Stuffed Acorn Squash, Blossom-End Rot, and a Splurge

A few months ago I went to a restaurant and ordered their acorn squash stuffed with wild rice.  I remember they told me it was the last day they were offering it, and I said that it better not taste too good because I’d want it again.

It tasted awesome.

So I had to look on Google for recipes, which I found.  And last weekend I saw an acorn squash in the store and thought, “Hey, I’ve gotta try that recipe.”  So I bought the squash, but because I don’t have a smart phone I didn’t have the recipe with me.  When I came home and checked, most of the things the recipes called for stuffing the squash with were things I didn’t have.

So, inspired by Shalaya Kipp’s awesome cooking blog, I winged it.  And the results were AWESOME.

First, I cut the squash in half and de-seeded it, brushed them in butter, and sprinkled it with salt, pepper, and just the tiniest bit of brown sugar.  Into the oven, cut side up at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

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Meanwhile I put some onions* in a saute pan with a few carrots from my garden, three sliced mushrooms, some chopped walnuts, and thyme from my garden.  I also added salt and pepper, and after looking across my spice cabinet a bit of coriander — but I have no good reason why.  Just felt like I needed to add something.

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*Sidenote: I’m allergic to raw onions (and garlic, and lilies — I know, it’s weird) so I keep a big container of dried minced onions in the cabinet.  I shake some out into a small cup with a little water and let them re-hydrate for ten minutes before quickly tossing them in a pan.  (Even the smell has been known to make me react.)  But dried onions is a nice way to always have onions on hand since so many recipes call for them.

Let those all saute together for 10-15 minutes, then mixed in about 1-1.5 cups of cooked brown rice.

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Packed as much of the filling into the squash halves as I could (and I still had some leftover) then back in the 450 degree oven for another 25 minutes.  Tasty!

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But when I was out in my garden this morning I was distressed by my roma tomato plants when I saw this:  IMG_9701I plucked a few off and took them to McGuckin after work, where they were diagnosed with blossom-end rot and prescribed some liquid calcium — which ain’t cheap, but I got it.  I added everything up once and between the manure, seeds, plants, watering cans, tomato cages, water walls, and fertilizer I’ve spent over $200 on my little garden this summer.  May have been cheaper to just buy all the food, but I do like seeing everything grow.

Other than my three roma plants having blossom-end rot, my tomatoes in general are doing great!

IMG_9702The romas are the three smaller plants — front-and-center, and the two on the left.  The Sungold in the back is as tall as my clavicle, and my cherry tomato and beefeaters on the right are getting pretty big, too.  All of them have loads of green tomatoes; Sungold’s the only one that’s produced edible tomatoes so far.

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Mmm, those ones in the back will be picked tomorrow morning and go straight into my mouth. Tomatoes at breakfast is becoming a daily thing.

And my beans (Kentucky blue beans) have been happily climbing the giant branch I planted for them and look ready to be picked as well!

IMG_9708Finally, a tasty splurge: Boulder ice cream.  At five dollars a pint, I don’t get these guys very often, and they are quite a treat when I do.  The good stuff makes you slow down and savor it because you’d feel guilty and wasteful to inhale it all at that price.

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Both the coconut and cinnamon flavors are subtle, not overpowering.  And I can’t decide which one I like more!  I always pull the pair out together and take a spoonful of one, “Mmm, this is the better of the two,” then a spoonful of the other, “No way, THIS one is better,” and back and forth the debate goes for several more spoonfuls until they both go back in the freezer.

*****

HIIT update: Push ups are still out while my arm heals, but sit ups are going strong.  My abs feel hard, and I think my posture has improved.  Doing squats in the lunges amount, and leg lifts rather than lunges — also in the lunges amount.  There’s something about starting or ending every day with that little bit of exercise that I still enjoy.

But I’ve been bad about running recently.  Need to be more disciplined.  Less than 100 days until my half marathon!

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