I reject the notion that pie is a seasonal treat.

This is one of the recipes that I should have blogged in November but got distracted and didn’t. Have you noticed that we treat pie like a season treat? We make apple pies in the late summer and fall, leading up to that pie extravaganza that is Thanksgiving. But seriously, you can make and eat pie ALWAYS. So really, I’m just making a statement about how we should be eating pie more often. You’re welcome.

Actually, as I’m sitting here finally writing this I’m wondering if I should wait until National Pi day in March….but NO. I’ve procrastinated long enough. Plus now I’ll just have to make something new for then.

Moving on.

I’ve been making pies for a while now. My aunt and I used to make all the pies for Thanksgiving starting when I was in high school to take some of the burden of the meal off my Gram and great-grandmother. So when my office decided to have a Thanksgivukah party and I got a Friendsgiving invite I decided it was time to bust out my pie magic.

squash

When I was in Peace Corps I developed an awesome pumpkin pie-esque recipe–except rather than pumpkin it uses butternut squash. And I love it.

Immersion blenders are made for times like these.

Immersion blenders are made for times like these.

Butternut Squash Pie:

1.5 c butternut squash
1 c light brown sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 c half and half or cream
2 Tbs flour
1 Tbs melted butter
spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, vanilla)

IMG_3577

Peel and cut squash into cubes. Boil or steam until soft, add butter and mash. Beat in sugar. Add eggs, cream, spices, and flour. Pour into pie crusts. Bake at 350 for 40-55 mins.

IMG_3587

Most people can’t tell that its not pumpkin. Its easy and tastes good so its one of my faves.

In other news…I’ve gotten to do some cool stuff lately. First D, C, and I went to the aquarium a few weekends ago. I can’t really remember the last time I had been to the New England Aquarium…college I think. It was really fun. We even edged out the little 5 year olds to get spots at the tank where you can pet the rays–they feel so strange!

The face that haunts my dreams.

The face that haunts my dreams.

 

This past weekend I went to NH with C and 2 other ladies for the annual Pond Hockey Classic. There were over 20 rinks and loads of people. It was really cool to be a part of…and thankfully the weather was perfect. The coolest part was that there was a company running 5 minute-ish helicopter rides—so obviously I had to go on one. It was sooo cool. The whole lake was frozen and being in a helicopter wasn’t nearly as anxiety causing as I imagined it would be. Totally worth it.

View from the helicopter of the Pond Hockey rinks

View from the helicopter of the Pond Hockey rinks

Emerging from our ride like champions

Emerging from our ride like champions

 

In conclusion: f*ck cakes, make more pies.

 

 

 

Fall Food Fiesta Episode 2

So there are just so many awesome things you can make in the fall that just taste so much better for the simple fact that it IS fall. I’ve been a major slacker at not putting these next few dishes up here earlier. Sorry. For those of you in the Northeast with me you are understanding that fall is pretty much over at this point. BUT you can totally fight this turn in the weather in the kitchen to squeeze in a few more weeks of fall.

I actually made this dish about a month ago with a pal of mine and was really happy with it. It’s a pork dish (sorry Jewish friends) which made me a little hesitant because I’m not great with pork, but it was awesome. I made an awesome fall pork dish last year too, check it out! This dish is creatively titled Pork Chops with Apples and Onions…clearly they broke out the big ones with that one.

Here’s what you’ll need:

-4 pork chops
-2-3 apples (cored and sliced)
-1 cup chicken broth, beer, white wine, or cider (I used chicken broth)
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
– 2 Tbs butter
-1 onion, sliced
-salt, pepper, and cinnamon/all spice

Pork Chops over Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Pork Chops over Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Trim your pork chops of the extra fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet and add the olive oil. Place the chops in the hot pan and don’t touch them for 3-5 mins (so that you’ll get that great sear). Flip them and do the same with the other side. Remove from pan after around 10 mins and put on a plate (but you’re not done with them yet).

Turn the heat down to medium. Add your butter to the pan, then add the onions and apples. Add the cinnamon/all spice and saute until the apples are soft and the onions are a bit caramelized (~8 mins). Stir in the broth (or whatever broth you choose) and let it reduce a bit (so its gravy-esque). Put your chops back in the pan.

Cook the chops for another 15ish minutes, turning them over half way through and covering them up with you onion/apple biz. Serve over rice or mashed taters.

YUM. Mashed taters, pork, apples, onions...Best.

YUM. Mashed taters, pork, apples, onions…Best.

