Friday, November 30, 2007

"generally recognized as safe"

I'm frustrated and angry this morning. I'm sure I'm not going to be able to accurately articulate what my thoughts are, but I want to try.


Salt is a dietary mineral essential for animal life, composed primarily of sodium chloride.
Sodium and chlorine, the two components of salt, are necessary for the survival of all living creatures, including humans. (Cribbed from Wikipedia).

Salt is good for you and makes your food taste great.

But salt can be bad for you if over consumed. And we have a problem with that in this country because of the high amounts of salt used in processed foods. You know processed foods; those aisles in the store of boxed meals, just add water dinners, canned soups, etc.

In the past day or so, there have been some reactionary & sensationalistic news stories (print & TV) shouting "Salt it BAD FOR YOU." Medical groups, or at least one medical group, are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to do something about the excess consumption of salt.

Here's the Washington Post story.

OK, here's the's where I'm frustrated and upset.

The United States is generally fat and unhealthy. This comes from a number of reasons, but my speculation, and argument today has everything to do with our culture moving further and further away from the kitchen and the dinner table. I grew up with this before we moved to the country and started gardening. As a kid in the city, Mom didn't like to cook, so it was frozen dinners, boxed meals, pizzas, chips, etc. Comfort foods, Convenience foods. Fatty & Salty foods. So, the more meals are prepared with processed ingredients, the higher our intact of salt will be. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bowl of mac & cheese, or even frozen pizza. But I don't do that every week.

If the FDA needs to get involved, what they should to do is step back and encourage families to prepare their own meals at home with fresh fruits, veggies, grains, meats, etc. where they can control the salt intact on their own.

Salt is funny. You add it to something and it tastes great. Add too much and it's, Oh...Over-salted. Your body and your taste buds will tell you when there is too much salt.

All the freshest ingredients in the world won't give you the perfect dish, until you add that pinch or two of salt.

Recently someone asked me if there was one secret to make home cooked food taste better. This person is newer to the process of cooking and wasn't having much luck. I thought about it for awhile and considered saying they need to relax and enjoy the time in the kitchen, or get fresh ingredients or read cookbooks. But I didn't. I said you need to not be afraid of salt when you're cooking. Get rid of the table salt and pick up a box of kosher salt or a nice container of sea salt. Then taste your food. Saute onions without salt; taste them. Not that great. Season with salt; that's what I'm talking about. Salt is needed to balance and enhance the flavors of your food, as well as all those medical reasons your body needs salt.

Today I beg the news outlets, medical associations and the FDA to leave salt alone.

Don't bully salt.

Take a step back and instead of saying no to salt, say yes to home cooking with fresh ingredients--where you can can control the salt.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh, Are You Having My Tart?*

More Thanksgiving Folks. As mentioned previously, we did tastings throughout the day leading up to the main feast. One of the tastings was an Onion and Sage Tart. This tasting appeared to be a hit. I made two versions. One as described below and another version that would be friendly to our veggie and non-pork eating friends. I tried both. Of course we know I love bacon, but wow they were different. The bacon version seemed very balanced and truly a savory dish. The non-bacon version had an overt sweetness that seemed odd for what the dish was? Make sense? I don't really know how to describe it, but there was just too much sweet, at least for me.

*"Oh, Are You Having My Tart?" That's a quote from a party many many years ago...I love it! Of course the delivery is best with a salacious spin. "Oh.... Are YOU having MY tart?" *wink*

Onion And Sage Tart

Flaky Pastry Tart Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 TB ice water

Pulse flour and salt in a food processor (or stir in a bowl). Add butter. Process about 10 seconds, until mixture looks like coarse corn meal. (Or combine in a bowl use a pastry blender or two knives to achieve the same effect.) With motor running, slowly add the water until the dough pulls away from the processor bowl. (Dough should not be sticky. Form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.) When you are ready to make your tart, roll the dough into a large flat disk. Spread your filling in the center. Leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches, cut the excess dough away. Working in about eights or tenths, fold the border up to the filling. Go to the next area and overlap the border...continue until the border has been wrapped up to the filling all around. (see photos for the future I'll try to get photos showing step by step.)

