Pasta with Pumpkin,Italian Sausage, Sage and Spinach.

Perfect Autumn or Winter fare!

Yep. It must be autumn because Pumpkin is everywhere. And at times I want to shoot myself for being sucked into the vortex. Really. It does become overwhelming- candles, coffee, face masks, candy, lotion, vinegar, etc. It definitely gets overwhelming. However, there are times when it just works. Like this pasta. Subtle, creamy, sophisticated, velvety. And absolutely smells divine. My husband who is not a pumpkin fan, walked in from outside and asked what smelled so delish? It isn’t hard and actually comes together within 30 minutes. Do your prep first-It will make this easy when entertaining.

This is a worthy dinner party option- served with an apple/arugula/goat cheese/toasted walnut/apple cider vinaigrette salad. People will ask you for the pasta recipe. Make it.

Beauty Shot:

Valley of the Gods

Pasta with Pumpkin, Italian Sausage and Spinach

Ingredients:

1 lb Conchiglie (shell) cooked pasta. Use a medium size (Hint: cook your pasta in chicken stock for an extra level of flavor). And save a half cup of pasta water/stock for the sauce!

1 Can 15 oz of Pure Pumpkin Puree (do not get pie filling!)

1 lb. Mild bulk Italian Sausage (Can go spicy if you prefer)

1/2 C Toasted Walnuts, chopped

12 leaves of Fresh Sage, rinsed and patted dry

2 T Minced Fresh Garlic

1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped

1/2 C Dry White Wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)

2 1/2 C Chicken Stock

2 T Tomato Paste

3/4 C Heavy Cream

1/4 C Plain Greek Yogurt

Pinch of Nutmeg

Shaved Parmesan for serving

Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting It Together:

Put 1 T of EVOO into large fry pan/skillet. Heat to medium. Put in the sage leaves and fry. Will go very quick. Like, a minute or less. Fry on one side for about 30 seconds. Flip. When they are crisp, remove and place on paper towel lined plate.

Put the Italian Sausage into the same pan. Cook and crumble till browned. Add another T of EVOO to pan. Add in onion and garlic. Cook till onions are softened and garlic is fragrant. Add in wine. Stir scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce just a bit. Add in the pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt and chicken stock to the pan constantly stirring to blend a smooth sauce. Add in the tomato paste and stir again till well incorporated. Add pinch of nutmeg.

Slowly add in the heavy cream. Stir. Take 5-6 fried sage leaves and crumble into the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.

Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Place the fresh spinach into the colander. Drain the pasta over the spinach. Pour the spinach/pasta mix onto a large platter or bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pasta/spinach mix. Stir till coated. I like a platter or large pasta bowl so every bit of pasta gets covered in the velvety sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Finish with toasted walnuts, shaved parm and sage leaves.

Note: You can also use blanched, chopped kale.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Enjoy!

Terri

Lemon. Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic.

And add in crisped Prosciutto to take it to the next level!

Lemon. Can be sweet, can be savory, can be tangy, can be surprising. (Sounds like most women I know!) It’s flexible, resourceful, delightful. It’s malleable, takes on characteristics of what its paired with, and still holds its own. (Again, sounds like most women I know!)

This pasta is a quick dinner or side dish- and hits the umami spot just fine. Pair it with a roast chicken or grilled salmon and a salad for a complete dinner. And it’s great cold too!

Beauty Shot:

Lemon Pasta with Roasted Garlic

Ingredients:

1 lb angel hair pasta

1 32 oz. box of Chicken Stock ( I like Kitchen Basics or Simple Truth)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (Takes 3-5 lemons)

Zest of one lemon (Use one of the ones you are squeezing)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup olive oil

Optional: 2 T butter added to sauce when making. I suggest you do this!

1 large head of roasted garlic (process below + do this a day ahead if possible. Though does make the house smell heavenly!)

1/2 C shaved Parmesan + more for serving

Fresh chopped cilantro- good handful then chop.

Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

Optional: crisped Prosciutto ( so good!)

Yup. Chipped the plate. Stuff happens!

