I cooked!

Today I cooked! I haven't actually cooked for a while unless you call throwing a frozen pizza in the oven or a frozen burrito in the microwave. We haven't been eating out quite as often but still I haven't had the cooking bug. (i hate my kitchen.. but that's a story for another day)

So Eric and I had gone to one of our favorite restaurants, The Vineyards Restaurant, in Weston a few weeks ago and had this most wonderful appetizer that I still can't get over. It was a rice & sausage stuffed acorn squash. It was savory and sweet and absolutely to die for. The last time I ate there was this weekend for Valentines day.. and I exclaimed how I would totally make out with the cook (Love you Becky!!), the food is that good. I had duck for the first time and damn.. that is pretty much all i can say.. Oh-Ma-Gah! Go there, Eat! Anyway.. back to the acorn squash.

So I completely fell head over heals for this squash. So I talked to Becky/cook/co-owner/sweet friend about a few of the ingredients.. so I only remember a few but I had a basic idea because I really wanted to try and make it.. So tonight I winged it!

She used wild rice.. i used jasmine rice.
She used cranberry compote... i used crasins (dried cranberries) I'm lazy what can i say!
She also mentioned something about molasses.. i have that!
and maple syrup... i have some fat free stuff.. works for me but pure maple syrup is heaven but currently not in my pantry!
and sausage.. so I picked up some sage sausage.. thought it sounded good.

Here is an absolutely awful picture of my end result.

This is half of the squash as eric and i shared it for dinner..
It was GOOD! I did GOOD! Damn Look at me GO!!

So this is what I did.. and mind you I didn't measure anything..

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut a small portion of the bottom of the acorn off so that it stands up straight on a pan.
Cut the cap off the top of the squash(keep) and spoon out all the seeds and stuff.. (I had to make eric smell the inside of the squash.. i love freshly cut squash.. smells delish!) Set aside.
In skillet brown a small portion of sausage.. i think i used about 1/4lb.. I was only making one squash and there was enough stuffing for two.. like i said i didn't measure anything.
Remove sausage from skillet into a bowl.
In same skillet i added just a bit of chicken broth to deglaze (you can use white wine but i didn't have any on me)
Add diced onions.. about 1/4 c. or however much you want. Cook till softened.
Add a handful of crazins or however many you want.
Add a some chopped walnuts.. yummy
Add rice.. i had steamed 1 cup dry rice.. about 3 cups after cooked while i was browning the sausage. ADD IT!
Then I added rosemary, thyme, more sage.. cause you really can never have enough sage! salt and pepper.
THEN.. i drizzled some molasses on top and then some of the syrup.
Mix'er up!
This is when you taste away.. check it out.. i had to add a bit more syrup and some salt. you want to get the sweet and savory at just the right level. YUM.
Take off heat. Grab a pan to cook your squash on. put a piece of parchment down, so it's easy cleanup!
Set your pretty squash on tray and drop a dollop of butter in the bottom of that sucker.
Fill up that squash with your rice mixture. Don't stuff it in there though.. just fill'er up and place that cute little top back on. Don't go for perfection or anything.. a little extra won't kill anyone! my cap did not fit back on perfectly..
Stick it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until you can stick it with a fork and it goes in easily.
I checked at 45 minutes and it was ready to come out.. but i burnt my hand like an idiot so it cooked about 5 minutes longer because I had to stick my hand under cold running water for a minute... anyway!
I pulled the squash out.. and it smelled sooo good.

I cut it down the center and split it with my husb... but not before I heated up more of the left over rice mixture and added it on top! Also.. scrap all that squashy goodness out of the cap because YUM!

and enjoy!

I sure did!

(sorry i don't have more pictures.. i took that ugly one with my phone. plus i wasn't sure how this would turn out. when i make again i'll post better pictures!)

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