Vol 1. Issue 2. Fall 2011
inspiring creative living
crafts + food + interiors + style + vintage
Vol. 1. Issue 2
F a l l 2011 kkkkkkkkkkk Hello, Friends! Autumn is upon us and the breeze of change is in the air. As the leaves begin to fade from kelly green to amber tones, I am reminded of the changes within my own world. Not only have my husband and I recently found out that we are expecting our first child, but the face of my business and Gatherings Magazine are undergoing major shifts. You may have noticed some of these alterations here such as a new the option to purchase a printed copy of this publication, and nearly twice the pages and stories of the debut issue!! My hope is to continue to grow Gatherings Magazine into a six issue publication featuring even more creative contributors from around the globe. cover + this image by amber beckham
May this issue, chock full of interiors, craft ideas, and yummy recipes delight your senses and prepare your hearts and minds for the change in seasons. and upcoming holidays. You will find helpful articles to prepare you for the holiday season as this is the last full issue of the year. The next Gatherings publication will be a holiday gift guide due out the end of November. Until then may you find grace to enjoy all the little beauties of this season.
imgage by Christina Martin
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Table of Contents
Color Story- Inspired by Pantoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fall Fashion Palette
Tropical Suite- The Colorful Home of Susana Oliveira
Annette Tatumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Holiday Decorating Tips
A Touch of Victoriana
On a Golden Afternoon: Harvest Picnic
By the Fireside: Making Smores!
kkkkkkkkk 68-77 78-83
Making Her Nest Pretty- Home Tour by Tamar of Nest Pretty Things
Tour the Midwestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creative Center: Granville, Ohio
Wrapping Up Loose Ends
Squash: Autumns First Fruit
kkkkkkkk image :ginny donovan
Amber Beckham Photographer
Christina Martin Food/Photographer
Annette Tatum Designer/Writer
Emma Lamb Crafter/Blogger
Kate Steele Writer/Stylist
Maren Linn Accessories Designer
Gina Lewis Blogger
Ginny Donovan Food Blogger
Jennie Prince Blogger/Crafter/Stylist
Tamar Schechner Jewelry Designer
Susana Oliveira Blogger/Stylist
Inspired by Pantoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fashion Colour Report by Emma Lamb
Autumn / Fall 2011
As a girl who is obsessed with colour and searching out beautiful and new combinations to work with in my designs, you might think it’s a wee bit strange that I rarely look to the ‘official’ trends for inspiration. Usually my initial inspirations come from the world around me such as the eclectic collections of vintage tins and glass vases I fill my studio with or the colourful beach debris I find when out walking my dog. I think if you know how to look at the world in the right way you can find beautiful colour inspiration anywhere at any time.
So it was quite a surprise to me when I happened upon Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report for this autumn and couldn’t stop thinking about that palette. It is the most delicious combination of bamboo yellow, emberglow, honeysuckle, phlox, cedar (green), deep teal, coffee liqueur, nougat, orchid hush and quarry (blue). It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of of using vintage inspired shades of mustard and teal in my work along with fabulous retro pinks and greens, they are perfectly pretty ‘granny chic’ colours after all. But while Pantone’s palette has these rich autumn jewel tones at one end it is kept in balance by some softer neutrals with the whispery blues, browns and purples, which have a perfectly pretty ‘shabby chic’ vibe.
Vintage and retro inspired crochet...
I guess thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I find this palette so appealing, not only does it incorporate my two favourite trends but it also has balance. No one colour out shines the others and they would work perfectly in almost any combination you could think of. Mix them all up with a sprinkling of soft cream as I have in my patchwork cushion covers, or pick out two to three of the softer neutrals and add a pop of emberglow or honeysuckle for interest. j
photos by susana oliveira
words by heather spriggs
For Susana Oliiveira of the blog Citrus and Orange, home is nestled in Porto, Portugal, the second largest city in the northwest part of the country, close to the sea. She creates her home with her husband and two little girls, Carlotta (9) and Concha (18 months), They have called this lovely abode home for eight years and hope to soon expand to larger digs. Corporate banker by day and stylist by night, Susana has a natural eye for design, color and creating displays that are pleasing to the senses. Not only do they charm her own home, but her talent for gorgeous dessert tables and party decor have been featured on the Amy Atlas blog .
