Friday, October 30, 2009

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

I've been diggin' on some roasted squash lately! Last Saturday we made roasted butternut squash soup, and cheese quesadillas to go along with it. Sunday I wanted more squash! This turned out so good! Both hubby and I went back for seconds!

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese

  • 4 oz whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of colby, cheddar and parmesan)
  • 2 cups diced roasted butternut or acorn squash. (I used a combination of both)*
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • breadcrumbs

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and bubbly, stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the flour. Stir until combined with the butter, then allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the can of milk and vegetable stock. Whisk and stir until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add all but 1/4 cup of the cheese and all of the squash. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Pour into a greased dish. Mix a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and add to the top of the pasta.
  4. Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until top is golden.

*For roasting the squash, you can do it two ways. I peeled the squash with a vegetable peeler (Not easy to do with the acorn!), cut it into cubes, then tossed it with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, until tender--about 20-25 minutes. You can also just cut the squash in half, rub with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast, cut side-down, for about 30 minutes or more. Just slip a knife or fork thru the flesh occasionally to see if it's tender enough. Then scoop the squash out with a spoon and cut up.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm baaaack!

I feel so ashamed that it has been nearly 2 months since my last post! I'd been busy with festivals and am actually relieved that the vending season is over for me. No Apple Butter festival for me this year. Just getting kind of sick of the white-trash-vibe and inconsideration for handmade items in my hometown festival. It's kind of sad, how many people around here just don't "get it" when it comes to one of a kind handmade items. Dollar General opened a new store here in town, and I think the community is stoked.

I finished up the vending season close to home, at the Watermelon Park Festival. The fest was small and laid back. The music was awesome and the crowd had a calm, friendly vibe. I ended up packing up and leaving on Saturday afternoon, with reports of a rain storm on the horizon, that wouldn't end for the rest of the day. Maybe I copped out, but the thought of sitting in a booth in the cold rain didn't sound fun to me, so back home I went. Many of my friends stayed for the rest of the day and enjoyed more bluegrass music.

This gal really loved my corduroy and cotton skirt and came back to pick it up just before I left on Saturday.

This happy lady loooved the Sun batik HEMP sundress and put it right on. Moments later, she put on some of my batik panties. I never thought I'd see not one but TWO ladies putting on my hand-dyed panties right inside the booth. Let's just say I wasn't quite ready for crotch-shots, but happy to have the sales!

My memory was somewhere else when I packed up for the festival. I hadn't realized until I was at the venue that I had forgotten to pack the top to one of my canopy tents. Duh!! We jimmy-rigged a top out of side-walls and grip-clamps. It worked for the dry day, but when it rained overnight on Thursday, we woke to a drippy ceiling the next morning. Our friend Tom saved the day when he pulled out an extra tent top and it happened to fit my frame perfectly! Note to self: add "tent tops" to my master vending list for next year!!!

I've been getting caught up with custom orders and starting on new ones here in the Potomac River Goods studio. I finished up pair of patchwork shorts yesterday, for a trade to Burt, who I met at Floyd Fest, and saw again at Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Here's the shorts I made for Burt, but they ended up being a bit too small for him. After a few adjustments, his new shorts are ready to be shipped out. (new ones not photographed)
I don't normally do copywritten images for my appliques, but I made an exception for Burt, who was really eager for me to do so. The patches are a collection of hemp/organic cotton and recycled poly from previous works, all hand-dyed by me. There is even some potato dextrin-dyed pieces in grey. The pockets were a bit of a challenge, but seemed a lot easier the second time around. I just might be doing more of these, because I really like how they feel when you slip your hands inside.

Here's the latest work in progress:
I dye all of my pieces in small batches using all kinds of plastic containers. Today was one of those days that I shuffled items into other containers just so I could use them for dyeing. I've got several tree batiks started in the green bath. When they are done curing, I will let them air-dry and then wax over the piece again. The green will become leaves on the trees. Then they will be dyed a darker color (not sure what shade yet) to reveal a tree with leaves. Other items in the dye are fabric, and other batik pieces. The rust brown piece in the square container is the beginning of a cat shirt for my niece. I made my sister one for her birthday several years ago, and she wants one, too! The colors will be different, but the spotted kitty is nearly the same as her mama's.

Here are some pics of a wedding dress I did earlier this Summer. Kate's wedding wasn't until September, so I held off showing off the pics as to make the dress a surprise to her guests.
Kate's wedding dress was inspired by my original Goddess Dress design, with a few modifications. It was constructed of natural hemp/organic cotton muslin, and trimmed with the same fabric dyed royal blue, earthy green and chocolate brown. I was really happy how it turned out!

It's been getting pretty chilly out here in the woods, and Autumn has officially started. I'll be working on more warm clothing and accessories over the next few months. Stay tuned!

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