Sometimes I like to pretend I’m French.
This happens by…
- watching French films- Breathless, Amelie and The Illusionist are my favorites
- singing along with Rufus Wainwright– even though I have no idea what I’m saying
- trying to dress chic- doesn’t normally happen considering how much I love my sweatpants
- eating meals consisting entirely of baguettes
And that’s just what I did the other night. I made my first ever homemade baguettes for a dinner party. The recipe made 4 loaves so I saved one for my roomies and I to enjoy over the next couple days.
I didn’t really feel like making dinner a few nights later so I cut off a chunk of baguette and stuck in under the broiler until its sides browned and the middle held a crispy crunch. Then, in true Francophile fashion, I topped the steaming bread with honey and my own little twist, shaved parmesan cheese.
Last weekend I spent as much time as possible outside enjoying this amazing weather Nashville brought around.
Friday night was spent carving pumpkins at Alyssa‘s house.
Yes. I carved Pee Wee Herman’s face onto my tiny white pumpkin. My family is mildly obsessed with Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
This year’s line up included The Beast, Kanye West, imprisoned Pac Man, Snow White and Michael Jackson in Thriller. My friends are pretty skilled when it comes to pumpkin carving.
Saturday started off with a wonderful trip to the flea market. Little did we know that the October market is apparently the place to be. We might have waited in traffic for 30 minutes to park, but it was TOTALLY worth. Among the smaller trinkets of enamel pans, mason jars and Christmasy decor, we came across a porch swing for $15! Ridiculous.
There’s definitely a catch…one of the arms was broken in half. DIY on that to come.
The rest of Saturday was spent prepping for a dinner party. We loved having everyone over for our housewarming party when we first moved in, but felt that we didn’t really get to know a lot of the people who came through the door. Our new mission is to host smaller dinners so we can really hang out with each other’s friends.
I took on the first menu- butternut squash soup, homemade baguettes, salad and tiny pumpkin donut holes with homemade whip cream for dessert. I love my butternut squash soup, but I have to say that the donuts kind of stole the show…in my opinion at least.
Have you been enjoying the fall as much as I have?
Cooking doesn’t exactly come natural to me. I wish it did, but it doesn’t. Cooking for me is based on formulas and recipes. Baking on the other hand has a bit more breathing room.
Yes, baking is about precise flour measurements and oven temperatures, but within those confinements I find a little more freedom to experiment.
So when I had leftover pie dough it was just a matter of looking through the rest of fridge to see what could be.
I found some blueberry preserves and got to work.
After rolling out the dough, I cut it into triangles, put a spoon full of the preserves on the larger end and rolled them up. I coated the rolls with an egg wash and generously sprinkled them with a cinnamon and sugar mix on top.
Bake at 425 for 13ish minutes…or until the tops are golden brown.
As the preserves oozed out on to the pan in the oven, the blueberries caramelized and filled the kitchen with a sweet aroma. Delicious!
The lesson I learned? Never throw out your leftover dough. Give it a chance to be something completely new to you.
I’m just a sucker for fall produce.
Is it weird that all day before the farmers market I kept thinking about squash? What kind would I get this week? How would I prepare it? What colors would they be?
Yeah, it’s probably a little odd.
But I chock up my fascination with fall produce to the fact that I can buy almost a week’s worth of food at the farmers market for next to nothing. As pictured above, I brought home 2 sweet potatoes, an acorn squash, a spaghetti squash, a giant bunch of basil and 3 small decorative gourds for a mere $10.
I’m a small girl, so it doesn’t take much to fill me up. Each veggie, combined with a salad, is a complete meal for me. I’ll bake the sweet potatoes and roast the acorn squash, but I’m most excited for the spaghetti squash. I’ll roast it, shred the insides and toss with garlic, olive oil, parmesan and basil. -By the way, that basil was some of the most fragrant basil I’ve ever had. The wind blowing through my rolled down windows on the drive home carried the sweet basil aroma so heavily. It was overwhelmingly wonderful.
