Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeno Cream

I wanted to do something a little different.

The other things I have made were really tradition and typical squash recipes. I wanted to try something new. I have made spagetti squash before and thought it was ok, but lets face it, it isn't real spagetti. I saw this thread on my cooking light message board and wanted to try it, but it took awhile to work of the courage to actually make it.


I served it with oatmeal crusted chicken tenders from the freezer and had to make it in a disposable dish because all my real pans were still full of Thanksgiving leftovers. Mark was really excited when he first saw it, then he realized what it was. He got really mad. Apparently, he REALLY did not like the acorn squash from before. He made lots of comments. Then he tried it. All he said that it wasn't as bad as the acorn squash.


As for me, I thought this was pretty good. I used 2 of my last serrano peppers from my pepper plant and this gave it definately a pepper flavor, but really no heat. I made both kids take a bite and they did not gag on it in horror. I don't know if I would make it again, but I am looking forward to the leftovers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Seeing as how this was my challenge, I know I should be far more creative than using pumpkin for my squash entry, but this is the first time I ever made a pumpkin pie from scratch.
     I bought several sugar pumpkins last month and had to get them in the freezer. Right away I knew I would put aside some of the pumpkin to make a pie for Thanksgiving. There are several methods of storing sugar pumpkins but I prefer to steam them and then freeze. While I'm sure there are some raw methods out there, most of the pumpkin recipes I have ask for cooked pumpkin so its easier for me to store them this way. Now I have used the good old jack O’lantern pumpkins before and used the same method of storing but I heard that sugar pumpkins were the way to go so jumped on them when I finally saw some in our store. Sugar pumpkins are much smaller and the flavor is more intense than what you would get from the typical Halloween jack O'lanterns (big pumpkins!) I've never had a problem using the big pumpkins in cooking before but I suggest you read up on the two differences before you make your own decision.
First you need to cut them and remove the seeds and pulp. I then just put the pieces (flesh still on) into a glass baking pan, add a bit of water and cover with Saran Wrap. Into the microwave it goes to steam for about ten minutes. I take the pan out and let the pumpkin cool. Now its easy to pull away from the flesh (no peeling needed!). I do a bit of pureeing and place into ziplock bags putting in 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree into each bag.

When using fresh pumpkin, you must drain the puree through some cheese cloth to eliminate the liquid. All you want to have is the meat of the pumpkin. I find it easier to drain over a bowl and refrigerate over night.
Use your favorite pastry for a 9-inch pie. My mom swears by the Betty Crocker pastry and so we’ve used that recipe for years.

Crust for 9-inch pie
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
                                2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
Directions: Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Roll pastry, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate, or 3 inches larger than 10- or 11-inch tart pan. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.

Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Continue with directions in pie recipe.

Pumpkin Filling for 9-inch pie
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) or use 1 1/2 cups prepared pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Directions: Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, the cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ginger, cloves, pumpkin and milk. Carefully pour pumpkin filling into pie plate. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake about 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Place pie on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

Now all things considered, what should turn out is an amazing pumpkin pie. Without a doubt ours did… however, the pie pan was placed on a stove top burner to cool. We honestly thought the burner was off… really, we did. My stove is possessed- really, it is possessed! There is no other explanation as to why it is so evil. The next morning we awoke to this…. Pumpkin jerky…. nasty. Don’t recommend it to any one! LOL!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

"That was my first Spaghetti Squash experience", said my husband. And it was mine as well, but I think I like it. It really is pasta-ish and neutral. The kids kinda went with it, but didn't eat very much.

First, you have to bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes drizzled with oil and salt and pepper.

Then you kinda shred the flesh and it comes out like spaghetti...It's hot:)
I just topped the kids with regular spaghetti sauce, like THIS recipe and served it with deer sausage(which they ate all of).

For ours, I modified THIS recipe. I like it, but everyone else was hesitant...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I don't get it


I made a similar acorn squash recipe to the one that was already posted on this blog, but I just didn't get it. My husband called it a fall baked potato, because I just went ahead and mixed it all up for serving. Not sure if that is what I was suppose to do.

