Cathing Up on the Backlog: 1 – Butternut Squash, Rosemary & Garlic Lasagna

This just feels weird.  It’s almost as though we’ve decided to “take a break” from each other.  You know that awkward stage of a relationship, right?  I have so much I want to tell you, but we’re taking a break so I’m just going to keep it all inside.  So here it is . . . the recipe and just the recipe.  The first in my series I’m affectionately calling “Catching Up on the Backlog” – catchy, I know.

Even though my SoCal weather won’t cooperate, I am determined to remain delusional and cook as though it really is fall.  This lovely Butternut Squash, Rosemary & Garlic Lasagna was a little time consuming, but so worth the effort.  To start with I peeled, seeded, and chopped one medium butternut squash.  I then tossed it with a little olive oil and roasted it for about 25 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

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While my squash was roasting, I brought some milk and dried rosemary to a simmer in a saucepan. I let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then strained the rosemary out.

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Then, in a skillet I sauteed a bit of garlic in some butter.  I added in some flour, and cooked the roux for about 3 minutes.

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After that, I poured in the heated milk and simmered for about 10 minutes, whisking the whole time,  until the sauce thickened.  Then I stirred in the roasted squash and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Then the assembling fun began.  I poured a little of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  I covered that with 3 lasagna noodles.  I spread more sauce over that and sprinkled with parmesan.  I repeated this layering one more time, beginning and ending with pasta.

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With my electric mixer, I beat some heavy cream with some salt just until it formed soft peaks.  I spread that cream over the last pasta layer and then sprinkled the last of the parmesan over.

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I had turned down my oven temp after roasting the squash.  I put the lasagna, covered loosely with foil,  in the 375 degree oven, and baked for about 30 minutes.  I removed the foil and baked another 10 minutes.  Then I let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

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An absolute perfect taste of fall!

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Here’s the complete recipe for Butternut Squash , Rosemary & Garlic Lasagna.

Want to explore more squash recipes? Have fun browsing through these:

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Mac & Cheese (acedarspoon.com)
Roasted Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Balsamic Glaze (girleatsgreens.com)
Ah-Mazing Forbidden Rice n Butternut Squash (veganva.wordpress.com)
Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat’s Cheese Risotto (confuzzledom.wordpress.com)
Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash (sweetenoughthanks.wordpress.com)

The Art of Delegating . . . some things, anyway – Curried Butternut Squash & Green Beans over Quinoa

I feel like that little cartoon saying that you see pinned up in middle management offices sometimes – “The faster I go, the behinder I get”.  The reality of my everyday real life makes it so that I just can’t write as fast as I can cook.

I literally have recipes, creations, and pictures backing up like baby clothes in a laundry hamper.  And I know you mama readers can relate to that little analogy.  For those of you who have gracefully left the baby stage of parenthood, just take a moment and reflect on those days when you easily tallied in FOUR dirty outfits for one tiny creature.  You remember now, don’t you?  An endless parade of bibs, burp cloths, and buntings (what is a bunting really anyway?).  And everything so tiny that folding was like origami practice.  So much so that sometimes it was easier to just leave the mass of tininess in a big pile rather than even trying to fold and put away.

Well that’s how I’m feeling with my cooking these days.  I’m pumping out the meals and chronicling each creation in photos as I go,  but there they all sit in digital nowhereland on my laptop.

I manage to keep up with other stuff around the house by delegating to my troops.  Everyone pitches in and that’s what makes it all work.  I recently found a little gem called My Job Chart which I use to help keep everyone on track.  They LOVE it and clamor to the computer to log their helpfulness in exchange for points which they can spend, save or share.  It’s really an amazing motivator – I mean after all, it’s got technology AND money involved.  But there are some things, like this blog, that just can’t be delegated.  Teeth brushing would be another one of those “un-delegatable” items.  Is it really just me, or can anyone else relate to those days when you fall into bed at night after a trying day and just wish someone could take your head off, go brush your teeth for you, and then return your head?  OK, definitely just me, but now it’s out there and now you know the true level of my weirdness . . .  not to mention the extent of my fatigue on “certain” days.

So before I get any more “behinder”, I have decided to take a few days and give you the recipes, just the recipes (to be spoken in your best Joe Friday imitation), without any of my superfluous spiel.   Here’s the first one to get us started, and it’s an ORIGINAL creation (read – no recipe) that I just can’t wait to share.

To get started with making Curried Butternut Squash and Green Beans over Quinoa, I first peeled and cubed one medium butternut squash.

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I tossed the squash with a little olive oil and then roasted for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees.  While that was roasting, I sliced up some green pepper and a little lemon grass.

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I melted a little butter in a skillet and then added the green pepper and finely chopped lemongrass along with some red pepper flakes and curry powder.

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I sauteed everything until the pepper was just tender.  Then I added in a little coconut milk and some Thai fish sauce.  At the same time, I had brought a pot of salt water to a boil and cooked up some green beans until they were just tender.  I added the green beans to the curry mixture and also tossed in the roasted squash.

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I let things simmer just until everything was heated through.  I served it around a bed of quinoa and garnished with chopped cashews and some chopped fresh cilantro.

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Quite a satisfying little dinner.  It also got approval all around the table – which isn’t always the case when I go free-wheeling and recipe-less.

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Here’s the complete recipe for Curried Butternut Squash and Green Beans over Quinoa.

Looking for more curry recipes?  Give these a gander.