Tag Archives: pasta

Homemade Butternut Squash-filled Ravioli with Creamy Basil Sauce

30 Aug

Today felt like a Monday. It just had the miserable undertones of the start of a week. I blame this on my staunch efforts at being on class on time at 8am…and after sitting on a crowded, hot light rail, I walk to the classroom and see the “class canceled” sign. GRRRRRRR. Ah well.

I’m quite fortunate to have a loving spouse (N) who is so supportive of my strange fascination with photographing food and gladly assists me with my cooking when he can! While I was at work, perusing foodgawker and answering the occasional reference question, I remembered we had a butternut squash sitting on the counter. N cut it up and threw it in the oven to roast while on my way home. I’ve been wanting to try making ravioli since I got the pasta roller and finally, I succeeded!

For the pasta, I followed the recipe I used for homemade spinach pasta, except of course, I didn’t use spinach. And didn’t have WW pastry flour. Or semolina. Or vegetable stock. Here’s what I DID use:

Flat Noodles for Ravioli (or lasagna, perhaps?)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup liquid (water or stock)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • (optional) 1 tsp of your favorite sweetener, i.e. honey, agave, maple syrup, etc
  • Garlic powder, onion powder
  • Dash of salt/pepper
Mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly work the liquids in until dough begins pulling away from sides of bowl (you may have to add more water–I added a few tbsps more). Dough should be firm, just barely tacky and not overly sticky or soft. Divide into even amounts (I just grabbed two globs at a time and made them feel even in my hands). Roll through a pasta roller, but do not roll too thin, otherwise the ravioli won’t be able to handle your filling and might fall apart. And that would be devastating! Set the sheets on a well-floured surface. Spoon your desired filling by the teaspoonful onto a sheet. I was able to spoon about 6 blobs onto each pasta sheet. Take the second pasta sheet and gently lay on top of the blob-filled pasta sheet. GENTLY press the top sheet down around the blobs and seal. I didn’t use any water, but I hear this is a good way to make a solid seal. I have a handy pasta cutting tool that made the fun crinkles around the edges of the ravioli, but it isn’t necessary. Use a sharp knife to cut the ravioli and if you’re feeling fancy, use fork tines to make pretty edges. Let the ravioli sit for a few minutes and bring a pot of salted water to boil. The pasta only needs a couple of minutes to cook, so make sure your sauce is ready!


Now, the filling. My filling was not a huge hit. I wasn’t a fan. I think my butternut squash was a bit old and just tasted…funky. Everything else in this dish was great…except for the filling. So sad! But, live and learn. I will improve next time! So, the only advice I have for you: be creative! Fill the ravioli with whatever your heart desires! Be indulgent and controversial! Savory & sweet! Yum.

The creamy basil sauce was super easy and quick to whip up. I am truly in love with using raw cashewsfor cream sauces! So easy, way healthier than heavy cream and full of healthy fats! It went really well with the sharp flavor of fresh tomatoes. The cream sauce came together as such:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
  • A few handfuls of fresh basil
  • Your favorite alternative milk (I used almond milk)
  • Olive oil
  • Heaping tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the minced garlic. Toss in the basil, stir and wilt. In a blender, throw in the raw cashews, add salt+pepper and the ingredients that were in the saucepan. Blend on high, slowly adding milk until you get the desired consistency for the sauce. Pour everything back into the saucepan and heat. DONE! Easy. You can do this. It turns out to be a lovely puke green color that I enjoy incorporating into as many food dishes as possible.

This is definitely a meal that you start making when you’re not hungry. I, unfortunately, was hungry during this entire process, so I may have rushed some things and the ravioli turned out to look a little mutant and lopsided. BUT IT HAS GREAT PERSONALITY. WHICH IS ALL THAT MATTERS. RIGHT. RIGHT?! πŸ˜‰

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with a Creamy (Cashew) Rosemary/Garlic Sauce

18 Aug

The only things getting me through the day today were coffee and the thought that I will be heading to Palisade, Colorado this weekend and then running the Warrior Dash on Sunday! Super excited for Palisade because this weekend is the Palisade Peach festival and Palisade is known for their orchards and vineyards. Looking forward to sipping on some wine and unwinding a bit. Even though I was thoroughly tired after getting home from work, I was in the mood to make something that would be satisfying and make me feel accomplished!

