Monday, September 20, 2010

Welcome Autumn! Squash, pumpkin, and all things orange!

"When autumn comes, it doesnt ask. It just walks in, where it left you last." -John Mayer

Autumn is by and large my favorite season! I love all the colors, the crispness of the air, the smell of fallen leaves, and all the warm delicious food that comes back after a summer of cool foods and homes too hot to cook in. Many a harbinger signals the change of seasons before the equinox arrives; children head back to school, the temperatures start staying below 80*, Starbucks brings back my favorite drink- the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and you see the vibrant colors of the summer harvest mixing with the muted colors of fall-- dark green acorn squash, pale sandy colored butternut squash, bumpy gourds, bright orange pumpkins, light and dark green mini cabbage- brussel sprouts, flowers of deep burgandy, marigold yellow, and rich burnt orange. 
One of my favorite flavors that comes back in September is the all-mighty PUMPKIN! I love to eat pumpkin any and everything. I love the taste, the warmth and those spices that make this season smell so wonderful; cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice. Simmering a small pot of water with whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and some grated nutmeg makes my whole house smell warm, inviting and cozy. Thus far in September alone I have enjoyed: pumpkin lattes, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin whoopie pies and pumpkin bread! I have yet to make anything with pumpkin myself but my intentions are to make a cheesecake, pie, gnocchi, cupcakes and soup! 

Another seasonal delight is squash! Butternut squash is my preference so far but I have yet to try any different varieties yet! I have an acorn squash and a butternut squash I am planning to turn into soup this week. Most recently I made some creamy light orange Butternut Squash and Saffron Risotto from The Barefoot Contessa-- Ina Garten- who is the first face I think of when I see a butternut squash! She has a lot of great recipes for ways to use them on Here are some photos of that dinner: 

More warm cooking & baking to come! Hope you enjoy your fall into autumn!!! 
(Beware-- you may start reading the word Pumpkin on here more than Duck!)

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