To make the Tart Filling:

2 pounds yellow onions (3 large or 4 medium), sliced
bacon (4-6 slices), finely diced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 TB finely chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 TB heavy cream
1 large egg
Parmigiana Reggiano

1. Caramelizing the onions. Peel the onions and cut them in half from root to tip. Cut out the dense core at the root end and slice the onions 1/4 inch thick, again from root end to tip. Cook the bacon, stirring often, in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat until almost crisp. Add the onions, sugar, and salt, and cook, stirring often until they cook down by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until the onions are an even golden brown and softened to a marmalade consistency, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the onions. Stir often and scrape up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. The onions need almost constant stirring near the end to prevent them from sticking and burning. They'll let you know they need attention by giving off a sizzling sound. Stir in the sage, allow them to cool slightly, then taste and season with black pepper and additional salt if needed. If the onions seem overly sweet, stir in another teaspoon of vinegar. (The onions can be caramelized up to 2 days ahead and store covered in the refrigerator.)

2. Filling and baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Stir the cream and egg into the caramelized onions until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the middle of the dough, fold the dough's sides up, slightly overlapping. Brush sides with beaten egg. Grate a bit of parm over the filling. Bake. 30-45 minutes, until the middle is set and the tart crust is golden brown and delicious.

Let cool slightly, then transfer the tarts to a cutting board using a large spatula. Cut each into 8 wedges with the downward pressure of a sharp knife. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Herb Substitutions
In place of sage, use an equal amount of finely chopped rosemary, marjoram, savory or thyme.

The bacon version of the filling!

My Two Tarts! That's a new show on the Food Network, best hosted by a sassy drag queen!
*photo by Sterfanie.

The finished tart! Tasty Tasty, Light and flaky.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just One Meal

Took me awhile, but I finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I tried to finish it the last few nights, but I start reading and would fall asleep--not a sign of the quality of the book, just how tired I've been.

For now, I'm going to leave this reading assignment at this; it has been a long time since a book has warmed my heart, educated my soul and left me feeling like I, myself, can actually do something, anything, even just one thing, to change the world and our environment in which we find ourselves today.

It starts at home
In the kitchen
With just one meal...
Fair Trade...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Recap

Well, it's been a full day...I'm a little more rested. I've downloaded the photos I've taken and I'm a little disappointed; I didn't get nearly as many as I expected. Guess I was a little busy.

So, here goes:

My turkey brine: Salt, water, peppercorns, whole coriander seeds, bay leaves, rosemary, sage, thyme, apple onion, celery, lemon...I think that's it...get the turkey in there and let it sit over night in the fridge. Drain, rinse, pat dry and get ready to roast that beast!

The beginning of the dressing flavor base; butter, onions, celery...later, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and broth!

My sand, cranberries, limes and sticks. It's pretty, but seems to need a dramatic mantle to sit on, not my little table.

My Thanksgiving this year had a tasting menu that started the eating at 1pm. We started with lentils. A warm French lentil salad. YUM. Very tasty, pretty easy and very filling.

Just a few small bites.

The second tasting course was at 3pm with an onion and sage tart. I was back and forth, back and I buy a pastry I make my own, do I make a full size tart, use the tart pan, make mini tartlettes in the mini muffin tin? I went with two full size rustic tarts. One veggie version, one bacon version.

I think the tart could have gone another few minutes, but I had no idea...but it was very tasty. I would make this again, serve with a salad and call it lunch or a light dinner. Recipe will follow.

The final tasting course was at 5pm. Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque. I made this the other night, so all I had to do was warm it up and add the cream.

Here's where the pictures are few and far between. We have the start of the sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes, brown sugar, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt. Later I added the marshmallows!

After the brine, the main flavor component of the turkey was a compound butter. Butter mixed with herbs, salt, pepper and lemon zest (which I haven't added yet in this photo). We have parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Take the butter and rub it all over your turkey. Get it under the skin and baste it as you go.

There he is. Tom Turkey. He seems to have a skin condition. That's partly from my oven not being the greatest and from areas I missed with the butter. But really it didn't matter, because that was one juicy, flavorful bird!

That's what I have for you folks. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I wish you all happy holidays as we move towards the end of the year.

Next Steps: I'll post the recipe for the onion and sage tart and I will get photos of the final dessert; and I'll give you the recipe.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I'm still recuperating. Pardon my delay in posting a follow-up to this year's Turkey Day Feast. I woke up with a food coma...went to a movie...home for a nap...still feeling spacey and lightheaded...more rest needed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The beginnings of the Onion and Sage Tart...

Today was a busy day...and still more to go.

But you know what sucks...when your pantry shelves decide to collapse! Gratefully only one bottle of red wine vinegar just looked a terrible mess., but totally annoying to have to stop working to clean up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Soups On

All you need are a few great, fresh ingredients.

Prepped and ready to go.

Alter your ingredients just slightly...roasted!

And you have a great variation on a tasty Thanksgiving dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque

Yep. Just prepped the squash. Peel and chop. I lightly coated the squash chunks in olive oil and some salt and slid them under the broiler for about 15 minutes. Your squash chunks will start to turn a dark, mottled mahogany color, giving visual proof to the enhanced flavor of your sweet gourd.

Proceed with the recipe.


The inside of our humble cranberry. Very pretty and unassuming. I love the ruby reds against the crisp white interior.

The drunken cranberries are ready for Thursday! Went back to a slightly older version of my recipe and added some diced pears.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's new pussycat? Whoa!

I haven't been lazy.

Just tired and not taking pictures for the site.

But I have been cooking!

Thursday I made our favorite Stir-Fried Noodles. I've made these a few times now and find them easier and easier each time. Make sure to have fresh mint and cilantro. Those two herbs really bring this great dish together.

Friday cheated a bit and used some pre-packaged ingredients to make a Vietnamese Mint Salad. Crunchy, saucy and healthy. Again, another dish that requires fresh mint. Instead of buying a cabbage, I bought a bag of "cole slaw" mix and a bag of pre-shredded carrots. The salad was brought together very quickly. Both of these dishes I served with some chicken I sauted and sliced.

Saturday we went out to a nearby favorite Mexican restaurant: Alamo!

Sunday...I'm drawing a blank. OH...we were out shopping and I grabbed some chicken and herb ravioli from Safeway and tossed them with a Rosemary Cream Sauce. Perfect, simple and delicious.

Monday night I made some sloppy joes. Made them per my recipe with the exception of bell pepper, which I forgot. We used to eat so many sloppy joes as kids, at school, home and low-key family functions. It's great to have them now as an adult...I some how feel as if my adult responsibilities slip away while eating these for dinner. And I know it's not a good foodie of me, but I love soft, squishy buns from the store. You know those old school hamburger buns that you can squeeze into a tiny light and fluffy and manufactured...comforting!

Tuesday night sounds a little more process driven, but it's not. Chicken paprikash is really just chicken in a paprika cream sauce. Instead of using chicken parts, I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and tossed the whole mess in the oven for 20 minutes. When rice was done, I swirled in a spoon of sour cream, stirred, served, inhaled and licked the plate!

So...there you have it...I've been busy at work, leaving me pooped out and lacking the creativity to do a proper blog post with photos, etc. By the weekend I should be back in full force; and 100% into Turkey Day planning!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Sour Pants

The Humble Cranberry

What are you doing with your cranberries this year?

