Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eating Omily: Stop Resisting!

Well guys, Fall is really upon us!  I woke up to my radiator clanking away this morning, and yesterday, I saw watermelons at the Farmer's Market, and turned them down in favor of pears because, it just doesn't feel like watermelon season anymore.  Maybe I'll grab one next week for old time's sake if they're still there...

f you're a big fan of the Autumnal holidays coming up, you probably enjoy decorating for them!  Did you know you can find awesome decorations to carry you right through Thanksgiving at your Farmer's Market?  True story!

See those sweet baby pumpkins in the background? Who doesn't love those??  Some farmers even tie up their corn shocks as they die back, and bring those to market to sell as decoration.  Why buy cheap, hokey plastic at Walgreens when you can get your hands on this stuff for cheap?  And then throw them out at the end of the season, instead of trying to store them in your tiny NYC apartment, guilt free??  If you want to feel really awesome, haul that stuff right back to the Farmer's Market for the compost drop off!

Ok, ok, decorating is cool, but we all know what this time of year is really about...EATING!  Got you covered.  Ever get invited to a dinner party that seems out of your league?  Everyone is just 'throwing together' fabulous, gormet food, and you're wondering if you can get away with an extra bottle of one-step-up-from-two-buck-chuck wine?  Well, if that ever happens, you'll be grateful to have this one in your arsenal.  Easy, cheap, and fancy-schmancy as all get out: winter squash puree.  Impressed yet?

Start with a winter squash of your choice.  One small one will provide one small serving for about five people.  Preheat your oven to 375, cut your squash in half, and rub the inside with olive oil.  Place it cut down on a baking sheet or dish, and slide into the oven for about half an hour to forty-five minutes.  You want to let the squash get really, really tender, but keep an eye on the bottom because you don't want it to brown much at all.

When it's done, let it cool till you can handle it, then scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Add a pat of butter, salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg, and then just stir!  If it doesn't stir easily together into a smooth puree, it should have been cooked longer, so make a note for next time, and bust out your electric mixer/blender/stick blender/food processor for this time.  Taste, and add more salt if necessary, and you're good to go, and guaranteed to impress.  Bonus points if you toast the squash seeds with pumpkin spices for a garnish.

I had a bit of a milestone this week: I made my first pinterest recipe!  What took me so long?  Well, it seems like a lot of pinterest recipes are either A.) complicated (albiet delicious, I'm sure) desserts, B.) simple unhealthy meals based on processed foods, or C.) unecessarily complicated healthy foods.  I'm not a big fan of complicate recipes.  When you cook with delicious foods, you don't need to do a whole lot to make them amazing.  I'm also a bit scared of "This is SO easy!" suggestions on Pinterest because I check out this website, and this one too, too often.  So what recipe finally tipped the scales for me?  This one.

Easy, minimal ingredients, and it sounded amazing.  As I sliced the potatoes (I made three for two people, because we love potatoes), I got a little scared.  They weren't fanning open, but were sticking together, or falling over in clumps.  How in the world would the air circulate, allowing them to bake through to tender, crisp, deliciousness?  I knew I had to see the saga through, though, so I drizzled (just olive oil), added salt and pepper, and popped into the oven.

I cooked them I think ten minutes longer than the recipe called for, to let them brown a little more, and they came out great!

The thickest potato was not quite as tender as I like at the bottom, where it wasn't cut through all the way, and not every single slice was golden-crisp, but I'd totally make these again.  So fun to eat with your fingers!  (Especially dipped in melted butter...not that we did that...)

Oh!  I promised you yesterday that today I'd tell you how to get FREE fruits and veggies from the Farmer's Market!  Scout's Honor!   Just  go to the Bartel Pritchard Square Farmer's Market in Park Slope, sign up for the frequent shoppers program at the manager's station, and come back three times, checking in each time!  That's it!   You'll get a $2 voucher good for fruits and veggies at any stand in any NYC Green Market.   There's more prizes for weeks six and eight, too, but there's only six weeks more at the Bartel Pritchard Square market, so you'll have to get out there next Wednesday or the Wednesday after to cash in!  There's still plenty to buy.  Maybe I'll see you there!

Eat your veggies!

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