Stuffed Carnival Squash (Easy Version)

So this is basically a quickie version of a stuffed squash. I’ll be posting my stuffing recipes after Thanksgiving.

First off: carnival squash is really pretty, comes in small to medium sizes. I got mine at Trader Joe’s, but they can be found many places. You can also sub acorn or any other smallish seasonal squash.


  • Knife
  • Roasting Pan
  • Pot/Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Large Spoon


  • 5 medium carnival squash
  • 1 pkg Stovetop or similar stuffing
  • Butter or Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Broth (I use Veggie)

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut tops off of squash and gut them. Set them in the roasting pan. If they roll around or feel unsteady, cut a small slice off the very end to make a flat spot. Be careful that you don’t cut too deep and make a hole in the end, as the squash seem to be very thin there. I made a few tiny holes in the ends of mine. Coat the inside with butter (or olive oil), salt, & pepper. 

In your pot or pan, prepare the stuffing according to the boxed instructions. You want it very moist, almost soggy, because the squash and the oven are going to dry them out considerably. Stuff the cavities of the squash, kind of packing it in there, but not firmly. A loose pack, mounding it up nicely. Arrange the stuffed squash in the roasting pan and set in the oven, baking for about an hour before testing the squash with a fork or knife. The outer shell will obviously be hard and brittle, but you should be able to reach the flesh near the top. You are looking for a VERY SOFT consistency. Ours actually took about an hour and a half. This all depends on the size of the squash and how tightly they are stuffed.

For presentation, serving one of these on a plate alone or with something else (we had a bit of ham) as is looks great, but you will probably want to cut them in half or quarters to cool more evenly.


Cara Mia Cream Pie (by fidgety gibit)


Champagne Cupcakes for Two (by tlboyd05)


Grapefruit Tart with Shortbread Crust

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2-3 teaspoons heavy cream

Ingredients for the filling

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (preferably Ruby Red)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Prepare the crust first. Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on low until light and well blended.
  2. Add the eggs yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour and mix until almost blended. Slowly add 2 teaspoons of cream, checking if the dough has come together. If it is still a bit dry, add the rest. Stop mixing as soon as there is no longer flour visible.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, using the wrap to shape the dough into a flattened disk. Wrap tightly, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. After the dough has chilled, lightly flour your work surface. Roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drape the dough over a 9-inch flan ring, fitting the dough gently and pressing it into the edges. Chill the dough for 10 minutes.
  5. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the dough so that it is flush with the rim. Return the tart shell to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up and chill thoroughly.
  6. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Line the tart shell with parchment, allowing a 1-inch overhand. Fill lined shell with pie weights and bake until the pastry’s edges are beginning to colour, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights, using the overhang of paper to assist. Continue baking until the pastry is light golden all over, about eight minutes more. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (still on parchment lined baking sheet).
  7. Turn the oven down to 350°F (175°C).
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer or whisk, beat the yolks on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk, zests, juices and salt, and beat to combine, scraping down side of bowl as needed.
  9. Pour the filling into the cooled prepared tart shell and bake until just set, about 10 minutes. Still on its parchment, transfer the tart to a wire rack. Cool completely, then loosely cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  10. Allow the tart to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving; remove the flan ring and garnish with some softly-whipped cream, crème Anglaise or simply with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.


Roasted Ratatouille with Crispy Chives

  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3-4 small zucchini or yellow squash (2 if they’re larger)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • A generous handful of fresh chives
  • Olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°. Slice the tomatoes into quarters and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of good olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Place pan in hot oven and roast, watching carefully, until the tomatoes begin to soften and the skins wrinkle. You want them to retain much of their shape, but release some of their luscious juices. Remove the pan and allow them to cool, then slip the skins off.
  2. Dice the zucchini and eggplant, slice the onion and crush the garlic, placing all of these on two baking sheets. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, add salt and pepper and roast until the vegetables begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Stir carefully, then return pan to oven for about 10 more minutes. Scatter chives over the top of the vegetables, then roast about 10 minutes more, or until the chives are crisp and toasty, but not black and charred. Remove pans and allow vegetables to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine tomato (with any juice from the roasting pan), eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and about a third of the crispy chives, reserving the rest for garnish. Gently mix together, taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired. The ratatouille can be eaten as is, warm or at room temp. For deeper flavor, chill the mixture overnight, and allow to warm to room temp the next day before serving.


