Thursday, November 21, 2013

Butternut Squash, Oh How I Love Thee!!!

I have a serious love affair going with orange vegetables.

Not orange clothes. They're so October.

But veggies????

Oh mylanta, Oh my stars!!!

Sweet potatoes.

Carrots.

Butternut Squash.

Acorn Squash.

Did I mention sweet potatoes??/ Oh, yes, I see that I did. Every year when the stores put them on sale for Thanksgiving, I buy 30 lbs...

Yes.

30 lbs.

Most of which I eat. They are my friend-in-the-cupboard. My deliciousness without being candy or chocolate!  I love 'em!!!

But today, we're doing a quick butternut squash glimpse because Dave's father always liked my butternut squash. Mind you, Mom wouldn't make it with brown sugar and cinnamon, so mine was a CLEAR WINNER, but a girl will take whatever victories life hands out, right????

So first, you wash the squash.... Then split it. Remove the seeds from the "bell" end with a spoon, and scrape out the seed threads, just like you do with a pumpkin only way easier with a squash.

I simmer/bake mine and you don't have to do it this way, but it's easy and tenderizes the squash thoroughly.

Lay squash pieces (cut side down) in baking pans with about 1/2" of water in pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for as long as it takes (45 minutes to an hour) in a 350 degree oven.... you want a fork inserted into the thick parts of the squash to penetrate easily.

Remove from oven... drain.... cool.....

Easy-peasy, right?

Now I scrape the soft squashy-goodness from the shell, into a bowl. And once I'm all done, I let it sit a little to drain the squash. It gets watery and I don't want watery. I drain it and blot with paper towels... then I do that again.



Suddenly this isn't sounding all that easy, but I'm sure it is.

Bear with me.



Once you've properly drained the squash, heat it back up in microwave, but not in your metal Kitchen Aid bowl.

(You'll only make that mistake once, I assure you.)

Add in a stick of butter.... at least a stick, more if you've made a huge batch. I just read a report that said butter is fine for you, it's the ten rolls you eat WITH the butter that settle on our laps, so just use the butter and not some weird spread that's going to get icky.....

Add 1 cup of brown sugar....

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

First I mash it all together with a masher.... or a big spoon, but I found the masher and it wasn't too dusty.



Next I beat it with the KitchenAid mixer blades and I'll show you why... No, it's not overkill, work with me, people!!!


Squash threads... those long stringy things that make people wince.... The beater CATCHES THEM!!!! And then I can throw them away and no one cringes. Well, they do, but that's from family drama more than anything else most times!  :)


And I freeze what we don't eat right away. With a bowl in the fridge for me, of course!  :)


17 comments:

  1. I LOVE butternut squash and never thought of the mixer! Great tip!!

    My hubby just slices squash, takes out the seeds, boils in a pot of sugared water for several hours, removes the pieces, puts on the butter and a little more sugar and eats them on a plate. (Of course, not the rind.) And squash is SO good for you.

    Not sure if it still is after sugar and butter added, but we'll just pretend it is!

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    1. I'm sure the sugar and butter are a grave necessity!!! I like Cruz's way. It's simple, too. Simple works for me.

      I ate sweet-potatoes and apples for supper at ten last night after choir. The baked kind I did here last month. So stinkin' delicious!

      Grandpa just loved the squash sugared up. He and are were in full agreement on that with your cute hubby... Certain things just go together. Squash + Sugar = True Love

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  2. I'm a squash fan, too! I love it baked, mashed, roasted.... Oh, you can do almost anything to it and I still love it!

    I'm going to have to get some and try your method, Ruthy.

    And I'm adding the butter, too. I'm convinced of the health benefits of eating good fats. Butter, coconut oil, olive oil -those are the only fats I use. No fake stuff.

    Have you ever tried sweet potatoes or squash with butter, salt, pepper and a smidge of cumin? There's something about cumin that bring out the savory sweetness of the veggies...and you don't have to eat the extra sugar!

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    1. Jan, I haven't. I'll have to check that out. I find that same thing, that certain mixes of sweet-to-savory are just made in heaven.

      Like a pinch of cinnamon in Swiss Steak, the way my sister used to make it. I haven't made that in years, I wonder if it's still as good as I remember it being??? :)

      Now mind you I use naughty oils in my fryers because well... A girl can't be good all the time. I'm just sayin'. But the rest is real butter or olive oil....

      Well, wait, I'm lying I use canola oil in cake mixes and brownie mixes and PLEASE!!! DO NOT MAKE ME GIVE THAT UP!!!! :)

      Did I sound desperate enough? Because I was trying to!!!

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    2. Oh, Ruthy, come into the light.

      Try coconut oil instead of canola oil! Do you remember how baked goods used to taste? Coconut oil is full of medium chain fatty acids - so good for you - and your cake mixes will have a texture that's out of this world!

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    3. I will try it! I'll have Dave scour the store for it tonight. He'll be tired, but he'll do it for me because I'm his nice wife!!! :)

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    4. :) Our store has it near the other oils and the Crisco.

      One thing to remember - coconut oil melts at 76°, so this time of year it's solid. It melts very easily, though, so you can do a liquid measure. I usually warm it up a bit in the microwave - spoon some into the glass measuring cup, and add or subtract if necessary.

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  3. I love squash but have to watch my starchy veggies. But hey, everything in moderation.

    I love the idea of catching the squash strings. Now I just need to go out and get a Kitchen Aid. Or at least borrow my daughter's.

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    1. The string thing is awesome, right????? BIG GRIN!

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  4. Yum -- Love the autumnyist of baking squash. I've never tried your simmer/bake method but I'm going to give it a try. I usually bake 'em with a tad of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Mmmmmmm...I think I need to pick up a squash on the way home this afternoon. :-)

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    1. You know, I love the roasted flavor of just baked squash, too. But I always singe it too much. Sigh. Total kitchen fail. Kind of like how I burn bacon. And you'd think I'd be better at this stuff, but no.

      Burnt bacon (slightly, not coal black!!!) again today.

      Dave laughed at me.

      Brat.

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  5. This is a great idea. I roast them with butter and brown sugar as well. Love them that way.

    What is the Pretzel Stix container used for?

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    1. Huge pretzel stix container is my brown sugar keeper to keep it fresh and soft. It holds 8 pounds. :) Two week supply, LOL!

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  6. Ruthy what a super solution for the squash threads! Brilliant even! Thank you :-)

    Nancy C

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  7. I love squash. This winter I've been roasting it with beets. Oh the glorious colors! And tastes so good too.

    But usually I did it like you did - but without the mixer step. Threads? Can't say they ever bothered me.

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  8. for a minute there I thougtht you were gonna pour it into a pie dish! :-) coworker makes good mashed sweet potatoes- she addes brown sugar and cinnomn -not a whole lot but just enough to make them good - pretty sure I tasted butter too...
    Susanna

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