This salad is pretty scrumptious. The roasted butternut squash pairs beautifully with the cider dressing and the pomegranate seeds. Tart, tangy, sweet and nutty, this salad is a burst of flavor, and perfect for capturing the flavors of fall. Slightly modified from an Ina Garten recipe, I will be eating this salad over and over the next few months!
Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider dressing
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula (or mixed baby greens if none is available), washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Place the greens in a large salad bowl and add the roasted butternut squash, the walnuts, the pomegranate seeds and the grated Parmesan. Spoon 3 tablespoons vinaigrette over the salad, or just enough to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Everyone, my hubby is a banana pudding connoisseur. He has tried lots of versions of banana pudding in his life, and takes this seriously! With this in mind, I scoured the web for an amazing sounding pudding, and finally found it! The pudding turned out amazingly thick and creamy, and the hubby pronounced it the best he’s ever had! Now, I have a confession. The original recipe from Just a Taste called for a delicious sounding caramel sauce, however my first attempt at caramel was not successful. I have since been googling “how to remove burnt caramel from a pan”……
This should not discourage you, however, and I hope you try it! So here’s the recipe for the pudding, sans caramel sauce!
Husband-approved Banana Pudding
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (3.4 oz) box instant banana pudding
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cold heavy cream
6 large bananas, sliced
1 box Nilla Wafers
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and the vanilla and banana pudding mixes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese (it’s very important that it’s softened, or else you will have lumps of cream cheese in the finished pudding).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently combine this with the cream cheese mixture. Once combined, gently mix with the pudding mixture until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, place a layer of Nilla Wafers on the bottom of a serving dish (or use individual mason jars). Top with pudding, then top with the sliced bananas. Optionally, you can crush the remaining Nilla Wafers and sprinkle on top of the pudding, then top with sliced bananas.
It’s been crazy here lately! New job, new car, and several home projects ticked off of the list. I can’t tell you how happy I am that the holidays are literally right around the corner, and we can spend time with family and friends. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I did a “dry run” of some of this dishes I’m thinking about trying. Up first, is Sage and Garlic Chicken with a Pomegranate Pepper Sauce, adapted slightly from the blog, In Sock Monkey Slippers! Can I just say, “yum?” This chicken was incredibly moist, tangy, with just a hint of sweetness from the pomegranate. My hubby liked it so much, he went back for thirds! Coming up later this week, Banana Pudding and Butternut Squash salad with Cider Dressing. Stay tuned!
Sage and Garlic Chicken with Pomegranate Pepper Sauce
4 pound fryer chicken
1 Tablespoons dried sage, plus 1 teaspoon for glaze
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 Tablespoons softened butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine the butter, sage, garlic, and salt in a bowl and mix well until combined. Rub the butter over the entire chicken including the cavity and underneath the skin.
Truss the chicken and place in a roasting pan surrounded by winter squash or other vegetables. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until chicken reaches 165°F.
While the chicken is roasting, pour the pomegranate juice in a sauce pot and add pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the juice has reduced by a little over half and formed a syrup, about 15 minutes. Leave over very low heat until chicken is finished.
Spoon half the glaze over the chicken when it’s removed from the oven. Reserve the rest of the glaze for serving. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with pomegranate seeds for garnish.
Hooray for something different! Since life gets in the way much of the time and I can’t always plan on trying out a new recipe, I am starting a weekly “favorite pins” post. I hope you enjoy it!
I have always been intrigued with the idea of making my own cheese. Well, really any kind of staple that you would regularly buy at the store, but can make at home. I have previously made yogurt, and have tried my hand at butter, and now I wanted to move on to something that seemed, in my head at least, more difficult.
Ricotta cheese is probably the easiest thing in the world to make.
