September 21, 2012

Celebrating Autumn

The thermometer reads sixty-four degrees, the windows have been open for days, and I'm wearing a fleece jacket as I write this post.  I look forward to this scenario all summer long.

Our CSA offers pastured chicken and we've been making homemade stock.  This is all new to me as I've been a vegetarian for many years. There's a story behind my dietary shift but I'll save that for another day. Today, I want to tell you about a delicious recipe that just screams Fall.

We've made this stew twice in the past week, using homemade stock. The apples make it special, adding a nice sweet flavor. In the first batch I used Gala apples instead of Granny Smith, and turnips instead of parsnips (just because that's what we had in our CSA bag).  Parsnips would make the stew even sweeter.  I changed the second batch up even more by adding ribbons of spinach (always trying to increase the greens) and some white kidney beans.  Modifications work really well in this recipe and it's a good idea to double if you'd like to enjoy it for days. We've determined this stew to be a keeper.

Also in our CSA share this week were Acorn and Delicata squash.  I prepared the Acorn squash very simply by brushing the cut edges with olive oil and baking (cut side down) in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Hubby liked his with butter and I just drizzled a tiny bit of pure maple syrup on mine.

On the menu today is Cranberry-Apricot Delicata Squash, with a few substitutions.  I'll use apples and walnuts instead of apricots and almonds.  Now, I'm on a mission to come up with a healthy version of my mom's Pumpkin Cake.  We just can't celebrate Autumn without it. ;)

What's cooking in your kitchen today?