Recipe: Squash Salad

This year Jake and I joined our first CSA or Farmshare and have picked up fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables once a week since June.  (It’s Farm Direct Coop for any of you who are in the Boston area and are interested.)  It’s been fun getting vegetables we don’t normally purchase like kohlrabi (which we now LOVE!), bok choy, and pointy cabbage.  It gives me an opportunity to scour pinterest to find out what do do with them!

Last week it was this guy that was a mystery to me.

Delicta Squash

It’s a delicta squash or a winter squash.  I had to google it to figure it out and read that it’s a lot like butternut squash, but with a thinner skin that you actually don’t even need to peel.  Just give it a good wash and it’ll soften along with the flesh.  So off to pinterest I went to see what I wanted to try to do with it and I came across this receipe by Hungry Healthy Girl for her Autumn Harvest Salad.

HHG_Recipe

Looks amazing, right?  She does a great job of talking through the recipe, so I won’t really do that, but I did want to share some switches I made that made this a scrumptious and healthy dinner last night!

As promised the squash was super easy to cut and clean. I chose to cut it into slices rather than cubes since it looked so pretty.

Squash Salad Squash Salad

I tossed the slices with olive oil, salt, and cinnamon and popped them into the oven for 30 minutes, turning them once.

Squash Salad Squash Salad

While those were roasting, I put some onions on to caramelize and gathered my other salad fixin’s.  Instead of romaine I used arugula and also added pear slices, dried cranberries and a sprinkle of goat cheese.

Squash Salad

Everything is better with goat cheese!  A loaf of bread and goat cheese could sustain me for life, I swear.   I also made the maple dressing she suggested with it, but used Dijon mustard instead of spicy mustard.  Since I did so, I found I needed to add about a tablespoon more maple syrup to cut the tangy-ness of the Dijon and then it was perfect.

Squash Salad

Seriously, this salad was so good!  The warm vegetables wilted the arugula just a bit and it was full of warm fall flavors that just hit the spot after a few rainy days here.  I packed up the extra roasted vegetables separately so will get to enjoy another warm salad tonight! Honestly, it’s such a gorgeous blend of colors that this would be wonderful at Thanksgiving as well.  It’s such a pretty salad, isn’t it?

Squash Salad Squash SaladEver try a delicta squash? Have any favorite fall recipes that are a must have?

 

Teaking Your Outdoor Furniture

Last winter we got a cover for our outdoor patio set, but admittedly we bought it a bit late and we hadn’t done any treatment to the wood to protect it from the elements.  For a bit it had sat out in rain and snow unprotected.  The results this spring were noticeable on both the tabletop and the chairs.  (The cushions we put in the shed during the winter.)

Patio Set Patio Set

Both had seen better days, but we knew we could fix it and also get it prepped for this summer as well as fall.  Our set is Eucalyptus which is a great wood for outdoor furniture, but you do have to take care of it and treat it a bit.  Our first step was to give everything a good scrub down with dish soap and water and let everything dry off in the sun.

Patio Set Patio Set

Patio Set

After everything was dry, we sanded down all the damaged spots and pulled out some of the darkest stain we could find to match which ended up being Rust-oleum Wood Stain in Kona.  It’s super dark and hopefully would blend well with the existing color.

Rust-oleum Kona Stain

This color turned out to be a near perfect match and covered all those damaged areas really well.  I just applied it with some staining rags and gloves, then wiped each piece down after 10-15 minutes.  We did reapply to certain areas that were tougher to cover and in the end they looked as good as new!

Patio Set

Patio Set

To make sure we kept it this way for good now and didn’t have to repeat this at the end of the season, we picked up some Teak Oil and gave each piece a good coat into every nook and cranny using a clean rag.

Teak Oil

The teak oil gave the pieces a nice sheen without being too shiny.  Everything just looks new and refreshed again!

Patio Set Patio Set Patio Set

The finish has held up well all summer with just one coat of teak oil and still has that shiny new look to it.  Our plan is to get another coat on in the next couple of weeks so we can get ready to winterize the patio set and get the furniture covered up.  We should have at least until Thanksgiving, but we know our time sitting outside is limited.

I hate thinking about putting everything away but with it being October 1 there’s no choice, is there?  Here in New England we’ve had our first few rainy and gloomy days of fall which has actually made some of the leaf color changes really stand out a bit in the gloom.  Some of these trees near my office in the city are usually the last to turn and wait until closer to November, but are even starting to change already.Boston in AutumnWhat sort of things are you getting ready for Fall?  Do you get out and fix your gardens and split plants during this time?  It’s on my list to learn how…

Shopping for Chandys

While we’re working to update our dining room, I can’t help but hunt the web for chandeliers that we like. The new pantry light is so much fun, I think it’s finally got me thinking of what we might want to replace this beauty.

Current Light

Blech. I do plan on donating that to Habitat Re-store or Salvation Army, though. With a coat of oil-rubbed bronze it might not be so terrible, but it’s just really not our style overall and I’m looking for something that will give off a softer light.

I’m drawn more to fixtures that have drum shades. I love how elegant they look, while still giving off a casual vibe. But then again, fixtures with a little bling are really pretty too. We use this room to dine in almost every day and since we have such a small footprint we walk through it a lot as well. We want it to feel casual and lived in with a touch of class…you know, like us.  :-)

Chandiliers

1.  Springfield2. Modern Beads / 3. Jeweled Bronze / 4. Johnathan Adler / 5. Margo / 6. Cosmo

This is a tough decision! We may end up with one of these, but then again, we may end up with something else entirely! What do you think? Do you like any of these?

Have a great weekend!