Southwest Butternut Chicken Stew

A few years ago I was searching for butternut squash recipes and found a beautiful picture of a chicken stew.  I clicked over to read the recipe and was immediately disappointed.  The black bits in the stew were olives, and I’m not a fan.  The black color was part of what made the dish so beautiful, so I wrote up the recipe I was hoping to find.  Then I threw it in the crock pot and fed it to guests, because I live dangerously like that. It was delicious.  The slightly sweet flavor from the butternut contrasted perfectly with the spicy southwest flavors.

Did you know that Butternut squash and pumpkin are in the same family?  If you’d like a homemade dark orange, thick sweet puree for your pumpkin recipes, consider subbing butternut instead.  There has been a rumor going around that canned pumpkin is really butternut squash…but after some research I’ve found that to be false.   And also learned about a new strain of pumpkin that is destined to be in my garden next year.   If you have one of these KING of eating pumpkins, you may use that instead in this recipe.

Southwest Butternut Chicken Stew

1 1/2 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

4 cups chicken broth

1 lb boneless chicken

1 onion, chopped

1 can, 15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can, 10 oz Rotel tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup, dry quinoa, rinsed

1/4 cup Cilantro

1/4 cup Sour Cream

In a slow cooker, combine everything except the quinoa and cilantro.  Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6.  Pull out chicken and chop or shred, then return to the pan. Stir in quinoa and cook for 30 minutes longer.  Garnish with fresh cilantro  and sour cream just before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos.

Butternut Squash is fairly easy to work with.  It’s easier to cut through than the some of the tougher squashes.  I just trimmed off the ends, then scooped the seeds out of the bowl.  I love this squash so much, I saved and dried my seeds to try in the garden this spring.

A vegetable peeler works great for removing the skin.  You’ll just need to make more than one pass.

If you still see streaks of green on your squash, there’s still skin there.  Keep using the peeler to remove layers until it’s just orange.  Then you can cut it into cubes.

This is day 7 of 31 Days of Pumpkin Recipes

1 Pumpkin spice mix

2 Homemade pumpkin puree

3 Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4 Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

5 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

6 Pumpkin Bagels

7 Butternut Chicken Stew

8 Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

9 Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Scones

10 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

11 Pumpkin Muffin/Drop Cookie Mix

12 Easy Pumpkin Cake

13 Pumpkin Dump Cake

14 Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

15 Pumpkin Mousse

16 Pumpkin Cheesecake

17 Pumpkin Latte

18 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

19 Pumpkin Chili

20 Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

21 Pumpkin Biscuits

22 Maple Pumpkin Butter

23 Stuffed Sugar Baby Pumpkins

24 Pumpkin Pancakes

25 Pumpkin Waffles

26 Pumpkin English Muffins

27 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

28 Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

29 Pumpkin Biscotti

30 Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

31 Impossible Pumpkin Pie

 

 

Homemade Pumpkin Bagels Video Tutorial

This isn’t a new recipe to this blog, but it’s still one of my favorites. The soft inside and chewy outside make a lovely grab and go breakfast. I originally wrote this post in 2015. Grant is now in 1st grade! I don’t regret spending that last year with him, and even though the kids are all in school now, we decided my time is still best spent at home helping things run smoothly for everyone.

Tee hee.  This video makes me giggle.  When I watch the replay and Grant (4) dumps the pumpkin on the counter, I roll on the floor laughing and then back it up and watch it again.  Maybe because I was there for the original moment, trying to balance a camera and helping Grant with the cooking at the same time.  How the pumpkin on the counter shocked us both and I got the giggles, which I tried to hold in making a weird background noise.  Grant, relieved that I wasn’t upset said, “We better clean that up.”   Which made me giggle all the more.

After we made quite a mess but got most of the stuff in the bowl, I said “What should we do now?”  I thought Grant would say, “Let’s clean up!”  but he said “SMILE.”  Which made me giggle all over again.

This boy is the joy of my days.  The sleepless nights, messes, tantrums, and battles are all worth it.  I had the option to spend this year in a classroom blessing other people’s children, while I earned money that my family needed.  I would have had to let someone else be with Grant during the day, and I just couldn’t.  It’s his last full year at home and I fought for my chance to be the one to clean up his messes and talk him down from the ledge of toddler insanity. It was selfish and selfless at the same time.  He needs me as much as I need him and there’s something priceless about that.

