This Calls For Cake

Tonight has been an evening of blue plaid flannel, Oktoberfest beer accompanied by a delicious, spicy acorn squash, black bean, corn and sausage chili – (I’ve actually been craving chilli), Earl Grey tea (with honey and half and half), writing, productivity and good news.

It seems as though some luck is lingering in the air for me today and I hope it knows how encouraged it is to keep on lingering!

First, I happily discovered that my recipe for Rustic Root Vegetable Salad with Citrus and Thyme for Food 52’s “Brown Bag Lunch” contest (as in, the one I conceived last week, not knowing what on earth I was doing, flailing around the kitchen like a mad scientist) was deemed an “editor’s pick!”  What a serendipitous act.

I am also happy to announce that although I’ve been on sort of a hiatus from Goodbite, due to major site renovation/construction, I am about to begin writing for them again and I am very excited!

This morning, I also entered to win this darling beauty (it’s even in my color!)  I am crossing my fingers and if I win one, The Pioneer Woman and Oscar Wilde will forever have my gratitude.  (I chose him as the man from history that I’d like to have dinner with).  We could talk fashion and battle our wits out over a big slab of cake and he could make me laugh.  Then I’d make him something fabulous in the new Le Creuset dutch oven he helped me to win.  ; )

Therefore, with all of this good news and my heart (and stomach’s) burning desire to do some baking, I am going to celebrate tonight by making a devil’s food cake with browned butter icing, in the spirit of fall of course.  Not that you ever really need an excuse to bake a cake.  I tend to go crazy after even just a few days of not making anything!  Here is the recipe for the root vegetable salad, enjoy!

Rustic Root Vegetable Salad with Citrus and Thyme

SERVES 1-2
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 orange (zested and then halved)
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • about 1/8 of a cup of toasted pine nuts
  • a handful of dried cranberries
  • goat cheese
  1. Peel the parsnips with a vegetable peeler, cut them in half and cut diagonally (they should sort of resemble french fries).
  2. Peel the butternut squash with a big, sharp knife and cut into cube sized pieces.
  3. Put the parsnips and squash in one bowl. In another bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil and honey and whisk together. Then pour over the vegetables and toss with a big spoon or spatula until they are evenly coated.
  4. Place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and several fresh thyme leaves. Give a little squeeze of half of the orange, for a little juice. Place in the 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, checking a few times in between to toss the vegetables and shake the pan a little.
  5. Put the vegetables in a large bowl, add the toasted pine nuts (these can be toasted at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes – make sure you shake the pan), the dried cranberries and the orange zest. Toss together. Add a few little dollops of goat cheese on top and serve!

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