It’s just the two of us now, and some nights it’s difficult to want to cook. All summer I could call my kids and tell them to start dinner. Now they’re both gone, we are tired , the pets need to be fed, and we don’t want to think about preparing a meal. I think sometimes it’s more difficult to cook for two; it’s easier to think about just skipping it and going for the ice cream. On the night my husband wasn’t home, I made myself an egg sandwich, but the next night I was determined to provide us with something delicious and nutritious and I wasn’t popping it into the microwave, Butternut Squash with a Maple Bourbon Glaze. I had butternut squash and I was going to use it, even if it was too big for two people, yay, we had leftovers too. I think maple and bourbon are very friendly flavors, and on the butternut with a little melted butter they were perfect.
- Butternut squash
- 2 tbs wild turkey bourbon
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tbs melted butter
Slice the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Whisk together the butter, the bourbon and the maple syrup. Brush the cut halves with the glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven (we actually used the toaster oven) on 400 until you can poke it with a fork and it gives nicely, brushing every so often with the glaze.Diana
I still have butternut squash in my basement, but as the basement warms up, the squash will be in peril. I’m glad they lasted as long as they did, since this is the first year we tried basement storage. Last year we kept the winter squash upstairs, and they didn’t last as long. I’m going to make Butternut Squash Under a Swiss Cheese Crust for our family Easter gathering. I made it for dinner one night and my husband was really impressed, so impressed he wants me to make it again. I used curry in the dish to keep it from being too sweet, but also added nutmeg and cinnamon because I love the taste with butternut squash and I also added nutmeg to the cheese sauce. The swiss cheese was hand delivered from Wisconsin. A friend of my husband’s brought us back cheese from a recent trip. Isn’t it cool to have a friend like that? My favorite prep method for butternut squash is to slice it down the middle, scooping the seeds and pulp out, but leaving the meat behind. Then it is brushed with olive oil, and placed cut side down in a glass pan. It goes into the oven at about 350 and bakes until a knife slides in easily. Ingredients:
- 1 butternut squashed prepped(see above)
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1 tsp curry
- 1 tsp nutmeg -grated
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 cup swiss cheese shredded
- 1 tsp nutmeg – grated
Bake butternut squash until soft. Cool and then scoop butternut squash out of the shell into a bowl. Use a mixer to combine the squash milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and curry. Place in a buttered casserole dish. In a small saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in cold milk until smooth. Take off heat and whisk in the cheese. Spread cheese sauce over top of the squash (add more cheese if you need a thicker consistency). Bake in oven at 350 until cheese starts to brown and crusty.Diana
Turkey is one of the easiest things to cook, the main problem is taking it out on time so that it stays moist and tender. To that end, pay attention to roasting times and pop up thermometers. Get a meat thermometer and make sure you check the temp with that after the pop up – pops to be sure. Follow these suggestions for a wonderful tasting roasted turkey for your Thanksgiving (or even not Thanksgiving) bird.
- Defrost your turkey. You’ll need to keep it in the fridge for a few days in order for it to defrost. It takes longer with the giblet packet inside, so as soon as you can, take it out. If you didn’t leave enough time to defrost it totally, you will need to submerge your sealed Turkey in a big pot or sink full of cold water. Change the water every 1/2 hour. Whatever you do, put your arm all the way through from one end of the turkey to the other and make sure you get every single one of those giblet parts out.
- Turkey Brining – I talked about it here . Martha Stewart has a brining recipe if you want to make it yourself. Rinse turkey well and pat dry.
- Stuff the turkey – I like to cook my stuffing in a baking dish in the oven. If you like it in your turkey, then by all means stuff it. Add some cooking time in for the stuffing.
- Season the turkey – If you don’t have stuffing inside, throw in some garlic and herbs. Rub butter or olive oil over the skin of the turkey and throw some of your favorite herbs on top. Salt, pepper, sage, thyme. I throw onions and a little garlic in the side of the pan too.
