Another storm is tucking us in under a fresh downy blanket of perhaps a foot or more of snow. What better reason to do some cooking so the heat from the oven can help warm the house! Mom and I, along with my grandson Tristan, headed up to Vermont yesterday to the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-Op, and I stocked up on lots of fresh veggies, so today, while Tristan is napping, I'm making a tray of roasted vegetables, drying the mushrooms I purchased on sale, and making a pot of Roasted Squash and Apple soup, and perhaps a pot of Cream of Broccoli soup, too.
I LOVE not only the flavor of roasted veggies, but the smell of them cooking! And they are so simple to make. You just chunk up your vegetables... making sure they are roughly the same size so they cook evenly, toss them with olive oil and a bit of sea salt and roast them for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
I used Brussels Sprouts which I sliced in half, unskinned Yukon Gold Potatoes and peeled Jewel Sweet Potatoes which I cut as for oven fries, Onions sliced into thick rings, several cloves of Garlic sliced in half, Parsnips and Carrots cut into thick matchstick shapes, and peeled Beets, which I sliced into chunks about the size of the halved Brussels Sprouts. I placed them in a bowl and drizzled them with a few tablespoons of Olive Oil, sprinkled them with Sea Salt and roasted them on a large cookie sheet for 40 minutes, turning the tray and stirring up the veggies halfway through the roasting process.
This makes a great lunch or supper with fresh biscuits, rolls, or homemade bread.
This next recipe is especially for my friend Pammy in Waller, Texas. You must visit her wonderful blog, http://thymesquaregarden.blogspot.com/
I wanted to give her my recipe for a salad dressing I came up with several years ago, so I'll share it here for her and you! It's not healthy, but it sure is good! I love this drizzled on a fresh bed of Spinach topped with some fresh (or frozen but thawed) Raspberries, Blueberries and/or Strawberries, a sprinkling of sliced Almonds, Pecans or Walnuts, and occasionally a side of Cottage Cheese.
I feast on this all summer long when berries are in season here. I love to go out in the garden and pick some fresh spinach and a handful or two of sun-warmed berries to have this salad for lunch... sigh!
Laura's Carmalized Balsamic Dressing
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
3/4 cup olive oil
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Boil about 4 to 7 minutes til the mixture just turns golden. (Be careful, as this can scorch suddenly) Lower heat and whisk in the vinegar CAREFULLY and slowly, as it tends to spatter and bubble up. Whisk well, then drizzle the olive oil in slowly at first, then whisk very well til all is incorporated together. Remove from heat and cool, then refrigerate. You will find this often gets very thick and will have to be brought to room temperature before using.
This has a sweet vinegary bite to it, so use sparingly at first!
Well, I need to wash and dehydrate those mushrooms now, so until next time, may you enjoy your day and the coming weekend! ~Laura