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Acorn Squash Recipes For National Acorn Squash Day

[1] Acorn squash, an American favorite (photo © Kim Daniels | Unsplash).

[2] Bake an acorn squash and stuff the halves with other veggies, including root vegetables. Here, Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries and sliced almonds atop brown rice (photo © Chef Eric LeVine).

[3] Here’s the recipe from Farmgirl Gourmet (photo © Farmgirl Gourmet).

[4] Butternut squash joins acorn squash as the most commonly found winter squash varieties in grocery stores (photo © Good Eggs).


September 7th is National Acorn Squash Day, celebrating one of the most popular of the winter squash varieties. Known for its compact size, the squash can be baked, mashed, even fried for tempura. Our favorite is simply baked with a drizzle of maple syrup, but we can’t resist any of the recipes below.

Acorn squash is one of 11 types of winter squash that can be found in American markets. Acorn is joined by banana, buttercup, butternut, delicata, hubbard, kabocha, pumpkin, spaghetti, sweet dumpling and turban squash.

Winter squash has a very thick skin, and can be stored for months. It needs to be cooked.

Summer squash has a thin, edible peel and a limited shelf life. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

There are three species of squash, all native to the Americas:

  • Curcubita pepo includes acorn, butternut, pumpkin, summer squash like yellow squash and zucchini, and others.
  • Curcubita moschata, represented by the cushaw, Japanese pie, large cheese pumpkins and winter crookneck squashes. These arose, like Curcubita pepo, in Mexico and Central America. Both were and are important food sources, ranking next to maize and beans.
  • Curcubita maxima includes Boston marrow, delicious, hubbard, marblehead and Turks turban. They originated near the Andes Mountains or valleys.
    > The History Of Acorn Squash

    > The Different Types Of Squash

    These two varieties are most commonly found in markets.

  • Acorn squash are so-named because of their acorn shape. They are dark green in color, often with a splash of orange, and with distinctive a longitudinal ridges on its exterior. The flesh is yellow- orange.
  • Acorn squash are smaller than butternut squash: one to two pounds in weight, four to seven inches long).
  • Acorn, like the other winter squash varieties, is highly nutritious. It’s packed with the antioxidant vitamin C and other nutrients.
  • Cup for cup, acorn squash is the most nutritious of all the winter squash varieties—but it’s smaller and thus yields less meat*.
  • Butternut squash are cylindrical with a bulb at the bottom, or an hourglass shape. They are light orange in color, bright orange inside.
  • Butternut squash weighs an average of 2 to 3 pounds, and is 8 to 12 inches in length.
  • Both are similar in flavor and texture.
  • Substitute: Acorn squash is naturally a bit sweeter than butternut squash, which is nuttier. Either can be substituted with buttercup squash, which is generally drier.


    The defined ribs and deep green color of an acorn squash make it an attractive vessel. The halves can be hollowed out after baking; the flesh mashed and the shells and used as decorative bowls for the mashed squash, squash soup, rice or stuffing. Other favorites:

  • Acorn Squash Salad With Maple Vinaigrette
  • Acorn Squash Soup With Gnocchi
  • Broiled Portabella Mushrooms Stuffed With Mashed Acorn Squash
  • Different Stuffings For Acorn Squash
  • Fall Salad Mix & Match
  • Fall Salad With Brussels Sprouts & Acorn Squash
  • Harvest Cobb Salad
  • How To Cut & Peel & Cut Winter Squash
  • How To Scoop & Roast Winter Squash Seeds
  • Hummus Bowls With Acorn Squash
  • Individual Squash Bowls For Soups, Grains & More
  • Vegetable Tempura
  • Winter Panzanella (Tuscan bread salad)
  • Winter Squash Tart
  • Winter Vegetable Kabobs

    *In addition to referring to the flesh of animals used as food, “meat” also designates the edible part of anything, e.g. a fruit or nut.




    Easy Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches For National Coffee Ice Cream Day

    September 6th is National Coffee Ice Cream Day. Our recipe of choice: coffee ice cream sandwiches, made easily from store bought cookies, ice cream and optional Nutella or chocolate sauce. (And if this sounds super-good to you, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day is August 2nd).

    Thanks to Hello Fresh for the suggestion!

    In some surveys, coffee has dropped off of the favorite ice cream flavors in the U.S. It didn’t make the Top 10 as recently as five years ago.

    In a recent study conducted by an online cake shop, coffee at least ranked number 9 in the top ten.

    It’s hard to get consistent data across surveys. Even those based on industry data are skewed, because the data is typically based on both foodservice and supermarket figures*.

    Here are 15 more ways to celebrate with coffee ice cream, plus recipes below.

    > The History Of Coffee

    > The History Of Ice Cream

    > The History Of Ice Cream Sandwiches

    You can use whatever type of cookie you like. The best candidates are chocolate chip, double chocolate (deep chocolate or chocolate chocolate chip), oatmeal, snickerdoodle and sugar cookies.

    We like cookies that are 3″ or 4″ in diameter, although cookies of 1-1/2″ to 2″ afford the option of two smaller cookies with different cookie flavors.

