Mushroom & Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acron Squash 004 Edited Mushroom & Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash

Admittedly, that title does not sound all that appetizing. Chanterelle and apricot stuffed squash sounds much more interesting. Or at the very least, more appetizing.

But I used a mix of baby bellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. That and the fact that despite knowing that a chanterelle is a mushroom, a large part of me still wants to ask, “What is a chanterelle?”

The theory behind this odd couple is the sweet of the apricots brings out the sweet of the mushrooms. I liked finding a nice bit of sweet courtesy of something other than a raisin.

Stuffed Acron Squash 002 Edited Mushroom & Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash

If you are looking for a vegetarian option for Thanksgiving, this could be it. It will also make for a great way to use up leftover stuffing after Thanksgiving.

That is all I have to say this evening. I feel the need to offer such a disclaimer given I was chastised the last time I wrote something so short. After a good week posting for Blogsgiving Dinner last week, a great weekend, and a Monday that’s about to clock in at 18 hours, my word tank is officially out of gas.

If those are not enough excuses, I have also written this brief post twice. My computer is like a cat. It does not like it when I have been gone, and it misbehaves accordingly. Until next week when I am back with more winter squash, enjoy!

Stuffed Acron Squash 008 Edited Mushroom & Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash

 

Mushroom & Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ¼ cup white wine (Pinot Grigio recommended)
  • 1 cup mushrooms of choice, chopped
  • ¼ cup apricots, diced
  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 2 cups brioche or other white bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Warm one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and celery until lightly browned.
  2. Deglaze the skillet with the wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add the mushrooms and apricots to the pan and stir to combine.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside while the squash rings bake.
  5. Prepare the squash by cutting off the tops, removing the seeds and membranes, then slicing into rings.
  6. Brush each ring of squash with the remaining olive oil, then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  7. Towards the end of the baking time, stir the eggs and the bread into the cooled mushroom and apricot mixture.
  8. When the squash rings come out of the oven, carefully press the filling into each of the rings. Return the stuffed rings to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the stuffing is set and slightly browned.
Notes
This recipe assumes you are able to slice four rings that are ¾-inch wide from each squash.
12 Weeks Mushroom & Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash
If you are a blogger who would like to join in the winter squash fun, join the group over on Facebook. We would love to see what you come up with!

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Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars

Blogsgiving 093 Edited Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars

Something wonderful happened. I baked a delicious dessert. It’s a bit ridiculous to make such a statement since all I did is follow a set of instructions, but this one is a win. “Oh yeah?”, you say. “What’s so great about them?”

Let’s start with the obvious reason, which is it’s a dessert with cranberries. I started off the week stating how much I adore cranberries. If you are just ho-hum about cranberries, you are probably thinking “no big whoop” right now, so give me just a minute more to convince you.

The orange flavor from the zest shines through like a bright ray of sunshine. Then there is chocolate on top. I am a cranberry fan, but I am an even bigger orange-chocolate fan. Then there is the crust which provides just the right amount of salty crunch to balance the gooey sweet filling.

Blogsgiving 067 Edited Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars

Today is the third and final day of Blogsgiving, hosted by Susannah from Feast + West and Meghan from Cake ‘n’ Knife. Throughout the week, 20 bloggers have shared 52 recipes in a virtual progressive dinner party (where you eat a course at a different guest’s home) format to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

On Day 1, we covered cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and soup. On Day 2, we shared entrees, salads and sides.Today, we have recipes for dessert and after-dinner drinks, as well as ideas for enjoying leftovers. Check out the menu with links to each of today’s recipe at the end of this post, and find us on social media with the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s recipes as much as I have, and that you find something new to try at your Thanksgiving table. With that, I will leave you to the weekend. Enjoy!

Blogsgiving 085 Edited Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars

 

Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the Crust
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup almonds, finely chopped
  • For the Filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • For the Topping
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter, brown sugar, and salt on low speed for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the four and almonds and mix until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.
  4. Bake the crust at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  5. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and orange zest.
  6. Stir in the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Next fold in the cranberries, coconut, and almonds.
  8. Spread the filling over the baked crust and return to the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes more.
  9. When the bars come out of the oven after baking, immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips or chunks over the top. The heat from the bars will melt the chocolate, which you can spread into a layer over the bars if desired.
  10. Cut into individual bars once the bars cool completely, cut into… the bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
 

 

 

Blogsgiving 2014 Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars

Dessert

Grandma’s Pecan Pie from The Wetherills Say I Do

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting from My Cooking Spot

Gluten-Free Apple Berry Crumble from Twin Stripe

Paleo Pumpkin Pudding from Wit Wisdom Food

Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars from Love & Flour (You are here!)

Torched Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie with Olive & Sinclair Chocolate from The Local Forkful

Poached Pears with Salted Maple Caramel Syrup from Home at Six

Sweet Potato Pie from Think Fruitful

Nutella Pumpkin S’mores Tart from bethcakes

Gluten-Free Acorn Squash Spice Bars from I Cook. I Eat. It’s Life.

Drunken Pecan Pie Bars from The Speckled Palate

After-Dinner Drinks

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider from A Savory Feast

Cranberry Bourbon Granita from Feast + West

Leftovers

Cheesy Potato Croquettes from Hello Little Home

Leftover Stuffed Egg Rolls with Cranberry Dipping Sauce from Cake ‘n’ Knife

Freezer-Friendly Turkey and Rice Casserole from Betty Becca

Turkey and Cranberry Quesadilla from Glamour Girl Gourmet

Stuffed Crescents with Thanksgiving Leftovers from My Cooking Spot

Blogsgiving 2014 Map 300x300 Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars

Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies

Blogsgiving 035 Edited Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies

Blogsgiving Day 2, and I decided to get cutesy. Prepping individual pot pies takes approximately 45 minutes longer than stuffing the filling between two crusts and calling it dinner time. Proceed at your own risk.

