November Recipe – Butternut Squash Lasagna


Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup water
* 3 amaretti cookies, crumbled
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 1/2 cups whole milk
* Pinch nutmeg
* 3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
* 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
* 2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender*. Add the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Wordless Wednesday

Inspired by Words – Inspiration, Powerful, Authentic Message

Every time I see someones art, a photo or the gift of nature’s beauty I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling and powerful ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

I met Robin Rice on Facebook on her Awesome Women’s Hub page. Robin created this page for women to share their authentic voice, discover the power within, and feed on the inspiration of others to create something wonderful, positive and moving.

When Robin asked me to create one of my free form beaded bracelets for her Birthday I was honored, thrilled and could not wait to start that journey to create a little piece of art from her words, from her spirit and from her beautiful and powerful photo.

So once again it’s time to share a powerful gift that moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits!

Wordless Wednesday – Minnesota November 2010

Inspired by Nature – Splash Copper

Every time I see someones art or the gift of nature’s beauty I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share a powerful gift of nature… stunning splash copper moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits!

November Recipes

Aunt Susan’s Cranberry Sauce

This is the most refreshing and satisfying cranberry sauce I have ever tasted. I eat this sauce all by itself and any time of the year, no turkey, no mashed potatoes & gravy are really necessary. I use organic ingredients to ensure I am getting the best nutrition my body deserves.

Try it for this years Thanksgiving, you will be hooked on the yummy sauce!


Aunt Susan’s Cranberry Sauce

3 bags of cranberries
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups wholesome sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sucanat
3 oranges, zested, peeled and finely chopped
Orange zest
6 medium apples, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup walnut, finely chopped

Place cranberries, water and Sucanat in a large pan and bring to a boil.

When the Sucanat has dissolved and most of the berries have popped, reduce the heat and add the diced orange, orange zest and apples.

When the apples are almost cooked, add the spices and walnuts. Simmer until done.
Chill and serve cold.


Wordless Wednesday

Inspired by Natures Gift – Carnelian & Sunsets

Every time I see someones art or the gift of nature’s beauty I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share a powerful gift of nature… a beautiful piece of carnelian moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits!

Wordless Wednesday

Inspired by Art – Chalice

Every time I see someones art I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share a powerful and scared piece of art…a chalice moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits!