Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kitchen in Winter. . . . . . . .

It's Sunday morning and I have nothing exceptional to write about. 
Winter teases us with icy claws, damp fogs, cold rain, occasional sunshine, 
lip blistering winds, even snow in many places.  
January seems to be dragging here in the southeast, perhaps because we all 
seem to still be awaiting real Winter weather which, to date, hasn't arrived. 
We've had some very cold days and nights, but we would like 
little snow, after all what's Winter without at least a dusting of the white stuff,
and the garden would enjoy the moisture.
The wellies/snow boots stand waiting near the door. The old gloves with 
the holes have been darned ready for throwing snowballs and building a 
snow person. Mufflers and warm ear-covering hats are hanging on the 
peg. . . . .and there's plenty of hot chocolate waiting to be brewed to fill 
those hand warming mugs.

The Winter kitchen here at the cottage continues to bubble, steam, sizzle at 
different times of the day. We still enjoy eating at home rather than restaurants.
Although I'm the vegetarian, now and then I fix a meat dish for my dearest. 
This past week I made him a savory beef stew - it even smelled appetizing to me.
I used my dear mother's old recipe, she called it 'braised beef', just beef, onions, 
carrots, good quality beef bouillon, seasoning, all cooked together long and 
slow, then thickened with a little cornstarch and served with mashed potatoes.

Today however the kitchen will be strictly a place to 'veg out' in.
I have a chubby butternut squash awaiting the chef's knife and 
I'll be pulling together this simple, but tasty, small plate found in an 
old UK magazine. 

Roast Butternut Squash 
with Goat's Cheese, Sage & Garlic
large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into pieces
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
150g (5 oz) medium-to-mature goat's cheese log 
Handful of fresh sage leaves
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

Preheat oven to 350F (180C or gas 6)
Toss squash pieces in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and
salt and pepper to taste.
Heat large frying pan over med-high heat and sear squash pieces
about 2 mins. on each side - do in batches if necessary. 
Transfer pieces to a roasting pan, snuggled up in a single layer.
Trim ends from cheese and slice log, laying slices on top of 
squash pieces. Scatter sage leaves on top and drizzle with 
2 tablespoons of oil, especially on the leaves.
Roast for 20 mins., then toss garlic with remaining tablespoon 
of oil, scatter over and roast another 10-15 mins. until cheese 
is golden.
Serve straight away.

We'll enjoy this tonight alongside a slice, or two, of 
Leek and Mushroom Flatbread/Pizza - if anyone would like that recipe, 
a delicious very easy version, leave a note in a comment please.
We'll light a fire, sip a glass of excellent Layer Cake Malbec 
from Argentina, and get ready for Downton Abbey of course.

Have a lovely Sunday.
Doing anything special you'd like to share?

Edited: 8:00 PM Sunday

Here's my version - this is the first time I've made it!
Very good, but I think I'd use less goat cheese next time, just the recipe 
amount - I doubled up because I had to use up a larger roll of cheese, made it 
very rich. The fresh sage is definitely required, it looks dark but doesn't burn, 
just gets very crispy and delicious. Also, do use plenty of garlic, it really adds 
great flavor to this dish.


  1. Yes, we have a mixture of weather much like you have today. However, being damp it makes you feel a lot colder than it is. Oh well, Winter in Canada what else can we expect.
    I can almost smell the foods being cooked in your kitchen, Yum Yum.
    Thank you for both of your comments, my Mother is 97 and still lives in her own home and she is doing very well.
    Dave did not have chemo, he had radiation and the only side effect he had was being quite tired, none of the others which were listed in his information package which would have restricted his activities somewhat.
    So he is very fortunate.
    Have a good Sunday.

  2. Sounds like a cozy and yummy winter kitchen. I'd never heard of stew being served over mashed potatoes - sounds delightful. We cook our potatoes in the stew right along with the carrots and onions.

  3. Your dinner sounds wonderful and I would love the pizza recipe! I am getting ready to peruse some cookbooks for meals that are tasty and healthy.

  4. Our weather has really changed overnight. It is down-right balmy here.Well, to us in the North, anyway. I would love that recipe for the pie. Your squash looks delish, too. That's wonderful that you are a vegetarian, Mary. I do my best, too, and stick to fish mostly. I could live on vegetables, fruit & nuts and most of the time do. I'm amazed at all the foods that provide protein. We'll be enjoying another hour of DA, too. :) Deb

  5. It's a day of wind and rain here and your winter kitchen offerings sound delicious. There's nothing like having something simmering on the stovetop or in the oven for a long time to fill the house with delicious fragrance that even smells warming. Your squash dish sounds really yummy. I do love vegetables (although I'm not vegetarian).

  6. Guess what I did today? Roasted butternut squash & sweet potatoes!! I also cooked a batch of red quinoa, and grated and froze some ginger. Went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a bunch of fresh veggies for the week ahead and thought I would do some prep work today for some of my upcoming recipes! Great minds think alike, right?! Picked up the newlyweds late this afternoon from the airport. Sounds like they had a wonderful cruise! Talk soon? Suzanne xx

  7. I made a beef stew the week before last and will make another this week. I add potato chunks to mine and lots of garlic. It's warm comfort food for our cold winters here. However, today it's well above the freezing mark here and has been raining a fair amount so our snow has melted down (it's still there) and we have icy driveways. Lovely. We'll be plunged back to below freezing again tonight and the rest of the week but no snow in the forecast until the weekend. Have a cozy day, Mary.

  8. And I still have one butternut squash from the garden and some goat cheese that needs to be eaten.
    What a lovely, quiet day and then topped off by Downton Abbey. I am enjoying that show too.
    Winter really hasn't hit us here yet either and wondering if February will be our winter. A robin made
    an appearance just this morning and I also wondered if winter would come.

  9. Loved your description of the day and that fool the eye magazine page on the table...delightful. Okay, I have a Blue Hubbard squash that must be used and some cheddar cheese. Not quite the same, but who knows?!


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