I’ve made gnocchi quite a few times in the past, sometimes without much success. Not the easiest dish to make, but I can’t get enough of those fluffy clouds of goodness. Making gnocchi really makes me want to buy a potato ricer…definitely a good thing to have. My gnocchi have always been made with the very basic of ingredients: potatoes, salt, flour and a bit of oil. Tonight? Butternut squash was on the menu. I love the color! There was also a hint of sweetness in the gnocchi, so it could definitely go well with a variety of sauces.

Creamy Cashew Rosemary/Garlic Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
  • Garlic powder, dried rosemary, onion powder
  • Water!

Drain the cashews. Place everything in a high-quality blender and blend to desired consistency. Mine was super thick, should have added more water. Use vegetable stock for extra flavor instead of water. Warm up in a saucepan and add whatever flavors you like! Another approach to this would be to make a roux, bechamel or mornay sauce to go with this dish. Simple white sauces are amazingly versatile!

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash, halved
  • Salt+Pepper to taste
  • A few sprinkles of garlic powder
  • All-purpose flour

Bake butternut squash at 375 degrees until soft (this takes awhile, about 40 minutes). Scoop soft squash and spices into a blender and and blend until thick and pasty. Place the squash paste into a large bowl and begin working flour into it. I don’t have an exact measurement, since I just kept adding flour until it had the correct consistency. You want the dough to be soft and smooth, not dry nor sticky. Let dough rest for a few minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Take a small hunk of the dough and roll it into a thin, round tube. Cut into 1/2″ long bits. Using a fork, smoosh the gnocchi into fun shapes. Experiment! Who cares if it’s authentic or traditional! Make bunny heads or stars! πŸ˜‰ Make the gnocchi in small batches. Place in boiling water and when they float to the top, they are done! Fish them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Top with tasty sauce of your choice!

 

obligatory schnozz action.

I made my gnocchi quite large and beefy, so they were more chewy than fluffy. Still filling and delicious! I served this with fresh heirloom roma tomatoes that I picked from the garden today. It’s true–vegetables/fruits that you grow yourself taste so much better.

Not sure if I will be able to post tomorrow since I have much to do before leaving, so have a great weekend everyone! Cook some good things while I’m gone…

Quick, Easy Zucchini, Spinach & Tomato Pasta

16 Aug

I was in no mood for a laborious, time-consuming dinner tonight. I found the solution sitting on my kitchen counter. I’ve been making an effort to buy much of the produce we love locally. There’s a small farm stand across the street from the library that I frequent and they have amazing heirloom beefsteak tomatoes. We also go to the farmer’s market at City Park on Sundays ($.25 jalapenos? awesome.), where we also get to pick up our share of the ELA Family Farms fruit CSA that we are a part of. ELA Family Farms is located in Hotchkiss, CO (about 240 miles away from Denver) and grow a variety of organic fruits and vegetables. We picked up our first share this past Sunday consisting of a bag of heirloom tomatoes, a bag of peaches and applesauce made from their own apples! As the season progresses, we will be expecting different varieties of tomatoes, peaches, plums, pears, apples and CIDER! For the entire month of October, we will receive a half gallon of cider every week. I love fall and cider and pumpkins and apples and orchards! If there’s one thing I miss about Michigan, it’s the sunny, brisk Fall days spent apple picking and devouring freshly made donuts at a cider mill.

With little inspiration or motivation toward making a grand meal tonight, I whipped up an easy, flavorful vegetable pasta dish that took about 20 minutes. The dry sherry used really helped bring the dish together and mellow the balsamic vinegar. This can be thrown together using pretty much any vegetables you have on hand, though I highly recommend some fresh, juicy beefsteak tomatoes as the main ingredient.

