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Mulching that last rain of leaves and Winter Squash in the kitchen!

11:23 AM

Well, the leaves raining down in the yard made a huge mess and we spent the afternoon mulching them with the lawnmower and spreading them on the garden beds.  A great solution to our gardening and landscaping needs, considering a load of wood chips usually puts you back about $300. And we'd probably need at least one, if not 2, every single year to properly tuck in our yard and gardens for their Winter nap.

Sitting on the kitchen table from this week's haul are a few Acorn squash.  I wait all year for the opportunity to use this ingredient as I find it tastes best during the cold months of the year.  It can be a meal unto itself, or it's lovely served with pork tenderloin.  I love serving this to guests as it's pretty to look at as well as delicious.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
3 large Acorn squash
5 tbsp margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 cup cubed squash ( pumpkin, butternut, acorn, hubbard, etc)
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
3/4 cups stale bread, torn into bite-sized pieces (you could use corn or quinoa bread, if you're avoiding wheat ingredients)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (omit if vegan and substitute a little water and oil to moisten the bread)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1/3 cup chopped nuts (chestnuts are AMAZING in this)
2 cups good vegetable stock
1 cup hot apple cider or sweet white wine
Seasalt to taste

Preheat oven to 350f.  Wash whole acorn squash and cut into halves lengthwise (creating 6 "bowls") and remove seeds.

In a skillet, heat margarine ( I use Earthbalance brand Soy based margarine b/c it has NO transfat).  Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, cubed squash, and mushrooms.  Saute until veggies are tender and your house smells delicious.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix bread pieces, eggs, parsley, sage, and chopped nuts.

Add bread mixture to sauteed vegetables and stir to mix thoroughly, then add veggie broth. Continue to mix  adding broth (which has been previously salted to taste) as necessary, until stuffing is VERY soft.

Mound stuffing into squash halves and place in a large casserole dish (or 2). Add apple cider or sweet wine to the bottom of the baking dish.  Bake in oven uncovered, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes until squash is fork-tender and stuffing is cooked through (about 1 hour... possibly more depending on the size and density of your squash). 

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