    As an alternative to cookies, a loaf cake is nice. We’ve used carrot cake as well as chocolate or regular pound cake, with a special shout-out to the chocolate pound cake.
    Ingredients For 2 Cookie Sandwiches

  • 1 pint coffee ice cream
  • 4 large double chocolate cookies
  • Nutella or fudge sauce
  • Optional: sprinkles

    1. SET the container of coffee ice cream on the counter for 10 minutes.

    2. SPREAD 1 teaspoon or Nutella or fudge sauce on the smooth sides of four double chocolate cookies.

    3. SPREAD the slightly softened ice cream on two of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth out ice cream. If desired…

    4. COAT the sides with sprinkles.

    5. PLACE on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before eating.


  • Boozy Iced Coffee
  • Coffee Milkshakes
  • Iced Coffee Float
  • Kahlúa Ice Cream Float

    [1] Coffee ice cream sandwiches made with store-bought cookies and ice cream (photo © Hello Fresh).

    [2] We prefer artisan brands like McConnell’s Turkish Coffee, which has deep coffee flavor (photos #2 and #3 © McConnell’s Ice Cream).

    [3] If you like deep coffee flavor, look for coffee ice creams in “espresso” or “Turkish” flavors. You’re most likely to find them in artisan brands. Some mass-market brands are called “espresso”; you’ll have to see if they measure up to your espresso standards.


    *In foodservice—restaurants, cafeterias, etc.—vanilla and chocolate will always be at the top, never trendy flavors that might be in the top 10 of supermarket sales. For example, total retail and foodservice sales in the U.S. combined are $6.22 trillion, while the grocery store sales are $682.86 billion [source].



    How About A Flight Of Margaritas For Brunch?

    [1] A flight of five Margarita flavors (both photos © Resorts World | Las Vegas).

    [2] There’s also Bottomless Sangria, Bianca (in photo) or Rosa.


    Oh, to be in Las Vegas for brunch, with the flight of five Margaritas (photo #1) at ¡Viva! restaurant in the Resorts World hotel. You can relax as you sip on:

  • Mango
  • Passion Fruit
  • Spicy Cucumber
  • ¡VIVA-Rita! (classic)
  • Watermelon
    Yes, please!

    (By the way, here are Margarita recipes to make these and many more Margaritas.)

    There’s also Bottomless Sangria, in Roja or Blanca (photo #2)…

    But perhaps it’s not advisable after the five Margaritas. (At least, it wouldn’t be for us. You be your own judge.)

    Also on the new brunch menu are these Mexican faves:

  • Breakfast Burrito: applewood smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, tater tots, cheddar cheese, guacamole, salsa tatemada
  • Camarones Tacos: marinated shrimp, cabbage slaw, cilantro crema, guacamole
  • Chilaquiles: heirloom corn tortilla chips, sunny side up eggs, rancho salsa, queso fresco
  • Chorizo Con Huevos: pork chorizo, scrambled eggs, refried lentils, fingerling potatoes, flour tortillas
  • Huevos Rancheros: cheese gordita, sunny side up eggs, ranchero salsa, salsa verde
  • Coliflór Al Pastor Tacos: roasted cauliflower, cashew crema, grilled pineapple
  • Pozole: heritage pork, heirloom hominy, guajillo chile broth, radish, cabbage
    ¡Viva! chef Ray Garcia brings a modern approach to dishes that highlight Mexico’s bright and bold flavors, including the coastal ingredients found in the Alta California region.

    Where’s Alta California? Check it out!


    *Every region of Mexico has a chunky, fire-roasted salsa, made from tomatoes, onions and chiles. The salsa is called tatemada (from the Spanish tatemar, to roast or to grill). If the salsa is mashed instead of left chunky, it’s called martajada (from martajar, to crush or pound). The chile is typically the differentiated ingredient. For example, in the Yucatan, it’s the fiery habanero. In the north (as well as in Arizona and New Mexico) it’s the mild Anaheim chile. Check out the different types of chiles.


    Easy Apple Cake Recipe For Rosh Hashanah (& Every Day)

    The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, begins today and is celebrated for two days. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days specified by Leviticus 23:23–32, that occur each year. Symbolic foods include:

  • Apples and honey
  • Challah
  • Couscous With Seven Vegetables
  • Dates
  • Fish
  • Honey cake
  • Leeks, chard or spinach
  • New (i.e. seasonal) fruit
    Here’s the scoop about these symbolic foods.

    The classic honey cake, spiced with allspice, cinnamon and cloves, got edged out in our home. Mom preferred to make an apple cake (apple = “new fruit”)—honey cakes can be bland.

    The recipe below is from our colleague Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog; but we’ve included Mom’s favorite garnish.

    “You don’t have to celebrate Rosh Hashanah to enjoy a moist apple cake with tender fruit,” Says Hannah.

    “Dense with tender fruit and a moist crumb,” Hannah continues, “it’s a homey, humble dessert that is as soothing to make as it is to eat.

    “Such an easy-going treat would be welcome for any celebration, but is also just as well suited for an everyday simple indulgence.”

    That’s right: This cake is delicious anytime, for snacking or dessert. We made it yesterday for Sunday brunch.

