But this bouncing baby boy is affecting what I cook and what we eat so a slight mention of him isn’t too out of bounds, right? Benjamin sleeps late in the morning. He wakes after I’ve already left for work. This almost breaks my heart into a million pieces. The only saving grace is that my husband is able to be at home with him in the mornings, allow him to wake up naturally, take a few precious pictures to email me, and then deliver him to daycare around 9:30am. I do pick ups in the afternoons but this guy is still in the late-afternoon nap + early bedtime stage so my hours from 5 to 7 are spent holding my precious napping baby, playing for a half hour, and then putting him to bed for the night. I don’t mind it. BUT it certainly affects our meals.
Butternut squash ravioli used to be the type of meal I’d bust out my hand cranked pasta making machine for. Now, though, since I found it in my grocer’s freezer section, it has become a fancy cheat item. Perfect for fall and a nice change from the usual marinara sauce that accompanies cheese or meat filled ravioli, this option is exciting and a quick fix in the evenings. Browned butter sauce offers a nutty complement to the squash and sage filling and feta cheese, a distinct after thought in this case, gives a surprisingly delicious texture and flavor to the dish. If you can find premade ravioli, or have the time to make your own, you won’t regret making this meal.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sauce
- 12 ounces frozen butternut squash and sage ravioli, cooked according to package directions
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt to taste
- Melt butter over medium heat and cook, swirling occasionally, until solids cook to a golden brown color, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss asparagus with olive oil and spread on a baking pan. Roast 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bright green and tender crisp.
- Combine cooked ravioli with butter and asparagus. Add salt to taste.
- Divide among plates, topping with feta cheese.
I guess I was always excited when someone I knew was pregnant. What’s not to be excited about? Babies are special – innocent, honest, adorable. But never, ever have been as excited about a woman getting pregnant as I am now, after having given birth to my own baby.
I just can’t hold myself back. There are no words for the swelling of your heart that happens when you experience your new baby. I get filled with warmth and love when I hear of a new pregnancy because there truly is nothing like being a parent. It’s like Christmas (or insert gift-giving holiday) every single day. The end of the workday never seemed so far and Friday afternoons never meant so much as they do now that I have a little one to rush home and snuggle with before he’s off to bed at 6:30pm. I can only hope that medical miracles and insurance reform will soon make it possible for anyone who wants to have a child to have this opportunity.
This blog post is in celebration of baby Shea. Prevention RD‘s Nicole and her husband Mr. P are expecting a bouncing baby girl very soon and Kim at Feed Me, Seymour is hosting a virtual shower in celebration of Baby Shea. If I were attending this shower in person, I’d bring these rich cookies: Browned Butter Butterscotch cookies. They are chewy, sweet, and rich. I promise, you can only have one.
Congratulations, Nicole and Mr. P! Being parents is the best thing ever.
Browned Butter Butterscotch Cookies (adapted from Pioneer Woman)
- 1 cup (2 Sticks) Salted Butter
- 1 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 whole Large Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 2 Tablespoons (additional) All-purpose Flour (rounded Tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 3/4 cups butterscotch chips
- Add one stick of butter to a medium skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and allow it ti bubble and brown for 3 to 4 minutes, swirling the pan to keep the butter moving around.
- When the butter is a medium golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and into a heatproof bowl and allow it to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, allow the other stick of butter to soften.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream the softened stick butter together with the brown sugar and regular sugar until combined in a mixer.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping the bowl if necessary.
- With the mixer on medium-low, drizzle in the cooled melted butter.
- Scrape the bowl the mix again for 20-30 seconds, until everything is combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add it in by thirds, mixing on low, until it’s totally incorporated. Scrape the bowl and beat for a few more seconds.
- Stir in the butterscotch chips.
- In batches, scoop by heaping tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with a baking mat.
- Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Wait a minute or two, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
I adore going out to eat Mexican food. My husband, on the other hand, does not. For the majority of our relationship he would flat out refuse. His excuse is that I make good enough knock-off Latin food at home. Drives me up a wall!
The Spanish teacher where I teach high school turned me onto Sopa de Pollo at a local Mexican restaurant. This girl has traveled all over the world to many Spanish-speaking countries so if she endorses the meal I know it is good.
Finally, with my insistence, I was able to get my husband to try this soup. And he became obsessed. He started asking to go to the Mexican restaurant on his own initiative. He began ordered other things on the menu (but always ordering a to-go container of this soup as well). He began to LOVE Mexican food.
And then I ruined it. I ruined it by making a delicious version of Sopa de Pollo here at home. It is so delicious and so fresh and now he has no desire to go out to eat Mexican anymore. This soup is the best thing on a cool fall evening or warm summer night. It is hearty and fresh. Filling and light. PERFECT.
Sopa de Pollo
For the broth
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
2 bay leaves
1 tomato, cut in half
1 Tablespoon salt
1 T dried herbs (I used herbs de provence)
1 garlic clove
1 onion, cut in half
For the soup
4-5 cups chicken broth (see above)
4-5 cups of water
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
shredded chicken from two breast halves
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup rice
1 red small onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly slice
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 package Goya Sazon con Cilantro Y Tomate
- Prepare the broth first. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot.
- Fill with enough water to cover all ingredients by about 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce a simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours.
- Remove chicken from stockpot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones and shred finely. Discard skin and bones.
- Pour stock through a sieve to remove solids. Discard solids.
- Skim fat off the top of stock. You may do this with a shallow spoon or by preparing stock in advance, chilling it, and removing the solidified fat from the top.
- You should have 4-5 cups of stock.For the soup
- Combine water and stock in a large stock pot and add rice, red pepper flakes, and ground cumin.
- Bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes.
- Add chicken shreds and cook an addition 20 minutes at a low boil. Add goya sazon packet. Taste for salt and season as needed.
- Add diced carrot, diced bell pepper, and most of the sliced onion, reserving a small amount for garnish.
- Cook 20 minutes or so until vegetables are tender and rice is fully cooked.
- Ladle into bowls and top with sliced onion, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and squeeze of lime juice.