Category Archives: recipes

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Chicken Sausage, homemeade Hummus, and summer in the mountains!

We’re starting the fifth week at our lake house…the first time we’ve been able to get away for this long. Thankfully, J can work from anywhere, with internet, cell phones and faxes. It’s gone by really fast…I can’t believe it’s been this long. Our days are spent hiking, running, swimming, boating, golfing, playing tennis, reading, and SLEEPING! Both of us are starting to really catch up on last year’s no sleeping.

My BHRT is kicking in…that, plus the melatonin that I’m taking every night is enabling me to finally sleep through the night-for the first time in years! When I wake up around 6:30 to go to the bathroom, I’m even able to lay back down and sleep for another hour. Unbelievable, when you think that for the last couple of years I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time!

One of our favorite things up here is the “Music on the Mountain“, which is held at the top of Toxaway Mountain (Meadow Ridge), every 3rd Saturday throughout the season. It’s a potluck, everyone brings food, and coolers with their beverage of choice. Having a glass of wine at the top of a mountain and listening to music is so much fun. We’re even beginning to meet other people who have homes here. A majority of them only spend the summers here, like us, and drive in from places like Atlanta, Greenville, SC, Florida, etc. We started coming last year, and brought our own food and never ventured over to the “potluck table”, but we’ve realized we need to be more social. So even though my family likes to pack our own dinner, I always bring something for the potluck table to share. Gives us a reason to mingle a little bit.

The BEST recipe I’ve found since I’ve been here is so easy and so delicious. We planted a small herb garden when we got here in June, that has just thrived in this weather, and the basil is big and thick and healthy, so I needed to make some pesto. J and H love sun dried tomatoes, so this is a quick variation on plain pesto that is beautiful and delicious. I added the chicken sausage because J always has to have some kind of protein.

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Chicken Sausage

* 12 ounces penne pasta
* 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
*3 links chicken sausage, cooked and crumbled (**If you want to make this vegetarian, substitute a can of black beans, rinsed, or vegetarian sausage)

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Mix with cooked sausage (or black beans)  and place in bottom of large bowl.

3. Add the pasta to the pesto mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve. Top with finely chopped Italian Parsley, if desired.

Since the closest grocery store is half an hour away, I’ve had to get creative with things to bring for the potluck. Instead of picking up a tray at the store, I have to make things myself. Luckily, I had a can of chickpeas and some Tahini, so I made a quick batch of hummus and homemade Pita chips. I think the homemade is so much better than what you buy at the store, anyway (less greasy), and it only takes a minute…

Easy Classic Hummus
* 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup tahini
* 1 TBSP lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 cloves garlic, halved
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pinch paprika
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

1. Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a
blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a
serving bowl.
2. Drizzle olive oil over the garbanzo bean mixture. Sprinkle with
paprika and parsley.

Pecan Crusted Trout…or, the end to being a Short Order Cook

We have one child. Dinnertime has been an evolving situation. When she was a baby, we made our own dinners, usually something relatively healthy, and gave her something she would eat. It was pretty easy for awhile. I could open the baby food jar, or as she got a little bit older, throw some eggs in a pan, or macaroni and cheese, pizza, applesauce, or some other “white” food she would eat. I realized as she got older that she needed to expand her horizons. I started to name the vegetables…”Ernie Green Beans!”, “Baby Bop Broccoli!”, and “Elmo Carrots!”. For some reason, that worked for awhile, and she would gobble them up, as long as they weren’t “spicy” (or in other words, as long as they were devoid of any kind of flavor). The only problem was that J wouldn’t eat the tasteless, watery vegetables that H liked. That meant I was still making at least two different dinners, but often three since J is a meat and potatoes man and I am almost a vegetarian. The short order cook phase lasted longer than I planned, but finally, we chartered a sailboat for a family vacation, when H was 8 years old. The boat came with a chef, who we all fell in love with…Chante’.

Chante’ was an incredible person…lovely, sweet, adventurous, hard working, inventive, and a wonderful chef. H was totally enthralled with her. The first meal she made for us was a beautiful Cranberry, Almond and Blue Cheese Quiche. H took one look at it and immediately asked for peanut butter and jelly. Chante’ made her a sandwich, lovingly, but I took H aside and mentioned that Chante’ was working so hard that we might need to at least try her dishes, before asking for something else. So that was it…suddenly, H was trying, and LOVING, tuna, lamb, snapper, shrimp, lobster, and all kinds of colorful vegetables that she had never tried before. H never looked back. She will now (at age 15) try anything at least once, and her palate is a lot more adventurous than either of her parents’.

