Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

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This was my first attempt at stuffed squash and I am now a complete convert.  Once again, my CSA has pushed me to stretch my vegetable boundaries.  I had a delicata squash and an acorn squash that I needed to use before leaving for vacation.  Both the delicata and acorn squash work well with this recipe, I bet any winter squash would be successful.  If you are choosing a squash then I recommend going with the delicata squash because you can eat the skin!

Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

Recipe adapted from Chowhound

Ingredients

  • 4-6 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice mix
  • 2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the tops and insides of the squash halves, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the squash is baking, place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion, shallots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries, and measured salt and pepper.  Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  5. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves (about 1/2 cup for each)*.  Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

* I had a lot of extra wild rice mixture that I served on the side of the stuffed squash.  The rice mixture is also delicious by itself and can be served independently.

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Banana Bread Butterscotch Chip Biscotti and The 2015 Food Blogger Cookie Swap

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The time has come again for the annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  This is my third year participating.  It is a cookie swap between food bloggers all over the county (and I think even globally) where proceeds go to benefit Cookies for Kid’s Cancer.

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And before I get to this delicious banana bread biscotti recipe that, trust me you do not want to miss I want to thank the other food bloggers who sent me such amazing and wonderful cookies!

2015 Cookie Swap Guava

Guava Paste Cookies by My Thyme and Passion.

2015 Cookie Swap Chocolate Surprise

Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies by Alley’s Recipe Book.

2015 Cookie Swap Red Velvet

Red Velvet Swirl Cookies by A Sprinkle of This and That.

Now onto banana-ey goodness!  I usually like to eat my bananas at the perfect just-turnedd-yellow-yesterday level.  This is typically difficult to achieve for more than one day, so inevitably a few bananas go past their prime.  I have started to freeze these bananas which works out terrificlly for making banana baked goods like muffins, bread and now biscotti!

I had extra banana and was wondering what I could do that would be different than banana bread and turned to my favorite baking blogger, Brown Eyed Baker.  I changed her recipe and did not do the chocolate dip and instead added some butterscotch chips.  Butterscotch and banana blend so well together, give it a try!

Banana Bread Butterscotch Chip Biscotti

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (or refrigerated butter microwaved for 10 seconds on 50% power)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 medium overripe banana, mashed well
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Egg Wash

  • egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grown cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the banana and the egg until completely combined, then beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in the butterscotch chips.

4. Divide the dough in two and place into rough 9-inch by 1½-inch logs on the prepared baking sheet (the dough will be soft and shaggy looking, but that’s okay).

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water, then brush over both logs. (This will help to smooth out the surface of the dough.). In another small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over both of the logs.

6. Bake the biscotti for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on if you plan to twice-bake the biscotti.

7. Allow the biscotti the cool until you’re able to handle them. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into ½-inch-wide diagonal slices.

8. Re-bake the biscotti  between 0-15 extra minutes depending on the degree of crispness you want.  I settled on 8-10 minutes for medium crisp biscotti.  They are delicious without any twice baking also (it will be easy to sample a slice when you cut them).

9. Allow the biscotti to cool completely.