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Back like the Brussels Sprout

February 24, 2012

Entertaining by Evie is back like the brussels sprout. If you are into reading about food like I am, you’ve probably noticed that the little ball of cabbage is back with vengeance. Taking the world by storm, one dinner plate at a time. Well, so am I! No more sabbaticals for this girl.

Upon my sabbatical, I realized that I wasn’t doing what I loved – entertaining my fabulous readers, even if there are just two of you!  I also realized brussels sprouts are divine especially paired with succulent bacon and a ting of balsamic vinegar.

Here is a quick lowdown on what’s been happening in the land of Evie. I was laid off. Then, I was given a temporary two months to figure out if there was another role for me within the company. There was not. So here I am. Back like the brussels sprout in the land of the unemployed.

I have a bevy of travels to share with you including an incredible trek to Steamboat Springs, Colorado and a recent rendezvous to Lambertville, New Jersey. In due time, my fellow confidants. For now, enjoy the wee little ball of cabbage.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Inspired by: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/03/brussels-sprouts-with-bacon-and-raisins

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 thick slices bacon, chopped
  • brussels sprouts (about 1 pound), trimmed, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Let cool.

While bacon cools, add brussels sprouts to drippings in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until well browned in spots and beginning to soften, 5–7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add onions, vinegar and butter; cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add broth to skillet; increase heat and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until broth has evaporated, 1–2 minutes. Stir in crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sabbatical

January 26, 2012

Entertaining by Evie has gone on sabbatical for the past few months. I apologize for not delivering you a deluge of tears from laughter and mouth-watering masterpieces (or so I’d like to think) as originally promised.

In other news, I am on the hunt for a job. You see that I can write and take pretty pictures. Can you help?

Email me if you have any leads evelyn@miamialum.org. In the meantime, I’m changing my Twitter name.

Stay tuned.

The Easiest Appetizer in America

December 7, 2011

Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Joyeaux Noel. Happy Hanukkah.

I know it’s been a few days weeks since my last post. It’s not that you are not important to me. Because you are.

LIFE. It happens. You know?

Ok, I will admit. Word with Friends has taken me hostage.  Don’t worry though. I didn’t get kicked off a plane or anything.

Enough with the excuses already. Today, I am sharing the EASIEST appetizer in America! (Think Al Roker’s “Football in AMERICA” when I reference this.) One more time. THE EASIEST APPETIZER IN AMERICA. Echooo. Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo.

Ok, so you’re not an Al Roker fan.

That doesn’t matter. This appetizer is still easy. It’s also pretty, green and Christmas-y.

And, it has cheese.

Did I mention it’s easy?

Easier than a hooker going up in flames in church.

Was that a bit much?

Onward, my noble steeds.

Here we go.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Slice a baguette into 1/2 inch slices.

Spread each slice with store bought pesto.

Place on a baking sheet.

Top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve.

Butternut Squash Risotto

November 17, 2011

How to cut a butternut squash

Slice length-wise from stem to bottom. Using a spoon, remove the pulp and seeds. Cut halves width-wise. Slice into strips and then chop into one-inch cubes.

Butternut Squash Risotto

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Half of a butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup of wine
  • 32 oz. container of chicken broth
  • Cream cheese, 1/3 cup
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven. Add squash and onion. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add rice. Stir. Add wine. Saute and stir for 2-3 minutes until wine is absorbed into the rice. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Stir until chicken broth is absorbed. Repeat until risotto is creamy. It will likely take about 30 minutes of adding stock, stirring and absorbing the stock. I taste test quite a bit with risotto. Once it has reached a creamy texture, add cream cheese and parmesan.
Stir. Stir. Stir.
Add bacon bits.

Balsamic Glazed Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese

November 15, 2011

I completed item #3 on my “No Excuses November” list. 13.1 miles. Yet again. It felt good. It was the extra push of motivation I needed to move forward. Granted, a 70-year-old ran circles around me and a blind man sprinted past me, but running slowly for 13.1 miles is better than nothing. Right?

I will take it.

What’s next?

Well, I have some unfortunate news. Entertaining by Evie is running low on space. I either have to pay for a Word Press upgrade or discontinue.

I was thinking about starting a new project but I need your help. Please vote.