This is a great fall meal…it has the seasonal flavors I love and it hearty. The one thing that made a huge difference though was READING THE COMMENTS. I cannot stress how important it can be to read the comments for recipes you find online. In this case almost every single comment mentioned that it was lacking something (which is why I added the cinnamon) and that there were some logistical steps missing (like turning the heat down after searing the meat, and giving the apple mixture time to reduce after adding the broth).

Overall a solid meal.

In other news, I did other fall things too 🙂 I carved a bitchin’ pumpkin with the ladies and I stepped up my halloween costume effort this year (youtube tutorials for the win) lol. I got these sick vampire teeth that mold to you teeth so you can talk relatively normal and they look freakishly real. Check out the pics below:

Party Pre-Gaming like champs

Party Pre-Gaming like champs

Obvi we're on the couch taking selfies....just a vamp and lumberjack. NBD

Obvi we’re on the couch taking selfies….just a vamp and lumberjack. NBD

I guess is Jack the Pumpkin King?

I guess its Jack the Pumpkin King?

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! Feel free to share your Halloween costume in the comments 🙂

 

Fall Food Fiesta Episode 1

You know…I tried for like 5 minutes just now to come up with something clever to call the next few posts….I got nothin’. So I settled for some basic alliteration.

The thing is, I love fall. Its basically my fave season. The colors, the temperature (my ideal), the smells, and obvi the foods. Tis the season of PUMPKIN…and squash, and apples, and cinnamon. There really isn’t any other time of year where we go as nuts over these guys as RIGHT NOW. Anyone within a 2 mile radius of a Starbucks knows all about the pumpkin craze (cough…return of the pumpkin spice latte…cough cough).

So I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve cooked up this autumn.

First in this fall fiesta series comes Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Browned Butter Sage Sauce.

I have wanted to make ravioli for a while now, but I got a pretty severe case of the lazies.  And I’m not talking about getting like for serious-serious about this…I’m talking about using wonton wrappers as the pasta substitute. Pinterest paints a pretty detailed road map on just how to do it.

You can pick up wonton wrappers pretty cheap at just about any grocery store (HINT: they are in the produce section and cost under $5).

Cook the squash, add the spices and puree.

Cook the squash, add the spices and puree.

I didn’t follow a set recipe but here’s what I used:

-1 mediumish butternut squash
-Cinnamon and all spice
-~1/4 c. butter
-1/2 parmesan cheese
-1 package wonton wrappers

To start your cook your squash. Add spices, cheese, and butter and blend until smooth.

Add the dollop of squash

Add the dollop of squash

Then its time to assemble your raviolis. Put a dollop of your squash mixture in the center of on wonton wrapper. Then, using your finger or a pastry brush, wet the edges with water and seal with another wrapper. Pinch the edges all the way closed. Continue until all the squash and wontons are gone.

Add the top and seal it up

Add the top and seal it up

Then boil your pasta water and cook the raviolis. They stick together a bit so you will likely have to cook a few at a time. They are done when they float to the top.

Cook'em up

Cook’em up

I messed the sauce up when I made it. I didn’t use fresh sage, or measure so I used too much. I did however brown the butter like a boss.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Butternut Squash Ravioli

This is something I will definitely attempt again now that I know more about it. I kept my cooked raviolis in my strainer which caused them to stick together and also left little circle indents on them (as you can see in the photos). But they’re just so easy to make! You can fill them with anything…I can’t wait to whip up some kind of goat cheese raviolis.

On an unrelated note. I recently took an awesome trip to Colorado with my lady friends. We had the best time at C’s house chilling with the fam, eating amazing food, and super fun activities (tour of the Celestial Seasonings Factory, hiking, gun shootin’). C’s mom made us amazing pancakes for breakfast and a tasty lasagna. And her awesome sis and bro-in-law set up a gun range in the backyard for us to try to shoot a few different guns. He even generously let us break in his new toy–the moving target…I totally hit like 5 of them and it was totally awesome. Here are some photos to commemorate the trip.

Celestial Seasonings Tour...sexy hair nets

Celestial Seasonings Tour…sexy hair nets

Hiking around

Hiking around

Shootin' guns like a boss...note the missing nubs from where I blew them away :)

Shootin’ guns like a boss…note the missing nubs from where I blew them away 🙂

The ladies posing with some assault weapons...NBD

The ladies posing with some assault weapons…NBD

Gettin’ Crafty: Fall Edition

Fall is OFFICIALLY here folks. And I couldn’t be more pumped about it! Fall is my favorite season. 1. The weather is ideal (layers are my jam, bring on the cardigans!) 2. Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING…I think I’ve drank a pumpkin spice latte everyday for a month 3. beautiful foliage 4. Fall crafts and treats! 5. Halloween themed life (hello Hocus Pocus!).

