moroccan spiced roasted butternut squash

moroccan spiced roasted butternut squash [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I must admit that I have been trying to “eat healthier” lately. Before you hastily close this blog, never to return again, let me explain. For me, eating healthy cannot and never will mean sacrificing good food. I pretty much don’t do low fat (How could I? Have you tried full-fat Fage greek yogurt? God, how good it is), I don’t like artificial sweeteners, I won’t do low-carb, and the list goes on ad infinitum. Essentially, I just want to keep eating the things I love, but less of “the 10 chocolate truffles after lunch and half a large pizza for dinner” type of things I love and more of the “holy crap, roasted butternut squash is so good, subtly sweet and warming” type of things I love. It’s the same philosophy Diane Cu used and wrote about in this post, which is a wonderful read.

Leaving that aside, this roasted butternut squash is fantastic, spiced with a light hand, and sweet yet savory at the same time. It would be perfect for a side at a holiday feast, and just as perfect for the rest of winter when everyone wants healthy New Years Resolutions-friendly veggies.

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cinnamon roll cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake on www.inthiskitchen.com

cinnamon roll cake [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I remember my first recipe very well. I really don’t know how old I was when I made it, maybe… somewhere between 7 and 10 years old? But I remember the day I made it quite vividly. It was for “dough roll cinnamons,” which I creatively spelled “doo roll cinamins,” which consisted of plush Wonder Bread-style white bread, ripped into pieces, rolled into balls, coated in butter, and dipped in cinnamon sugar. Then they were baked in the little toaster oven until heated through and the outside got a nice crunch. I was beaming and proud of my recipe on the day I made it, and though I hope I’ve moved on to a bit more advanced recipes by now, I don’t think I’d balk at eating a few dough roll cinnamons even today.

Here’s my recipe in all its glory, which, bless her, my mom saved:

do-roll cinnamons

In any case, today’s recipe is in a similar vein flavor-profile wise, but I must admit it is much better than a little dough-roll cinnamon. It’s a cinnamon roll cake, which I had to try after seeing the recipe and its gorgeous photos, because it just looked irresistible. It turned out exactly how I’d expected: super soft cake with its insides swirled with cinnamon sugar, and a crackly top that gets a good drizzle of sweet cream cheese icing. It’s certainly decadent, but that’s what this time of year is for, no?

cinnamon roll cake [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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spicy soba noodles with chicken

spicy soba noodles with chicken

spicy soba noodles with chicken [ inthiskitchen.com ]

There’s a humble little Chinese noodle shop not too far from my apartment, and one of my favorite things on the (what must be 200+ item) menu is an extremely simple dish of plain noodles, sitting in a pool of spicy chili oil, topped with ground meat. No-frills and delicious Dan Dan Noodles. Something about the Szechuan chili oil is addictive, and I think it’s even been proven that its spiciness causes an addictive reaction, slightly numbing yet making you want to eat more all at once. And combined with ground meat that must have MSG (hey, I’m not complaining) and fresh noodles? I’m done for – it’s one of my favorite foods in the world.

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