Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh my Lord, Squash is Good!

As Tyler and I prepare for our wedding, we have realized that food is an important aspect of "the party". We have been interviewing caterers and toyed with different ideas about what we want to serve. In the end, we REALLY want to use food from our own garden so we are working on all that and we found a caterer we like who knows about food and is excited to use our food. Good food.
When we met with this particular caterer she told us about this pasta they make with butternut squash. It sounded mouth watering delicious to me and so of course I went home and looked for a recipe. Turns out, I found one.
I made this last night for dinner as an experiment and it turned out to be my favorite thing I have made in awhile. Granted, I don't cook with butter and cream that often and how can that not taste mmm mmm good?

Creamy Squash Pasta


*adapted from
- 2 medium squash (I used delicata and some other thing I picked up), about 2 pounds
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2c finely minced shallots
- 1 1/2c heavy cream
- 1/2c veggie (or chicken) broth
- Salt to taste
- 1/4t freshly grated nutmeg
- pasta
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

*please note you want to do these in this order because the sauce does need time to cool down and thicken so this recipe is set up to allow for that*
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel the squash then cut, discard the seeds and slice into 1 inch cubes.
3. Place squash on a sheet pan and toss with oil until covered.
4. Bake until pieces are lightly golden and soft-about 20 minutes.
5. Cool and transfer to a bowl.
6. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
7. When the butter begins to foam add the shallots and stir until lightly golden and soft.
8. Add the cream and broth, season with salt and nutmeg and simmer until sauce just begins to thicken, three to four minutes.
9. Add the squash and stir for a minute or two.
10. Turn the heat off as you are cooking the pasta.
11. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta.
12. When cooked, drain pasta.
13. Spoon pasta on plate and top with sauce and cheese and salt to taste.

Makes three generous servings

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trial and Error

This is me. This is me failing. This picture was supposed to go with a great recipe posting but it didn't turn out so well. As I begin to try new recipes and make new things with our bounty, I sometimes hit the freaking mark! and sometimes I miss. A list of food that didn't turn out so well thus far: 1) salsa batch #1 2) kohlrabi pickles 3)pickled beans #1 and #2 (honestly). This picture is of me failing apple crumble. Blegh! I got the recipe off smitten kitchen. Usually her stuff is awesome but crumble is not good. The crumble part just doesn't taste great. It isn't buttery, it isn't savory, it is somewhat like eating bark crumble really. Even with ice cream. I ended up throwing it away.
To my credit though, I HAVE hit the mark on most things. I have no problem admitting when my hard work didn't turn out though. That's part of cooking and creating.

We accidentally glued the dogs together. Whoops. Error.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Squash it out with your Boots Ted

Two things to talk about: boots and squash soup.

Fall Squash Soup
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/4 cup (1/2sitck) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans (equals 5.5 cups) veggie broth*
8 cups 1-inch pieces peeled squash {butternut, delicata, acorn, mix and match, what ev'} (about 3 pounds)
1 1/4t minced fresh thyme
1 1/4t minced fresh sage
1 1/2t ground cumin
1/2t ground ginger
1t Salt
1/8 cup whipping cream
Sugar to taste (I used about one t)


1. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté on low until tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add broth, all squash and herbs and spices; bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
5. Working in batches, puree soup in blender.
6. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

This recipe is DELICIOUS with a broiled bread. Put butter on one side of bread and broil for one minute. Flip bread over, cover with your favorite cheese and some salt and pepper and broil for another minute. Awesome!

*This would be a great place to add that homemade veggie broth to a soup!!

To be a true farmer (or you could insert logger, for Mt Baker purposes), you need Romeo's. Who is Romeo and since when did he live on a farm, you may ask. Meet Romeo....

Story: I bought these "boots" a couple of years ago because I liked them and all the cool kids (seriously, kids) were wearing them and I liked how they looked. Turned out to be quite handy, they are slip ons 'nuf said, and although I got the HUGEST blister on my heel the first time I wore them we became fast friends.
Tyler on the other hand was holding out. He was waiting until they became functional. Today, that day has come and he bought his first pair. What a true farmer. He used them to feed the pigeons and to let Gus out to poo. Really working 'em in hard! His were half off too, can't beat that.

Shoe Friends

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gimme Heat

Since buying our house/land, the only major work has been gardening and painting the house. Neither of which cost too much money. However, our first major house project came and went this past week.

First, I would like to tell you how hard Tyler worked on this project. I did nothing and that really does make me feel worthless but I don't know that I would have been helpful. Tyler did it all and finished it very fast and, I am sure, very well, although I can't prove that since I refuse to go under the house. There are some dead animals parts under there and I don't do well in small spaces because if there an earthquake, you would be f'ed. Tyler goes.

Anyway, the project started out as repairs to the old heating ducts. Rats had been under the house (before we moved in) and tore it up so Tyler set to using duct tape for actual ducting and replaced some of the old ducts. After spending a weekend doing that, Tyler realized we probably should have the ducts cleaned in order not to die of rat-poo-poisoning this winter. Turns out, I agreed and we had some duct people come take a look at how much it would be to clean it. In the end, cleaning it cost more then just replacing the whole damn thing Tyler goes, again.

This last Saturday Tyler finished the whole thing and just in time! Now that it is actually 30 degrees at night, it is nice to have heat in the morning. ("When you're supposed to be up cooking breakfast for somebody" - find that quote here)

After it is all said and done I learned:
- Tyler can really work hard and not complain...once (a quality I don't have)
- It is beneficial to be a helpless girl sometimes
- It is great/necessary to have a savings account for those unexpected household expenditures.
- Tyler likes listening to opera whilst being under the house.
- Tyler is very knowledgeable and nice to have around. So far, the marriage is still on.
- I like chips and salsa. Oh wait, that's unrelated but that is what I am eating/making right now. More to come on how that turns out later.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Week on the Farm

On August 25th, I canned "Dilly Beans", which are just pickled beans. I got the recipe out of a book from the library. I opened these said beans this last Sunday on October 4th and holy crap....they are awesome! I have only one regret, I didn't find this recipe until the end of the bean harvest so I only have enough cans for...myself. :)

The other exciting thing on the farm here is our wedding planning. Last week we had our engagement pictures taken here at our house. We don't have all of them back yet but we do have a preview. They were taken by Aubrey Joy Photo here in Bellingham. She is a local photographer who is our age. She took awesome pictures. I will post a couple, well more than a couple since I love them all. {you can click on them to make them a bigger size}