Tag Archives: food

Crunchy Penne With Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts + Sage Butter

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Like a lot of kids, my boys were picky eaters growing up. They spent most of their childhood eating macaroni and cheese…every night I tell you. For someone who loves to cook, this seemed like a cruel twist of fate for me as their mom. Family meals are precious to me, so I never wanted to have food battles with them. I just kept hoping if they saw how much I loved all the vegetable-centered meals I made, that maybe, just maybe someday they would get curious.

Fast forward many years and now I have two young men in my house who will eat just about anything I make and like it. Hallelujah!

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Apple Pie Granola

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Apple Pie Granola

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I moved to Houston from Ohio more than 5 years ago and one of the hardest things about that transition was September. September in the Midwest is kind of a magical month. The weather begins to change. Leaves start to turn colors. Summer feels like it’s over and a new season begins.

But in Houston typically, September feels like August. It’s usually still pretty hot here (make that really hot) at a time when you are ready for a change. Well, this week, September has been glorious. Cool mornings. Less humidity. It feels like a change of season. And it makes me want to shift toward some Fall tastes.

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Black Bean + Fresh Corn Flautas w/Papaya Pico de Gallo

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For the last two summers, I’ve had the best time teaching stand-up paddleboard yoga with BIG SUP Yoga at a beautiful spring fed lake here in Houston (288 Lake). Spending time in nature, soaking up the sun, floating on water and doing yoga! It’s my favorite thing to do in this entire town. I always feel like I’m on a mini vacation right here at home.

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Mustard Pretzel Crispy Roasted Vegetables

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I’ve lived in Houston for more than three years now and it still surprises me how wonderful the Fall is here. The season starts a little later than up north. It really begins after Halloween and lasts through December or longer. We don’t have much of a winter and I’m more than okay with that.

While I have acclimated to the heat and humidity of the summer months, Autumn is such a refreshing change of pace. And by the time November rolls around, I’m ready to start eating more comfort foods like soups and stews. And root vegetables and squashes become the new staple in my pantry.

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Kabocha Squash Soup + Crispy Sage

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I’ve met my new favorite squash and its name is Kabocha (Ka-bow-cha). It’s an Asian variety of winter squash. And I have no idea how it’s even possible that I am just now discovering it.

Kabocha has a natural sweetness and the perfect texture for a pureed soup. It’s so sweet that I may play around and come up with a dessert recipe for it. For this soup, I thought it would be nice to add some savory elements to balance the sweetness, so I added shallots, garlic, hazelnuts and sage. The crispy sage makes the perfect garnish. Just be careful not to brown the sage or it will taste bitter.

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Oyster Mushroom + Squash Blossom Paella

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The first time I had paella goes way, way back. I was living in Washington DC; an eager young staffer working on Capitol Hill, having the time of her life. One of my colleagues (on the other side of the aisle no less…things were pretty civilized back then), hosted a paella party. It was a casual event that was completely elevated by the food. There were huge pans full of paella cooked outside and lots of sangria.

I’ve loved paella ever since. And have enjoyed hosting dinner parties over the years with a spanish/tapas theme. Although paella is traditionally made with seafood, it lends itself well to all kinds of vegetables. Recently, I tried out Gwenyth Paltrow’s Vegetable Paella recipe from her cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. It’s amazing! I improvised a bit and made it my own by adding oyster mushrooms and squash blossoms from the farmers market.

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Pumpkin Granola + Fresh Persimmons

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This is my second granola post and as far as I’m concerned I could post a new granola recipe every week and it would be awesome. The world really can’t have too much granola. And there are so many great flavor combinations to work with that it allows for lots of creativity. So here’s my autumn seasonal granola and I hope you love it.

I topped the pumpkin granola with fresh persimmons from Houston’s Eastside farmers market. There are two main varieties of persimmons that are generally available: Hachiya (astringent) and Fuyu (non-astringent). Apparently, the hachiya can make your mouth pucker when under-ripe. The fuyu can be eaten when the fruit is firm. I went with the Fuyu variety.

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