Tag Archive: baked


Stuffed Butternut Squash

Every Wednesday night, Sebastian, Fabian and their friend John gather in the basement and play batá drums (no, they’re not santoria, they just like the music). I’m living with heathens (and loving it, as long as they’re done by 11 PM).

So, every Wednesday night, I try to cook up something tasty for the boys. Tonight, since I had a squash lying around and some ground beef in the fridge, I decided to make stuffed butternut squash. I didn’t have a recipe, nor did I find a good one on the internet, so I kind of made up my own as I went.

I used:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 – 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 of a small yellow onion

Preheat your oven to 360˚F, and cut your squash in half the long way. Cooking tip of the day #1: When slicing a butternut squash, it’s easier to start at the fat end. Scoop out the seeds and strings, and rub some vegetable or canola oil on the inside of each half. Put the halves face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 20 minutes.

While the squash is baking, mince the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Over medium-high heat, toss 1 tbsp olive oil and the onion in a big pan. Add the beef, carrot, celery and garlic. Salt and pepper, and cook until lightly browned before removing from the heat.

Uh…the beef is not browned in this picture. But it’s the only picture that came out ok. Sorry!

Anyway. Once the squash has cooked for 20 minutes, flip the halves over, and fill the cavities with the beef (I had to dig out some of the butternut flesh to make room). Bake for an extra 20 minutes. Serve hot!

Happy Halloween! (Yes, I know Halloween was yesterday.)

It was a nice, quiet celebration. Sebastian and I dressed up, and had a couple of friends over. It was our friend Emilia’s birthday, so I took it upon myself to make a pumpkin cake with caramel cream cheese frosting. It was delicious!

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar)
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
    2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar and oil with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at the time, and the orange peel, beating well. Turn the mixer to low, and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until homogeneous. Divide the batter equally in   the pans, and bake for 30-40  minutes, or until an inserted  toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for  10 minutes, then remove from the pans (I turned them  upside down on plates) and cool completely on a rack.

Now for the caramel cream cheese frosting!

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan, melt the brown sugar and 4 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and whisk in the heavy cream, blending well. Transfer to a heat-resistan bowl.

While it cools to room temperature, beat the remaining 6 tbsp of butter and the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Turn mixer setting to slow, and slowly pour in the cooled caramel (brown sugar mixture). Add the powdered sugar gradually, beating well after each addition until completely smooth. Refrigerate until firm enough (a runny frosting will leak), stirring occasionally.

And now for assembly: the fun part! When the cakes are cool and the frosting is a good texture, cover the top of one of the layers with frosting.

 

 

 

 

 

Delicately, with the help of a spatula, put the second layer on top of the first. Frost the top and sides of the entire cake. For an extra Halloween-y touch, I decorated my cake with candy corn.

This may have to be a repeat for Thanksgiving!

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