Avocado Fries

  • oil for frying
  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 and 1/3 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin

Cilantro Lemon Dipping Sauce

  • 5 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 of Lemon
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, lemon pepper, salt and cumin. Set it aside. Cut the avocados in half and then slice them vertically into 4 inch by 1 inch wedges. Set them aside. Heat the vegetable oil to 335 degrees Fahrenheit in a large frying pan, adding enough oil so that the oil is about 3 to four inches deep. Dredge the avocado slices in the breadcrumb mixture, then in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture again. Place them in the hot oil and fry them for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon or tongs, and set them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Allow them to dry for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a serving tray and serve them immediately with the Cilantro Lemon Dipping Sauce.
  2. For the Cilantro Lemon Dipping Sauce, place the mayonnaise, cilantro, and lemon juice in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy in texture.

Dear god! Must try!


While perusing the Geeky Chef blog, I came across a recipe for “butterbeer” that is so competely what I would have never imagined butterbeer to be, that I had to dig for my recipe for butterbeer.


  • 2c ginger ale
  • 1/2T butter
  • 1T brown sugar


  1. Melt the butter and sugar together either on the stove (if you’re increasing the recipe) or in a covered dish in the microwave.
  2. Slowly stir the resulting syrup into the ginger ale
  3. Enjoy in a frosty mug!

However, finding this recipe makes me curious to try “real” butterbeer!!

Cheesy Garlic Beer Bread

So I’ve done variations of this bread a couple times. Depending on the beer, cheese, spices, and add-ins, the entire bread changes, and it’s delightful!


  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 12 oz. bottle of lager or stout (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted


  • 2 loaf pans
  • 1 cookie/baking sheet


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan for baking.
  2. In large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder.
  3. Whisk to combine well.
  4. Add cheese and whisk to combine.
  5. Slowly add beer to dry ingredients and stir lightly until combined.
  6. Knead dough lightly until it just comes together.
  7. Place into prepared loaf pan and pour melted butter over top.
  8. Place in oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Sometimes the dough is more batter…. regardless, it’s always delicious! You can also mix up the ingredients, spices, cheese and beer to try different tastes!


Don’t over mix after adding the beer!


So this is a recipe I’m still perfecting for limoncello. I got it from a friend’s Italian grandmother, and I’ll get it down eventually. I’m currently working on my 2nd ever batch. I will update as it goes on!


  • 15-20 large lemons
  • 1 750mL bottle vodka
  • 1 750mL bottle everclear


  • 2-3 C sugar
  • 2-4 C water


  • 1 large jug or jar
  • 1 strainer/sieve


  1. Wash and dry the lemons, being sure to remove any of the food wax. It’s best to use organic lemons for this reason, and only start this when the lemons are fresh, plentiful, and in season.
  2. Carefully peel your lemons, being sure to avoid any of the white pith. Pith = bitter!
  3. Put the lemon peels into your jug/jar and cover with the alcohol. Seal and leave to steep in a cool, dark place. Check it out every couple of weeks and give it a shake. It’s ready for the next step once the peels have lost all color, or 3-4 months down the road, whichever takes longer.
  4. Make your simple syrup with the sugar and water (generally a 1:1 ratio, use more or less sugar depending on how sweet & thick you’d like it). Let syrup cool completely, then carefully add to the lemon peel mixture. Shake up to mix well and allow to sit for a MINIMUM of 2 weeks, but longer is fine.
  5. Strain the lemon peels through cheesecloth, pressing all of the oils and vodka out before discarding the peels.
  6. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon before bottling in clean and sterilized containers. Leave sealed for at least a week before enjoying.

This is best enjoyed straight from the freezer!