Dinner

Snow Storm

What are some of the things you like to eat during a snow storm?? I think yesterday afternoon and last night we experienced our last snow storm of 2012. It was a beautiful one, too!

Before the snow storm hit, I was able to get to the gym for a 40 minute work out and run errands (including to East Side Market). I was so pleased to get everything done that I needed to. That meant I could relax during the snow storm, cook up a storm and snuggle under a blanket with my new Kindle!! I was one happy camper last night.

For dinner I made my homemade roasted butternut squash soup and we snacked on some rotisserie chicken that I picked up from East Side Market and some of Olga’s famous rosemary olive oil bread. It was a great dinner! Apparently I cannot get enough of butternut squash soup these days – I have been making it a lot.

In the recipe last night was one butternut squash soup which I peeled and roasted in a pyrex dish filled with water (about one inch deep). I roasted the squash for 45 minutes in an oven at 385 degrees. While it was roasting I cut up one small onion, one shallot, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1 big clove of garlic, and a decent piece of fresh ginger.

I sautéed the onion first (in one tablespoon of olive oil and a 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter). After five minutes or so I added the rest of the vegetables – except for the garlic and ginger. (I like to add those ingredients last because you don’t want to burn the garlic, and the ginger does not need to cook as long as the vegetables.) After about 10 minutes I added the garlic and ginger and three cups of low sodium chicken stock. I brought these things up to a boil, and then brought the pot down to a simmer. In the mean time the squash was ready to be pulled from the oven. I transferred the squash pieces to the cutting board, quickly diced them up and added them to the pot. The squash was nice and soft.

I let things cook for a while (maybe twenty minutes?) Then I took the pot off the heat and used my immersion blender to smooth out the soup. I like it with some texture left, so I did not blend it completely smooth. At this time I also seasoned it with black pepper, a smidge of kosher salt, cumin, and coriander. Wow, I love the combination of these spices so much.

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I served the soup up with a spoonful of crème fraîche which just made the soup so amazing – the taste from this garnish really made the soup taste even better. It was a perfect soup for a snowy night in New England. The roasted chicken was also exceptional. Because I bought the chicken in the afternoon and we were eating dinner at 8 o’clock, we heated up the chicken in a little bit of chicken stock and I smashed and roughly chopped two cloves of garlic. We put everything into a pyrex dish and put it in the oven for 20 minutes while the soup finished cooking on the stove top. This was a great way to heat the chicken.

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This weekend I have also been snacking on a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit. I’ve had more than a couple of clementines and I have rediscovered my love of celery and peanut butter:

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We are also really digging Wegman’s organic, crunchy peanut butter – a great discovery! Ok, I’m off to think about dinner for Sunday night. I have been snowed in all day. I did a lot of cleaning, and now I am ready to cook again. Homemade macaroni and cheese is on the menu along with the leftover soup and chicken. Should be another good comfort food dinner for tonight!

I’m off to eat up some strawberries and raspberries, too. See you soon!

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