We’ve got some butternut squash (and pumpkins and the like) from our garden that need to be used up. It’s been sitting on the counter for a few days–I’ve been avoiding it. But, today, I was inspired to cook it up into something delightful. After I finished, I realized that I follow a strikingly similar pattern every time I cook, and here it is:
“Good Lord I am hungry. I wonder what I should make for dinner.” *text the hub-dubs: Dude, what are we going to eeeeeat tonight?
Silence. No surprise.
Then I find a recipe, and today’s magic hunger-bullet is butternut squash mac-n-cheese. So then I call the hub-dubs for an opinion. He tells me he thinks it sounds awful. Then I tell him to cut up the squash for me (please).
He took a photo. I’m impressed (I also have no editing software on this computer. So it goes.).
Even in its infancy, this recipe is going to be “tweanked.” You can thank my favorite mother-in-law for that term, by the way. Here’s why: the recipe calls for ricotta cheese. Know where ricotta cheese is at? The store. Know where I am NOT going on my way home from work? The store. People put cottage cheese in lasagna all the time instead of ricotta. This has pasta, ergo, it’s pretty much the same thing as lasagna. Plus, cottage cheese is in my fridge. Win.
Full disclosure: I eyeballed the chicken broth in here. Totally, completely guessed. I did measure out the squash though, which is a good thing because I ended up using about half of it. I’m not totally out of my mind.
If by ‘simmer for about twenty minutes’ this recipe means ‘boil until you are finished doing dishes’ and ‘mash’ means ‘blenderize the heck out of it,’ then I followed this recipe to a T.
Speaking of T, I lost my T spoon, so I measured everything with my t spoon. I’d really like to know where my T spoon is at though. I feel a bit crippled without it, plus it means my really nice set of stainless steel measuring spoons is incomplete.
Ok, so up until now I’ve, you know, mostly followed the recipe. But it says this cheesy goodness needs to bake for 20 minutes covered and an additional 30-40 minutes uncovered at 375 degrees. Please child, this is going in the oven at 400 for 30 minutes. In my dutch oven. Because I just got it for Christmas and have been dying to use it–I also boiled my noodles in it and thought, “sweet, less dishes.”
Oops. Forgot to add the spices about two steps ago. Also forgot to measure them. This looked a bit too bland for me, so I threw in a couple handfuls of jalapenos and a splash of the juice for some extra zing.
Well, looks like that turned out just fine, doesn’t it? Once you know the rules, you can break them to your heart’s content and tweank whatever you want.
I think I’ll make this dish again, little (and big) changes and all. The hub-dubs was skeptical, but even he said it rocked his socks off. Yesssssssss.