Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thyme Roasted Butternut Squash

Craving potatoes? Hash browns? Don't want to eat potatoes? Perfect - this will solve that problem for you.

During my research and experimentation with butternut squash, I thought, "Why does everything call for thyme?!" And once I started getting into kitchen tests I realized "Oh, because it's almost always amazing. Duh!" This pairing - butternut squash and thyme - is one of those cases where you shouldn't fix something that isn't broke.

And it's true - the thyme is the magic in this dish. The simple sweet and nutty flavor of the butternut announced by the fragrant thyme making this a wonderfully simple and elegant side dish to just about anything. It goes particularly well with any type of roast or whole meat - beef roast, pork loin, whole chicken, or a side dish at Thanksgiving. It's perfect because while the meat is cooking in the oven, you can sizzle this up on the stove.

A final note to those who are  feeling ambitiously lazy: you can buy pre-diced butternut squash at most grocery stores to avoid peeling, hulling, and dicing it yourself.


1 large butternut squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme

2 Tablespoons cold butter
Salt/Pepper to taste


Peel, hull, and dice the squash.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high. Add diced squash, spreading into a single layer. Cook about five minutes, until brown. Toss occasionally to brown additional sides - about another five minutes. After squash is mostly browned turn heat to medium low, add thyme and salt, and cover. Cook an additional 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until squash is tender when poked with a fork.

Remove from heat, add butter and gently stir or toss until butter is melted. Serve hot.

Short hand: Brown squash on med high, add thyme, butter, and salt, cover for 10-15 additional mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add butter, stir til melted. Serve

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chocolate Chip Scones

I make scones mostly because we don't eat dinner until 8 or so most nights, and I need a little something something around five to keep me sane. I've often preferred eating a little bit later at night, but once Downton Abby came along and stole my heart, I was convinced that having afternoon tea is perfectly normal for everyone, even if we don't have Mr. Mosley to serve it.

These are rich and wonderful. Initially the orange juice in these seems like the random thing I typed while sleep walking and forgot to delete. However, the flavor mostly bakes out leaving behind and interesting sweetness that adds a special lightness to the recipe as a whole. They are softer than most scones I've previous tried, but they are fragrant, delicious, and perfect with spiced tea, hot chocolate, or vanilla steamed milk.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/8 cup orange juice
1/8 cup cream (heavy or light will do. Use Half and Half only if you're in a pinch)

1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400ยบ degrees.

In a food processor, pulse dry flour, sugar, baking powered, and salt together. Add butter and pulse until mixture is like fine crumbs. If you squeeze it in your hand at this point, it should stick together, but if you poke your fistful of dough it should crumble.

Add orange juice, pulse just until incorporated. Add cream, and pulse again just until incorporated. Error on the side of under-mixing it in the food processor. If needed, turn onto a clean surface to finish mixing. Mix in chocolate chips by hand.

Divide dough and shape into two rounds about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each round into 4-6 sections.

Place sections onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins, watching carefully. Allow to cool in order to burn your hands and mouth while scarfing down these dainty treats.