Susana considers white as the basis for all her home decor. With a strong neutral base she is able to boldly weave in pinks, reds, lilacs, mango and turqouise. The bathroom and kitchen utilize the aqua tones and the living room adds a healthy dose of pink and peach to the mix. She is a lover of all colors but considers white the best in her palette.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think what I appreciate most in our home is our small garden. I love nature, fresh air and plants, so I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live without a garden anymore. And the kids love it.â&#x20AC;? -S.O.
Susana’s decorating advice Think twice before buying cheap! “It is better to wait a little longer and buy something a little better (especially if it has to be made by measure) than to buy on impulse and then find it doesn’t work in your home.” Susana prescribes reading a lot of decor magazines and browsing the internet as an infinite source for great ideas. Then she suggests creating your own moodboard or finding a way to store images under specific subjects. This allows you to define your style before you start shopping.. Susana reminds us to“ Always remember that size and measurements are very important.” If you see something you like in a shop, but have different measurements in your home, it may not fit well once you get it home. Lastly she prescribes adding personal touches throughout your abode as a sure fire way to add interest.
“I get inspiration from all around me: nature, flowers, colors, fashion... it’s an endless list. But what I like to keep in mind every time I’m decorating a room is cozyness and comfort. I love blankets, old time comfort, everything that is smooth and relaxing. And I also love light, so I always try to enhance the light in a room the best way I can. Light, lots of light!” -Su sana
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By the fireside, with a true classic,
by Jennie Prince
next time you find yourself cozy by the fire this autumn, gather items around your house/yard to create a simple and rustic sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mores gathering.
Here are a few quick ideas that take no time at all: • Spruce up this yummy treat with carmel filled chocolate squares or sandwich marshmallows between chocolate chip cookies. • Brown lunch bags are perfect for serving up a variety of goodies and allow quick clean up. Simply cut the bag in half (horizontally) and fold over the edges. • Stick with tradition and use a thin branch to roast marshmallows. It’s easy to label each stick by drilling a small hole, string twine, and attach a name tag using the lunch bag scraps. • Use dish towels for clean up and added color/texture. They’re much more durable for outdoor use and their patterns look lovely. • Want a quick centerpiece? Look to your backyard. An herb bundle from the garden or perhaps branches of fall foliage? Both ideas are quick and easy. • White christmas lights add a cozy ambience. • And viola! Simple ideas to pull together a s’mores gathering with family and friends this season! Enjoy your cozy evening by the fire!
All Things White
Elizabeth Wren Vintage
The Dancing Wren
Annette Tatumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Holiday Decorating Tips
by Annette Tatum
ith the start of Fall and Thanksgiving on its way, I always find that the season starts out slowly and reaches its peak at Christmas and New Years. The slow gradual change of the seasons offers the same opportunity for us to start to “warm up “ our homes. It is the time to embellish our homes, open our hearts and become inspired. It is a time to add the unexpected, introduce new colors and create sparkle in our homes. Deep crimson, pink and gold mixed with emerald, sage and silver. Sapphire, crystal and pearl layered with velvet and satins. Using these colors and elements are perfect ways to create a “jewel box” look for the holidays.
I am a big fan of the unexpected. I would love to take canvases and paint inspiring seasonal words for the holiday festivities. I think it would be fantastic to decorate the large canvas with words like “sparkle” or “noel” and hang them as decor elements for my annual holiday party. It is so easy to pick up blank canvases as the local art supply shop and use stencils as a way to create one of a kind expressions. Words of inspiration always warm the heart, and what better time to offer up holiday cheer than while entertaining.
Annette Tatum annettetatum.com
In my office I have an old wire lampshade frame that I use to clip special notes and photos. By using a hanging shade this idea can be transformed into an eye-catching way to create an area for all your favorite holiday cards from friends and family. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s especially nice to add a little holiday warmth to your working space.