For those who prefer a written recipe here you go:

Pumpkin Bagels

  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

Put all ingredients in the order listed in your bread machine.  Set for the dough cycle.  When the cycle is ended, divide the dough into 10 balls.  Poke your finger through the center and make a large hole.  Let the bagels rise for an hour or until doubled. Pour 8 cups of water into a stock pot, boil bagels for 1 1/2 minutes, turning once.  Remove to a dish towel to drain.  Place bagels on a greased baking sheet.  Brush with egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden on the top.  Cool on a wire rack.

This is day 6 of 31 Days of Pumpkin Recipes

1 Pumpkin spice mix

2 Homemade pumpkin puree

3 Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4 Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

5 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

6 Pumpkin Bagels

7 Butternut Chicken Stew

8 Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

9 Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Scones

10 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

11 Pumpkin Muffin/Drop Cookie Mix

12 Easy Pumpkin Cake

13 Pumpkin Dump Cake

14 Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

15 Pumpkin Mousse

16 Pumpkin Cheesecake

17 Pumpkin Latte

18 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

19 Pumpkin Chili

20 Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

21 Pumpkin Biscuits

22 Maple Pumpkin Butter

23 Stuffed Sugar Baby Pumpkins

24 Pumpkin Pancakes

25 Pumpkin Waffles

26 Pumpkin English Muffins

27 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

28 Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

29 Pumpkin Biscotti

30 Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

31 Impossible Pumpkin Pie

 

Caramel Filled Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls start with a pumpkin based yeast dough, filled with cream cheese caramel, for an ooey gooey breakfast treat that triples as a perfect dessert or after school snack.

The dough is the same as our Pumpkin Dinner Roll Dough, but halved so it will fit in your bread machine.  Of course you can mix it up in your mixer if you prefer, or even make the larger batch like I did so there are plenty to share.

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How to make pumpkin puree

 

Photo credit: Tim Mossholder

While canned pumpkin is really delicious, it’s super easy to make homemade pumpkin puree to use in all your fantastic recipes.  Homemade puree freezes really well for year long stockpiling. Even though pumpkin pie, bread, doughnuts, pancakes, cookies, muffins…..dot our winter menus long after October, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the time to grab your pumpkins is now. Tourism pumpkin patches will till their pumpkins under the day after Halloween and it will be terribly hard to find one anywhere.  If you buy them now, stored properly, they will keep long into the winter.

Any pumpkins will work, but the tiny ones have the sweetest most pumpkiny flavor. And the gray pumpkins have the darkest flesh.  This one even had a sweet melon smell.  And it doesn’t have to be pumpkin, butternut squash is in the same family and makes an even thicker, rosier puree.

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Pumpkin Spice Mix

At the last minute, I decided to participate in the Write 31 Days blog challenge.  I participated two years ago and loved how it challenged me to post more often.

I took the year off last year, but am jumping back in this time with 31 Pumpkin Recipes :).  Some are recipes I’ve had in my rotation for a bit, and some are brand new being tested in my kitchen as we speak.   Some are savory, but most are sweet.

Before we can cook much with pumpkin, we need a good pumpkin spice recipe and I’m proud to offer you my own blend, which has gotten thumbs up all around from my recipe testers.

This recipe makes enough to fill a 2 1/2 oz spice jar, or you can quadruple it for a pint canning jar.  All spices are their ground versions.

4 Tbs Cinnamon

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Makeover Monday: Angela’s Office

We hired help to hang the bead-board in my office last week. In preparation, I looked at several rooms on Pinterest which motivated me to turn the paneling the opposite direction it was hung before. If you’d like to see my pinboard for this room find it here.

Those inspiration pins also encouraged me to make the wood we need to use to hide the seams wider and thicker so it would look like structural beams. We had originally planned to make it all white and subdued, but the photos with contrasting wood beams really caught my eye.  To make sure that was what I wanted, I drew an inspiration photo in photoshop first, and tested out some lighting options too.