The recipe was a little odd. Cut open squash, scoop out seeds. Bake cut side down for 30 minutes at 350. Turn over, and put 1 T butter and 1 T brown sugar in one half. Put other half on top and bake for another 30 minutes (I just put butter and brown sugar in both and baked it cut side up).


We didn't really like this. Well, it was ok. Maybe we didn't cook it long enough, maybe we just didn't like the texture of the squash, who knows. I served it with pecan crusted chicken.

But it was easy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

I also made a Butternut squash soup. Mine turned out pretty well. My camera wasn't working so I took this with B's phone. The recipe was so simple...just squash, butter, stock, onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

I also used my immersion blender and added a little sour cream to make it creamier:) This is a picture of B's bowl. We thought it tasted just like potato soup, so he added some cheese. AM LOVED it!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter

I have never made an acorn squash before...I have never bought one before. They sure are cute!! I just search for a well reviewed recipe and make THIS one from Paula Dean.

In true Paula Dean form, I spread the butter, sugar and syrup mixture all over the squash.

Then, I cooked for about an hour. EVEN my son C like it!!! It's kinda like candied yams I suppose.

Butternut Squash Soup


I do like butternut squash, but a wierd things happens when I made it. My hand that touchs the squash gets all dry and tight, probably some sort of allergic reaction. I can't find anyone else who has the same problem. It is wierd. The same thing happened when carving my Halloween pumpkin, so that is how I know pumpkin is a squash! At any rate, I was excited to try a soup like this, because I am trying to get my younger son to eat more vegtables. He likes soup, so I thought this would be an easy way to do that.

I used this recipe. It was funny, when looking for a recipe to try. I found a very simple out that was just the squash, an onion, and broth, but all the reviews said thet added potatoes, carrots, etc, and then the one I used said to use all those extra veggies, and all the reviews said they only used an onion and broth. Funny, right?

My soup turned out really thick. I think my squash was pretty big. I used my immersian blender. It you don't have one, get one! It is ridiculous to put it in a blender.


I served it with homemade wheat bread. The kids also got "butterflies" from the freezer. I thought they could dip it in the soup.


That was a no-go. The only way I got both of my kids to try it was the promise of Halloween candy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vegan 'Cheesy' Spaghetti Squash Bake

I tried to like this, I really did. It was edible and I ate it for a couple of meals, but it's not something I'll make again unless I become a vegan and have to let this meet my cheese cravings.

The kids and the husband wouldn't touch it.

I kind of married these two recipes. I used a combination of cashews and tofu for the base and then used all the ingredients in the first recipe. The lemon juice was a bit too high, so I'd tone that down if I made it again.

Pumpkin Gingersnaps

I'm going to agree with Wirrek that pumpkins are fair game for this challenge.

Pumpkin Gingersnaps from Peas and Thank You. I used regular butter (not vegan), but followed everything else in the recipe. Mine didn't end up crispy, but I really liked the chewiness of them. They were a big hit in our house and will be made again soon.
One thing I like about vegan cookie recipes is that you can eat the dough raw. I also like that I can let the kids help and lick their fingers with no worries of salmonella.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin is technically a squash, right?


So, anyways, Blog Stalker strikes again. Michelle posted these awhile back and I have been dying to make them. They were delicious! I love scones, but never had made them. I told the kids that scones were like cake, so they were into it.


Andy even ate a whole one for breakfast. Wow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chicken-Butternut Tagine

I made this recipe last week for the second time, well before I knew it was squash month! I don't have any pictures, but this is too delicious not to share.

Chicken-Butternut Tagine Recipe Link

I ended up using more squash, and raisins instead of plums, and it was fantastic. This dish has a whole lot of flavors, so if you don't care for complex foods, this might not be right for you, but if Moroccan is up your alley, indulge in this healthy choice. Yum.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Challenge: Squash

Kerri asked if I would be willing to step up and give the November challenge.  Since it is so practical this time of year, I thought it would be ideal to offer up a squash challenge.  There are so many varieties out there and I've yet to try a few of them. Its an often used side dish at thanksgiving so everyone should be able to participate. Soups, roasted, steamed, in casseroles... let the imagination run wild!