Quick, Easy Zucchini, Spinach & Tomato Pasta

  • 3 Fresh beefsteak tomatoes (also threw in a couple of romas we had on hand)
  • Half a zucchini squash, sliced and then cut in half
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • About 1/4 cup of dry sherry
  • a few splashes of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 servings of whole wheat pasta

pretty pyrex πŸ™‚

Boil water! Cook pasta! Meanwhile…in a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and minced garlic (since I didn’t have any on hand, I just threw in some garlic powder later on). Wilt the spinach leaves by covering the pan for a few minutes. Add zucchini and beefsteak tomatoes, stir and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add spices to taste (basil would be a great addition). Add sherry and balsamic vinegar and simmer for about 5 more minutes until the sherry flavor has mellowed a bit. Taste and make sure it is savory and everything you hoped and dreamed for. Throw on top of the cooked pasta and, if you have any, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

 

I was super excited to see the tea towels I ordered from Etsy seller Zen Threads waiting for me in the mail today. I love functional, vintage-looking tea towels and these are super high quality. Look out for them in upcoming food pictures πŸ™‚

I’m loving these cool summer nights…Autumn is in the air! My favorite season. Can’t wait for the Aspens to start changing colors because you know what that means…WINTER IS COMING! I’m already itching to slap my skis on and tear down the mountains. But it’s still August. And it’s still in the 90s during the day. Reality check.

Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff with Whole Wheat Noodles

9 Aug


I’ve been meaning to make this dish for about a week now, ever since I bought the mushrooms…last week. These were just on the brink of being too far gone (let’s face it, they probably were past their prime, but we should all take a risk in the name of food every now and then, right?) and I had a hankering for something savory! If you ever make stroganoff or any variation of it, TWO ingredients are truly vital and make this recipe deelish: dry sherry and worcestershire sauce (took way too many tries to spell that right). I was able to whip this dish up in under an hour, which is pretty surprising considering I also made the noodles and cashew cream homemade! I guess it helped that I had another pair of hands helping out πŸ™‚

This is not a hard recipe, just something that got thrown into a pan, so the measurements aren’t exact! Taste as you go πŸ™‚

Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff

  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 cups Chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Whole cloves of garlic (I used about 5, but I adore garlic!)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onions (omit if you detest)
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5-2 cups of Vegetable Stock (depending on how thick/thin you want your sauce)
  • At least 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (again, taste and repeat)
  • ~1/4 cup Dry Sherry (I just kept dumping more in. Love it.)
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of Cashew Cream (recipe below)
  • Parsley for garnish

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add garlic cloves (chopped, pressed, whole, whatever you prefer). Add onions and let cook until translucent. Stir in mushrooms, lower the heat and let cook until they’ve softened and smell wonderful. Stir in the all-purpose flour, add vegetable stock and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and let simmer so all the flavors can begin blending. Add worcestershire sauce and dry sherry. Keep simmering! At this time, I would recommend getting your noodles all boiled and ready! The longer the sauce simmers, the better it tastes and the thicker it will be. Feel free to add other spices of your choosing in, such as onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, etc. Slowly stir in cashew cream. Taste again, as I decided to add more worcestershire sauce and sherry to the mix after this. Heat thoroughly and pour over pasta noodles! Enjoy!

Cashew Cream

This really isn’t cream, it’s just a thicker version of cashew milk. Soak your raw cashews for a couple hours before making this! You will have some leftover.

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • ~3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp your favorite sweetener (maple syrup, agave, honey, etc)
  • Dash of salt

Place all ingredients into a high quality blender. Start with a little water only, working your way to the desired thickness of the cream that you want. Blend on high for a couple of minutes until very smooth. Cashew cream! Easy.

Notes:

delightful homemade noodles!

