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Holiday Dinner Side Dish: Squashle Sauce

Holiday Dinner Side Dish: Squashle Sauce

Did you know that squash and apples go together like cranberries and oranges? When combined, I call it “Squashle Sauce” and it is super simple to make! It is a sweet rather than savory side dish so it is a nice contrast to stuffing, green bean casserole and the like.

First you need some butternut squash and some apples – this batch had 2 medium sized squash and 4 apples, but you can adjust to however much you want to make (this was a huge batch for a large crowd!

Butternut squash - peel with veggie peeler

Butternut squash – peel with veggie peeler

After washing the produce, peel the squash with a vegetable peeler and cut it into chunks, discarding the seeds and pulp. Peel and chunk the apples, discarding the core/seeds/etc.

Put water into the bottom of a large pan to about an inch deep – add the chunked up goodies. Bring to a simmer and cover. Stir frequently – add more water if needed to keep from scorching (lower the heat!) If it is too juicy, leave the lid off to allow it to cook down.

Use a fork to test for tenderness – you want to be able to pierce the chunks easily. Once they are tender enough, use a potato masher to, well, mash them!

Add butter, brown sugar, salt, spices – I use cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, but ginger would be a nice addition, too!

Chunks!

Chunks!

Add brown sugar, salt & spices to taste
Add brown sugar, salt & spices to taste
Continue to stir & cook until the butter is melted or it until it has an apple sauce-like consistency. (NOW do you get the name of the recipe?)  This is a great one to make a day ahead because it is easy to reheat. It can also be frozen.
Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Recipe

 

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‘Tis the Season: Christmas Cookie Sweatshop

When my kids were young, we decided it would fun to make and decorate cookies to give to neighbors and friends for Christmas. We like to eat Christmas cookies, too, (who doesn’t???) so I made a huge batch so we would be sure to have plenty. I rolled, cut and baked for hours as the kids decorated until they were exhausted – and that’s when we coined the phrase, “Christmas Cookie Sweatshop!” It is also how we answer the phone on Sweatshop day – “Christmas Cookie Sweatshop – How may I help you?”

Another tray-full, heading to the oven!

Another tray-full, heading to the oven!

With just a few of us decorating, the creativity slumped as the sweatshop rolled on, leaving lots of cookies with just a glob of frosting and a sprinkle of colored sugar. We needed more help in the sweatshop – what to do?

Make it a party! Now everyone comes over to our house and decorates and takes home cookies – they make them as pretty as they want – or not! I add food dye – the gel type gives the most intense colors – to canned frosting (cream cheese flavor). I usually have 6-7 different colors -plus white. Handfuls of plastic knives are tucked into each frosting bowl – no waiting! And I have copious sprinkles and sugars for adding detail or just pizazz to the cookie. A plastic table cloth is laid on the table and wax paper for the still-warm cookies to cool upon.

Some vie to see who can decorate the most bizarre cookie. Frontrunners in the past have included a snowman cookie re-purposed as Jabba the Hut and penguins changed to Santa Clauses (below- Note that one is “Santa Noir”). We serve eggnog punch and other beverages along with “savory” treats to counteract all the sweets as Christmas music plays in the background.

Penguin cookie shapes "re-purposed" as Santa Cookies!

Penguin cookie shapes “re-purposed” as Santa Cookies!

Here is a link to a video of some of the creations from a previous year. I think one of the Jabba the Hut cookies is in that one…

Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream together in a large bowl the butter and sugar – add the eggs and mix well. In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Gradually add the dry to the creamed mixture – mixing well after each addition. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. Roll out 1/4″ think on floured surface (have purchased a sil-pat yet? – ask Santa for one – so worth it!) and use cutters that have been dipped in flour to avoid sticking. Place evenly on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone liner (ask Santa for some of those, too!) – see photo. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes (watch closely!) Cool slightly before frosting. For best results, keep the dough you aren’t using in the fridge.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Entertaining, Information, Recipe

 

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