Well Dined

22Nov/160

Thanksgiving Roundup 2016

It's that time again! Whether you are having a traditional family gathering with lots of old favorites, or a funky gourmet "Friendsgiving" - I hope that you find some inspiration here. Happy Thanksgiving, my lovelies!

Well Dined | Thanksgiving Roundup

Salads:
Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale, Apple, and Red Onion
Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Broccolini

Well Dined | Thanksgiving Roundup

Sides:
Sage Stuffing with Sausage and Apple
Mashed Potatoes and Hard Cider Gravy
Gourmet Green Bean Casserole
Bacon Popovers

Well Dined | Thanksgiving Roundup

Corn Pudding
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
Bourbon Bacon Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Sage
Balsamic Honey Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

31Oct/167

SRC – Pumpkin Maple Custards from Things I Make (For Dinner)

Well Dined | Pumpkin Maple Custards

It's time for a seasonal post from the Secret Recipe Club!  Our theme was Fall Dishes and I was assigned Things I Make (For Dinner).  This blog is written by Sarah who, in addition to my name, shares my love of cooking, travel, and sleeping.

Fall means pumpkin for a lot of people, myself included, and I found a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that looked yummy.  For me, it also means apple; like this Apple Crisp or Apple Fritter Cake.  But what about something a little different, like Nutella Ice Cream? Or something savory like Tex-Mex Stuffed Butternut Squash?

In the end, there was one dish that caught my eye the most: Pumpkin Maple Custards.

Well Dined | Pumpkin Maple Custards

These custards are made with pumpkin, cream, milk, maple syrup, egg yolks, and spices.  Simple and delicious.  After the base is made, it is poured into ramekins and baked in a water bath, much like creme brulee.

27Oct/160

Halloween Recipe Round-up

If you are in need of festive dishes, look no further!  I have collected my most relevant recipes onto one page for you.

Halloween Candy

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Halloween Candy Bark
Candy Corn Jello Shots

Apple Desserts

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Apple Oat Muffins
Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Cheddar Apple Hand Pies

Black and Orange
More like green and orange, but you get the idea.

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese
Sweet Potato and Chard Gratin
Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

11Dec/150

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Well Dined | Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

A little bit sweet, a little bit savory, a little bit herby and cheesy - this yummy dish looks gorgeous and tastes amazing, plus it is low carb!  Both the husband and I loved it, which is sometimes difficult to achieve.  So I call this one a winner!

Well Dined | Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Start by roasting some squash halves (keep in mind that the full recipe uses 2 whole squashes, even though I only show 1).

Well Dined | Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Meanwhile, make the filling by sauteing onion, celery, garlic, and herbs; browning crumbled sausage; and then adding apple.

13Nov/150

Sweet Potato and Chard Gratin

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Are you looking for a new side for your Thanksgiving dinner?  Maybe something a little more grownup and sophisticated?  This gratin with sweet potato, chard, Gruyere, fresh herbs, and lots of garlic may be perfect for you.  You could certainly make it for a non-holiday dinner as well, though it does take quite a bit of time with pre-cooking, layering, and baking.  Luckily, I was with my dear friend Melissa (Smells Like Brownies), who helped with the prep-work.

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Start with a big sweet potato (or two smaller ones) and a whole lot of chard (seriously - a lot)

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Peel the sweet potato and slice thinly, then set aside.

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Remove the stems from the chard, chop, and place in a big pot with some onion that has been sauteing in butter.  Look at those colors!  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; and cook until soft.  

13Nov/141

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pies

Well Dined | Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pies

Melissa and I are back at it!  This time it is with a super delicious, and seasonally appropriate, roasted vegetable pot pie that is super comforting and filling.  I think even meat eaters will love it - seriously!  If you think about it, there isn't that much chicken in a regular pot pie, and it is in tiny cubes that sort of blend in with everything else.  So who's gonna miss it?  Not me!  Especially not when you top it with a killer rosemary and black pepper crust.  I'm not kidding, you guys, this crust is awesome.  I want to use it for all kinds of savory tart type things.  This recipe is labor intensive, so give yourself time.  Or make it with a buddy!

Well Dined | Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pies

So, first step - make the dough for the crust.  This involves flour, butter, buttermilk, egg yolks, and (most importantly) rosemary and black pepper.  Crack that black pepper yourself, you want the flavor and the unevenly sized bits.  The crust is what makes this dish special, so don't skip it!

Well Dined | Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pie

Next, cut up those veggies!  So, so many veggies.  We made a lot of editorial choices with this recipe - eliminate pumpkin (who needs it when there is also butternut squash?), boost the brussels, etc...  Afterwards we realized (per Melissa's husband) that replacing the carrots with parsnips would have added a nice pepperiness to balance the sweetness of the squash.  Good idea, Dave!

30Jan/142

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

I had a plan to make spinach and butternut squash lasagna roll-ups last week.  But then I decided to add chicken so that Jasper would be more likely to eat it (note that this plan failed, ha).  And then I thought it would be good to make my own spinach whole wheat noodles, which turned out to be too fragile to roll up, especially with the heavy chicken added.  So it turned into a regular layered lasagna instead, and I'm not even sad.  The colors were so pretty, and it was gooey and cheesy and filling.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

So here's where I made a mistake - I thought I would be clever and puree the spinach in the food processor instead of the blender before adding  in my flour in order to reduce the number of dirty containers.  Except that the food processor didn't really puree the spinach very well.  I even had a moment where I stopped and thought I should transfer it to the blender and decided against it, *sigh*.  All those little flakes of spinach made the dough very fragile and difficult to work with, but I stuck it out.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

The noodles turned out fine (and they certainly tasted good) when cooked, but they were still too fragile to roll (and not very pretty).

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

So I just layered them instead and all was well.  Now, remember earlier this week when I talked about having leftover butternut squash?  Well, this is where it went.  I pureed the roasted squash and shallots together to make a sauce.  A little of that went on the bottom of the pan, then a layer of noodles.

27Jan/140

Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

This is a perfect winter weeknight meal.  Buy some pizza dough from the store, throw on some delicious winter veggies, finish with smokey bacon and mozzarella.  Done.  Awesome.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

Remember how I only needed a little bit of squash for last week's Carbonara?  Well, this is what I did with the rest of it - cubed it up and roasted it with shallots, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  I only used about half of this squash for the pizza - the rest of it?  Stay tuned.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

Ugh, blurry picture.  Sorry.  Anyway, top some rolled out dough with slices of smoked mozzarella, the roasted squash, some kale rubbed with olive oil, and some halfway cooked bacon.  I bought some fresh dough from Whole Foods because I really didn't feel like making my own, but I wish they sold wheat dough.  That would make things easy AND healthy.  Also, I really should have split this into 2 pizzas.  It was almost too big for my stone and I ended up with a lot of crust.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

In the super hot oven, the bacon finishes cooking, the kale becomes crispy, and the cheese gets all melty and golden.  Yum.  The smoked mozzarella is really key here, it goes so well with the bacon and the kale - so don't skip it!

15Jan/140

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese – Three Ways

Well Dined | Buttery Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

So I got this combination of ingredients into my head and couldn't stop thinking about all the ways I could use them.  Pasta, pizza, tarts - the list goes on.  I decided to caramelize a big batch of onions, roast a big squash, and use them all week in a few different dishes.

Well Dined | Roasted Butternut Squash

First off, I peeled and cut up a large (4 lb) butternut squash and laid the cubes out on a baking sheet.  I drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg.  Then I roasted them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  I used some right away, and stored the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.

Well Dined | Caramelized Onions

For the onions, I bought one of those bags that has about 5 onions in it, sliced them all, and threw them in a large pan with olive oil.  After they turned translucent and soft, I turned the heat down from med-hi to med-lo and let them caramelize.  This will take anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.  About halfway through, I added a few sprigs of thyme.  Once they were really brown, I added a splash of sherry to de-glaze the pan and removed the thyme stems.  Again, I used some right away, and stored the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.

6Jan/140

Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Oh my gosh, you guys.  This might be my favorite butternut squash pasta since the life-saving mac and cheese.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Sheets of homemade pasta filled with roasted butternut squash, apple, onion, sausage, and three cheeses; topped with a creamy sage bechamel.  It's totally swoon worthy.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

The filling is a little complicated, but totally worth it.  While your butternut squash is roasting in the oven, mix up and brown your sausage mixture.  Did I mention that you are creating your own sausage, so you can adjust the spices to your liking?  And you can be sure that there are no weird preservatives or sugar?  Awesome.  Anyway, next you saute some onions, garlic, and apple.  Plus a little white wine - aww, yeah.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Oh my gosh this filling.  It's insane.  You may want to make extra to use in other ways.  I'll talk about that later.