Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Vegetable Pot Pie


Recipe chosen by: Deb of Kahakai Kitchen
Link to Recipe: Vegetable Pot Pie

Wooo, this is some rich pot pie. Awesome and tasty and filling, but rich.

I wasn't sure about the fennel bulb, and I've never used saffron threads. But I decided to trust Ina, and do the recipe with no (okay, a few small) modifications.

I opted for ready made pie crust on one big pie (my very deep dish cassarole dish, actually). I also skipped the asparagus tips. I went trolling the produce aisle for a replacement, but green beans just didn't look like a good replacement.

I also roasted the veggies instead of boiling. Almost forgot that...


DSC01792The sauce was rich and complex, and I loved the butternut squash and the fennel bulb.

As good as it was though, I'm not sure I'll make this again. It seemed like it took forever. Although since I roasted the veggies, it probably wasn't as long as it seemed. (I just had a problem finding a couple of hours to make dinner. Working late, etc left me making this half-way one night and finishing it the next.)

I might pull this one out for a homey and yet fancy dinner for guests. Add some chicken and the asparagus tips, and bake in the individual bowls - that would be pretty nice. (But I think I'd really, really have to like the guests.)

So, one more recipe where Ina hit it out of the park. A big thanks to Deb for picking a great recipe! Don't forget to check out the rest of the Barefoot Bloggers to see how they liked it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TWD: Pumpkin Muffins


Recipe chosen by: Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp
Link to TWD Group: Tuesdays With Dorie

I thought they were a little plain, but all the rest of the folks loved them.

For the recipe, visit Kelly - but I made a few mods. I thought mini muffins would be cute and would go over well at the office. The recipe made almost four dozen minis (12 minute baking time).

I ran out of all purpose flour (who forgets to check the flour?) so I ended up using a cup of wheat flour. I forgot the sunflower seeds on the second batch, but I'm not sure they added much to the mini muffins. And, I couldn't find the allspice in the spice cabinet (sheesh, it was just one of those days).

After I taste tested a few, it seemed like they needed a little pizzaz so I whipped up a maple syrup glaze to drizzle on the top. Hubs and the taste testers thought the glaze gave them the kick they needed.

All in all, this is a keeper. I'll have to try them normal size with all the right flour and spices to see how they turn out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TWD: Lenox Almond Biscotti


Recipe chosen by: Gretchen of Canela and Comino
Link to TWD Group: Tuesdays With Dorie

I don't even like biscotti. It's usually too dry and not so much with the taste. But that was store bought (usually coffee shops)... If I'd known how easy and tasty home made would be, I'd have been baking these a long time ago.

Biscotti Mosaic

I'll be trying some of the other flavors (I'm thinking of some chai ones and maybe dipping an end in white chocolate, mmmm), and maybe even adding some of these to my Christmas rotation. They'd make a nice change of pace from some of the usual suspects. And since these have kept for over a week, they'd make a great longer lasting cookie.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Butternut Squash Risotto


Recipe chosen by: Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook
Link to Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

RisottoNext time, I spring for the Saffron. Don't get me wrong, this was awesome even without it. But I'll bet the saffron would have kicked it even further into the stratosphere.

I've wanted to try a butternut squash risotto for quite a while, but hadn't gotten around to it. Risotto is a pretty high maintenance dish to take a chance with, and the hubs isn't quite as enamored with squash as I am. Luckily for me, Rachel chose this recipe.

I made a few other shortcuts making the recipe. I used canned chicken broth (unfortunately, I forgot to get the low sodium one) and the already grated parmesan cheese. (Not the green can stuff - I went with the deli version.) I also used slightly more pancetta since the package was 3 ounces and had no use for the remainder. I think the combination of the extra pancetta and the full sodium broth made it a little too salty.

Risotto MosaicRisotto Mosaic 2

I'm not sure if it was the Contessa's recipe or the new arborio rice I used, but the texture of the risotto came out perfectly. I've had some trouble in the past with the rice not cooking completely. So all in all, this is a winner recipe. It's worth the time and effort - and roasting the squash only takes a few extra minutes since it cooks while you're putting the risotto together.

Honestly, the worst part about it was peeling the squash. That hard skin always gives me fits - I think I need a sharper knife. I'll be using that method of baking/roasting squash from now on though - it came out so tasty that I kept stealing chunks as I stirred the risotto.

A big thanks to Rachel for picking another great Barefoot Contessa recipe!


(Oh yeah, that picture? I just liked the way the green beans came out. The hubs is becoming a master of throwing together oriental green beans. Tasty and good for you!)