I considered Fun Food Friday...
which sounds like a preschool theme day focused on playing with food, which I have been known to do on a fairly regular basis. But it's not quite what I had in mind.
Food Feature Friday was another option which sounds like a chapter heading in a book I would never read.
I was toying with the label Foodie Fridays, a nice trendy title which at my age may be important to bear in mind. And then I looked up "foodie" in the much maligned but very helpful online-opedia...and discovered:
A foodie is a gourmet or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages.A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.
Am I really a foodie, or just a wannabe…
And, do I even wannabe??
I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, trying new recipes, and finding a new way to use an old favorite garden friend (think - daylilies in the salad) But I'm not sure my interest is ardent, and it's definitely not refined as in sophisticated, cultured, cultivated, or advanced. And my interest in the alcohol portion of the definition is zero, zip, zilch for reasons that don't belong in this post.
(The HumminB condensed version is that I've seen too many difficult situations where an honest person could have/should have said, "If only we hadn't added alcohol to this mix, the outcome might have been different..." And very few situations where one could truthfully say, "Oh, if only we had added alcohol, then it would have been really be great.")
So, to be a foodie or not, that is the question?! My source went on to enhance the definition:
Foodies are a distinct hobbyist group. Typical foodie interests and activities include the food industry, wineries, and wine tasting, breweries and beer sampling, food science, following restaurant openings and closings and occasionally reopenings, food distribution, food fads, health and nutrition, cooking classes, culinary tourism, and restaurant management.
I like the occasional meal "out," I try to cook healthy foods, and I have a basic understanding of food distribution. (When the ever-hungry teen residing on Hickory Lance can't find something to eat, we have a food distribution problem!)
But the other stuff in the list…not so much.
But I love to learn in my kitchen and I'm delighted to pass along what I'm learning, whether that's a recipe in the category of old or new favorite or a technique for the cooking life that is more effective or more efficient! Sometimes I think of myself as a kitchen engineer…(You know, work smarter not harder!) And who knows, I may decide to throw in a new French word every now and then, (I might be a "wordie?") but don't count on it; then you won't be disappointed!
So, without further delay...(this intro is waaay too long?!)....I present to you the first Countryfare Food-day. Food-day? You ask. Yes, Food-day, because I know myself well enough to be sure I won't be posting every Tuesday...or every Friday or every anyday. So, every time I add a recipe, it will be a Countryfare Food-day!
As you might imagine, I'm on the lookout for delicious, nutritious, easy recipes containing the humble butternut squash. This recipe qualifies on all three fronts! These little gems are rich and flavorful and packed with nutrition. Youngest Mystery likes to know that the container of muffins in the freezer is fair game for free-range snacking, and I like knowing he's eating "good stuff."
And one more bonus appeals to the kitchen engineer in me: this recipe is a one bowl wonder which means less time spent on clean-up!
(makes about 15 muffins in my tins.)
¾ cup flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons molasses
¼ cup milk
1⅔ cups butternut squash
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ tablespoons ground ginger (Yes, that's tablespoons.)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips just until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin tin (do not use liners), and bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes, until firm. Enjoy!
*To prepare butternut squash for use in this recipe: Split the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds, then bake at 350 degrees skin side up on a well greased cookie sheet with a raised edge. Pierce with a fork occasionally to test for softness. I think it takes about 30-40 minutes. I often do this while the oven is heated for another project, so I don't remember the exact time. After the squash is cool enough to handle, simply scrape out the squash and discard the shellskin remnants. (Hooray for chickens and sheep who make use of all kitchen veggie scraps!)
*You could probably omit the chocolate chips altogether, but what fun is that? Youngest thinks he's eating dessert thanks to those chocolate chips, but I know even those little sweet bits are giving him some antioxidants along with the burst of flavor he so loves.
*Here's a link from the Mayo Clinic explaining the health benefits of ground flaxseed!
Happy Countryfare Food-day!! -HumminB