Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Casserole

Casseroles have such a bad rep, at least where Im from. My mother never made them (maybe its just not a Quebecois thing? I dunno). First time I tasted a casserole, it was tuna, 5 years ago, and it scarred me. I mean, nasty stuff. Scarred Jeff too, who doesnt eat ANY fish, but smelled the meal enough to turn his face green. And who made this epic dish? Me. One of the biggest failures in my culinary life haha!

Then I got some experience, mainly pulling together meals that were edible then tasty then delicious from exactly what I had around, because we generally have a tight budget and cant afford to run to the store for extra ingredients. I also feel like its an excellent philosophy to have in the kitchen anyways. I also used the casserole word much more loosely to just mean whatever was made in one pan on stovetop is casserole. Thus the creation of this here dish, the autumn casserole. Termed autumn because I tend to only make it in the autumn since apples and sweet taters are plentiful around that time.

  • 2 sweet taters, peeled and half mooned
  • 2-3 links of hot italian sausages, coined
  • 1 onion, half mooned
  • Couple of garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped grossly
  • 1 jar of salsa (I use sweet spicy roasted corn salsa that I make during the summer, loosely based on this)
  1. Sweet taters take a while to cook, so I halfway fill my pan with water, boil it at high heat, add the taters and 'cook' for about 10 minutes, enough to halway cook em, not long enough for them to break down. Strain and reserve the taters.
  2. Add a bit of butter and start frying those onions. Halfway through, add the garlic and apples, and a few minutes after the sausage coins.
  3. Once those are thoroughly cooked, add the taters, and the salsa. Serve over rice or couscous if desired, but not really necessary. Because my salsa has strong flavor, I dont feel the need to add any spices or herbs. This is also a dish that quite easily becomes vegetarian.


Sunday, October 7, 2012


Sometimes, I need to remind myself that this blog isn't so much about taking hot pictures, trying fiddley recipes, or stretching myself in the kitchen as much as it is about keeping in touch with you lovely ladies. To that end, here's a random smattering of weekending food pictures. Enjoy!

Spicey cranberry chutney for Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow at my in-laws' - it's fermenting with kefir whey, which creates all the little pockets of air you see. Isn't that amazing? Just like the way bread dough gets loose and airy, so does this lovely medley (made with roasted cranberries, roasted onion, roasted garlic, and roasted hot peppers, with salt, pepper, crushed chillis, raisins, and um, did I put in cumin? I don't quite remember - all put through the KitchenAid food grinder attachment, mixed with about 3 tbsp kefir whey, and stirred into a mason jar. It should zingy!).

We enjoyed a stroll and some food at the Atwater Market this morning after Mass - SO MANY PUMPKINS!! You can see our church, St Irenee, in the background there.

Amazing RED pumpkins with wee cute pumpkins in the background. Aww! Ambrose goes crazy for pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.

I made Tony cinnamon-raisin rolls with leftover pizza dough this afternoon. (On a related note, I am back on wheat - it was just too hard/expensive/trying to do without. Whatever. But I am officially fasting from cane sugar with my friend Carolina, woo!! Team power!)

So... happy Thanksgiving! And remember, fellow Leek Geek squad, if you are waiting to post until you have something dazzling... don't! Let's just let our hair down, show each other our messy kitchens, share our frustrations and challenges in cooking, our grainy badly-lit food pictures, our little inspirations, and okay, our pretty triumphs! I just want to know how y'all are... what you're up to... even if you're pregnant and ordering in all the time... tell me how that's working for you, and how you feel about that! If you're eating out a lot, tell me where and what you ate and how it was! If your garden failed, that's newsworthy! Tell me... what's cookin!?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

EXAM Brain Food!

So as some of you may know, I'm writing a huge 4 hour exam at this time tomorrow. I need ideas on good brain foods for the day, and foods that will keep me from crashing mid-exam.

So far, I will have eggs and toast in the AM, fish for lunch--but what is best to take along with me and to eat right before the exam, and 2 hours later during my 10 minute break to give me a prolonged energu boost?

And then maybe something to console me if I don't do as well as I'm hoping...?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recipe Call-Out

Allright ladies, autumn is in full swing and that means squash everywhere. I want to hear what are yalls favorite recipes using any of the in season squash because, frankly, Im running out of ideas. My aunt has a beautiful huge garden and I get regular presents.

The problem is, I have pretty much run out of everything I know to make with squash. Soup, relish, salsa (yup), roasted, pureed, in salads, in sandwhiches, risotto, raviolli, stuffing etc. I need new inspiration! And Ive got a couple of beautiful butternuts left.

Help! What are your favorite seasonal squash recipes?