Autumn Nachos 008 Edited Autumn Nachos

Here we are more than 2/3 of the way through October, and I just now got around to sharing what I consider an appropriate fall recipe. If life keeps moving at this rate, I may just blink and find it is spring. Which I am by no means opposed to. I was just hoping to enjoy the fall baking season with is pumpkins and squashes and assortment of spices a bit more than I have thus far.

This whole “time flies” thing that everyone seems to relate to makes me wonder, “What is the key to slowing things down?” As the temperatures cool and the light leaves the sky a bit earlier each day, I am reminded of a theme I have seen repeated quite a bit over the past few weeks: fall is a good time to shed your bad habits just as a tree sheds it leaves.

I am not sure what this means for me exactly. As quickly as  time passes me by, I can’t really say I do not make a conscious effort to make the most of it. For years I have subscribed to the belief that all of life is worth living, not just life that is tucked into the weekend. Few things annoy me more than hearing co-workers lament with a big sigh, “well, I’m here” or “I wish it was the weekend.”

Do I love getting out of bed to go to work on Monday morning? No, I do not. I do appreciate the fact that I have a good job to get up for because I was not always so fortunate. Suffice it to say I traveled a loooong road to get from where I was to where I am. It was not enjoyable. Yet, I always knew my life was in those moments and would not wait to start when I landed a good job or some other thing like a nicer home to live in or an attractive, honest, friendly and funny man to entertain me (I ask for too much, I know).

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The roundabout point to this loooong story is that about the same time I was noticing the “let your bad habits fall with the season!” messages, I was exposed to another message: if you live for the weekends, then you miss all of the potential beauty of the week. And here we are mid-week with some beautiful nachos.

You’ve likely ascertained this rambling has nothing to do with nachos. The only thing I could think to tell you about nachos was that a good friend and her husband like nachos so much that they named their pet cat Nacho. These people do not mess around. Would they like these? 

I don’t know because I didn’t share! My feelings are the nachos are a bit light on the topping front with just roasted butternut squash, balsamic glazed onions and Gruyere. I found I most definitely like roasting the butternut squash with sweet maple syrup and hot cayenne pepper and will be doing that again, nachos or no nachos. I hope you find something in them to delight in too. Enjoy!

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Autumn Nachos
  • ½ large butternut squash (or 1 small squash)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced and chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces tortilla chips (half of a store-bought bag)
  • 1½ cups shredded Gruyere
  • optional: sour cream
  1. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small pieces.
  2. Toss the chopped squash with the maple syrup, cayenne pepper and cumin.
  3. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees F until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the squash is roasting, prepare the onion by sauteing it in the oil over medium heat.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan with the onion.
  6. Continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. When the squash is ready to come out of the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  8. Spread the tortilla chips across another parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Top with the squash, onion and shredded cheese.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  11. If desired, serve with sour cream.

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