Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Valley Handmade

I just spent a glorious weekend in the mountains of my sister Jane's house. Jane's encaustic paintings are part of a show at the Appalachian State University's Turchin Center and the opening reception was Friday night. It was a great night, filled with friends, family and beautiful art. A big group of us ate dinner together afterwards to celebrate Jane. All of our children were there, which is always the BEST treat of all. I spent the rest of the weekend in my sister's studio, making lots of catnip mice, sachets and more wallets. The best creation of the weekend was my new "woolywarmers" which I perfected with lots of feedback from my niece and my sister. Meredith was the recipient of my second pair...and from now on, all woolywarmers with the flower and bead design will hereby be called the "Meredith". She works in these all winter long, as she spends lot of time outside but needs fingers to be free.

The first pair we displayed on the scary mannequin hands....the rolled up stubs at the bottom I think are the scariest part! My friend Renee let me borrow these for my display at Holly Days, and I think they are pretty frightening, but absolutely useful. We'll try not to think about where the rest of that poor woman might be!

On Saturday night, we made the most delicious meal...and I'm sharing our recipe. We sat around and mused over all the "foodie" terms that the Top Chef judges would say about our savory autumnal meal. The spagetti squash was lots of fun to prepare and made a perfect bed for our vegetables without needing a pasta of some sort. Here's the recipe...enjoy!

Happy Valley Special

Roasted Vegetables
2 zucchini, cut into 2 inch sticks (1/2 inch thick)
1 large red pepper, cut in 2 inch pieces
handful of baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
3 leeks (slice in half, wash well, slice in 1-inch chunks)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red onion, chunked
2 shallots, chunked
handful of sliced fresh mushrooms
fresh thyme (about 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup olive oil
kosher salt

Toss in roasting pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, stir once or twice during roasting.

Spagetti Squash:

We followed directions on label for microwaving the squash (prick skin, roast in microwave, cut open, get rid of seeds, and then use fork to twist out the squash.) Alternatively, you can follow roasting directions.

Dressing (from Ina Garten)

3/4 apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine the apple cider, vinegar and shallots in small saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper.


Red new potatoes (about 6), cut in quarters
Butter quart sized baking dish. Put potatoes in the dish, dot with butter, salt and pepper and sprinkle with dill weed. Cover with foil or lid and roast in oven along with vegetables until they are tender.

Serve roasted vegetables over the spaghetti squash on a platter or large bowl, dressing and potatoes on the side. Beautiful and delicious vegetarian meal!

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