Tag Archives: #autumnImage
This spontaneous non-food related post is brought to you by the changing season.
I once read a quote made by a professional photographer stating that just because a person takes photos, it does not make them a photographer, it makes them a camera owner.
So, what makes a person a photographer? As someone who is predominately self-taught (thanks to the internet), I can say that in the past year I’ve personally seen an improvement in my eye for that “great shot”. I see light as a separate entity. My eyes frame up landscapes in thirds. I constantly wish I had my camera along (a habit I haven’t adopted quite yet).
I’ve been driving by this sugar maple on the way to the grocery store the past few weeks. There are a line of sugar maples along this particular road, but this one was the most brilliant shade of red I’ve ever seen. Sadly, we had a sugar maple in our backyard that fell victim to Hurricane Isabelle and I’ve missed that tree greatly. This past Saturday, my husband and I were headed out on a breezy day and I asked him to pull over so I could take some photos, fearing that the leaves would be gone with the wind in the next day or so. He happily obliged, pulling over on the shoulder of a fairly busy street so that I could jump out, run across traffic and spend 10 minutes shooting the tree up.
The next time you are driving down the street and you see some crazy lady with her face in a tree…
….taking long shots of fences
…photographing a street sign
Yup. It’s probably me.
There is a radio station I listened to when I was younger that, on Tuesdays, would play two songs by an artist. The disc jockey would announce “two songs coming up from your favorite artist.” Even though my musical tastes have, shall we say, evolved tremendously since those days (Despite what my teenage daughter might think!), I’m offering my version of the “2fer”…acorn squash. Roasted and prepared two ways-one sweet, one savory.
It seems that when I make the roasted squash bread, sometimes it’s more orange and has a stronger, richer squash taste. Not sure what to attribute this to, since I’m uncertain how to judge if the squash is ripe or not. Nevertheless, it’s still delicious every time. The raw sugar on the top gives it a nice, sweet (but not too much) crunch.
Just as when I bake zucchini bread, I freeze individual slices on a parchment lined cookie sheet, then wrap them individually. This makes it so easy to pop one in the toaster oven for a minute or two. So delicious with a bit of cream cheese or apple butter.
penne with acorn squash
2 acorn squash
1/2 cup leeks, washed and sliced thinly
1 pound penne
4 teaspoons olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, diced to 1/4 inch thickness
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup light cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half crosswise into wedges, about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and spray with organic olive oil cooking spray. season with salt and pepper. flip the squash and do the same to the other side. Bake about 30 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through baking, until soft and slightly carmelized.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions. Drain pasta, reserving approximately 1/2-1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Let pasta sit in colander for now. Peel squash and cut into chunks.
Heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat in large pot (you can use the same one you cooked the pasta in). Saute the pancetta and leeks together until pancetta is slightly crispy and leeks are transparent and tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken broth/stock and scrape up any brown bits in the pan. Stir in the rosemary. Add pancetta, leeks and squash to the pan. Stir in penne. Add cream to the mixture and stir gently to coat. This is where you can add a bit of the reserved pasta water if it’s too dry. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Serve with additional parmesan on top.
roasted acorn squash bread
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 cup squash puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
To make squash puree: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut one large acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Place each half on a cookie sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in oven approximately 50 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool. Scrape squash into bowl with spoon.
Lower oven temperature 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, allspice and cloves in a medium bowl until combined.
Beat squash puree, sugar, honey and oil in a large mixing bowl with electric mixer or a stand mixer until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs and egg whites. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients until combined. Fold in chopped walnuts.
Pour into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake approximately 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Start checking for doneness at around one hour. Cool in pan for 10 minutes after removing from oven, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
*What radio station did you listen to when you were younger?
Pretty excited about all the apples in the CSA box each week. The only thing is that I am generally the only one (and, on occasion, my son) in my house that eats them. I love apples. I really do. But I can usually only polish off the proverbial one apple per day. So when I receive ten apples in one week’s bounty…well then, that calls for dessert!
Dessert and, if you are unlucky like me, an oven fire.
Yep, you read correctly. As my husband said afterward, glad to know the fire extinguisher works but didn’t think we’d actually ever have to use it. I prepared and baked the tart on a flat cookie sheet. As the butter melted and the juices from the apple started to flow, it dripped (poured really) down into my gas oven. As flames crept out of the side, my shouts to my husband to get the fire extinguisher caused the kids to come running.
The fire was extinguished, the oven turned off, and the tart sat in the oven covered in a layer of thick, gray chemical dust. Slider and front door propped open, the dust-filled smoke billowed out of the house until it dissipated. Before it had even cleared, both kids had spread the drama by texting their friends. I hadn’t even had a chance to swear them to secrecy!
Learn from my lesson. Use a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with sides to avoid a mess or, worse, a fire hazard.
One sheet puff pastry dough
4 firm, tart apples (such as granny smith)
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
1/2 cup apricot jelly
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier liquer (you can substitute rum or water, if you don’t want to use alcohol)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie (with sides!) with parchment paper. Roll out your puff pastry to about 10 x 14 inches. It doesn’t have to be a perfect rectangle. Place the puff pastry on the parchment paper. There are two ways to prepare your apples. First is to cut them in half through the stem and remove the core with a sharp knife. Peel the apples and slice them into thin wedges approximately 1/4 inch thick. The second is to core and section your apples like I did, using one of these. Peel and then slice your sections thin. Starting in the middle of your pastry, lay the apples diagonally in a row from corner to corner, slightly overlapping them. Continue laying the apples diagonally on either side of the center row until you reach the outer edges of the pastry. You may have to cut a few slices of the apple to make it fit in the corner. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of sugar over the apples and dot with the diced butter.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the pastry is brown and the edges of the apples begin to brown, rotating the pan halfway through during baking. Remove from oven. Heat apricot jelly with 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier until thin. Brush the entire tart with this mixture. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.