Weekly Eats

I thought that I posted this on Sunday! Weird! Here is week 3 of what I made and where I ate!


Lunch: Brown rice pasta with roasted butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese

Pasta with roasted butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese

Dinner: Take-out from Ginger Thai


Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: Seared salmon topped with mushroom escabeche and served with roasted brussel sprouts


Lunch: I was supposed to have sushi but it didn’t make it into my grocery bag! Leftovers and a some pieces of rotisserie chicken.

Dinner: Soup with kale, zucchini, tomatoes, mini turkey meatballs and navy beans. A hit!


Lunch: out to eat at Kuba Kuba

Dinner: take out pizza from 23rd and Main


Lunch: Had Tuesdays leftover soup which I shared with these 2 characters; my nephews 2 1/2 year old Ryder and 14 month old Laine!

Ryder 1-23-14


Laine 1-23-14

Dinner: Eat your Greens Asian Chicken Salad


Lunch: Sushi (replacement from what didn’t make it to my grocery bag on Tuesday)

Dinner: grilled steaks served with braised napa cabbage


Lunch: Awesome food at my friend Teresa’s baby shower. Her Mom made awesome grub…the herb biscuits and ham were my favorites!

Dinner: Sushi out at Level

Thanksgiving Menu 2013

There were a total of 17 family members at our Thanksgiving table this year! My sister Angela, her husband Troy and their 2 children. My sister Zandria and her fiance Paul from Buffalo. My Mom. My 2 brothers. My Aunt Annette and her fiance G.K….and her daughter Jacquelyn and her new husband Shawn. My Dad. And the three of us!

Zandria and I:

Zandria and I

Isaac, Ben and Devin:

Isaac, Ben and Devin

G.K., our dog Walter and Travis (I’m pretty sure this was after they ate!):

GK, Walter and travis

I went by this checklist as I was cooking (which started on Tuesday!).

my menu checklist

Thanksgiving Menu:


  • mini crab cakes
  • Plate of Baked brie w/ misc crackers
  • veggies/dip tray

Main meal:

  • Cornbread stuffing with fennel, celery, onions and shiitake mushrooms
  • Butternut squash, goat cheese and mushroom risotto
  • Marinated carrots
  • Cauliflower and potato mash w/ buttermilk
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • A 23 pound Turkey: followed these instructions. I added tons of rosemary, lemon, salt, pepper and buttered under the skin and on top before roasting!
  • gravy
  • Roasted Cabernet and Citrus Cranberry Sauce
  • 5 cheese mac-n-cheese (my sister Angela)
  • Sweet potato casserole (Aunt Annette)
  • Collard greens (Mom)
  • Yeast rolls (Mom)


Grandma's pound cake

  • Grandma‚Äôs pound cake (sorry – secret fam recipe! And it’s baked in a cast iron bundt pan!!)
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal White Choc Chip Cookies¬†(Angela)
  • Pies: Buttermilk, pumpkin and sweet potato (Mom)
  • chocolate cherry cake and buttermilk pie (Aunt Annette)

*All made by me unless noted otherwise.

Farmer’s Market picks

Travis and I took a short ride to our local South of the James farmer’s market this morning with our dogs. I haven’t been in the mood to take pictures of my food this past week but this beautiful bounty inspires me. I made a large pot of Ratatouille last weekend and it was gobbled up before there were any pics taken. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making it again with all the peppers,¬†zucchini, squash,¬†tomatoes¬†and eggplant that I have here. Happy Saturday!!

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

This is the best go-to pasta recipe to impress guests or just feel like you have having a fancy dinner at home that is also super easy to make. I promise…it really is easy! I love Giada DeLaurentiis and this is one of my favorite recipes of hers.

I usually wait to make this pasta until I have tons of fresh basil of my own that I need to use up but this year I couldn’t wait so I bought some. I picked up the goat cheese from the farmer’s market that we visited over the weekend. It is made locally at a place called Night Sky Farm. It was very, very cool to get to talk to the woman that prepares the different varieties of goat cheese. She had everything from plain goat cheese to goat cheese that had white chocolate in it. I personally prefer the savory versions. The goat cheese I used in this recipe had basil in it.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis)


  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta (I was out so I used fusilli and it was great)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan


  • Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.¬†Drizzle with¬†olive oil¬†and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Mix them around about halfway through the cooking. Depending on the size of the squash and onions they may cook faster so keep an eye on them. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  • While¬†the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.¬†Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta,¬†goat cheese¬†and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy¬†sauce. Add the¬†squash¬†and onion¬†mixture, the¬†walnuts¬†and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste.¬†Garnish with¬†Parmesan¬†and serve.

This is perfect for a vegetarian dinner or served with some grilled or roasted chicken… or a easy¬†rotisserie¬†chicken from your favorite grocery store!