Tomato Figs

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

changin' with the wind

Times are a changin'. It's officially the end of summer *cue sad music*, and the beginning of fall *crunchy leaves sound*. I'm so conflicted. Summer is such a magical event, that brings sunshine, delicious food, adventures, and so much happiness. Fall is (also) such a magical event, one that (also) brings sunshine, delicious food, adventures, and so much happiness. Even though these two seasons are so similar, they are so incredibly different. And even though it isn't really fall here in Arkansas (more like fall nights and 80+ days), I find myself clinging to the thought of summer, fighting against fall, but giddily whispering to myself about the crisp fall air, flannel shirts, and lots and lots of camping.  Very confused. I've got an inner battle going on. Summer always comes out the victor as my favorite season, but fall puts up a pretty good fight.

So for now I'm embracing the fall. Wearing flannel (and shorts), even though it's 80+ outside right now, stepping on every crunchy leaf I see, soaking up the sunshine, making and growing delicious food, and planning outdoor adventures that involve lots and lots of sunshine. 

One of the best things about this weird not-quite-fall-but-not-quite-summer period is the food.* The farmers' markets over the past few weekends have been spectacular. And one thing in particular has really stood out: SQUASH. oh yummy, yummy, yummy! Gobble it up! 

Back to the squash! So the past couple of weekends I have been bringing home all types of squash and I can't get enough. I want to make everything with squash. Instead of "put a bird on it", "put a squash it in". Trust me-it will taste good. Well, maybe not everything, but man is squash good! And I know I'm so behind on trying this out, but hey, I'm young and just started cooking so gimme a break…please? I'll make you squash…

Butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zephyr squash (my favorite summer delight), crooked-neck squash BRING IT ON! 

So in honor of the changing seasons and new veggie treats, here are some squash recipes we have tried recently.**

All of the squash recipes we have tried lately are winners. A++ all around. One of the simplest dishes we have made has been Spaghetti Squash Carbonara. Man is it tasty! I mean spaghetti squash is just magical. Once you bake it and just grace it with a fork, it magically turns into pasta. Like it was meant to be pasta all along. And it taste oh so goooood. Oh, and did I mention is is BEYOND easy to make? Yeah, so go whip this bad boy up for sup and feast. You're welcome.

Here's my take on it:

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

1 spaghetti squash
3 cloves of garlic, minced (or less or more depending on your love for the sorcerous allium sativum)
a couple strips of bacon, chopped into 1/2 in pieces(4-5 or more because bacon is awesome mmmm ba-con!)
1 onion, chopped 
1 1/2 handfuls of chopped walnuts
red pepper flakes (again, more or less depending on your fancy for this spicy red devil who I adore)
salt*** and pepper
cheese to top it off with 

[1] Preheat the oven to 400˚F. [2] Cut the squash in half (lengthwise) and scoop out all of the seeds. (Don't get your panties in a wad about get all of the stringy stuff out. It'll all be alright) [3] Lightly rub/coat the inside of the squash with some oil and then place cut side down on a baking sheet. [4] Pop it into the oven for 20 min, then flip it over and roast it for a little less than 20 min (this will depend on your oven, but you'll know it's done once the squash is easily shredded with a fork) [5] While the squash is roasting, start cooking the bacon over medium meat till it's brown and tasty and delicious. Add that to your pretty little serving dish. [6] Remove 3/4 of the bacon grease**** and then add the onion. [7] Cook the onion till almost translucent and then add the garlic. After 1 min or so, remove from the stove and into your serving dish it goes. [8] Next, toast the walnuts for a minute or so, lightly toasted. [9] Shred the squash with a fork. Just start stroking it with the fork (hehe) and you will see the magic of the spaghetti squash. It will just fall right off and into spaghetti form. Dump this into your pretty dish with all the other ingredients. [10] Toss it all together, maybe add some cheese if ya fancy, and DIG IN!

yummy yummy yummy

*Side note-It has only really been over the past year and a half that I have become obsessed with cooking. What used to be a fun thing to do every once in a while, is now a daily treat. So it was only recently that I began to actually cook with different foods, branching out from typical meals. 
**Another side note-this is my first post *applause*, and whenever I give/will give a recipe, I've normally found inspiration from somewhere online, but have adapted it. I tend to veer off course when it comes to recipes, mainly just going with whatever I fancy at the time. Also, I only really cook (unless otherwise noted) for me and my man-friend. So all these recipes are for two, but we make a lot…don't judge, it just means lunch tomorrow, or your only meal that day if you are weird like my man friend…
***I suggest you use this thyme+lemon infused salt which will be in the next post…forward and confusing just like me…that didn't make sense…see? But really it's delicious and I use it with so many different meals, it just takes it to a whole new level. It's the little things y'all. 
****If you didn't already know this-DO NOT POUR BACON GREASE DOWN THE SINK. Seriously…ain't nobody like that, especially your sink. Keep a jar by your stove instead (or a beer pint in our case) and pour it into that. Be careful though-that shitz hot.

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