Chili Billy

Chili is the easiest meal to make when you need to feed a lot of people. Or just feed two people for a week.

I mean, all you really need to do when you make chili is open a lot of cans of beans.

That’s what I do anyway.

I guess I sliced up a yellow squash and tossed that in too. I made this last week actually and am just now getting around to telling you about it. Sorry. We’ve had house guests. Anyway, squash and zucchini are a really good addition to chili.

I bought some soy chorizo sausage at Trader Joe’s and crumbled that in here too. I’m super skeptical of fake meat, and quite honestly, I don’t think the soyrizo did a whole heck of a lot flavor-wise, but it did add some nice texture.

Chili just seems like it is supposed to be meaty, ya know? Even if the meat is fake.

By the by, I really like Trader Joe’s (duh, who doesn’t). There isn’t one conveniently located to my house so it’s a very special treat to go. Kind of like going to Target. Total highlight of my weekend.

So -are you chilly? Do you have to feed lots of people? Do you like to freeze meals for the future (well done you!)? Do you need to eat more beans? Trust me, you do. Make chili. And make it spicy for heaven’s sake.

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Acorn Squash

This cannot be properly called a recipe.

It is also not new, noteworthy, or creative. It is delicious.

If you want to see something creative happening with squash, look here.

This is just what happened at my house yesterday.

I bought two itty bitty adorable acorn squash at the farmers market.

Then I went shopping and bought baby clothes for friends who have babies and that was really fun. Baby outfits are awesome. I found a onesie with a picture of David Bowie on it.

Then I came home and made dinner.

First things first. I chopped my squash in half. You really got a whack it like you want it when you’re chopping raw squash. I’ve heard reports that you can bake them whole and that saves the whole whacking with a knife process. But this is how my Dad has made acorn squash forever, and quite honestly, I kind of like being a knife wielding maniac in the kitchen.

These little squash-lets were so CUTE!

I scooped their guts out, using a spoon. You have to try to get all the stringy junk.

Time to haul out the butter. No, I didn’t use this whole stick.

I did use a lot though.

This butter is going to melt and seep into the squash and make everything taste wonderful. When’s the last time you heard the word “seep” used to describe something good happening?

I plunked my be-buttered squash in a pan, and covered the pan with foil. Then I plunked my pan in a pre-heated 425 degree oven.

My squash baked for about 35 minutes. They were little squashies though. I’ve baked bigger ones for nearly an hour. You just have to poke em with a fork as you go, to see if they’re soft.

And when they’re nice and squishy -oooh!

Holy melted butter! Sorry this photo is dark -night fell while my squash were cooking. But you can see how nice and brown and melty everything is.

Because these were so cute and tiny I just plunked them on individual plates (which I didn’t take a picture of), rather than scoop out all the squashy goodness and serve separately. I made my dinner companion scoop his own darn squash! He didn’t mind. I provided a tiny bowl of brown sugar to sprinkle over the top.

We ate our squash with broiled brussels sprouts and mustard greens salad.

Eat a squash today!

 

All signs point to squash

I bought a butternut squash at the farmers market last week. Tis the season for squash. Harvest time. Cornucopias on dining tables. Pumpkins on doorsteps. I received an autumnal package from my mother in the mail last week. It contained a candy dish in the shape/color of an autumn leaf. Also, candlesticks in “autumn colors.” And festive paper napkins. My mother is a festive napkin queen.

Anyway, all signs point to squash.

What?

I bought a squash and made dinner, that’s what. Let’s have a look.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. It is quite an unexpected combination of ingredients but was very tasty and filling!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 a large butternut squash
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • handful cilantro
  • quarter of an onion (I used white, but red would be prettier)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons (separated) olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Here’s what you do:

Eat some candy from your autumnal candy dish.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and cut up your butternut squash into 1 inch or smaller chunks. I used about 1/2 of my squash because it was a big fat squash. Trust your judgement. And your appetite. By the by, you can peel squash with a potato peeler but you might have to go over it twice to really get down through the skin to the nice orange part.

Toss your chopped up squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, and a clove of minced garlic.

Put your squash on a baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes or until soft (and hopefully a little brown in spots!)

While your squash is roasting, eat some more candy from your autumnal candy dish.

Ok, stop it. You’re going to ruin your supper.

Dice up the onion.

Squeeze all the juice you can out of your lemon into a bowl. Really squish it! You want a little less than 1/4 cup.

Whisk the tahini into the lemon juice.

Whisk the olive oil into the lemon/tahini mixture. You can add a little water if the dressing is too thick. Mine wasn’t.

Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the dressing.

Open, drain, and rinse a can of chickpeas.

Toss warm squash, chickpeas, diced onion, and dressing together in a bowl.

Garnish with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

Eat! Aren’t you glad you didn’t eat all that candy?

It’s an interesting mix – nutty tahini, earthy squash, bright lemon and cilantro. Very tasty, and best warm. The picture above is cold leftovers the following day, which is why the dressing looks a little clumpy. It was pretty good cold, but better warm.

Good stuff. Go get a squash. I have 1/2 left and am pondering what to do next. Suggestions?

 

 

 

Autumn

Remember how I posted two days ago about Fall?

Well, I’m essentially writing the same thing today but I’m calling it Autumn.

And I’m going to tell you again how much I love, love, love, love, love it.

Pumpkins. Pumpkins piled high at the farmers market this morning. Pumpkins and …

Whatever all this squashy stuff is. And more pumpkins.

And:

Total beauty.

$5 beauty, I might add. What a lucky afternoon. The sun is shining, the leaves are falling, and I have a beautiful bunch of inexpensive flowers. Lucky duck.