Waiting for the jugglers
Human powered rides
Jax being knighted. Apparently now we'll have to call him "Sir Jackson"
With the King and Queen
On the jousting field, being introduced with the other new knights
On the way out. Sir Jackson didn't want to be seen with the rest of us, apparently.
and our annual trip apple picking with good friends. (Then there was some delicious pulled pork and an apple pie, but I didn't make the pulled pork, so no recipe for that, and the apple pie used a store bought crust, so that's too "cheater" to post).
Sassy princess and her good friend Kaley
Got a good one.
Suffering. The Pats game was on. Made only mildly more bearable by the fact that they lost.
She's gonna be a rock star someday, that one.
First, the outsourced recipes:
I used this smittenkitchen recipe. It was perfect. The only thing that I did differently was make four small loves instead of 2 large ones, and so I used a single (3 strand) braid.
Braided and round and raisin. Booya.
Braided and round and plain. Perfect for any occasion.
I used this recipe from epicurious. Again, the only tweak was that I steamed the potatoes before roasting them because I like my potatoes extra soft. I also used a little extra olive oil in the mustard mix, but my mustard didn't stick very well, so maybe I shouldn't have.
Coated, but not cooked.
Ready to be served.
Couscous with Sweet Potato and Zucchini
(remember - this recipe generously served 12. You could easily halve it. This would also make a good vegetarian main dish)
2 boxes couscous
1 large sweet potato
1 medium zucchini
1/3 c. pine nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water to soften
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 425.
Peel and dice the sweet potato into 1/2 inch thick slices. Chop into bit sized pieces. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil. Dust with the cayenne and cinnamon.
Ready to go in the oven
Roast at 425 for about 20 minutes, then turn and roast for about 10 more minutes. Add the zucchini to the pan and cook for about 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven.
Toast the pine nuts. Heat a small pan over medium heat and add the pine nuts. Stir frequently. You cannot walk away from them, because they go from pleasantly nutty and browned to burnt and unedible in 3 seconds. As soon as they are golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
Starting to brown.
Removed from heat. It's a miracle I didn't burn them. I always do.
Cook the couscous according to the box directions.
Mix the couscous, pine nuts, vegetables and raisins (drained). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Creamed Spinach with Blue Cheese Breadcrumb Topping
This was a hit. The whole thing went. I highly recommend it.
5 slices of white bread, toasted
6 oz crumbled blue cheese
36 oz fresh baby spinach
1 large shallot, finely diced
8 tbsp butter, divided
1 c. lowfat sour cream
Crumble the toast in a cuisinart until it is pulverized into large breadcrumbs.* Sauté the breadcrumbs in 3 tbsp of the butter until lightly toasted. Remove to a bowl and mix with the blue cheese.
Melt 11/2 tbsp of the butter in the pan and add half the spinach. Sauté over medium heat until wilted. Remove to a strainer in the sink. Repeat the process with the second half of the spinach.
Uncooked, and practically spilling out of the pan.
Wilted and ready for straining.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan, and, over low heat, sauté the shallot until tender, about 8 minutes.
As the shallot is cooking, squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach.
When the shallot is done, return the spinach to the pan. Add the sour cream and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach is creamy throughout. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the spinach to a greased 8X11 glass dish, and spread out so it's even. Top with the breadcrumb mixture.
**Cook in a 375 oven for about 35 minutes, or until the spinach is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are a golden brown.
*if you don't have the time and/or wherewithall to make your own, try panko.
** If you wanted to make this in advance, you could cover and refrigerate and bake in a day or so. Just add about 10 minutes to the cooking time if it's starting cold.
Alright, folks. It was a lovely long weekend. Back to the grind tomorrow.