I feel it’s vitally important that when posting about a hand pie, one must show its scale in their hand! Admittedly I have posted about these hand held delights before without showing it in hand, let’s just say I learned from my mistake! As you can see these butternut hand pies are BIG!
This recipe makes four luscious pies that you can eat all by yourself or distantly (of course) share with friends. This recipe is easy, especially if you keep some Pâte Sucrée in your freezer. The butternut squash preparation was made even easier with my instant pot. Final necessary addition, of any rustic pie really, is the sparkling sugar!
I’ll admit, when Streusel and I planned to focus on squash this month, I don’t think either of thought “September” would mean we’d still feel like it was summertime. The west coast is currently experiencing some horrific wildfires, and here in Seattle, we are being encouraged to stay indoors because the air quality is so bad. While it’s not as terrible as the Bay Area – our skies are looking decisively smokey and yellow, but not orange/red like it is down south – it’s still plenty awful.
To that end, some comfort food is definitely in order. These Chai Spiced Butternut Squash muffins are the perfect combination of tender and sweet, filled with comforting, spicy warmth from the chai flavors. The squash adds a small bit of sweetness and plenty of moisture to the muffin, and sweet-crumbly streusel topping adds an extra bit of zip.
I very much want sweater weather right now. Sweater weather makes it that much more inviting to fire up the oven and bake! We’ve baked plenty of sweet treats before by adding squash; spaghetti squash, acorn squash and of course pumpkin and more pumpkin! For our first recipe this month I felt like a different squash. Butternut squash! Also, I felt like savory instead of sweet. Don’t fret, we’ll have plenty more sweetly baked goods later this month.
This recipe is easy, especially thanks to a present Strudel gave me a while back – an Instant Pot. This recipe is a perfect combination of a slightly sweet butternut squash, spicy italian sausage and freshly dug golden potatoes.
It’s the end of August, and everyone (other than me) is figuring out what to do with the giant, overlarge zucchini they’ve magically grown in their gardens. As we’ve previously discussed, this is not a problem I have; however, I do happen to love zucchini and have gotten into the habit of tucking it into whatever I can.
Some examples of late:
- Tropical Stovetop Oatmeal: cooking together coconut milk, whole milk, 1/2 of a sliced banana and shredded zucchini; top with cubed mango and toasted coconut flakes.
- Savory Steel Cut Oats – thanks to this superfun podcast – 1/4 cup steel cut oats, shredded zucchini, 3/4 cup broth in an instant pot for 4 minutes, then natural release. Topped with chopped up faux sausage.
- This way, all the time
- And trying out this tonight!
Obviously – coming up with more ways to fold zucchini into dessert was a reasonable next step. Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Blondies are somewhere in-between a healthier dessert and a zucchini bread. Incorporating the shredded zucchini adds moisture, which means we getto cut down on the butter; the result is a light and springy dessert, studded with rich chocolate chunks and packed with zucchini goodness.
This is unlike any other bread pudding I’ve ever tasted AND quite addictive. I will eat a good bread pudding from time to time but I don’t crave it. This bread pudding is bread pudding taken up a notch. It’s the tenderness of zucchini bread baked to a gold brown with a sprinkling of brown sugar.
These days, most people with gardens are complaining about the vast amounts of giant zucchini they can’t stop growing. This is not an issue I have, because – for whatever reason – zucchini plants have consistently gone on strike in my yard. Despite years of effort, they refuse to fruit; I try to remind myself this isn’t a character flaw, but it’s hard not to take it personally!
Nonetheless, the time is ripe (haha!) to figure out what to do with all of the zucchini we grow, are gifted, or buy on sale a the store. This week, I decided to incorporate it into some super simple Savory Breakfast Biscuits, and pack the biscuits full of cheesy, (faux) meaty, zippy flavor. The zucchini adds a bit of texture and tenderness (and healthy veggie-ness, of course!) but otherwise lets the rest of the ingredients shine.
