Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome Home Dinner

This past weekend, while I was at home, I decided to make my parents dinner. They have been in Key West for the past week and I thought a little welcome home meal might be nice. has kind of taken over my life the last week and I happened to stumble upon a recipe last week that looked amazing and I thought would be perfect for the parents. The recipe includes one of my all-time favorite ingredients: butternut squash. The texture, the sweetness and the ease of use of this ingredient is what makes it grab a spot in my top five. The recipe is easy and very low maintenance. The roasting of the butternut squash makes it extremely tender and roasting the squash with red onions and garlic gives it more flavor than you can imagine. This is definitely a "must try" recipe. Good luck!

Butternut Squash Penne


  • 1 butternut squash, about 2lb (900g), peeled and seeded
  • 1 red onion, cut into eighths
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1lb (450g) dried penne
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • freshly grated Parmesan, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Peel the squash. Cut the squash into 1in (2.5cm) cubes.

2. Toss the squash, onion, oil, and balsamic vinegar in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. During the last few minutes, stir in the garlic.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water over high heat until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add the roasted vegetables, Gruyere, creme fraiche, and sage, and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in deep bowls, with olive oil and the Parmesan cheese passed on the side.

© 2008 Dorling Kindersley

Note: Don't be afraid if you can't find creme fraiche, you can substitute sour cream and it tastes amazing!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Featured Recipe

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

With the extremely cold weather hitting the Southeastern part of Ohio, I decided it was time to make some soup, specifically Chicken Noodle Soup. I can remember my grandma making Chicken Noodle from scratch when I was young, it always comforted me and made me feel warm inside. A little bit of homesickness kicked in and I really wanted to try to recreate this feeling. I completely winged it and to my complete surprise, it actually turned out pretty well. This is the perfect solution to a cold winter day. Try it out yourself, the recipe is below.


  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 qt. organic chicken broth
  • 1 package egg noodles
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 cup celery
  • 2 Tbs. italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbs. dillweed
  • 1 Tbs. basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs. red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes. In a large pot, saute garlic, onion, carrots, celery in olive oil 10 minutes, or until soft. Add italian seasoning, dill, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add chicken and saute for another 2 minutes. Add broth and noodles. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Makes about 8-12 servings.

Featured Restaurant

Lulu's Asian Diner
135 W. Kemper Road
Springdale, OH

I have been frequenting this restaurant for years and absolutely love the service, atmosphere and, obviously, food that this restaurant provides. They have truly authentic Thai food and their consistency over the 13 years I have gone there is unmatched. I really can't pick what my favorite dishes are because everything is amazing, but below are a few of my favorites. This is definitely a must try restaurant. You haven't lived until you have tried their lo meins.

Noodle Bowl #11 (Spicy Szechuan)
This classic dish with peanut sauce, peanuts, bean shoots and cilantro is out of this world. This dish presents a perfect mix of sweet and spicy and truly gives your taste buds a treat.

Lo Mein (Chicken, Beef, Seafood)
The best part about this dish is the noodles. They are always perfectly cooked and the teriayki sauce that the meat and noodles are marinated in is subtle yet flavorful. You won't be able to get enough of this.

Potstickers (Fried Wontons)
Another classic, these little nuggets of wonton paper and pork filling are the perfect starter. The portion is perfect and they are the perfectly light pre-meal appetizer.