Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Delicata squash

Lately I’ve been trying out fall squashes. Butternut, spaghetti and delicata are now marked off the list.

Delicata, seen below, is the most recent squash I’ve tried and I love it! It’s sweet, smooth and great with a variety of seasoning — from good ol’ standbys salt and pepper to sage or cinnamon.

The first time I made delicata I sliced the squash in half, seeded it and sliced it into half moons. After tossing the squash in a combo of olive oil and sage, I baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time. Wonderful!

Last weekend, I wanted to create something using some tomatoes from the garden. This dish was inspired by tabbouleh, a dish that uses bulgur, a grain; tomatoes; mint; lemon juice and olive oil.

I also made pan-fried, thyme-rosemary-sage chicken breasts. This may not be the proper way to use herbs with chicken, so if you know a better technique, please let me know!

Both recipes are below.

Delicata Squash-Bulgur Salad (serves 2)
Ingredients:
1 delicata squash
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup of bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp. tarragon leaves (or other spice, such as sage)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut delicate squash lengthwise and seed.

Cut squash in chunks and place in oven for 20 minutes.

Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Cut tomatoes into chunks and mix in a bowl with bulgur, squash and spices.

Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a bit of olive oil if you like.

Thyme-Rosemary-Sage Chicken Breasts (serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
4 tsp. sage
4 tsp. thyme
2-3 sprigs of rosemary (or 2 tsp. dried rosemary)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat large skillet over medium heat. When warm, pour in about a tablespoon or two of olive oil.

Rub 2 tsp. of sage and thyme on one side of the chicken breasts. Also sprinkle with rosemary. Place seasoned side down on skillet. Season other side of chicken.

Cook about 3 minutes on one side of chicken until brown. Then turn over and cook for a couple more minutes then reduce heat and cover skillet.

Cook for about several minutes until chicken is cooked through. I let it cook at a low heat for 20 more minutes while I cooked the rest of the meal.

Salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!


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Chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch sauce

Although I didn’t give Chris any Valentine’s Day gifts, I did make him, what I thought was, a delicious meal.

The highlight, I think, was the dessert — chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch sauce.

I found the recipes earlier in the month when checking on one of my favorite blogs — Amy Karol’s angry chicken. You can find the post here.

Reading through the recipes and Karol’s post about her experience with the desserts, I knew then I’d found a way to my hubby’s heart! 🙂

The dessert wasn’t as chocolatey as I would have liked, but it’s still delicious, especially warmed. I used homemade wheat bread, not the cinnamon-raisin suggested in the recipe. And I sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

Since butterscotch is one of Chris’ favorite flavors, I doubled the recipe, making a little more than a pint of gooey sauce. It’s got a nice, rich flavor. I couldn’t find heavy cream at our local Super Dollar grocery store, so I used whipping cream instead, which worked out well.

I never did decide on a main course so I had Chris choose.

He liked the sound of Rachael Ray’s Rosemary Chicken Breasts and Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli from her “30 Minute Meals: Get Togethers.”

I used apple cider vinegar in place of balsamic vinegar in both recipes.

Both recipes are keepers. The vinegar gave the chicken an added layer of flavor and mixed well with the rosemary and garlic. (I used dried rosemary since I already had that on hand. I hope to start some rosemary from my parents’ garden later this year.)

I was most surprised about the ravioli. I didn’t know how vinegar would taste with the pasta but it had surprising flavor created by the vinegar, (dried) parsley and parmesan cheese that I added.

I’m certain these recipes will make a return appearance on our plates sometime down the road.