Butternut Squash Galette

This is a recipe that my good friend Sarah made for me for the first time a few years ago. She has worked as a chef at the Tassajara Buddhist Retreat which is where she perfected this recipe. Before I ate gluten free I ate this version of  a savory galette and could not believe my taste buds. Hearty yet pastry like, savory but herby and sweet with smooth baked mozzarella…it had everything. It also happens to be wonderfully seasonal. So I bust out this recipe every fall into winter around Thanksgiving time. It’s a great appetizer to bring for the big bird meal. It can be a special breakfast or lunch and a perfect solution to those constantly searching for different butternut squash recipes. Rolling your own dough can be tricky so I’ve also thrown in a way to get the same effect but with an already created pastry shell.

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White Bean + Green Apple Soup

Fall soup, anytime soup, hearty soup, lunch soup, soup, soup! That is what I was craving this week. After a summer without it and a September without, we finally had some rainy days (rain is generally welcomed in California because we can be prone to drought) that warranted a nice pot of awesome soup. I like to multi-task my soups knowing they will be served for a dinner main course and multiple lunches or snacks. This soup was an experiment that went wonderfully well, the pièce de résistance ended up being small chunks of green apple thrown in after the soup was essentially done. It was almost like a garnish but I stirred them in and let them sit stewing in the hot soup, flame off, for a few minutes before serving.

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Need the Meat: Just Braised Beef

I recently got married and one of the fringe benefits was finally having an excuse to upgrade my cookware so I could make more luscious and beautiful food for me and my hubby. Le Creuset pots in the original flame color were my more drool worthy and coveted items.  I love braised beef and I was looking forward to getting the 3.5 qt. Le Creuset Braiser. I’ve had it for over a month and it has come in handy for frittata, vegetarian stew, polenta and sautees. PHEW! I would have gotten it sooner had I known it would get so much action.

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Got Apples? Make Apple Butter.

I came into about 20 lbs of Gravenstein Apples grown in Sebastopol, CA …of course they could not go to waist so I took the opportunity to make some Apple Bread and Apple Butter.

This was my first foray into making Apple Butter. I knew it had to be slow cooked for hours and my husband is not okay with having our stove on for that long so I went in search of a crock pot to borrow. I was in luck, my neighbor had the perfect one.

I knew I wanted to make something low sugar and I wanted to work with the spices I already had in my cupboard – I also didn’t want my Apple Butter to turn into glorified apple sauce. I perused multiple recipes online and finally chose two that would be the base for my butter. If you don’t know by now, I’m a notorious recipe riffer. I rarely stick to a recipe exactly, especially in the online recipe blog ecosphere. Now, if you’re talking about a Julia Child cookbook, that is a whole different matter (although I’ve been know to riff on her recipes as well.)

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