Much as I love food, it isn't unusual that I come home from the grocery store or farmer's market and find myself in a food rut. I'll buy all my favorite ingredients but, come dinner time, won't have the slightest idea how to put them all together into some new and delicious dish. Though my old standby recipes are tried and true, they have become so tired that prepare them yet again would be pure torture to my husband Mike.
In such situations, I turn to my trusty cookbooks. Although I often search for recipes on the internet when I have a vague idea in mind of what I'd like for dinner, there's nothing like flipping through a cookbook (preferably one full of color photos) to reignite my passion for food and to spark my culinary creativity.
The Kitchen Garden Cookbook is one such collection of recipes that I know will never fail to get me thinking outside the box no matter what I have on hand. This is a great cookbook for seasonal eaters, backyard gardeners, and amateur canners alike. Food-lovers, vegetarians, and carnivores can all find something to learn from editor Caroline Bretherton's quite brilliant cookbook which lists recipes by major ingredient and has preserving tips along with unbelievable recipes.
So when I found myself with a butternut squash and not the faintest clue as to how to create a delicious meal out of it, I turned to my trusty cookbook. The Kitchen Garden Cookbook offered me a simple and surprisingly innovative side dish recipe that I completely adored. The Squash with Cranberries and Chestnuts recipe spoke to my love of fall-flavored dishes and holiday feasting foods. Though I don't much like chestnuts (and actually omitted them from my creation), cranberries figure so largely into my diet that they deserve their own separate food group designation. With a touch of warmth courtesy of some cinnamon and allspice, plus a little added sugary sweetness to balance out the tart cranberries, this squash dish is composed of the simplest and most obvious ingredients, but I doubt I would ever have thought to add fresh cranberries into roasted butternut squash on my own. Easy to make and super satisfying, this dish is a shoo in for my family's Thanksgiving potluck this year and a great new go-to side or vegetarian main dish.
You can see the recipe here using Google books. Just go to page 274 to learn how to make this delicious butternut squash side dish and take a flip through the rest of the book's incredible tips and recipes. Be prepared to do some major salivating!