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Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to cook acorn squash -- easy, delicious and budget-friendly

I admit, when I was a kid I hated acorn squash. I think I hated it because my mother boiled the crap out of it and it was stringy and gross.

As I got older, got married, had kids, I discovered you could bake acorn squash! So, I set about to do just that! This is probably the easiest thing in the world to do! So, buy an acorn squash...what does it look like???

Acorn squash -- it's kind f shaped like an acorn!
As you can see, it's green and is sort of shaped like an acorn. You're going to use a sharp knife to CAREFULLY cut it in half.
Carefully cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds
An acorn squash has seeds in t. You'll scoop them out using a spoon, along with the yucky stringy stuff. You will have a nice lovely hole in your acorn squash halves.

All scooped out and ready to bake!
Now that you have your acorn squash all scooped out, you're ready to bake it. EASY!!!!
Preheat the oven to 350*F

Put some foil in a cookie sheet or in a round baking dish, something that will fit both halves.
Melt a couple Tablespoons of butter (salted, unsalted, doesn't matter). Have some brown sugar on hand, just a few Tablespoons. Doesn't matter -- light or dark.

Now, using a pastry brush, ha! Yeah, right....if you get one of those smallish paint brushes from the hardware store it's cheaper and works just fine.

small inexpensive paint brushes from the hardware store can double as pastry brushes
Dip the little brush into the melted butter and brush the inside and top layer outside the whole in the squash with butter. Sprinkle each half with some brown sugar.

You can also just put a pat of butter in each half and sprinkle with the sugar. You can also sprinkle a little ground cinnamon if you like.

Put the baking dish or cookie sheet with the acorn squash in the oven. Bake at 350*F for about 35 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the acorn squash. When the acorn squash is done it will be very soft.

All done and ready to serve!
Your acorn squash is ready to serve! It's delicious AND --- it's cheap. Buy the smallest acorn squash you can find -- the larger ones tend to be tough. You should be able to find acorn squash this time of year (around Thanksgiving) for under $1 per pound.

You can either serve everyone a half acorn squash, cut each half in half OR for little ones just scoop some out and put a little on their plate. The first they try it give them a Tablespoon or less. The butter and brown sugar is appealing to kids.

When you bake acorn squash you don't get that squishy, stringy feel. It's actually just soft -- kind of like a baked sweet potato texture.

Enjoy and Cheers!
Rachael Monaco