Snow Days made productive

Many states that do not always get snow got enough snow and ice this past week to keep towns, cities and counties closed down. Everyone was homebound. While the first day and fresh snow is so much fun by day 3 you can begin to get the cabin fever.

I really enjoyed having a slow pace, not getting up to am alarm and allowing time to do things that always get put off. I also wanted to make sure to use up the fresh food in case we lost power. So put myself in prep-mode. Plus, the warmth and appetizing smell in the kitchen was very welcome.

I had just gone to the grocery store the morning of the expected snow. Doesn’t everyone? Except instead of getting only bread, eggs and milk I picked up fresh meat, seafood, onions, salad greens, peppers and other produce on sale. Oh, and wine!

I decided to go ahead and make things that could make excellent leftovers. By the end of the afternoon I had Chili, Sausage Ragout, Roasted Cauliflower, Sautéed Mushrooms with Thyme and a baked pork tenderloin.

The pork tenderloin was marinated in a store bought McCormick Grill Mates Smoked Applewood according to the directions. I just use a large ziplock bag to make the marinade in and put the tenderloin in the bag. It is easy to coat and store. While the tenderloin baked in the 350 degrees preheated over (for about 25 minutes).

I decided that I should take advantage of the heated oven and make some roasted cauliflower. I had tasted a new version at a restaurant in Houston and tried to recreate the taste. What I remembered the most about the restaurant cauliflower was that it had golden raisins and pine nuts in it. I started to assemble the ingredients and could not find any pine nuts in the freezer (I keep the nuts in the freezer to reduce the oxidation of the nut oils, they last a lot longer). So I substituted them with pumpkin seeds.


Cauliflower with Raisins and Pepitas

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets

3 Tablespoons Olive oil, divided

1/2 Lemon

1/4 cup Golden Raisins

1/4 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste.

As always, I cut the cauliflower into bit size florets, put them in a large ziplock bag and added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the bag, shaking the bag to coat all the florets evenly. I always line my baking pans with parchment paper. It makes clean up so much easier. Spread the coated cauliflower florets on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the cauliflower is roasting prepare the dressing. In a glass bowl add a tablespoon of olive oil, squeeze juice from 1/2 a lemon. Add raisins, pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) and chopped chives. Season with salt and a little pepper. Toss the roasted cauliflower into the bowl and stir to mix well. It can be served immediately or later at room temperature. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

I will share other recipes in the upcoming blogs. Stay tuned!