Friday, September 23, 2011

Things I Love: Fall

Summer is finally winding down in DC. While temperatures are still in the mid-to-upper 70's, we are not all that far away from sweaters and boots. Fall is right around the corner. Or at least from a calendar perspective, tomorrow today!
Fall is my season. I love when the leaves start to turn and the blankets come out. Fall food is one of my favorite things. Think beets, acorn and butternut squash, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, and apples. Fall fashion- think layers.. lots and lots of layers. Big chunky sweaters, deep autumnal colors, cozy leggings, textured jackets and over-sized University sweatshirts (Go Blue!!). I really do love fall.

Last night, in honor of my favorite season, I headed to the market to pick up a few of my fall favorites. When I returned, I threw an acorn squash in the oven and made one of my favorite Autumn salads.

Recipe of the week: Baked Acorn Squash

What you need:
1 large acorn squash
2 tsp. butter
1 tbs. brown sugar
a fork and spoon

For the Seeds
Paper towels
Sea Salt
Old Bay Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefully cut the squash vertically in half using a sharp, large knife. I usually start out by sticking the knife into one of the ridges and pushing in, then pulling down. This is a safer method than trying to pull it down (slice in) without an entry point..

scoop out the seeds into a colander and set them aside for rinsing

Pierce the inner flesh of the squash with a fork several times. Fill the cavities 1/3 of the way with water. Put on a cookie sheet (word of the wise: do not spray or oil the cookie sheet. It will crackle the whole time and freak you out!) Bake at 375 f for roughly 45 minutes. You will know these babies are ready when you can stick a form through them without much resistance. Add 1/2 tbs brown sugar and butter and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. 
onto the seeds:
Rinse the seeds in the colander, removing all fibrous pulp. Pat away moisture with paper towels.
spread out the seeds on a Silpat, or small baking sheet. Cover in Salt and Old Bay.
bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Check on them every few minutes until golden brown and crispy.
throw them on a salad of arugula. Add pomegranate seeds, shaved manchego, sliced pears, and a light vinaigrette and YUM, you have a fabulous fall meal!

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