Acorn Squash Patties

Fall is HERE! At least I think it is, but its 70 degrees out, so it is somewhat of a tease.  Regardless, fall flavors are here and probably being splashed across all social media outlets currently.  But we get it, pumpkin IS delicious, but lets not forget about all the other amazing gourds and squashes, they must be shown equal love since they are equally delicious!  One in particular that I enjoy is the acorn squash.  With a naturally sweet flavor it goes well with brown sugar on top, but I was born to be different so I did not do that with my acorn squash.  Oh no, I went Mexican with it.

Back story: one time I went to this restaurant in Newburyport called the Grog, and they had this sweet potato black bean burrito thing that my cousin would always get and although it sounds bizarre, it was really good. After tasting the acorn squash I though “hm, lets turn this into something Mexican-y” and that I did.  These patties were easy (especially if you have a food processor) but also full of flavor and are a fun way to trick someone into eating more veggies!

 

Ingredients:

  • acorn squash
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 cups mashed potato flakes (plain)
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • salt and pepper

How to:

  1. Begin by roasting your acorn squash.  I left it whole at 350 for an hour, and then cut it in half, added some salt and pepper, and cooked for another 20 minutes. (you can also microwave it and cut some of the cook time)
  2. Once your acorn squash is cooked and tender (also cooled so you don’t burn your fingers) remove the seeds, and scoop the meat into a separate bowl momentarily
  3. In your food processor chop your onion and pepper, then add the acorn meat and pulse until combined.
  4. Now add your spices and pulse for a few more seconds so fully combined
  5. Then in another bowl mix your acorn squash mix with one raw egg, and combine
  6. Slowly start adding in your mashed potato flakes, this is the binder of your mixture.  Continue to add flakes until the mixture looks slightly more dry and although still slightly sticky, can form into patties and stay together.
  7. Then cover a baking sheet with cooking spray and put your patties on them
  8. Cook for 20-30 minutes at 350, flipping halfway through cooking
  9. I ate them with some beans, avocado, lettuce, and hot sauce.  They were great!

 

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Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Slaw

I’ll admit it, I love brussels sprouts! Most people wouldn’t believe me or share in this sentiment, but with my own free will I proclaim “I LOVE THEM”.  But, admittedly, they can be kind of boring.  Especially if you eat them the same way every time.  Thankfully for me, I am somewhat creative and made a new recipe to eat my Brussels sprouts with! This recipe involves shredded lettuce, a little bit of bacon, and a tangy almost ranch tasting dressing.  Its great as a side to any meal but I enjoyed it with a hot dog accompaniment.  This is the way to jazz up your Brussels sprouts or get someone to try it for the first time!

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 Brussels sprouts
  • 1 piece of bacon
  • 2 teaspoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • a drop or two of hot sauce

How to:

  1. Begin by shredding the washed brussels sprouts.  I used a mandolin to achieve this but if you don’t have one, you can use a knife or other device.
  2. Then shred one piece of bacon.  I used a knife to finely chop the bacon.
  3. In a pan, add the bacon and brussels sprouts.  Add in 3 tablespoons of water and cover the pan cooking on medium low.
  4. The water steams the brussels and then once the water is gone, the brussels will begin to sauté and then they are ready to transfer to a bowl for the dressing.
  5. The dressing is the mayo, vinegar, salt, pepper, hot sauce, garlic, and parsley.
  6. Whisky all that together and then pour over the sprouts, it doesn’t need much dressing.
  7. Then done!

 

 

 

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Friendly Brunch

Brunch is now becoming a college sunday morning tradition I had never had enough appreciation for.  Well this morning a delicious brunch was had.  A meal shared among friends with great sweet and savory elements, basically everything you want in a brunch.  And in true brunch fashion we ate way too much, but it was great so who cares!!

Here are some pictures of what we had, the home fries were made by me and the french toast casserole was made by my lovely friend Sami!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes With Addictive Cinnamon Sugar Frosting

Goodbyes, see you laters, and until we meet again’s are hard.  As a matter of fact they usually suck, so when it came time to do one of those with a good friend I wasn’t looking forward to it.  But it is bitter sweet, since they are about to have a great adventure.  So I said goodbye the best way I could know how, with food.  These cupcakes mark a new beginning for me as well, this was my first ever cupcake recipe from scratch.  I’m happy they turned out well and were a great send off!