Putting it Together:

Roast the Garlic: heat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is preheating, prep the garlic. Remove the outer layers of large garlic head. (might as well do four. For the extras, place the cooked cloves removed from skins into jar and cover with olive oil. Will keep for 2 weeks. In the refrigerator) Cut off top 1/4 inch and place bottom down onto aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Crunch up the aluminum foil to close and place into oven. Will take appx 45 minutes to roast to softness. Depends on size of garlic heads and oven. This can be done a day ahead to speed through lunch or dinner prep.

NOTE: sometimes you just want to eat this quick! On that real possibility, use minced garlic from a jar. It is not as creamy and does miss that carmelly sweetness, but it is still very delicious! Just be sure to drain the water from the garlic. And use 2 heaping tablespoons.

Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and heat to boiling. Add in a healthy pinch of salt. Put the dried pasta into the stock. To reach al dente will take about 12 minutes. Of course, cook to your desired doneness. Remember: save a cup of pasta stock water when you drain the pasta. You will use this for your sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. When it starts to shimmer, add in the red pepper flakes. Stir. Slowly add in the lemon juice, stirring while you add it in. Let simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Salt and Pepper to taste. Carefully add in the roasted garlic cloves and remove from heat.

This smells as delicious as it tastes! Note: I added the butter to the sauce-
another layer of flavor

Remember: grab that cups of pasta stock-water before you drain your pasta. Now, return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in. Mix in half of the pasta stock water. Add in half of the sauce. Toss gently. Add in more of the stock water and sauce till pasta is coated and glossy. Toss in 1/4 cup of shaved parm. Toss again. Pour onto platter.

Top with Parm, Lemon zest, and chopped Cilantro. Grind fresh black pepper. This is the way I like to eat the pasta, you can adjust the amount of lemon, red peppers, Parm. Make it your own!

Serve alongside hunks of good bread and butter, a simple salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette, (say romaine, sliced radishes and chopped orange bell peppers), and you are done.

Enjoy!

Terri

Pleasure.

Pleasure doesn’t have to be complicated. It can come from a walk on the beach. Seeing your kids interacting as adults and enjoying each other. It comes from a perfect simple meal. Fresh laundry and clean sheets on the bed. A new puppy sleeping soundly.

And new combinations. I took inspiration from Rachel Ray on this recipe. And there are so many ways to play with it. At the core is a simple recipe of clean creamed corn. Then play to your hearts content. Start with the recipe here, then expand to what you like to add.

Beauty Shot:

Creamed Corn with Grilled Scallops and Quick Pickled Onions

Ingredients:

1/2 Red Onion sliced thinly

1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 C Water

1 T Granulated Stevia (of course you can use sugar in the same amount)

Kosher salt

1/2 Red Onion diced (the other half of the the thinly sliced one!)

6 Ears of Cleaned Corn (I used Peaches and Cream-was delish!)

1 T EVOO + a little for brushing the scallops

1 12 oz. can Evaporated Milk

1-1 1/2 half-pound Large Scallops, cleaned and patted dry

2 tsp Minced Garlic (cheat and use the jarred stuff here)

1/2 C halved Grape Tomatoes (if you can use yellows and reds-nice flavor add and color)

1/2 C Chiffonade cut Basil

1/4 C Chopped Cilantro

Putting it Together:

Halve the tomatoes.

For the quick pickled onions: Take the red wine, water, pinch of kosher salt and Stevia and place into medium pot on medium heat on stove. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add the onions.

On to the Creamed Corn: For 4 of the ears of corn, slice off the kernels and set aside. On the remaining 2 ears, grate them with a box grater. (No flour here! The grated corn will thicken the mixture.) Keep the grated and kernels separate.

Turn on the grill and set to high heat.

On the stove, in a deep fry pan, heat 1 tsp of EVOO to medium and glistening. Add in the chopped red onion and garlic. Cook till softened, 4-5 minutes. Make sure to stir so the garlic doesn’t burn! Will turn bitter.

