Well Dined

30Oct/131

Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

So I actually made this a year ago and didn't manage to post it before it was way past butternut squash season, doh!  I figured I would just hold off and post about it the next Fall, which is what I am doing now.  The problem is, my photography has improved leaps and bounds since then so these photos look really awful.  I am so sorry in advance, but the mac and cheese is really good.  I promise.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

I saw this recipe on an episode of The Chew, and the idea was that it was orange and black for Halloween.  Orange from the squash, black from the kale.  Except that kale is green, even when it's wilted...  Whatever - it uses Fall produce and it's delicious, so let's pretend it works.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

Cook up some bacon (I used pancetta because stuff and things), add some butter, sweat some onions and garlic, wilt some kale - awesome.  So here's where the original recipe gets weird (The Chew website is notoriously bad at reviewing their recipes) - it says to have 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced, and to saute the squash in the pan.  Then later it says to add in the butternut squash puree.  What butternut squash puree?  There is no butternut squash puree in the ingredient list.  Huh?  Also - sauteed squash?  Meh.  So here's what I did (as you can see in the previous picture) - tossed that cubed squash with olive, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; then roasted it.  Yummy.  Then I took half the roasted squash and mashed it.  Ah-ha!  Now there is butternut squash puree, sort of.

24Jul/130

Fig, Mascarpone, and Goat Cheese Galette with Coconut

Well Dined | Fig, Mascarpone, and Goat Cheese Galette with Coconut

This rustic beauty came about by accident.  I had intended to make a cherry pie, but my plans for obtaining cherries fell through.  So I ended up with some pie dough and nothing else.  I went to the store to see what fruit was available and found some Turkish figs.  "This could definitely work," I thought.  Then I thought of a creamy smear of mascarpone underneath, and oh!  What if I added in some goat cheese, too?

Well Dined | Fig, Mascarpone, and Goat Cheese Galette with Coconut

So I dumped a container each of goat cheese and mascarpone cheese into bowl with some honey and mixed them together.  Then I got to thinking, "What about some cardamom in here?"  So in it went.

Well Dined | Fig, Mascarpone, and Goat Cheese Galette with Coconut

I rolled out my pie dough and spread the cheese mixture over it.  I only ended up using half of it, but it made a great dip for crackers and fruit so that was fine.  I arranged the quartered figs over the spread and then had another thought.  "You know what goes great with cardamom?  Coconut!"  So I dug out some sweetened coconut flakes from the pantry to sprinkle over the top.  A brush of cold water and sprinkling of turbinado sugar later, and my masterpiece was ready to bake.

Well Dined | Fig, Mascarpone, and Goat Cheese Galette with Coconut

I threw a lot of ingredients into here, but they ended up blending perfectly.  The spread sort of merged with the flaky crust to make a creamy base for the figs; and the coconut came out perfectly toasted.  Bonus?  My husband was out of town and I got to eat the whole thing myself!  This recipe may have been an accident, but I will definitely be making it again.

7Jan/130

More Figs!

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I've stated before how obsessed I am with figs.  I snatch them up whenever I see them at the store.  Jasper does not share my love of these little jewels, which means more for me!  Bwahahahaha!  ...Okay I'm fine now, sorry about that.

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Mostly I like to eat my figs with cheese - this makes me ridiculously happy.  Coincidentally (or not), I also like to eat my cheese with fig jam.  Anyway, one of the most popular pairings for figs is blue cheese, so I wanted to play around with that a bit.

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I broiled the figs with blue cheese so that they were hot and melty, but I didn't stop there...

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I topped them off with crispy prosciutto and honey.

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It's okay if you drool a little, I understand.

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Going in a sweeter direction - I also made some balsamic glazed figs with mascarpone.

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Adapted from this recipe - I tossed the figs with a glaze made from balsamic vinegar, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest and broiled them.  Then I served them on top of mascarpone whipped with cream and sugar.

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The cream melting into the hot figs with the sweet and tangy glaze... yeah - this was pretty much heaven.

4Jan/130

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

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Spiced butternut squash puree?  Creamy bechamel?  Gooey cheese?  Yes please!  This dish is so comforting and delicious - just perfect for fall.

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Roast  some butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Mash it up with mascarpone, Parmesan, brown butter, garlic, and shallots.

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Stuff the filling into large pasta shells - I used whole wheat to add a semblance of health.  I found one box of shells to be too many, actually - so I filled the others with cheese and tomato sauce.

2May/120

Spring Orzo Dishes

I was looking for a light (but filling) Spring side dish and stumbled upon this recipe for a Zucchini and Orzo Salad with Feta - perfect!  It was so delicious and refreshing that I ended up eating it by itself for lunch instead of pairing it with salmon like I had intended.

But I did still need a side for the salmon, and I had extra orzo and some Mascarpone that I needed to use up.  So I made this Creamy Mascarpone Pasta with Peas and Chives - yum!

10Apr/120

Easter Dinner

We didn't really do anything for Easter this year, and I didn't want to let it pass without a little bit of celebration - so I made some adorable little egg dishes in honor of the holiday.