  • I think I should try making this with Seitan cutlets or meatballs…or somehow turned this into a baked dish. Intriguing.
  • Seriously. Sherry is a wonderful thing. Once you start cooking with it, you will find ways to work it into other dishes…cooking with (any) wine really adds depth!
  • Any noodle works for this recipe. I just whipped up some half whole wheat/half semolina noodles that I cut into thick strips. Not quite the egg noodle you would typically find with this sort of dish, but still good.

I think I’ve scoped out some very appealing Estate Sales to go to on Friday morning…one of which has vintage Pyrex! Eek! Need to control myself and not start throwing money at people. I love sifting through what other people may see as junk and see what can be found. Treasure is everywhere. It doesn’t help that I just watched a few episodes of “American Pickers”. Those guys find the most bizarre and interesting stuff!Β  I, too, hope to one day be an eccentric old woman, waving a broomstick, and yelling at people to “get offa mah property” which is covered with antiques. I’m aiming high, that’s for sure. πŸ˜‰

Vegan Macaroni & Cheese (Made with Homemade Cashew Milk!)

5 Aug

oh, it was so good.

I’ve been so curious about making cashew milk. Such an intriguing idea, soaking cashews for a few hours, blending, and voila! Cashew milk! It just seems too easy! How would it taste? Is it good to cook with? Is the texture funky? My first try at using cashew milk worked wonderfully! I used my mom’s recipe for Mac & Cheese that uses a bechamel sauce and breadcrumbs. She even made this for my birthday one year and put candles in it because I LOVE MAC&CHEESE that much. Making this with cashew milk was a breeze and was much richer and creamier than using other alternative milks.

Cashew Milk

  • 1 cup RAW cashews
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups water

Place cashews in a bowl with enough water to cover. Let soak for at least a couple hours (overnight is best!) Place cashews in high-quality blender and slowly add water. For a thicker, creamier substance, add less water. I used about 2 cups water for the sauce, but for regular cashew milk, add 3 or 4 cups. I didn’t add any sweetener, but if using for drinking or sweet dishes, add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup, honey or agave nectar.

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

White Sauce (Bechamel)

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance!)
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cashew milk, heated
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • A few dashes of garlic powder πŸ™‚
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (used Daiya here)

i'm always looking for a reason to show off my pyrex πŸ™‚

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour.Β  With a whisk, stir flour until well mixed. Let cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly, but be careful not to let burn. Slowly add the hot cashew milk and continue stirring. Bring to a boil and keep stirring as the sauce thickens. Add spices. Lower the heat and let cook a couple minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. Set aside.

Macaroni & Cheese

  • 9 oz dry whole wheat noodles (sure, you can use macaroni, but other noodles work just as well!)
  • 2 cups cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly made breadcrumbs

Boil noodles until al dente per your instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour boiled noodles into a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish and pour the cheese sauce over. Gently mix until well incorporated and spread cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs over the top.Β  Bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly! EAT.

Notes:

  • Homemade mac and cheese is just so far superior to boxed. Reading through this recipe, you will see how it really isn’t hard at all to make a great homemade version that you can pronounce all the ingredients of! Slightly more time consuming, but completely worth it instead of using powdered cheese crap in a box πŸ™‚
  • Need more cheesy-ness? Add a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the sauce. It will give it a nice yellow color and that “cheesy” nooch flavor!
  • In the mood for something spicy? Add a bit of cayenne pepper to the bechamel and throw in some chopped jalapenos.
  • Pair with a side of lightly steamed broccoli and some Pinot Grigio!

Cashew milk? I LOVE IT. I have grand plans for this delightful homemade milk! Fettucine Alfredo would be GREAT with this! So many possibilities. I’m inspired!

