Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stuffed and Baked Acorn Squash

This recipe has been adapted from several others and made my own. I claim it. It is one of my favorite things to eat in the fall...I literally cannot get enough...and I want to share it with the masses because I am feeling uncharacteristically generous today...

On a side note: This is NOT my hubbys favorite dish. He calls it "chick food". So that means more for me...and the kids...

On a sider note: This can be a side dish OR an depends on how you serve it. Tonight it was our entree, served with a spinach salad and a hearty shepherds bread. But I've served it both ways...

Stuffed and Baked Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
4 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I use Granny Smiths)
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1 pound sausage (preferably Italian sweet or chorizo)
4 TBS dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 TBS butter
1/4 cup apple cider
1 TBS dark rum (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325. Butter a baking pan. Place acorn squash in baking dish CUT SIDE DOWN. Add 1/4 inch hot water to pan. Bake for 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, brown and drain sausage. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix apples, pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large skillet, melt 4 TBS butter. Add apple mixture and cook until fruit is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in cider and rum. Simmer, stirring often, until the fruit is tender, about 8 minutes. Add sausage and heat through, being careful not to overcook the sausage.
4. Remove squash from oven; pour off water from pan and turn squash cut side up. Fill squash with apple/sausage mixture. Bake until squash is tender, about 15 minutes more.
courtesy me!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Iron Chef Miami: November 2009 - Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits

And the winner is...ME!!! With the Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits!!!

Aren't they pretty? They're yummy, too...and an original way to serve pumpkin...enjoy!!!

Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits
1 qt. vanilla ice cream
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
2 TBS packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whipped cream
Additional pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps
1/4 cup melted butter
1. Prepare Gingersnap Crumble by stirring crushed gingersnaps with 1/4 cup butter until just coated. Set aside.
2. Place ice cream in refrigerator for 30 minutes to soften. Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir ice cream to soften further; fold into pumpkin mixture. Cover and freeze 20 minutes or until mixture holds it's shape when heaped with a spoon.
3. Spoon ice cream into parfait glasses; sprinkle with Gingersnap Crumble. Cover and freeze until firm (4-48 hours).
4. Before serving, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice...
courtesy Shannan Johnson

Iron Chef Miami: November 2009 - Pumpkin Dip

Melodee made this yummy dip for apples...and as an added bonus, she sprinkled the apples with cinnamon and sugar!! It was like having apple and pumpkin pie together!!!

Pumpkin Dip
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 (7-oz) jars marshmallow creme
1 (15-oz) can solid pack pumpkin
1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1. Mix together, serve with sliced apples and gingersnap cookies.
courtesy Melodee Cooper; adapted from Kathi Boix

Iron Chef Miami: November 2009 - Pumpkin Bars

Ann's' entry into Iron Chef were these luscious pumpkin bars with a decadent cream cheese frosting! Yum!

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1. Mix eggs, sugar, and oil. Add dry ingredients. Add pumpkin and mix well.
2. Pour into a greased 11x17 cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
1 (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup stick butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1. Mix until smooth and spread on bars after they are cooled
courtesy Ann Merrill

Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn Pasta Toss

This is my kind of recipe...first of all, it involves pasta, and pretty much anything involving pasta gets a big seal of approval from me. Secondly, it uses lots of fresh veggies, and at their seasonal peak. Another big gold star. It also uses very subtle seasonings, relying on the actual veggies to flavor the dish...making it taste very fresh. It's a really enjoyable dish...

We serve this with freezer garlic bread, and a nice romaine salad with red, orange, and yellow peppers. Go ahead and double if you're feeding more than 4...

Autumn Pasta Toss
1 lb. penne pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup Italian Vinaigrette dressing
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, cut into medium cups
6 oz. shittake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese, divided
1. Cook penne pasta as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, heat dressing in large skillet with tight-fitting lid on medium-high heat. Add onions and squash; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in mushrooms and Brussels sprouts; cook an additional 5 minutes. Add chicken stock; stir until well blended. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Note: Jason actually made dinner tonight...and he recommends partially steaming squash first to assist in softening. Otherwise, prepare to spend longer than the recommended time at the stove cooking squash.
3. Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl. Add vegetable mixture and 1/4 cup of cheese; toss lightly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve warm.
courtesy Kraft foods