Serving This Week 11-16 To 11-20-2020
Come and see what I will be cooking up on Marilyns Treats this week!
This is what I featured the week of 11-16 to 11-20-2020 on my blog. On Tuesday was Carnival Squash With Apples and Thyme. Wednesday was Slow Cooker Green Beans. Thursday was Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Wreath. Winding up Thanksgiving Preparations was a Green Bean Casserole. Enjoy!
If you missed what I served up last week please click Serving This Week 11-9-to 11-13-2020.
This Carnival or Celebration squash was the main part of dinner last night.
The corn and watermelon added even more hand sown goodies that were lovingly nurtured all summer.
Carnival squash is a sweet squash, so it is best mixed with sour or salty additions to bring out all the natural flavors.
Now you all know what a carb and sugar loving gal I am, but this squash just seemed to hit the right chord with me.
This recipe would also go well with acorn and butternut squash also, but I hope you are able to find this at a farmers market or local store.
Mind you, this squash got as big as a seedless watermelon so one will go a long way. Don’t you just want to give it a try?
Fun Facts About Carnival Squash
The carnival squash is actually a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash. It usually has a cream-colored background covered with stripes and speckles of green and orange. Warm temperatures tend to yield greener squash. After the squash is picked, the green on the surface will eventually fade with time to leave only cream and orange colors.
What Carnival Squash Tastes Like
After simply roasting a halved carnival squash seasoned with a little butter and brown sugar, I dug in. It was nutty and sweeter than butternut squash but not as dry in texture as kabocha squash. And my favorite thing about it was that it had a buttery, almost maple syrup-like flavor to it.
Buying and Storing Carnival Squash
Carnival squash are about the size of an acorn squash, and like most winter squash, are best from early fall through winter. Choose carnival squash that are heavy for their size and free of blemishes or soft spots. They can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a month.
Cooking Carnival Squash
Carnival squash is at its best when roasted to concentrate and bring out its flavors, but it can also be steamed or pureed. The seeds can be roasted and eaten just like with other winter squashes. I like its small compact size, which makes it easy to cut through and is great for serving one or two people.
These inexpensive and cute squashes are great to throw into stews, curries, soups, or even veggie chilis — use them in any recipe calling for butternut or acorn squash.
I love the fact that they are so beautiful and unique-looking on my counter and that they have such a long shelf life I don’t have to be in a rush to eat them!
We have all heard that it ain’t easy being green. At least when I am serving it up.
Until I learned about the goodness of veggies outside a can I would never have even considered using my slow cooker for green beans.
I always chose to steam fresh, long, green veggies. But I have gone out of my comfort zone.
If you use precut veggies from your local produce aisle this side dish can’t get any easier.
I cleaned my green beans and attempted to snip off both ends and I will NEVER do that again.
It is easier to trim them after they are cooked. How do you trim your fresh veggies?
I never remember that too much of a good thing is worse than too little.
I didn’t realize what a “clove” of garlic was. I peeled off the skin and proceeded to mince the entire thing. When my son came home he was hit in the face with the smell of the garlic.
I of course thought that was a good and a healthy reaction. Now, after the fact we all bring up the time “mom learned to cook and eat veggies” at the same time. LOL.
Bottom line is I am not allowed to use fresh garlic again. Now I add slivered almonds to the slow cooker. And my DIL prepares and adds the garlic.
I have to admit this first attempt at using fresh garlic was a total fail. I cried making this easy and delicious side dish.
My family just laughed since I never let them see my failures. (There have been many.)
When I first discovered the crock pot for holiday bean, I couldn’t have been happier!
The crock pot allows you to prepare your green beans early instead of fighting for a free burner.
Also, you don’t have to worry your beans about boiling over and onto the surface of your stove top. One less thing to babysit as all your dishes need to be completed at the same time.
Cooking the beans in a slow cooker becomes one less inconvenience, one less dish to babysit, and one less item to stream up the kitchen.
For me that is a big win win!
My family loved these slow cooker green beans once I had rinsed them thoroughly and asked for help.
We now make them every holiday! And I never have to make that part of the meal! LOL.
I have a funny story to tell about my first time not using jar minced garlic.
My kids kept asking if I needed help pressing the garlic as it slipped continuously out onto the floor.
It seems my bargain of the year garlic press was actually a nut cracker and I was trying to use the cherry pitter to mince the garlic!
So, it will take a bit longer than 10 minutes if you cut and dice your own onions, press the garlic and cut the ends off fresh beans.
This Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Crescent dish is not only versatile in ingredients, it can be very different in presentation and use.
You don’t have to cook up chicken to serve this dish. Deli chicken breast or a store bought rotisserie turkey or chicken will make the dish more convenient to prepare.
Leave out the chicken altogether and add ham for a different flavor.
Even totally leave out any meat for a meatless meal.
The broccoli can be fresh, as I prefer, or frozen thawed for your meal to be on your table quicker. They fresh florets stay firm and are not as mushy to work with.
If you don’t thaw the broccoli florets in the refrigerator over night it is easy to microwave it until the chill comes off of it and it will work just fine too.
If you don’t have time to soften the cream cheese, you can put it in the bowl and microwave it for 15-30 seconds. Stir and repeat as needed until it is easily stirred and nice and creamy. Don’t use Low Fat as it changes the consistency of the filling.
Don’t like or have cream cheese? Substitute a ricotta cheese.
You can also use the grated, or block cheese. Sharp cheese has a fuller flavor that doesn’t get lost in the filling. The cheddar choices are limitless. Pick a sharp, sweet or mild cheese depending on your personal taste.
But what is sharp cheese anyway?
Sharp is the term that indicates how cheddar changes in flavor and texture as it ages. Mild cheddars are aged 2 to 3 months, sharp 6 to 9 months, and extra-sharp 1 1/2 to 2 years old. As cheddar ages, it goes from mild to tangier with more complex and deeper flavors. Aged Gouda is sharp yet sweet at the same time. It is usually described as caramelly, nutty and buttery. The texture becomes more firm and flakey or crumbly when cut.
If you prefer a sweeter cheese Colby jack, mexican blend, or Havatari are also good choices.
As far as the big and flakey crescent rolls you have many substitutions with those as well.
The standard dairy case rolls can be used. Just remember you will need 2 cans. As stated below these also will change the texture of your wreath.
Use a pizza dough when shaping from a wreath into other configurations.
Home made biscuits can also be a great choice.
Change up your spices too. Sautee a few onions or peppers for a flavor that can’t be beat!
Chicken Cheddar Crescent Wreath can be served in several different ways.
You can shape it in a long rectangle for easier eating.
You can also separate the dough in squares to make turnovers.
Wrap it in a ball to create a cheesy puff.
Or cut the dough up into smaller pieces for an appetizer sized quick bite.
Serve with a Caesar or mixed green salad to complete your meal.
I have served this comfort meal to my family for all occasions.
It makes a great choice for game night, book club or after a scout meeting.
Kids and adults both will be glad whatever reason your Chicken Cheddar Crescent Wreath appears on the table.
The veggie casserole is probably one of the earliest dishes in my memories of family celebrations.
For my family this Green Bean Casserole was originally discovered by my mom out of an old magazine from the 50’s.
I came across it again when I was looking for a casserole recipe on the label of a French’s Onion can.
I decided at Thanksgiving to bring back the long forgotten tradition of making the Green Bean Casserole for our family meal.
Getting together with my sister for the holiday and telling stories of Thanksgiving when we were kids is always a good time.
This year the stories started with this casserole.
I know millions of you make this dish and also have fond memories of past family gatherings with many great dishes being served.
Many family traditions in my home were first found in magazines or through neighbors.
There just wasn’t social media or Pinterest then. We passed recipes down by handwritten notes, word of mouth, or from food labels.
Some of the best recipes traded that way are still some of the dishes I continue to make even now.
This Green Bean Casserole is one of those recipes.
I actually stopped making this dish for a while since it wasn’t following my nutritional needs.
But it has reappeared on my table due to high demand and the availability of healthier ingredients.
My granddaughter has taken to cooking these traditional recipes as her contribution to preparing the meal. . She loves creating her own versions of this Green Bean Casserole.
I have to give her credit how natural it is for her to add different flavors and textures. She just knows how they will work in concert with each other.
This dish is a staple once again at Thanksgiving and Easter due to her help.
And with Miss Jo cooking, you never know how she switched up the recipe until it is on your plate.
The look on her face when she sees everyone loving her cooking is priceless.
It only requires 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake this side dish.
Just 4 simple ingredients and you are on your way to a delicious meal.
Adding some nuts, bacon bits, and garlic powder to the soup base really takes these green beans up a notch.
However you decide to make this casserole your own will be worth the time and trouble you expend.
Let me know if you make this Green Bean Casserole and how you changed the recipe!