Acorn Squash with Wild Rice

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Acorn Squash with Wild Rice! When you talk about love at first bite, or rather, first sight, acorn squash sets the bar in the gourd family. With its rich jewel tones of Autumn, it looks as majestic on a dinner plate as it tastes. The sweet mellow flavor needs little or no seasoning. The biggest challenge I found was cutting the acorn squash in half. It is not for the weak-hearted. The rind to so hard, it is necessary to use a serrated knife and forcefully cut lengthwise in small slits until you have circled the entire squash. At that point you can connect the cuts to slice the squash until it splits. Go slow and take your time, lest you suffer from impatience with a minor injury. With that being said, go forth and partake in this gorgeous vegetable off-the-vine.

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons onion, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup wild rice

1/2 cup brown rice

1 3/4 cups water

1/8 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons parsley flakes

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2-4 strips smoked bacon, crispy and crumbled

2 green onions, snipped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for 5 minutes until brown. Remove from oven to cool. Carefully cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out seeds. Brush flesh sides of squash with olive oil. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick oil. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Flesh will be soft when pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, sauté onions in olive oil a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until tender. Add wild rice and brown rice. Cook one minute. Do not burn. Add water, sage, thyme, parsley flakes, and dried cranberries. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 40-45 minutes until tender. Add pecans and crumbled bacon. Toss gently. Fill each squash cavity with wild rice mixture. Garnish with green onion snips and serve immediately.

Jell-o Shots with Sugared Cranberries

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Sweet Celebrations: Jell-o Shots With Sugared Cranberries! The holidays ring in the cheer with festive activities, enticing food, and snappy beverages. Make things awesome with dressed up Jell-O shots that cap off any occasion. Not only do they have an elegant look, but they satisfy the sweet tooth as a miniature dessert. By creating a garnish of fresh fruit with the sugared cranberries, it’s a classy finish with a gourmet twist!

JELL-O SHOTS WITH SUGARED CRANBERRIES

For Make-Ahead Sugared Cranberries:

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup filtered water

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup filtered water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Add cranberries. To prevent cranberries from bursting, do not boil. Stir until well coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack. Let dry for one hour. Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until well coated. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight. Store in airtight container.

Ingredients for Jell-o Shots:

3-ounce package raspberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

1/2 cup ice water

Sugared cranberries

Rosemary sprigs

Instructions:

Empty contents of raspberry gelatin packet into a mixing bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add iced water and amaretto liqueur and iced water. Stir well. Pour into shot glasses. Refrigerate until set, 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs just before serving.

Lemon Curd French Toast

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Sweet Celebrations: Lemon Curd French Toast! Shortcuts, gotta love them. Just because you’re preparing food at home doesn’t mean everything has to be made from scratch. Betty Crocker, an American cultural icon, is proof of that. I used a store-bought lemon curd instead of making it from scratch. And if you want to take this recipe one step closer to simplifying your life, merely substitute the fresh berry compote with frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed of course. After all, the main attraction is the lemony rich oven-baked French toast sprinkled with vanilla bean and nutmeg. Everything is prepared the night before so all that’s needed is baking time the next morning. See? Simple isn’t so bad.

LEMON CURD FRENCH TOAST

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved

10-ounce jar lemon curd

1 loaf Hawaiian Sweet Bread, sliced

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup cherries

1/2 cup mulberries

1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Powdered sugar, garnish

Instructions:

To make the French toast, butter an oval baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean seeds. Fold in the lemon curd. Stir well. Arrange the Hawaiian Sweet Bread slices evenly in the prepared dish, slightly overlapping them. Pour egg mixture over bread. Spoon to coat all slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To make the fruit compote, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries, cherries, mulberries, cranberries, and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit breaks down, about 15 minutes. As the juices are released, the fruit will thicken. Remove from heat, cover, and refrigerate. Warm in the microwave the next day before serving. The next day, to bake the French toast, preheat oven to 350°. Let the French toast stand at room temperature 15 minutes before placing in the oven. Remove lid. Bake 45-50 minutes. To make the whipped topping, chill the mixing bowl and beaters beforehand. Place the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in the mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed until the cream begins to thicken, about 4-6 minutes. The whipped cream will double in volume and form soft peaks. Remove the French toast from the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Top with warm berry compote, whipped cream, and dusting of powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Jell-O Shots with Sugared Cranberries

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Festive Foods: Jell-O Shots With Sugared Cranberries! The holidays ring in the cheer with festive activities, enticing food, and snappy beverages. Make things awesome with dressed up Jell-O shots that cap off any occasion. Not only do they have an elegant look, but they satisfy the sweet tooth as a miniature dessert. By creating a garnish of fresh fruit with the sugared cranberries, it’s a classy finish with a gourmet twist!

