The sun finally came out this afternoon. After several cloudy or rainy days, the sun was a lovely sight. I worked at home today, cozy in my Guitar Hero flannel jammies (compliments of my friend Sue two Christmases ago), working on projects, answering emails and joining conference calls. By afternoon I was anxious to go outside for some fresh air. Should I get dressed? Was it worth it? I decided to throw on jeans, but I didn’t replace the top half of the pajamas.
The air was crisp and damp from the overnight rain. It was glorious to enjoy a little of the winter sunshine. In 20 minutes I only passed a couple of cars, an empty school bus and a walker who didn’t even look up at me. I guess I could have stayed in my flannel jammie pants. But I just can’t bring myself to adopt that fashion trend so popular with high school girls of wearing flannel pj’s as everyday attire.
It may be sunny, but it is still definitely winter and our menus reflect that. I tried a new recipe this week combining two of my favorite wintery vegetables, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. It is adapted from Bon Apettit magazine.
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Puree
Non-stick vegetable Oil
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into cubes
2 yams, peeled and cut into cubes
½ c beef broth
1 tsp Ras el Hanout*
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place cubed squash and yams in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Then place cubes on baking sheet and cook in oven until tender 45 minutes to 1 hour. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Stir in broth and Ras el Hanout. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, pepper and sugar. Saute until onions are golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir ¾ onion mixture into vegetable puree and reheat. Top with remaining mixture to serve
* Ras el Hanout is a Moroccan spice mixture that can be purchased or you can use this streamlined recipe from Bon Apettit. I didn’t have the ready-made version, and I had all these ingredients so I made my own.
Ras el Hanout
Mix the following in a small bowl:
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground mace
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp crushed saffron