At the advice of a couple of my co-workers and my piqued interest, I’ve been reading up on CANNING! We are going to have a ton of heirloom tomatoes once they all ripen and I don’t want them to go to waste. We also joined a local Fruit CSA and will have tons of apples and peaches soon! Canning has always made me a bit nervous because it seems like so many things can go wrong! And now, at higher altitude, EVEN MORE CAN GO WRONG. BUT! I will prevail. Working at a library is wonderful because I have so many great resources right in front of me. I literally have about 3/4 of our collection of cookbooks checked out…I’ll return them eventually…If anyone has general advice/words of wisdom on canning, please share! πŸ™‚

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan with Homemade Whole Wheat Spinach Pasta

3 Aug

So delightfully creamy on the inside and crunchy bready goodness on the outside! and fresh pasta is far superior to store-bought...

Eggplant has always intimidated me. It’s such a strange, elusive vegetable that I had never really tried until going vegetarian. It’s such a versatile veggie that can be prepared in so many ways. Today, I had so many different cravings that I decided to make an entire meal that was a little involved and time-consuming. SO WORTH IT. This baked version of eggplant parmesan had so much flavor and the homemade whole wheat spinach pasta complemented the eggplant well. I’ve made eggplant parmesan in the past and always had issues getting the breadcrumbs to stick well…so I improvised. with veggie gravy. Of course, if you’re not vegan, just go with a typical egg dunk because that’s usually pretty reliable. With vegetable stock, I made a super thick gravy (thanks to arrowroot powder) and used that to dunk the eggplant. I feel it added more flavor overall and created a lovely crunchy exterior.

Vegan Baked Eggplant Parmesan

  • One fresh aubergine (eggplant!), sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds
  • Copious amounts of salt
  • 2 cups Vegetable stock
  • Cornstarch, arrowroot powder or flour to use as a thickener
  • Spices that make this dish sublime, such as onion powder, garlic powder, oregano…
  • Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (since I have no bread, used Progresso Panko breadcrumbs)
  • Your favorite marinara sauce
  • Daiya shredded mozzarella style “cheese” (or your favorite non-dairy cheese…or cheese.)
  • Fresh chopped basil as a topping
Slice the eggplant into rounds. Cover a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean-up) and make a single layer of eggplant on the sheet. Sprinkle with lots of salt and let SWEAT for 20 minutes. Sweaty eggplant! During this time, make your gravy to dunk the eggplant in (or just use a couple eggs if you don’t want to do this step…i know, a lot of work). In a small saucepan, start heating the vegetable stock. Mix cornstarch or arrowroot powder per directions with water and then add to the veggie stock. Bring to a boil, constantly stirring. I made mine super thick to ensure that it would stick to the eggplant, so if yours isn’t to your liking, add more starch. It won’t look pretty or taste too exciting, but that isn’t too important! It’s just for dunking purposes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the salt off the eggplant and pat dry. Get your dunking stations ready! Also, have your baking sheet ready so that you can just put everything on and pop in the oven (I baked mine on a Silpat, you might want to lightly spray your baking sheet with oil). Take a round of eggplant and dunk into the gravy. Let excess gravy drip off and then dunk into breadcrumbs, thoroughly coating. Repeat! I ended up with like 12 rounds of eggplant…way too many for the two people in our household. SO. I grabbed another baking sheet, put all the extra prepared eggplant on it and threw it in the freezer. Once they’re completely frozen, I’ll transfer them to a freezer bag. Hooray for quick easy dinners! Back to the present.
Once all the eggplant are coated, place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Flip once midway. Towards the last 5-10 minutes, grab spoonfuls of marinara and spread it over the tops of the eggplant. Then top with mozzarella cheese and let cook a few more minutes. DONE!
Vegan Whole Wheat Spinach Pasta
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (olive oil infused with something, such as garlic, works GREAT here)
  • handful of fresh baby spinach
  • spices, such as onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, or pepper
Mix flours together.Β In a blender, add the vegetable stock, spinach and spices. Blend until VERY smooth (a Vitamix is awesome for this, FYI). Β Work oil and spinach/stock into the flour until dough starts forming. Dough should be smooth, not too sticky, but not cracking either. Β Add more stock if not pliable enough. Let dough rest for a few minutes.
If you’re brave and strong, you can roll this dough out by hand, as thin as you can and slice with a sharp knife. If you have a pasta maker, roll out the dough to your favorite settings. Let dry for 10-20 minutes (not completely necessary) and when ready, boil for a couple minutes or until they float. Mix with your favorite sauce (in this case, marinara).
Notes:
  • I really liked the way the gravy + breadcrumb mixture made a very crispy outside and kept the middle soft and flavorful.
  • Pinot Noir would pair great with this, but I made this at like, noon. Can’t go to work tipsy, unfortunately.
  • I’m hoping the freezer version of these keep their flavor and texture. I will report back!
  • EVERYONE NEEDS TO BUY A PASTA MAKER SO THEY CAN ALWAYS INDULGE IN THE WONDERS OF FRESH PASTA. seriously.
This was quite a success. So good. Can’t wait to eat more. Tonight. With that Pinot Noir that’s been staring at me for a couple days.

