and when the kids are old enough, we're gonna teach them how to fly...
Red Kuri Squash Lasagna with Mushroom and Sage Béchamel 
Last month C and I were on vacation with some foodie friends of ours and for dinner one night we all decided to try out this Butternut Squash Lasagna by My New Roots (with a few changes). The decision on it was unanimous: great flavor, but a bit dry for our taste. I thought it needed some fat to add a bit of moisture to the recipe. I said then that I would come home and try to improve upon the basic ideas. 
Two weeks ago was our last neighborhood farmers market (sad), and I picked up a Red Kuri squash, which sat our our counter until the other day because I wasn’t feeling inspired to use it. The only thing I could think of was that lasagna… but my ideas for improving it involved so much…work. Finally, though (in an attempt to avoid real work) I had myself a cooking day.
The result was a seriously labor intensive but well worth it dish. I am obsessed with this dinner. So obsessed that I’m making it again for company this weekend, and it makes me wonder how I lived so long without béchamel sauce. 
1 large Red Kuri or Butternut Squash3-4 cloves garlic3 tbls + 1 tbls EVOO1 tsp lemon juice2.5 cups + 4 tbls AP flour4 large eggs, at room temperature1 - 1.5 lbs mushrooms of choice 1/2 large white onion, diced 2 tbls chopped sage5 tbls butter4 tbls AP flour4 cups milk fresh thymesalt to taste1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Prepare Red Kuri Squash Puree: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast squash whole for approximately 20 minutes or until it can be cut through easily. After 20 minutes, cut squash in half and remove seeds. Return to oven for 40 more minutes, or until squash is soft. Let rest until cool enough to handle*. Once cool, scoop out squash and place in a food processor with the garlic cloves and lemon juice. While processing stream in EVOO. Puree until a smooth texture is achieved. 
*While resting squash prepare pasta dough. 
Prepare pasta dough: Mound flour on a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Crack eggs into the well, scrambling yolks with a fork as you do so. Slowly begin to incorporate flour into the eggs by pulling from the inside rim of the well. When a soft dough begins to form use hands to incorporate the rest of the flour and knead until dough comes together.
Clean work surface, scraping away any stuck dough. Wash hands and lightly flour work surface. Kneed dough for 6 minutes. When finished dough should be elastic and just a bit tacky. Roll dough into a ball, wrap tightly in cling wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes*. Once rested, roll pasta out to desired thickness (or as thin as you can get it) and cut into strips.
*While the pasta dough is resting, prepare béchamel 
Prepare Béchamel  Heat 1 tbls butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut mushrooms into quarter inch slices and add to hot skillet. Do not stir for several minutes, allowing mushrooms to brown and get crisp on one side. After approximately 4 minutes, add chopped onion and sage to the mushrooms, turn heat to low and sautee until onions are translucent. In a separate sauce pan, heat milk until just about to boil. 
Push mushrooms to the edges of the pan to make a well in the center of the skillet. Add 4 tbls butter to the skillet and when melted, add flour. Stir rapidly, incorporating the flour into the butter until a paste forms. Begin adding milk to mushroom mixture, one cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.  Assemble Lasagna: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Spread a small amount of squash puree on the bottom of a baking dish. When water has boiled, drop pasta strips into water and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Pull strips of pasta from the water and transfer directly to the baking dish, forming your first pasta layer. On top of pasta, spread another thin layer of squash puree. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, and layer with béchamel sauce. Repeat layers 1-2 more times. Sprinkle the top layer of béchamel sauce with parmesan cheese. 
Bake until lasagna is heated through and parmesan cheese has become bubbly (approximately 20-30 min). 

Red Kuri Squash Lasagna with Mushroom and Sage Béchamel 

Last month C and I were on vacation with some foodie friends of ours and for dinner one night we all decided to try out this Butternut Squash Lasagna by My New Roots (with a few changes). The decision on it was unanimous: great flavor, but a bit dry for our taste. I thought it needed some fat to add a bit of moisture to the recipe. I said then that I would come home and try to improve upon the basic ideas. 

Two weeks ago was our last neighborhood farmers market (sad), and I picked up a Red Kuri squash, which sat our our counter until the other day because I wasn’t feeling inspired to use it. The only thing I could think of was that lasagna… but my ideas for improving it involved so much…work. Finally, though (in an attempt to avoid real work) I had myself a cooking day.

The result was a seriously labor intensive but well worth it dish. I am obsessed with this dinner. So obsessed that I’m making it again for company this weekend, and it makes me wonder how I lived so long without béchamel sauce. 

1 large Red Kuri or Butternut Squash
3-4 cloves garlic
3 tbls + 1 tbls EVOO
1 tsp lemon juice
2.5 cups + 4 tbls AP flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 - 1.5 lbs mushrooms of choice 
1/2 large white onion, diced 
2 tbls chopped sage
5 tbls butter
4 tbls AP flour
4 cups milk 
fresh thyme
salt to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Prepare Red Kuri Squash Puree: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast squash whole for approximately 20 minutes or until it can be cut through easily. After 20 minutes, cut squash in half and remove seeds. Return to oven for 40 more minutes, or until squash is soft. Let rest until cool enough to handle*. Once cool, scoop out squash and place in a food processor with the garlic cloves and lemon juice. While processing stream in EVOO. Puree until a smooth texture is achieved. 

*While resting squash prepare pasta dough. 

