Entries from December 2010

Stuffed Delicata Squash

December 27, 2010

StuffedWinterSquash

StuffedWinterSquashB

The other evening I was feeling too lazy to cook but even lazier when it came to going out. We had seemingly no food on hand and I was starting to feel like the end of the world was approaching – this is how dramatic I get when I’m hungry.

I started rummaging through cabinets and giving my fridge a once over. This delicata squash had been sitting on my counter for weeks (that’s the beauty of winter squash) and I forgot it wasn’t just for decoration. I had an onion and some mushrooms. This is when I started brainstorming a meal. I knew I wanted to include a grain in order to make our dinner extra hearty and filling – I always have a jar full of quinoa around so I decided to use that. Quinoa always seems to make the cut when ohmigod, we have nothing to eat in this house! So here’s how it all came together.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms and Onions
1 Delicata Squash
1 Onion
2 Handfuls of Sliced Mushrooms
1/3 c Quinoa
Olive Oil
Truffle Oil (optional)
Herbs de Provence
Fresh Sage
Salt
Pepper

Preheat your oven to 450F. Slice the ends off your squash and cut vertically down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and guts. Rub the inside of the squash with olive oil and generously season with herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Place cut side up in a casserole dish filled with about 1/2″ of water (this keeps the bottom of the squash from roasting to the pan.) Roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven to cool as you prep your stuffing.

Rinse your quinoa and cook in a small sauce pan that can be covered. You’ll want to add 2/3 cup of water to 1/3 cup of quinoa (like most grains you just use 2 parts water for 1 part grain). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until all the water has evaporated.

Over a medium to low flame, heat a little olive oil in a large pan. Add your sliced mushrooms and chopped onions. Salt and pepper. Allow these to cook down until the mushrooms lose their liquid and the onions are transparent. Add your chopped fresh sage. After about a minute add your quinoa to the mix and stir until everything is blended together. Generously stuff your squash and if you have extra stuffing just let it spill over the top. Drizzle with truffle oil. Note: the great thing about delicata squash is you can eat the skin if you like but I preferred to just scoop the meat out of the shell as I ate it. Also, this recipe would be great with garlic and toasted pine nuts – I just used what I had on hand – but feel free to experiment.

Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2010

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Scooty Boots would especially like to wish each and every one of you a very merry holiday weekend.

Teenager.

December 23, 2010

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18a

18c

One of the best parts of the holiday season is reuniting with old friends who have managed to make a life long impression on who I am today. Friends like Sarah Amspacher. Between the ages of 15 and 18, I spent every waking moment possible with Sarah. And these were particularly formative years. We donned overalls, hemp jewelry, hairy legs and not a stitch of makeup. And we thought we were so cool. We kind of were.

I met up with Sarah for lunch last week and she gave me a time capsule of snap shots from over a decade ago. I instantly became nostalgic with memories of who I was – becoming vegetarian, going on long walks barefoot, fretting over whether or not I’d ever start my period, eating free meals at The Diner, becoming an Ashtanga yoga addict, driving around in my 1973 yellow VW bug and Sarah’s boxy Volvo, listening to Chainsaw Kittens tapes on repeat and burning Nag Champa. Sarah and I were each other’s number one fans. She was (and still is) brave, smart, creative and completely inspiring to me. We gave each other courage to power through the shit-hole that can be teenagerdome.

At 18 years old, Sarah went on to study sustainable agriculture at Evergreen in Olympia, Washington. I stayed behind to study art at the University of Oklahoma. We said our goodbyes and snapped these photos as Sarah’s dad loaded up his big red truck to take her out of the Heartland and into the Pacific Northwest. Along our separate paths we slowly but surely retired our overalls and hemp jewelry. Sarah’s now saving the world and finding ways to make renewable energy a reality (when she’s not kayaking along coast lines and being attacked by rabid cougars – no, really). And I’m a working artist and have exchanged my ’73 yellow Volkswagen Beetle for a Turbo GTI with a sunroof. It’s clear that we’ve grown quite a bit since then – but the seeds we planted as kids hold firm root on who we are today.

House Exterior: Before / After

December 22, 2010

Remember when this blog used to be solely about renovating our historical home? No? That’s because only 12 of you were reading at the time. I’d like to take this time to welcome my new readers – feel free to take a tour of our home here.

I would also like to show you a house project that was completed about 6 months ago – but I was so caught up in everything else that I forgot to share. After a pretty serious hail storm we got a new roof and painted all of the trim. What used to be green and cream is now all inky black.

ExteriorBefore
Photo taken in the lush Spring.

ExteriorTrimAfter
Photo taken in Fall 2010, after everything had mostly died.

At first I was shocked and terrified I had made the wrong decision. It was just such a bold change. But now I’m really happy with the update – I feel like our house looks more refined. If only we had the funds to replace all the metal stormer windows too. Oh and you’ll have to forgive our awful landscaping – I’m going to tackle that situation in Spring/Summer 2011.

Christmastime

December 21, 2010

SilverTree

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Our decorating was kept to a minimum this year – but it’s just enough to keep me in the holiday spirit.

Other things that get me excited about Christmas:
• Hot chocolate
• Anything cinnamon
• Snow (it’s 70F here in Oklahoma – at Christmas last year we got snowed in at my parents house)
• Pajamas
• Holiday tunes & Christmas movies
• “Trash” – this is what we call my mom’s recipe for homemade Chex mix
• The fireplace channel

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