Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chips Can Be Good For You!

Okay, so lets be clear...Chips are not usually considered health food.  But neither is chocolate and we all pretty much still eat it - in moderation right?  That is how I feel about chips.  In fact, a lot of Fridays all I have for dinner is Sweet Potato chips and guacamole.  Thats all I want and thats what I eat.  It is a (high calorie) indulgence.  I make myself feel a little better though by choosing all natural chips with few and recognizable ingredients.  One of my absolute favorites in the brand Food Should Taste Good.  In fact, here are a few pictures from this fall trip to the Long Island Vineyards featuring the Sweet Potato and Olive flavors:

Hungry yet?  Lucky you!  Because right here is a link to get a coupon for a FREE bag of Food Should Taste Good Chips.  WooHoo!

** FYI, the link brings you to Facebook, where you have to "like" the company....I love Food Should Taste Good Chips, so I have no problem with "liking" them on Facebook **

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Still Here

Hi All - Just a quick post to let you all know that I am still alive.  This week has been exceptionally busy, which has resulted in not only missed blog posts but also missed workouts.  In fact, with the exception of gentle yoga Monday night, I have had unintentional rest days since Sunday.  Eek!   The result is that i am cranky, tired and achy.  More achy than anything.  I am hoping to get a lunch break at some point today and hit the treadmill...I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Evolution of Butternut Wontons

Okay Blogfans...this weekend I braved (among about a million other events) my very first food blogger event.  Now, as I mentioned before, I do not necessarily consider myself a food blogger...I mean, I do not even own a stand mixer, recipe cards or a camera...but my friend Amy, along with Jennifer, was hosting, so food blogger I was.

I decided that I was going to have to make something a bit more fancy than a smoothy for this event, so I put on my fall food thinking cap and decided I wanted to make something similar to my summer go-to appetizer of Caprese Salad Skewers.  What are Caprese Salad Skewers?  Only the easiest appetizer ever that actually looks impressive.  Heres what you do:

Caprese Salad Skewers

Mini Mozzarella balls
Mini tomatoes
Fresh Basil Leaves
Long Party Toothpicks

Put: One of each Ingredient on a Long Party Toothpick

Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Present Skewers with Balsamic dipping sauce.

Easy right?  I also do a chicken version of this where I soak the Toothpicks for awhile, skewer the tomatoes and roast the tomato/toothpicks together until the skin on the tomatoes just start to pucker.  Then I pan fry or grill some chicken, cut it into bite sized pieces and VERY CAREFULLY (because the tomatoes are delicate) but a piece of chicken on each skewer.  Maybe add a piece of basil or something if you want.

So, I really like those skewers, but they scream summer, not fall, and this was a fall food fest.  So, as I was saying a long time ago, I decided to try and make a fall skewer.  I decided that each Skewer had to have a cube of roasted butternut, a piece of fried sage and a golden raisin.

Can you see the problem here?  Not only would it be impossible to skewer fried sage without it crumbling everywhere, chances are the butternut would slide right off the skewer.  Disaster.

So I decided that I needed to come up with a different vessel to combine my desired appetizer ingredients.  My idea - wonton cups.  Now, I had seen this done before and it seemed pretty easy - you just buy wonton wrappers, push the wrappers into a mini muffin tin and bake.  So I did that.  It was very easy.  Next I did the following:

Butternut Cups

Bake: Butternut squash cubes at 450 degrees until browned

Fry: Sage in a little canola oil

Combine: ricotta (or mascarpone...I tried both) with maple flavored agave syrup (I was out of maple syrup)

Put: Some of each plus a few golden raisins in a wonton cup.

I was pretty pleased with this effort.  I made six as practice the weekend before the food fest and called it a day. 

The next night I had a ton leftover wonton wrappers and roasted I decided to try my hand out at butternut ravioli.  Ready?

Butternut Ravioli

Combine: Roasted Butternut, Ricotta, Chopped Fresh Sage, Tarragon, Pepper, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg to taste (lets call this "Butternut Mixture")

Wet: Each side of a wonton wrapper with water

Put: About a tablespoon of Butternut Mixture in the middle of the Wonton

Seal Up: the Wonton (I did this a variety of ways...just get it done)

Put: Wontons in boiling water until they float to the top (this was about 2 minutes...its fast)

Toss: Wontons in olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese (I also tossed in some roasted broccoli)

These.  Were.  Awesome.  WAY better than the Butternut Cups (which were still good but not awesome).

I wanted an awesome food blogger recipe.  I also wanted a portable, appetizer like food.  Thus, the Butternut Wonton was born.

Butternut Wontons

Roast: Butternut (I forgot to take a picture of this)

Lower: Oven temp to 350 Degrees

Combine: Ingredients to make Butternut Mixture

Wet the sides of each wonton wrapper and put a little Butternut Mixture in the middle

Seal Up the Wonton

Oil or spray cookie sheet (I actually forgot this step and it was a bit of a mess getting the wontons off the sheet whole...Bill actually saved the day here helping me get the wontons unstuck) 

Dab: Some egg white onto each Wonton for shine (you can totally skip this step)

Bake Wontons until crisp - about 15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them.

Mix: Mascarpone Cheese with some Maple Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup to taste.


I think it is safe to say that these were a hit at the event.  I heard unsolicited comments such as "These are incredible, who made them" and "Seriously, these are addictive...I am going to be thinking about them when I'm on the couch watching tv later."

So feel free to try them out - they are not hard to make just a little time consuming.  At the very least, I hope this post has inspired some of you to get in the kitchen and create.