I literally cannot believe it is over halfway into October!!!! Whhaaaaaaa? Where did this month go already? I seriously have been slacking on posts lately, so shame on me. Here’s the skinny on what’s been happening over here:
-Work is crazy. This is nothing new. Our ICU has been more full this past month than all summer!
-We have about 350 days left on Okinawa, which I've come to realize is bittersweet. We're ready to move back to the States but will miss the calm little bubble we've grown used to over the last 2 years.
-We had another, yes ANOTHER typhoon at the end of September. 3 big storms in 1 month is way too much! I was actually at home for this one, my first in 2 years, and it was not nearly as fun being home as I thought it’d be. We lost power for about 6 hours and in that time I learned two very, very important lessons.
1. I can go about 2 hours without internet without going through withdrawals. That’s not entirely surprising or worrisome to me. I consider that a win, taking into account how much time I usually spend surfing each day.
2. I can go about 15 nanoseconds without my kitchen. Our stove and oven are gas, so I was able to finish cooking the brunch I was in the middle of doing when the power went out, but it quickly heated up the house so without air conditioning to cool things down it was pretty miserable. I was hesitant to open the fridge or freezer very often, not knowing how long it’d be until the power came back on.
Pretty much immediately after the power went out my husband bemoaned not being able to watch YouTube or plug in a movie. I was anxious, twitchy and experiencing palpitations realizing I was not going to be able to cook that day. Obviously, my predicament was immensely more important than his not being able to watch videos on YouTube, though he completely disagreed.
I mean, come on! What is the priority here- watching some video about self sufficiency made by a nut who believes the world as we know it is going to collapse and we’ll lose power, gasoline and other modern day conveniences…. or me being able to cook fancy-ish foods and take pictures with a high tech DSLR camera and type on my laptop about them to post on the internet for you ???
Clearly you are on my side.
Easy, delicious, awesome as leftovers. That's how I would describe these southwestern style stuffed acorn squash in 3ish words. I will say that I tend to not be able to color inside the lines, which really means I cannot eat dishes like this neatly or gracefully- let's be honest here. I end up with food everywhere, so I scrape out the acorn squash flesh and mix it all up with the filling to make one big
Southwestern Style Stuffed Acorn SquashInspired by several recipes, filling a Butter Than Toast original
2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
*Save the seeds for roasting, post about these coming soon!
2 links chorizo sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup barley, cooked to package directions
1/2 large white onion, diced
1/4 cup corn
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh, flat leaf parsley, diced
Black pepper, salt, garlic powder or chili powder to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Heat your oven to 350°F. In a large baking dish or roasting pan, place the squash cut side down and fill the pan with water until it reaches 1 inch up the sides of the squash. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until it's fork tender but still holds it's shape when picked up with tongs. Prepare your filling while the squash are baking.
In a large skillet, heat over medium-high heat. Brown the chorizo sausage, breaking it up with a cooking spoon as you go. Once it's no longer pink, add in the vegetables and saute until the onion and pepper are soft. Add in the barley and parsley and stir to mix everything up. Taste at this point and decide if you want to add some spices. The chorizo is already pretty salty, so you probably won't need to add salt. It's up to you. I usually end up adding a heavy pinch each of black pepper and and chili powder.
Remove the squash from the baking dish, set aside momentarily. Drain water from baking dish. Return squash to dish, this time cut side facing up. You might need to trim the pointy end off of the bottom so they sit flat and straight up. Turn the broiler on to high. Fill each squash "cup" with as much filling as it will hold, and sprinkle the cheese over the top. You might have extras of the filling, which is fine. They make great leftovers by themselves or can be wrapped up in a tortilla for your midnight snack!
Broil 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Plate and serve, cutting each squash "cup" in half to achieve the wedges pictured above if you desire more portion control.