Autumn Squash Risotto

Somehow the last month of summer seemed to fly by in just a few days; how is it over already? Summer is my favorite season by far – the hot, humid weather, the outdoor fun, the fresh produce, the ice cream… So it’s always difficult to transition to fall, but the cooler (beautiful!) weather and amazing fall foods are definitely helping. Our CSA boxes have been a nice mixture of summer produce – tomatoes, bell peppers, green leaf lettuce – and the beginnings of fall – apples, squash.

Yesterday evening, I got started on the autumn recipes by trying a few that were new to me. (The risotto was a huge hit; the French apple tart had some difficulties, so I’ll share that one after another run.) Butternut squash risotto is a favorite of my husband, but although I’ve never made it before, I have had some practice with making risotto.

In our CSA box this week, we received a delicata squash. It’s a sweeter, more tender cousin of the butternut squash. It’s sweet flavor reminds me more of a sweet potato than a butternut squash. It was also surprisingly simple to prepare, as it is far easier to chop than some other winter squashes. I did not peel mine (on the recommendation of a googled website), but I would definitely recommend that you do. The rind was a bit tougher than I would have liked to eat, and I felt that it would take away from the risotto dish. I ended up peeling off the rind post-roasting; doable, but messy!

photo 1-23

I began by roasting this squash in the oven, and no one would complain if you served up this roasted squash as a side dish. But there is something so fall-like and delectable about an indulgent, creamy risotto. You can definitely use any autumn squash in a risotto, if you can’t find a delicata squash. Continue reading

Getting Started

Beginning something new is always a little awkward. The first day in a new job, meeting someone for the first time – there’s always a learning curve, but once you get through it, you have expertise, a good routine, a new friend.

So I’m going to awkwardly attempt to share my idea for this blog, and then let’s just forget this first part and get started!

I’m Linda, a wife and a new mom of one (adorable) little boy. For now, I get to stay at home with him. In my mind, this would mean that we would have interesting and fun daily outings, I would cook tasty and thrifty well-planned dinners, and our house typically would look like a magazine photograph. In reality, I change a stunning amount of diapers, spend hours (literally) coaxing my baby to sleep or freaking out that he’s not sleeping, read books and blogs about baby sleep and (more recently) solid foods for baby, and try to keep us all fed and in clean clothes. It’s the most exhausting job I’ve ever had (likely due to the fact that I now sleep in 3 hour shifts), but I wouldn’t trade it. Someday I will get actual things accomplished on a to-do list; for now, I make the to-do list and then throw it away without looking at it by the end of the week. Ahh, good intentions…

My good friend and I decided to join a CSA this spring. I’d love to have a garden one day, but the only green space we own is 4×4 patch of grass, weeds, and dirt that we call a front lawn. And, let’s be honest, getting a box of fresh vegetables and fruit that I had to expend no effort to produce, is pretty nice. So, this spring and summer, I will try to use nearly all of the produce that we receive. I will try cooking and eating new things – because it’s fun (and I’ve already paid for it). I’ll share some ideas – good and bad – along the way. My hope is that you’ll feel inspired to try something new (not necessarily the recipes that I share), and that my family, and maybe yours, will enjoy seasonal produce that’s a little more local.

So, here’s to procrastinating on things like vacuuming and organizing the closets. Our first box comes on Saturday!