I am so ready for fall. It has been a very hot southern summer and I am ready for the weather to cool down. I made this butternut squash pasta, hoping that the weather would notice that I had started to pull out the fall ingredients.
Really I can’t complain about the weather here when our friends in Houston are going through a major natural disaster right now. Here is a link to donate to the Red Cross if you are interested in helping out the Hurricane Harvey victims:
Roasted Butternut Squash Fettuccine
- 5 strips thick cut bacon or 5 ounces of pancetta
- 1 half diced white onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 butternut squash
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 – 1 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth, or pasta water (if you don’t have broth)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 lb fettuccine noodles
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Halve butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and roast until soft, around 45 minutes. Scrape out contents until you have 2 cups of roasted butternut squash.
- Heat a pot of salted water on high until boiling. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Cut bacon or pancetta into small 1/2 inch pieces. Cook bacon or pancetta until brown and crispy, 7-8 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much bacon grease as you are able to.
- Add onion and garlic to the hot bacon grease and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle flour and thyme over entire mixture and stir until mixture is starting to very lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add milk and stir, cooking over heat for 1-2 minutes to warm the milk.
- Transfer liquid mixture and roasted butternut squash to a food processor and pulse a few times, for a few seconds each time, until mixture is combined and the butternut squash is mostly blended. Try not to pulse too much, as the mixture will become gummy.
- Transfer mixture back to the pan and add broth or pasta water until sauce is desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles and bacon. I served this with a side of steamed broccoli. Enjoy!
This big bowl of oatmeal, reminiscent of blackberry pie, is sweetened with dates and blackberry jam with no added sugar.
Blackberry Pie Oats
- 5 pitted dates, chopped finely
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup oats
- Pinch salt
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Blackberry jam
- Milk of choice, if desired
- Toppings: blackberries, pecans, granola, etc.
- Add the dates, salt, and water to a small pot or sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Add oats, cinnamon, and vanilla. Remove from heat, and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes until oats are soft. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of milk of choice, if desired.
- Swirl in blackberry jam and add toppings if desired. Enjoy!
Did you know that today is National Peach Pie Day? It also happens to be National Waffle Day – how is a girl supposed to choose? I ended up making these peach pie-inspired roasted peach crumbles. These are super delicious and incredibly easy to make. They also make a great breakfast.
This recipe can also easily be made vegan by swapping out the butter for coconut oil.
Roasted Peach Pie Crumble
- 2 peaches, halved and pitted
- 1.5 tablespoons butter, melted (or coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons flour of choice (I used almond flour)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice
- pinch of salt (larger pinch if using coconut oil)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange peaches, cut side up, in a greased baking dish.
- Combine melted butter, oats, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Spoon topping over peaches.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until peaches are cooked through and topping is browning. Enjoy!
Holy pancakes, these things are good. Fluffy like a souffle but crispy like a pancake, these babies are the best of both worlds. My husband, a self proclaimed “pancake hater” (yes, these weirdos exist) gobbled these up in a few minutes. It didn’t take long to whip these up, and we enjoyed breakfast for dinner. With a side of fresh fruit and drizzled with agave maple syrup, these souffle pancakes were a tasty end to a long day.
Fluffy Souffle Pancakes
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup unflavored yogurt
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- slightly over 1/4 cup buttermilk (1/4 cup milk with 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar mixed in, let sit for a few minutes before adding)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- few drops vanilla extract
- Mix together milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit on the counter for a few minutes
- Mix together egg yolks, yogurt, powdered sugar, and buttermilk.
- Sift flour and baking powder into mixture and mix well.
- Add lemon to egg whites and whip until they form stiff peaks.
- Fold egg whites into yolk mixture. Take care to fold in gently and do not overmix. Add a few more teaspoons of milk if mixture is too thick.
- Drop mixture onto a heated griddle. I used a cupcake scoop to make the pancakes similar sizes. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with syrup and fresh fruit.