Add in corn kernels and cook till warmed through about 3 minutes. add in the grated corn and evaporated milk to the pan. Cook down till slightly thickened. Add in 1/4 C of the basil to the mix. This will be the base for the scallops so don’t want it to runny. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Brush the scallops with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Can skewer, or use a grill pan to grill. Grill one side for 2 minutes, then flip and grill other side for 1 minute, or until no longer opaque.

Of course, you are also welcome to pan fry. In case you are getting wind and rain like we were. Just pat dry, heat pan on medium high, add in olive oil (and a pat of butter if you are me), place scallops in the pan. Let stay with original side down for 2-3 minutes to achieve browning. After browned, flip and continue to brown for 2 minutes more.

Serving:

Place a ladle or so of creamed corn mix to a plate. Place 1/4 of the scallops on top of creamed corn to one side. Add a 1/4 of the tomatoes next to the scallops. Next, place some of the pickled onions next to the tomatoes. Top with the some of the basil, and cilantro.

try on other trick: stir in some chiffonade basil into the corn mix just before serving. Then top per the directions. The heat releases the beautiful scent and flavor. No more than a teaspoon or two.

So fresh and summer like! And with corn season upon us, you will make this often!

Enjoy!

Terri

Tales.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao Tzu… I believe he captured the spirit of adventure and life perfectly. The act of putting one foot in front of the other at times can be mindless. I am going to run to the grocery store. Going to start the laundry. At other times it is a gift- running to hug someone that really needs the comfort. And yet at other times, it can be the most difficult thing in the world; relearning how to walk after an accident, saying good bye to someone forever then turning and walking away.

But I want to speak of happy tales- adventures, exploration, joy. When we experience joy, new things, we open up new synapses in our brains. Expanding our own internal footprint. When I hike a new trail, take a new road, see beauty or create a new dish, I know I am creating a new tale for my history. And all it takes is a single step to begin.

This hummus is the best hummus I have ever eaten. And that’s not bragging. It is the truth. SO much better than store bought. And yummy with crudites, naan, on top of chicken, lamb, etc.. Truly, when I make this, we eat the whole batch in 2 days. And that’s a lot of hummus. So take that first step to making your own hummus..Your brain will light up with happiness.

Hummus with Sea Salt, EVOO and Za’tar

Beauty Shot:

Spring Creek Slot Canyon

Hummus with Garlic

Ingredients:

2 cans Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp baking soda

1/2cup fresh lemon juice (do the work, it makes a huge difference) + more to taste if you choose.

2-4 cloves of garlic chopped. ( I like a lot of garlic so I go heavy. If you don’t, go light)

1 tsp sea salt

1 Cup Tahini ( I like organic Tahini- like Simple Truth from Kroger or Trader Joe’s organic Tahini)

2 T EVOO

4 T cold water (I use cold water out of the refrigerator door)

Toppings:

Za’tar (look in middle eastern food stores, Cost Plus World Market carries it, and some grocery stores.)

Toasted Pinenuts

Coarse sea salt

EVOO

Putting it Together:

Take the 2 drained cans of chickpeas and place them and the baking soda into a medium pan on the stove. Cover with 2″ of water and bring to low boil. Allow to boil for 20 minutes. Peas will begin to lose their skins- don’t worry this is a good thing! (you may need to add additional water to keep the chickpeas/garbanzos covered).

Happily boiling to softened goodness~

When 20 minutes is done, rinse the chickpeas/garbanzos under cool water in a strainer. (Note: went to an authentic Jordanian restaurant in SLC, Sharazad, and was speaking to the waitress about this trick. She asked me, astonished, how I knew this. She said this is the secret passed down to daughters from Grandmothers!)

Rinsed and Drained
After boiling- no need to throw the skins away! Just add to the processor.

In a food processor, add the garlic, 1 tsp sea salt. Pulse till frothy mixture. Garlic is almost non-existent. Then let stand a few minutes.

Add the cup of Tahini to the garlic mixture in the food processor. Add in the EVOO at this time. Blend until creamy and smooth, Scrape down sides as needed to incorporate all the tahini.

