Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche

Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche
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HAPPY FRIDAY! 6 words for you. Thank. God. It. Is. The. Weekend.

I had what I’m going to call the longest week EVER at work. But I have a super fun weekend planned. I’m heading to the twin cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) to visit my best friend everrrr. She just moved into her and her husbands first official house and I cannot WAIT to see it and help her celebrate being a homeowner and settle in! 🙂

It’s also my birthday on Saturday! 26! Nuts. But I’m sure we’ll get into some shenanigans like we always do when we’re together. Excited!

But before I head out on my fun filled weekend I had to share what I call “the best thing I think I’ve ever made” with you. (I actually said that when I tasted this). This GORGEOUS and delicious dish can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time… you name it!

I used crumbled goat cheese as my cheese and it was seriously perfect. I recommend that but as with all of my recipes, use anything you want! It’s all about experimenting and having fun, & I suggest you try with this, pronto.

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Like I said, I used goat cheese and it was to. die. for. Also you can easily make this so quick. Use store bought pie crust (like me) use pre cut up butternut squash(like me) (you can find this in the natural foods frozen section of most stores, otherwise Trader Joes has some!) if you use some of those handy shortcuts you have a wonderful delicious and somewhat healthified dinner in no time at all!

4Like it looks so good. I think I drooled.DSC_9387 copycan’t stop
won’t stop

Do yourself a favor and try this. Then come back and tell how you liked it! oh and MOST importantly, have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

xoxo669058772380712020613

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Morel Mushroom Risotto

Morel Mushroom Risotto

EDIT of DSC_8358So maybe I’m just desperate for Spring to get here but I was craving morel mushrooms! Usually early spring is Morel Mushroom season in Wisconsin but they were pretty late popping up around here last year due to winter that lasted into April………………………………….but they eventually did arrive! Hopefully I won’t have to wait quite as long this year!

Usually if we have a season where we have a LOT of them, my family will dry them or dehydrate them put them in a jar and we can enjoy them all year long. It’s simple to use them once they are dried- you basically just cover them with boiling water for about 10 minutes and let them reconstitute. This recipe can use both fresh or dried morels. If you use the dried, you use some of the liquid used to reconstitute the mushrooms as liquid in the risotto and it’s to.die.for. Seriously, love it.

If you’ve never tried morels you should! They look a little funky but trust me, they’re delicious! Now I understand that if you don’t live where they may grow wild they can be pricey (like $30/pound) so I give you permission to use any mushrooms you want for this one 🙂 but if you can, try the morels!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 quart stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup minced shallot, leek or onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups risotto rice (Arborio Rice)
  • 1/2 pound fresh morels, or 1 ounce dried
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese

 Instructions: 

FOR FRESH MORELS

  1. Pour the stock and 2 cups water into a pot and bring it to a gentle simmer.
  2. In another medium pot, heat the duck fat or butter over medium-high heat and saute the minced shallot or onion until it softens and turns translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, the morels and the rice and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  3. When the liquid from the morels has evaporated, add 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice and stir well. Sprinkle a little salt over everything. The key to making a great risotto is to constantly stir, or at least stir every minute or so. As each 1/2 cup of stock is absorbed, add another, then another until the rice is cooked through, but still firm.
  4. When you reach that point, add the grated cheese and a little more stock. Stir to incorporate the cheese into the risotto. Add the chopped chives and serve at once.

FOR DRIED MORELS

  1. Start by setting the morels in a bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the morels and cover the bowl. Let the mushrooms steep for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze them dry with your hands over the bowl, catching the juices. Chop the morels and set aside. Strain the soaking water through a paper towel set in a colander; you will be cooking with this soaking water, and you want it free of debris.
  2. Now follow the directions as above, but instead of 2 cups of water, use the 2 cups of the mushroom soaking water.

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TA DA! First of all, I loveeeeee risotto. So creamy and delicious and rich and did I say delicious already? Ahhhhhh. Now I’ve seen “cheaters” risotto out there where you don’t stir so much and you don’t add the liquid bit by bit, but personally I think the labor of love is soooooooo worth it, so I’ve never tried those. If this is your 1st time making a risotto, you’re probably going to think at some point…”um what? no way is all this liquid going in here” but it does! And the result is amazing.

So there you have it and fantastic weekend meal to try! Let me know how yours turned out! I love hearing from my readers! HAPPY WEEKEND!

xoxo

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Malted Milk Ball Creme Brulee

Malted Milk Ball Creme Brulee

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Hi All!

I can’t believe that today is AUGUST 1ST! I mean I love August as it’s my birthday month ❤  🙂 but holy crap! Summer flew by.

So today I wanted to share a seriously delicious (although not quite what I’d call low fat/healthy) special dessert. Who doesn’t love a good creme brulee? Actually I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t. Buttttt from time to time it is a great treat. And of course who doesn’t love to use a mini blow torch in the kitchen 🙂 Seriously it makes you feel like a bad assssss.

These require a little bit of work and are pretty rich but they are great and an impressive dessert for a special occasion!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups heavy cream (you must use heavy cream)
  • 2 1/2 ounces milk (or dark if you prefer) chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons malted-milk powder
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chocolate and malted-milk powder; stir until chocolate melts and powder dissolves. Whisk together yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt.

