Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with a Beer Vinaigrette

Let your squash be merry! This delicious Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad will soak up the perfectly paired Beer Vinaigrette in no time. A great seasonal fall salad for a family dinner or large gathering.

I love getting together with friends and even better if we are all asked to bring a dish to share. This past Saturday an expert cocktail mixer friend invited 3 lush volunteers/friends over for a Gin Cocktail party. It’s a hobby but her cocktails are always off the hook. Well we were asked to bring a dish that would go with gin. A tall order!

I wanted to use one of the four gorgeous squashes I recently bought and fell on this recipe. If there is already booze in the vinaigrette is has to work with drinks, right? All 4 potent Gin cocktails were a hit, and so was this Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with a Beer Vinaigrette!

Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with a Beer Vinaigrette close-up

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Roasted and Salted Peanuts in the Shell

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a ‘host’ picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want.

I’m so excited to be hosting this month again. It really is a fun group to get involved with and I love to see what the other participants come up with after we all see the same movie. I chose a very entertaining comedy drama that would require a little bit of mind flexing in choosing a recipe. The movie is not all about food but it plays a role. The movie in question is The Terminal and I decided to prepare Roasted and Salted Peanuts in the Shell.

salted and roasted peanuts pre macro

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Basil Polenta with Roasted Spinach and Tomatoes

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time. This month’s secret: Basil Polenta with Roasted Spinach and Tomatoes.

Basil Polenta with Roasted Spinach and Tomatoes

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Pumpkin: scrub and roast the whole darn thing

I love this time of the year because I LOVE Halloween and cooking with squash. Weather wise I wish I still had my shorts and sandals though.

Pumpkins and squashes can be use in so many different ways it is mind boggling. Every food blog is posting about these vegetables right now. I particularly like using them in cakes and sweets because the texture is then so moist. I also love toasted pumpkin seeds.

But I hate preparing and cutting the pumpkin of squash and I was on the hunt for a shortcut or not possibly cutting my hand off while halving the darn thing. I looked for a recipe to roast the whole thing and it was a success. Now of course the size of you oven will dictate if this is feasable or not with your pumpkin but I had a relatively small one.

After roasting, it looks lacquered and candied

Whole Roasted Pumpkin (or squash)

  • Wash and scrub well the outside of your pumpkin to remove all earth or debris.
  • Sit the pumpkin on a baking sheet and cover it in with a bit of olive oil
  • Roast it in the oven preheated to 400 F for 60 to 90 min.
  • Test for doneness by piercing it in a few places with a knife.

Let it cool to touch now before working on it. I cut off the top part and I could literally peel of the skin without a problem. After that you can cut it in two without the fear of loosing a finger. Proceed to clean out the inside….keep your seeds for toasting now (oil, salt, seasoning – bake till golden at 375 F for about 10min). Then use the flesh which ever way you like.

Speaking of scrubs, do you have a favorite outfit to cook in? Chefs have uniforms at work but maybe you have a set of clothing you like to cook in. Comfort and easy cleaning are key. Have you ever thought of hospital scrubs? Here is a great nursing uniforms catalog if you want to check it out. They actually come in all kinds of styles and colors, check out the olive green scrubs. You can get a scrubs complete set for a lot cheaper the a chef’s outfit and it is so easy to clean.