Fall is Here: Butternut Squash and Sausage Stew

 

 

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I had every intention to post three wonderful squash recipes that the world would be inspired to make. After posting a picture of my what I thought would turn out being chili on social media, I received requests for the recipe. So here is my one squash recipe for now. Look for more soon because I have to get rid of the acorn and spaghetti squash I have sitting in my kitchen.

This “stew” is so flavorful and filling. I made it in the crockpot so it cooked while I went on with my life. You can put the crockpot on while you sleep or while you are at work. Putting it on while I am at work makes me nervous as I am away for a good ten to eleven hours and fear that I am going to burn my apartment building down. Cooking while sleeping works out better for me. It’s your choice.

I also made cornbread with this meal and am giving my super simple recipe for that too. You will never need to make cornbread from a box ever again. It takes the same amount of time so make one from scratch. Really. For everyone who is already making their own, you will notice I don’t use butter in the batter. Try to breath. I add only two tablespoons of butter on top once it comes out of the oven versus the usual four tablespoons in the batter. It makes me feel better. Do what you will. Anything tastes better than than the boxed version.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

10 baby carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups apple, peeled, cored and diced

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped

5 Italian sausage links, casings removed, cooked

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

10 ounces chicken broth

1/2 can light coconut milk

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Fresh sage leaves

Instructions

Make sure your sausage is fully cooked. Add all the ingredients in the crockpot, stir, and let it simmer on low for 4-6 hours. Add fresh sage and enjoy!

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Cast Iron Cornbread

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Ingredients

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons of butter, set aside until the cornbread is done

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, milk, and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir the batter together until completely combined. Don’t over stir.

3. Grease a small cast iron skillet, pour the batter in the skillet, and bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and slather the butter on top while it’s hot. Serve warm. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

I hope you try this meal. If you do, let me know how you like it and how you made it your own.

Road Trip: Raleigh and DC

After an awesome time in Savannah and Charleston, we arrived in Raleigh, NC. I had already researched a great BBQ restaurant(as featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) and was more than ready to dig my teeth in some ribs!

Raleigh Dinner: The Pit Authentic Barbecue 

We walked in to the very crowded restaurant at 9:30 after making reservations earlier that day. Its a good thing we made reservations as the wait was around 30-40 minutes. After being seated our waiter greeted us immediately. He brought waters and gave us the run down on the restaurant. He also let us know that a team of three will be servicing us for the night. After giving us some time, he took our drink orders. We ordered a pitcher of the local brew, Lonerider Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen. It was a German-style wheat beer that complimented the BBQ really well. We ordered the pumpkin cornbread as a starter. Right after we ordered the cornbread another waiter bought out a basket of biscuits and hushpuppies. Bread heaven! I tasted a bite of each and all were so good! The pumpkin cornbread came out in a skillet so the bottom was nice and crispy and the inside was nice and moist. The accompanying maple butter was a nice compliment.

We decided to share the Big Boy combo after speaking to the couple sitting next to us. The boyfriend(from Lancaster, Pa) mentioned it was more than enough to share. The combo includes a nice portion of pork chopped BBQ, beef brisket, BBQ chicken and two pieces of each kind of rib(baby back and Carolina style). For sides, we ordered fried okra, mac and cheese, and baked beans. It was more than enough! We ate until we were about to pop and still took about half of it back to the hotel with us. Our waitress started casual conversation with us and asked if we were from the area. We told her we were from Philadelphia and she demanded we take some banana pudding home with us, on the house. Southern hospitality at its best. Thanks Kristy!

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Buttermilk biscuits and hushpuppies

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Pumpkin cornbread with maple butter

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Big Boy Combo: pork chopped BBQ, beef brisket, BBQ chicken and two pieces of each kind of rib(baby back and Carolina style). Fried okra, mac and cheese, and baked beans

Banana pudding with a meringue topping (picture courtesy of Yelp)

If I am ever in the Raleigh area, I will be making it my business to visit this place again.

DC dinner: Pizzeria Paradiso

I knew I wanted food that had nothing to do with Southern cuisine after having a weekend full of it. I decided to have my favorite food of all, pizza. We walked in and got seated right away. We ordered a local brew, Atlas Brew Works Saison Des Fetes, a fruity, refreshing beer. We ordered the Insalata Paradiso(Baby Arugula, Goat Cheese, Sweet Red Pepper, Mushroom, Pine Nut, Citrus Vinaigrette) to start and small Di Mare(Paradiso Tomato, Minced Garlic, Parsley, Mussels, Parmesan) and Genovese(potato, pesto, parmesan) pizzas. This brick oven pizza delight was everything a top notch pizza should be: a thin crispy foundation with a chewy crust and yummy toppings. The mussels on the Di Mare could’ve been seasoned better, but the broth on the crust was a nice compliment to the tomatoes. The potatoes and the pesto on the Genovese were just divine!

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Insalata Paradiso

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Di Mare: Paradiso Tomato, Minced Garlic, Parsley, Mussels, Parmesan

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Genovese: Potato, Pesto, Parmesan

This road trip was everything I hoped it to be. I stepped out of my box and engaged in dialogue with people who are passionate about quality food. I met people who were proud of their cities and its food offerings. I explored 5 cities and ate some of the best food. I learned a great deal from this experience and am so thankful for it.