Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Fall Eats and Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Are you all ready to stuff yourselves silly? I know I am. Today's recipe post features what I consider to be fall and winter foods- while our grocers have made it possible to buy most fruits and veggies year-round, there's something really nice about eating seasonally. Not to mention, it's a lot more environmentally friendly to do so.

We were given several butternut squashes (thanks, Julie and Ernie!), and I wanted to find a new way to prepare them. In my first culinary encounter with butternut squash I made soup, which turned out to be really yummy-check it out here. It's been in the 70's all week, though, so I wasn't in a particularly soup-y mood. My friend, co-worker, and fellow vegetarian, Devon enlightened me on the way to roast butternut squash. You really do learn something new every day! I made this simple meal when Carl was on his hunting trip last weekend:

Broccoli, Texas toast, and roasted and mashed butternut squash, topped with a little butter and brown sugar. 
A google search for butternut squash recipes led me to this one, and so I prepared myself for my first lasagna-making experience. Was it a success? Yes! Here are a few pictures:

The ingredients for the sauce. This was also my first time making tomato sauce from scratch! I used our new glass prep bowls so that I could pretend I was on a cooking show. 

The onions and spinach being sauteed. As a pretty religious onion-hater I was proud of myself for tolerating this much onion in the recipe.

Here it is! Apparently I neglected to take too many prep pictures... but the layers were butternut squash, noodles, sauce, a ricotta/italian cheese blend, and the spinach and onions. 

Making use of our new dinnerware. I even attempted to make a fancypants Caprese salad.
Keeping with the fall theme, I "baked" pumpkin bread for dessert. Not really- we received this mix as a a wedding gift, so not too much effort was required. Even so, it was really tasty.

Pumpkin bread with pumpkin spread. We're crazy!

Also, cranberries were buy one, get one free this week- are you starting to notice a trend in my grocery shopping? I went a little overboard 1) because cranberries are such a deliciously festive fruit and 2) it's nearly impossible to find them fresh or frozen any other time of year. I froze the majority and have been using the rest in my smoothies. Pear-vanilla-cranberry, apple cranberry, pear-cherry-cranberry, blueberry-pineapple-cranberry, and the list goes on. Yum!

All the goodies, ready to be blended: 
Berries, Apple, Celery, Sprouts, Kale, and Banana

A not-so-green smoothie. Looks like swamp sludge but tastes much better.

Now I'm off to a big Bussells Thanksgiving celebration, followed by some serious Christmas tree decorating. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and is able to enjoy the presence of friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving!

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