Who enjoyed watching the eclipse today? We only got a partial view, and it got a little bit darker, but it was still really awesome to see! I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, like these eclipse-inspired moon pies. Only 3 ingredients and you’re ready to go!
Eclipse-Inspired Moon Pies
- 8 graham crackers
- marshmallow fluff
- 3/4 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Cut graham crackers into circles using a cookie cutter almost as big as the graham, if you have one. Spread marshmallow fluff on half of the graham crackers and cover with the other half. Heat chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring in between each round, until chips are beginning to melt. Spread over marshmallow/graham combination with a knife. Enjoy!
Why did I ever waste my time trying to make perfect pies? Rolling out the dough, cutting strips of pastry, moving it all to a pie dish, adding the filling, trying to arrange the strips of pastry perfectly all the while they are getting gooey from the filling and starting to fall apart… Why put myself through that torture? I am much too impatient for all of that work, just for a tasty dessert. But then I learned how to make a galette.
What is a galette, you might ask? It is the French term for a flat crusty cake. You start out with a pie crust dough, roll it out, add filling, and bake. The end result has the buttery crispiness of a pie dough mixed with the sweet fruit filling. It is delicious, for half the work of a regular pie. I have tried a lot of pie crust recipes, and my favorite is the William’s Sonoma recipe. It always turns out perfect for very little effort. I make my pie dough in the Cuisinart because that is how my mom taught me to do it.
One thing I would recommend would be to move wrap your pie crust around your rolling pin and move it to your baking sheet before adding the filling. The galette can get pretty heavy with all of the filling inside and you don’t want to risk spilling the filling or poking a hole in the bottom when transferring (definitely didn’t do that….).
You may remember that I have a surplus of sweet cherries laying around (https://lifeoffite.com/2017/08/19/cherry-limeade-smoothie-bowl/). They made the perfect filling for my summer galette. I added less sugar than most people would, because my husband does not like sweet desserts. A small dollop of whipped cream or ice cream was enough to sweeten it up for me.
Easy Rustic Sweet Cherry Galette
For the crust (Adapted from Williams Sonoma Pie Crust)
- 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- egg white
For the filling:
- 3 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup Morano sugar (depending on your taste buds)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- Add all purpose flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until mixture starts to come together. Be sure not to add too much water, as the dough will be sticky. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Mix together the cherries, sugar, lemon, and corn starch.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough on a floured surface until approximately 1/8 inch thick. Wrap around rolling pin and transfer to a baking sheet. Add filling to the middle, taking care to just add the fruit, without the juice. Too much juice will make the crust too soft. Fold in the ends, pleating as you go.
- Brush with egg white and bake for 35-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crust has browned. Enjoy!
I accidentally bought 3 pounds of sweet cherries today. Apparently it is almost the end of sweet cherry season in the south. In other news, lots of cherry recipes coming your way! I rarely buy cherries, but after eating a few (dozen) handfuls of these babies, I was wondering why I don’t buy them every summer. They are the perfect mix of sweet and tart. This smoothie bowl is like drinking a cool refreshing cherry limeade but in smoothie form, it is delicious!
Cherry Limeade Smoothie Bowl
- 1 cup lime yogurt
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/4 ripe avocado
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 cup pitted cherries, halved
- Cherry jam
- Other toppings: pomegranate seeds, more cherries, toasted coconut, almonds, etc.
- Add yogurt, banana, avocado, and lime juice together in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic Bullet.
- Swirl in cherry jam. Add cherries and other toppings if desired. Enjoy!
Sometimes my chocolate chip cookie dough never makes it to the oven. I much prefer a big bowl of cookie dough to a baked cookie. It’s just better. I love cookie dough so much that I probably make a small batch of chocolate chip cookie dough at least once a week and eat it with a spoon.
Traditional recipes usually have at least 1-2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil. Some recipes will use applesauce in place of oil, but that usually needs to be cooked in order for it to work. If I ever tried to substitute something like milk to bring everything together, the recipe would be more gummy and would be more the texture of scone or biscuit batter. While those batters are delicious, the recipe did not compare to the buttery deliciousness of a true chocolate chip cookie dough. The other recipes I have seen involve chickpeas. I have made many a chickpea cookie dough in my day, but no matter what I do, there is always an underlying grittiness to the dough. But yesterday I started to make my usual cookie dough and had a stroke of genius.
Trust me when I say that this recipe is super delicious. I have never seen a recipe that substitutes the fat of coconut cream for butter or oil in cookie dough. This recipe also isn’t super coconut-y. I mean, if you hate coconut, then you may not like this recipe. But if you enjoy something else with a hint of coconut flavor such as curry, then trust me, you will like this recipe.
Secret Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough For One
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut cream (if you only have canned coconut milk, be sure to use the cream that you scrape off the top)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mix together coconut cream with vanilla. Add sugars and salt to combine. Add flour and mix completely. Fold in chocolate chips. Enjoy!
I am not a salad person. I do not go out to a restaurant and get excited about ordering a salad. Yet, I still eat a salad for lunch every day at work. As you can probably tell, I eat a lot of desserts, so I try to balance my diet by eating a very healthy lunch and breakfast every day. I try to mix it up from week to week, rotating ingredients so I don’t get tired of eating the same thing. I have made a lot of salads in the last few years and I will admit that this one is my favorite so far, mostly because roasted peaches are super tasty.
The first part of the recipe involves roasting the peaches with a honey cinnamon butter glaze. Yes you heard me right, if you just see this recipe, make the honey cinnamon butter, and then stop there, I will not judge you. I definitely did not lick the honey cinnamon butter bowl clean after making these peaches (okay I did). These peaches are the best part, and very versatile. I had extra roasted peaches after making the salads and decided to make a phenomenal dessert with them (keep an eye out for that recipe soon). The second part of this recipe involves making a vinaigrette, which you would think would be a lot more difficult than it actually is. Don’t ask me why I decided to make it in the largest mason jar I have, despite an abundance of much smaller mason jars in my cabinet.
Roasted Peach, Kale, and Feta Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1 bunch kale, chopped finely
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup feta
- 5 peaches
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Roast peaches: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Place in greased pan cut side up. Melt butter and add in honey and cinnamon to combine. Brush tops of peaches with honey cinnamon butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until juices are collecting in center of peach.
- Make vinaigrette: Add olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper to a mason jar. Cap the jar and shake vigorously until combined.
- Most people like to massage the kale before eating. If I am making the salads ahead of time for meal prepping, I do not massage the kale. I find that if I chop it finely, add the dressing, and then keep it in the fridge until lunch time that the acid of the vinaigrette has softened the kale. If eating immediately, I would recommend massaging the kale before chopping it finely.
- Dress salad with vinaigrette. Add pecans and feta. Add hot peaches. Enjoy!
Anyone else’s succulent party favor from our wedding still alive? We have three left: two are thriving and one is holding on for dear life. Every time I look at these cute little cacti, it brings me back to two years (how has it been TWO YEARS?) ago to our wonderful wedding. Here’s a picture of those little guys (oh how they have grown) exquisitely captured by Esther Nail. 🙂
I’ve made a variation of this smoothie several times, alternating ingredients for what I have in the house. The components include a mixture of green veggies and various fruit. My main problem with traditional superfood or green smoothies has always been that they either taste like I’m drinking a liquified salad or they are so full of sugar that I think I’m cancelling out any benefit I’m getting from the healthy ingredients. Something about adding the matcha masks some of the earthiness of the green veggies. Plus, then you feel like you’re indulging in a matcha iced latte while still getting a healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants.
Superfood Matcha Smoothie Bowl
- Handful of green leafy veggies (I used a mixture of kale and spinach)
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey or sweetener of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 green apple
- Another fruit: 1/3-1/2 cup frozen peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc., depending on desired level of sweetness (can omit altogether if desired)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Toppings as desired: cut apples, almonds, coconut chips, etc.
- Blend ingredients together in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic Bullet until blended. Add toppings and enjoy!