Roasted pumpkin

When we went on our annual pumpkin patch trip all the kiddos got pumpkins to carve and my sister and I picked up two sweet pumpkins to roast! Using a straightforward recipe I roasted the pumpkin slices this weekend and we ate some with dinner and then the rest I puréed in the food processor and froze for pumpkin soup. Here is a breakdown of what I did!

I started by wiping down the pumpkin:

And then I carved the top like you would a normal pumpkin, and then scooped out the seeds and cut the pumpkin in half:

And then cut it into mostly equal slices that I put on a foiled pan (a large foil pan):

And then I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled it with the spice mixture from the recipe, drizzled a little more olive oil, and rubbed it all into the pumpkin slices:

 

Then I roasted it at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes until fork tender:

After I served it with dinner, I puréed the rest with just a little bit of chicken stock:

And then put it in a container to freeze:

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Red wine marinated steak salad

 

This is our quintessential it’s almost fall, but still feels like summer meal. A grilled flank steak, marinated all day, combined with roasted sweet potatoes, on top of fresh leafy greens takes us from summer to fall.

So the first thing your going to do is make your marinade. We use this recipe. I typically put the steak in the marinade in the morning before work, so it’s ready when we all get home.

The other ingredients (besides flank steak) you’ll need are:

Green leaf lettuce

Two sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 tomato, diced

Olive oil

Balsamic glaze *optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast sweet potatoes (drizzled with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper) for forty minutes. Meanwhile, grill the steak for about 5-6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the steak), until preferred doneness (we aim for about 155 in the middle). Top green leafy lettuce with tomatoes, steak, sweet potatoes, cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic. Enjoy!!

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Salmon with tomato relish

This recipe starts with, I went to Costco this weekend and bought all the meat. Then I came home and spent a good hour with our food saver getting it all ready to go in the freezer. I bought ground beef, ground bison, rotisserie chicken, pork tenderloin, flank steak, sirloin steak, and salmon. I also bought a big package of peppers and diced or sliced them and used the food saver with them as well…

With all of this we have at least several months worth of meat. In addition, because Costco typically provides larger portions, many of these meals (tacos, roast tenderloin, chili, etc.) I will then freeze the leftovers for an additional meal (or two!). So for our first meal I made a salmon fillet (I purchased their one with butter in the cold food section and froze each fillet individually) with one freezer pepper package, and fresh cherry tomatoes (brought over by our neighbor!).

So I defrosted the salmon overnight first. Then I started by sautéing the peppers in just a little olive oil (from frozen, no need to thaw) on medium heat for about 3 minutes:

Then I added the salmon:

And put a lid on it (and cooked for about five minutes), then I took the lid off, flipped the salmon, added the cherry tomatoes and cooked it for an additional five minutes (or until done):

I also cooked up this rice:

It is not as good as the rice B makes, but it’s decent and works well in a pinch.

I made the entire dish (start to finish) in less than twenty minutes:

After the salmon was done, I took it out of the pan to rest then quickly sautéed the veggies on medium high heat just a minute more with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar. And that’s it! So simple, and tasty.

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Salmon with herbed butter

Is this the easiest meal you’ll make all week? Yes. Unless you’re eating out all week. Then, no. Two salmon fillets, a quick herbed butter, and lemon slices, all cooked in the oven for about twenty minutes. And you’re done. Purchase frozen brown rice from Whole Foods, and have dinner on the table in under thirty minutes.

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets (mine were defrosted ones that were originally frozen from Costco)

Herbed butter (see below)

One large lemon

Directions

Place salmon on nonstick foil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Dot with herbed butter:

Layer lemon slices on top:

Cover tightly with foil:

And bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until done.

Herbed Butter Recipe

Combine 4 tbs softened butter with three tablespoons fresh rosemary, the zest of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Salmon cakes with tomato risotto

One of my favorite summer meals, you can pull this together in about forty minutes! Don’t be discouraged by the prospect of making risotto. I stared making risotto for B and I about thirteen years ago, and now I have the recipe memorized, and can make it without even really thinking about it!

