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Thanksgiving Family Favorites

And these are a few of my favorite things!  Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

CRANBERRY RELISH

CRANBERRY BREAD

PUMPKIN PIE

The Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

PUMPKIN BREAD

PUMPKIN BARS

QUINOA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PINE NUTS, FETA

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CINNAMON SQUASH, PECANS & DRIED CHERRIES

TURKEY AND DRESSING

TURKEY VEGETABLE SOUP

Gluten Free · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans and Dried Cherries

Autumn brings cooler weather, falling leaves and wonderful vegetables.  I’ve become a huge fan of roasted vegetables and loved the idea of combining squash with Brussel sprouts.  Adding cherries, nuts and honey were the icing on top of the vegetables.

This is a wonderful dish for a potluck, holiday and just an ordinary night at home.

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS

4 cups Brussel Sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaved removed, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and dubbed into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Other ingredients

1 cup chopped pecans or halves
1/2 cup dried cherries (or Craisins)
optional:  2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I did not add additional honey)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussel sprouts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt (to taste) and toss. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.  During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning.  The cut sides should be nicely browned and partially charred.

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), olive oil, honey, and cinnamon. Toss to mix.
  • Place butternut squash in even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until squash is softened.

NOTE:  You can roast both the Brussel sprouts and the butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time .

Assembly

  • In a large bowl, combine the roasted Brussel sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cherries (or cranberries) and mix to combine.

OPTIONAL: For more sweetness, add 2-4 tablespoons or honey or maple syrup…add slowly to desired amount of sweetness.

Adapted from Juliasalbum.com

Book Club · New Traditions

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pine Nuts, Feta

Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, pine nuts and feta…what’s not to like! I often try new recipes to share with others so my Book Club buddies were once again Guinea Pigs.  This recipe takes a while to prepare but well worth the effort!

QUINOA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PINE NUTS & FETA

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large onions, sliced
2 pounds cubed butternut squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
salt
French Vinaigrette salad dressing (add generous amounts of dressing to individual portions)
1/2 cup Feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Peel the squash and slice it into 3/4 inch cubes, about 2 pounds. Toss the squash cubes in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt.
  • Put butternut squash on the greased baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until soft. Flip the squash cubes over midway through baking. Cool slightly before adding to the salad.
Caramelize the Onions:  
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat in a large skillet.  When oil is heated, add onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly string with wooden spoon. The onions will start to brown, but not brown.
  • Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 additional minutes, continuing to stir as onions brown even more. Add a pinch of salt over the onions.
  • Continue cooking the onions for 10 more minutes on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t stick to the pan.  Add a bit of water if the onions begin o stick.  Total cooking time is 30 minutes.
  • Remove the onions from the heat and sprinkle onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Using the wooden spoon, mix the onions scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
Assembling the salad:
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, and mix with the dressing. Add the dressing only before the serving, and add as much as you want to individual portions, as both quinoa and butternut squash tend to be on a dry side, and this dressing (when generously applied) fixes this beautifully!
  • Top each individual serving with Feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Note: This salad keeps very well refrigerated for up to a week, but only without dressing. Add the dressing before serving.

New Favorite · New Traditions

Roasted Stuffed Kobacha Squash (or Pumpkin)

Stuffed pumpkin (or in my case Kobacha Squash) was a novel idea I heard about from friends. I found this wonderful recipe and adapted it to use the Kobacha squash I’d recently purchased from Trader Joe’s.

It was a fun, and delicious, experiment and one I’ll try again, shaking it up with different ingredients. This is a great way to use leftover pumpkins from Halloween or Thanksgiving. A new tradition perhaps.

IMG_7582

ROASTED STUFFED KOBACHA (OR PUMPKIN)

1 pumpkin (I used Kobacha squash), about 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, shredded
2-4 garlic cloves (to taste) coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that’s just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you’ll have to serve it from the pot—which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn’t so easy. However, since I love the way the unencumbered pumpkin looks in the center of the table, I’ve always taken my chances with the baked-on-a-sheet method, and so far, I’ve been lucky. (Note: I baked my squash in a round Pyrex casserole lined with parchment paper)

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  • Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern). It’s easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.
  • Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper—you probably have enough salt from the bacon and cheese, but taste to be sure—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It’s hard to go wrong here.)

