Saturday, September 29, 2012

Butternut Squash for a Late Summer Saturday Evening

We are butternut squash fanatics.  If there is one thing to love about the end of summer, it's seeing these beige beauties ripen on the vine in the garden, or stacked in the produce section in huge crates like the pumpkins that have come early.  I love them, and will take them any way - steamed, mashed, in souffles, as part of risotto, creamed into soups, or pureed for a pasta filling.  It's absolutely worth the work cutting through the hard shell...the fleshy inside is sweet, and when cooked becomes soft, rich, caramelized and substantial. It pairs nicely with butter and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, anise, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, sage...the list goes on (as I'm discovering) depends on whether you are looking for sweet or savory.  Either way, the flavor will be bold.  I've served it as a main course, a side dish, and as a dessert.  Fantastic vegetable.  <3  Here are a few of my favorite recipes: 

This is actually a soup that I found thick enough to serve over son had some friends over and they ate this for lunch...BOYS even!!!   

 Butternut Squash Soup

I made another soup this evening...the recipe really surprised me as the flavor changed intensely at each the addition of bacon on top when serving, which completely balanced the honey in the recipe.

Caramelized Butternut Squash Soup 
And, my favorite recipe of all, the Butternut Squash Souffle, which was one of the first foods I have ever blogged about. 

I wasn't properly introduced to the butternut until a few years ago...didn't even know what it was until I had been in this country for probably 10 years.  This squash and I have some catching up to do!!!  Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sitting Down to a Meal of Garden Fresh Veggies and Grilled Chicken Sausage

Mmmm... Summer... Saute. vegetable saute!  Add some sausage, in particular chicken sausage, and you've got one of the tastiest dinners calling your family to the table.  And it was so simple!!

As an Allrecipes Brand Ambassador, one of our September assignments is to try a few of Al Fresco's All Natural Chicken Sausage recipes found on  I chose the Garlic Chicken Sausage and Summer Vegetable Saute for tonight's dinner because I had a few bell peppers and a couple of zucchini left from this weekend's garden picking.  Plus, we had piano lessons tonight and not a lot of time to prepare a big home cooked meal. 

I put the chicken sausage links and zucchini on the grill, and started the onions in my wok a few minutes later.  After the sausage links had browned up nicely, I brought them inside to slice diagonally and add to the onions.  We are big fans of tofu, so I cubed some up and added to the saute.  Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, so I knew it would not only extend the well-mixed flavors, but also add a texture to replace the mushrooms, which we are not fond of.  I added the peppers to the stir fry last to keep them crisp and crunchy.  And, finally, I served the dish with the grilled zukes sliced up chunky-like and added to the side.

What an awesome celebration of seasonal bounty...grateful for yet another amazing recipe from  And, of course, thank you, Al Fresco!!