Balsamic Glazed Steak

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/filet-mignon-with-balsamic-syrup-and-goat-cheese-recipe/index.html

  • 3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 (5 to 6-ounce) filet mignon steaks (each about 1-inch thick)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese

Boil the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, have your ‘Puter Hub grill the steaks. Turn the grill on high. Sear the meat on first side for about five minutes. Flip and sear for three minutes and then flip again for a couple of minutes until it is finished.

The ‘Puter Hub says, “It’s an art, not a science.”

Drizzle with balsamic syrup and crumble goat cheese on top.


Cauliflower Au Gratin

November 7, 2011

Cauliflower reminds me of this grotesque photo I saw of some disease in Microbiology 111. It was one of those moments where the 250-person lecture hall gawked in horror yet could not take their eyes off the projector screen. Some students sprinted to the bathroom in repulsion. Others laughed. I stared it down like a train accident in awe.

I’m not really selling it to you, am I?

Well, if you like eating fungus by way of morels, portabellas and creminis, you won’t mind a little diseased cauliflower.

You know in some countries, guinea pigs are a delicacy? That makes me sad and confused at the same time. Sad because I have always wanted one a guinea pig. Confused because how much meat can you really get off this one-pound pig?

Back to that diseased cauliflower, this casserole compliments Turkey Day quite well. You will notice in the photos that the bread crumbs in my photos look a bit charred. Long story short, I had leftover Pumpernickel and Rye crusts. Because I cannot throw away food unless it’s gone science experiment on me, I made bread crumbs out of the leftover Pumpernickel and Rye crusts.

Cauliflower and Bacon Au Gratin

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/cauliflower-and-bacon-gratin-recipe/index.html

  • Unsalted butter, for dish, plus 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs or make your own!
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked until crispy and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup grated Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1 pound cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish. Set aside.

How To Make Bread Crumbs

In the bowl of a food processor, blend day old bread until it forms into crumbs.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly until all the butter has been absorbed and the bread crumbs are toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream and flour. Add the bacon and 1/2 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and toss with the cream mixture. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.

Spaghetti Squash and Sumo Wrestling

November 2, 2011

How is Day 2 of No Excuses November (NEN) going? Are your muscles aching? Don’t you love that feeling? Am I the only one who derives pleasure from sore, achy muscles and the fact that I can hardly walk?

Probably. Speaking of hardly walking, I have agreed to go skiing with the ‘Puter Hub and my family this Christmas. I have not skied in 12 years, and 12 years ago, I wouldn’t necessarily call that skiing. It was more like inching my way down the bunny slope on two parallel planks of death while sporting one of those faux sumo-wrestler costumes. I’m pretty sure a few toddlers whizzed passed giving me the middle finger salute.

This year will be different, however.

#1-Because it’s No Excuses November so I have no choice but to get in shape.

#2-The ‘Puter Hub agreed to buy me a new ski outfit so he wouldn’t be associated with the sole sumo-wrestler on the slopes. Plus, he will get multiple ski trips out of it. So he thinks.

Ski Outfit
Ski Outfit by eviehagood featuring tahitian pearl stud earrings

What do you think?

Are you thinking Pica-Evie Street like I am?

You are now. Aren’t you?

Here is the part where I stop the shenanigans and share my first spaghetti squash experience with you. Substituting carb-y pasta with squash pairs well with NEN. You will go from sumo-wrestler to an ultimate fighting champion. Promise.

Spaghetti Squash & Turkey Burger Marinara

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. turkey burger
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 container of pre-sliced mushrooms
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • Italian seasonings of parsley, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes (Eyeball the measurement)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray (I should have done this). Pierce squash several times with a fork. Place on dish. Bake for one hour until the flesh of the squash is tender.
While squash is baking, coat olive oil on a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and turkey burger. Saute until brown. Add garlic and mushrooms. Saute for another 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, sauce and seasoning. Turn heat on low and simmer until the squash is ready.
Remove squash from the oven and cut in half from top to bottom (stem to bottom). Using a spoon, remove the seeds and pulp. It looks like the insides of a pumpkin.
Once you have removed the pulp and seeds, using a fork, scrape the squash out of the flesh.
It should scrape out easily into strands like spaghetti noodles.
Spoon sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese.