Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Farro and Pureed Butternut Squash with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Goat Cheese

Making Itineraries & Other Things On My Resume

Yes. Making itineraries is actually on my resume. If I learned anything in college about landing a job, it was the following 3 things:
  1. Networking & relationships are more important than what you learn in class.
  2. Interview suits should be simple, but your shoes should be spectacular.
  3. Under "Interests" on your resume, make every effort to actually sound interesting.
Networking and relationships? Done and done. That shiz is totally my bailiwick.

Spectacular shoes? Why thank you clearance section at DSW, I think I WILL buy 3 pairs of designer shoes for $100.

Being interesting on paper proved to be the biggest challenge. I love my hobbies, but every girl in New York lists "cooking, travel and working out" among her interests. Also, and this upset me, it turns out that "watching copious amounts of television"... is not considered a skill. Lame.

So, I had to get creative. If I get a female interviewer, "make-up artistry", usually goes over pretty well, but men neither notice nor care. That's where "making itineraries" comes in. It's weird, but not so weird that it's creepy. Also, I get to talk about my craaaaazy organizational skillz.

This week is my Mom's birthday. Did you call her yet? Go ahead, I'll wait.

Isn't she fun to talk to?

So anyway, this week is my mom's birthday and she chose to celebrate it with me in NYC this year! As soon as she told me this was what she wanted to do, I started making an itinerary.

Here is the actual itinerary:
  • Monday Night:
    • 5:45pm Manicures so you'll be EXTRA purdy for your big day :)
    • 7 pm Dinner and movie/tv at home (I'll cook you something yummy)
  •   Tuesday Night:
  •  Wednesday Night
    • 5pm dentist appointment in Brooklyn
    • 6pm gym
    • 8pm Take out from 'sNice and girly movies at my apartment

Give me three days and I'll give you exhaustion.

My goal for Monday night's dinner was to prove to my mom that she could enjoy an entire meal made from whole grains and seasonable vegetables.

Farro and Pureed Butternut Squash with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Goat Cheese
(Loosely adapted from the "Stuffed Acorn Squash" recipe in the Canyon Ranch Cook Book)

3 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock (low-sodium)
2 cups dry farro
1 teaspoon Salt, divided
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Thyme

2 lbs peeled, seeded, and chopped butternut squash
1/2 medium Onion, finely diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground Allspice
1 Tablespoon white wine

1/4 cup low fat milk
1 Tablespoon almond oil
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil.

Once the oven is pre-heated, place the squash on the baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash are tender when pierced with a fork. I like to let them get just slightly caramelized.

Place a medium sized pot with lid over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add farro, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and thyme to the pot. Stir, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with the lid, and gently simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice has farro has absorbed the broth. If all of the liquid has been absorbed and the farro is not cooked to your desired consistency, add a bit of water. Once the farro is cooked, remove the pot from the heat, and fluff the contents with a fork.

While the squash and farro are cooking, place a small heavy pan with lid over low heat. Add onion and garlic into the pan, cover and stir occasionally until the onion is soft and almost translucent. If the mixture starts to stick to the pan, add a little bit of water. Once the onion is cooked, remove the cover and add the allspice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and vermouth. Stir and continue to cook the mixture for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, and set the pan aside.

Once the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven. Transfer the squash into a food processor, or use an immersion blender if you have one. Add in the onion mixture and milk and process until smooth. While the processor is still running, slowly pour in the almond oil. Add pepper to taste. Once everything is smooth and blended together, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix in the cooked farro.

Sprinkle each serving with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.

We also enjoyed a lovely baby spinach salad with pears, red onions, dried cranberries, toasted cashews and a whole grain mustard vinaigrette.

My mom was pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed the meal, and immediately called my dad to tell him how many vegetables she'd willingly (mostly willingly) ingested.

He did not believe her.

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