For the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. In one bowl mix the flour, spices, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Combine these ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, mix remaining ingredients.
  4. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mix. Whisking until combined.
  5. Use cupcake liners in a cupcake tin and then fill 3/4 the way up.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Let cool on a rack until room temp (very important for frosting)

For the Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/2 -1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to:

  1. Begin by creaming the butter and brown sugar together.  This involves using a mixer.
  2. Then add in your cream cheese, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. Continue mixing and slowly add in your powdered sugar.  Until achieves some stiffness.  It will still be a soft frosting.
  4. Add to a baggie, cut off the tip, and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes

Sorry not sorry for all the pictures…

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Sunday Dinner: Eggplant Lasagna

In my family, we have this thing called “Sunday Dinner”, which until about a week ago, I thought everyone did or at least everyone knew about.  I was wrong.  So let me explain.  Sunday dinner is what my mother does to only have to cook one meal on Sundays, granted she doesn’t save herself much work since she start cooking it at 9 am, but her usual motto is “I am making one meal, and the rest is on you”.  As a good Italian family, our Sunday dinners consist of pasta and sauce, and if Dad is feeling ambitious we have meatballs (which he also starts making at 9).  But it is nearly sacrilegious to even consider eating something that isn’t covered in a tomato sauce or is mostly carb based.  Even though I am not at home any longer, I still like to have a good hearty Sunday dinner, and this week was an eggplant lasagna.  This lasagna is great for people trying to watch their carb intake or those that are gluten free!  Although I ate it with some pasta, it is definitely a stand alone item as well.  So bring your “family” together, whoever it may be, and enjoy a beautiful Sunday dinner!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant (medium to large)
  • Italian sauce, at least 3-4 cups
  • cottage cheese (or ricotta)
  • shredded mozzarella
  • grated parmesan

How to:

  1. Begin by peeling your eggplant and then cutting it into 1/2 cm thick slices
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the eggplant and let sit for 10 minutes to draw out some of the moisture.
  3. In a casserole pan. Begin with one thin layer of sauce, then a layer of eggplant.
  4. Then layer with cottage cheese and a little parm, then eggplant.
  5. Then sauce, then eggplant, then more cheese, then eggpant
  6. And you get the idea, continue to do this until your casserole dish is almost full, leaving about an inch from the top so it doesn’t bubble over.
  7. Then top with one last layer of sauce, and then cover in cheese and parm and cover in foil
  8. Bake at 350 for about an hour, until the eggplant is tender (it will be bubbling)
  9. Then take off the tin foil for the last 10 minutes of baking so everything gets golden and melty!
  10. Enjoy over pasta or all on its own! Its also great for lunch the next day!!

 

 

 

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Toasted Acorn Squash Seeds

My family has been working very hard for the last few years to develop a more bountiful garden and this year they were able to do that.  They brought me some of their bounty and in that harvest included an acorn squash, and I finally got around to cooking it!! So not only will there be a recipe for that coming along but I was able to utilize the seeds to make something crunchy and delicious.  Everyone knows that they like pumpkin seeds but you should give acorn seeds a chance!! They are the perfect crunchy snack!

Ingredients:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • pan spray

How to:

  1. I scooped the seeds once the squash was already cooked.  But you could do it before or after.
  2. Remove the seeds from the guts ( I ran it under warm water in a strainer)
  3. Then on a pan place the seeds, spray with pan spray, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and light garlic
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and crunchy.
  5. Then enjoy!!!

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Ingeererere

Spicy Start

It has seem to become that the only time I have to make something delicious is breakfast on the weekends.  Since I used to not like eggs and have barely made them, there is a lot of room for experimentation.  This recipe has a good amount of heat but a great amount of flavor.  Its basically a deconstructed huevos rancheros that anyone could surely enjoy.  So start your morning right and with a little bit of spice!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Jalapeño pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans (or any bean)
  • 1 sprinkle cumin
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • cheese
  • collard greens (optional)

How to:

  1. So the first time I made the fried jalapeños I just put a little oil in the pan and fried them up for a few minutes and that was fine, but the second time I did it I almost killed me and my roommate trying to do this, so this is the way I would do it if you don’t know just how hot your peppers are:
    1. Slice up the jalapeños then in a pan cover the peppers in water and cook the jalapenos in water until the water evaporates and then add a little bit of oil and finish frying them off.
  2. I fried my egg but left the yoke runny
  3. Heat up the beans with a bit of cumin
  4. Then layer the beans, sliced avocado, fried jalapenos, egg, and cheese
  5. ENJOY!

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Swiss Steak with Sautéed Onions and Light Balsamic Butter Sauce

Marathon Day is two days away!!! GAH and I recently found out my iron was low, so I decided it was time to try and take on steak.  Usually I just leave this to my dad or a restaurant but enough was enough!  I am a strong woman and cook and I can cook a damn steak!  And cook a damn good steak is exactly what I did! This wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and paired with some sautéed spinach and smashed potatoes you have an amazing dinner.  Enough jabbering, heres how you make it!

Ingredients:

  • swiss center cut steak
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 ish tablespoons butter
  • splash of oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • montreal steak seasoning

How to:

  1. Begin by putting your pan onto medium low heat and adding a splash of oil to the pan, and then your sliced onions.
  2. Let these cook for 5/10 minutes until just starting to get tender.
  3. Meanwhile, take out your steak and sprinkle a bit of montreal steak seasoning onto it and press it in lightly.
  4. Turn up the heat on the pan to medium high to sear both sides.  Let the steak cook for 3 minutes on each side then lower the temp just a bit and continue to cook.
  5. Add in the butter and balsamic and cover continuing to cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Once everything looks glazed and saucy its all done!
  7. Put on top of smashed potatoes and enjoy!!

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