Monday, February 25, 2013

A Tasty Creation

Yesterday morning, I ran a great 6 miles to end my week with 22 miles. More importantly, I had no pain and no injuries! I am still in Missouri on my transcontinental run and, given the amounts of snow that fell in the Midwest this week, if I were truly at mile 1355, I probably would be running in a foot or two of snow! Here in Bangkok, it was still warm (79 degrees) but the humidity had dropped to 52% and what a difference the lower humidity made. I planned to run only 4 or 5 miles but I was at ISB running on the cross country path and felt like I could just run and run. Like Forest Gump. Sort of. 

That run must have triggered my hunger sensors to the max because I was absolutely famished the rest of the day. I couldn't get enough to eat! I felt the extreme need to cook something delicious but since we had an end of the year dinner for Caitlynne's softball team last night, I had to wait and cook this evening. I was reading through the Pioneer Woman website for inspiration and saw this recipe for this butternut squash risotto.
(Photos courtesy of the Pioneer Woman. )
I love love love risotto but the few times I made it, I ended up with a gooey gloppy mess of uncooked rice. I am not sure why because, after the first fail, I followed the recipe to a "T" and still had the same outcome. There are some fabulous recipes for risotto online and, although I am always tempted to try and make it again, I have resigned myself to accepting that risotto (for me) will be something that I only order in a restaurant. 

Since the risotto part of the Pioneer Woman's recipe was out, I started to think of how I could adapt this concept into something that would stand a chance of being edible.

I turned this...
Into this...
Butternut Squash, Spinach and Cream Pasta. Yum!

When I go to the market here in Nichada, 99% of the time there are pumpkins or butternut squash already cut and packaged for sale. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any yesterday so I had to peel and cut them myself. My arm will be sore tomorrow. That is one reason why I never cook with pumpkins or squash - the prep just isn't worth the time and effort.
Sauteing the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper.
After the addition of chopped onion.
I sprinkled about 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg over the squash and onions.
At this point, I would have been happy to just have this for dinner. In fact, I thought about saving some to scramble with eggs for my breakfast.
I added about 1 cup of chicken stock and four loosely packed cups of baby spinach and cooked until the spinach wilted.

I added a few handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese and about 1/4 cup of cream and stirred until the cheese melted.
And served over bow-tie pasta.
I sprinkled some grated Parmesan cheese over the top before serving. 

Definitely a win! Both of the kids thought it was good. Caitlynne didn't like the onions but she wasn't able to pick them out because I chopped them quite small. Christopher commented that there was "an abundance of pumpkin." I loved it and it satisfied my craving. Now, I will need to run another 6 miles tomorrow to burn it all off. 

Have a great Monday!

A happy P.S. - In exactly four months from yesterday, Kevin, the kids, Sonder and I will be on a plane flying back to the U.S.. We have been away from our home in Virginia for 8 years - sad to leave Bangkok but excited for what is ahead! 

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