Saturday, September 20, 2014

The World According to Bella

Despite what the calendar says... 
Fall washed ashore overnight.
It was just that kind of day for a walk in woods. I led the way. But I must say Mrs. S was much too slow. 

She kept stopping and taking this picture and that. I was beginning to think if she doesn't pick up the pace she 'll never wear off all those monster cookies I saw her eating. 

As for me, I kept busy exploring and even treed a squirrel. But after awhile I started feeling anxious and wanted to head for home.   Mrs. S had bought me a huge bone from the meat market. I was worried she might want to take it back for some reason. So I found a hiding place under a tree near the lake. I dug a hole and buried it deep. I need to make a check. Hope it's still  there.
Love, Bella    

Cook's notes:Butternut squash is an all purpose squash. Its hard skin protects the flesh and allows it to be stored for a month or more in a cool, dark place. Its a rich source of antioxidants and offers an abundance of health benefits. For the purest squash flavor, steam-roast  the squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Lightly coat squash halves with oil on both sides. Place squash flesh side down on a prepared baking sheet. Add 1 cup of water to baking sheet. Bake squash until tender, about 45 minutes.  
For this recipe the squash was not precooked and the following steps were followed. 
 The outer skin of the squash was peeled with a potato peeler. The squash was cut in half and seeds scooped out.
The squash was then cut into  small pieces for the chili. A time saver is finding precut squash in the grocery store produce section. (I have found precut squash at Traders Joes and Costco)
Beef and Butternut Squash Chili
recipe adapted from Southern Living Our Best Stews and Soups 2014 and serves 6-8. Use a large soup pot. 
I highly recommend making this chili a day ahead to maximize the flavors. Its a real chili winner with the addition of butternut squash. The chili has a bit of a kick.
Serve with cornbread or bread sticks.
  • 1 LB. lean ground beef or 1 LB. beef stew meat
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz. ) cans Mexican style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2-3/4 butternut squash, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups low sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup  frozen corn kernels
  • Cook ground beef, bell pepper, onions and garlic. Drain meat mixture and crumble ground beef. Add it back to soup pot. If using beef stew meat sear the meat cubes first, set aside and then saute pepper, onions and garlic. 
  • Add in stewed tomatoes, chili beans, broth, squash cubes, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer about 50 minute or until squash is tender. Stir in corn last 15 minutes of cooking time. 

1 comment:

  1. I just made your basic stew recipe on Friday. Love it. Now another great recipe to try. When are you publishing your own cookbook?