Sunday, November 22, 2009

Easiest thanksgiving take along

Well, predictably enough, my attempt at practicing relaxation didnt go accord to plan yesterday. But, on the positive side, I did manage to clean my kitchen so that it was spotless!

Today is going to be a more successful day at relaxation, since Im worn out from yesterday! I made walnut and cinnamon English muffins for breakfast, delicious with honey. I went to the grocery store and now Im going to sit down whilst my bagels go through their first proofing.

I have a little bone to pick with the permanent farmers market on old 7. I have been buying my dried goods there for some time, such as brown rice, 12-grain, bulgur wheat and such. I have a terrible infestation of moths and its only in those items. Or at least I thought it was. So I ordered some 10-grain online, yesterday I threw everything away and today I bought all new tuperware and washed it thoroughly. I poured my cornmeal (not bought at the farmers market but stored in the same cupboard) into the new tub and wasnt sure, but thought there were little black specks in there. hmmmm. Went to pour the Rye flour (also from the supermarket) into its new tub and low and behold, definite black spots and moths. ugh. So I then had to throw both of those away and re-wash the tuperwares. Luckily bagels only require bread flour, which I know is good since I just opened a new packet (from the supermarket), but I have people that want bread so I have to go back to the store to replenish my cornmeal and rye flour stocks. ugh. I cant bare going to the store twice in one week. Thats why I make lists. Anyways, so this morning when I went to the farmers market, dont worry, only for vegetables, I told the staff there that I believed that they had moths in their dried goods because I had some sealed ziplock bags that contained goods bought at their store and they had moths in them, well she said, I wouldnt be surprised, its hard to keep them out of there. ugh. They know they have moths yet they do nothing about it. Disgusting. Now Im not one to say bad things about the farmers market, because I tend to love it, but that is disgusting behaviour. I wish the owner had been there. Hopefully I am now moth free as I have thrown everything away and bought new containers that I have washed and have stopped buying dried goods there. Fingers crossed eh.

On a more positive note (as I hate to finish on a downer) I made myself the best dinner ever yesterday! I was just sad I got full so quickly and couldnt have seconds! Dont get mad at me, I used a packet mix of something, but it was so easy and so tasty, its hard in these busy holiday times, justifying making it yourself (says she who is currently waiting on bagel dough!).

Butternut squash stuffing bake

1 medium butternut squash, peeled (potato peeler works great) and cubed (approximately 1 cm cubes)
1 lg bag frozen spinach (again, not me to go for the convenient option but is clean and pre-chopped), defrosted but undrained
2 packets low-sodium stuffing (butter is optional)
orange juice
lemon juice
black pepper

Place butternut squash cubes in your chosen baking dish (chose a large, deep one), toss squash in a few glugs of vegetable/canola oil and pour in some orange juice. Bake at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes.
In the mean time mix up the second packet of stuffing (I used the butter, but I dont really have fat in my diet so figured it was ok).
Remove from oven and mix with one packet of stuffing, the spinach, a few splashes of lemon juice and a sprinkling of black pepper in a large mixing bowl. I wouldnt add salt, the stuffing has lots in it.
Squish mix back into baking dish. Top with pre-prepared stuffing.
Bake at 400F until crusty on top and steaming on the inside.

I cooked mine for 20 minutes on the second bake and it was warm enough to eat if you were starvin marvin (which of course, I was), but I would probably bake for 30-40 minutes to get it piping hot, especially if you are taking it to someone else's house.

There are lots of fun things you can do with this should you have the inclination. You could add fresh cranberries to the mix, but my wonderful husband refuses to eat cranberries. You could make your own stuffing and add chopped walnuts or other favourite dried fruits. One thing I might do thursday (as this is what I am taking to family potluck thanksgiving) is pre-cook some breakfast sausage and mix it in also, give it some kick. A chopped sautéed onion would be yummy in there or your favourite winter squash. The possibilities for an easy dinner or accompaniment, are endless!

This year I give thanks for my wonderful, caring, generous, hardworking, selfless, and most importantly very handsome husband!

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