October 28, 2011

Spinach Gouda Grilled Cheese

OK so grilled cheese does not need a recipe. I'm only posting this because it was a delicious idea that I want to remember later.

I used this Arnold Butter Split Top high fructose corn syrup-free bread
1 slice of Gouda cheese
1 small handful of fresh baby spinach
Smart Balance olive oil based "buttery spread"

I think you know what to do from here ;)

p.s. I've tried it with more cheese because I love cheese and more should be better, right? But surprisingly I find that it's too much. Restrain yourself, one slice is perfect!

October 17, 2011

Spicy Veggie Cold-Fighting Soup

I was home sick with a terrible cold this past weekend so I whipped up some soup using some of the leftover filling from last weeks Butternut Squash Pasties. It's a pretty rough recipe but it was delicious so I'll share anyway :)


  • about 2 cups diced fresh veggies (I used butternut squash, carrots and onion)
  • 4 small diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup or so chopped cabbage
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, rosemary, bay leaf, dried parsley (yea, I eyeballed all of this. I was apparently heavy-handed with the peppers)
Throw all of this into a crockpot and cook on high for 5 hours. I added half a can of white beans during the last 30 minutes to add some protein. Leave this out if you wish or maybe add rice or pasta instead. Adjust seasoning to taste.


October 11, 2011

Butternut Squash Pasties

ahem - Pronounced PASS-tee, has nothing to do with the burlesque adornment nor is it like glue.

The pasty is a traditional meat pie/sandwich (basically a homemade hot pocket) that originated in Cornwall, England. If you're interested in more history you can read about it here. It comes into my family by way of Escanaba, Michigan where immigrants from Cornwall and Finland settled and made them popular. My grandmother grew up there and, this past weekend, she was in town. She, my mom and I made some U.P. style pasties.


I then modified the recipe to suit my tiny kitchen. I am not really equipped to make pastry from scratch (and anyway, this blog is all about EASY) so I substituted crescent roll dough. The result was flaky and fluffy as you'd expect from a crescent. Yummy, but not ideal for hand-held consumption as a pie crust might be.

Here's the original filling recipe (from memory)
3 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups diced rutabaga
2 cups diced onion
1 lb ground meat
salt and pepper
your own pie crust recipe

Mix all ingredients together. Dough should be rolled out to about 10 inch ovals and filled with the (raw) filling mixture. Fold dough over and pinch edges together. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Makes at least 10 pasties. (actually, now that I think about it, we made 10 and still had half of the filling leftover. And we didn't use nearly 3 lbs of potatoes.)

My recipe (a work in progress)
4 smallish yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1/2 lb ground beef
salt and pepper
a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove
2 rolls of crescent roll dough

Note: I precooked the filling because I knew the crescent roll dough would burn if in the oven for an hour.

Cook meat in a skillet. Drain off some of the fat if there is a lot. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir to combine. Let cook for just a couple minutes. Roll out dough so that you have 8 rectangles total (made up of 2 triangles each). Place about a half cup of the filling onto on corner of each rectangle, fold over the other side and pinch the edges together. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

My next experiment will be a vegetarian version and possibly a dessert version. Stay tuned for those recipes!

October 6, 2011

Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Curry Soup

I found this recipe at Martha Stewart's website (of all places) yesterday and I just happened to have everything I needed to make it at home already. So of course I had to try it out. I followed the recipe pretty closely except I did not make my own curry spice mix (I just used a store bought curry powder) and I added a bit of orzo pasta to bulk it up a bit. Delicious!


  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 half a sweet onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, cubed
  • 4-5 cups water + 1 bouillon cube
  • 8 oz red lentils
  • 1/4 cup of orzo pasta
  • a dash of red pepper flakes for extra heat
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt butter at medium heat in a big pot or dutch oven and add salt and curry powder and stir for a minute.
  • Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Stir in ginger powder.
  • Add squash to pot, stir and let cook for about 5 min. until squash starts to soften.
  • Add water and bouillon and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 min. (at this point I used my potato masher to mash some of the squash a bit.)
  • Stir in lentils and orzo and simmer for 10 to 15 more min. until soft.
  • Taste and add spices as desired.