Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Summer Squash Casserole (in the winter!)

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This is an awesome side dish...
Oh gosh, my resolution was to write, write, write.  And well, I've been cleaning out like I am moving or something!  I love sending all this stuff off to another life.  I am also on a mission to clean out the freezers, there's plenty of odds and ends that need to go away forever or get cooked!  Last summer, my daughter went to visit her "special friend".  Okay, fine, her boyfriend. So his family lives in Mississippi and someone has some property in the country, and Christina brought home bags of fresh picked produce.  Fresh garlic, squash, zucchini, amazing blueberries, so much stuff!  The squash was abundant, so I cut it up and froze it, thinking I would come up with something!

Fast forward to December, and I am teaching a class at Whole Foods.  The director of these classes is an old coworker from Williams Sonoma, Bri Rogers, and in the holiday section of a local magazine she shared her family recipe for squash casserole.  The magazine is called 4Memphis, and I would link to it but at the time of this writing, there is no way to get connected to their website.  Not sure why.  So here we go.

Of course I have a few changes, which I noted, but I am excited to make this!  One thing, I froze my squash without parboiling, and the skins are a little tough.  It's not terrible, but I suspect a parboil before freezing may have helped this.  But it doesn't matter, it's topped with cheese and bacon and panko.  It's like the trinity of goodness!

My frozen squash chunks

Roger's Family Squash Casserole
serves 6-8

5 T butter
3 # yellow squash cut into thick rounds (mine was chunks)
1 large onion, small dice
salt and pepper
1/2 c. sour cream (I used an 8oz container of plain Greek yogurt)
2 eggs, beaten
4-6 slices bread (I used 1 cup seasoned Panko)
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Before Baking

Butter a 3 qt casserole (I used a 6x11)  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350ยบ.  In a large pot combine squash and onion and cover with water.  Season with salt and bring to a boil.  When squash is tender, about 15 minutes, drain and mash with a potato masher. I don't have a potato masher...I know, 17 years at Williams Sonoma and I do not own one!  Drain again if its watery.  Meanwhile pulse breadcrumbs in processor until fine and toss with bacon crumbles and cheese.  (Skip the pulsing if you use Panko)  Add butter and and sour cream to squash and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in eggs until incorporated and pour into prepared dish.  Top with breadcrumb/bacon/cheese mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Serve immediately.

I give it 2 thumbs up!  Delicious stuff...that crusty top is really good!  The panko I used was Italian seasoned, and I thought it gave it a little umph.  I think this would lend itself well to the addition of maybe a little garlic and some herbs.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Cookie Carrier, Casserole Carrier, Carry Anything!

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Happy New Year!  Maybe you decided now is the time to get crafty?  This is a repost of one of my most repinned pins on Pinterest.  It is super easy to make and so darn cute.  It makes me want to get upstairs and start pinning something together!  I hope you have (or had) a happy New Year, and come back for cookies, recipes, party ideas and other good stuff.  2015 is my year to write.  A play (another on stage I hope), a revision of a family cookbook, some great blogs, and who knows what else!

Call it what you like, but call it cute!
I had my sister here for a week, and we did all sorts of fun projects.  Of course, since she is the brain child of Hipline Media, we had to sew.  She brought an idea she made with her ASG (American Sewing Guild) group and everyone loved it.  It is a tutorial video,  from a really talented sewer, The Crafty Gemini.    It is officially called a Casserole Carrier, but I don't make casseroles, just not a fan.  But you could carry anything in this.

The first carrier I made was with this great flatware fabric with a bright orange interior.

I lined this one with the heat resistant Insul Bright.  This stuff is a little stiff, but is designed to absorb heat, and easily found at the fabric store. It would be ideal for taking a dish to a potluck.  We thought they could be really fun in school colors to take to a tail gate.

This carrier will definitely be used for the hot things. The Insul Bright makes this one a little thicker, and I am anxious to make a few pot holders with the Insul Bright too, I'l let you know how that goes. I am always on the look out for a good potholder!

The second carrier I made I used 100% cotton batting inside, like you would use for quilting.  This is thinner, and it won't really protect from or insulate heat, but I thought this would be a great cookie or dessert carrier. My covered pie dish fits perfectly (but who has time to make a pie when there's cookies to frost!)   I love the fabric, it reminds me of the discs we put inside a 45 record to play it on the stereo spindle.

If you are interested in making these, it will take you less than an hour, uses less than a yard of each fabric, and requires no special sewing skill, honest.  If you're looking for more challenging sewing, or instruction, check out our Etsy store of the Hipline Media products.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and sew!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not Ugly Christmas Sweaters

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Ugly? No! Tacky? Maybe!  Cute?  Yes!!
  I wish someone would invite me to an ugly Christmas sweater party.  Or tacky, as they are often called.  Back in the early 90's, there was a high end boutique that sold the most adorned Christmas sweaters ever, and I was lured in year after year.  I would cringe with embarrassment if you knew how much I paid for them!  But, as a true daughter of Pasquale, I have saved every one of them.  I need an occasion where it would be acceptable to wear them once again. But, there are plenty of these parties happening, and I am just making their cookies!

I wouldn't call these necessarily ugly or tacky, but pretty darn cute, if I may.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get those sweaters out of mothballs and party!