Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Cream Sauce

I love fall because it means spaghetti squash pasta dishes!! Trust me you will think you are eating pasta. This one is great for a weeknight.

1 spaghetti squash
1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms, chopped
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 c chicken stock
2 c half and half
Parsley, chopped
Truffle salt
Parmesan cheese

With a sharp knife pierce the spaghetti squash several times. Place in a microwave safe dish and cook for 20 minutes, let rest for 10. Cut open, scoop out seeds, then use a work to shred the squash.

Meanwhile in a large skillet melt the butter, add the lemon juice and shrooms and cover. Cook over medium low heat for 12 minutes, then set aside.

At the same time, combine the half and half and stock in a pan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 25 minutes.

Pour sauce into mushrooms, stir to combine. Add the spaghetti squash, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

Serve topped with parsley, cheese and truffle salt.

Serves 4.


Chocolate Custard with Cocoa Nibs

This dessert is amazing and takes just a couple minutes to whip up.

5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 c half and half
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP cocoa nibs

In a small pan heat cream and 1/4 c water until simmering. Add chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Pour into ramekins and chill.

When ready to serve sprinkle with cocoa nibs and salt.

Serves 4.

Vanilla French Toast


French toast is one of my favorite breakfast treats for Sunday morning. It comes together quick and the fact that i can cook it all up in one batch on my griddle makes it a win-win!

4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c half and half
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP sugar
1 loaf challah bread, sliced 1/2 thick

Heat a griddle over medium high heat, brush with ghee or butter.

Beat together eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla and sugar. Pour into a shallow pan, dip bread in letting rest about 30 seconds, then flip over and to the other side.

Cook about 5 minutes per side on griddle until golden brown.

Serves 6.


Tres Leches Cake


My step-mom made a tres leches cake that was amazing! This my lower fat lower calorie version which I think is just as tasty and a little less sweet.

1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c milk
4 oz sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 c half-and-half

For the topping:
1/4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
add 1/4 c sugar as beat until stiff peaks form.

Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed
, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the remaining sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined. fold in the egg whites until combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:
Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

Place the heavy cream and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

16 servings.
5 WW PP per serving.

Kabocha Squash with Ginger


I found this in the Nov 2011 issue of Bon Appétit, they strained the ginger and used heavy cream. I lightened it up by using 1/2 and 1/2 and lots of ginger. I also reheated it in the oven.

2 kabocha squash, halved, seeded
Salt and pepper
1 6″ piece of ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3/4 c half and half

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Season inside of squash with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast until tender, 1-1 1/4 hours. Let cool slightly.

Pulse ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Scoop squash flesh into a food processor. Add sugar, with machine running, gradually add 1/2 & 1/2 and purée until smooth, adding more cream by tablespoonfuls if too thick. Season with salt, pepper.

Serves 8.

Kabocha Purée with Ginger


I found this in the November Issue of Bon Appétit, of course I made a few changes. I swapped half and half for cream and greatly reduced the amount, I used a bit more ginger and extra spoonful of brown sugar. It turned out wonderful!

–2 1/2-pound kabocha squash, halved, seeded
salt and pepper
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 c half and half

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Season inside of squash with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast until tender, 1-1 1/4 hours. Let cool slightly.

Pulse ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to prepared strainer. Scoop squash flesh into a food processor. Add sugar. With machine running, gradually add half and half and purée until smooth, adding more cream by tablespoonfuls if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and more ginger juice, if desired. Gently warm in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Farro with Scallops and Saffron Sauce

This recipe is adapted from La Cucina Italiana, my favorite Italian Cooking Magazine and a great little iPad app. It comes together in less than an hour and tastes like something from a super fancy italian restaurant. You can easily double it for guests. If you’re not watching your waist you can swap heavy cream with half and half.

1 bunch of very thin asparagus, cut into 1 inch length
1/2 c farro
1/2 lb of scallops
1/4 c half and half
1/2 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1 Tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
2 TBSP shallots, finely diced
2 TBSP dry white wine
1 1/2 TBSP chopped parsley

Steam asparagus until crisp, about 2 minutes, transfer to an ice bath. Once cooled slice asparagus into 1 inch lengths. Use 1 1/2 c of the water used to steam asparagus, pour into to medium pot and add the farro, cook over medium heat covered until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Mix saffron with heavy cream. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add shallot, cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add cream, cook 2 minutes whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer whisking occasionally until thickened and reduced by 1/2, about 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops, cook 1 minute then turn over. Add farro and asparagus, cook 1 minute more. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley.

Spoon 1/2 the sauce onto a plate. Spoon scallops and farro onto plate. Serve.

Serves 2.
11 WW PP.


Crab Salad

So my copy of Salad As A Meal by Patricia Wells finally arrived. The only reason I say finally is because I pre-ordered it on Amazon over a year ago. In case you did not know, Patricia Wells is my favorite cookbook author.

I have not really had a chance to comb through it like I normally would, funny how 2 little guys, working and running a house get in the way. When I came across this recipe I knew it would be my first. It is the perfect salad for my busy Saturday and the fact that I can pick up fresh caught crab at my farmers market makes it even better.

8 oz fresh crab, cooked
Zest from 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt

1 bell pepper, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/8 c parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 avocado, diced

1 head of lettuce, torn into small pieces

1/2 c half and half
Zest from 1 lemon
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c snipped chives

In a small jar, combine the dressing ingredients, and shake well.

Combine the crab and line zest in a bowl, toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat.

Combine bell pepper, celery, parsley and salt in a bowl and toss with just enough dressing to coat.

On two large plates, layer lettuce, bell pepper mixture, crab and top with avocado.

Serves 2, but can be easily doubled.
8 WW PP if you use all the dressing (I usually don’t) you can also use fat free half and half (takes 2 points off the recipe).