Ingredients for Salmon Cakes

2-3 5 oz cans of wild caught, boneless, skinless salmon

2 eggs

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbs lemon zest

1 tbs lemon juice

pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Mix all ingredients. Form into equal size cakes (about the size of your palm), and then fry in 2 tbs of canola oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side (until golden brown). Transfer to paper towel lined plates to cool for a few minutes

Ingredients & Directions for Risotto

I always use this recipe for risotto and then add my own touches, this time I didn’t use prosciutto or asparagus and instead used fresh sliced grape tomatoes, Chardonnay, 1 tbs of lemon zest and 2 tbs lemon juice.

To plate

Place salmon cakes on top of risotto and drizzle with balsamic glaze (I use Trader Joe’s brand) and fresh ribbons of basil. Enjoy!

 

 

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Indian butter chicken

I posted this recipe on my Friday Favorites about a year ago and in that time it had become one of our favorite monthly rotations. This dish has just the right amount of heat and sweet. We serve it over Jasmine rice and corn, and put big slices of naan on the sides. It’s just the right amount of effort for a summer meal, but has a warmth that can carry the dish into fall.

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Oven fries

These are A’s very favorite fries right now. Oven baked with a dash of paprika, salt, and pepper they are super simple to put together and the perfect side for Sunday night burgers.

Ingredients

3-4 russet potatoes scrubbed clean and sliced into wedges

1-2 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper

Canola oil

Rosemary leaves for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 425. Place potato wedges on non stick foil on baking sheet. Sprinkle with spices (except for rosemary), then drizzle with canola oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flip wedges and then bake for another 10-15 minutes until crispy, but not burnt. Out of the oven immediately place on paper towels and sprinkle with fresh rosemary.

 

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Octopus cookie cups

After making the key lime cups, the boys have been on a dessert in a cup kick, so this past week we combined vanilla pudding, crushed Oreos, whipped cream, and sour gummy octopuses to make these tasty treats. All you do is make up a small box of vanilla pudding, divide into four cups and let set (about ten to twenty minutes). Then crush up Oreos and sprinkle on top. Then top that with some whipped cream and a gummy octopus and you’re all set!

Oh, and if you want a grown-up version add a small layer of Irish Cream between the pudding and Oreos. Super tasty and adds just a bit of a kick!

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This and that

Last week was our first real week of summer at home (last week we were at the beach), and I already ran out of popsicles…

The boys also started refresher swim lessons, and my niece was the best towel holder (and so good, considering she couldn’t get in the pool)…

We did a few “avoid the summer slump” things…

And a whole bunch of reading…

And J has been doing his own hair…

I’m thinking of getting him some styling cream, but all I can think of is these neon LA look gel that we used in the eighties…

Oh and I totally want this shirt in my size…

And the boys and I made key lime pie jars

That we ate while watching baseball on TV! Summer is definitely in full swing!

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Our favorite enchilada dishes

 

Enchiladas are one of my all time favorite meals. Chicken or beef, cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack, at home or at a restaurant, corn or flour tortillas, they’re one of my favorite things to eat. My classic enchiladas are these.

Created by my Mom, they’re the recipe that everybody in my family knows (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.), and they always taste like home. They also are dear to me because B and I made them together for our first Valentine’s Day together. No frills, no fancy dinner out, just cooking enchiladas and watching re-runs of Reba. I could’ve married him that day!

However, with B’s food allergies I’ve created modified ones over the years to accommodate his diet. These include three cheese enchiladas

 

And green chile enchiladas

My beef enchilada recipe is also a take on my mom’s recipe and the boys’ favorite…

And sometimes I’m just cooking for me and make a modified version for lunch…

And in summer we make The Pioneer Woman’s chicken enchiladas with strawberry poppyseed salad

Hope you find your favorite enchilada!

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