- Cooking – My mom roasted the turkey in a Roasting Pan with an aluminum foil tent. My husband’s mom used a roasting bag and then in a pan. I use an electric Roasting Pan. My husband under the familiar protest that you don’t get your wife cooking gear for Christmas bought me one because I asked. I love it because I can keep the oven free for other things. I have tried with success cooking the turkey upside down for some of the time to let the juices travel better to the breast. Put the turkey in and leave it. Every time you open the oven it makes the oven heat up all over again.
- Timetable – From the Good Housekeeping Cookbook that I got as a wedding gift over 21 years ago.
Suggested temp 325 degrees.
8 – 12 lbs 3 1/2 – 4 hours
12 – 16lbs 4 – 4 1/2 hours
16 – 20 lbs 4 1/2 – 5 hours
20 – 24 lbs 5 – 6 hours
Subtract a half hour if it is unstuffed.
- Remove foil or bag for the last half hour of cooking to let the turkey brown.
- Let the turkey rest for a half hour before serving so that the juices settle.
- Make giblet gravy or any other gravy that you prefer.
- Carve and eat.
Another method of cooking a turkey is deep frying. However, any type cooking directions that includes keeping a fire extinguisher nearby makes me shake my head. I’ve heard it’s really good that way though and very moist.
For Big Green Egg lovers, here are directions to cooking a turkey on the BGE.
Of course, if you wait too long and you’re too tired, or you have to work, or you just don’t want to spend all day cooking or working on a turkey.. there’s always the supermarket pre-ordered, pre-cooked ready for pick up.
This is an updated repost from 2008.
Fruit fly season is the worst time of the year. If you have a piece of fruit or vegetable sitting out, those darned flies will find it and you know you don’t want to refrigerate your tomatoes, because they will taste nasty. So, how do you trap the fruit flies and keep them away from your produce? With a fruit fly trap – or a fruit fly vinegar jar.
My daughter saw an idea for a fruit fly trap that used a jar, a paper cone, apple cider vinegar and dish soap. So, I’ve been trying different variations to see what made a difference and worked, and what didn’t.
- Vinegar alone works just fine. Don’t waste your precious dishsoap, plain vinegar – in fact any kind of vinegar works. We used apple cider the most but plain white worked too.
- A wide mouth with a cone works well. The cone gives a wide opening for the fruit fly to find it’s way in, but the narrow opening prevents them from leaving. When I used a small mouthed bottle, the flies never found their way into the bottle. Large bowls are very inviting, but you need to find a way to keep them from escaping.
- Fruit is the enemy when it comes to trapping the fruit flies. If there are any other attractants in the vicinity, the competition will keep the flies away. So, clean up any fruit making sure to remove any that have a slight crack or peel. That will actually solve most of your problem, but you may still have some flies, without fruit around they will find your vinegar jar.
Since I’m into paw paws and it’s the right season, I’ll re-post the recipe for my Paw Paw Pineapple Cocktail.
This is very yummy.Diana
It’s been a few weeks but I’ve got a bunch of good stuff this week – including Master Chef in Columbus, OH. Dig in!
- Masterchef is coming to Columbus, OH and a bunch of other places. Pre-register your profile and sign up for your open casting call. All you need to know is here.
- MamalDiane.Com has a different way to preserve your basil by freezing after blanching.
- Here is what’s new at Heinz Stadium this season – New Food Options at Heinz Field. Have you ever looked up the stadium menu ahead of time?
- Do you know your avocado varieties? Here’s a nice little write up from California Avocado Commission.
- Here’s an interesting one – a Bullseye View has Mac Hacks – suggestions for upping the taste in the mac and cheese cups they sell. I taught my daughter to make her own mac n cheese, but still once in a while a box or a bowl is quick. Here are suggestions for the college dorm kid to Hack their Mac.
- Faith Durand of TheKitchn.com had a nice visit from a Health Inspector in cooperation with Mary T. Nguyen of the Columbus Dispatch. Read Faith’s post and Mary’s article to see what they thought the Health Inspector highlighted the most.
Quite a few contests this week, a free recipe book and some fun stuff to read and watch.