I'm playing around some...secrets to come on (or after) Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Spicy Nuts


A sprinkle of this, a dash of that...
Ginger and Cardamom Spiced Pecans

2 cups pecans
3 TB butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt

Over medium heat in a large pan, cook the pecans with the butter for 4-6 minutes. You'll smell the nutty goodness of both the pecans and the natural nuttiness of toasted butter.

Mix the sugar, spice and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove and spread the nuts out on a baking sheet to cool.

Enjoy. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Apple Bliss = Honey Crisp

I've been trying my hand at eating more fruit and veg. I'm often uninspired.


I just inhaled a Honey Crisp apple and I think it might possibly be the apple that tempted Eve; and I can totally see why! I want another...right now. I have to wait until I get home where one sits and taunts me.

If you see these succulent beauties at your market, pick one up and give it a try!

Rock star

Anthony Bourdain is pretty much a rock star anyway you look at it, considering he's not actually a rock star. And last night I had the pleasure of sitting with a few thousand of Tony's best friends in the DC metro area at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium.

Mr. Bourdain (he'd smack me upside the head for that) is out on tour promoting his book, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach, a companion piece to his ever popular Travel Channel series, No Reservations.

The audience was treated with a few clips of the series, interspersed with comments and stories by Tony. The presentation was fun, but I'm biased and went in to the presentation knowing I was going to like it, but where the evening soared was the extended Q&A Tony had in the audience. I've been to a few author discussions before, but none as much fun as this. With his unabashed style and bravado, Tony took on all types of questions from what's the grossest thing he's eaten to his experience shooting his TV show in Beirut when the bombings started in 2006 and everything in between. Of course there was lots of laughter and applause--mostly reserved for commentary on Sandra Lee (the hell spawn of Charles Manson and Betty Crocker) and Rachel Ray (compared to a charging Rhino)!

A great evening and my respect for Mr. Bourdain continues to rise--Kitchen Confidential and Nasty Bites have both been savoured, I'll need to move on to another book when I finish this one.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What the? ....revealed

What was I making in my food processor?

A tender, flaky, buttery crust for my...

Chicken Pot Pie

Tender chicken morsels in a savory gravy with carrots and sweet potatoes.

Not bad. The crust was fun and pretty tasty. The filling was hot and savory; with a sweetness that may not have been the best compliment to the savory. The sweet potatoes and carrots brought their sugars to the party and pretty much took over.

I think the best thing to do is omit the sweet potatoes and substitute in a regular potato. And I need to make smaller versions in the future...these were pretty big pot pies.

Monday, November 05, 2007

What the?

What's in my food processor?

What am I making? Am I baking? Errr???

Four Spices

A little new fun tonight. Quatre Epices on my chicken, which was placed on a pile of mashed, not mashed potatoes, mashed white sweet potatoes...yes, white sweet potatoes....and quatre epices.

Primarily a French blend, Quatre Epices (Four Spices) brings together the flavors of pepper, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. There might be variations of the spices. For kicks, I picked up my tin of quatre epices from Dean & Deluca. I loved the flavors it brought to the chicken and might try to find other ways to use it in the future, including side dishes or event spicy desserts.
Now White Sweet Potatoes. Fun. Really they tasted the same as its orange-coral cousin, just a little pigmentally challenged. I mashed my taters with a little salt and some butter. Unlike a regular mashed potato, I didn't go crazy with salt or butter, and I omitted the cream altogether. And unlike the orange sweet potato, I didn't go into the sweet/sugar realm.

I think these two items played together very well. The spices on the chicken held their own against the sweet potato and vice versa. Well played good friend.

When I plated up, I put down a pile of taters and placed the sliced chicken breast on top. To finish the entree off, I tossed a finely diced shallot into the fry pan and a little dollop of butter, I spooned this on top. Good...not necessary and didn't really bring anything to this party. Maybe I'll find something in the alcohol family to make a quick glaze next time. We'll see???

If you can find the white sweet potatoes, use orange sweet potatoes or even mashed potatoes...or some other mashed veg...turnips? parsnips?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Poor Man's Lasagna

I'm calling this my Poor Man's Lasagna, and it couldn't be simpler to prepare.

