Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash and my Nana's cellar

It is fall!  I am very excited for autumn foods!  All the soups and roasted veggies, I seem to have a dozen ideas zipping through my head.  Now I just need to find people to cook for.

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

1 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.


Allyson said...

I think that cake is AWESOME! It's so glossy and perfectly suited for Halloween! Very nice job for not being a baker... Super fun!

T said...

Oooh that squash looks like a perfect thanksgiving treat, yum! Isn't it funny how sometimes bad smells smell good to you because of memories? I feel the same way about bleach... (weird.)

And that cake is not shameful, its gorgeous (rustic, you could say) and I'm sure it tasted great!

Jes said...

Beautiful squash! And I love the stories about your Nana--a cellar sounds wonderful :)

jessy said...

your story about your Nana's cellar totally brought back memories of my grandmother. she had a cellar as well, same smells, and while she didn't keep squash in her cellar, she did keep all the pickles, jams, and jellies she would make. i miss her so much! your squash looks absolutely lovely, and a perfect way to celebrate fall! and hooray for a super fun pumkin cake - i think it looks great - and your decorating skills are much better than mine! :)

Rachana said...

Ohhh that squash looks awesome and totally loved that cute pumpkin cake.

Millie said...

I love stuffed accorn. I always put mozzarella cheese in mine...I also love the cake...its so cute.

Millie said...

I am planning to spotlight and feature throughout the month of November cookies that vegans can enjoy for the Holidays.

I would like for all the vegan bloggers on my blogroll to participate.

I would like to include you as one of my blog guests for that month.

Every 4 days I will highlight one of my vegan bloggers from my blogroll with their photo and their best holiday cookie recipe, which will highlight their blog and the written information they send me about themselves and their recipe for those 4 days.

After the 4 days I will highlight another blogger friend. Once I have highlighted you, you then need to post it on your blog sending your blogger friends towards my blog to see your guest post.

Make sure your recipe is not complicated.

If you are interested to join me fir the month of November with your best vegan or raw cookie recipe, please email me all the information I have requested by October 20th.

Your entry must be in writing and sent to me via email. I need you to send me a photo of yourself and a photo of your family. In your summary tell me a little bit about yourself, where you live, your marital status, your career and of course your recipe complete with the recipe & a photograph of your cookies. Please let me know whether you are participating or not...I truly appreciate your response.

Thank you.

Jill - Vegan Backpacker said...

Sounds like a lovely recipe. I'm staying with my nan at the moment and she has an Acorn squash we need to use. Maybe this is the answer :)

Elisabeth said...

I love the cake!