Writing about cooking? This blog is getting really diverse in content. I keep all my Martha Stewart Living magazines. Semi-obsessively. But I've never cooked a recipe out of any of them. So after scanning the pages of old October issues, I settled on crafting a feast. I could locate and operate an immersion blender. I could figure out how to peel a squash. I would conquer this meal plan provided by the queen of craftiness. (This is how I talk myself up when tackling a difficult task. Or when planning to host another stoop dinner that requires a hefty grocery list. Positive vibes.)
The menu included:
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Cheese Flautas with Cilantro Pesto
Apple Cranberry Crumble
Martha was even kind enough in the article to tell me the order in which to cook things (1. Roast veggies and make pesto. 2. Prepare black eyed peas, salad dressing. 3. Blend soup and prepare flautas. 4. Fry stuff.)
So with my sous chef (Liz you were excellent company) and all the ingredients scattered on the counter, I started peeling 2.75lbs of butternut squash. "Butternut squash?" you say. Yes. Apparently a "sugar pumpkin" doesn't exist at Dahl's and even the produce guy is unsure if a "pie pumpkin" and a "sugar pumpkin" are the same thing. (Note: apparently the two are the same. Sometimes called "sugar pie pumpkins.") While darling Martha did not tell me how to peel or cut up a butternut squash, I was able to cross reference Real Simple, and managed to not slice off my fingers with the sharpest, largest serrated knife ever. Then there was the use of an immersion blender. That was fun.
There were those cilantro+pepitas pesto troubles (the mini-food-processor had some problems). If you decide to make that pesto-- be sure to add extra lime juice and to know that you really only have to buy one bunch of cilantro, that's plenty. Martha asks for you to use baby red mustard greens in the salad, psh. Using a spring mix pre-packaged salad worked just fine. The crumble used the prettiest shiny red frozen cranberries, but would have benefited from some bonus sugar (I used granny smith apples, maybe a sweeter baking apple would have helped too.)
In the end the meal took about 3.5 hours to prepare, fed about 8 people and was polished off in about 20 minutes. The food was complimented. My sleeveless blue angels shirt I wore while cooking was not.