Inspiration from my favorite fashion â&#x20AC;&#x153;ornamentsâ&#x20AC;? such as bracelets and other jewelry often play a part in my color choices for the holiday. Gray and sliver mixed with amber, gold and crystal is a perfect holiday color palette. Fashion always holds so many ideas for creating drama in the home. Take a cue from your favorite fashion accessories for exciting ways to mix holiday color and create a dramatic effect.
I love to have a party at the holidays. I also like to explore how other cultures celebrate the holidays and mix in a little of the eclectic. Greens don’t always need to be deep and traditional. Reds can be more coral and light as well. Pink and sage can be a lovely way to celebrate a more romantic side to the holidays. While deep crimson mixed with a caravan of colors can evoke a ”Moroccan” warmth to the winter. Explore mixing gold and sliver accents by combing your favorite tabletop pieces on the table. You can also use motifs such as angels and crests to create a sophisticated regal like table setting. The more you mix and match the better, make it your own personal style.
Adding embellishment is what the holidays are all about. It is the time to “dress-up “ our homes and invite friends and family over to celebrate. Why not add your favorite accents to table runners, entryways, lampshades and other home decor accents. There is nothing that says, “enough is enough” during the holidays where decadence is essential.
Enjoy your Holidays,
A Touch of
Muted hues, floral accents and yards of fabric unite to compose a symphony reminescent of yesteryear. Concept and Art Direction: Heather Spriggs Styling and Accessory Design: Maren Linn Hair and Makeup: Chalita Tharpe Photography: Amber Beckham
Golden Hues, sapphire blues
To Purchase Accessories featuerd in this article, visit The Sai Sai Shoppe Vintage Props from Bellevue Antiques Mall and Stylists own.
Autumn is an open weave, of rusty colors and crisp air. A perfect time for an afternoon picnic. I gathered the family, grabbed an old basket, and loaded it with a few goodies. For the sandwiches, I toasted onion focaccia rolls, and filled them with sundried tomato havarti cheese, spicy salad greens, and nestled in thick slices of honeycrisp apples. Wrapping the sandwiches in gingham patterned bags added a nice touch and made for easy clean up. I tucked a jar of grainy mustard in the basket, along with sparkling cranberry drinks, pretty vintage plates and napkins. An acorn squash serves as a cute centerpiece, or to hold a tablecloth down on a windy day.
Enjoy Autumnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offerings on a
Harvest Picnic by Christina Martin
A game of checkers at the park, sweet caramel dipped pears, and reading from a book of favorite, autumn poetry is the end to a perfect afternoon. d
Making Her Nest
Pretty Come Explore the Creative World of Designer Tamar Schechner of Nest Pretty Things photos by Tamar Schechner
H: How would you describe the style of your home? T:Our home is very eclectic, I am not set on one certain style and I love to mix vintage and antiques with new colorful textiles and art. The house is a ranch built in the 60’s, when we moved to our village in VT we rented it thinking we will live in it for a year and look for a farm house (our true dream) but the owners put the house up for sale 4 months into our lease and we were sort of stuck...we couldn’t find any other rental and didn’t want to relocate the boys again, the price was right so we bought it. The garden is amazing, the neighbours are great and we loved the fact that the boys get to grow up in a safe neighbourhood filled with other kids. The house itself is just a plain box, so we were able to “use” it as a white canvas. So far it’s working fine, not our dream home but comfy and filled with light and air.
H: How long have you lived in this location and who lives with you now? How does your family impact the style of your home? T: My husband and I and our three sons moved here about 6 years ago after living for many years in NYC and then Tel Aviv which is and big modern and reminded me very much of Barcelona . Our house is always filled with teens, friends and animals so I try to keep everything very low maintenance, the white Ikea couch and chair were bought on Craigslist for a song and came with 3 sets of extra slip covers, but so far miraculously I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even changed them once...the dining table was designed by me 20 years ago when I was pregnant with our second son and is the heart of our home, it moved with us 5 times and carries endless memories and stains from crayons and family meals to college homework and studio work, once in a few years we sand it down a little and finish it with Salad Bowl Oil, the chairs are a happy mix and match styles and all came from yard sales...
