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?

 

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Grillin’ up Fajitas

We’ve been getting quite a bit done outside the house, but today I had to share a quick recipe for you since the weather is definitely getting nice and we are grilling machines these days.  I was one lucky girl when I heard these words from my husband,

“I want to make you dinner this weekend.”

Can you see why I married him?  He’s definitely a keeper!  He made me these Chipotle Skirt Steak Fajitas with Avocado Cream and they were outstanding!

Weber_FajitasThe only changes we made were to use Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream in the avocado cream and I asked Jake to cut back to only 2 chipotle peppers in the marinade vs the 3 they recommended.  After having them, though, I would add it.  It wasn’t too hot or spicy for me at all!  Bon Appetite!

Ingredients:

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1½ pounds skirt steak, ½ to ¾ inch thick, trimmed of excess surface fat, cut crosswise into 4- to 5-inch pieces

Cream

  • 1 large, ripe Hass avocado
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

  • 8–10 flour or corn tortillas (6 to 8 inches)
  • ⅔ cup chopped red onion
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the steak pieces in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  3. In a food processor combine the cream ingredients and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  4. Remove the steaks from the bag and discard the marinade. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the steaks across the grain into thin slices.
  5. Spread half of each tortilla with avocado cream and top with steak slices, onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

 

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Mason Jar Cupcakes

One of the goodies I made for our Party on the Fourth was these adorable mason jar cupcakes. They are so cute and so easy!  I think the best parts are 1) you get more frosting than a normal cupcake (and who doesn’t like that!) and 2) if you just want a bit, you can put the cap back on and save the rest for later!

DSCN2007 Here’s how I put them together: I chose to make red velvet with cream cheese frosting. First I made the cupcakes using this recipe, but scaling it back to only make 12 cupcakes.  I was making 2 other kinds so I thought 12 was plenty! I purchased my 12 4 oz ball jars from Amazon.  I’m a member of amazon prime, so get the perked 2-day shipping and they were on sale for $12.76, so that was a bargain at $1.06 per jar!

BallJarOrder

I know you can pick these up at hardware stores like Ace and even grocery stores now too.  I washed them out and got them ready for some red velvet love!

Jars - Washed

I made the cream cheese recipe also mentioned in that link above (here again) and just adjusted the sweetness to suit our tastes.  I sliced the cupcakes in half, placing 1/2 in the bottom of the jar.

Step 1

Then frosting…

Step 2

Then the remaining 1/2 cupcake (mine were super tall so I had to cut the tops off!)

Step 3

Frosting covers all imperfections, though…

Step 4

And voila!

Step 5

My extra finishing touches were easy too.  I have lots of blue ribbon on hand from our wedding and misc. projects, so I used that to secure small wooden “taster” spoons that I also picked up off of Amazon.  A package of 50 was $6.99, so $.014 a spoon and I have a bunch left for future cupcake batches!

There you have it!  Elegant little bundles of red-white-and-blue cupcakes that fit right into our party last week!

Have any great cupcake recipes to share?  link them up in the comments!

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