Roasted Butternut Squash with Leeks and Craisins


I feel like I make butternut squash nearly ever week.  And every week I try to find a new way to make it.  This past week I added some warming spices, subtle onion flavor in the form of leeks and chewy bites of craisins.  It may be too early to say this, but it would also be great on your Thanksgiving table.

Food 104

Roasted Butternut Squash with Leeks and Craisins
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 leek, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 c craisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl add butternut squash, leek, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, olive oil and salt to taste.  Toss until well combined then pour onto a large baking sheet treated with non-stick spray.  Roast for 40-45 minutes.  While roasting toss a few times to make sure it roasts evenly.  Add craisins then roasted for an additional 10 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts and Breadcrumb Pasta


I didn’t grow up liking brussels sprouts, and in fact I’m not even sure I dared to try them as a kid.  But one thanksgiving my aunt made a recipe I just had to try.  It paired them with pancetta, and from there the love affair took off.  This recipe is a bit different, but uses the same concept with elbow macaroni.  So if you’ve never been a huge fan, try this recipe and it may just convert you too.

Food 099

Brussels Sprouts and Breadcrumb Pasta
12 oz brussels sprouts, chopped in half
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
4 slices of bacon, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 c elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add brussels sprouts to a baking sheet, toss with 2 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay panko breadcrumbs on top of the brussels sprouts then drizzle more olive oil on top so they will get golden in the oven.  Roast for 30 minutes.  While the brussels sprouts are roasting heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes till it starts to get crispy, drain all but 2 tbs of fat.  Add shallot and cook until translucent, then add roasted brussels sprouts and cooked elbow macaroni.  Toss to combine, then serve.

Orange Chicken


I love to order take out chinese, until just after I’ve finished.  Then it’s all “why is my belly rumbling”?  Instead why not make my favorite orange chicken at home, where I can control what goes into the recipe and ultimately how it makes me feel.  Chinese without the guilt…

Food 079

Orange Chicken
1/4 c orange marmalade
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs orange juice
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1 lb chicken thighs, diced into 1 inch cubes
2/3 c cornstarch
1/2 c water
4 scallions, chopped

In a bowl combine orange marmalade, vegetable oil, soy sauce, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger.  Pour half of the mixture into a resealable plastic bag, setting aside the rest.  Add chicken thighs to same plastic bag, let marinade for 30 minutes. Add cornstarch to a plate then add drained chicken thighs to cornstarch, coat fully.  Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat so that the bottom of the pan is fully covered with oil.  Once the oil is screaming hot add the chicken turning gently until golden brown about 5-6 minutes.  Let the chicken drain on a paper towel lined plate, then make the sauce.  Add the remaining marinade to the pan and the water.  Let sauce come to a boil so it can thicken.  Add chicken back to pan to coat with sauce then sprinkle with scallions.  Serve over white rice.