Spaghetti squash and black bean tacos with queso fresco

squash-tacos

This might actually be one of the best uses of spaghetti squash I’ve ever encountered. I like spaghetti squash for the most part, but I have a hard time enjoying it as a substitute for, well, spaghetti. So, tacos! Much better option.

What worked: The spices were awesome and balanced out the slight sweetness of the squash, they fed me and my husband and a friend who had come over to play video games, and they made great leftovers (always a plus).

What didn’t work: Maybe I just didn’t get the good stuff, but this was my first time having queso fresco in a long time, and I found it be pretty flavorless. Nice texture, but flavorless. Deb mentions in the book that feta could work as a substitute, which I kinda wish I’d used instead.

Would I make it again?: Definitely! I occasionally get spaghetti squash in my CSA, so I would re-create for those times (and use feta instead!).

Leek fritters with garlic and lemon

leek-fritters

These are pretty! I like pretty veggies.

What worked: The lemon and garlic flavors were great, and the whole dish was filling without feeling heavy.

What didn’t work: Nothing in particular, but I will fully admit that I’ve never been a big fan of making fritters. They always taste good – I’ve just often found the process to be a bit tedious.

Would I make it again?: Maybe not, for the above reasons, although they were awfully tasty. So, maybe.

Honey and harissa farro salad

farro-salad

Farro is awesome, and I’m glad this recipe reminded me to keep farro around in my pantry. It has a heftier chew than rice, and paired very nicely with the softer root vegetables in this dish.

What worked: Everything! Overall, a good hearty salad that made good leftovers as well.

What didn’t work: I actually think it could have used a bit more harissa, which is easily fixed for future renditions.

Would I make it again?: For sure. I love big grain/veggie salads, since they make for awesome and easy lunches.

Big breakfast latkes

breakfast-latkes

These latkes make for a very satisfying breakfast – and might I add, a good hangover cure.

What worked: Pretty much everything! I overcooked mine just a smidge, I think. I also think the fried egg on top is pretty much mandatory. Additionally, the tip in the cookbook about how these can be made ahead definitely works and is recommended. We had more latkes for dinner the next day.

What didn’t work: Nada.

Would I make it again?: Maybe. They’d be fun as a treat, and when I have potatoes around (which I often don’t, to be honest).

Salted brown butter crispy treats

crispy-treats

In which I get to make and consume one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, and it’s also insanely easy: The salted brown butter crispy treats story.

What worked: As soon as I cut these treats into squares and put into tupperware to bring to a friend’s party, the insane smell overtook me and made me see stars. Then I tasted one, and was a new person as a result. This is exaggeration, but everyone needs to know how delicious these are. Not only that, but these were so easy to make.

What didn’t work: Absolutely nothing. Make these now.

Would I make it again?: DUH. In fact, I really want some right now.

Shaved asparagus pizza and leisurely pizza dough

shaved-asparagus

This is a story in which we made a tasty pizza that was really annoying to prepare.

Shaved asparagus pizza

What worked: This pizza tastes very, very good. The cheese, the asparagus, the green onions – everything was fresh and satisfying.

What didn’t work: Shaving the asparagus was a royal pain in the butt. Deb made it sound so simple, and it really wasn’t. I tried the method of laying the asparagus down on the counter and using my vegetable peeler to do the shaving, and could only get a couple of strips out of the deal. My husband and I resorted to a combination of peeling, using the mandoline (very carefully), and using a regular knife to make thin pieces. It took quite awhile and in the end, we couldn’t help but wonder if it was worth it.

Would I make it again?: Probably not. It was very tasty (as mentioned), but was too much work (as also mentioned).

Leisurely pizza dough

What worked: Everything! I love making pizza dough in the morning and letting rise all day in the fridge. It’s easy, makes dinner prep even easier after work, and in my experience, the all-day slow rise makes the crust bake up beautifully and taste even better.

What didn’t: Nothing wrong here. Sometimes we prefer a thicker crust, but for those thin crust days, this crust is great.

Would I make it again?: It’s quite likely. I’ll admit that I’m pretty partial to Mark Bittman’s pizza dough recipe (it’s one of those that I have almost committed to memory at this point, and it always comes out well), but I will aim to put this Smitten Kitchen crust in the rotation.

Vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill, butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

slaw

butternut-squash

A nice weekend evening became even nicer when this vinegar slaw and butternut squash galette came into the mix.

Vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill

What worked: This was easy to prepare (especially easy if you have a mandoline), fresh and tasty.

What didn’t work: Nothing in particular, but I think in general that this recipe works better in small doses, and would be ideal to bring to a potluck (or somewhere to feed a larger group of people). We had a ton of leftovers, and I got kind of sick of eating it after a couple of days (having said that, it’s nice that it lasts so long in the fridge).

Would I make it again?: Maybe, to bring to a potluck or picnic. I also think it would taste good on a pulled pork sandwich or something along those lines.

Butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

Goddamnit, this was delicious. And we got to enjoy it all week long!

What worked: Everything! I’ll admit I was skeptical, since butternut squash is sweet and I wondered if this would be feel too rich and sweet as a result. However, this galette¬†was so, so tasty, and a beautiful dish (and made equally beautiful leftovers). The squash and the cheese and the thyme and the crust just sing.

What didn’t work: The only little thing I can think of is that this does take some time and effort to prepare – but I think it’s worth it, so there you go.

Would I make it again?: For sure. It would be especially great for entertaining.