Add in the garbanzo beans to the food processor. and begin machine. While this is processing, drizzle in the 2-4 T of cold water. Scrape down sides and continue to process for about 2 minutes. You may want to add more to achieve the mixture you want. Mixture should be very pale and creamy.

Almost perfect!

Ready to dig in!

Remove from food processor. Put some in a bowl and drizzle with EVOO, coarse sea salt and Za’tar. Dig in with Naan, carrots, Persian cucumber wedges, a chunk of chicken, whatever you like. And I like a bowl of pitted Kalamata’s on the side.

Great snack, full of protein and fiber.

Enjoy!

Sexy.

Men are sexy. Women are sexy. What makes them really sexy is when people are sexy and don’t have a clue they are sexy. The beach can be sexy; especially in the evening with the sun setting down, light breeze and a cocktail in your hand sitting next to the one you love. And obviously, food can be sexy.

Melt in your mouth steak, the perfect piece of sushi, an inordinately lush class of Cabernet Sauvignon, or a silky slice of white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake.

And then there is the silky savory sexy flavor of coconut, cashew butter and spice poured over noodles. With this recipe comes lots of opportunity- change the protein, (tofu, salmon, or none), use a rice noodle in the place of spaghetti squash if so inclined. To me, you can leave out the protein and have a perfect vegan entree.

This is delicious. I could slurp the whole bowl. And you may too.

YUMMY……

Beauty Shot:

Valley of the Gods

Thai Spicy Squash Noodles with Chicken and Cashews

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash roasted and shedded

2 cans unsweetened coconut milk, full fat (not coconut cream)

1/4 C smooth cashew butter

1/2 large sweet onion chopped medium

2 heaping T minced garlic

1 T Gochujang Chili Sauce

1 1/2 T Sriracha Sauce

1 tsp paprika

Olive oil for sauteing onion

1 tsp ghee (or use butter)

2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt

Protein of choice: tofu, salmon, chicken, pork. Add 1 cup chopped chicken, or fried pieces of extra firm tofu, etc. Use your discretion- if you like alot of protein, add it. Just make sure it is cooked prior to adding to sauce. (use a rotisserie chicken to make this easier)

Red pepper flakes for topping

Chopped cilantro for topping

Chopped cashews for topping

Soft or hard-boiled egg for topping- 1 per serving

Putting it together:

Turn oven on and preheat to 450F.

Pierce the skin of the squash on one side and place pierced side up in microwave. Cook for 5 minutes on high. Remove from microwave and allow to cool till you can handle. Split in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.

Place squash on rimmed cookie pan and roast about 20-25 minutes till fork tender.

While squash is roasting, prepare sauce. Over medium heat, saute the onion till light golden color in the olive oil and ghee. Add in garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes till fragrant. Do not let it burn!

Add in spices and coconut milk. I suggest whisking sauce to fully incorporate the cream from the milk. Reduce heat to simmer.

Shred the spaghetti squash and add to the sauce. Option: you can add protein at this point.)

Presentation:

Ladle sauce into large bowls. Top with protein. Top with chopped cilantro, halved egg and cashews. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Dig in. And relish the sexiness that is in front of you. At least the one in the bowl. The rest is up to you.

Enjoy!

Terri

Benefits.

There are so many benefits in life. Hugging a pet brings benefits. Being outside taking in beautiful scenery brings me MAJOR benefits. Doing good for others gives you warm fuzzy benefits. Being loved is like no other benefit on earth.

Eating clean and healthy is a massive benefit that your body will thank you for every day. And when you eat clean, don’t you just exude happiness? I do. And here is a recipe that we love. In fact, I could eat this every week. Like every week day. And if you want to go meatless for a meal, this is satisfying as an entree. Just serve with a salad and some naan. And done! I served it with grilled marinated pork loin. SO good.

Get in my Belly!

Beauty Shot:

High Mountain Desert with Bluebird skies.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Sauce.

