
  7. Serve with an extra dusting of nutmeg, if desired.

Inspiring Spaces

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oh Martha!

I love surfing the web to find new and exciting ideas for all holidays. Yet no matter how many sites I search I always find myself at the same one, especially for Halloween.

No one does Halloween like Martha Stewart. Year after year she out does herself from scary foods to amazing decorations. Tune in for this years special Sunday Oct 10th at 9pm on Hallmark channel.