IMG_7567

  • Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Because the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, I like to remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.
  • When the pumpkin is ready, carefully, very carefully—it’s heavy, hot, and wobbly—bring it to the table or transfer it to a platter that you’ll bring to the table.

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  • You have a choice—you can either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful, or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up. I’m a fan of the pull-and-mix option. Served in hearty portions followed by a salad, the pumpkin is a perfect cold-weather main course; served in generous spoonfuls, it’s just right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.
  • It’s really best to eat this as soon as it’s ready. However, if you’ve got leftovers, you can scoop them out of the pumpkin, mix them up, cover, and chill them; reheat them the next day.

Recipe Adapted from Epicurious.com

Family · Garden

Summer Squash Bake

Squash season is here!  While my garden has yet to produce zucchini or yellow squash, my friend Jan has been kind enough to share.  Summer squash baked with onion, peppers drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with herbs and topped with melted Mozzarella is a summer staple.

USDA summer squash

SUMMER SQUASH BAKE

1-2 small to medium sized zucchini, sliced
2 small to medium sized yellow squash, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 Anaheim or green sweet peppers, chopped
drizzle of olive oil
optional:  diced Japanese eggplant
sprinkle of herbs of choice (I have used thyme, summer savory or this time I used Cantanzo Herbs)
Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese or cheese or choice

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss all ingredients, except cheese, and place in greased casserole dish.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked through.

New Favorite · Rheumatoid Arthritis · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Silky Squash Soup…Vegan and Delicious!

Recently, I started a 10-day cleansing/detox diet that requires that I eat primarily fruits and vegetables. I love both but don’t have a strong vegan recipe inventory. One of the bloggers I follow, Lucys Friendly Foods, recently posted a wonderful Silky Squash and Rosemary Soup.  I did not have fresh rosemary on hand so I used a wonderful spice blend from Savory Spice Shops, Cantanzaro Herbs, a mix of Garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, basic, thyme, rosemary and oregano.  The results were yummy!

SILKY SQUASH SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon Cantanzano Herbs  (originally recipe calls for 2 sprigs of rosemary)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
32 ounces vegetable stock
salt and pepper

  • Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the oil until softened but not browned
  • Add the squash and herbs (or rosemary) and stir well
  • Pour in the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash is cooked through
  • Remove Rosemary sprigs if you use this option
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning
  • Serve scattered with roasted pumpkin seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon Cantanzano Herbs (or finely chopped rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients and spread on baking sheet
  • Roast for 10-15 minutes until the seeds start to turn golden brown

 

Recipe adapted from Lucys Friendly Foods

New Traditions

Butter Squash and Apple Soup…my new tradition

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I am NOT a curry fan but my pantry held a lonely butternut squash and I was in the mood for soup.  Every ingredient was on hand, except for the curry powder.  Pal, Maribeth, to the rescue.

This recipe came from the cookbook, Colorado Classique, by the Junior League of Denver.  WOWZA, is it good!  I was so excited to share the news of this great recipe that I called older daughter, Megan, to extol the virtues of this wonderful fall soup.   This recipe will officially become one of my new traditions.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP

Serves:  6

2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons of butter
2 ½ cups diced butternut squash
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
Pinch of grated (or ground) nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Salt and pepper to taste
Whipped cream or sour cream and chopped parsley for garnish

  • In a 3 quart saucepan, sauté onions in butter for about 5 minutes or until soft.
Saute Onions
  • Add squash and apples and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Saute Squash and Apples with Onions
  • Add flour, curry powder and nutmeg.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, milk, half-and-half (or cream), and orange zest and juice.  Simmer slowly, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Puree the soup in a blender or food processor.  Season with salt and pepper and sugar.  Serve hot topped with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of parsley.

This soup improves with time.  Prepare a day or two in advance and refrigerate until ready to heat and serve.