Really! Just throw everything into a pot, heat it up, strain, and voila! Deliciously creamy, homemade ricotta cheese. From Food52, this stuff is seriously amazing. Yum.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add all of the ingredients to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, line a sieve or fine mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth (or good quality paper towels, like me, who happened to not have any cheesecloth) and place it over a deep bowl or pot. Note, I got probably 5 cups of liquid out of the cheese.
Once curds begin to separate from the whey (liquid temperature will be between 175º and 200º), remove from heat. Gently spoon or ladle the curds into the cheesecloth-lined strainer. You may need to gently gather the cheesecloth at the top to help the curds drain.
Let curds sit in cheesecloth to drain liquid 15 to 30 minutes (I left it for 20 minutes and loved the result), depending on how creamy you’d like your ricotta. Store in refrigerator up to two days.
I love it when my hubby and I both get off work early enough that we can spend a summer evening together. When this happens, we normally grill. He takes over the cooking, which leaves me to relax and enjoy a night off from playing chef. A Pinterest find from The Slow Roasted Italian, this recipe is so delightfully flavorful, and the chicken turns out so tender and juicy! This is definitely going on our list of favorites. Grill some corn on the cob, or make some Texas caviar to go with it.
Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken
3-5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, washed and trimmed
3 large limes (2 zested and juiced, 1 reserved for garnish)
½ cup Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
1 jalapeño, seeded and deveined (minced)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Add the chicken to a gallon ziplock bag. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add the marinad to the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and flip back and forth to thoroughly coat the chicken.
Place in the fridge and let marinate for at 30 minutes, or overnight (I let mine sit for about two hours). Remember to flip the bag a couple of times to keep the chicken moist.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Bring chicken to room temperature before cooking. Grill the chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side. Garnish with extra lime wedges and zest.
On hot summer days, I always seem to get a craving for something cold and refreshing. This is one of my absolute favorite drinks to make! It’s yummy, plus the green tea makes it healthy, and I use honey instead of sugar. I hope you try it out!
Sparkling Green Tea Lemonade
3 green tea bags
2 cups water
2 cups chilled seltzer water
1/4 cup honey
Bring water to a boil. Pour into a glass pitcher and add the green tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags, stir in honey until completely dissolved. Chill in the refrigerator for 35 minutes.
Pour the seltzer water into the tea. Add juice from half of the lemon. Slice the remaining half lemon and float slices on top.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but here in the South, it sure is a wet summer. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining since it keeps my yard looking nice, but I sure would enjoy a sunny day to go to the pool! Or, for that matter, to go on another picnic with my hubby! I would definitely pack these yummy subs that I made for the last picnic we had. All of the veggies just scream summertime, and the parsley-basil mayonnaise that is spread on each piece of bread is so bright and clean – the perfect combination to combat the heat. I hope that it’s sunny where you are!
Summer Veggie Subs
2 medium sweet red pappers
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli turkey
6 slices baby Swiss cheese, halved
Broil peppers 4 inches from the heat until the skin blisters, about 5 minutes. Immediately place peppers in a bowl; cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Peel off and discard skins. Remove stems and seeds, and julienne the peppers.
Combine the mayonnaise, basil and parsley. Spread on the bottom and top of the buns. Top the bottom halves with spinach, cucumbers, roasted peppers, tomatoes, avocados, turkey and cheese. Replace the tops.
I mentioned in the last post that my hubby and I had gone on a summer picnic. This is second recipe, with two more to come! My husband is not a big potato salad fan, but even he like this version! Grilling the potatoes first really brings a rich flavor to the dish, plus using rosemary instead of dill brings a woody, not bitter, note as well. This would also be perfect along side a yummy roast chicken (I have a lemon rosemary spatchcocked chicken that I make all the time that I will post soon). This is another recipe adaption from delish.com. Until the next picnic post!
Grilled Potato Salad
4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, one teaspoon salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on two parchment paper lined baking sheets. Roast potatoes until golden, tossing halfway through. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients, including 1/2 tespoon salt. Add potatoes and gently mix until well coated.