H: Do you consider yourself a collector? if so, of what and what are your favorite collections? T: Beside the art collection I love vintage and antique dishes and serveware, every plate I own is different...I also collect vintage sheets and pillow cases and vintage wallpaper I use in my photo shoots.
H: What are the favorite things in your home and why? T: I would say that our art collection is my favorite thing, almost everyone in my family is an artist, my mother was a painter, my sister is a painter and college art teacher, my dad is an architect... the walls are filled with their art, the kids art and many other pieces I collected over the years including some wonderful prints I got on Etsy.
Home is my world, it’s where all my loves are ,It’s where I work and create, it’s where I get inspired. s- Tamar Schechner
Squash Autumn’s First Fruit
by Ginny Donovan
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Kolaches Roasted Butternut Squash with French Lentils
For These Recipes See pages 112-118
Acorn Squash Quesadillas with Yogurt-Herb Dipping Sauce Mushroom Ravioli with Pumpkin Sage Sauce For Recipes See pages 112-118
A Texas Newlywedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Home Tells a Story of Love
FreshlyModern by Kate Steele
I think the place, or places, where we live and eat and sleep: our homes, tells a story. It could
be a happy one, or a sad one, one that displays struggle and adversity or one resplendent with pastoral abundance. I am currently one and a half years into the newest chapter of my story. My home tells a story that is as much about where I am, as where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been during the past 14 years since graduating college. I worked for a non-profit organization for a long time. Those years were full in terms of relationships and internal abiding, but externally, my home was transient at best. I moved every summer for 8 years; always the same city, but always a new roommate and a new apartment. If a story is supposed to flesh out the character, and I think that homes tell the stories of who we are, then I would have been a very mysterious character indeed. You can only carry so many things with you when the story moves at the pace I kept.
To the trained design eye, my home appears eclectic and perhaps sparse, but to me each piece, every item, carries a memory of my history; and so, over many years, and in many locations, the story I am now living has been built. I love this reality because where I am going is so intimately tied to where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been. Internally, I believe that I am the sum of my experiences, and this same value plays out in my home.
That being said, I have made an attempt to carefully curate my home. The only items I chose to collect and gather during many moves are those which hold meaning to me and I find beautiful. Those items may find new life in paint, shorter legs, new upholstery, but that they change in appearance over time does not change the visceral remembrance I have when I see a particular piece. I got married in February, and the largest challenge to our joint space has been integrating someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history and accumulations into a story which now encompasses two people. Two quirky individuals, and their small piles of things, are becoming one cohesive new story. One of the ideas most important to me in creating this new space was that my husband felt like he belonged. There are many things I might have done differently based on my tastes and preferences, but I wanted our home to reflect both of the people occupying the space. For the most part, we have simple tastes. We prefer textures to patterns, embracing thoughtful resourcefulness to materialism, and utility over decoration. However, as the person coordinating the effort, I must confess: I have a love affair with beauty. I love simple things which are also achingly lovely in their lines, finishes and hues. Lastly, I cannot stand wastefulness, so very few things have been labeled garbage and gotten rid of entirely.
I have painted, repainted, and even chopped the legs off of a little table that now serves as a coffee table in a living area. We had our sofas reupholstered in a fabric durable and stylish enough to last for more years than their original, bargain priced, look would have provided. I repainted an old lamp, and recovered the shade to give it a little more life as well. I even borrowed a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sewing machine for a month as I taught myself how to sew. I used leftover fabric from our backyard wedding to make pillows for the window seat in our kitchen. I also made new cushion covers for the pillows on our sofas (invisible zippers are tricky to learn to sew but pure genius once you get the knack for it!). A joyful added benefit of these little projects is getting to exercise my artistic side. My day job is comprised of long hours in front of a computer screen performing very mundane tasks; so having the opportunity to be more right-brained has been a welcome respite.
