Why is it that summer takes forever to arrive but is gone in a flash?
Two weeks ago I was complaining about the heat…. Today we’re thinking about lighting a fire. (Just thinking about it at this point).
The good news is the winter squash are ripening. Some of the early ones are already picked, cured and in the cave for winter.
Fall is stuffed vegetable season chez nous…..
This acorn squash bakes while the stuffing is prepared and just needs 10 – 15 minutes to finish.
For a faster meal, cook it in the microwave.
I usually can’t get all of the stuffing in, so I keep it warm and serve it on the side.
This stuffing has a bit of an Asian influence with toasted sesame seeds stirred in at the end.
As you can tell, my acorn squash was white (pale yellow) rather than the usual green. I blame the French mystery seeds…..
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Beef and Rice
Total time: 60 minutes
- 1 medium – large acorn squash
- 1/3 cup Basmati rice
- 2/3 cup (5oz, 150ml) beef stock
- 6oz (180gr) ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp powdered
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
- 2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
- Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Either place face down on tray and microwave for 10 – 12 minutes or put into a baking dish, cover with foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 40 minutes.
- While squash cooks: Cook the rice in the beef stock 15 – 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and it’s done. (Check your package directions for correct quantity of stock and cooking times.)
- Heat the oils in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion and celery 5 minutes then add the garlic and ginger if using fresh.
- Sauté 5 more minutes or until onion and celery are tender and starting to brown.
- Add beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar, powdered ginger, beef stock and stir well to combine.
- Dissolve cornstarch in water.
- When beef mixture is simmering stir cornstarch in, a little at a time. (You may not need it all). You want it quite thick but not paste.
- When rice is done, add it along with sesame seeds and stir to combine.
- To assemble: When squash are ready (they should be almost done) remove from wherever they cooked and fill with the rice/beef mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes, until stuffing starts to brown and squash is done.
Note: If the stuffing doesn’t all fit (depending on size of squash) keep it warm and serve on the side.
To toast sesame seeds: Put them into a dry, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toss or stir them about in the pan until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
Next on our wander down memory lane is the last bathroom.
This is the floor plan, sort of, of the upstairs guest bathroom.
There are 3 small upstairs windows on each side of the house. On this side of the house one is in our bedroom, one is in our bathroom and we wanted the other to be in the small guest bedroom. That meant no window in the bathroom, but that’s not unheard of in old houses.
But, there’s not a lot of space between the windows, so we had to do some creative planning to get the rooms big enough. Where the red arrows are is where we put the window seat in the small bedroom, thus getting the window in that room. We left just enough room in the bathroom to put a small tub in that area.
It looked very cramped and small once we got it built out.
Please note the lovely ceiling…..
Everything fit in nicely, and is actually much roomier than expected. He did a wooden ceiling (as always, too many odd shapes for sheet-rock) and painted it white.
As usual, he saved the beams where possible, and refinished them. This is the tub, tucked into the back of the bathroom, along with the toilet. The wall you see acting as a partial divider is the shower.
It had not been my intention to get such neutral tile. When we bought the tile for our bathroom (blue) we had choices of purple and green and red and pink and orange…..
When we went to get the tile for this bathroom we had choices of gray and dark gray and light gray and beige and greige…. That’s what was in every store we went to.
The colors, or lack there of, would not have been my choice, but I was quite pleased with how it all turned out.