Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Butternut Squash Extravaganza.......

First, let me apologize for my infatuation with soups & muffins lately.....this cooler weather has me so excited I just can't help myself.

Part 1 of my Butternut Squash Extravaganza..... and it was so super simple!  I pulled out a hidden ziploc freezer bag from my freezer this morning filled with the golden goodness.  I had totally forgot about it and it was such a nice surprise to not have to make dinner tonight.  That should tell you that the following soup recipe freezes very well...I made it about 3 months ago.  :)

This creamy butternut squash soup recipe is adapted from my Grandpa Ray's recipe.  Well....he doesn't really have recipes, but it is his "estimation" of what goes in it.  However, I've of course lightened it up a bit by decreasing the whole stick of regular full fat yummy butter down to a half stick of light butter.  As well as, using fat free half-n-half instead of cream.    Feel free to reverse this because as some of you may know, my Grandpa Ray is the best damn cook in the entire world.  He puts the Bobby Flay and Emeril to shame.  So...his version this soup is out of this world.  However, my version won't give us a heart I think that's pretty damn good too.  :)

SERVES 4 - Approximately 1&1/2 cups per person (4WW points)

I tried to get all girly swirly with a little extra half-n-half on top, but it didn't work so well :(

10 oz. butternut squash, peeled & cubed
32 oz. chicken broth
8 oz. white wine
2 T fresh ginger root, sliced
1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup light butter (or even just 1T of olive oil is good too)
1 cup fat free half-n-half
2 tsp. Wyler's instant chicken bouillon granules (I season a lot of soups with this/found in the soup aisle)
1 tsp. black pepper

In a stockpot bring squash and chicken broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to med-high and cook approximately 9-10 minutes or until squash is fork tender.  While squash is cooking steep ginger root with white wine in a small saucepan over low-med heat.  In a seperate small skillet saute onion, celery, and garlic with 2T of the butter until vegetables are soft.  When squash is tender; drain ginger slices from wine.  Combine wine and onion mixture into the pot of squash.  Puree soup in a blender (or a stick blender works well too) and return to pot.  Add half-n-half and remaining butter.  Stir until half-n-half heated through and butter has melte.  If needed season with chicken bouillon and black pepper.

Part 2 of my Butternut Squash Extraveganza was dessert tonight, snacks and possibly breakfast tomorrow and of course Ethan's lunch box treats for the rest of this week.  I found this recipe on the WW website.  They are 3 points each.  You may remember a while back I mentioned how sad I was about the pumpkin shortage and that I was going to use butternut squash in place of it for a pumpkin muffin recipe I had.  Well, I bought a butternut squash....and then found this recipe which actually called for I decided to make it instead. :)

They turned out really moist and yummy.  Great fall spice warms your heart.  As usual, I substituted half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour and I didn't have ground ginger so I used 2T of grated fresh ginger instead.  (BTW, fresh ginger is one of my favorite ingredients).  I imagine this recipe would work well for a spice cake and would be absolutely AMAZING with a schmear of cream cheese frosting too!  So here is is folks........

Makes 12 muffins - 1 Muffin per serving = 3WW points

Served with a piping hot after dinner cup of coffee...Mmmm! (I promise I really am only 31 years old)
Cooking spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup pureed cooked butternut squash
3T canola oil
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
3T molasses
1 large egg

Prehat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whish together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, combine sugar, squash puree, oil yogurt, molasses, and egg.  With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix for 1 to 2 minutes.  (I used my magic bullet, but you can also do this by hand)

Make a well (a scooped out indention) into the center of the dry ingredients; pour in liquid mixture and gently fold to combine (batter may be lumpy).

Evenly pour batter (approx 1/4 cup) into prepared muffin tins.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 - 25 minutes. 

Note:  The best way to make squash puree from whole squash is to peel and cube the squash.  Place into a microwave safe dish with 1/4 cup of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and cook for approximately 8 minutes or until tender.

Just in case you needed to know.....this is a butternut squash.  They can be substituted for any pumpkin instead of buying some overpriced pie pumpkin...just get one of these instead.  :)  Enjoy!

OH......and one more thing.....if you happen to have a six year old little boy running around in your house....hide your muffins or this may happen. :)
Ehhh...nothing a dollop of cool whip can't fix, right?
As you can also see he doesn't know how throw away his stolen cupcake paper either...typical male...gets caught every time...geesh!!!

1 comment:

Anele said...

"Thumbprint" muffins! I say throw in something melty in that indentation like a peanut butter truffle from Lindt. Oh, did I say that outloud?