Sunday, September 30, 2007

They are Edible!

Squash are very interesting vegetables to me. They are abundant in Ontario right now, but this is the first time I actually bought them in hopes to try cooking with them. This is with thanks to Norm(Kate), Jody and Michelle who inspired me.
I had eaten turnips (or rutabagas) growing up, but never Acorn, Pepper or Spaghetti squash. I picked up these pretty varieties, of which the names escape me right now.......Not only do these decorate the house, they are edible too! I'll try roasting them this week.
I had a butternut squash and tried a wonderful recipe courtesy of Norm. I roasted a chopped up butternut squash with tomatoes, onions, garlic and rosemary. Then I pureed it all with stock, simmered in a saucepan and added a splash of cream and salt and pepper. I made some parmesan toasts to top it off and enjoyed this big bowl of comforting autumn soup. The roasted tomatoes really made this soup for me....thanks Kate! I will make it again and again.

Good-bye September!

September is without a doubt my favorite month of the year. I love the subtle change in weather, the sudden desire for comfort food, and the fact that my birthday and anniversary fall in it doesn't hurt.

I was happy to be the recipient of a little family celebration with my boys. The birthday hats did morphe into something a little odd, but I assume living with boys I will have to get used to superheros, villains, monsters and whatever this was supposed to be:

The hats were money well spent. There were flowers, there was cake, there was a lot of fun. Then my sister and her daughter dropped by on their evening walk with this:

The cake was tiny, beautiful and delicious.

Camden also started his first school year. It was so much fun to watch, and I couldn't help wondering where the time has gone and his baby book isn't even filled in yet! Here's Camden and his much more mature senior kindergarten cousin walking to the schoolbus together:
It's so nice we live on the same street as them. My sister and I have been taking turns following the schoolbus just making sure they get off the bus at the right stop.
It's been a hectic month, but amazing too. We've been so busy and had so much fun that I feel a little like hibernating for awhile now. Time to start thinking about roasting peppers and Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Comfort Food, Mama Lucy Style

I've been really busy lately, which has kept me from cooking and blogging much. I've started to miss Mama Lucy's food again and needed to get back in the kitchen.
A dish that she used to prepare when I was a kid crept into my mind and I wanted to try making it myself. This weekend it was her Stuffed Eggplant.
I called her the night before I made it and requested some direction. This was what I jotted down......
I've never soaked eggplant in water with lemon for any other recipe, but this time I followed instructions well! I cut the small eggplants in half, scooped out a lot of the centre and set aside for another recipe. I soaked the eggplant for about 6 hours. Then drained, dried , salted and peppered the whole lot.

I proceeded to make Mama Lucy's meatball mixture which I used for the filling in the eggplant. I also use it for meatballs in tomato sauce, stuffed artichokes, breaded veal burgers (aka Crunchy Burgers) and in her Italian Wedding Soup which I will post another day. Here it is:

1 Pound of Ground Veal

1 Egg

2 Cloves Crushed Garlic

1-2 Generous Handfuls of Grated Parmesan

2 -3 TBSP each of Dried Parsley & Dried Oregano

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix all of the above together.

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.

Stuff the eggplant halves with the meat mixture and line up in a large casserole. Top each stuffed eggplant with 1 tablespoon of crushed tomatoes (from a tin is fine) and drizzle with olive oil. Pour some water on the bottom of the pan being careful to not let it rise above the eggplant. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 - 30 minutes until the eggplant seems tender and the veal is cooked.

Other than the eggplant prep, it was a really easy recipe. Next time I will attempt the artichokes with it and serve with a Saffron Risotto like Mama Lucy always seemed to.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Little Chef's

My sister and I took our little chef's to a kid's cooking class a few weeks ago. They made candy sushi with fruit roll-ups (they were stuffed with licorice and rice crispies with melted marshmallows). Not my idea of a healthy mid-morning snack, but they were pleased!