Using photoshop to test out wall covering options

Here’s what it looked like before:

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Oops, I meant to just drop off a donation

This decade of our lives, I’m calling our “construction phase”  has left me searching for ways to make the house feel put together and comfortable enough for guests, even though most places don’t have baseboards, outlet covers, real furniture or paint.   While we’re earning a living and enjoying our family we’re also dragging this whole remodel thing out.   I’ve finally made peace with it.

Last fall I started building bookcases with doored bottoms and hutch tops.  You can see more about that here. I got the bottom frames done before our garage sale.  Then I put away my wood working tools to clean out the garage for the sale.  Here we are a year later and I finally drug everything back out and cut the middle shelves.  In the mean time, I styled the tops of the unpainted, undoored cabinets like they were supposed to be just the way they are.

A few weeks ago, I dropped off a donation at the thrift store.  I meant to just drop and go, but way up high on the back wall there was a HUGE mirror with a nicely arched top.  I took one glance and thought, “That’s way out of my price range.”  I turned to go, but my heart wouldn’t let me leave without touching it.  I felt a little guilty asking the woman at the register for help to get it down, since I knew I wouldn’t be buying it. It was lighter than I expected.  The frame was made to look like wood but was molded plastic.  I looked for the wax pencil marking on the back….$15. What?!!!!  Sold.

I meant to paint it, to cover up the off center 1970s decal at the top.  But from a distance the darker wood warms up the space and the decal is hardly noticeable. It’s so much easier to love it how it is #lazybutton.

  1.  The lower half of the built ins hold my music.  Each file box is labeled with chalkboard tape and a wet erase chalk marker with things such as “voice lesson” “Trios” “Christmas music” etc.  Doors will eventually hide it for a less cluttered look. The left side is for vocal music and the right side is for instrumental music. We are using these plans from Ana-White and Shanty-2-Chic, just narrowing the dimensions to fit our space.
  2. The vase and stems are from Ikea.
  3. The wood ampersand is from Hobby Lobby.  It is 50% off at least one week each month.
  4. The tall candle holder is from Big Lots and the small bowl is a planter from a thrift store. I filled the bowl with found pinecones and the candle holder holds a large moss ball from hobby Lobby.
  5. We made the wood trim around the windows from 1x select pine boards from Home Depot.  Using this tutorial from iamahomemaker.com and this one from Blesserhouse.com.  We put an extra board on the top of the windows to beef it up a little, but made sure to leave room for crown molding.
  6. The wooden tool box and 3 faux plants inside are from Ikea.
  7. I made the magnolia wreath, tutorial here.
  8. The leather chair is a find from Craigslist.  It belongs in my husband’s basement office after I refinish the leather into a better color.  But the office is too big of a mess to hold it even temporarily right now, so it lives here.  Our piano teacher has a comfy seat waiting for him when we start lessons again :).
  9. The pom pom throw is a DIY crochet border added to a cheap Ikea throw.  Tutorial here. Plus every single pillow and cover is from Ikea, because I’m addicted and they are affordable, comfy and cute.
  10. The rug from RugsUSA also belongs in Darren’s basement office, but it’s living here for now.
  11. This is our old music storage system, a lateral file from Home Depot.  I have too much music for it now, and it’s destined to be painted and live somewhere else at some point. I’m in process of organizing and moving the music in it to the new file boxes–hence the stacks everywhere.  The white baskets underneath are from Target. There’s one for each child to hold their music books for lessons, but the system has become corrupted. They now hold the music I’ve been too lazy to put away properly and need an overhaul.
  12. These lamps were a garage sale find and had too small shades.  I grabbed some cheap new shades at Ikea and upped their impact.  I’m tempted to paint the bases also, maybe a nice deep navy.

For help decluttering, reorganizing and styling, you should check out Havenly’s Design Services.

As I was writing down all the sources for these products, I realized how overwhelming it can be to put a room together.  I’ve gathered these items over the course of 6 years, just one piece here and there using my little monthly home budget and money I earned at our annual garage sales.  Nothing about the room is the way I want it to be permanently, but it’s functional for now and even pleasant to sit and visit with a friend there.

How about you?  Is there any room in your home that isn’t quite finished but is good enough for now?  Or tell me about a time you used something you already had in a new way to brighten up a space.