Today is an oatmeal day. Temperatures dipping markedly below freezing, winds are still blowing through and the world of The Orange Bee remains covered in ice. After a quick jaunt on the treadmill I made a steamy bowl of oatmeal with raisins, nuts and brown sugar. It warmed me up through and through.
I am however, not going to blog about oatmeal, my intentions are to blog about vegetables because if you’ve been indulging in baked goods as I have your body might be screaming for a veggie fix. A normal reaction to being stuck indoors seems to be grazing through the kitchen. You know the, “I’m a little bored so I’ll get a cup of tea and a little bite of something” syndrome. Not to mention the heart of my home is the kitchen. It’s the room where we seem to gather not only to prepare and eat food but to sit on the counters and chat about our day or what we propose our day to be. It’s the room where guests congregate to pour a drink, peek in the oven, or view photos gliding across my computer screen. It’s one of the best rooms from which to check on the birds chowing down at the feeders or to investigate what on earth the dogs are barking at. With that being said, last night in my kitchen I made my adoring husband’s favorite vegetable.
Adoring hubby’s favorite vegetable is Acorn Squash. It is one that he will eat and enjoy no matter how I prepare it. I usually bake it with a little butter, cinnamon and sugar. Having extra time on my hands yesterday prompted me to think about one of my favorite recipes for acorn squash and I had all the ingredients needed. Happy bee! Here we go…
I wish you could have smelled the aroma of the apple-pear mixture simmering in butter on my stove top. It surpasses the most fragrant of candles. With cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest and bourbon bubbling in the melted butter, I think we could just eat this deliciousness and forego the squash. Bourbon is one of my favorite additions to foods. Did you know that only whiskey produced in the US can be labeled “Bourbon”? Another ditty pertaining to Bourbon is that it is estimated that 95% of all Bourbon is made in Kentucky. It takes its name from Bourbon County, located in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Additionally Kentucky is the only state allowed to put its name on the bottle and most distillers in Kentucky are hasty to point out that Bourbon is not Bourbon unless the label says so. So there you have it, a quick lesson on Bourbon! I know you didn’t ask, but I felt the need to share these tidbits with you before you go and pour some Bourbon into the next dish you whip up. Now on to the recipe.
Baked Acorn Squash with Pears ‘n Apples
1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeds and string removed
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
1/8 cup of raisins, golden or dark
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
Zest of one small orange
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/16 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp. Bourbon
Preheat oven to 325*F. Grease the bottom of a pan or Pyrex dish and place the squash cut side down in the dish. Add 1/4 cup of water and bake for 45 minutes.
While the squash bakes prepare the apples and pears, put them in a bowl and pour the orange juice over the fruit. Stir to coat the fruit and help prevent it from turning brown.
Next add the raisins and spices, orange zest and brown sugar and mix.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted add the fruit mixture and cook, stirring until the fruit is golden brown and begins to soften. Stir in the Bourbon and simmer the mixture, stirring often until the fruit is tender, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the squash has completed 45 minutes in the oven remove it and pour off the water from the pan. Flip the squash cut side up and fill with the fruit mixture. Melt a little butter, mix in a dash of cinnamon and brush the tops of the squash with the mixture. Place the squash back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Good for you and almost like dessert!