Veganized Quick Baked Pasta Family Style Recipe

1 Aug

showing off one of my vintage pyrex dishes πŸ™‚

This was a recipe clipped out of a magazine by my mother back in the 90’s. THE 90s! Over a decade ago! eeek. I always enjoyed this recipe and missed it when I turned vegetarian. It popped into my mind awhile back and I was craving it like mad, even though it’s very meaty! I was in the mood for comfort food today and this really fulfilled my craving. It was easy to make vegetarian and didn’t lose any of its original pizazz. I love recipes that are easily tweaked to your own tastes–recipes are only a starting point, not an end! Thanks to Anchor-Hocking for the recipe. Too bad I cooked it in a Pyrex dish πŸ™‚

Quick-Baked Pasta Family Style

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I got away with a quick spray of Pam and a non-stick pan)
  • 1 package Gimme Lean! Ground Beef style (or 16oz of your favorite veggie crumble)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 3/4 cup vegetable gravy (See Notes on how to quickly make)
  • 1/2 cup half and half (didn’t have any – just used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated (optional! I omitted)
  • 1 tsp dried whole oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried whole rosemary
  • Salt & pepper – to taste
  • 3/4 lb whole wheat penne pasta

Topping: 1 cup mozzarella (used Daiya vegan cheese – SO GOOD) & good portion of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (adds a nice crunch!)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a frying pan with oil or spray and add garlic and green onions – cook until soft and smelling lovely. Add Gimme Lean and work into smaller chunks as it heats up. When “meat” has been worked into smaller pieces, add the rest of the ingredients except for pasta and topping. Let simmer for a few minutes. Taste to make sure it’s delightful.

Drain pasta! Dump everything into a 3-quart baking dish and mix well. Add topping, cheese first and breadcrumbs on top. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until nice and bubbly. Supposedly serves 6 people, but the significant other and I devoured the majority of it easily. Tasty things go fast!

Notes:

  • Ridiculously easy and quick vegetable gravy: Mix a couple tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder with water. Take a cup of vegetable broth. Dump both into small saucepan and heat til boiling, stirring constantly. It will thicken. Voila! Gravy. Unexciting gravy, yes, but it works for this recipe! πŸ™‚
  • Vegetables could definitely make this an even healthier, heartier dish – eggplant, zucchini, fresh diced tomatoes…but I didn’t want that. I had a hankering for starchy, creamy, cheesy goodness and I got it!
  • Daiya vegan cheese shreds are my new favorite vegan cheese. They went with this dish great, melted well and mixed wonderfully with the crunchy breadcrumbs.

I’m in the midst of reading Laura Shapiro’s biography on Julia Child. I love reading anything about Julia Child and am completely engrossed in it. She was such a whimsical, ridiculous person and I admire her a great deal. After reading her memoir “My Life in France” (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), she has become one of my heroes in the food world. I grew up watching her and Jacques Pepin cook together and always found her to be somewhat absurd and brilliant at the same time.Β  Anyone else have foodie heroes? πŸ™‚