So my job now became to coerce my husband to try new foods, especially vegetables other than potatoes, corn, or (cringe) canned wax beans. I roast vegetables two or three times a week, and onions, butternut squash, potatoes and asparagus are our favorites. J will eat the potatoes, onions, asparagus (as long as it’s overdone to the point of dry and crispy) and sometimes red peppers. I also steam green beans and saute with a little bit of butter and almonds and he’ll eat that. Until about two years ago, the only protein dishes he would eat included red meat, lamb chops, burned (seriously, black like charcoal) chicken, and sometimes swordfish. Now he’ll eat my sesame seed crusted Tuna, marinated shrimp, and thanks to our favorite restaurant in North Carolina, (The Brown Trout), Pecan Crusted Trout!

So now, after almost 18 years of marriage, every now and then I only prepare ONE thing for dinner, and we all eat it. Tonight was one of those rare times, and it was fabulous!

Pecan Crusted Trout

1 cup lightly toasted pecans, chopped (or any handful of nuts you have around the house)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (plain)
4 TBSP fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP chopped rosemary leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
4 trout fillets
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
Spray butter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients, seasonings, and herbs. Brush each trout fillet with the softened butter. Sprinkle the buttered side of each fillet with the pecan topping and press firmly with your hand to completely cover each fillet. (J likes his Cajun style, so I will sprinkle his with Emeril’s Cajun spice mix also). Spray each crumb topped fillet with spray butter to moisten.

Brush a foil lined baking pan with the remaining butter. Place the unbuttered side of the trout (skin side down) on the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the flesh is firm and flaky.

Football, Allergic Reactions, and Sesame Seed Encrusted Tuna

God, what a weekend.

Friday night we went to the MBA/Ensworth football game. Two rival private high schools here in town that had huge stakes in the game. Both teams were undefeated. The Ensworth head coach was the MBA coach for years until he left about 6 years ago to defect to Ensworth, which added the high school to it’s K-8th grade lower school. My friend’s son plays for Ensworth, so we went to support them. Ensworth wasn’t favored to win, but they pulled it out in an unbelievably close game. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill sat in the section next to us…they’re huge supporters of the school. At one point, cute Faith walked up the stairs, right towards me, smiling her cute little smile, looking a little more confused with every step, until she stopped next to me and realized she’d come up the wrong section. She had no makeup on, her hair was up in a bun, and she still looked radiant. Oh well.

J had a couple of clients in town for the weekend. We had dinner reservations to take them out Saturday night, but our very close friends were having a huge party that night as well. She was kind of passive-aggressively giving us a hard time, pretending she was kidding, but not really, about us not being there for the party. So we went by there early, had a drink, then took the clients to dinner for many bottles of wine and champagne (and a little bit of food, I think), then went back to their house for the end of the party. I was a little cold, so I grabbed this yummy blanket that my friend had knitted and wrapped myself up in it. A few minutes later, my eyes started itching. I had the sinking realization that her cat probably liked this blanket, too. I forget that I have developed this really weird allergy to cats that makes my whole face, eyes, mouth, and cheeks swell up like a balloon. And itch. Like you wouldn’t believe. As I started clawing at my face to relieve the itching, my eyes swelled almost shut. I went home to take benadryl and put cold compresses on my face, and by the morning it was almost back to normal. But I feel like I was put through a meat grinder. I wish I had taken a photo to document my loveliness, but here’s reasonable likeness to what I looked like. Pretty.

Last night we had the clients and their wives over for a small dinner party. The weather this weekend was so glorious. Low 80’s during the day, high 70’s at night, clear skies and no humidity. The clients are from Oregan, and this was their first visit to Tennessee. Now they think we have this weather all the time. It made Nashville look good. I made sesame seed crusted Tuna (seared on the grill), Israeli couscous salad, green beans, and a romaine/cranberry/toasted pecans salad with feta cheese and strawberry basil vinaigrette. It was probably the best meal we’ve cooked all summer. J’s roses were in full bloom, we made a fire in the fire pit, and it was the perfect end of the summer evening.

Here’s the way to make this tuna. It’s basically fool-proof, except that if you like it rare, it only needs to be cooked for a minute or two, or it becomes medium or medium-well, since it continues cooking after you take it off the heat. You can sear it inside over the stove, if you want, but cooking it outside helps keep the spattering oil mess to a minimum.

