Fall-spiced roasted butternut squash

Fall-spiced roasted butternut squash

Tonight, Michael emailed me before leaving work and suggested that we make butternut squash for dinner tonight. I thought it was a good idea, but had never cooked it before, so I promptly googled “how to cook butternut squash.” After putting the squash in the oven, I then had to figure out what to do with them after they were baked.

I decided to make a simple filling of mushrooms, herbs, and butter for the squash, which I added just before the squash were done baking. The squash was delicious — Michael said he wants me to make them again, and was only disappointed that I hadn’t baked two squash instead of one.

Updated 09/17/12: This recipe can also be used to make a delicious, sweet side dish! Just top the roasted squash with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg instead of the listed filling ingredients.

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Ham and red pepper frittata

Ham and red pepper frittata

Michael and I have declared Saturday mornings to be brunch mornings — it’s the only day of the week where we have time to actually cook breakfast. But we still like to have some simple but delicious recipes for lazy Saturday mornings, and this frittata we made yesterday morning is both simple and delicious.

Frittatas are great because they are quick and easy to make, and they allow for you to substitute almost anything you have on hand into the filling. For this frittata, we used some leftover cooked ham we had in the fridge, as well as some red peppers and onions. We both gave it two thumbs up, and will definitely be making more frittatas in the future.

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Kabocha squash curry

Kabocha squash curry

This simple vegan curry was a hit with both Michael and myself. It’s full of Indian spices, and was delicious when served over rice. Though the recipe originally called for zucchini as the main ingredient, we chose to use a kabocha squash instead, which is a Japanese pumpkin. One unique feature of kabocha squash is that the skin is edible — you can simply wash it and then it’s ready to cook and eat. We think it was the perfect substitution for this recipe, but feel free to use zucchini, cauliflower, or another vegetable if you prefer.

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Garden-fresh polenta pizza with homemade pesto

Garden-fresh polenta pizza with homemade pesto

Michael went to the farmer’s market at the University of Minnesota this past week, and picked up some fresh veggies for our kitchen. While we didn’t have anything specific in mind to make, we figured we could cook something delicious with them. While browsing the internets, Michael found a polenta pizza recipe that looked good–but we didn’t have the ingredients it called for. So we made our own, substituting homemade pesto and grilled veggies as pizza toppings.

This polenta pizza recipe is chock-full of fresh garden veggies, and was as delicious as we had hoped. While it’s not difficult to make, it does take a bit of time, as the polenta crust needs to chill in the fridge before the pizza can be assembled.

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Carrot, sausage, and rib stew

Carrot, sausage, and rib stew

Michael made this simple and delicious stew for lunch today when we finally cleaned out our fridge after returning home from our honeymoon. We found an abundance of celery about to go bad, and 4 already-opened bags of baby carrots — and so immediately thought stew.

This delicious stew takes a couple hours to simmer on the stove, and so it would also be a perfect recipe to cook in a crockpot on a busy day. Michael and I enjoyed the hearty combination of flavors from the bratwurst, pork ribs, and shiitake mushrooms. We served this simple lunch with rye toast and baby dill pickles, and recommend that you give it a try too!

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Provencal stuffed peppers

Provencal stuffed peppers

A couple months ago, Michael and I stopped by a Barnes and Nobles bookstore on our way home from the mall. In the entrance-way, we found several cookbooks with enticing recipes pictured on their covers. I selected the vegetarian cookbook, which boasted over 300 recipes, and proudly brought it home.

Today I finally made the first recipe out of it — which was, in fact, the recipe pictured on the cover. These stuffed peppers are filled with delicious vegetables, and make a simple, light summer meal. If you have a garden, this would be a perfect way to use some of its bounty. Michael and I served the peppers with a grilled bratwurst, rice, and homemade applesauce.

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Oven-roasted garlic and rosemary sweet potatoes

Oven-roasted garlic and rosemary sweet potatoes
Oven-roasted garlic and rosemary sweet potatoes

This simple and delicious sweet potato recipe is a recent discovery of mine — and it’s so good that I’ve made it at least once a week since.

I found a recipe for roasted potatoes in Michael’s Betty Crocker cookbook a couple weeks ago, and fully intended to follow the recipe. But then I opened the cupboard door and saw some sweet potatoes. A few modifications and thirty minutes later, this savory side dish flavored with rosemary, thyme, and roasted garlic came out of the oven.

I served this simple side dish with ham and cheese grits, fried andouille and red peppers, and a salad. It was a hit with both myself and Michael! Try this delicious dish for yourself by following the simple recipe below:

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Steamy ham and cheese grits

Steamy ham and cheese grits

What can we say about grits other than, “they’re pretty ‘grit’ “? Many moons ago, before this long and cold winter came and overstayed its welcome (it’s still here!), Jane and I were reading recipes online and somehow got on the topic of grits. “What are these crazy ‘grit’ things, and how do they taste?”, we wondered. Being the “good northerners” that we were, we proceeded to mock them and spread nasty rumors about how we’ve heard that they’re something like oatmeal. Boy, were we ever wrong.

Grits, my friends, are an amazing and versatile dish made from crushed, dried corn kernels that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can also be mixed with cheese, meat, and vegetables to contend as a main dish in their own right, guaranteed to stick to your ribs and provide you with that good ole “southern comfort” feeling. After making and eating grits, we repented of our ignorant northerner ways, and invited grits into our home as a family recipe. Since that time, we have begun to experiment by using grits as a base for amazing main dishes, such as this recipe here.

To make our delicious steamy ham and cheese grits, you will need the list of ingredients below, an 8″x4″ meatloaf pan (nonstick works best), and an oven preheated to 350 degrees. You may find that an 8″x4″ pan does not make nearly enough of these delicious grits (we never have leftovers with this size). In that case, you can double the recipe for an 8″x8″ pan (this also fits well in a 9″x9″), or triple the recipe for a 9″x13″ pan of these steamy grits.

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Delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili

Delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili

This BBQ turkey chili recipe is one of my most famous discoveries, and it is an honor to be able to share it on this blog. Jane and I really love this delicious turkey chili dish on rice, and are thrilled to “gobble” down the leftovers each time we make it.

This legendary recipe was discovered in the dead of a Minnesota winter when it was too cold to brave the outdoors and risk our lives to buy fresh groceries at the store. We scoured the freezer and pantry in our famished state for any sort of items we could use to make a hearty dish of satisfying sustenance. Ever since that fateful moment, this dish has been a legend, and has been enjoyed by us many a time in both times of few and times of plenty.

In order to make this mouth-watering, savory, and delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili on rice, you will need the following list of ingredients, a large frying pan, and a crockpot (optional).

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Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

I’ve always been intrigued by recipes for stuffed peppers, though I’ve never made them. So, last weekend I decided enough was enough — and planned to make stuffed green peppers.

Last Sunday, Michael and I ended up spending a leisurely afternoon with friends at an antique show at the HarMar Mall in Roseville. While there, Michael went to Cub Foods for me to buy a couple green peppers to stuff. He came back with 3 red peppers instead — they were on sale for $1 each! So naturally, we then returned to the store together and bought even more of them, and my plans were changed to stuffed red peppers.

Well, it turns out that my first attempt at stuffed peppers was quite the successful attempt, despite my approach of using as many leftovers as I could find in the fridge. By using leftover rice in the recipe, total prep + cooking time is an easy 45 minutes. The filling in this recipe makes enough to fill 3 peppers, halved lengthwise, though I only stuffed 2 peppers and saved the rest of the filling to use later.

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