Brown 1/2 lb of sausage in large skillet.

When brown, add 1 TB Italian Seasoning, stir to incorporate.

Pour in 1 small 8 oz can of tomato sauce and 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes.

Season with Salt & Pepper.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir sauce into about a 1/2 pound of cooked, shapely pasta.

Stir about 1/2 cup of Parmigiana Reggiano. Pour the whole mix into a medium sized baking dish.

Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler in your oven for no more than 6 minutes...until golden and bubbly.

Serve hot!

So good. I had two full servings. The recipe makes about six servings. Love it. This recipe takes a fraction of the time of actual lasagna and only some of the ingredients. I know this isn't a layered pasta dish, but it sure has the great flavors. Comforting and delicious.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Center of attention

The gourds of my T-Day centerpiece.
My first centerpiece!
Martha might approve.

Get your Mojo on

For no real reason, I'm going to call last night's dinner Pork Chops with Rum Mojo Couscous. Sounds fun.

I started by sauteing a few boneless pork loin chops that I trimmed up nice and clean. I seasoned the chops with a liberal coating of Adobo Criollo, a spice blend I picked up in Puerto Rico that is basically salt, pepper, garlic and oregano...tasty! When the chops were cooked through remove to a plate to rest.

Add about 1/2 a chopped white onion and toss around to pick up any oil. After a minute, add 1/2 a chopped green bell pepper. Give that a minute. Add you seasoning: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and 2 tsp dried oregano. Stir to coat everything. Add 1 TB tomato paste and stir to incorporate. The pan will be dry and the tomato paste will start to carmelize. Remove the pan from the heat, and away from the flame, add 1/4 cup dark rum. Stir and return the pan to the heat. When the rum has reduced by half, add 1/2 cup of broth. Stir. Add about 1 1/2 cups cooked Middle Eastern Couscous (click here for more info). Stir to coat.

Plate up; chops and couscous.

I enjoyed this. The flavors blended together pretty well. I couldn't really taste the rum though, so maybe a little more next time. The spice was nice, but you don't have to use as much if you don't like. But try to have some heat from the red pepper flakes, to help balance the sweetness of the tomato paste and rum. And I love the Middle Eastern Couscous. I have only found it at Whole Foods stores. And it's usually sold out. So be diligent and keep looking, it's worth it. If you can't find it, I'm sure you could use an orzo pasta in place of the couscous. I'm not sure I would use a regular fine textured couscous.

Don't forget to sniff it

I was making the bowl of perfect oatmeal this morning...oatmeal, apples, cinnamon, pecans, spices, maple syrup for sweet...Mmmm. A cold morning, warm bowl of oatmeal finished off with a little splash of cream.

Except it had gone way past sour.

The whole thing down the drain...

Now what do I have for apple is gone. I suppose I can have toast...boring.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's good for you right? Blueberries ARE healthy!

This past weekend we headed to C&S's for brunch. Good brunch. We enjoyed pie. Then last night C&S joined us for homemade pizza and games at our place. We enjoyed more pie. Mr. C brought one of the two pies he made last weekend. This was the better of the two! So good in fact, I had a second slice...and I have the whole second half of a pie waiting for me to enjoy this weekend!

Here's the adjusted/tweaked recipe:

UPDATED: some ingredients listed were corrected from original posting

Blueberry Cream Pie
Blend the following ingredients together until smooth; 4-5 minutes by hand, less with electric mixer:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cream cheese
2 eggs
2 TB flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt

Gently fold in the following:
3 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Pour the filling into a 9-inch pie shell (frozen, prepared or homemade)

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

Combine in a blender (until fine texture), the following to make the topping:
2 TB sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans

Remove pie from the oven. Spinkle with the topping over the pie. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer. Let cool.

Chill before serving. Serve with whipped cream.