Black and White Sesame Seed Encrusted Tuna with Wasabi Citrus Aioli

One large jar Black Sesame Seeds
One large jar White Sesame Seeds
Salt and Pepper
Two large Tuna Steaks (the best quality you can get)

Unwrap Tuna steaks, but do not rinse (otherwise the sesame seeds won’t stick)
Place in large Ziploc bag, cover with sesame oil and marinate for 30 minutes or more.
Mix sesame seeds in shallow bowl, take tuna steaks out of oil and press into seeds, making sure they’re completely covering the tuna and pressed in.

Heat grill to high, place large skillet on grill and heat. Add a couple swirls of olive oil, and sear the tuna on both sides. Serve with wasabi aioli and pickled ginger, if desired.
*If your pan is hot enough, it should only take a couple of minutes to sear the tuna on both sides, if you want it rare.

Wasabi Citrus Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons Paprika, Smoked
1 1/2 teaspoons Wasabi Powder
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Mix all ingredients in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Cover.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


The search for THICK, CHEWY Chocolate Chip Cookies

At Neiman Marcus in Chicago, you can buy huge, thick, chewy, delicious chocolate chip cookies. They also have white chocolate/macademia nut, snickerdoodles, oatmeal cranberry, toffee, and several different types of chocolate chip. I LOVE them! I had always thought these were the famous Neiman Marcus cookies that are the source of the recipe urban myth. You know, where someone asked for the recipe and unknowingly signed a charge for some huge sum for it. But after failing to find them at Neiman’s in other cities, I asked the Chicago sales clerk this summer about them. She said they’re made by a local baker, and are only available in Chicago.

For the last few years I have tried to find a good, gourmet-type recipe for thick, chewy, flaky, chocolate chip cookies like the ones in Chicago. I say “chewy”, but they’re not really chewy, per se, but they’re not crispy or cakey. They just kind of break off and melt in your mouth, and they’re not too sweet, or too hard. I’ve researched how to keep cookies from spreading so much when they bake. You have to have the right ratio of butter/shortening to flour and the temperature must be JUST right…to bake them quickly before they spread. I’ve baked up recipes that I thought were going to be perfect, but they were all disappointing-they’d spread out too much, and taste good, but they weren’t the thick, delicious cookies I was striving for.

This weekend I took a couple of interesting recipes that I had not tried before, and another one that I have tried, and looked at them side by side. I took some things from each recipe and kind of put them together into one batch of cookies. And you know what? They didn’t spread too much, and they were delicious! They just weren’t as thick as the ones from Neiman Marcus.

If you’ve ever had them, they are like 4 large cookies put together, they’re so big. I was thinking about that, and decided to use the last part of the dough for an experiment. Instead of 12 regular sized cookies, I made 4 really large ones, abut 1/3 cup of dough for each.

And it worked! They baked up nice and thick, light brown, soft, flaky, and delicious.

Now I’ve got to go run a marathon or something to work off the calories. But they were so worth it.

Here’s the recipe:

Preheat convection oven to 375 degrees.

2/3 cup butter flavored shortening (chilled, cut into slices)
2/3 cup unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
2 large eggs, ROOM TEMPERATURE
2 tsp. real vanilla extract
2 cups bread flour (spooned into cups and leveled off)
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (spooned into cups and leveled off)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup toffee chips (or butterscotch chips)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In stand mixer, cream the shortening, butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.

Combine the flours, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Use a large tablespoon to round dough into balls. Don’t roll the balls, just make them rounded. Place onto parchment paper on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes in preheated oven. (I use convection oven and bake two pans at one time). Don’t overbake. Slide parchment paper with cookies off of pan, and let pan cool before scooping out next batch.

Bisquick Banana Bread with Coconut…and Lake Toxaway

I can’t seem to find the time, or the inspiration to write anything these days. Everytime I think of something to write about, I look outside and see this…

or this…

or this…

…and I just can’t get past this….

We’re at the lake for three weeks…the longest time we’ve been able to stay here. We bought the little house on the lake at the end of last summer, but we’ve been coming up two or three times a year and renting places for the last 7 years. Up until now, the longest time we were able to stay was five days. This place in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. It’s a private lake at the top of a mountain, with gorgeous weather, a golf course, tennis, hiking, mountain biking, boating, and swimming right outside our door. But it’s not really a social place. We’re probably the youngest family here, most of the residents are retirees. The summer is the busiest time, and the only young people are the grandchildren who are visiting. So far H doesn’t really care about that, nor do we. We’ve met a few of the club members and homeowners, and they’re really nice, but this is our getaway place. The three of us have so much fun exercising together, reading, watching movies, boating, taking the dog on hikes and swims, and just being together without the distractions of home. There is no grocery store…the closest places are 30 minutes away, no shopping, no movies, no parties. But when we get here we are more relaxed than we could ever be at home.

