Twice Baked Butternut Squash

With a prolific crop of butternut squash from Barry’s garden, I am on the look out for new recipes . . . and this one—Twice Baked Butternut Squash—is definitely a keeper. Just like a twice-baked potato, butternut squash is baked, the flesh is mashed and combined with a sour cream-cheese mixture and then stuffed back into into the squash shell and re-baked. Make Ahead directions are also included below. 

Twice Baked Butternut Squash  
1 smaller sized butternut squash
Olive oil + kosher salt & pepper
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream (depending on side of squash)
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (or cheese of choice
1+ to 2+ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or use about 1/4 to 1/2 dried)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cut ends of squash and cut squash in half lengthwise—TIP: for easy cutting, after removing ends place squash in microwave for up to 2 1/2 minutes (1 minute for summer sized). 
  3. Remove seeds. Drizzle cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Place squash, cut sides down, in a rimmed baking dish. Pour about 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 to 30 minutes for smaller squash (up to 40 or 45 minutes for larger), until the squash becomes really soft and can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Check from time to time—water should eventually completely evaporate allowing the squash to caramelize but not burn. Add a little more water if squash begins to appear dry.
  6. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
Scoop out flesh of the squash, being careful to leave shell of squash intact. Mix up/mash squash; add filling ingredients listed above and mix thoroughly; taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Scoop mixture back into one half of the squash. 
  8. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and return to oven.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and melted. 
Make Ahead: Prepare recipe through step # 7; cover well and refrigerated up to 2 days. On day of serving, remove squash from fridge and let come to room temperature as oven is preheated, then proceed with step #8. 

Recipe without photos  . . .
Twice Baked Butternut Squash  
1 smaller sized butternut squash
Olive oil + kosher salt & pepper
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream (depending on side of squash)
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (or cheese of choice
1+ to 2+ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or use about 1/4 to 1/2 dried)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cut ends of squash and cut squash in half lengthwise—TIP: for easy cutting, after removing ends place squash in microwave for up to 2 1/2 minutes (1 minute for summer sized) . 
  3. Remove seeds. Drizzle cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Place squash, cut sides down, in a rimmed baking dish. Pour about 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 to 30 minutes for smaller squash (up to 40 or 45 minutes for larger), until the squash becomes really soft and can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Check from time to time—water should eventually completely evaporate allowing the squash to caramelize but not burn. Add a little more water if squash begins to appear dry.
  6. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
Scoop out flesh of the squash, being careful to leave shell of squash intact. Mix up/mash squash; add filling ingredients listed above and mix thoroughly; taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Scoop mixture back into one half of the squash. 
  8. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and return to oven.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and melted. 
Make Ahead: Prepare recipe through step # 7; cover well and refrigerated up to 2 days. On day of serving, remove squash from fridge and let come to room temperature as oven is preheated, then proceed with step #8.

Cauliflower "Rice" Substitute

Not really rice, but cauliflower in this form is easily substituted for rice. Packed with flavor, this is yet another way to add veggies to the menu.
Barry topped our cauliflower "rice" with shredded pork seasoned with Asian flavors. 




Cauliflower Rice Substitute   About 4 servings
1 large head cauliflower, separated into 1" florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
2 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Trim the cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible.
  2. In batches (about 3), break up the florets into a food processor (outfitted with the blade) and pulse until the mixture resembles rice.

  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions, and sauté imto; tender.
  4. Add the garlic, cauliflower "rice" + salt, pepper, parsley and thyme; continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower has softened, 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.  Cover with a lid is desired as it cooks.
  5. Fluff "rice" with a fork and check for seasoning.
Recipe without the photos . . .
Cauliflower Rice Substitute   About 4 servings
1 large head cauliflower, separated into 1" florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
2 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Trim the cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible.
  2. In batches (about 3), break up the florets into a food processor (outfitted with the blade) and pulse until the mixture resembles rice.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions, and sauté imto; tender.
  4. Add the garlic, cauliflower "rice" + salt, pepper, parsley and thyme; continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower has softened, 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.  Cover with a lid is desired as it cooks.
  5. Fluff "rice" with a fork and check for seasoning.

Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers Poppers

These Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers ready for yesterday's K-State tailgate! These mini bell pepper are  stuffed with two kinds of cheese, bacon. Sweet peppers mean this is a mild tasting version of the usual pepper poppers. I did add a jalapeño for a little spice -- just right for Barry; way too mild for me!
Make ahead instructions also included in step-by-step directions.

Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers Poppers   Makes 24 pepper poppers
12mini sweet peppers sliced in half, seeds and membranes removed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese + extra for topping
1/4 cup green onions, sliced (use both white & green parts)
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds & membranes removed, then minced -- optional
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. (If preparing ahead, skip this step until ready to bake peppers.)
  2. Line a cookie sheet with nonstick foil and set aside. Optional: insert a cooling rack so the heat circulates around the peppers.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, cheddar, green onions, jalapeno, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in crumbled bacon.
  4. Fill the sliced peppers with the filling, about a heaping tablespoon each. 
  5. Place on prepared cookie sheet, then sprinkle each pepper with a little extra cheese. Stuffed peppers could be covered and refrigerated at this point and then baked later.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and peppers have softened.
Recipe without photos . . .
Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers Poppers   Makes 24 pepper poppers
12mini sweet peppers sliced in half, seeds and membranes removed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese + extra for topping
1/4 cup green onions, sliced (use both white & green parts)
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds & membranes removed, then minced -- optional
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. (If preparing ahead, skip this step this step until ready to bake peppers.)
  2. Line a cookie sheet with nonstick foil and set aside. Optional: insert a cooling rack so the heat circulates around the peppers.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, cheddar, green onions, jalapeno, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in crumbled bacon.
  4. Fill the sliced peppers with the filling, about a heaping tablespoon each. 
  5. Place on prepared cookie sheet, then sprinkle each pepper with a little extra cheese. Stuffed peppers could be covered and refrigerated at this point and then baked later.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and peppers have softened.

S’mores Cake Roll

We made S’mores during her summers in Kansas. We made them at Big Cedar Lodge in Arkansas during family outings Now these classic campfire treats are transformed into a cake roll to celebrate our niece Erin’s birthday. 
By the way -- At about step #14 my phone's camera began to produce "fuzzy" photos and I could not figure out why! Barry to the rescue -- seems I had managed to smudge the lens with marshmallow cream!!!

S’mores Cake Roll    About 10 to 14 servings
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
-------
3 to 4 crushed graham crackers – divided use
Marshmallow Cream Filling (recipe follows)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Mini marshmallow

1.    Preheat oven to 375° F. 
2.    Spray a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with pan spray (this insures parchment sticks to the bottom of the pan). Then line it with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of the paper sticking up on both 15-inch sides of the pan so that cake may easily be lifted out after baking. Spray top of parchment paper with pan spray. 

3.    In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy; gradually add 1/2 c. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.  


4.    In another mixing bowl, beat egg yolks & vanilla on high speed for about 3 minutes. Gradually add 1/3 c. sugar, continue beating for 2 minutes.



5.    Combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg yolk mixture alternately with water on low speed (beginning and ending with the flour mixture), beating just until batter is smooth.  


6.    Gradually fold chocolate mixture into egg whites.


7.    Spread evenly in jelly roll pan.

8.    Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 min. or until the top springs back when touched lightly in center. 
9.    Immediately and carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface. 

10.  Slowly use your hands to roll up the cake inside the parchment paper— rolling from short end to short end — until it is completely rolled up.  


11.  Transfer the cake roll to a wire rack, and cool until it reaches room temperature.

13.  Carefully unroll cake so it is flat; remove parchment as it unrolls.
14.  Spread Marshmallow Cream Filling over the top of the cake (leaving just about 1/4-inch free on each long side). Sprinkle with about 2/3 of the crushed graham crackers.


15.  Roll it back up into a log and place on a serving tray.
16.  Frost  with Chocolate Glaze. 
17.  Refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
18.  Before serving, add mini marshmallows to the top and edges of cake roll; use a kitchen torch to toast marshmallow. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs over cake.



Marshmallow Cream Filling: 
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. container marshmallow fluff
About 1/2 cup whipping cream, divided
Add cream cheese, marshmallow fluff and heavy cream to mixer and beat until well combined.

Chocolate Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Over low heat, melt butter. Add cocoa and 2 tablespoons cream, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened. Do not boil.  
Remove from heat; cool slightly. 
Gradually blend in sugar, vanilla and enough remaining cream to create a thick but spreadable glaze.  

