Monday, February 29, 2016

CCC February

The second month of 2016 and I have already failed in my plan.  I was thinking that if I just chose one recipe each month I'd have a better chance of posting on time.  There were just too many tempting recipes this month!  I ended up making 5, but now my post is late.  To start, I had an absolutely enormous blue hubbard squash that I wanted to use.  (That's a 13 by 18 inch half sheet pan, and after I had already used 1/4 of the squash.)  Again, I didn't have the patience for attempting to cut the skin off, so I just baked the whole thing for a couple of hours until it was soft.  I scooped out some of the inside and mixed it with the rest of the ingredients for the squash layer in the Squash and Fennel Lasagna.  (The rest got pureed and frozen in 2 cup bags.)  

The lasagna was a perfect part of our Friday night dinner.  I really enjoyed it, but found the proportions to be a bit off for my taste.  I found myself wishing there were one or two more layers of pasta.

Next, I made the DIY "Pot" Noodles.  This was a fun one to do with Charlotte.  She sat next to me while I prepared the vegetables, and loved putting small handfuls of vegetables into her own little pot.  Much to my surprise, she even ate the noodles and some of the vegetables once these were ready!  We'll definitely be making these again soon.

I've been trying to bake bread once a week.  I'm really in to this book.  I decided that the toastie filling would be perfect on top of some fresh baked bread.  Charlotte wouldn't touch it, preferring the bread plain, but I loved the Apple and Blue Vinny Toastie.  Paul seemed to like it too.  I enjoyed the blue cheese, but will definitely try this with other cheeses as well.  This was a delicious dinner with some simple white bean soup.

I'm home from work on Fridays and so I've been doing more cooking then.  That likely means a lot of Friday night photos to come.  Since Charlotte was born we've been pretty committed to doing a little Shabbat ceremony with candles, grape juice, and challah.  Last Friday I made the Swede Potato Pasties.  Or rather, my mom and I made the pasties.  My mom comes over to help out on Friday afternoons.  I was holding Miriam and so she asked what she could do to help.  I asked her to roast the beets and prep the broccoli for dinner, because I was planning on making the pasties later.  Before I knew it I smelled onion cooking.  I was confused, so I came into the kitchen to investigate.  My mom had read the pastie recipe, was worried that the vegetables wouldn't actually cook in the oven, so had decided to prep them and saute them on the stove to soften first.  I was a little bit annoyed that I wouldn't have a chance to see if the recipe worked as written, but very grateful that my mom had done all of the hard work for me!  I just made the rough puff pastry (LOVE this recipe), stuffed the pasties, and baked them off.  These were delicious.  I'm hoping somebody else tried the recipe as written.  My mom and I are both very curious to see if it worked.

Last, this Friday we had the Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin for dinner.  I love sweet potatoes and I love cream, so I was expecting to enjoy this one.  I was not disappointed.  Paul ate it without complaining, but I noticed that he pushed most of the peanut butter layer to the side.  I guess he didn't enjoy that addition!

Overall, February is the month where I'm really starting to feel tired of winter vegetables, but it's still too early around here for spring ones.  I'm so glad this book--and this group--gave me so many new, delicious ideas for winter vegetables!


  1. Hi Jora, oooh, a bit tickled that someone posted after me this month, lol. You cheered me up in this extent, though it was only by a mere couple of hours. Love your dish selection for the month and happy that you and Charlotte enjoyed doing the DIY. Nice you celebrate Shabbat on Friday. Though I am not Jewish, I do have rather a connection between friends, neighbors and holidays, and, that my eldest went to a Jewish pre-school where- can you believe- the second year I was Challah mom- taking the reservation and collections for each Friday? Yes, it is true. I look forward to trying the sweet potato dish this upcoming month! Take care and best wishes in your Friday preparations!

  2. I feel the same way about this group, so much vegetable inspiration, especially for late winter. It's so nice that your mother comes over to help. I think my mother would have adapted that recipe, too.

  3. Did you get the whole hubbard squash from your CSA or were you inspired to buy it at the market? I always see them cut up, and the pieces for sale are huge, so I can imagine that your whole one was tremendous...

    It sounds like Fridays are a wonderful day at your house, all the generations hanging out (and cooking together). I'll definitely check out that bread book. I make no-knead bread every other week or so, but I should try branching out. You made all the choices I did plus some more. I enjoyed them all too.

  4. Like your mom, I took one look at the pasty recipe and decided to partially cook the vegetables first; she had the right idea in sauteing them for more flavour. I think I really missed out by skipping the sweet potato and peanut dish. I'll have to give that one a try.

  5. Oh Wow! Home baked bread for the toasties, making it top-notch! I loved that Charlotte enjoyed the DIY pots, so cool and its actually memories-in-the-making-of process as well! BTW I ended up with five hand-pies too, mine were not-true-to-the-recipe as well cos I used bread flour instead of APF, forgot the butter and the cheese for the filling (sigh) but they were pretty good nevertheless. I enjoyed the gratin with peanut butter on my own and thought it was nice. Till March then!

  6. Jora, an utterly delightful post! I loved reading all about your cooking adventures - so happy that dear Charlotte enjoyed her "DIY" noodle pots - it seems to be a bit of a girls´dish, since ours loved them so much too. All of your dishes sound extremely delicious - I will make sure to let you know about the pasties - the one recipe that I was planning on but just did not find the time for - but still want to make it.
    Hope all is going well with the girls - so very thankful that you found the time with work and family and all to make so many wonderful dishes!
    Thank you for your kind and enthusiastic support of the CCC!

  7. Jora, what a lovely post! Reading it was like sitting with you in your home! And it looks as though you had so much fun. I only got to the toasties (can't go wrong with that - and I'm with you on homemade bread - yum!), and the gratin. I had mine with some stuffed chiles, so didn't do the peanut better version, but would love to - I think it sounds great... now that I think about it - if I changed out some of the cream for coconut cream... see, this is why the group is great - you get to see all of your friends dishes! Well done!!!