Friday, October 25, 2013

Foodie Friday: Cooking with Fall Produce

When I first graduated from college I taught school in Billings, MT. Before I received the position, I had never been to Montana! But I quickly grew to love many things about Montana. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning was to visit the farmers market that was held in downtown Billings. Oh, I miss that farmers market. I only wish that I had taken advantage of it more while I had it. Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, the when the girls and I went to a fall harvest event, we took advantage of a produce stand and a pick-your-own squash and pumpkin patch in the area. I let the girls each pick out a squash of their own and several items at the produce stand. We ended up bringing home an acorn squash, some peppers, a spaghetti squash, a set of green onions, a buttercup squash, a couple of mini  pumpkins, and a couple of small eggplants.
I started with the spaghetti squash and the egg plants. I used the spaghetti squash as its name would suggest, in the place of spaghetti noodles with marinara sauce. We all really enjoyed it. I found a suggestion on an online forum for sauteed eggplants with onions, tomatoes, some of the peppers, basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. We just ate it as is without stuffing the eggplants and it was really good, too. (You can find the post here at Chowhound.)
I used the acorn in with an apple crisp. Unfortunately, the squash flavor ended up overwhelming in the crisp. We decided that the buttercup squash may have been a bit of a better candidate for this one.
I used the buttercup in this Italian Sausage-Stuffed squash recipe and it was delicious.
It was really fun for me to use the produce we bought and try some new things with it. The girls really enjoyed seeing the produce they choose on the table as well. So go out and track down some local fall produce of your own and try out something new this weekend!

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