We do have guests coming. My in-laws are coming up on Sunday for a week, and a few days after they leave, we will take H to point guard camp, and come back to meet two other couples here for five days, before we have to leave. We’re pretty excited about sharing our piece of heaven with our friends and family. I don’t know if they’ll be as enthusiastic about it as we are, but it will be fun.

Anyway, I’m enjoying catching up on my reading, taking tennis lessons, and cooking for my family. Here’s an EASY recipe for Banana Bread made with Bisquick. I changed it a little bit…added chocolate, cranberries and pecans and topped with coconut for a great (semi-healthy) dessert.


1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (or splenda for baking)
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (3 medium/large ripe bananas)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 hershey bar, chopped fine

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of loaf pan, 9″ cake pan, or use muffin pans with liners. Beat all ingredients vigorously with spoon for 30 seconds. Bake 55-65 minutes for loaf pan, 45-50 minutes for cake pan, 15 minutes for mini muffins, 20 minutes for regular muffins. Cool five minutes. Top with shredded coconut.

Greystone Inn’s Potato Soup

If you’ve ever read any of my previous posts, you know we spend a lot of time in North Carolina. It’s a community called Lake Toxaway, and it’s a beautiful, turquoise lake at the top of a mountain. We found it 7 years ago, when we stayed at a resort called The Greystone Inn. Over the years, we’ve stayed there several times, then we started renting homes, and finally, last summer we bought a little place of our own there. We don’t get there as often as we’d like, since H is so busy at school, but whenever we can get away, we’re there.

Last week, while H was in Washington, DC, on a school trip, we spent the week there. It was so great. Our dog, Rosie, was in heaven. We hiked every day to a different waterfall, went mountain biking up Cold Mountain Road, swam in the lake, and J tried to teach me to golf. Not a pretty picture. He only let me use a 3 iron, and a putter. I teed up in the fairway, and still embarrassed myself.

We ate dinner on night at the Greystone, and I ordered this cream of potato and leek soup that I didn’t think I’d like (I don’t like creamy soups…too fattening), but ordered anyway because it came with the meal. It was so great I ate it all, and asked for the recipe. To my surprise the “cream” came from blending up the potatoes and leeks…it was a broth soup, and only had a tablespoon of olive oil in it!

Don’t pay any attention to that description. It was phenomenal! I made it tonight, and J and H loved it. It’s super easy, too.

Here’s the recipe:
Potato Leek Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
5 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato (about 2 1/2 pounds)
5 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add potato and vegetable broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Place 3 cups of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Stir in salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, serve warm.

Garnish with chives and croutons, if desired.


Linguine with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Chicken Sausage

I made this pasta last night with whatever ingredients we had in the kitchen, and J said it was the best I’d ever made, so I think I should write it down in case I need to duplicate it someday.

Here it is:

Linguine with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Chicken Sausage

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
2 Italian-style precooked chicken sausage links (can use more if you desire)
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Italian Seasoning blend (in tube, like fresh…can use 2 tsp. dried)
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 lb. linguine (I used spinach)

Fill pasta pot with water and put on to boil. While water is boiling, chop onions and garlic. Heat large skillet over medium high, add sun dried tomatoes. Since they’re packed in oil, that’s all you need to saute the onions and garlic. Turn heat down while sauteing, so the tomatoes don’t burn. Cook, stirring with wooden spoon, until onions are translucent and a little crispy on edges. While they’re cooking, cut sausages in half, then 1/4 inch slices. Add to vegetables and continue to cook until sausage is heated through (J. likes them browned). Add seasoning blend, and salt and pepper. Cover and reduce to simmer. When pasta is cooked, don’t rinse, just add to vegetable/chicken mix with 1/2 ladle of pasta water, and toss. Add shredded parmesan cheese, if desired.


We’re in the mountains. Rained all day long, cold and foggy, so no view, no hiking, but it has been the perfect day! Slept late, went for a run in the rain, watched cable moves (World according to Garp, Risky Business, Man of the Year), played Skip-Bo, Monopoly, and grilled a couple of huge tenderloin steaks, and roasted butternut squash, potatoes and onions. I’m so relaxed there’s no word to really describe it!

