Mushroom Hunting with ForageSF

Mushroom Hunting with Forage SF

“Oh yeah, he’s a mushroom person. 

I heard this several times during the afternoon as Patrick Hamilton, our mushroom foraging expert, was referring to yet another very notable chef who he’s foraged with over the years. And why should I be surprised? The best chefs truly care about ingredient quality, and there’s no better way to guarantee that than to source your own produce. It was with those words from Patrick that I suddenly felt like I had become privy to the “insider’s foraging scene” of the restaurant industry. I certainly had no idea foraging was a thing among chefs when I decided to sign up for an afternoon of mushroom hunting through ForageSF!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

This Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe is near and dear to my heart. It’s actually an original recipe of mine from my now-retired blog, The Midnight Cook. Developing this recipe was truly a long and intense process. Eventually, after working through countless batches of lasagna trial and error, I had a recipe that was tried, tested, and proudly my own.

Fast forward 5 years later, and I still make this Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna a few times a year. Even though winter in San Francisco sometimes feels like the warmest season of all, spotting butternut squash at the grocery store brings me right into winter cooking mode. Also, this dish is great for potlucks or large dinners. You can even assemble the lasagna the night before, and pop it in the oven about 30 minutes before you want to serve it.

So, I’ve decided to share my original post as it was written back in January 2010. It feels strange to re-write the story behind this lasagna, because it hasn’t really changed. And what about the photos from the blog post? Let’s just say that I absolutely *had* to re-shoot them. My point & shoot camera seemed legit back in 2010, but there’s no way I’d subject you to those photos…

Alright friends, here we go – Cynthia circa 2010!

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

A few months ago, I found myself at a local grocery store staring at the colorful selection of winter squash. Out of all the different types of squash, butternut squash was by far the most intimidating to me. Up until this winter, I thought it belonged only in the hands of professional chefs, crafting their fancy raviolis and creamy bisques.

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Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Monday was just one of those days.

It started off with a 4am wake up call to catch my flight back to San Francisco, after enjoying Thanksgiving with family in Seattle. The work day was filled with catch up work, the consequence we all accept for the short holiday week. Once I got home, I discovered that Comcast sent me a defective cable box for my TV. And to top it off, I was starving and it was already 9pm…#hangry.

Let’s just say that Monday was the perfect day for a comforting plate of pasta. Cacio e Pepe to be exact.

Cacio e Pepe, a Roman cheese and pepper pasta, is the epitome of simple fare and the poster child of my blog. It’s one of the reasons I love dishes that use a few, high-quality ingredients yet yield so much flavor. This Cacio e Pepe recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and uses ingredients most people have in their pantry or refrigerator (or you will after reading this!). This is the kind of recipe that makes me believe that cooking from scratch is possible for even the busiest of people.

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