Recipe without photos . . .
S’mores Cake Roll    About 10 to 14 servings
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
-------
3 to 4 crushed graham crackers – divided use
Marshmallow Cream Filling (recipe follows)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Mini marshmallow

1.    Preheat oven to 375° F. 
2.    Spray a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with pan spray (this insures parchment sticks to the bottom of the pan). Then line it with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of the paper sticking up on both 15-inch sides of the pan so that cake may easily be lifted out after baking. Spray top of parchment paper with pan spray. 
3.    In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy; gradually add 1/2 c. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.  
4.    In another mixing bowl, beat egg yolks & vanilla on high speed for about 3 minutes. Gradually add 1/3 c. sugar, continue beating for 2 minutes.
5.    Combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg yolk mixture alternately with water on low speed (beginning and ending with the flour mixture), beating just until batter is smooth.  
6.    Gradually fold chocolate mixture into egg whites.
7.    Spread evenly in jelly roll pan.
8.    Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 min. or until the top springs back when touched lightly in center. 
9.    Immediately and carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface. 
10.  Slowly use your hands to roll up the cake inside the parchment paper— rolling from short end to short end — until it is completely rolled up.  
11.  Transfer the cake roll to a wire rack, and cool until it reaches room temperature.
13.  Carefully unroll cake so it is flat; remove parchment as it unrolls.
14.  Spread Marshmallow Cream Filling over the top of the cake (leaving just about 1/4-inch free on each long side). Sprinkle with about 2/3 of the crushed graham crackers.
15.  Roll it back up into a log and place on a serving tray.
16.  Frost with Chocolate Glaze. 
17.  Refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
18.  Before serving, add mini marshmallows to the top and edges of cake roll; use a kitchen torch to toast marshmallow. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs over cake.

Marshmallow Cream Filling: 
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. container marshmallow fluff
About 1/2 cup whipping cream, divided
Add cream cheese, marshmallow fluff and heavy cream to mixer and beat until well combined.

Chocolate Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Over low heat, melt butter. Add cocoa and 2 tablespoons cream, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened. Do not boil.  
Remove from heat; cool slightly. 
Gradually blend in sugar, vanilla and enough remaining cream to create a thick but spreadable glaze.   

Crazy Good Corn Dip

Jo Osbourn brought this dip to the last K-State football tailgate. It is truly "crazy good." Easy to make. Hard to stop eating!

Crazy Good Corn Dip
3 (11 oz.) cans Mexicorn, drained
1 small (4 oz.)  small chopped jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic power
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
------
Tortilla or corn chips
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chips.
  2. Chill two hours to overnight. 
  3. Serve with chips.
Recipe without photos . . .
Crazy Good Corn Dip

3 (11 oz.) cans Mexicorn, drained
1 small (4 oz.)  small chopped jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon  pepper
½ teaspoon garlic power
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
------
Tortilla or corn chips
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chips.

  2. Chill two hours to overnight. 
  3. Serve with chips.
Recipe without photos . . .
Crazy Good Corn Dip

3 (11 oz.) cans Mexicorn, drained
1 small (4 oz.)  small chopped jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon  pepper
½ teaspoon garlic power
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
------
Tortilla or corn chips
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chips.
  2. Chill two hours to overnight. 
  3. Serve with chips.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake

It's pumpkin season and we used our favorite Fairytale pumpkin puree to make this spice
cake with swirls of  cinnamon,  butter, brown sugar and pumpkin puree. Topped with a sweet pumpkin spice glaze, it is a pumpkin-lover's delight! While it's perfectly fine to used canned pumpkin (just make sure it has no added spice or sugar), we prefer the made from scratch puree.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake Yield: 9x13” cake
Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter melted
Topping:
3/4 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Cake: Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.
  2. Add milk, eggs and vanilla; mix to blend..
  3. Stir in melted butter, slowly. 
  4. Pour batter into sprayed or greased 9x13” pan.
  5. ToppingMix softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pumpkin puree. 
  6. Drop spoonsful (about 8) of topping mixture over cake batter
  7. Swirl topping into cake mixture with a knife going up and down the length of the pan and then back and forth crosswise—only partially insert knife into the cake batter. 
  8. Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  9. While the cake is in the oven, make the pumpkin spice glaze and drizzle over the cake while it’s still warm. 
  10. GlazeWhile the cake is in the oven, make the pumpkin spice glaze by mixing powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, milk, vanilla. Drizzle over the cake while it's still warm. 
Recipe without photos . . .
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake Yield: 9x13” cake
Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter melted
Topping:
3/4 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Cake: Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.
  2. Add milk, eggs and vanilla; mix to blend..
  3. Stir in melted butter, slowly. 
  4. Pour batter into sprayed or greased 9x13” pan.
  5. ToppingMix softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pumpkin puree. 
  6. Drop spoonsful (about 8) of topping mixture over cake batter
  7. Swirl topping into cake mixture with a knife going up and down the length of the pan and then back and forth crosswise—only partially insert knife into the cake batter. 
  8. Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  9. While the cake is in the oven, make the pumpkin spice glaze and drizzle over the cake while it’s still warm. 
  10. GlazeWhile the cake is in the oven, make the pumpkin spice glaze by mixing powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, milk, vanilla. Drizzle over the cake while it's still warm.