Repurposed with Heart Although I talk a lot about repurposing items we already had, my absolute favorite two things in the house are the Matte Stephens limited editions hanging in our living room and bedroom. They were a late birthday present to myself last year, and capture the whimsical side of our personalities perfectly. Along with these two gorgeous prints, I chose to balance the pervasive neutral palette of our home by framing colorful photos taken over a couple of different vacations. This is what our story looks like now. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us, and how that future is lived out in visible and tangible ways in our home. d
Tour the Midwestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creative Center
by Gina Lewis
by Gina Lewis
Nestled in the country of Granville Ohio is where you will find an elegant, sophisticated and timeless art still being keep alive by designer Amy Hamilton. What started out as an interest in designing hats while attending Columbus College of Art and Design has turned into a life long passion and how Granville Millinery Company was born. Things have come full circle for Amy who now teaches Millinery at the same college in which it all started. She has been featured in Victoria, Bazaar, O magazine, and Vogue to name a few. She also loves to share her skill with people from all over the world through workshops at her personal studio. Amy likes to keep her workshops whether millinery, flower making or upcycling hats small and personal which allows her to give more of a one on one instruction and dedication to each of her students. What sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s known for most from the locals despite her huge successes and amazing gifted talent (which is brag worthy) is how sweet, gentle and truly genuine kind soul she really is. A perfect personality for a perfectly feminine hat. d
â&#x20AC;&#x153; odern femininity, updated remakes of vintage classics, and beautiful blush tones inspire my latest collection of bridal hats. I find that women today are seeking quality over quantity, handmade over manufactured, and extraordinary over ordinary to reflect their personal style. They are dressing for the occasion while at the same time looking effortlessly chicâ&#x20AC;? -Amy Hamilton
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Wrapping Up Lose Ends
Dont be stumped by this Holiday Seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Preparation. Use these simple tips and what you have on hand for beautiful, creative gift wrap.
by Heather Spriggs
Collect Materials from the cupboard: • wax paper • kraft paper • paper doilies • twine • ribbon • scraps of fabric
For this grouping of pakages I started with a color scheme of neutral/natural base. Then added pops of Olive and Cerise for accents. Because I stuck with a neutral base it allowed me to utizlie natural materials such as kraft paper, newsprint, vintage patterns, lace and even some fat quarter samples of fabric from Cabbages & Roses. Once a variety of base wrapping materials were established, I gathered embellishments from my own collection and also from my friend and antiques dealer, Maryanne Sanders (Gatherings, Summer 2011). Together we brought together vintage ornaments, an assortment of buttons, floral bits and bobs, ribbons, vintage postcards, thread spools, doilies and other vintage Christmas decorations.
Tip: Many times you can find dealers who sell these collections as a grouping in little baggies. Try sourcing bits and bobs at a local flea market or antique mall~ !
utilize your collections!
To create this look : Let white doilies soak in a tea bath for a few hours and remove carefully to give them a more aged affect Cut strips of burlap to use as ribbon accents or ties. Create fabric flowers out of existing scraps by folding a rectangle back and forth until you have a 2-3 inch long strip, then cut ends and tie in center with wire or thread. Fluff and fray edges! Get creative with tags. Use button cards or vintage thread spools to tie on paper with printed names. Wrap gift in newsprint then ad a layer or two of a vintage pattern for a graphic element. Use cardboard boxes as base then just embellish with fabric, doilies, cards, ribbons, etc...
