Roasted Butternut Squash Dip

I have had a few butternut squashes laying around the kitchen recently. Typically, I'd cube and roast them, or turn them into a soup, but this time I decided to adapt a recipe from The Nosher for Lybian Pumpkin Spread.

Instead of pumpkin, I used butternut squash. I also turned The Nosher's recipe into a cold dip and left out the garlic because, GASP (!!!!), I was out of garlic. I also did not add honey. So basically, I created a somewhat different recipe :)

Roasted Butternut Squash Dip

2 cups roasted butternut squash puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
red pepper flakes to taste
3 tablespoons harissa
juice of one lemon
salt to taste

to serve
plain yogurt
red pepper flakes
pita chips

1. Pure all the ingredients in a blender. 
2. Serve topped with a dollop of plain yogurt and a pinch of red pepper flakes with a side of pita chips.

I loved the spicy and acidic flavor of the dip and did not miss the honey because of the natural sweetness from the butternut squash!

This is a great dip to add to your repertoire.

Wishing you all a very delicious Thanksgiving!


How To Make Granola At Home: Pumpkin Seeds & Sunflower Seeds Granola Recipe

How to make granola at home? Well, first get yourself a twin sister who has been making granola at home for years. Then, finally decide to ask her for the recipe. Then, finally JUST DO IT.

If you don't have a twin sister, I'm sorry :) I'll share with you a recipe I adapted from the one Anna shared with me.

Pumpkin Seeds & Sunflower Seeds Granola Recipe


2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons extract of your choice (I used almond because that's the only one I had)
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup craisins
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger


1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
2. On a large cookie sheet combine the first seven ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing periodically.
3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and bake for 5 more minutes.
4. Serve immediately on top of plain yogurt with fresh pomegranate or berries.
5. Otherwise, allow to cool and store in a tightly closed jar.

This was such an easy recipe to make. Of course the possibilities are endless: you can avoid the sugar all together and/or add nuts, other dried fruit, or even chocolate chips!


Red Velvet Cupcake by Baking Bits

Because I haven't really cooked or baked anything amazing lately (other than a boxed mix of brownies that I fancied up with chocolate chips and a sprinkle of flaky salt), I thought I'd give a shout out to one of my coworkers who has a baking side business and brought in treats to work today!

Thank Brittney!! This red velvet cupcake was a perfect sweet treat!!


Flower Arranging: Hand-Tied Technique

This past Sunday I did two things for the first time: taught a flower arranging class and taught at Hill Center!

After attending a few flower arranging classes, assisting 3 classes at Smithsonian, and being a life-long flower enthusiast, I proposed teaching a class at Hill Center, and to my great joy they said YES.

8 students signed up to learn from me! Yes, I was nervous. Yes, I created an Excel spreadsheet with several flower arrangement "recipes," and yes, I brought home made brownies to sweeten the deal.

After meeting my students and discussing the basics of flower arrangements, learning about their favorite flowers and their first flower memories, we went on a field trip to Trader Joe's to pick up the flowers.

Back at Hill Center, we sipped on mimosas, snacked on the brownies, and I demonstrated how to create a hand-tied arrangement: you build the entire bouquet in your hands and then rubber band it to keep it intact. 

The students then created their own arrangements. They all turned out great!!

All the photos throughout the post are of the arrangement I created with a few extra flowers left over from the class. This "recipe" contained mums, roses, eucalyptus, and alstroemeria. 

Eight happy faces with their gorgeous creations.

I hope to repeat this class again!!Let me know if you'd like to learn this technique.


Melted Green Cabbage from Sababa Cookbook

How do you elevate one of the least expensive and somewhat blend vegetables available in a store? Well, Adeena Sussman figured it out and shared her recipe with everyone in her cookbook, Sababa

After following Adeena on instagram and seeing her repost photos of people making her Melted Green Cabbage recipe, I decided to make it too. 

I used leftover 1/2 of a cabbage I had after making borsch last week. This meant using a smaller skillet and reducing the amounts of other ingredients. I browned wedges of cabbage in olive oil, then added garlic cloves and shallots, white wine and chicken broth, thyme, and then roasted for 2 hours in the oven!

Because I did not brown my cabbage long enough, I broiled it: not a huge deal. I finished the dish with sour cream and forgone the butter.

If I say so myself, the final results are gorgeous!