Ingredients:

1 large head of cauliflower rinsed and patted dry, trimmed of any spots

Head of garlic

pinch of kosher salt

4 T EVOO

1/4 C Tahini ( I like Simple Truth Organic Tahini)

Warm water

Juice of half a medium lemon

Pinch of salt

Micro greens

Toasted Pine nuts

EVOO for topping ( or other oil for topping- avocado works well)

Putting it Together:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice the cauliflower in half, slicing head from top to bottom, leaving the stem intact. Then proceed to slice in 1/2 inch slices for the rest of the head.

Place on parchment paper lined rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with EVOO. Add the salt to the steaks after they have been roasting for about 15 minutes. I have found that adding before causes the vegetable to steam by drawing water out of the vegetable. Adding later seems to work better for me.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2374.jpg

Take the head(s) of garlic and remove the outermost skin. Cut off the top 1/4 inch of the head so cloves are exposed. Place onto square of tinfoil. Drizzle with olive oil. Pinch closed and place onto cookie sheet with cauliflower. (I like to do a few heads at a time. Easy to add deep flavor to dressings, smash into bread with olive oil, etc. And cuts down on work!)

Watch the garlic after about 20 minutes. It will be soft and easily squeezed out from husk/skin. When it is finished, remove from oven to cool.

While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dressing.

In a deep bowl, add the tahini, lemon juice, salt and whisk together. Add in the water one T at a time to your desired thickness. Typically, 3-4. Whisk after each tablespoon is added. Squeeze the cloves from a single head into a small bowl and smash the cloves. Mix in the smashed cloves into the dressing and whisk thoroughly.

Plating:

Place the cauliflower steaks onto a platter. Drizzle the Tahini sauce over the steaks. Top with micro greens and toasted pine nuts.

You are going to thank me for this recipe!

Enjoy!

Terri

Sprite.

A mythical creature of dubious intent. Also a feeling of lightness of being-probably due to the fact they embody light are mainly cheerful and mostly with good intent. Also known as fairy, elf, puck, pixie, imp, goblin, disembodied spirit. Since this is a positive evoking tome, let’s go with happy pixies.

I speak of sprites because I made a entree that after eating, still left me feeling light. Satiated but comfortable- to me the perfect level. Full, but not weighted.

So i give you Butternut Squash Puttanesca with Shrimp. Classic flavors, warming from the inside.

Beauty Shot:

Butternut Squash Puttanesca with Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs shrimp. (to me, the bigger the better)

1 28 oz can, Cento peeled San Marzano tomatoes

5 T minced garlic

1 small can of anchovies; somewhere between 8-12 (don’t worry, they dissolve. Or if you can’t stand them, leave out. Add extra capers for additional salt. But it is classic with them in there.)

3 T capers

1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives

4 T EVOO, divided into two 2 T portions

2 T butter or Ghee

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes (please adjust to your preference. I like a lot of flavor and some spice)

1 2 lb butternut squash spiralized.

Healthy handful of chopped fresh Cilantro

Shaved Parmesan for serving

Salt and pepper to taste.

Putting it Together:

Prep the squash. Cut the bulb end of the squash off. Won’t need it. Save for another purpose. Like roasting and adding to simple arugula salad. with lemon garlic dressing. YUMMY.

Back to the squash- cut the long part into two three inch parts. Peel them. Then spiralize. Use a medium setting, not a large noodle setting. Otherwise, will take about 30 minutes in the sauce to have the noodles reach al dente.

You can have your husband do the hard work- or your partner. While you enjoy a glass of wine..

Once you are done spiralizing, set the noodles aside and make the sauce.

Add the EVOO to medium temperature pan. Add in anchovies and garlic. Stir till the anchovies dissolve, Add in the pepper flakes to the oil. Saute till garlic is sizzling but not browning.

Garlic, San Marzano tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Need smell-o-vision.

Add in the tomatoes and rough chop. Stir well. Add in capers, olives, ghee. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add in squash noodles. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

While the noodles are simmering, heat 2 T EVOO till shimmering. Add in the shrimp and cooked till done turning once.

Make sure the noodles are al dente- having a bite, but tender.

To serve, place desired amount of noodles and sauce into bowl. Add shaved Parmesan to top of noodles. Top with shrimp. Sprinkle chopped Cilantro over top. Devour.

