Squash it

This is the yummiest time of year. There's nothing quite as awesome as mixing sweet, savoury and spicy. When I don't feel like having a big meal for dinner but still want to eat something substantial, I turn to the good old squash. In past years, butternut squash has been my go-to (baked with butter, sugar and cinnamon, it goes well with tomato puré on rice), but last week, the grocery store only had pie pumpkin and buttercup squash. So I looked up different ways to use buttercup squash for a somewhat sweet side dish and I ended up with this tasty delight.

First I cut the squash down the middle and scooped out the seeds and loose bits. I placed both halves in baking dishes, cut-side down with a bit of water, and I baked them in the oven for about half an hour. In the meantime, I simmered brown sugar, cinnamon and frozen cranberries in a saucepan and added chopped apples and walnuts. Once this mixture was nice and soft, I pulled the squash out of the oven, flipped it, and filled the  cavities with the cranberry-apple mixture. Still with a bit of water in the base of the baking dishes, I placed the whole thing in the oven for another 20 minutes.

When ready, I could easily slide a fork through the flesh of the squash. After letting it cool, I used tongs to peel away the skin and mashed everything up together.

I had been snacking the whole time I was putting this dish together so I wasn't terribly hungry by the time it was ready but I couldn't resist having a bowl of buttercup squash with a glass of wine. It was definitely a comforting snack on a cool fall day.

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