Roasted root veggies

I'm inherently distrustful of people that are always right. We all know the type, the “yes, but” people. It's so powerful in a conversation say the words ‘that's a good point’ or ‘I hadn’t thought of that’ or ‘you’re right,’ but somehow there are people that never seem to make a mistake, never seem to be wrong, never seem to validate the point you're making, and always have a comeback or a reason why their idea is just a bit superior. It’s like it’s their job to one up you. Everyone, every day is wrong about something. How much easier it would be if we all just said it straight out? 

I’m trying to get better at just acknowledging when I’m wrong and trying to do things differently. This week wasn’t exactly wrong per se, but it became rapidly clear to me that if I have another week like this I might spontaneously fall asleep on the ferry from exhaustion and forget to get off (oh wait, I actually did that…)

As it turns out, I can’t blog six days a week and network for a new business and exercise every day and see friends and keep my house in order and stay sane. I tried to this past week, and as you might have noticed, it’s been like crickets around here the past few days. 

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I spent all of last week working (the lucrative kind!), and then raced up to Lopez Saturday morning to help with the grape harvest at the local winery (more about that at a later date). It was a stunning weekend on the island - clear blue skies and sunshine and friends and fresh grape juice. Still imagining I could do it all, I headed back down to Seattle to host a dinner party Sunday night. My friends were set to arrive at 6:30. I got home at 5:30.

I thought this was going to be a post about ordering take-out, but I did actually manage to pull off a meal when I got home. It’s the season for root vegetables (and will be for the foreseeable future), so be sure to put this easy side dish in your repertoire. I threw together dinner - pesto noodles (with store-bought pesto - I know, I know) with pine nuts, tomatoes and parm, roasted root vegetables, and a salad with feta, apples, carrot ribbons and pepitas. My awesome guests brought a cheese plate, lots of wine, and two pints of local ice cream. We dined on the deck in the September sun (some of us *cough* Eric *cough* shrieking intermittently as the yellow jackets waged war on our plates) and played trivial pursuit long into the night. The last guest left around midnight and I fell into bed, making up for a week of little rest. I slept ’til 9 and took the whole day off (read: went to Ikea and watched episodes of “The Closer”). It’s clear that I haven’t yet figured out a new life balance, but I’m certainly having a good time trying.

So let me encourage you to go out and make some mistakes and own up to them (and while you’re at it, make some root vegetables, too).

Roasted Root Veggies

Ingredients: (adjust quantities based on the size of your party. My amounts are estimates for a side dish for 4-6 people)

1/2 a delicata squash
4-5 fingerling potatoes
4-5 small sized beets
1/2 a sweet onion
6 carrots
Sprigs of rosemary, thyme and oregano (optional)
Generous amounts salt and olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Slice all vegetables in roughly the same size chunks (I prefer french fry like shapes for all of them).

3. Layer on a baking sheet, making sure that all veggies have full contact with the pan. Don’t over crowd - you can spread to a second sheet if necessary. 

4. Cover generously with olive oil - each piece should be fully coated and some should be visible on the skin. This is the only way to get that yummy caramelization.

5. Sprinkle with salt - several pinches - and toss to mix. Add sprigs of fresh herbs.

6. Put into hot oven and roast until done. Check at 15-20 min and toss with spatula to get new areas in contact with the hot pan to help evenly cook. 

7. Remove sprigs/stems of herbs before serving.