  2. Whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Strain into a large measuring cup.

  3. Arrange four 6-ounce ramekins in a roasting pan. Divide custard evenly among ramekins, leaving 1/4 inch at the top.

  4. Place roasting pan in oven, and fill halfway with boiling water. Bake until custards are set, 60 to 70 minutes. Remove from oven and from water bath. Let cool. Refrigerate until cooled, about 2 hours.

  5. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar onto each custard. Hold a small handheld kitchen torch(like this one) at a 90-degree angle 3 to 4 inches from surface of each custard, and move flame back and forth until sugar caramelizes and is deep golden brown, or you can broil until sugar caramelizes.

  6. The plain baked custards(no caramelized sugar) can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Just take out of the fridge and follow step 5 to caramelize tops just before serving.

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How freaking fun is that, right?!? It’s fun to do, fun to eat, and fun to look at too! This is more work than my average posted recipe but I hope you give it a try and come back to let me know how yours turned out!

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

xoxo

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Venison Lasagna

Venison Lasagna

I grew up in Wisconsin in a family that hunts deer. Specifically a family that deer hunts to get that delectable venison to eat 🙂 Now a lot of people are totally turned off by the thought of eating venison. If you’re one of those people, we can’t be friends. Kidding. But I’m thinking you haven’t tasted it or that you had a bad deer. Once a deer is over about 2-3 years old, I wouldn’t eat them. From personal experience, younger does taste better, the older you get (such as bucks with huge spreads) the “game-ier” they taste. It’s all preference but this is not actually a post about hunting so I’ll shut up 🙂

My younger brother was gracious enough to give me some of his vension from a kill this year and this is one of the ways I used it. Of course you can substitute the venison for beef if you so choose.

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Yummmmmmmmmm- such good comfort food

Bolognese Sauce
a glug of olive oil
a Tbsp of butter
1 medium onion – chopped
2 cloves of garlic – minced
2 stalks of celery – finely chopped
2 medium carrots – finely chopped
pancetta or thick bacon cut into cubes
1 # venison, cut into a small cubes
1 cup milk (Full fat will make it creamier but any kind will work)
a glass of dry white wine(to drink while cooking- kidding you actually need it for the sauce. Probably about 3/4 of a cup to 1 cup)
2 cups tomatoes – chopped, with the juice. Or you can use a large can of diced tomatoes too
a sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of vegetable stock

White Sauce
2 & 1/2 cups of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of flour
salt

Lasagna
Either strips of already cooked lasagna pasta or the ready to bake lasagna noodles (*or if you’re Betty Crocker you could use freshly made lasagna noodles- if you do this, we should be friends)
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

First make the bolognese sauce, which needs a long cooking time but it really does make for the most tender and succulent sauce, plus you don’t have to cook it all in one session, you could do the first stage in the morning and the final cooking later the same day. It can also be cooked ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 3 days or frozen.

– In a large, heavy bottomed pan melt the butter and oil, add the onions and gently saute until they become translucent . Add the garlic, celery and carrots, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes.

– add the pancetta or bacon cubes and sauté gently for a further two minutes.

– add the venison, a large pinch of salt, some pepper and cook until it has lost its raw red color

– add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has reduced almost completely.

– add the wine, let it simmer until mostly evaporated then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.

– when the mixtures starts to really boil, turn the heat down to low and cook, uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring from time to time and topping up occasionally with vegetable stock to keep it from completely drying out. *You could totally speed make this and just cook all together for about 30 minutes to an hour, and it would still taste great I’m sure but you get deep complex flavors the longer you cook it 🙂 *

Next, make the deeelish white sauce;

– warm the milk gently in a saucepan on medium, low heat

– in a another large pan melt the butter gently on a very low heat and once it’s melted add all the flour, stirring it in completely. Cook and constantly stir for 2 minutes.

– take the pan off the heat and add the milk in small measured batches, letting the flour mixture soak up the milk while you stir. Do this slowly and stir continuously while you do so you don’t get any lumps.

– place the pan back on a low heat and stir until the sauce gets a thick and creamy consistency.

Now, let’s build the lasagna!!

You’ll need a large oven-proof dish, you could use a variety but I used a Pyrex 13×9. Pre-heat your oven oven to 375 F.

– smear the bottom of the dish with a little of the bolognese sauce and then place a layer of the pasta sheets on the bottom.

– ladle over a thin layer of each of the sauces, sprinkle with paremsan and a little mozzarella then add another layer of pasta

– continue this until you have used all your sauce, the top layer should be the bolognese with the rest of your cheese.

– bake in the oven until golden and bubbly, this should take about 40-50 minutes.

*Note- if you are using the ready to bake noodles I would probably prepare your bolognese to be a little more liquidy so your noodles cook fully. Or you can add a little tomato sauce/juice to the bottom of the pan before your noodles.

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Get in my bellllllly

Admittedly, not the lowest fat meal in the world- but sometimes you just have to indulge. It tasted delicious!!! Jake was VERRRRRYYYYY skeptical of the venison befor he tried this, but he really enjoyed it and said it tasted like really really good beef. I’ll take it 🙂

Hope you enjoy and of course thanks for checking out my blog!

xoxo

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