Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Squash-the unloved vegetable

I've been trying to come up with recipes that will use butternut squash. Since we plan on growing it in our garden this year and it will be a staple during the fall and winter I want to make sure we use it. I think it is sad that not everyone eats squash. What other vegetable can be a living piece of artwork for months and when you finally decide you're tired of looking at its beautiful outsides you can eat its delicious innards? It's the hardest working vegetable in show business! Since the family has started reading my blog and I actually have a few other readers I thought I would share my two favorite recipes for butternut squash:
butternut squash pancakes
Butternut Squash Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk (additional to thin as needed)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup butternut squash, grated

Steam butternut squash in microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir together all ingredients. Add additional buttermilk as needed to get batter to proper consistency. I go for pourable but still fairly thick. We like to have these with peanut butter and maple syrup but they are also great with just a little bit of honey.

Vanilla Butternut Squash Cake

for the cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 cup buttermilk
2-3 cups butternut squash (I use roughly half an average sized squash), grated

for the icing:
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs buttermilk, more as needed to get consistency
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
crystallized ginger to decorate

Preheat oven to 350, grease a bundt pan.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Add eggs one at a time mixing well for each. Add vinegar and vanilla and mix again until just combined. Add half the flour and baking soda, salt, and spices, mixing on low until combined. Ad dhalf the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Be careful here, for some reason it always splashes me so take it slow. Add the other half of the flour and repeat. Add the other half the buttermilk and repeat. Stir in the squash and transfer to the bundt pan. Bake until toothpick in center comes out clean. Allow to cool and transfer to serving plate or cake saver.

Make the icing
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, spices, and salt until smooth. Add more buttermilk as needed to get a smooth, pourable, but still thick icing. Pour over cake. Sprinkle with the crystallized ginger to decorate.

You can refrigerate the cake for up to a week and it goes great with coffee!

We've started something new with Maegwin at bathtime. She really hated her baths so some of the ladies on my new moms board of Ravelry suggested we take her in the tub with us to build her confidence. She really seems to like that better and spends time kicking in the water and floating with us holding up her head.
baby belly

I finished up two knitting projects this weekend. One was the scarf for my mom. I only ended up using two skeins of my yarn and got a 58" scarf out of it. There is still some left that I could probably use for a hat or legwarmers for Maegwin.
Taliesin scarf complete
I want to get some modeled shots but it has been rainy and crappy the last few days so hopefully those will follow soon.
The other project was a quick knit from Itty Bitty Hats called the bunny tail hat. I omitted the tail and worked it in a variegated yarn. I only knit 5 1/2 inches for the hat in the 0-6 month size before I started the ears.
what is this
Maegwin didn't want to hold still so I got a blurry but cute picture of her as well.
Bunny in motion

We've been enjoying Josh having three day weekends. Not really doing anything, just hanging out at home. It gives us a good chance to mix some bottles into the feeding rotation. She is hit or miss about liking them and has drunk anywhere from 1 oz to 2.5 oz depending. We're planning to have people over this weekend for board game night and I have stamp camp earlier in the day so it will be a very busy Saturday.

In other family news my grandmother on my mom's side, Eleanor, passed away on Sunday. She had an abdominal aortic aneurysm before Christmas that she was going in to have surgically fixed. That went fine but while in there they nicked another artery and had to go back in. AFter that from what I understand various complications ensued, eventually ending with her kidneys shutting down and her being on a ventilator. They decided to take her off the ventilator on Sunday and she passed away shortly after. I hadn't been super close with her in more recent years but I know it was an ordeal for my mom. She is off on leave until Wednesday and I think will be coming up to see the baby. Hopefully a bit of grandbaby time will cheer her up.

My last fav shot of Maegwin is one from the other night. I laid her in the bed while I was making it and the covers landed perfectly over her. She managed to leave a nice big drool puddle on my pillow in the meantime. :)
in the big bed

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