Serves 8 to 10

2 Minute Sauce, $5.64 Pizza

Last night I made a really fast tomato sauce for some homemade pizzas I was making for dinner with guests. First off...the homemade pizzas are so affordable...just a little time and effort and you have yourself some really great pizza!!! We inhaled two large pizzas, four people...for what was less than $12 total!

Cost of one pizza:
Dough: $1.49
Bell Pepper: $.50 (1/4 pepper)
Onion: $.50 (1/4 onion)
Cheese: $2.50
Tomato Sauce: $.25 (1 can)
Tomato Paste: $.15 (1/4 can)
Herbs/Spices: $.25 (shakes and pinches)
Total: $5.64

And the 2 Minute Sauce (enough for two large pizzas, with extra)

1 TB olive oil--add to a sauce pan over high heat. Drop in 1/2 a can of tomato paste. Squish around to get the oil blended in; two things, the paste will carmelize a little in the heat, and two the oil will loosen the paste a bit, making it a little easier to blend in. Pour in two small, 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce. Stir to incorporate. Add some herbs and spices ("Italian Seasoning", garlic powder-little pinch, onion powder-little pinch, plenty of salt & pepper). Simmer over low heat for two minutes--or longer if you want. Taste and adjust seasoning. Done. The sauce was great on the pizza and was even used for dipping the crust! A very nice, quick sauce. I think the important thing here is the salt. Taste as you go, but if you think you are about to add too much salt, it will probably be enough. Salt will enhance the flavors! If you don't use enough the sauce can taste bland; and you taste as you go so you sauce doesn't taste like a salt lick. I suspect I used at least a full teaspoon for this amount of sauce--which is a lot. I wanted to balance the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I'm sort of a traditionalist when it comes to pizza. I like cheese, pepperoni or sausage, sauce and maybe some onions and green peppers...that's about it. I'll eat other pizzas, but this is comfort pizza to me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Today, On The French Chef...

Meryl Streep to portray Julia Child in a film adaptation of Julia & Julia.

I don't know about the film version of this book, but only good can come of this casting! Meryl can pretty much play anyone.

But I wonder what, if anything has come of the other Julia Child movie with Joan Cusack?

Oh Meryl you were so delicious in Prada!

Do you like Vanilla?

Do you want to win a HALF POUND OF VANILLA BEANS?

Then head over to Jaden's Steamy Kitchen and the Great Vanilla Bean Give-Away and enter to win. Link in your favorite recipe using vanilla and leave a comment asking to be entered...easy as vanilla ice cream!

~ This great photo is from the following website:
a quick Google Image search brought it up: Kosmonaut Photo Blog~


Squash It

Time to make the Spaghetti Squash...

This was a small to medium sized squash, no soft spots...a few blemishes, but nothing structural. The squash should feel very solid and heavy for it's size, not squishy or light weight.

First: Preheat your oven to 375. Then, slice off the vine end, then cut in half, end to end. The squash is hard to cut. Use a very heavy duty knife and becareful! I inserted the tip of the knife in the middle of the squash and rocked the knife until it was most of the way through the fruit.

Once you've split the squash in two, scoop out the seeds using a heavy duty spoon or ice cream scoop. Discard the filling.


This is optional, but encouraged; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the fruit, cut side down on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Toss in the oven for 30-40 minutes until tender. Let rest of a few minutes before the next step. If you don't want to tackle slicing the squash in half, you can just prick it several times and bake it whole; extend the time in the oven to an hour.

Using a clean kitchen towel to protect your hands from the heat, nestle the squash in your hand and rake a fork over the inside, separating the spaghetti strands.

Clean out both halves. Toss lightly to ensure separation.

Plate up. I made some little chicken scallopini and a pan sauce of shallots, sage and butter. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and "spaghetti."

Delish! The squash has a little bit of an strong al dente texture, a crispy, julienned vegetable. But sweet. The baking of the squash draws out the natural sweetness, later enhanced by the butter and sage. Sweet!