- Wholly Guacamole wants you to OMGuac Lunch. This promotion is to encourage healthy eating using Wholly Guacamole Minis. Take a photo and enter it into a contest on the Wholly Guacamole website. Best looking lunches win a lunchbox full of Wholly Guacamole products and 100.00 gift card. Coupons for Wholly Guacamole Minis can be found on their website, plus you can take a look at previous winners, or watch videos with great suggestions for a great lunch.
- HobbyFarms.com is holding a Pickle That contest – They want you to publish your pickled “stuff” to instagram -
Upload photos of your pickled produce to your account and tag it #hfhpicklethat, and on September 30, 2013, one lucky participant will be chosen to receive a selection of books from the Hobby Farm Home grab bag to support their gardening and preserving endeavors.
- The Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival in the Maleny Showgrounds (Australia) will happen Sept 7-9. Admission cost is 15.00, kids free. Looks like they have a lot of great stuff going on.
- Free right now – Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends Barbecue Recipe eBook. Choose from the different recipe book types – Nook, Kindle, etc.
- A nice video about the Columbus Coffee Scene by Experience Columbus.
- Prevention put together a slide show with the 25 Worst Diet Tips Ever. I think they’re pretty good.
- Pay attention Buckeyes – the Buckeye Regional and Ohio State Chili Championship is Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 at CaJohns Fiery Foods in Westerville. 1.000.00 grand prize each day, plus a pass to compete at the 2013 World Chili Championship.
- Folger’s is holding a Spot the Red Bag Sweepstakes – Snap a photo of a red bag Folger’s or otherwise and upload to instagram with hashtag #SpotTheRedBag for a chance to win.
PS. Let us know if you see something you enjoyed so that we can find more of that type for you. Looking for feedback on the Food News.
Today is National Lemonade Day – and to celebrate, we’ve got a nice lemonade recipe to celebrate with. This was sent to me by Dobel Maestro Tequila – who definitely knows what they are talking about when it comes to cocktails. So, as the dog days are waning (or if you are like me, they were skipped), get something cool and refreshing to enjoy – adult style, quick! before summer ends.
- 1.5 oz. Maestro Dobel tequila
- Half the juice of a lemon
- 1 tbsp. agave nectar
Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
Pour into a chilled rocks glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Here’s a few updates for this weeks Food News. Summer has been really busy, and I have a few posts to share that I will get up this week. Enjoy the links here, lots of fun stuff to share this week.
- If you missed the Master Chef cookalong, you can still watch a replay of the Google Hangout. They have the other hangouts linked on their page as well and you can use #masterchef to find it as well on google+.
- G-Free Foodie talks about the new FDA guidelines for gluten-free labeling. What does it mean to you?
- Would you try an Avocado Daiquiri? The California Avocado Commission has a recipe for it. What do you think, are you adventurous?
- Who is going to the Tri-State Food Expo in the Meadowlands? David Burke will make a special appearance Tuesday, October 1 at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey (11:30am – noon). Anyone else?
- Sesame Street has a new DVD coming out in September called C is for Cooking. Look for it September 10, 2013.
- King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Class Schedule for the fall is up. Scroll through the calendar to see if any classes that you’d like to take are available. There is also a Baker’s Harvest Conference/Festival September 5 – 7, 2013.
- Alter Eco is sponsoring a Quinoa Recipe Contest – it ends August 11th, 2013 so you only have a couple of days left. Maaeybe you’ll win a trip for two to Napa, CA. Enter the contest on the Facebook Page.
Just a few things on the list for this week. Enjoy!
- Don’t forget we’re giving away Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.
- Mario Batali has a #howtoTuesday Youtube channel. Follow it for some great tips on cooking and preparing your favorite foods.
- Are you ready for Lyon in 2015? Apply to be part of Pastry Team USA.
Applications are opened until September 5th and the rules are attached below. The theme of the competition will be “Inventions”. Participants will chose either of the two categories: Sugar Centerpiece or Chocolate Centerpiece and everyone will have to present Entremet and Plated dessert for tasting.