Tag Archives: maple syrup

Chili-Maple Butternut Sqaush

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Hello!  Oh, I have missed blogging.

The last post about saving time, money and energy has truly been helpful.  It was good to read that others are in the same boat – and busting out the crock pot or cooking double/extra whenever they can.  I am gone over and over the comments (and I suggest you do as well if you are looking for tips) to find the pearls of wisdom.  I am amazed by the tips.  A FEW of the AMAZING tips are:

The reality of my days has not really changed (although thanks to some schedule changes at school, I now have *only* 164 students).  (And yes, it IS a noticeable difference in the classes, but not overall.)  This fall the girls have been quite sick (pneumonia and bronchitis – of course, at different times = way too much time off school).  Just when I think I’ve hit a groove, there is a bump/hurdle or unexpected gaff.  The girls being sick is not something you can plan for – let alone when they are sick for two + weeks in a row.  My favorite gaff has resulted in a new kitchen faucet.
No matter how desperately needed (the old one from 1979 was a leaky mess), it was a series of plumbing foo-fahs that ushered in our new one.  My lovely husband decided that 9PM on Saturday night was a good time to fix the leak (while I was wrestling the two little ones in the bathtub/bedtime).  I heard shouts of “OH SH*T” followed by a yelp of pain and a “Katie!  Come quick!!”.  When I got into the kitchen, there was a geyser of steaming hot water shooting out of the faucet handle soaking the light fixture, the ceiling, my cookbooks, the spice drawers – EVERYTHING.
We shut off the water at the sink and cleaned up.  Sunday morning when we decided to just replace the faucet and the work started, we realized we had bigger problems:  the shut-off valve hose snapped off in the replacement of the faucet and the house water shut-off valve wouldn’t working.  The water wouldn’t stop.  And we had no water in the kitchen at all or it would flood.  So we had to wait for the city to shut the water off to the house (a skill I now possess thanks to a neighbor) before finishing our repairs.  (After a mere three more trips to the hardware store to pick up the appropriate plumbing supplies.)
Oh yes, the Keystone Cops of Plumbing were in the house with the two of us.
Really.  Maybe Mr. Bean would have had an easier time.
Oh – life.  What else can ya do.
I have taken a few tips from the previous commenters to make my life easier.  We are buying meats in bulk from CostCo.  We are sticking with the milk delivery (despite the slight higher cost) for a major time savings.  (No one likes to see crying babies at the grocer at night after work.)  We – as usual – eat 99% regularly GF foods.  When making GF bread or what not (a once a week endeavor lately as I have been working on an Oat & Honey Bread recipe), I am sticking to using the basic, whole-grain cheaper flour (like brown rice, oats and a small amount of tapioca starch or potato starch).  Mostly, we fill up on the foods you can find on the outside of the grocery store.
I’ve also tried prepping in advance.  Some nights while making dinner, I prep the dinner for the next night and get it all into the crock pot insert which I keep in the fridge until the next morning.  When the girls are eating breakfast, I finish putting it together  and start up the crock pot.  I haven’t yet had the courage to roast a whole chicken in the crock pot – but it’s so on the agenda!
This weekend I picked up some gorgeous butternut squash.  I blame Costco.  They sell it prepackaged, cut/washed, etc.  And I love butternut squash.  My Love?  Not so much.  So I didn’t pick up the CostCo pack.  Instead, I found a great squash at the market – on sale!  I know squash is not the highlight of most people’s lives.  Mine either – but sometimes you just can’t beat it.
Try this QUICK (hooray!) squash recipe sometime.  You might just change your mind.  (And it’s a nice variation on a veg for dinner.)

Chili-Maple Squash

Chili-Maple Butternut Squash

TIP:  To peel your squash more quickly, pierce the squash several times with a knife or fork.  Wrap it up in a dish towel and pop it in to the microwave for a couple minutes.  (Like 2 – 3 minutes, no more.)  It will peel SO MUCH easier – and be easier to chop as well.
NOTE:  I used a 2 pound squash.  I peeled and cubed the squash and divided it in half for two meals.  The ingredients listed below are for ONE POUND of squash.  Feel free to double, etc the recipe as needed.
Chili-Maple Squash
Ingredients:
1  pound butternut squash (or other firm squash), peeled/seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Peel and seed squash.  (Or… umm.. go to Costco. :D)  Cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Toss squash pieces with melted butter, maple syrup, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast on a silpat/cookie sheet for 20 minutes until fork tender but not mushy.
  5. Serve along side your favorite dinner.
(And feel free not to share.)
And the next post?  That Oat & Honey Bread sans the plumbing drama, k?
~Happy Gluten Free Eats, All!
~Kate