Brandon and I ate these Savory Breakfast Biscuits under a pile of fluffy scrambled eggs, and also I (oddly) served them to my buddy Christopher for happy hour – and even though it didn’t *quite* go with the rosé we were drinking, they were quickly gobbled due to their deliciousness.
Strudel’s focaccia last week looked so mouth-wateringly good, I couldn’t stop thinking about making something else with zucchini this week. I made this zucchini goat cheese tart several years ago and these fries and although both of these recipes were easy, nothing beats these quick and super tasty zucchini crisps.
Simple and satisfying, you can make these in under 30 minutes and if you’re like me, you’ll eat an entire zucchini in less than 5 minutes. I ate these along side a cajun chicken burger for lunch today. I picked up this creole seasoning at my local grocery store and I have been putting it on almost everything for months. It adds just enough heat, salt and flavor to eggs, fish, poultry and now zucchini!
Yesterday, as I gloriously splashed around in Lake Sammamish on a perfect PNW summer Saturday, I commented to my (socially distant) friend Stephanie that this was the type of weekend we spend the rest of the year waiting for. It was warm out (but not too hot), the water was refreshing (but not cold!), and once we got back to shore, we had a wine tasting waiting for us. And to soak up the wine, we had about-to-be grilled halibut, and this Crispy-Edged Focaccia with Tomatoes and Zucchini.
There should probably be some new word to define the overwhelming emotion that is “I can’t express the rush of joy I feel being in close-ish proximity to my friends.” Like lots of other folks, I’ve mostly kept to my house over the past four months. It’s the responsible thing to do, and for me, and hardly seems like much of an ask in the face of a global pandemic. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get tiring, even though I live with my lovely partner (and we equally agree that we can’t believe how well we’re getting along, what with all of this togetherness). I just miss my friends. And the outside.
So, with masks in hand, boundaries agreed on, and outdoor plans firmed up, we headed to Jen and Tim’s for an amazing afternoon of being on the water, tasting wine, mostly, giddily enjoying a PNW summer evening with friends. The Wine Tribe tasting resulted in some excellent finds (I’ll leave it to Steph to post those results soon!), Jen and Tim made an incredible dinner (with drool-worthy tomatoes from their garden) and, I’m pleased to say, the focaccia did itself justice.
Speaking of friends, this focaccia recipe, with the adaptations, came directly from my pal Christopher. He and I like to give one another real-time updates on what we’re making for dinner (or dessert or perhaps cocktail hour). When he texted me photos of the gorgeous, chewy-cheesy-crispy edged glory of a gluten-filled dream, I demand details. As it turns out, he took this great recipe and pizza-fied it. He was kind enough to share the details for me, so that I, in turn, could zhuzh it up in my own way. I kept the crispy edge (brilliant) and added a bunch of sautéed veggies to highlight some glorious summertime produce and make it more of a side dish. The end result is an airy, chewy bread topped with crispy, cheese edges and filled with the heartiness and tang of summer veggies.
I posted a recipe for s’more brownies 9 years ago.
Why post again?
Same ingredients only…Different!
Interesting how you can use all the same ingredients but create a sweet treat with a different bite, different texture yet the same decadent flavors.
Thanks to Fat Witch for inspiring this recipe again.
This is an easy dessert that everyone will love… co-workers, kiddos, neighbors and friends!
I was wandering around my house the other day (because where else would I be?) and heard that unmistakable musical clanging that is the ice cream truck. While I was pleased to know that some remnants of the before-times still exist, I was even more smug to know that I didn’t have to rely on external resources for sub-par (but deeply nostalgic) treats. Of course ice cream trucks have their place in American history, but I’d counter that this Chocolate S’mores Ice Cream can create it’s own memories too; rich and fudgy, the unmistakable spice of the graham plus the chew of the marshmallow fluff can be a delicious counterbalance to the lure of the ice cream truck.
I know I made a s’mores ice cream for my last post; but part of what I’m loving about our ingredient focus this month is how adaptable the flavors are. Also, it’s summertime; it’s not that I won’t turn on my oven (of course I’ll turn on my oven!), it’s just what why would I, when I can instead pull the ice cream canister out of my freezer and churn this instead?