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monday musings

My chihuahua is pretty chill. Here we are snowmobiling in Maine.

Did you like the chill chihuahua? Last night, I made it for some friends and I accidentally grabbed the bottle of triple sec instead of tequila. Wowza! And yikes. It was quite the tart and sweeeet drink. It turns out that cocktails named after dog breeds is a thing!

On Thursday, I posted a recipe for japchae. The recipe I used called for bean thread noodles, but after research, I found that sweet potato starch noodles are the actual Korean japchae noodle.  This article clears most all your Asian noodle questions up!

Saturday’s post has tahini as the shining star ingredient. I use Woodstock Tahini, but evidently, I could be using several other more artisanal brands. Last year was the year of tahini.  I’m hoping tahini trend will continue in 2017.  I have a food scientist friend who works with companies to develop new products. I picked his brain for a bit the other day about 2017 food trends.  He said peppercorns are a big thing right now paired with sweets, such as pink peppercorns with chocolate.  Sounds like the new salted caramel?  He also said something about a cloudberry that has the texture of yogurt on the inside? Yes please!

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of my chill chihuahua.

 

 

His name is Papo
Here is he with my husband and niece

 

 He met a man a couple of years ago that had just had his 107!! birthday! They really liked each other.
Middle East

roasted butternut squash with tahini yogurt sauce

I love tahini. Tahini is to sesame seeds as peanut butter is to peanuts. It is the second ingredient in good hummus after garbanzo beans. In fact, this sauce is like really good, authentic hummus with yogurt instead of garbanzo beans. Tahini yogurt sauce is very simple and flavorful; creamy, salty, lemony.  In this recipe, I roasted a whole butternut squash then topped it with this sauce.  It’s a delicious and pretty side dish or a wonderful vegetarian meal on its own. Plenty of fiber and protein!

roasted butternut squash with tahini yogurt sauce

serves 2

ingredients:

1 small butternut squash

yogurt tahini sauce:

8 ounces 2% or whole milk greek yogurt

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic- finely grated with a micro plane grater. I have this one and I use it all the time.

1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (optional)

good salt like kosher and fresh ground pepper

garnish:

1 thinly sliced hot pepper such as fresno or red serrano

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash in half the long way. Scoop out all of the seeds. Drizzle with a tablespoon of the olive oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Roast the squash, cut side up, in the oven for 45 minutes. You want it to be really soft so it may take up to an hour, especially if you don’t use a small squash. Don’t rush this part because you’ll regret it if you do.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, grated garlic cloves, and cayenne or paprika. Mix well. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil a little bit at a time until it’s all mixed in.  Taste it and add a little or lots of salt and pepper.  You want it to be a little on the salty side. At least I always do!

Take out the roasted squash. Fill in the hole of the squash with plenty of the sauce.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced hot peppers and drizzle with more olive oil. Enjoy!

ps- tahini yogurt sauce is good with so many things such as any roasted vegetable or as a veggie or chip dip. I love it with roasted beef or lamb too.