Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Midday Break

Faribault, MN
One of the things I liked about Faribaut is seeing a place that is like a slice of small home town America almost right in your own backyard. 
The Faribault community enjoys the advantages and convenience of being near a major metropolis (one hour away) while providing the livability of being a small town Minnesota. It boasts a vibrant business community, excellent educational opportunities and a wide variety of recreational and cultural offerings. 
If you happen to be in the area sometime be sure to pick a copy of Buckman Bulletin. 

Its a great resource that is printed 4 times a year with all the current events, programs and activities the town has to offer. 

My sister and I bypassed all the wonderful lunch suggestions in the Buckham Bulletin.  We had been invited for lunch at Audrey's house.  

Audrey was quite welcoming and promised us some Minnesota comfort foods. This savory dish was perfect for a crisp fall day.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
  • 3 cups uncooked mostaccioli or penne pasta
  • 2 TB. unsalted butter
  • 2 TB. flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional) 
  • 1/8 tsp. ground pepper
  • Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 13 x 9 pan
  • Cook pasta in salted water and drain
  • Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, slowly whisk in milk; cook until thick 
  • Add in pumpkin puree and mix well
  • Remove from heat and add in cheeses, nutmeg, salt and pepper 
  • Combine sauce with drained pasta and pour into baking dish
  • Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly
Serves 6-8

Have you ever had a recipe that defies logic? I must say Audrey's Chocolate Cream pie does just that. 
The pie filling is made with only 3 ingredients. Dark chocolate chips, vanilla extract and a mystery ingredient.  You would never have guessed it by the rich yummy chocolate flavor.
Tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. Look for tofu in the produce section of your regular grocery store.

Chocolate Cream Pie
Cook's notes: The recipe is for a 9 inch pie. If using a 9 x 13 pan double the filling. It is important to use silken tofu. I found this box in the produce section of the store.
Sidenote: My sister was so inspired by this pie she made it the next day to take for a potluck supper. She totally stumped the group who were unable to guess the mystery ingredient.  
  • 10-12 oz. Tofu (must be soft, silken-see above photo)
  • 10 oz.  dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chips
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla
  • prepared graham cracker crust
  • Place tofu in blender and blend until smooth
  • Add vanilla and blend again
  • Melt chips in microwave and add to blender-blend till smooth
  • Pour into a crust and refrigerate 2 hours
  • options: adding in chopped walnuts, drizzle strawberry or raspberry sauce on top to serve   
Food and lively conversations go well together. Our visit went quickly by.  Hopefully Audrey and I will continue to stay connected through blogging, books, poetry and food. 
Now that is the best combination ever!

And yes, she was the perfect person for this book Little Minnesota.

1 comment:

  1. Sue, thanks for another wonderful piece on Faribault. Our downtown, with its historic buildings, is really a welcoming place. It's one of the features I love most about my community.

    I'm delighted that you and your sister enjoyed my choice of comfort foods. That pie recipe comes via my friend Mandy, who is trying to get our bible study group to make healthier food choices. Anything with dark chocolate as a main ingredient gets my attention. And the bonus is that it's a super simple dessert to prepare.

    Most assuredly, we'll stay connected.