We've been fans of The Splendid Table on public radio for years. Every weekend we'd listen to Lynn Rosetto Kasper talk about food, interview chefs, cookbook authors and others, takes calls from listeners with questions about food and occasionally play an entertaining and challenging game called Stump The Cook. Since moving overseas we download the free podcasts of her show and listen when we're in the car.
For several years the good folks at Splendid Table have been sending out a weekly recipe; a service they call The Weeknight Kitchen. If you're not already receiving these, YOU TOTALLY SHOULD SIGN UP. It's free, no hassle, you don't get put on some bizarre mailing list and start receiving tons of spam. You simply get one great recipe delivered right to your e-mail each week.
This week the recipe was for Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Over Bow-Tie Pasta. I made it the same day for lunch. It.Was.So.Good. Very easy to make -- if you can chop vegetables and boil water you can make this dish. Oh, and you have to be able to turn on the oven too. I can't copy the recipe here because it's a copyrighted recipe from their cookbook The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Radio Show. But you can simply click on the recipe name above and it will take you right to the page with all the instructions. This is a great dish for autumn which those of you in the northern hemisphere are experiencing.
Some changes I made to the recipe: I added red pepper to the list of vegetables. Because I could. And I wanted to. For bitter greens I threw in some fresh chicory from our garden. AMAZING. They turned sort of sweet but were still slightly tangy.
One of these times I want to roast the vegetables on the grill in my fancy schmancy vegetable grill pan. Because we love us some vegetables roasted over an open fire and I think that would only kick this recipe up a notch, maybe taking it from fantastic to out of this world?
Anyway, HAD to share this recipe with you. It's that good!
Keeping with the theme of food, I wanted to tell you about a little place we occasionally go for breakfast. It's just a few blocks away, right on the lake and now that the weather is warming up I think we'll take our food out on the deck. But so far we've enjoyed the vista through the large plate glass windows of the restaurant. For just over $3 per person we get some really great coffee and a buffet of traditional breakfast foods -- for here, not American style.
This morning we went for the first time in a couple of months. There were medialunas (croissants), facturas (pastries), biscochos (or criollos as they're called locally), and regular bread for toasting. A platter of sliced ham and cheese artfully arranged near the medialunas. Individually wrapped pats of butter filled one dish but rather than the tiny containers of jelly we are accustomed to in the U.S., they had a bowl of homemade jam and tiny bowls so we could take as much or as little as we wanted. Nearby sat pitchers of orange drink (sadly, not the real thing) and yogurt, with a bowl of cereal next to it.
By the way, these are all served in normal sized dishes -- this is not the buffet-on-steroids we're used to seeing in the U.S.
Each time we've gone there has been a special item and today it was tarta de membrillo (membrillo is a very thick quince jam). It is my new favorite. Ivan says it's also called Pasta Frola. Whatever they call it, I really, really like it. I should have taken a photo because it was very pretty but I was too busy scarfing it down. Maybe next time.
I really do more than eat or think about food.
This week we've had an extra daughter; our co-workers have been out of town so we've claimed one of theirs as ours :-) Some fierce Hand & Foot battles (card game similar to Canasta) -- still on-going even as I type. Andrea and I are currently behind but we've got two more hands to go. There were also Spanish classes, dentist appointments, a little downtown window shopping, art and guitar lessons, high school every morning for our extra daughter and, yes, lots of food.
One evening Andrea made the homemade salsa that Nestor had demonstrated a few weeks ago. It was very yummy! I enjoyed sitting back and relaxing while she cooked too. Other nights we enjoyed meatloaf and scalloped potatoes, garlic and rosemary roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, rice with a variety of sauteed vegetables along with chicken baked in a sauce from Indonesia. Our cousin introduced us to "catsup mani" a while back and we were delightfully surprised to find a bottle in Walmart. It's a thick, rather sweet soy-based sauce. There was also the build-your-own-chef-salad for lunch yesterday that Ivan and Andrea prepared. Ivan boiled eggs, cooked beets which he then sliced, picked lettuce from our garden and Andrea spent a lot of time chopping meat, cheese and other vegetables. I really do love to cook but I also enjoy the occasional breaks from kitchen duty!
Today I plan on attempting No Bakes again. Will it be SWEET SUCCESS? Or Fail #5? Stay tuned for exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-seats reporting on this momentous occasion...