JELL-O SHOTS WITH SUGARED CRANBERRIES

For Make-Ahead Sugared Cranberries:

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup filtered water

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup filtered water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Add cranberries. To prevent cranberries from bursting, do not boil. Stir until well coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack. Let dry for one hour. Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until well coated. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight. Store in airtight container.

Ingredients for Jell-o Shots:

3-ounce package raspberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

1/2 cup ice water

Sugared cranberries

Rosemary sprigs

Instructions:

Empty contents of raspberry gelatin packet into a mixing bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add iced water and amaretto liqueur and iced water. Stir well. Pour into shot glasses. Refrigerate until set, 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs just before serving.

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Jell-o Shots with Sugared Cranberries!

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Jell-O Shots With Sugared Cranberries! The holidays ring in the cheer with festive activities, enticing food, and snappy beverages. Make things awesome with dressed up Jell-O shots that cap off any occasion. Not only do they have an elegant look, but they satisfy the sweet tooth as a miniature dessert. By creating a garnish of fresh fruit with the sugared cranberries, it’s a classy finish with a gourmet twist!

JELL-O SHOTS WITH SUGARED CRANBERRIES

For Make-Ahead Sugared Cranberries:

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup filtered water

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup filtered water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Add cranberries. To prevent cranberries from bursting, do not boil. Stir until well coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack. Let dry for one hour. Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until well coated. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight. Store in airtight container.

Ingredients for Jell-o Shots:

3-ounce package raspberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

1/2 cup ice water

Sugared cranberries

Rosemary sprigs

Instructions:

Empty contents of raspberry gelatin packet into a mixing bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add iced water and amaretto liqueur and iced water. Stir well. Pour into shot glasses. Refrigerate until set, 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs just before serving.

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Special Edition: Jell-o Shots With Sugared Cranberries 

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Special Edition: Jell-O Shots With Sugared Cranberries! The holidays ring in the cheer with festive activities, enticing food, and snappy beverages. Make things awesome with dressed up Jell-O shots that cap off any occasion. Not only do they have an elegant look, but they satisfy the sweet tooth as a miniature dessert. By creating a garnish of fresh fruit with the sugared cranberries, it’s a classy finish with a gourmet twist! 
JELL-O SHOTS WITH SUGARED CRANBERRIES 
For Make-Ahead Sugared Cranberries:

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup filtered water

12-ounce bag fresh cranberries 

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup filtered water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Add cranberries. To prevent cranberries from bursting, do not boil. Stir until well coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack. Let dry for one hour. Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until well coated. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight. Store in airtight container. 
Ingredients for Jell-o Shots:

3-ounce package raspberry gelatin 

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur 

1/2 cup ice water

Sugared cranberries Rosemary sprigs
Instructions:

Empty contents of raspberry gelatin packet into a mixing bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add iced water and amaretto liqueur and iced water. Stir well. Pour into shot glasses. Refrigerate until set, 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs just before serving. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter A

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Acorn Squash with Wild Rice! When you talk about love at first bite, or rather, first sight, acorn squash sets the bar in the gourd family. With its rich jewel tones of Autumn, it looks as majestic on a dinner plate as it tastes. The sweet mellow flavor needs little or no seasoning. The biggest challenge I found was cutting the acorn squash in half. It is not for the weak-hearted. The rind to so hard, it is necessary to use a serrated knife and forcefully cut lengthwise in small slits until you have circled the entire squash. At that point you can connect the cuts to slice the squash until it splits. Go slow and take your time, lest you suffer from impatience with a minor injury. With that being said, go forth and partake in this gorgeous vegetable off-the-vine.
ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE
Ingredients:

1/2 cup pecans, chopped 

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons onion, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup wild rice

1/2 cup brown rice

1 3/4 cups water

1/8 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons parsley flakes

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

2-4 strips smoked bacon, crispy and crumbled 

2 green onions, snipped
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for 5 minutes until brown. Remove from oven to cool. Carefully cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out seeds. Brush flesh sides of squash with olive oil. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick oil. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Flesh will be soft when pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, sauté onions in olive oil a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until tender. Add wild rice and brown rice. Cook one minute. Do not burn. Add water, sage, thyme, parsley flakes, and dried cranberries. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 40-45 minutes until tender. Add pecans and crumbled bacon. Toss gently. Fill each squash cavity with wild rice mixture. Garnish with green onion snips and serve immediately.