Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Double Whammy – Thai and Butternut

Okay, so it’s been over a month since my last post?!??  =(

A LOT has happened in a month and flying too and from Seattle is not the least of it even if it was after a hurricane…  This last flight from WA to NY has reconfirmed in my mind that red eye’s SUCK.  Hence, the reason I am posting at 3 4 am in the morning.  I failed to power through the day as I originally planned.  “Oh, I’ll just lie down on my bed for a little bit” turns into crashing all afternoon.  I find coming back east is harder to readjust to time than traveling west to east.

However, that didn’t stop me from eating and cooking, heavens no.   I actually ate out and cooked in the same day woot!  After coming back to the food desert that was my apartment, I decided to go grocery shopping AND treat myself to arguably the best lunch special in Ithaca: Taste of Thai Express!

They have lunch specials and a set 3 course lunch menu for $13!  I got Goong Salon for appetizer which is shrimp wrapped in noodles and then fried.  It’s like shrimp mummified in crunchy noodles.

Followed by Tofu Pad Thai:

And finished with Sweet Black Rice:

So much food for $13!  Okay, so more like $15 + tax and tip.  It’s enough for 2 meals pretty much.  I brought some containers and was literally packing it up as I ate.  Is that weird?  I’m pretty sure that’s what my server was thinking.  I did have a server at Maggiano’s tell me that bringing my own containers was ‘so cute’ and that she loved us (me + sister) because it saved her so much work.  She was a particularly honest server… haha.

Following that meal I completely crashed and woke up 4 hours later thinking about dinner.  I already had a plan of what to make.  Right before I left I picked up some awesome veggies at Dilmun Hill, the student farm.  Basically, in exchange for volunteering some time you get free, fresh, straight-from-the-ground, veggies!  I had that butternut squash in the back of my mind and I decided that some type of butternut squash pasta would be delish.  I had already google searched and shopped, for this How Sweet It Is recipe in the morning.  And how sweet it looks!

So that kinda looks like a glob with some cheese and seeds on it, but it tastes real good!  It was based off the How Sweet It Is recipe with a few changes.  1) Obviously used bowties (farafelle if you want to be Italiano) instead of penne, UWUH (Use What You Have) 2) Used soy milk because that’s what I bought 3) Increased the mozzarella cheese from 1/4 c to 4 oz ~1/2 cup because I was using a bigger pan 4) No sage or bacon.

   
All together it looked like this:

   

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This makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  I will try and back post some of the other things that have gone on the past 5 weeks, but we’ll see how that goes.  Modified recipe below!

Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole  *from How Sweet It Is*

+ 1 sm-med butternut squash, peeled n chopped + seeds

+ 1/4 t salt

+ 1/4 t pepper

+ 1/4 t nutmeg, I used whole

+ 2 T unsalted butter

+ 1 sm shallot

+ 1 T flour

+ 1/4 c mascarpone cheese

+ 2/3 c milk

+ 1/2 lb whole wheat bow-ties/farafelle

+ 1/2 c freshly grated/chopped mozzarella

+ 1/4 c freshly grated parmesan

Roast chopped butternut squash and seeds (if desired) in olive oil, S+P, for 40 minutes flipping halfway through.  My seeds were a bit toasty after 40 so take out the seeds a bit earlier.  Mash roasted squash with a fork or potato masher and set aside.

Boil water for pasta and cook as directed.

Meanwhile, heat medium saucepan over medium heat and melt butter.  Add shallots and stir until butter and shallots are browned.  Add the 1 T of flour and stir til smooth for 1-2 minutes.  Add mascarpone, milk, squash, and spices.  Stir til combined.  You can save some pasta water to thin out the sauce if you’d like or add more milk.

Mix pasta with about half of the butternut sauce.  Pour into shallow baking dish (I used one a tad bit smaller than a 13×9 inch pan, maybe 8×11?) and spread remaining sauce over top.  Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the dish size.

Garnish with roasted seeds and eat til stomach’s content.

Gah, it is so late now I’m hungry again!  Night!

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New York State Fair

Another first this labor day weekend was a trip to the great New York State Fair.  I had heard that the NYS fair was good but had never had the opportunity to go.  You really have to experience it for yourself.

plethora of food signs

Not only for the food, but also for the bunnies, cows, crafts, concerts, and activities.  There were so many animals…  cows, sheep, bunnies, chickens, other fowl, goats, and on.

lionhead bunny! there was this poster outlining how the lionhead bunny is a result of a mutation in ‘x’ gene and how it’s recessive so that means xyz… these people are serious about their bunnies!

All the animals were for show and they had all different breeds, colors, shapes, sizes of these animals.  Most people don’t normally see cows just chillin in a giant building with hundreds of other cows.  I saw someone literally blow drying a cow’s hair? fur? I assume to get ready for the show.  They were pretty cute and bony…

chillin dairy cows + boy…

And of course the udders…

udders…

I don’t really understand how they’re able to walk around with such udderly big udders.  And it is a bit strange to actually see where your milk comes from…  It’s so removed from the cow in a gallon jug that it’s easy to forget it ever came from an animal.  I don’t think that’s really a positive for our food system.

Other highlights:

I got to hold a chick at the 4-H booth!

chicky!!

There was a cheese carver and cheese samples.

she carvin the cheese

sample o feta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The butter sculpture in the ‘dairy products’ building.  They had I ❤ Milk for sale for 25 cents and lots of ice cream.

the butter sculpture

And the food!

mo food

We ate gyros, bloomin onions, ice creams, and fried clam strips.  The food was inescapable and any type of fair food you could ever dream of from roasted corn and wine slushies to chocolate covered bacon and $1 baked potatoes (the line for which is literally 100ft).

maple soft serve

blackberry vanilla twist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The maple soft serve was so rich and creamy your tongue was swimming through it and I love any blackberry flavored ice cream.

bloomin onion

Gotta have something fried.

You could go to the fair everyday it was open and not eat the same thing twice.  Plus, some of the prices are actually reasonable like a $2 soft serve at Byrne Dairy.  At the other end there’s the $9 gyro that’s still delicious.

I don’t even have pictures of the rides but of course my brother wanted to go on the spinny-est of them.  Is it sad when you feel old when you’re in your 20s?  My brain cannot handle those rides like when I was 10.  *sigh* youth

There are also free concerts every night.  The Band Perry was playing the day we went and I was so excited because I was obsessed with “If I Die Young” at work literally the week before.  Unfortunately, the concert started at 8pm and after being there since noon the rest of my family was to tired to stick it out so I didn’t even get to hear them play it.

They have other ‘headliners’ as well like monster trucks and the demolition derby which I’ve heard is quite the amusement.  Good ole Amurica, running cars into each other till they die.

Overall, it’s like a better fun, more diverse, cheaper, temporary, amusement park.  Parking is a breeze with a bazillion shuttle buses running around.  The worst part was the lines for the women’s bathroom…  It really was quite the experience with such a seemly unrelated set of experiences: pigs, the Space Roller, funnel cake, and demolition derby?  In any other place it would make absolutely no sense, but at the NYS fair it’s all just right.