Stuffed squash.

October 23, 2010

Stuffed squash.

If you have a miscellaneous crate of various squashes sitting around in your kitchen as we do, you might be interested in a recipe for stuffed squash. Of course, there are several ways one might stuff a squash, but my experience is limited on the matter. Below you'll find the recipe we tried the other night. It was delicious.

How do you stuff your squash?

Ingredients:
2 acorn or butternut squashes
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3-4 T. butter
1 cup coarsely crumbled bread
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup dates
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350°F

Split your squashes in half lengthwise down the middle and remove the seeds. Turn them faced-down on an oiled tray and bake for 30 minutes. Check tenderness, and bake another 10-15 minutes longer if necessary.

While the squash is baking, saute the onions, garlic, and nuts in butter over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and the nuts are browned. Add the bread, herbs, lemon juice, and the dates and cook over low heat for 5 or 6 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and mix in the cheese.

Remove squash from oven and face upright when the meat is tender. Fill the cavities of the squash with the stuffing. Place stuffed squash on a cookie sheet and cover all with one sheet of foil. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Top with grated Parmesan and serve.

Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

October 20, 2010

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

They're so orange!

I don't usually like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies because they tend to be too sticky and light. I prefer dense, rich cookies that have some crunch. But these? These are good. They're just sweet enough, and the pumpkin flavor really comes through.

I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour, but unbleached all-purpose flour would be perfectly acceptable. Or you could use half unbleached AP with half whole wheat flour. Whichever you prefer.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:
1 stick of butter - room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt (use a little less if you used salted butter)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Procedure:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and prepare your cookie sheet with either a silpat mat, parchment paper, or grease.

2. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Once creamed, add the egg and mix until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and the pumpkin puree and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, the spices, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together and add to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides.

4. If you're using an electric mixer, remove the bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips with the dough.

5. Scoop small amounts of the dough onto your baking sheet with two spoons. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from Bitchin' Camero.

The fluffy feline.

October 19, 2010

It's been a rough week.

Keepin' cool.

I had to drive the fluffy feline to the animal hospital Friday night. He was blocked up from crystals in his bladder, and was in critical condition. The hospital had to keep him for awhile to flush him out, so we didn't get him back home with us until Sunday morning.

Matt and I were sad as sad can be. I couldn't stop beating myself up for not taking all of the warning signs more seriously. If I had, the situation would have never gone this far. Our vet said that it wasn't our fault, but I know I could have intervened sooner.

Lesson learned.

Fluffy feline.

We're so happy to have him back, and he seems just as excited. His absence was beyond felt. He now spends most of his time in our laps, snoozing away and enjoying his pain medication.

And while I'm on the subject, Matt found the perfect location for the fluffy feline's granny square blanket.

The perfect place.

The scratching post!

An unhappy crochet cramp.

October 12, 2010

In progress.

It seems I have overexerted myself.

After puttering around on granny squares for a few days, I've developed a rather nasty cramp in the fleshy/muscle-y area under my left thumb. I can't pick up the hook without feeling the pain, and so I've issued a self-imposed moratorium on granny squares until the problem is resolved.

In progress.

I have to say, I'm very disappointed. Granny squares have been the perfect companion for the transition we've been having into colder weather. They keep my fingers in constant motion, warding off the incessant outside chill. I always forget how cold it can be while my man, the fluffy feline, and I are all laying on the floor during the warm summer months, side-by-side (not touching!), with the fan blowing on us in equal turn.

Needless to say, we are all huddling close together again.

Anyway, no worries. I'm dabbling around with embroidery to occupy my fingers until the crochet-induced cramping goes away. These things have a knack for taking care of themselves, right? Heh.

Dabbling around

Dabbling around

I'm having fun with embroidery, but I'm a bit of a stickler for finished projects. If I don't get to them while I'm 'in the mood,' I fear they'll sit around for ages, collecting dust. Not cool. So I'm anxious to get back to those granny squares straight away.

Wish me luck? And if anyone knows a good tip or trick to ease the cramping, please! Let me know.

Footnote: check out my Dilly Bean recipe over at My Own Labels. :)

The fluffy feline's granny square blanket.

October 7, 2010

You may remember, I was on an intense granny square roll a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, I had to put my beloved squares aside to finish our more demanding home improvement projects, and I wasn't able to get back around to it until this last weekend.

Granny square blanket... Granny square blanket...
Granny square blanket... Granny square blanket...

Well, I'm happy to report that the fluffy feline's granny square blanket is ready at last. But... he is decidedly less enthusiastic about it than I am.

In any case, I finally understand how the whole granny square things works, and I'm quite pleased with myself. I think I am now ready to step up my game to make a 'big kid' granny square blanket. It should keep me busy for awhile.

I'm actually quite fond of crochet. I think it suits me a little better than knitting, and it's the only type of project I'm turning toward nowadays once I'm done with my work. What I really need is a project or two that incorporates crochet, sewing, and hand embroidery. That would keep me happily busy, or busily happy, indeed.