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sage

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Sage

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage

It feels good to build things. Like recipes, and lego houses, and new skills, and gardens, and bowls.

That pretty, imperfect bowl above was a result of my first ever ceramics class! Flawed and all, it feels better to eat out of than any of my other smooth surfaces. After going through a series of classes earlier this year, I tell you, playing with clay is fun.

I also built (well, really mainly smoothed and stained) the wood that’s placed beneath that bowl. My friend has a new woodshop space, and I’m thrilled with the future furniture ideas I hope to make happen there. Something about creating a tangible product really gets me. Perhaps that’s why I’m such a sucker for photography and recipe development.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage

 

This particular recipe was inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod. I love the duo approach they take to blogging. All I can say is, my future husband better be okay with food photography because a lot of that goes down in my life. But good eating, too.

This was delicious and so naturally creamy all on its own. It does have a touch of parmesan, but I even believe you could skip out on that if you wanted to take this vegan. Simply adjust the spices to your taste. One note, make sure to liberally salt the sauce. You’ve got a lot of pasta to season, and the salt will help to bring out the flavors of the squash.

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Brie and Butternut Quesadillas with Sage and Shiitakes

Butternut and Brie Quesadillas

New Year’s Eve is always a gamble.

When I was little, the bet was always whether or not I could keep my droopy eyes open till midnight. Middle school brought the toss up of whose parents would give them the freedom to leave the family for the night. And high school was a roll of the dice over what kind beverages would be obtainable (crappy beer vs. sparkling cider, which these days, I’d likely choose the latter).

As I entered college, the gamble became whether or not you’d have a date for the night. Which I did last year. We conveniently got into a fight just before midnight. Even with a boyfriend and confetti all around, last year’s countdown was a strike out.

This time, however, I don’t care what the night brings; it’s going to be a winner. There will be no droopy eyes, no friends stuck at home, and while I can’t promise a lack of crappy beer on site, there definitely won’t be any fighting taking place. This, and letting any other expectations walk out the door, is all I need to know that this year won’t be a gamble.

Although…just in case something does go wrong… I’ll be whipping up these Brie and Butternut Quesadillas. Because seriously, you just can’t go wrong with these. If you’ve never tried brie melted on sliced butternut squash, just removed from the oven, I recommend you do so just before assembling these. With a sprinkle of cinnamon, too. It will be a nutty, creamy, pre-New Years celebration in your mouth. For the more finger-friendly option, stick with the quesadillas. These are a crowd-pleaser that will likely set you apart at the party.

Click here for recipe…

Sage and Stuffing Seasoned Quinoa

Sage and Quinoa Stuffing

Feeling too stuffed is a sensation I prefer to keep to a minimum. (Though, I feel very fortunate and blessed to live a life that extends these opportunities.)

Eating stuffing, however, is an experience I could welcome all times of the year, multiple days per month. The taste bud lingering flavors of sage, rosemary and thyme create a combination from which I rarely tire. Although, I must say all that bread that embodies the traditional recipe could eventually make my body say “no more”. No part of me is an anti-bread, low-carb advocate, especially when we’re discussing whole grains. But too many meals of it probably isn’t the optimal choice.

Instead, I’ve created a variation of which no one could debate its healthiness, utilizing quinoa – a protein and fiber filled superstar of the grain world. It just so happens it’s gluten-free, too.

Granted, I wouldn’t go so far as to call this stuffing, particularly if you consider yourself a stuffing junkie. It’s a tad more on the chewy side in comparison to its fluffy, conventional counterpart. However, it’s certainly a wonderful, healthier alternative with all the same flavors, and will make your body feel good, too.

Click here for recipe…

Sage Pumpkin Hummus

One more pumpkin recipe, then I promise I’ll chill on the pumpkin. With all these recipes, I’m quickly running out of the stockpile I bought – although, I am waiting on my first order of green coffee beans, and I’m totally dreaming of homemade pumpkin lattes after they’re roasted.

Regardless of whether more pumpkin recipes go up anytime soon, I’m sure I’ll be buying more. And you probably should, too.

One cup’s got 7 g’s of fiber and a percentage that’s over 100 times that in terms of your daily needs of vitamin A (760%). Plus, 17% vitamin C and nearly 20% of iron, all for under 85 calories. All that health in one cup feels virtually unheard of during the cold-weathered holidays, the ones that generally mean calories upon calories upon fat upon eggnog upon other canned food you probably don’t want to be eating.

What you do want to be eating is this. Hummus and pumpkin and sage, oh my. I made a spiced pumpkin hummus last year and brought it to some friends who ended up raving about the recipe…Not a surprise given it’s one bowl containing both creamy hummus AND pumpkin.

This version’s a little different, instead inspired by how well the combination of butternut squash and sage turned out in my soup last week. You’ll find the Sage Pumpkin Hummus to be more savory. It tastes exceptionally well on pita with spinach and maybe some crunchy sprouts.

Click here for recipe…

Roasted Apple Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

When I went apple picking a few weeks back, I strolled up to my dad with my 1/2-filled bushel of fresh red and yellow speckled beauties and told him I was calling it a day. To my eyes, there were more Jonathans in that basket than I could ever fit into my future fall breakfasts. And plus, I wanted to save some apple-inclined taste buds for the Honeycrisps that were soon to arrive.

“What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you going to finish filling up that bushel?” my dad asked me. A shock took over his face as if I just comitted some sort of crime.

“I’ll never eat all of the ones I have,” I replied before taking a breath to lift the 15lb. wooden crate from the grass.

“Of course you will. That’s nothing. Go fill up that basket.”

So off I went, adding a few more pounds into my arms as I strolled down the 100-foot rows of the apple forest. It’s hard to protest a request to pick more tree-ripened fruit.

Fortunately, the refridgerator truly does wonders for storing apples, and weeks after our family venture, I found myself left with a handful still ready to use on my kitchen table.

Two of them went into this soup. A soup I might say I found myself ridiculously proud of upon the 10 pm, Monday night finishing touches of fresh sage. Pure, velvety heaven. And with that beautiful orange color, you know it has to be packed with nutrients, too. This is definitely one of my favorite soups (and recipes!) I’ve made in a long time. Pair with a slice of crusty bread, and it could become one of your favorite meals, too.

Click here for recipe…

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