When I first saved this recipe, my thought was to use it as an idea for leftovers. Instead of turkey sausage, I imagined chopping up leftover turkey and using it instead. Since Thanksgiving leftovers are still a few weeks away, and I wanted to buy meat from a local farm, I scrapped the turkey idea entirely and used pork sausage.

Are you getting the sense that you can do pretty much whatever you want with this recipe and still come out ahead?

Blogsgiving 041 Edited Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies

If you are not feeling cutesy, just make this into a regular pot pie.  Line a pie pan with crust, dump in the filling, and top with puff pastry. Want to sauté your apples, onion, and sweet potato in butter or olive oil instead of grease from the cooked meat? How about adding the cheese on top of the filling before topping the pot pies with puff pastry? By all means go right ahead.

Those are techniques, so how about substitutions?  Only have one apple but a full bunch of celery? Sub it. No wine or sherry but plenty of broth? Use it. My only suggestion is not to be afraid to stuff the wells with filling. Initially, I heaped in just one tablespoon. While that looked full, it made for a lot of crust and a little filling. Stuffing two tablespoons in made for a better balance between filling and crust.

The yield could get a little wonky depending on how big your apples, onion, and sweet potato are. This will be less of an issue if you don’t make individual pies, but it is something to be aware of. I ended up with six cups of vegetables and made two and half dozen pot pies.

Blogsgiving 064 Edited Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies

In her cookbook, the author of this recipe wrote that she liked to serve these individual pot pies with a bowl of butternut squash soup and a mixed green salad. If those ideas do not suit your tastes, I’m sure our Blogsgiving dinner bloggers have plenty ideas.

In case you missed Blogsgiving Day 1 and have no idea what I am talking about, Susannah from Feast + West and Meghan from Cake ‘n’ Knife are hosting a virtual dinner week to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Twenty bloggers will be sharing 52 recipes in a progressive dinner party (where you eat a course at a different guest’s home) format. On Day 1, we covered cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and soup.

Today we are sharing entrees, salads and side dishes. Check out the menu with links to each recipe at the end of this post, and find us on social media with the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner. Enjoy!

Blogsgiving 039 Edited Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies

Turkey, Apple & Sweet Potato Pot Pies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the Filling
  • 1 pound turkey or pork sausage
  • 2 medium apples, cored and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 ½ cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
  • ⅔ cup wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For the Crusts
  • 2, 15-ounce packages of ready-made pie dough (2 rounds), at room temperature
  • 2, 17-ounce packages of ready-made puff pastry (2 sheets), at room temperature
  • Optional: grated cheddar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. When cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the skillet and allow it to rest on a paper towel-lined plate while you cook the rest of the filling.
  3. Remove as much grease from the skillet as you like, and then saute the apples, onion, and sweet potato until softened, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked sausage back to the skillet along with the sage, broth, and cooking wine.
  5. Stir in the cornstarch and cook until thickened, about four minutes.
  6. When the filling is done, it’s time to assemble the pies. Unroll the pie dough on a flat surface and use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut each round to fit in the bottom and up the sides of a greased muffin tin.
  7. Fill each crust-lined well three-quarters of the way full with the prepared filling, about two tablespoons per well. Don’t be afraid to really pack it in!
  8. Unroll the puff pastry and cut it into 12 even pieces. Top each well with one piece of puff pastry, tucking it around the filing and along the sides of the well.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, sprinkle each pot pie with cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes towards the end of the bake time.
  10. Allow the pot pies to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then loosen the side of each with a knife. Use the tines of a fork – or whatever other contraption you please - placed between the side of the potpie and the pan to lift it out.
  11. The potpies will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days. To reheat, wrap in tin foil and place in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes.
Notes
When lining the pan wells with pie crust, the original recipe instructs one to cut the round of crust in fourths, then to cut three triangles from each of those fourths for three pieces of dough to stuff into the pan.

Take care not to handle the puff pastry sheet too much or it will lose its ability to puff.

Blogsgiving 2014 Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies

Salads

Pomegranate & Goat Cheese Salad from Feast + West

Persimmon & Pear Salad from Wit Wisdom and Food

Roasted Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Salad from Hello Little Home

Entrees

The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey from My Cooking Spot

Roasted Turducken from The Speckled Palate

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Orange-Cranberry Reduction from Home at Six

Beer Brined Turkey with Bacon Gravy from Cake ‘n’ Knife

Smoked Mushroom Steaks with Herbed Bread Crumbs (Vegan) from Betty Becca

Side Dishes

Turkey, Apple & Sweet Potato Pot Pies from Love & Flour (You are here!)

Creamy Pumpkin Apple Pasta from My Cooking Spot

Mushroom Spinach Farro from Think Fruitful

Bacon and Cornbread Stuffing from Chez CateyLou

Sweet Potato Crunch from I Cook. I Eat. It’s Life.

Blue Cheese & Bacon Mashed Potatoes from A Savory Feast

Sausage Stuffing from the Wetherills Say I Do

Butternut Squash Grits from Homespun Seasonal Living

Wine

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings from Twin Stripe

Blogsgiving 2014 Map 300x300 Turkey Sausage, Apple, & Sweet Potato Pies