Butternut Squash Recipe & More

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4 - 6

1 Butternut squash
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream or to taste
3 - 4 Tablespoons  Cream Sherry or Dry Sack
Fresh Grated Nutmeg
Salt, Pepper, Ginger, and Curry to taste

Roast squash in 400 degree oven approx. 1 hour or until tender at small end
of squash.
Cool, slice in half, peel and seed.  Put in sauce pan with chicken stock
and heavy cream.  Bring to simmer.  Add rest of ingredients.  Puree in
processor or with stick blender.
Serve warm.

Baked Apples with Incredible Cranberry

Granny Smith, Cortland or Jonathan Apples, cored and peeled half way.
Incredible Cranberry Sauce
Apple Cider

Place a tablespoon or so of Incredible Cranberry Sauce in each
apple.  Place in baking pan.
Pour enough apple cider in pan to come up about 1/2" around apples.  Bake
uncovered in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approx. 1 hour or until
apples are tender.
Serve warm or cold, alone, or  with ice cream or whipped cream.  

Three Cheese Black Bean Chili w/Cheddar Crust

2 Lg. Onions, diced
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 C. Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Cumin Seed
3 medium Carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
3 small Jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 C. cooked or canned black beans, rinsed
6-12 oz. dark beer or tomato juice
1 C (4oz) shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 C (4oz) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 C (4oz) shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Saute onions in butter over medium high heat in lg. saucepan until translucent, about three minutes.  Add tomato paste, chili powder, cocoa powder, and cumin, and cook until mixture carmelizes to a dark brown, about ten minutes.  Stir in carrots, celery, and jalapenos and stir to coat.  Add crushed tomatoes and beans.   Stir in beer to your preferred consistency.  Simmer for at least an hour, up to 2 hours.

Preheat broiler.  Stir mozzarella and monterey jack cheese into chili and top with shredded cheddar.  Broil until cheese is bubbly, about four minutes.  If transporting, cover and wrap in thick towels.  Grill to reheat if necessary.

Makes 8 cups.  For an extra-large batch, simply double the recipe.

Vanilla-Spiked Hot Cocoa
1/4 C. Cocoa Powder
1/4 Tbsp. Sugar
4 C. Fat free Milk
vanilla syrup to taste

Measure cocoa and sugar into a saucepan with about 1/2 C. milk.  Heat over medium flame and whisk until cocoa becomes smooth.  Add remaining milk and heat until steam rises and bubbles form around the edges.  Do not boil.  Ladle into mugs and drizzle with vanilla syrup.

Vanilla Syrup
2 C. Water
2 C. Sugar
2 Tbsp. pure Vanilla Extract

In medium saucepan over medium high heat... bring water and sugar to boil.  Cook until mixture thickens slightly, about three minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  Makes about two cups.