So my pals and I have been really getting into the spirit of fall these days. We’ve been planning fun festive activities (going to a haunted corn maze tomorrow!) and spending time hunting for costumes, etc.

The other night we had a quiet Friday night-in so we could decorate some pumpkins! So fun. I encourage all of you to check out Pinterest for some awesome pumpkin decorating/ holiday decorating ideas!

While we were busy gettin’ our holiday craft on, we also had some tasty seasonal treats!

We toasted up the pumpkin seeds from J’s pumpkin (coated with olive oil, salt, and garlic salt and baked at 350 for about 20 mins) and drank some yummy pumpkin cider (Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider) with cinnamon sugar rimmed glasses!

 

 

 

And when I saw this guy at the Boston Common Coffee Company I just HAD to get it! So adorable…also delicious!

Happy Fall!

 

Apples to Apples: Part 4

I imagine at this point many of you are getting sick of this apple business. I get it. But maybe now its becoming clear for you just how many apples I picked that fateful Saturday…

This being the 4th installment of my apple series I’ll share 2 of the more unique recipes I tried. The first that I’ll talk about is a tasty Fall Apple Sangria….mmmm sangria….

Sangria is one of the easiest things to make because it is very forgiving. Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for sangria because it satisfies so many needs…the need for some booze and it also is a tasty snack. Win win. Here’s how I made this fun fall beverage:

1 bottle sweet white wine (I used a Moscato)
1 bottle champagne (I used a Dry Cooks)
3 bottles of hard cider (out of like a 6 pack)
1.5 Tbs sugar
1/2ish lemon juice
1-2 apples

All you do is dump all this biz in a bowl, let it sit for a little while and DRINK UP!!! Hello Friday!…..I may have drank most of this myself one weekend….

The second recipe I’m going to talk about is one I found on Pinterest…shock I know lol. Its a shake up on Mac and Cheese. Its a Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with bacon and apples.

Now my first issue with this was that I simply couldn’t find canned butternut squash….so I subbed in canned pumpkin instead. You can find the recipe here.

So the picture on the website made it look super good. Even mine photographed pretty well (even without the bacon). I have mixed feelings about the recipe. It has an “interesting” taste. I think that it’s because of the broth that the recipe calls for. Its not bad…its just very different. I’m not sure I would make it again. But I’m really happy I tried it out. And as weird as it may seem, the apples TOTALLY worked. They were crunchy and tart and went so well with the mac and cheese aspect of the dish. Plus, who doesn’t love bacon?

This actually concluded my mini-series on apples!!! And at the present moment I only have about 5 apples left that I’m just snacking on.

How has apple season been for you folks?

Taking the chronicles legit!…also pumpkin pasta!

Hey there folks!

Those of you who have been following the chronicles may have noticed the website change. I decided that it was time to take the blog to a slightly more legit forum…no offense tumblr. Welcome to the chronicle’s new home…wordpress. I uploaded the previous posts onto the new site too. Moving on.

I didn’t have much going on in the kitchen this past week. I went to Chicago for the weekend and didn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping. No food=no cooking.

Last night a friend and I decided to have a low key Friday, so we got together and made  dinner. We ended up making a super tasty pasta dish and a yummy dessert…plus it was healthy. Score. I found a recipe for Baked Butternut Squash Pasta with Ricotta and Toasted Walnuts. Yum right?

I made some substitutions, mainly to use Libbys canned pumpkin instead of the squash. It saved a TON of time and we were able to use the left over pumpkin for desert.

Here is the recipe real quick:

20 oz canned pumkin
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c skim milk
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp walnuts
1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
20 oz whole wheat pasta
spices (garlic, italian herbs, salt, pepper)

Step one: cook the pasta.
Step two: heat the milk, flour, and spices in a sauce pan until thickened. Add pumpkin.
Step three: Mix in the pasta. Dollop the ricotta on top, sprinkle walnuts and top with parmesan cheese.
Step four: bake for about 20 mins until golden brown on top.

We had bought some fresh strawberries and raspberries and fat free Cool Whip for dessert. But we stepped it up even more. My friend had a box of Guilt Free Brownies, so we used the remaining canned pumpkin (secret trick to making things healthier) to the brownies and baked’em up. The end result was hot from the oven chocolate brownies with fresh fruit and Cool Whip.

Overall great way to relax on a Friday night with friends.