I feel like all I have done this week is eat. I am sure that that is how a lot of people feel...we have even been going the extra length and enjoying breakfast out (which totally goes against our save money/meal plan - whatev's).

So far we have prepared 3 meals this week (Spence is treating me tonight and he is doing the cooking...you'll see why in another blog entry- let's just say I don't have a future in interior house painting).

So, Tuesday we did Gnocchi that my mom had sent from the state known for the maple syrup and cheese aka New York (if for some reason you said Illinois and/or Wisconsin - get out of town). We threw together the gnocchi with leftover pesto sauce, some sliced up asparagus...which, can someone explain why on earth that stuff is so expensive right now?!!?, candied bacon, and chopped up red peppers - lets just say we were arguing over the left overs which happens very seldom.
Yes...I did say candied bacon. It is super easy to make: take your bacon lay it out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a healthy dose of brown sugar, garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. Turn your broiler on, put the goodies in the oven. I would say MAYBE 5-7 minutes is all it takes, but, just keep an eye on how the bacon is looking.

Wednesday we made Brazilian Curry Chicken...it was ehh. I like our curried lentils better.

Thursday was TURKEY DAY! This was the first year I wasn't cooking the entire dinner, or going venturing to my families house for a feast. Weird. We headed to our neighbors house and brought: sugar snap peas with pecans, butternut squash with candied ginger and cilantro and everyones favorite: fennel casserole.

Brown-Buttered Sugar Snap Peas with Pecans & Agave

2 lbs sugar snap peas
3 Tbs butter
1/2 C pecan pieces 
2 Tbs Agave (or Maple Syrup) 
Salt & Pepper 

1) In a large skillet bring 1 cup of water, with a dash of salt,  to a boil. Add sugar snap peas and cook until they seems crispy. Drain. 
2) In a large skillet heat butter over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add Syrup  and pecans - cook until pecans are lightly toasted. Stir in peas - season with salt and pepper. 

Butternut Squash with Ginger and Cilantro

4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/4 C. veggie oil
2 tsp ground coriander
Salt & Pepper
1/2 C finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 C chopped cilantro 

1. Preheat oven to 450. In a large bowl toss butternut squash, oil, coriander, salt and pepper. Place on two large cookie sheets, on a single layer. Bake until golden brown, turning on occasion for 30 minutes. 
2. Transfer the cooked squash into a serving dish and toss with ginger and cilantro. YUM! 

Fennel Casserole

Salt & Pepper
2 Large Fennel bulbs, cut into strips - save some of the green topping to top the dish off with. 
1 C heavy cream
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp grated lemon peel 
1 C grated parmesan cheese 

I highly suggest that you have a small screen strainer for this...

1. Preheat oven to 450. In a large skillet bring 3/4 C of water and 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper to a boil. Add fennel strips. Cover and cook until soft, or, until all the water has been evaporated. 
2. In a large saucepan bring heavy cream to a boil, reduce to about 2/3 cup. Add the fennel seeds and lemon peel - let steep for 3 minutes. STRAIN into a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Stir in fennel strips and 1/4 C of parm. 
3. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining parm. Bake in oven until brown and bubbly..normally about 15 minutes. Top with the extra greens you save from the top of the fennel (aka fennel fronds). 

Sending Love from SoCal

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