(cont’d from “Squash-Autumn’s First Fruit”
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Kolaches Kolache yeast buns (pronounced “koh-LAH-chee”) are a Czech/Slovak-inspired sweet roll. The dough is like a pillow, waiting to receive a dollop of flavorful, season-determined filling. Encouraged by a cool front that sent wisps of colorful leaves swirling past my kitchen window, I chose a pumpkin-cream cheese filling. But the buns can also be filled with a myriad of other sweet or savory surprises. Because of the time it takes for the dough to rise, I recommend beginning the recipe in the afternoon, refrigerating the dough overnight, and completing the batch in the morning. Certainly no one will complain of the lovely scent wafting through the house. Dough (Makes 34 Kolache Buns) 2 cups milk 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast 1/2 cup lukewarm water (110 to 115 degrees) 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 2 large eggs 1 1/4 cups sugar 2 teaspoons salt 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Filling 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree 2 packed tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract scant* 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg scant 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon salt
kk kkkk Streusel Topping 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 teaspoon cinnamon To prepare the dough: Warm the milk in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat until it begins to steam. Do not boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes until the temperature registers about 110-115 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add the lukewarm water to a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water, allowing it to dissolve and become foamy (this will take about 5 minutes). Melt the butter in the microwave (or in a small pan on the stove). Let it cool for about 5 minutes. In a very large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Pour in the cooled milk and the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour to the batter, about 2 cups at a time. (You may not have to use all 8 1/2 cups...begin to add only a cup at a time when you have already added 6 cups.) Use a sturdy wooden spoon and/or your hands to mix the flour with the other ingredients, adding the flour until it is completely incorporated and the dough begins to hold together. Be gentle: don’t pound or overmix the dough or you will end up with tough kolaches. The dough should be sticky and moist. Lightly grease a very large bowl with vegetable or canola oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to lightly coat on all sides with the oil. Spray a large sheet of plastic wrap with non-stick baking spray and loosely drape it over the dough. Set a tea towel on top of the plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a draft-free place until doubled in size (about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen). (A dent should remain when the dough is lightly touched.) After the dough has risen, punch it down until it “deflates”. Just a few punches will suffice...don’t overdo it. Cover again with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Line a 12 x 17-inch and a 9 x 14-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip your fingertips in a small amount of vegetable oil, and begin rolling the dough into balls the size of medium limes (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter). Arrange the balls evenly on the baking sheets, approximately 3 across and 6 down on the large sheet and about 3 across and 5 down on the smaller sheet. To prepare pumpkin filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and the pumpkin puree. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for 3-4 minutes until nearly all white bits of the cheese are fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula about every minute during mixing time. Add sugar, vanilla, spices and salt. Beat for another 2-3 minutes until mixture is “fluffy”. Refrigerate until ready for use. Filling the Kolaches: To fill the kolaches, use your fingers and thumbs to make an indentation in the dough balls. Spoon about a teaspoon of the pumpkin filling into each indentation (you may end up with a little leftover filling...). Cover the filled rolls with a clean sheet of parchment paper, and then top with a clean tea towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until nearly doubled in size (about 1 hour). To prepare streusel topping: Using your fingers or a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the streusel ingredients until they resemble fine crumbs. To bake: Set oven racks in the middle and lowest position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle rolls with the streusel topping. Bake rolls until golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes. Set the timer to remind yourself to switch the position of the baking sheets about every 10 minutes. Allow the kolaches cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. *The term “scant” means a little less than. Pinch out a teensy bit of the spices from the 1/8 teaspoon measure before adding it to the filling. Dough and Streusel recipes from: The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe.
French lentils range from a lovely blue-gray color to a greener hue like their more popular cousin. Lentils absorb the flavor of the liquid in which they are cooked; therefore, the better the stock, the better the flavor of this dish. A little trick I picked up from Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” is to pierce half of a small onion with a whole clove to strongly impart both flavors to the lentils. Remove the clove-pierced onion before serving.
Roasted Butternut Squash with French Lentils Serves 6 4 cups frozen, 1-inch butternut squash cubes* 1 medium onion, finely chopped 3 teaspoons olive oil 2 cups French lentils (substitute regular green lentils) 3 and 3/4 cups chicken stock 1/2 small onion 1 whole clove 1 bay leaf 1/4 cup chopped parsley Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place frozen squash and onion on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly toss squash and onion to coat. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once during baking time. Sort through lentils, ensuring all small stones have been removed. Rinse lentils in colander. Peel outer papery skin from onion half. Pierce onion with one whole clove. In a medium stockpot, place lentils, stock, onion (with clove), and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat for 30 to 35 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove the clove-pierced onion and the bay leaf. (If you used low-sodium stock, taste for salt and season as necessary.) Toss lentils with roasted squash and parsley and serve. *Certainly you may peel, seed, and cube a medium-sized butternut squash to obtain the approximate 4 cups needed for this recipe. Roasting time will remain the same as for the frozen squash.
