Browned Butter Butternut Squash…sauce?! YES!!

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This picture doesn’t do the sauce justice. Seriously, it just doesn’t. However, the sauce will make you do a happy dance, probably.

What you need:
4-6 Tbs. Butter
1/2 of a large Butternut Squash, peeled and diced small.
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
A large sprig of fresh Rosemary, destemmed and chopped
1C. Chicken stock -or veggie stock
1 C. Milk
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

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What to do:
In a saucepan, melt butter, add onion and saute until soft, add garlic and rosemary and brown the butter over medium high heat. Next add the squash and lower heat to medium. Add stock to pan, cover with lid and simmer until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Once squash is tender, add milk and blend (either with an immersion blender in the pan or transfer to a food processor). Once blended, bring sauce up to medium heat in pan and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

I served this two ways, over pasta for the men and children and over polenta for the ladies. I roasted some Roma tomatoes and added pork sausage with it and a salad on the side. I felt like, in the end, using the whole squash would have been more flavorful but I also had many convinced that the sauce was cheese based due to the color and creamy texture. I liked it a lot and can’t wait to make it again!

You can’t beat a great alternative to heavy pasta sauce and it can be easily adapted for those who wish to omit dairy from their diets.

Buddha Bowls

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I’ve become a sucker for the simplest food prep and delivery. For instance, a pot of brown rice, salad mix nuts cheese and fruits along with a nice salad dressing is a go to-fillerup- meal. I discovered the idea of Buddha Bowls from Minimalist Baker, also a blogger I follow. If you haven’t checked out this blog before give it a look!

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Any way, the above Buddha Bowl has: sweet potato, kale, smoked and pulled pork, black beans, onion, garlic, queso fresco, avocado, Thai basil, and an avocado yogurt sauce! Talk about yummy!

Here are a few things I did to put this together. Keep in mind Buddha Bowls can be adapted to personal taste so experiment away!

2 Sweet potatos cut into bite sized pieces  sprinkled with lime juice, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and olive oil. Roasted on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes at 400F.

Yogurt Avocado Sauce:
1/2 avocado mashed
1/2 C. Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. Lime juice
Sprinkle of chili pepper and salt

I like that with something like this, there are so many option, different squashes, carrots, beets, cheeses meats (or no meat), the possibilities are endless really!

She Turned 4

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                        4 years old
How fast the time goes. Why just yesterday it seems I was meeting her for the first time. Breathing in her new baby smell. Listening to her soft gentle cry and wondering what the future would hold. Here she is, 4 years old. Funny, quick, smart, caring and determined. How lucky I am.

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                         Just born

I also have to thank my manimal, who is an amazing partner and father. He loves her wildly and he has supported my staying home with her which has meant the world to me. He works so hard to provide for us and I’m truly blessed to have both him and her in my life.

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           The wonderer, the wanderer.

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             How my cupkeiki envisions I
             looked while pregnant with
             her.

Chocolate Lavender Cake

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I have a few blogs I regularly swoon over. Local Milk is one of them, and it’s no surprise why. Her photos have the magical ability to sweep you from your current mind set and take you a place rustic natural and homey-a place you don’t want to leave.

I was looking, yesterday, for something to make with lavender. I’ve been loving a lavender sun tea that has been on constant rotation in the house but ran out of black loose leaf tea and my cupkeiki suggested cookies as a sort of make-up for not having tea available. I came across all sorts of lemon lavender concoctions but what really caught my eye was a chocolate lavender cupcake recipe from Local Milk: http://http://localmilkblog.com/2015/01/vegan-gluten-free-chocolate-lavender-cupcakes-whipped-honey-coconut-cream.html

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I modified it to what I had and to personal taste:

Ingredients:
2C. All purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Lavender buds, ground up
3/4 C. Cane Sugar
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 C. Coconut Milk (I used So Delicious Brand)
1/2 C. Melted Coconut Oil
2 1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Black Sea Salt (opt.) for sprinkling over finished cake

Frosting:
1/2 C. Cream Cheese
Agave

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease a cake or loaf pan (I used a loaf pan). Sift all dry ingredients (except lavender if it’s not finely ground) into a large bowl. Add lavender and combine. In a large measuring cup, combine milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Combine liquid into dry ingredients. Mix well, pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out dry.

If making the frosting: whisk cheese and agave together until soft. Add agave to taste.

I made a few in a silicon mold and added the cream cheese frosting and salt to them, but left the loaf as is.

This cake is moist and delicious. My cupkeiki didn’t like the frosting g but loved the cake as is. I appreciated the way the cream cheese and salt balanced out the cake, but isn’t necessary to complete the cake, as the recipe is pretty spot on with moisture and richness.

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