Hope you make it and repeat whenever you want deliciousness.

Enjoy!

Terri

P.S. No one commented, but Schnee from previous post means “snow” in German.

Schnee.

Winter can come in softly. Or like a bull in a china shop. Lately, we have been cycling through storms. And are bracing for another round. While downhill skiing has benefited greatly, it certainly makes the snowshoeing more challenging. And more beautiful.

When its very cold outside, I like something deeply warming and good for my body. Grounding vegetables and warming spices. And I want to warm from the inside out. As I sit in front of the fire. 🙂

A perfect food to fit the bill is Stuffed Acorn squash- with sausage, eggs, onions, turmeric, sage, butter. I tried consciously NOT to make this taste like stuffing. Which you could do if you added apples to the mix. And lose the turmeric. I hope you enjoy this recipe. And, BTW, I swear it tastes better the next day warmed in a 400 degree oven.

Beauty Shot:

Sausage and Onion stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers)

Ingredients:

2 Acorn squash, split lengthwise. (if you split across, I like to scoop out some of the cooked flesh and stir into the sausage mix.)

6 C fresh spinach, wilted then squeezed dry. Let cool before squeezing!

1 lb bulk mild Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled

2 eggs

1 medium sweet onion fine chop

2 T minced garlic

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

3 medium leaves of sage rolled and minced

4 T of butter, divided 2 T will be melted

Olive oil for sauteing

1/2 C of Japanese-style Panko breadcrumbs or crushed pretzel breading (Kroger Private selection is good and only 7 carbs per serving)

8 oz sauteed sliced mushrooms

1/2 C Shredded Parmesan + some for topping.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Putting It Together:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Split acorn squash and remove seeds forming a well.

In a small dish, melt 2 T of the butter and chopped sage and a pinch of kosher salt in the microwave. Brush over the insides of the acorn squash.

Place into heated oven on rimmed cookie pan, cut side up. Cook until tender, appx 45-50 minutes.

While the squash is baking, saute the mushrooms in a combo of 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil. Use a large pan so mushrooms aren’t crowded.

In another large saute pan or cast iron pan, add sausage and chopped onion. Add Garlic to mixture. Cook till sausage is cooked through and onions are translucent.

Add the sausage mix to the mushrooms and remove from heat.

To wilt the spinach: add 4 T of water to large saute pan heated to medium. Add the fresh spinach. This will cook down quickly so stir often. When wilted, remove to colander to cool. Then squeeze dry. More water will come out than you think. It will reduce to a ball. When adding back into the sausage/onion/mushroom mix, shred with your fingers.

When acorn squash is finished, (think fork tender), remove from oven. If you desire, scoop out some of the flesh and add to sausage/onion/mushroom mix. Be careful not to split/cut the skin.

Add two whisked eggs to the sausage/onion/mushroom mix. Add the turmeric. (Note: if you are allergic, please leave out) Add in squeezed dry spinach.

Add the 1/2 cup pretzel-breading or breadcrumbs to the mix. Add in Parmesan. Stir together until just bound. Salt and Pepper to taste. (And I like to add a healthy dash of celery salt. My FAV condiment!)

Divide the mixture between the four acorn squash. Return to 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes till completely heated through.

Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan. (and I like a bit of Pine nuts added too)

Return to oven till melted. Remove and plate.

Enjoy!

Terri

P.S. Please let me know if you have tried this recipe and what you think!

Ski.

I love to be outside in the mountains in winter. The crisp air, mountains with puffy clouds, bluebird skies, or skies ripe with snow. Truth be told, not a fan of high humidity and horizontal snow. Last week was a day filled with storm riding, wind and one beautiful day with powder. Great time- and with Steve and Lesley!

When you are outdoors all day, I want something healthy and filling. Balanced by something light and bright. So I am feeling Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Olives served with a Sun-dried Tomato and Butter Lettuce salad. (see the directions under “Plenty”, my post from January of 2018) Delish, vegetarian and totally healthy.

Let’s go skiing!

How can you not eat this???

