Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)

2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces

1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths

1 tomato sliced into wedges

1 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chopped garlic

2 t cumin

1 T lime juice

Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired

Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and  lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

 

 

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

 

This chicken is great in tacos, enchiladas, burritos  or rice bowls.

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

6 chicken thighs

3-4 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce chopped, plus 3 T of the Adobo sauce

1 yellow onion cut into eighths

1 T chopped garlic

1 tomato chopped

1/2 c tequila (optional)

2 limes juiced plus 1 t of zest

2 T cumin

3 c chicken broth

Add all ingredients to a crock pot / slow cooker.  Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Move chicken to a platter and shred with 2 forks, spoon 1/2 c cooking liquid over the chicken and serve or fill tortillas.

Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos

 

 

Roll Out the Barrel: Oktoberfest Party

Oktoberfest Party: Photo Booth

It was one of my best friends birthday recently so we decided to throw her a birthday party with an Oktoberfest theme. Whats not to like, beer, costumes, and German food.

To start I decorated with some beer and fall things I had around the house, empty bottles, beer steins, burlap runner, dried wheat and fall leaves. I also bought a blue and white harlequin tablecloth ( the official Oktoberfest pattern) from a party store and hung it over a curtain rod in my family room to make a back drop for a ” photo booth”. I had props like steins, lederhosen, German signs and Oktoberfest bibs from the party store. I set my camera on a tripod in front of it and tried to get shots of all the party goers.

I am also very lucky that I have some home brewing friends who made a keg of beer especially for our party, delicious!  But this is a great time to taste some of the fall varieties of craft beers like Oktoberfests and Pumpkins.

For appetizers I set up a “Pretzel Stand” I had assorted flavors, shapes and sizes of pretzels and dips to go with them. I even made some homemade Pretzel Bites by following this recipe. http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/10/24/pretzel-bites-with-four-distinct-dipping-sauces/. I made the dough a day ahead of time and covered it tightly with plastic wrap. then boiled and baked the pretzels the next day. I also found that I needed to add about 3/4 c more flour than the recipe called for to get the dough to be the right consistency but I live in Florida and baking here can be weird.

Oktoberfest Party: Homemade Pretzel Bites

Oktoberfest Party: Pretzel Stand

For dips I made a Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce

1 c mayonnaise

3/4 c coarse mustard

2 T  jarred grated horseradish

2 T honey

Oktoberfest Party: Sweet and Spicy Mustard

a Chocolate and Toffee Dip

1 brick cream cheese softened

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 c toffee chips (Heath)

1 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer on low until combined.

Oktoberfest Party: Chocolate and Toffee Dip

I also made Beer Cheese Dip using an Oktoberfest Beer instead of an IPA.

To make all of the food seem more festive I labeled them with German names on the tables.

For the main course we had Brats braised in Beer, Rouladen, Oma’s Potato Salad, Saurkraut with beer and apples, and Homemade Cucumber Salad

Oktoberfest Party: Rouladen

Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sour cream

2 T sugar

2 T white vinegar

1 t dried dill

1 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes, then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl

Oktoberfest Party: Cucumber Salad

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite, cupcakes. My friend made 3 different kinds for our Oktoberfest themed party. Apple Strudel, German Chocolate and Bavarian Cream. ( I will try to get the recipes to post on here)

Oktoberfest Party: Cupcakes

Fun was had by all, the food, beer and company was all delightful. Go on try some of these ideas at your next Fall party and share your tips below.

Roast Beef With Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

 

 

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

2 lb top round roast

1 T Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 T Black Peppercorns ( Add to a ziplock baggy and crush slightly with a meat mallet)

2 t olive oil

3 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup minced shallot or onion

1/4 c brandy

2 T corn starch

3/4 c heavy cream

1 t Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325, place in roasting or broiler pan, sprinkle all sides with Montreal Steak seasoning. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until it reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing ( * slice this cut of beef thin to avoid toughness)

In a lage pan heat oil over med high heat add onions and cook until soft, add garlic and peppercorns and cook 1 more minute. Deglaze pan by adding brandy while still over med high heat. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Combine cold cream with cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk into pan with broth and cook over low until sauce thickens, add mustard . Serve over sliced meat.

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce