Winter Squash

Squash, squash everywhere!  Fall is all around us and so is the squash.  One of the first things that I make every fall is creamy squash mac n’ cheese.  You will not believe how creamy and delicious this mac n’ cheese is and your kids will love it.
Creamy Squash Mac n’ Cheese 
Serves: 6
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion or shallot, minced
2 cups of  butternut squash, roasted and pureed (instructions below)
2 cups of milk (nut milk works great too)
3-4 cups of your favourite cheese, shredded
your favourite add-ins (spinach, ham, broccoli, tomatoes, bacon, etc)
a few splashes of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 lb of cooked pasta
a few handfuls of shredded cheese for the top
Begin by roasting your squash.  Preheat your oven to 400F.  Cut the squash in half and prick the flesh with a fork.  Place it skin side up in a roasting pan and pour 1/2 cup of water into the pan.  Roast for 20-30 minutes until soft.  Let cool and puree.
For the mac n’ cheese, melt the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and aromatic.  Stir in the squash puree and milk.  Heat through and stir until combined.  Add the cheese, cooked pasta,  your choice of add-ins, hot sauce and salt.  Turn your oven down to 350F and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. - From Sara's Be Nourished By Food Blog
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Butternut squash are one of my favorite foods.  It's such a toned-down version of squash, but with that smooth, creamy texture that makes soups and roasted squash so good, and autumn one of my favorite times of year to cook. The other thing I like about this recipe is that it showcases apples, which at this time year are so fresh and so good.  And although I don't usually stress too much about the price of food at the grocery store I can't be the only one who has noticed the price of apples has jumped significantly over the last few months.  That's why I love September and making our annual trip to Beamish's Orchards - the only organic orchard on PEI!  We stock up and the apples last so long and are so crisp and like summer-in-fall good.

Squash & Apple Salad

One butternut squash, peeled and diced
2-3 crisp apples, diced.
1/2 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts or whatever you like)
a small handful of chopped parsley

Toss diced squash with: 1/4 cup oil
                                        2 tsp. honey
                                       salt and pepper
Spread squash on baking sheet, roast at 300 degrees until tender, but not too soft (30 mins-ish).
Allow to cool.
Combine with other ingredients.
Whisk together: 
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper if needed, to taste.

Toss is all together. 
The one fault of this salad is that there's a fine line between letting it sit to soak up the flavours of the dressing and having things turn slightly less bright.  Although I've had it sitting in the fridge overnight now and the flavour has gotten better and the apples are still crisp and the nuts still crunch, so I have no complaints. I think next time I will add some finely chopped onions, or maybe try some different herbs.  It was really too heavy to be a 'salad' in my view, but was a delicious savory dish I will keep in my recipe box for a side to a chicken soup or something warm and cozy. - From Sally's Real Food Blog