    It’s great anytime with a cup of coffee or tea, or for dessert with a scoop of ice cream and/or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

    The garnish favored by our Mom: sautéed apples with raisins and pecans or walnuts. Dried cranberries can be substituted for the walnuts.

    We want it all: sautéed apples, caramel sauce and a dab of mascarpone.

    Hannah, who is vegan, made the recipe with oil; but you can substitute an equal amount of butter (which we did).

    Use Honeycrisp and/or Granny Smith apples if you prefer your cake more tart; or Gala and/or Fuji for a sweeter experience.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 90 minutes.

  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1 cup butter or neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed, rice bran), plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Optional for serving: caramel sauce, ice cream, sautéed apples, whipped cream

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup tube pan or bundt cake pan.

    2. TOSS the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice and water. This will help prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown. Add the applesauce, butter/oil, and both types of sugar, mixing thoroughly to combine. In a separate bowl…

    3. WHISK together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, folding the two together with a large spatula. Stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix (overmixing makes the crumb tough].

    4. TRANSFER the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with the spatula. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles. Cover the pan with aluminum foil so it doesn’t get too brown too quickly.

    5. BAKE for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing and serving.


    [1] An easy-to-make, delightful-to-eat apple cake (photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).

    [2] Use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples for a slightly more tart flavor (photo © The Fruit Company).

    [3] Granny Smith apples are another tart option. Some bakers like to mix two different apple types (photos #3, #4 and #5 © Good Eggs).

    Gala Apples
    [4] Gala apples are a sweeter variety.
    [5] Fuji apples, another a sweeter apple, can be mixed with Fuji apples.

    [6] You can make the cake with butter or oil (photo © Sorin Gheorghita | Unsplash).




    4505 Butcher’s Snack Sticks: Great Meat Sticks, Protein-Packed!

    [1] Just peel and eat. The packaging lets you consume the whole stick without needing a napkin (all photos © 4505 Meats).

    [2] A trio of flavors: Cheddar, Red Hot and Original. Each two-ounce stick delivers 24g protein.

    [3] Which would you rather have?

    [4] Treat yourself to a box; above, Cheddar & Uncured Bacon.

    [5] Prefer something hotter? Here it is!


    Earlier this year, we were delighted to try the limited edition “Cheesse-Charones,” cheese flavored chicharrones from 4505 meats in San Francisco. They elevated conventional chicharrones so much, that we should have made them a Top Pick Of The Week. We’re remedying that error with this week’s Top Pick: 4505 Butcher’s Snack Sticks.

    In 2009, chef and butcher Ryan Farr began to make chicharrones from leftover pork fat, selling them to local bars for extra cash.

    They sold so well that Farr started 4505 Meats: an artisan, whole-animal butchery company devoted to sustainable practices and a desire to bring people simple-ingredient, low-or-no-carbohydrate, high protein foods.

    The pork comes from humanely-raised, vegetarian-fed pigs, which are raised without antibiotics, on family farms, in stress-free environments.

    We’re don’t usually eat meat snacks. Most of them are too tough or fatty for us and many are made with lesser-quality meat that requires too much spice.

    But we’re pretty thrilled with 4505 Butcher’s Snack Sticks. They’re tender, meaty and beautifully seasoned.

    Beyond snacks, we’ve served them:

  • With breakfast eggs
  • In a hot dog roll
  • As a wrap sandwich
  • Sliced onto a green salad
  • Diced into potato salad and grain salads
  • As a pasta and pizza topping
  • On a cheese board
  • With beer, cocktails and wine
    The flavor and texture are delightful.

    The new Paleo-friendly Snack Sticks are so delicious that we, don’t like to think of them as sausage links, a name that connotes a cheap snack for us.

    No, these are artisan meat sticks, crafted by artisan butchers from premium meat and nicely seasoned with the finest spices.

    The sticks are 98% pork and 2% seasonings, stuffed into a beef collagen casing.

    They’re an irresistible snack, packed with protein: 24g per stick, more protein than any meat stick currently in the market. They deliver great, meaty flavor; and nicely filling.

    Each stick is two ounces, is Keto-certified, Paleo-friendly and gluten-free. They’re made in three delicious flavors:

  • Original Recipe, a take on a bratwurst, seasoned with caraway and thyme (24g p4otein, 170 calories)
  • Cheddar & Uncured Bacon, studded with chunks of Cheddar cheese and uncured bacon (24g protein, 190 calories)
  • Red Hot, spiced with cayenne, coriander, paprika and a bit of yellow mustard (24g protein, 170 calories)
    These are not just another sausage or meat stick.

    You’ll immediately taste the higher-quality meat, from pigs raised with no antibiotics or added hormones. No nitrites or nitrates are used in the sticks.

    The products are available in grocery stores nationwide, and in the company’s Amazon store.

    While you’re at it, pick up some pork rinds (chicharonnes) and cracklings (the difference).

    Thinking ahead: a single stick makes a party favor or stocking stuffer. A box of 12 is a yummy gift for any meat lover (or beer lover!).

    For more information on visit




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