Today was really the first day of fall cooking for me. I was excited and went with something I am familiar with, squash. When I visited my Nana as a young kid, I would always love to go into her cellar. With the dirt floor, it always smelled slightly of mildew that I still associate with her. I actually very much enjoy the smell and brings me good memories. If you walked far enough into the cellar, you would find numerous winter squash that she harvested from her many gardens each year. She used them all year and I have always been very fond of squash. It is dishes like these that remind me of all the food times with her on the farm.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 cups of orange juice
1 cup of cooked rice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of carrot (chopped)
2 tablespoons of cashews (crushed)
2 tablespoons of black pepper
1 1/2 oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of onion (chopped)
1 tablespoon of cranberries
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of thyme
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
With a large knife, cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Pour the orange juice into each half of the squash. Wrap in tin foil and bake for 40 minutes.
In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on low heat. Add the garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, and rice. Allow the mixture to cook for 5-8 minutes. The garlic should not begin to brown. Add the cashews, salt, pepper, paprika, and carrots and let the mixture cook on low heat until the carrots and cashews begin to get soft. Add the additional oil as needed, the mixture should not be permitted to dry out. Add the cranberries in and mix well.
Do not turn the oven off.
The squash should be fully cooked. If a fork can pierce the "meat" of the squash, it is done. It should not be separating from the peel. Pour the remaining orange juice out and fill the squash halves with the rice mixture. Lightly drizzle the remaining olive oil over the tops of the squash and put back in the oven without foil. Allow to bake for 5-8 minutes and serve. Feel free to garnish with scallions.
I also made a fun Halloween cake! As I have said before, I am not a baker. I try because I have a sweet tooth. I am also not an artist, in fact, I had to use the internet to find out what colors make orange! It was still fun and tasted decent, even it is does not look as great as most of the treats I see in the blogworld. I am almost ashamed to post the picture. I tried.