One of my fall habits has been to pick up a butternut squash (or two) with every trip to the Farmer’s Market. A trip every week, or even every other week over the course of several months equals a whole lot of squash. I’m great at bringing it home, roasting it, pureeing it and freezing it for later in the winter. What I’m not particularly good at is finding new uses for that beautiful squash puree besides my go to mac and cheese. So when I found a recipe for a Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart with Gruyère in a recent issue of Cooking Light, I tour it out, set it aside with high hopes of actually making it.
It’s soup season! Especially on a day like today. I haven’t actually seen much rain for the past few days but since Saturday Brooklyn has been chilly and raw. The kind of weather that even though it’s not really that cold outside, the dampness gets inside of you and your bones feel cold. Plus it’s just sad and depressing! It’s the holidays people! I don’t need a white Christmas, but a rainy one just won’t do.
Yesterday I shared my dream Thanksgiving menu, for when one day, I host Thanksgiving in Brooklyn. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. Aside from confessing my love for the cranberry log, I also omitted sweet potatoes. I love sweet potato pies and fries, but sweet potatoes baked with butter and brown sugar? I just can’t get into it. And don’t even get me started on the ones with marshmallows. Completely inappropriate for dinner. But then I realized–sweet potatoes and marshmallows–completely inappropriate for dinner but dead on for dessert. And a recipe was born.
First don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not asking to make Thanksgiving. I am very fortune that my husband’s and my families live close to each other, so we celebrate not just one but TWO Thanksgivings each year. One at 2pm and one around 6pm. Yes, it is a little insane. But over time, we adapt. Small portions, pass on the first dessert, lots of water and easy on the booze early on–all great tips on how to eat two times the calories you’d probably consume in a week 🙂 I also cheat a bit. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually not a huge fan of turkey. Both families have perfected a moist, tender turkey, but still it just doesn’t really appeal. So it’s easy to skip a big part of that.
Growing up as a kid, I was a Kraft Mac & Cheese girl all the way. I had a very discerning palate and if someone tried to feed me Velveta or worse–store brand–well, let’s just say I wasn’t a happy camper. I soon learned the error of my ways (though still rely on Annie’s Mac & Cheese for a quick dinner or lunch). There’s just something about all that artery clogging gooey cheese and cream that makes me happy. I seek out Mac & Cheese at places like S’MAC, Dumont Burger and Artisanal. But the stuff I make at home, that is truly my favorite spin on Mac & Cheese is actually healthy! That’s right–no cream or butter, yet still super creamy thanks to one special ingredient.