Pasta with Sweet Red Peppers, Pine Nuts, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Kale and Sausage

I made a few changes to this recipe from a new favorite cookbook, “Earth To Table Every Day.”

Ingredients

3 sweet red peppers (I used roasted sweet red peppers from a jar.)

¼ cup olive oil

4 anchovy fillets in oil, minced (I used 3 tablespoons anchovy paste.)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup dry white wine

4 leaves kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped (I used one package, frozen. Cooked and drained.)

3 cups roasted cherry tomatoes (My addition. These were from my garden and roasted during the Autumn.)

3 links sausage (My addition. 2 sweet, 1 hot. Casing removed.)

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 pound pasta (I used Rotini.)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

1. Preheat a grill or broiler to high. Grill the red peppers, turning often with tongs, until blistered and blackened on all sides, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, roast the peppers directly over the stovetop flame of a gas oven. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 20 minutes. Peel the peppers and chop them into ½-inch pieces. (Note: I skipped this step as I used roasted sweet red peppers from a jar.)

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high  heat. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped red peppers, then add the white wine. Boil until the pan is nearly dry. Stir in the kale and chili flakes. Remove from the heat. (Note: I cooked sausage first and then added the anchovy paste, garlic, red peppers, wine, kale and cherry tomatoes.)

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, and drop in the pasta. Cook for about 9 minutes or until the pasta is tender. You will be cooking it further in the sauce. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Return the sauce to medium-high heat and stir in the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes, to allow the flavours to mingle. Add a spoonful of pasta water if the sauce looks too dry. Remove from the heat.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pine nuts and parsley and toss well. Tip into a large serving bowl, garnish with an over-generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve immediately.

Susan said it looked like the photo in the cookbook and that is was so delicious.

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

Butter And Jam Thumbprints

I made some butter and jam thumbprints for our Christmas Eve Party! So delicious.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened

2/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling (I used Demerara Sugar for rolling.)

1 large egg

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod, or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup raspberry, cherry or strawberry jam (I used Red Raspberry and Strawberry from Stonewall Kitchen.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.
  4. Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls with a cookie or ice cream scoop and roll in sugar. Place about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 teaspoon jam.
  5. Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. (For even color, rotate the pans from top to bottom about halfway through baking.) Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Serve.
  6. Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.

Based on a recipe from Food Network.

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Pistachio Cardamom Shortbread Cookies

Very easy to make. I might consider using regular flour next time. Or almond flour. I used whole wheat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup whole spelt (or whole wheat) flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground pistachios
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios for garnish

Directions

  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the butter, sugar, cardamom, and ground pistachios together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the flour and mix until a uniform dough is obtained.
  3. With floured hands, roll into balls about an inch in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, 3 inches apart.
  4. With your thumb, make an indentation in each ball and fill with chopped pistachios.
  5. Refrigerate the cookie sheet with the cookies on it for about 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F. (NOTE: I baked for 20 minutes.) Allow the cookies to cool on the pan before removing.

Based on a recipe from Kitchen Vignettes.

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

 

 

Portrait Of A Young Woman

My grand niece.

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Curried Apple, Squash, Sweet Potato Soup

I have always enjoyed the cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home,” so when Susan and I were at the town library recently and she pointed out to me a new cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates,” I said we had the check this out. And we did and I made this delicious curried, apple, squash, sweet potato soup!

Ingredients
Soup
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped butternut squash* (I oven-roasted this before adding to soup.)
2 cups peeled, cored and coarsely chopped apples
2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped sweet potatoes* (I oven-roasted this before adding to soup.)
4 cups water
* About 3 pounds of butternut squash and just less than 2 pounds of sweet potatoes will yield the right amount for this recipe.
Topping
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 ounces fresh spinach or mustard greens, rinsed and chopped
 
Directions
In a large nonreactive soup pot (it needs to be big), sauté the onions in the butter or oil until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.  In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until aromatic and lightly browned.  Cool for a few minutes and grind to a powder (I used a coffee grinder). Add the ground spices, salt, squash, apples, sweet potato, and water to the onions.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly cooked and tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute on medium heat, stirring constantly, until soft and just golden. Add the greens and sauté on high heat until the water evaporates and the greens wilt.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
Purée the soup in small batches in a blender until smooth, adding about 1/4 cup of water if the soup is thicker than you’d like.  When ready to serve, gently reheat, ladle into shallow bowls, and top each serving with some of the sautéed greens.
I served the soup with this homemade bread with sage.


I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography.
If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Quiche–A Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving prepations for Susan and me begin a few weeks before the holiday.

We put our tree up early so our grandchildren can see it on Thanksgiving as we don’t see them on Christmas.

Here I am doing some menu-planning for the week.

And here is Sock Monkey guarding the grandchildren’s presents.

The grandchildren come over for breakfast, along with our daughter and son-and-law. We give them their Christmas gifts—clothes that they can wear on Christmas day. I have to give credit where credit is due; Susan buys all the Christmas gifts. She often consults with me about style and size.

Here’s Matthew opening his gift.

We watch the Macy’s Parade and the Westminster Dog show before they leave for dinner at Mike’s moms and we head to Connecticut for dinner at our niece and nephews home. This is the real tradition—all of this along with breakfast. Here’s the menu:

Here’s Emily wearing her new winter jacket; I love this photo.

Before I forget, I want to tell you about the gratitude pumpkin. That’s right—a gratitude pumpkin. Not a real pumpkin but a pumpkin made of 8 strips of orange paper. On each strip you write one thing you are grateful for. Susan and I made them in our 4th grade Bridges Together class. Then stable it together to form a pumpkin. Voila!

My writing (hand-writing that is) is not so good. This is what I wrote:

  • I am thankful for our grandchildren
  •  I am thankful for my wife, Susan
  •  I am thankful for my brother and sisters
  •  I am thankful for my friends
  •  I am thankful for my son & daughter
  •  I am thankful for our dog, Freddy
  •  I am thankful for our beautiful home
  •  I am thankful for my health (Not so sure if I am thankful for the kidney stones. After one operation I am drinking so much water I feel like the main character in John Irving’s “The Water-Method Man.” Who knows what 2020 has in store for me.)

So what about the quiche?

I hardly ever make a crust for my quiche. Why bother? And crustless means less calories for those like me who are working to lose weight! A goal for 2020 for sure.

You can add almost anything to this quiche: onion, bacon, sausage, spinach, peppers. In this quiche I added leek, mushrooms, and tomato.

Preheat oven to 375F

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup half & half and 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash, oven-roasted at 400 for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • pinch of nutmeg or allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Grease a 10″ pie plate.

Roast butternut squash for about 30 minutes and then set aside to cool.

Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add half & half and heavy cream, salt and pepper, and nutmeg, and beat thoroughly. Then add your vegetables and cheese.  Mix well. Pour the mixture into your prepared pie plate. I added a few sliced mushroom to half of this because our grandson loves mushrooms. Who knew!

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35–45 minutes. Maybe 50 minutes if your prefer a crusty top!

Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

One last tradition. We always listen to Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Eve or Day!

So, what are some of our family traditions? Name at least three and I will send you a Christmas Card!

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.