Archive for November, 2009

butternut squash

So, I’ve had this dish before as my mom has made it. And it has always been yummy. I’ve just never made it because I was under the mistaken impression that my husband doesn’t eat butternut squash. Eight years of marriage and I just discover this.. geesh! So, I made this as a side with beef stroganoff (recipe coming). Perhaps not the best side for the dish but I’m way behind in my BB recipes and I don’t want Tara to yell at me! (just kidding Tara!) I think I may have ‘caramalized’ this a bit more than my mom does but I liked it.. crunchy and caramelly, with an interesting mix of sweet and salty/peppery. It will be made again although perhaps not so caramalized as my 3 year old wouldn’t touch it, but she will eat her Granny’s…. whatever kid!


  • 2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to pull it all together:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash.
  •  Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds.
  •  Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet.
  •  Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands(as opposed to your nasty, dirty hands ;o) ), toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on  baking sheet.
  •  Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize.
  • While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

FYI: I halved this recipe. Also, butternut squash is a real pain in the butt to peel and cut up. Next time I’ll used the frozen already chopped up ones from the freezer case…..

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peanut butter jelly bars2

peanut butter jelly timeIt’s peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time…”

I love that episode of Family Guy… Brian is trying to cheer Peter up by singing and dancing dressed as this banana… singing peanut butter jelly time… Even my 3 year old

sings it!

So, when I saw this recipe posted as part of the Barefoot Bloggers “A Week with the Barefoot Contessa”, I immediately started singing that song and I’ve been having it run

through my head ever since! AGH!!!

Anyway, I decided to make this dessert to bring over to our friend’s house.  It was so easy to make… pretty much fool proof. And it was awesome! It was however, very, very rich and filling. I almost would have made it into bite size pieces… that’s how rich it was.  I used Skippy peanut butter (that was recommended and that was what I had.. gotta love Costco) and I used Polaner’s All Fruit Spread Strawberry Jam (You know.. in an effort to be healthy!) I also used the whole jar of jam which was @ 2 ounces more than the recipe called for since past comments suggested it was a bit dry. It turned out great… By the way, I halved the recipe and still got a ton of bars…. the recipe below is the full recipe. Enjoy your “peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time”!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Source: Barefoot Contessa at Home

Serves: 24 bars


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter (recommended: Skippy)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam
  • 2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

How to pull it all together:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
  • Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula.
  • Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam.
  • Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven.
  •  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cool and cut into squares.

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cheddar corn chowderNothing warms you up like a good bowl of soup… or in this case chowder.  Even though the weather is being a bit wacky here on Long Island, (meaning it was freezing 2 days a go and now its going up to 70) this chowder was a perfect fit. Seasoned perfectly, creamy without being too heavy, and yummy sweet corn and chunks of potato… and of course bacon because bacon (like cheese) makes everything better!  Was it completely carbohydrate laden? Yes… but it was worth every spoonful!  FYI: It makes a TON of soup… so if your aren’t planning on eating it all or freezing it maybe half the recipe.

Also, let me know what you think after you make it, but wouldn’t this be good with chunks of shrimp or lobster???

Many thanks to Jill of My Next Life for choosing this as one of October’s recipes.  Check us out at Barefoot Bloggers… see what we’re cooking!

Cheddar Corn Chowder

Source: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Serves: 10-12


  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onion (4 large onion)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups medium diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
  • 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds) * I used frozen Birds Eye sweet corn
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

How to pull it all together:

  • In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, @ 5 minutes.
  • Remove bacon with slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook 10 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  • If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step).
  • Add the corn to the soup, then add the half and half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.


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