Friday, November 7, 2014

Frizzled Sage

Two weeks ago we had a wonderful visit from my parents and only one day later, Anne and Wren came to visit! Oh, how easy it is to get used to being able to run errands during nap-time or cook dinner while my children are entertained. It was fun to confirm that I still love to cook as long as I've planned/shopped ahead and don't have to tend to Cora-meltdowns while keeping the pecans from burning under the broiler, sweating an eggplant's bitter juices and preventing dishes from piling up.

Speaking of cooking, one of my larger fears about having kids was introducing ungrateful, potentially picky eaters into my cooking utopia. I know they're only 3 and 1 years old, but so far Nate has remained grateful for the food I cook and the girls have not yet become too picky. And although Nate can't cook as much as he'd like, he still sends me interesting recipes (saying we should make this) and is happy to cook on the weekends when I say I don't care what we eat, as long as I don't have to make it. For these things, I'm thankful. Cooking was definitely a shared interest when we first met, so it's fun to be able to enjoy and talk about food together a short 7-years later.

Tonight I made this Pressure-Cooker Butternut Squash with Frizzled Sage and Brown Butter. Yes, that is actually the ridiculous title of the recipe. I'll refer to it as "risotto" from here on out. We grew some beautiful and massive butternut squash this summer, so it's always nice to find interesting recipes that call for 3.5 pounds of the stuff. The risotto tasted great, but it's definitely not a quick dinner, despite the "pressure-cooker" part. Very tasty though, so I won't complain. It seemed like the perfect kid-food, and it was even finished at 6:30 pm, the perfect time for a tired Cora to eat. Unfortunately, she was in no mood to even consider whether or not she'd like it. Louisa must have been trying to be really nice to me because I let her watch PBS Kids while I cooked, because she said, very sweetly, mom, if Cora doesn't want it, I'll eat it! And she did while I got Cora ready for bed...without dinner. I really felt no guilt, because I AM NOT a short-order cook and the fact that she pushed the risotto away told me that she wasn't truely hungry.

All that in order to share the recipe and also to say that if you decide to make it on a chilly fall evening, don't skip the "frizzled sage" or brown butter. Both sound so optional, and they are, but also added something tasty, rich and fancy to the dish. I did make a stop at the garden store to buy a new sage plant today though, because our other plant got overtaken by tomato vines. This one-stop shop was welcomed because lately I've been very open to structured activities with the baking Halloween candy into cookies, planting mums they pick out, and going swimming outside in November. I'd love to say that I do these things to enrich the minds and lives of my children, but really, it's more selfish than that. I'm pretty sure I would...

a) go crazy
b) waste time on Facebook
c) clean too much

....if I let us stay home without at least one activity or outing per half-day (pre-nap = one half, post-nap = the other half). And then of course taking photos or videos during these activities gives me something for my checklist (i.e. blog about making cookies, going swimming or planting mums), which makes me feel like I've accomplished something each day! Whew.

Soooooo, that was the long way to arrive at sharing these photos and this recipe, which I would recommend if you want to make your Halloween candy feel less processed while quickly diminishing your supply.

And finally, a video from our time at the pool today. I'm so glad that Cora is tall enough to be in the deepest end of the kid pool without hand holding by me. I'm such a baby. The water was probably 80 and the air temperature 73, but still, I didn't really want to go in.


  1. Get this in that pressure cooker.

    I have only used belly once (usually use shoulder, rib ends, etc.). It was certainly richer, but not necessarily better.


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