The only negative is this is the off, off season, so the coffee shop with homemade muffins is closed. Bummer. We packed no breakfast food, so this morning I looked at the pantry to figure out what we could have for breakfast. We did have a box of bisquick, sugar, cinnamon, craisons, and skim milk. So I remembered a recipe for cinnamon rolls with bisquick. They were pretty easy to mix up and were perfect! I didn’t have confectioner’s sugar for the glaze, but I put granulated sugar in the blender with 1 tsp. of cornstarch, and voila…powdered sugar! Here’s the recipe:

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

2 TBSP granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 ½ cups original Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk

2 TBSP granulated sugar

2 TBSP butter or margarine (I didn’t have butter, but used butter flavored PAM)

¼ cup raisins (no raisins, but substituted craisins…dried cranberries)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9inch pan. In small bowl, mix 2 TBSP sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

2. In medium bowl, stir bisquick mix, milk, and 2 TBSP sugar until dough forms. If dough is too sticky, gradually mix in enough bisquick (up to ¼ cup) to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto surface well dusted with bisquick mix,; gently roll dough in bisquick mix to coat. Shape into ball; knead 10 times.

3. Roll dough into 15×9 inch rectangle; spread with butter (or spray with butter flavored PAM). Sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture and raisins (or craisins). Roll up tightly; beginning at 15 inch side. Seal well by pinching edge of dough into roll. Cut into 1 ¼ inch slices, place cut sides down in pan.

4. Bake 23-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

5. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and 2 TBSP milk until smooth. Spread glaze over warm rolls.

Hummus with Sun-Dried Tomatoes…awesome!!!

Oh my God!!! I try new recipes all the time, and most of the time they don’t taste nearly as good as they sound, but this recipe for Hummus with Sundried tomatoes was so good I almost ate it all by the spoonful. I’ll serve it to friends tomorrow, if it lasts until then…


1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, more to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon pimenton, (spanish paprika), more to taste, optional
lemon juice to taste
Pita chips or raw vegetables, for serving

If time allows, soak chickpeas in water to cover overnight, if not, boil in water to cover for 2 minutes, then soak for 2 hours.

In a pot, combine chickpeas and tomatoes in water to cover and simmer, partially covered, until chickpeas are very tender, adding water if necessary. Drain, reserving a little cooking liquid.

Combine in a food processor with salt, pepper, garlic, oil, pimenton if using and reserved cooking liquid as necessary to get machine going. Puree, then add lemon juice to taste, along with more oil, pimenton or salt if desired. Serve with pita chips or raw vegetables. (This will keep, refrigerated, for about a week).

Roasted Butternut Squash…YUM!

J was out of town earlier this week so H and I had our favorite dinner. It’s not really a recipe, per se, but anytime we serve these everyone wants to know how to make it so I thought I’d post it. When I was growing up in the south, we only had vegetables slow cooked with butter or bacon fat, or fried, so this whole concept of roasting fresh vegetables is new to me. I think using this method you can roast anything and it tastes good. We usually do butternut squash, onions, asparagus, and ,maybe potatoes or sweet potatoes. I’ve done it with carrots, sweet peppers, green beans, and just about any vegetable in the pantry. I use a convection oven so that I can roast multiple pans (they shrink up when cooking, but take up a lot of space at first). If you don’t have a convection oven you can just put in multiple pans and rotate them periodically. When I set my oven to 425 degrees in the convection mode it actually cooks at 400 degrees, so adjust accordingly.

Also, the butternut squash, potatoes, and carrots take the longest time so I put them in the oven first, then cut up the rest and put them in a few minutes later.

H and I aren’t really vegetarians, but this is a wonderful, filling, healthy meal.

Roasted Vegetables

*Any variety of vegetables, but the following are my favorites:

Butternut Squash
Sweet onions
Sweet Peppers (Red, Green or Yellow)
Sweet Potatoes
Olive oil
dried basil
kosher salt

Wash, peel (if necessary), and cut into 1″ chunks the squash, onions, potatoes or sweet potatoes. Trim root end of asparagus, and cut carrots and peppers into thick strips.

(Butternut squash is very labor intensive to peel. The easiest way I’ve found is to use very sharp chef’s knife and cut ends off, then cut bottom (seed end) off and peel that, scoop out the seeds, then peel the long end and slice and cut into chunks. Some people just cut in half and cook, but I like exposing the cut ends while roasting to give it a little crispness)

Place vegetables in large bowl and sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Use hands to toss with the oil so it’s distributed evenly. You don’t have to use much. Spray large roasting pans (I use those large flat pans with about 1/2-1″ sides) with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Spread vegetables so that they’re separated, sprinkle with kosher salt and a little dried basil. Roast in convection oven set at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes or until cooked and a little crispy on the edges.
The different veggies cook at different speeds. The onions and asparagus cook pretty quickly, should only take 20 minutes or so. Squash and potatoes take the longest. Roasting brings out the sweetness and the kosher salt just makes it delicious!