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Vegetarian Bible

Baby Shower Time!

I get to plan my best friend’s baby shower! We’ve been best friends since we were 7, which will be 19 years this year, wow, that’s crazy to think! We were always at the same school, not usually the same classes, but when we were, watch out, we were crazy! You could not find 2 people more opposite than we are, but we were kind of just thrown together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Here we are at my wedding in Oct, she was 3 months pregnant there, luckily we got her a dress to accommodate, just in case!

Here we are at her wedding in June, 2008, I think….I was her Maid of Honor, you’d think I’d remember, huh?

She is very low maintenance, simple, and not at all girly, and if you’ve read my blog, by now know you should have an idea that I’m pretty girly, and I am high maintenance, but in a good way. I have very ornate taste, expensive and extravagant, I don’t get these things often, because we don’t have that kind of money, but once we do, Jeremy and I have very similar tastes.

So planning this shower is a bit of a struggle for me. One because I’ve never been to a baby shower, I’m assuming it’s basically the same as a bridal shower, which I’ve been to. I looked around online and found a really cute not terribly girly invitation from tinyprints.com and recreated it in Photoshop, all info has been taken out to protect the knocked up:

I’m still stuck on décor, I think I’m going to go for something really bright and fun and girly, without being prissy girly, which I think she would hate. I’m using this as a jumping off point. The shower will have an animal type theme, and I’ll go from there.

I also really like this ball decor, really easy to do, and they would add a lot of color to an otherwise colorless room!

I know you all have some fantastic ideas, lay them on me!

I have another Vegetarian Bible entry, I just can’t find the pictures! It was Spinach Gnocci, and honestly it turned us off the Veg Bible for right now, but we’ll get back into it. We did turn the weirdness into a different veggie dish, but not from the book.

(Vfin-Vinit)

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Vegetarian Bible

After watching Julie and Julia, which is a really great movie, but Julie was such a whiney, selfish person, I decided that it was a really good idea, and I was going to steal it.  Not to try to get a book deal or even say I did it.  I am a creature of habit, I know what I like and that’s what I eat, I don’t venture too far away the norm.  Several months ago I bought a cookbook entitled Vegetarian Bible because most of the recipes sounded good and we needed more vegetables in our diets, oh and it was on the sale rack at Barnes and Noble.  I had not even cracked this cookbook since I bought it until I decided to do this little experiment.  This cookbook had 74 recipes and I will be attempting to cook them all by next Christmas.

The first recipe I attempted was Pasta Shapes with Pumpkin Sauce.  It sounded interesting and I had 2 pie pumpkins sitting in the kitchen that I hadn’t done anything with.  I started out by crying while I chopped up some really strong onions.  The recipe called for 4 oz, I don’t typically think in ounces so it’s a little over half of an onion or a pile this size.

Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat.  Add the onions and a little bit of salt, cover and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Next comes the hard part, dealing with the pumpkin.  I assume you can use canned pumpkin, however the recipe calls for fresh.  I started out by halving the pumpkin and pulling out the seeds.

The real bear is peeling it.  Typically I cook the pumpkin in the over and the pulp comes right out.  This recipe cooks the pumpkin in a pot on the range.  I quartered half pumpkin and it made it much easier to peel.  Be careful, this is difficult and I can see it being very easy to slice something open or chop something off.

I realize now that I did not use anywhere near the right amount of pumpkin, I misread the recipe!  It calls for 1 lb 12 oz and I only used 12 oz, I can’t imagine using the other pound, it was plenty pumpkiny enough.  I threw the mismeasured pumpkin in the food processor and chopped it until very fine.


That was the tough part of the recipe, the rest is basically just waiting.  You throw the pumpkin in the sauce pan with the onions at the end of their 25 minutes and season with a very small amount of nutmeg.  Let that cook for another 45 minutes, still on low and still stirring occasionally.

After the 45 minutes, I stirred in ¾ cup of skim milk even though the recipe calls for light cream, we’re on a diet after all, 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sometime during all this I boiled my pasta, I used cellentani, simply because that is what we had, any type works.  We put 2 large spoonfuls over a bowl of pasta and grated a little bit of parmesan cheese over top.  It was surprisingly good, but was still missing something.  We added a little bit of mozzarella cheese, which made it better, but it was still missing something.  We decided it was meat, we’re not vegetarians, just cooking from the book, so bacon was added.  Jeremy really liked it then, but I thought the bacon was not the right additive.  Maybe some turkey…I have tons left, I might have to try that later!

Thanks for reading my first recipe!  I’ll be back next week with the second installment, Garlic Spaghetti!  I’ll leave you with the actual recipe.

Ingredients

4 tbsp unsalted butter

4 oz/115g white onions or shallots, finely chopped

1 lb 12 oz/800g pumpkin, unprepared weight

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

12 oz/350g dried penne or radiatore

Generous ¾ cup light cream

4 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat.  Add the onions, sprinkle with a little salt, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, for 25-30 minutes.

Scoop out and discard the seeds from the pumpkin.  Peel and finely chop the flesh.  Tip the pumpkin into the saucepan and season to taste with nutmeg.  Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite.  Drain thoroughly, reserving about 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid.

Stir the cream, grated parmesan cheese, and parsley into the pumpkin sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.  If the misture seems a little too thick, add some or all of the reserved cooking liquid and stir.  Tip in the pasta and toss for 1 minute.  Serve immediately, with extra parmesan cheese for sprinkling.

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