Mushroom Ravioli with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce (Makes about 26 ravioli and 1 cup of sauce) Mushroom Filling: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 shallot cloves, diced (Substitute a 1/4 cup of diced onion) 1/2 pound good mushrooms (cremini, trumpet, oyster, shiitake, etc.), chopped (Substitute button mushrooms, stems removed and chopped) 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon) 1/2 teaspoon finely rubbed dried rosemary (substitute 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary) 2 tablespoons dry white wine 1 egg, beaten 1/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano (substitute a good Parmesan) 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese Pumpkin-Sage Sauce: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 shallot clove, sliced into rounds and separated into rings 4 fresh sage leaves, cut away from center stem and chopped 1 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup half-and-half (Substitute heavy cream) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons brown sugar pinch of ground cloves For the assembly: 52 wonton wrappers (Or fresh pasta sheets, cut into 56 (2 and 1/2 inch) squares) 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon water 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided Sage leaves for garnish, if desired To prepare the filling: Melt butter over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add mushrooms and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the rosemary (rubbing it between your fingers will break it up a bit and help you remove the woody stems...) then the wine and cook until liquid is evaporated, 1-2 minutes.
Transfer contents of skillet to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse processor for about a minute to finely chop the mushroom mixture. Transfer chopped mushroom mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the egg, breadcrumbs and cheeses. Stir well and set aside. To assemble and cook the ravioli: Set a gallon of water to a boil in a large stock pot. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. In a small bowl, prepare an “egg wash” by beating the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. Set a large sheet of waxed paper on working surface. Lay out 8 wonton wrappers. Set the bowl of mushroom filling nearby. (Also place a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper nearby; this sheet will receive the assembled ravioli and help you efficiently transport them to the boiling water.) Using a pastry brush and working quickly so the wrappers do not dry out, brush 4 of the wrappers with the egg wash. Place a teaspoon of mushroom filling on the center of the 4 egg-washed wrappers. Lay a wonton wrapper on directly on top of the filling and lightly press down, using your fingers to press out the air and seal the wrappers together. Placed the filled raviolis on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all filling has been used. Working in batches of 4 to 6, boil the ravioli for 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli from the water and gently drain. Repeat until all ravioli have been cooked. (If you’re feeling picky, trim the edges of the square ravioli after they’ve cooked to create a pretty circle.) To make the sauce: Melt butter in a large skillet. Saute shallots 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until browned. Remove shallots with slotted spoon and reserve for topping plated ravioli. Add chopped sage to the butter and cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients. Use a whisk to combine well. If sauce is too thick, use a few teaspoons of additional half-and-half to thin it a bit. To serve: Divide ravioli onto plates and serve, spooning with sauce and topping with grated Parmesan, reserved shallots (see sauce recipe), and garnishing with sage (if desired).
Acorn Squash Quesadillas Makes 3 quesadillas 1 medium acorn squash 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/2 large onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 2 ounces chevre (goat cheese) 6 whole-wheat flour tortillas 3 tablespoons butter
Yogurt-Herb Dipping Sauce 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (substitute sour cream) 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil (about 3 or 4 leaves) 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed To prepare dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate while quesadillas are prepared. To prepare quesadillas: Pierce squash with sharp knife. Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and slice squash in half. Remove seeds and spoon out the “meat” of the squash. Discard green rind and place squash “meat” in a medium mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash thoroughly. Set aside. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion in oil for 7-8 minutes until translucent and tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and salt and saute for 1 additional minute. Stir in the mashed squash and stir to heat through. Add cheese and mix well. Remove skillet from heat. Spread a tortilla with about 1/2 cup of the squash mixture and place another tortilla on top of it, creating a “sandwich”. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet large enough to accommodate a tortilla. Gently slide a quesadilla into the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, just long enough to allow the cheese to melt well and the tortillas to become golden brown. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. To serve, cut the quesadillas into wedges (like a pizza). Offer with a generous dollop of the dipping sauce.
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