Tag Archives: pecans

Squash n’ Sauce

((Sorry, does squash n’ sauce sound gross?  I really mean two separate dishes.)) 

Two-for-one today!

  1. Super simple, irresistible, maple roasted butternut squash
  2. Fresh cranberry sauce

I’m battling butternut once again!  We’ve made friends since our first adventures together.  Now I can’t get enough.

This is my favorite way to eat it.

I  love the crispy outside and the creamy inside.

This is a salty-sweet flavor burst with a decidedly autumnal spin.

I love to roast one up just to have on hand for for snacking, or to throw in salad or soup.

To get crispy perfection, find a way to raise the squash off of the baking sheet.  I use a cooling rack that does just fine in the oven.  Make sure you leave plenty of space between pieces, too; if the squash is too close together it’ll steam instead of roast.  Give it some room to breathe!  Like this:

Roasted butternut squash is awesome all the time, but it can be an especially nice Thanksgiving side dish.  This combination of salty-sweet squash, sweet-tart dried cranberries and toasty pecans makes me swoon.

I could eat a squash a day like this…I’m totally addicted.

Speaking of cranberries…

Hey guy.  You’re cute.

Cranberry sauce, I’m sorry I never fully appreciated your potential.

Can we just discuss this beast for a second?

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous and…intense.  They’re bitter, insanely tart…it’s hard to believe they get delicious.  Oh, but they do!  They really, really do.  It’s not even difficult.  Not one bit.

This is my first time on the sauce so I kept it pure and simple.  Cranberries, sugar, orange juice and water.  Throw ’em in a pot.

You can cook them as long as you like.  I would recommend at least letting them cook until they burst.  Biting into a whole fresh cranberry doesn’t appeal to me at all; it’s like concentrated bitterness.  As they cook they take on the orange juice, water and sugar until they explode into a juicy, ruby mess of awesome.

In other words…once they pop the fun don’t stop 😉

You can even puree the whole mess…it’s entirely up to you!

Not just for turkey!  I discovered that this stuff is delicious on sandwiches of all kinds.

(That guy is egg, avocado, tomato and cranberry sauce. Don’t knock it til you try it.  Oh, and bacon if you roll that way =)

All on a homemade English muffin.  Recipe coming soon!)

For more awesome things to do with leftover sauce:  check this out!  Lots of good ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

EVERYTHING IS TO TASTE! Use however much you want.  Seriously.  I’ll give you rough estimates but PLEASE adapt to your own taste.  You may like it saltier or sweeter than I do, or maybe you hate thyme.  Choose your own adventure.

1 medium utternut squash
at least 1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans (toasted)

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven heats, peel your butternut squash and cut into slices or cubes (whichever you prefer).  Put the pecans in to toast while you prepare the squash for roasting.  Seriously, check them every 5 minutes.  The SECOND they start to smell toasty, taste toasty and brown slightly take them out.  They’ll burn quickly!  Set aside to cool.

2.  Place the squash in a large bowl and toss with at least enough maple syrup to coat evenly.  Add the salt, pepper and thyme and toss to coat. (Yes, pepper and maple syrup are delicious together.)

3. Arrange on a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath, (to catch drippings), leaving space between the pieces of squash.  Roasting time will depend on the size of your squash pieces.  It will probably take at least 20 minutes.  Let it go until it starts to brown and you can easily pierce it with a fork.

4.  Toss with cranberries and pecans in a serving dish.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately

Cranberry Sauce

Recipe a conglomeration of quite a few recipes I found…adjusted to taste

1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup water

1. Put the cranberries, sugars, juice and water in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir until the sugars dissolve.

2.  Let the mixture cook down until the berries start to pop (best part-about 5 minutes after the sugar dissolves).  Turn the heat down to low and let simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.  The longer it cooks, the thicker it’ll be.  If you don’t want any chunks at all, puree in a food processor, or in a blender in batches.

*Now do what you want. Add nuts, add vanilla, add orange or lemon zest, add salt and pepper, add apples, pomegranates and pears or nothing at all.  This is a base for you adjust to your taste.  Happy cooking!

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Apple Crisp

In case you haven’t figured this out yet…

I’m a chocolate fanatic.

Generally, I’ll take a hunk of chocolate over pretty much any other dessert.

This apple crisp, however, completely, totally, 100% blew me away.

Stole my heart.

Swept me right off my feet.

And knocked me clear off my rocker.

I don’t know if it has just been a while and I forgot how great apple crisp is or if this one was particularly amazing…

but I kind of lost it for a while there and could not stop raving about how unbelievable it was and insisting that everyone try some immediately.

Fortunately, they agreed with me.

It didn’t take that much convincing.

Crisps/crumbles (whatever) are awesome because they can either be crazy complicated and fancy or super simple.

Either way it’s delicious.

I went simple.

The best part?

It all starts with a pretty bowl full of apples!

You start by chopping them up.

It’s a good day when even your scraps are pretty!

Then it’s time for the good part

Don’t forget the butter.

(just saying…so far we have oats, cinnamon, sugar and butter in a bowl.)

((it’s a great day))

Do what you gotta do to make that butter into little chunks.

You know…like a crumble….

…for your crumble topping.

(A pastry cutter is easiest)

((Mom doesn’t have one…because I stole hers))

Don’t stress too much about your chunks.

You do want it to combine with your dry ingredients pretty well but it’s just going to melt on top of your apples and mingle with your cinnamon sugar until it’s pure joy in a pan.

Spread it around, let it make friends with your cinnamon/sugar/oaty stuff.

Stress is not invited to this cinna-party.

So…I have made a lot of apple crisps in my life.

This time…things went a little differently.

I did two things that may have contributed to the absolute amazingness of this crisp.

A little maple syrup drizzled over the apples added some depth to the flavors.

It wasn’t just straight up sugar.

It was INTERESTING sugar.

Also those pecans were spot. on.

I lloooovvvveeeeee how they get all toasty in the oven. Such a perfect addition to regular crumble topping.

Assembly is pretty simple.

Throw your apples in a baking dish, sprinkle the crumble on top then bake until the top is toasty brown and the middle is bubbling up sticky cinna-sweet all over your crunchy crumbly topping and you absolutely can. not. resist taking a fork right to the pan before you even get a picture of the whole crisp without a piece missing.

Silly.

Those pecans look burned there.

They are not.

They are TOASTY.

It’s different.

And delicious.

I dare you to resist.

I did not.

((At least I used a fork…)

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Update: Apparently my parents were battling over this crisp after I left. TRY IT!

Apple Crisp

Recipe from my head based on a million different recipes

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter (chilled)

maple syrup

chopped pecans

7 apples, (or as many as fit in your baking  dish), chopped into small chunks

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F

2. Peel, wash and chop your apples into bite sized pieces.  I like pretty small pieces when it comes to crumbles and pies.  You could slice them pretty big if you wanted to.  Choose your own adventure.  When they’re chopped just dump them in your baking dish

3.  Drizzle the apples all over with maple syrup and toss them around a little to evenly coat the chunks

4. Mix your dry ingredients (through salt) until well combined

5.  Cube your butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or two knives until you have even-ish chunks and it is well combined with the dry ingredients

6. Toss in a handful of chopped pecans…how much depends on how nutty you’re feeling (ha!).  I was feeling about 1/2-3/4 cup nutty

7. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over your apples and bake for about half an hour or until top is golden brown

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