Prepare pasta dough: Mound flour on a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Crack eggs into the well, scrambling yolks with a fork as you do so. Slowly begin to incorporate flour into the eggs by pulling from the inside rim of the well. When a soft dough begins to form use hands to incorporate the rest of the flour and knead until dough comes together.

Clean work surface, scraping away any stuck dough. Wash hands and lightly flour work surface. Kneed dough for 6 minutes. When finished dough should be elastic and just a bit tacky. Roll dough into a ball, wrap tightly in cling wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes*. Once rested, roll pasta out to desired thickness (or as thin as you can get it) and cut into strips.

*While the pasta dough is resting, prepare béchamel 

Prepare Béchamel  Heat 1 tbls butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut mushrooms into quarter inch slices and add to hot skillet. Do not stir for several minutes, allowing mushrooms to brown and get crisp on one side. After approximately 4 minutes, add chopped onion and sage to the mushrooms, turn heat to low and sautee until onions are translucent. In a separate sauce pan, heat milk until just about to boil. 

Push mushrooms to the edges of the pan to make a well in the center of the skillet. Add 4 tbls butter to the skillet and when melted, add flour. Stir rapidly, incorporating the flour into the butter until a paste forms. Begin adding milk to mushroom mixture, one cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside. 
 
Assemble Lasagna: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Spread a small amount of squash puree on the bottom of a baking dish. When water has boiled, drop pasta strips into water and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Pull strips of pasta from the water and transfer directly to the baking dish, forming your first pasta layer. On top of pasta, spread another thin layer of squash puree. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, and layer with béchamel sauce. Repeat layers 1-2 more times. Sprinkle the top layer of béchamel sauce with parmesan cheese. 

Bake until lasagna is heated through and parmesan cheese has become bubbly (approximately 20-30 min). 

Tonights kick ass dinner: Turkey Burgers with goat cheese, baby kale and spicy apricot chutney on homemade whole wheat hamburger buns.
Sometimes I think I would really like to be a stay at home wife and make good food all the days long… but then I would never put on real pants or leave my house again and that just seems like its not ok. 

Tonights kick ass dinner: Turkey Burgers with goat cheese, baby kale and spicy apricot chutney on homemade whole wheat hamburger buns.

Sometimes I think I would really like to be a stay at home wife and make good food all the days long… but then I would never put on real pants or leave my house again and that just seems like its not ok. 

Goat cheese, shaved parm and green onions on nut and seed bread makes for a magnificent grilled cheese. 

somebodyupthere:

THIS NEEDS TO STOP


I’m sure all of you guys have heard about the wonderful miss Cassidy Campbell who won Homecoming Queen at her school in California. Once again a moment that should have been celebrated is now being ridiculed and degraded by the ignorance and hatred in our ‘fellow people’. This is absolutely sick and disgusting. The amount of HATRED that this girl is getting is simply ASTOUNDING and it needs to stop. This girl is a human being, just like EVERYONE ELSE, and the fact that she has to go through ANY of this blatant hatred and corruption makes me sick to my stomach. And of course she’s not the only one either. Thousands of trans* people have to go through this EVERY SINGLE DAY. It infuriates me how people think that it’s OKAY and even RIGHT to degrade someone like that. Goddamn it people, get your head out of your asses and start acting like human beings.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, BUT WE’RE ALL HUMAN. STOP SPREADING HATE.

People are such shit and it just breaks my heart over and over.

(via transawareness)

Sunday Funday this past weekend

Zucchini pancakes
River Time
Simple Dinner
Grilled Peaches and Frozen Yogurt
Sunday NIght Football 

We really need more days like this.

“Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better.

Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing.

Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever.

Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions.

Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them.

Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides.

Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not.

Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to.

Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced.

Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real.

There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body.

I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body.

And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap.

You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real.

Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me.”

Date night in the R house…

Garden and Farmers Market Fresh Ratatouille, bubbly and a (appropriately chosen) movie. 

OR sunset out the car window

OR sunset out the car window

This weekend I met a hero

I just returned from an amazing weekend at Gender Spectrum’s annual conference in Berkeley and was incredibly honored to meet and hang out with several folks I have admired deeply from afar for quite some time including Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, the Gender Spectrum team, and Lisa Keating of My Purple Umbrella.

By far, though, the most rewarding part of the conference for me was getting to sit down and chat with C.J’s mom from Raising My Rainbow. She is an incredibly fierce mama on a mission to make the world a better, more inclusive and kind place for her two sons and kiddo’s everywhere, and a source of serious inspiration for me.

If you’ve never heard of her or her darling son, I cannot recommend her blog highly enough. 

Our view for the 4th. Being at the sissy’s isn’t bad at all. 

Our view for the 4th. Being at the sissy’s isn’t bad at all. 

In honor of C and I’s one year anniversary my super-duper best friend sent us the most amazing vegan ice cream recipe book that has ever existed. I mean look at it - it’s titled ‘Lick It’ and the tag line is ‘creamy, dreamy ice creams your mouth will love.’ And then there’s the picture. This book is an amazon.com gem, obviously created for all the lolz. 

Needless to say I was overjoyed when it arrived on our doorstep. Of course, because in addition to off-color marketing I also love cooking, and because it’s been 100+ every single day this week, I got to work recipe-testing immediately. 

The result was vegan vanilla ice cream “pie” with a mocha-fudge brownie crust… and it was AWESOME! 

Joyous celebration!! “Lick it!” is not just for the funnies! It really does offer dreamy treats your mouth will love!

Ah, good day.