Hello there, Food & Stuff friends!
Whether you’re receiving this newsletter for the first time or are coming back for more despite me making a pun about the passing of Queen Elizabeth in last month’s edition of FOOD & STUFF, I extend a warm greeting your way! I started Food & Stuff (a monthly newsletter of recipe recommendations and food thoughts) because there are just so many recipes out there and it can be overwhelming to decide what is worth your time and ingredients! While I certainly do not have an authoritative palette or culinary prowess, I do enjoy cooking and have a love of good food which guides the features of Food & Stuff.
For this month’s newsletter, I’m excited to share a few dishes that are thoroughly autumnal and thoroughly tasty. I will tell you now: this month’s content consists of two categories: winter squash and bread. If you do not like winter squash (acorn, butternut, delicata, etc.) or bread (focaccia, cornbread), then sadly you might not like this month’s newsletter. Or me! My internal contents also only consist of squash and bread 😕 But! I do have a good cookie recipe to share as well as some thoughts about this season of “The Great British Bake Off,” so perhaps that will redeem this newsletter for any folks who aren’t interested in the other recipes.
Here we go!
Where I share recipes that I have eaten lately!
This soup contains…squash
I had a really tasty Spiced Lentil Soup for the first time when was in Nashville a few weeks ago visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and very cute 14-month-old niece, Schenley. It’s delicious and of course, it includes…SQUASH! And lentils. And coconut milk. And warm spices. And I do not mean warm in temperature (though because this is soup, that is also true) but rather I’m referring to the category of “warm spices” that you find in many western cultures’ cold-weather recipes, such as cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, etc. We’ll come back to the “warm spices” category momentarily, but in the meantime, I’ll share the recipe which is from Half Baked Harvest’s newest cookbook Harvest. You can make it in an Instant Pot or Crockpot.
Side thought: do you ever get “soup fatigue?” Take the fun poll below and let me know!! I often am only cooking for one person, and soup usually serves a lotttttt of people, meaning that sometimes I feel as if I’m eating the same soup for YEARS. Now for a lot of people, having a massive quantity of one recipe doesn’t bother them, but I feel like I need a little more variety throughout my week. I’ve taken to freezing half of each pot of soup that I make and popping it out a month or so later. It’s a nice way to preserve the soup love and save my future self some time!
Don’t forget the bread!
I’ve had my eye on Bon Appetit’s “Shockingly Easy No-Knead Focaccia” for a bit after being reminded late this past summer how great focaccia is. I didn’t know if the recipe would be shockingly easy or if it would turn out shockingly bad, but I’m pleased to report that this recipe is a winner! I added some dried rosemary to the top of my focaccia, and it was just the perfect accompaniment for the salad I'm about to share below, but also would be great with the soup I shared above. Bread — it’s for all occasions!
This salad also contains…squash
I delighted in this Roasted Squash Sausage Apple Salad with Spiced Nuts! It has more of those warming spices (don’t count cinnamon out in a savory-leaning dish!) and a great combo of textures and flavors. This recipe is adapted from Natalie Cooks. You can also opt to add in avocado (pictured below) or a sliced apple! This recipe includes a very simple salad dressing, but I bet that Olivia Wilde’s special salad dressing that she used to woo Harry Styles would be great on here, too.
4 cups winter squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 heaping tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 package fully-cooked chicken sausage, sliced in medallions (I used Al Fresco Roasted Red Pepper Asiago)
1 large apple, cored, chopped
6 cups radicchio or kale
½ cup crumbled feta, goat cheese, or grated parmesan
1 cup chopped raw walnuts, pecans, and/or hazelnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the squash to one baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle the spices, salt, and pepper all over. Use your hands to toss to coat thoroughly and spread out into an even layer.
Bake squash for 10 minutes, then add sliced sasuage to baking sheet. Bake for remaining 15 minutes or until squash is caramelized and sausage is browned. On the other baking sheet, add the nuts, oil, maple, spices, and salt. Bake for 4-5 minutes, or until fragrant and bubbling. Remove and let cool while the squash and sausage continue to bake.
In a jar with a lid, add the dressing ingredients and shake vigorously to combine. Add about 2 cups of radicchio/kale to each bowl and toss with a drizzle of the dressing (use about half and save the rest for drizzling on top). Top with squash and sausage. Drizzle the remaining dressing all over each bowl. Top with nuts, cheese, and herbs (if using).
“Another One!” - DJ Khaled (and me)
One more bread recipe, as promised. This is a recipe for Whole Wheat Olive Oil Cornbread with Goat Cheese and Scallions, which would also be great with soup (especially chili) OR salad! Wow! I made this recipe back in the summer when some college pals were coming through town on a road trip. I texted my friend the dinner menu, and called this “special cornbread,” which upon reflection, sounded like it contained drugs. It does not contain drugs but it DOES contain goat cheese, which is great and not against the law to consume!! We love that!
And for dessert…
In my continued tradition, I made these cookies for a group but mostly because I wanted an excuse to make and eat them myself! Sally’s Baking Addiction has done it again with this recipe for Maple Brown Sugar Cookies. Though I didn’t bake mine with pecans due to nut allergies in my group, I’d highly recommend adding those in when you bake them. These cookies were soft and mapley and so very tasty! They are really sweet, just be aware, so I’d recommend topping with some flaky salt to cut through the sugar.
To wrap this up, I just want to take a moment to lament that there has not been nearly enough bread on this season of Great British Bake Off. This is a baking show, not a make-a-tortilla-in-a-skillet show!! I have been underwhelmed. Don’t even get me started on the nightmares I’ve been having due to the contestants being tasked with a CURSED showstopper challenge: “smörgåstårta.”
Personally, I think either Maxy or Sandro are going to win, but curious to hear other folks’ thoughts. I dearly miss Lizzie and Jurgen and Crystelle and Giuseppe and Chigs and everyone on the 2021 season of GBBO. I am still enjoying this season, but I do really miss last year’s cast.
Well there you have it folks, another edition of FOOD & STUFF is wrapped up for ya! As always, I encourage you to pass this newsletter along to pals that like to cook and bake so that they can enjoy food and stuff, too. Because food and stuff is for me, for you, for everyone!
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I’ve recently been making SK’s focaccia and spreading a minced rosemary and garlic and olive oil paste on top, sprinkled with sea salt and then topped with shredded mozzarella for the cheesy breadsticks of my dreams 🤤 always love reading food and stuff 🥰