Butternut Squash, Blue Cheese and Rosemary Risotto — Chopping Block Report

This recipe called to me for weeks before I got around to making it.  And it was worth the wait!   

As is typical for me, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly.¬† I omitted the spinach, as I really wanted this recipe to be about the squash, cheese & rosemary.¬† In my opinion, even with this simplifying adjument, the recipe needed more squash and rosemary.¬† I realized this in time to add extra rosemary, but not to add extra squash.¬† Next time, I’ll use half as much rice for this amount of squash!


Lasagna, Love, and Lowell

For last weekend’s Green Goddess reunion, I prepared a recipe that has become a classic in my repertoire — roasted butternut squash lasagna.¬† For me, a “classic” is a recipe that friends and family request in advance of get-togethers, one I’ve made so many times that I no longer refer to the actual recipe that first inspired it, and often, one that invokes extra special memories.

This recipe hits a home run on all 3 points!

I first made this recipe for a big work-related gathering in February 2001.¬† I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it since, but I can tell you that it was the meal I made in advance of our daughter’s birth and froze, which I then served¬†at our first family dinner with my parents-in-law when KC was 3 days old.¬† I can tell you that it was one of the many offerings at a combination wedding party, housewarming, and meet-the-new baby weekend that we hosted several weeks later.¬† And I can tell you that it is one of the recipes that comes to mind whenever the Green Goddesses are gathering and whenever I start to feel the first crisp fall air of the season.

But none of those things are the most memorable thing about this recipe for me.¬† The most memorable thing about this recipe for me is that it inspired the only marriage proposal I’ve ever received.¬† Now, you might be thinking that my husband must REALLY like this dish.¬† But you’d be wrong.¬† Peter likes this dish, but he’d take a classic lasagna over this one in a heartbeat.¬† One of the ironies of my life is that the only marriage proposal to which I’ve ever been a party did not involve my husband.¬† It came from the late Lowell Trede, father of one of my best friends, who was the recipient of a pan of this lasagna that was leftover from that very first gathering where it was served.¬† That’s right….I sent a pan of lasagna home with Teri, who gave it to her father.¬†The pan came back spotlessly clean and accompanied by an endearing marriage proposal!¬† Lowell LOVED this lasagna!¬† And I adored Lowell for his enthusiasm!¬† But I held out, after promising Lowell more lasagna….and the rest is history!¬†

Make this lasagna and share it with the people in your life.  Let me know what happens!

Appetizers & Snacks Soups & Stews

Something Old and Something New

We have started to see signs of fall, and summer officially ended this week, so I’ve had some of our favorite fall recipes on my mind.¬† Monday night’s dinner brought an old favorite with a seriously new twist:

butternut squash soup

crostini with blue cheese compound butter

I discovered this recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons last winter when I was trying to find new ways to use the squash that we were getting in our weekly produce delivery.¬† I typically omit the cream, and we don’t miss it at all.¬† This soup is great with the gruyere croutons described in the recipe,¬†but I was inspired to pair the soup with blue cheese last year¬†after I read this recipe for Butternut Squash an Apple Soup with Melted Blue Cheese.¬† Hence, our riff on the gruyere croutons.¬†Since I typically¬†don’t have apple cider in the house, I find the first squash soup recipe¬†less complicated to make.¬† In this case, I made it the day before, and I only had to heat it up when I got home from work.

kale chips

These Tuscan Kale Chips were interesting.¬† In the words of my daughter, they were “the oddest thing I’d ever served!”¬† That said, we liked them quite a bit.¬† This recipe struck me as one of the many instances where cooking and chemistry really are one and the same.¬† Even if you don’t think you like greens like kale and chard, this one is worth a try!¬† It’s one of those recipes that I’ll pull out from time to time when I want to serve something novel to guests that can also serve as a conversation piece!