Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby

One of our Christmas gifts this year was the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which is based on a blog that Whitney enjoys perusing. In that book, she found this tasty-looking dutch baby pancake recipe. We had never made a dutch baby before, although I had enjoyed them in restaurants before, so this was an exciting venture. The recipe was very fast and easy, and the pancake came out perfectly! Looking forward to trying more dutch babies in the future.

2 large eggs
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Pure maple syrup, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggs in a blender and blend until smooth and pale in color. Add the brown sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and milk and blend until smooth.
Melt the butter in a 9-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat, swirling it up the sides to evenly coat the pan. Pour the batter into the skillet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed up. Remove from the oven, dust with powdered sugar, and drizzle with maple syrup.

It cooked up perfectly in our new cast iron skillet!

Butternut Squash Soup

Happy 2013!!

I hope everyone is doing well. Patrick and I had quite the end to 2012; we celebrated Christmas with both families (Chicago to Murfreesboro in one day!) and then rang in the new year with friends in DC. Now that we've flipped the calendar into 2013 Patrick and I are getting down to business with wedding planning. Cake tasting, meeting with rehearsal dinner caterer, attending an open house at our reception venue with my parents, and listening to potential reception bands are all on our calendar this month!

In the meantime I'm still meal planning and figuring out dinner every night. As we speak we're waiting on a few kitchen upgrades to be delivered. Don't get too excited because they're nothing fancy; more like kitchen organizational upgrades. Can't wait to show you what it is though!

Today I'm sharing a recipe with you that we made a few months ago and used a butternut squash. Butternut squash was a staple on the CSA list and it seems like we were getting one every week. This was a great way to use one without cubing and roasting it (as was the gnocchi). I found the recipe on pinterest. The recipe originally piqued my interest because it had sundried tomatoes. Patrick loves these and for a while now has been purchasing them at Costco... so that means we usually have some on hand and in large quantities. But then I realized I had extra roma tomatoes and wanted to try a new recipe for oven drying them! So I'm sharing two recipes!!!

Click through the recipe title to go to the website

Here's my variation: Slice tomatoes into 8 wedges / tomato. Spread on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and sugar. Mix everything around and then place the tomatoes cut side up. Bake at 200F for 2-6 hours. As you can see mine really started brown (depends how big your wedges are); I'd say these took about 4 hours. 

Proceed to use homemade roasted roma tomatoes in this yummy butternut squash soup!

Click through the recipe title to go to the website

1 butternut squash
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 leek, tough green parts removed, cleaned and sliced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sundried tomatoes (not in oil), soaked at least 1 hour and drained (I just used mine straight from the baking sheet)
2 c salted vegetable broth (I used chicken stock since it's what we keep in the fridge)
1 2/3 c low fat canned coconut milk (I used a regular dairy; keep in mind this was found on a vegan blog)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I have a basic pasta sprinkle in the pantry I used with basic, thyme, and oregano)
salt and pepper to taste

   About 1 hour before preparing preheat your oven to 350 °F, slice your butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Sprinkle the flesh of the squash gently with salt and then place face down on a baking sheet. Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan and cook 45- 60 minutes, or until the squash’s skin is tender enough to easily be pierced with a fork. (If you have another preferable way of roasting butternut squash, go with that.) While the squash is roasting, saute the garlic and leek along with the olive oil over medium high heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
   Once the squash is tender, transfer to a high speed blender (or use a good quality immersion blender or food processor) and puree along with garlic and leek, the sundried tomatoes, vegetable broth, coconut milk, and cumin. Add a little more broth if you prefer a thinner soup. Blend until completely smooth, about 10 minutes. Warm gently if needed over medium heat until desired temperature is reached. Salt and pepper to taste.

We served this with a side mixed greens salad and rosemary sourdough bread. Delicious! The tang of the sundried tomatoes really adds a lot to the soup.