Twice Baked Butternut Squash

I usually scale this down quite a bit unless we're having company over, because while delicious, my husband and two of my three children are not squash fans.  Another Martha Stewart recipe. :)

6 butternut squash (about 9 pounds total)
1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon  sour cream
2 teaspoons paprika
6 fresh chives, cut into 1/8-inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted

Heat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in center. Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fill a roasting pan with 1/4 inch water. Place squash in pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch border around six of the halves so they will keep their shape. To the bowl, add sour cream, paprika, chives, and remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix with a handheld electric mixer or potato masher until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Fill six squash halves with mixture (discard remaining six empty halves). Sprinkle tops with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.

Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

This is a really yummy recipe that I adapted from a back issue of Everyday Food!

2 acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 Tbl. butter
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 box (6 ounces) wild-rice blend (seasoning packet discarded)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion, garlic, and Herbes de Provence; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and 1 3/4 cups water; bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, without stirring, about 25 minutes.

Remove rice from heat, and stir in cranberries and pecans; season stuffing with salt and pepper. Season the inside of each squash half with salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, mound stuffing into halves, and serve.

Bavarian Cream Filling

I just made this as a filling for a cake. I am pleased. I got the original recipe off of cake central, but had to alter it a bit.

1 - 3 oz package french vanilla instant pudding
2 TBSP powdered sugar

5 TBSP very hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a small bowl combine the pudding, powdered sugar, and hot water. Mix thoroughly in to a paste.
In a separate bowl beat together the vanilla and whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.
Put a heaping spoonful of the whipping cream in to the pudding mixture and fold it in. Add the pudding mixture back to the bowl of whipping cream and beat together until thoroughly mixed.

This would be great in cupcakes, donuts, cakes, or with a spoon. ;)

Elvis Milkshake

It’s a well known fact that one of Elvis Presley’s favorite foods was peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He inspired this natural, healthy treat (my twist on a treat I had at a Relief Society meeting last week).

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used natural—just peanuts and salt)

2 cups dark chocolate almond milk

A handful of ice (optional)

Blend all together in a blender until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses. Sip and enjoy. Makes two large, protein packed, healthful and satisfying milkshakes.

A couple of hints:

  • I just peeled a bunch of browning bananas and froze them in ziploc bags. Peel them first and then you have some on hand whenever you need them. You can just toss the frozen banana in the blender and you don’t have to wait until it thaws to peel it. It also makes everything nice and cold. I didn’t think the ice was necessary doing it this way.
  • You could use chocolate soy milk or even regular chocolate milk instead of the almond milk.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sean has made these a couple of times and they disappear pretty quickly. He likes to take them to people he visits and I get notes of thank you for the wonderful muffins. Ha!

The recipe was found on and slightly adapted. Yields 24 small muffins. They are also great as mini-muffins!

1-1/2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.

2.Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.

3.Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sparkling Autumn Punch

2 cups apple juice or apple cider

2 cups cranberry juice cocktail

1 1/2 cups orange juice

2 cups ginger ale

Mix all together just before serving. Serve over ice. If you want you can make orange juice ice cubes ahead of time so that the punch doesn’t get watered down when you chill it.

Serves about 10.