Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad

I'm a little late posting this week, but wanted to make sure I got this one out before Thanksgiving. The last couple of years we've been trying to make more eclectic Thanksgiving items. The typical mashed potatoes and green bean casserole can be a bore. I came across this seasonal butternut squash/chickpeas salad on the smitten kitchen blog archives. I tested it out on friends last weekend, and it's definitely a winner. Neil is asking me to make this for him on weeknights now. It's so easy to make, and would be a great addition to Thanksgiving as a precursor to the meal or a side. What makes this so good is the tahini dresing. I would put that dressing on any salad. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Eat well!!!

Btw, my oven is finally working! Although, I was secretly hoping for new appliances, I suppose I can wait.

See Recipe!



I can't believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away! I love this holiday because I get to eat the most delicious homemade food made by the fabulous chefs in my fam. Not to mention, there's no stress of gifts. As I posted last year, I typically spend my Thanksgiving in NY. We (the cousins) are actively trying to come up with a Thanksgiving menu, slowly but surely. Since I'm traveling there, I take something small that keeps well. Year after year, my job has been Pecan Pies and Baklava. Not sure how I got stuck with Baklava, considering that it's not really a Thanksgiving staple. I made it one year, and it became a requirement thereafter. I didn't even like baklava all that much in the beginning, but over the years I've developed a taste for it. My previous aversion to baklava can be blamed on the awful baklava at most bakeries/restaurants around here. They tend to be overkill...way too sweet, soggy, and sticky. Homemade is far superior because you have control over those elements. For Thanksgiving, I make pecan/chocolate chip baklava. However, after having delectable pistachio baklava in Turkey (which is nothing like the stuff they call "baklava" here), I made it with pistachios, as pictured. I like both versions, and doing a mixture of nuts also turns out great. I agreed to take up my usual items this year. But, now that I posted the recipe, perhaps someone else will take it over in the future ;)

See Recipe!


Eggs in a Basket

As I previously mentioned, I'm currently without oven :( We had a guy come and take a look at it on Sat. morning. He ended up fixing the oven, so I put it to the test with with these "eggs in a basket" for breakfast. I've timed this recipe to exactly 8 minutes and 30 seconds, which consistently produced the perfect yolk center....not too runny, but just very slightly cooked. Well, the test failed. The yolk was completely runny even after 12 minutes, and I ended up sticking them in the toaster oven. I put a meat thermometer in the oven, and as I suspected, it didn't come to the display temperature. Neil thought that maybe we just needed to clean the oven, so he used the oven cleaner function. Well half way thru the "cleaning", the oven died again. So, now I have a dead oven, which btw is also locked due to the oven clean function! Neil's still determined to get it fixed though and the handy man's coming back this week.

Anyways, these eggs in a basket are awesome in a working oven. I got the recipe from my cousin, and have been making them almost every other weekend. They are insanely simple, and so festive for a brunch party. You can make endless variations for a crowd. I like to make them with jack cheese and scallions. But, you can do basil/tomato/mozzarella, tarragon/brie, thyme/gruyere, bacon/cheddar/chives. etc. The basket is made of two wonton wrappers. You can alternately make the basket with slices of prosciutto, which is also delish. Baking times will depend on how you like your yolks, so just play around with the timings. I pull it out when it jiggles with some consistency.