It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
At least food wise. I love fall food. This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to share my love of cooking with the women whom I attend church with. While I belong to a worldwide church, the women in my particular area are some of the most charitable, kind, and loving women that I’ve ever had the blessing of being associated with. I am not particularly social. I come across as social, but I tend to hide in my kitchen more than purposely go out and visit. But I never fail to feel loved and supported by the women in my church and it was a joy to be able to return some of my love, through food, today.
I was asked to prepare a dish that just exuded fall flavors. I immediately thought of stuffed acorn squash. Winter squashes are one of my favorite foods. They are nutritious and low cost. They can be prepared in so many ways. And they take the comforting warm flavors of fall so well. It is a match made in heaven!
Cracking the Acorn Squash Shell
The hardest part about winter squash is that they are… hard. Unless you have a meat cleaver and a mallet in your kitchen, cutting through them can be seriously intimidating. But with smaller squash (about 6 inches in diameter and smaller) you don’t have to cut them in half before you cook them. AND you can pre-cook them a little in the microwave. This saves your hands and your knife a lot of pain and trial. Plus it is super easy to get the seeds out with an ice cream scoop. No more scraping and gooey mess.
Then Add All the Good Fall Stuff
Wild rice has a wonderful nutty chewiness. Pecans taste heavenly. Dried cranberries… basically my favorite thing ever. Onions and Mushrooms – super moist and delicious. Then there is my secret stuffing weapon… Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Sage Sausage. I use this in a lot of recipes. It is a favorite flavor. My mom used it growing up in her Overnight Christmas Breakfast Casserole (do you want to see this recipe? It is a favorite!) and in stuffing, and to me it is the epitome of Fall flavor enhancers.
The great thing – you can totally update this recipe to the things that fit your flavor favorites. Squash goes really well with Middle Eastern flavors like Ras El Hanout or Indian flavors like Garam Masala. Change the Pecans to Almonds and the dried cranberries to golden raisins. Customize this to YOU and your dish. Want it vegetarian or even vegan? Use coconut oil in the rice, vegetable stock, and grind some walnuts with sage and BAM – you don’t lose any texture but gain all the flavor. I’ll be posting a vegetarian stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving next week. Stay tuned!
Make your food what you want it to be!
Gratitude Through Food
Food is one way that I show people I love them. I talk about that a lot on the blog, but it is a major part of my life. We all have talents and we all have things to share. This season, show your gratitude by sharing a meal with someone you love. Change the world one person at a time through kindness, charity, and love. If everyone did this, then the world would be a much kinder and safer place.
I am thankful for you, dear reader. I’m thankful for the prayers that have been given on my behalf from my readers and friends who know how hard it has been this year. I look forward to another year of food to share with you.