Simple foods. Simple recipes. Simply delicious.
What’s your favorite famers market pick up?
So, I’m not a big fan of greek yogurt.
But I keep hearing about all kinds of health benefits from the stuff so I keep trying to like it.
Flashback to Wednesday at the farmers market….
My roommate and I were drawn to a tent by some brightly colored straws. When we got closer, the sweet old man behind the table informed us that they were personal-sized flavored honey straws. “Just cut off the end and you’ve got yourself a sweet snack,” he said. His cuteness was too cute, so I grabbed 4 for $1- two raspberries, a blueberry and a regular.
Flash not so far back to yesterday…
I was staring into my cup of greek yogurt trying to figuring out how I could enjoy it when I remember my honey straw. I grabbed the two raspberry straws and squeezed them on in. They swirled around to make the yogurt a beautiful dark pink. I topped it off with some sliced almonds and all was good.
Do you like greek yogurt?
Last fall I promised myself that when the leaves began to change again I would try cooking and baking with all those beautifully colored veggies that accompany the season. The weather is finally changing here in Nashville so I felt like it was time to take my first adventure.
My roommate and I went to the East Nashville Farmer’s Market this week just to browse a bit. I wasn’t planning on getting anything, but when confronted with baskets upon heaping piles of pumpkins and squash I just had to give one a try. In the shopping bag went one dark green acorn squash along with two of the season’s last green tomatoes. (I heart fried green tomatoes).
When I got home I jumped on Pinterest to decide how to prepare this new veggie and landed on one, not-so-healthy decision. The picture I saw was a thinly sliced squash baked in butter and brown sugar. Say what?!?! The measurements of butter and brown sugar are way more than necessary for my liking. I probably didn’t even use half of what it called for for my four slices, but it was delicious! I will definitely being doing this a lot this fall and looking for more ways to prepare this savory snack.
ps- Sorry there’s no “end result” picture. I got so excited from the aroma wafting from the oven that I plated and devoured the squash before I realized I forget to snap a shot.
pss- Here’s the recipe from Bread and Honey if you want it for yourself.
Not really in the mood today to try and write something, so here’s a couple of delicious recipes coming your way.
brownie banana cupcakes
wild rice and mushroom stuffing
yogurt swirled with peanut butter and honey
roasted tomato tartine
What have you been cooking up lately?
I know I JUST did a recipe roundup last week, but with my entire kitchen packed up in boxes sitting in the hallway I can’t stop myself from creating menus for me and the new roomies to enjoy once we get settled in to a new house. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately…
pesto portabella burgers
blueberry vanilla cream cheese pies
ps- Have you had a chance to pick up the design*sponge newspaper? It’s a delight!
Check here for a full list of places to pick it up.
I’m in the middle of move right now. And by middle I mean- haven’t found a new place and I’m staying with friends indefinitely. But before shacking up with my pals, I was at my place for a few days packing everything up. One big challenge I came across was how to eat a good meal even though most of my dishes and cookware were already boxed up. I was living with only one plate, one bowl, one cup, a cutting board, a baking sheet and a mixing bowl.
I have to admit, I mostly defaulted to Trader Joe’s freezer burritos and vegetable gyozas (so good!), but after a few meals like that my body was craving something fresh. I had some baguette left over from a dinner the night before so I went for one of my favorite easy meals- bruschetta.
The warm, crunchy bread and chilled, oil-soaked topping are my favorite proof that opposites attract. And during the summer, when the tomatoes are fresh and in season, this little meal is in constant rotation at my place.
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 orange bell pepper
- a couple basil leaves
- olive oil
Slice and then brush the baguette with olive oil. Place in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown. Dice all other ingredients and toss with olive oil. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the oil. Once the bread is ready, top with mixture and enjoy!
things i’ve made in the past couple of weeks:
something to look forward to this weekend:
I find a majority of these recipes through Pinterest. You can see what all I’ve got stored in my recipe category here.