Beauty Shot:

Cauliflower Pasta with Olives

Serves 4 hearty appetites

Ingredients:

2 medium heads of cauliflower cut into florets

1 1/2 cup of castelvetrano olives pitted and chopped.

4 T. creme fraiche (or use full fat sour cream)

3 tsp Zatar (you can find this at Cost plus World Market in the spice aisle)

Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 lb. tagliatelle noodles, dry

1/2 cup shaved Parmesan + some for the table

Putting it Together:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While oven is preheating, cut cauliflower. Place on rimmed baking sheet. May need 2 pans. Drizzle with olive oil. To fully roast, will take appx. 40 minutes.

Chop and pit the olives. ( I like extra olives, so sue me!)

Heat salted water to boiling. Add pasta. Cook till al dente, about 10-12 minutes.

When cauliflower is done, add to large pasta bow. Quickly toss with creme fraiche. Add hot pasta to bowl. Toss in olives. Drizzle with more EVOO. Stir. Top with Parmesan. Serve with salad and crusty bread if so inclined.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Radishes.

Feast!

Enjoy!

Terri

Harbor.

2018 was a tough year. I lost my mom, I lost my dog, I lost my refrigerator. And in that importance ranking. And that year made me realize how important family, friends and pets (aka family), truly are. Sure, its easy to say, of course they are important. And we say that almost daily don’t we? But having them exit your life forever, takes your breath away and makes you sit back on your heels a bit. Or it should.

I am lucky enough to have a great family that supports each other and rallies when times are tough. I am also lucky enough to have those special friends that even though we may be miles apart, can heal your heart with a kind note, quiet dinner or weekend away when you really need it. (And thanks Lois, Marianne and Laurie!)

After having been away from home for 5 months, I am so happy to have my own bed to sleep in, my things around me, friends on the phone, and cook my own meals.

Truly my safe harbor is home.

Here is comfort food to help make your safe harbor a bit more comfy- Creamy baked spaghetti squash with spinach and chicken.

Finished and ready to eat!

Beauty Shot.

Creamy Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Chicken.

Serves 2 and quite heartily

Ingredients:

2 – 3 lb spaghetti squash

3/4 lb single chicken breast

1 5 oz package fresh spinach

1 10-12 oz package frozen artichokes thawed and large chopped

1/2 large onion large chopped

4-6 oz cream cheese softened and cubed

1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated + some for browning

2 T minced garlic ( i like to make it with 3, but I love garlic)

1 Tablespoon water

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Yummy ingredients!

Putting it together:

Turn on oven to 400 degrees. While it is preheating, poke the spaghetti squash multiple times with a fork. Place in microwave and cook for 5 minutes. This will make splitting and coring the squash much easier.

Split the squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Place in oven and roast split side up for about 35-40 minutes. Will depend on the size of squash. Should be fork tender when done.

In a small ovenproof dish, cook the chicken till just cooked through. Or, sear and cook over low heat on your stove top. However you want to cook it, that’s fine. Once its cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

While the squash is roasting, make the chicken. Chop the artichokes, onion, garlic. Cube the cream cheese and place all in a bowl.

In a pan, place 1 T of water and heat. Add spinach and cook till just wilted. Turn your spinach often. Remove to colander. Let cool and squeeze out water. Be careful not to burn your hands!

Add the spinach to the bowl of ingredients. Add celery salt, red pepper flakes and Parmesan. Add the chicken to the bowl.

Chiffonade your basil and set to the side.

When your spaghetti squash is finished roasting, remove from oven. Take a fork and shred the squash lengthwise being careful not to break the skin. Add the shredded flesh to the bowl of tasty ingredients. Mix the ingredients well. Make sure to smash the cream cheese into the mixture well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the mixture between the two halves of spaghetti squash. Top with additional Parmesan and bake. I would suggest about 10-15 minutes. Then turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes to make a delicious brown crust on the top.

Can’t wait to eat!

Top with basil. And devour.

This is restaurant quality at its finest. Remember, you can leave out the chicken for a delicious vegetarian version.

Enjoy!

Terri