My youngest sassy gal said to me yesterday “Mom, I’m in need of some Christmas. Can we Christmas things up a bit?”
Ok, so I was thinking I’d done a really good job of creating our little Christmas season indoors – but maybe not so much. 🙁
My sassy gal has had her head in the books, preparing for college entrance exams and finishing a tough semester at school. I think she may have just noticed it’s Christmas!
So today I’m on a mission to fill my daughter’s Christmas well. We’re off to do our Christmas Eve and Christmas day food shopping, stopping at a few farms along the way that are sweetly decorated for the season. We’ll stop for tea, cocoa or coffee at one of our local coffee houses and then once we’re home, I’ve got movies and music planned, along with delicious food of course, for our evening’s festivities. I think this will do it.
Although I’ve got our Italian holiday tradition, Feast of the Seven Fishes, planned for Christmas Eve, and this lovely Prime Rib planned for Christmas Day, tonight’s dinner is a lovely ham served with this gorgeous Cranberry, Wild Rice and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash.
These little stuffed squash are the perfect compliment to a ham and look so lovely on a holiday table. Sometimes just for fun I’ll stuff them with coconut rice, golden raisins and top with chopped pistachios. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?
Christmas has always been more than just a gift giving season for me. It’s a season of love and appreciation, connection and sharing, and most of all, giving of our time and attention. Even though I may not live near you or able to meet you for coffee or lunch, you are truly appreciated and a special part of Karista’s Kitchen.
I send you heartfelt thanks for following my blog and for sharing it with others that you care about. Next year will bring more delicious recipes, snippits of a new project I’m working on, along with a few “how to” videos that hopefully will inspire you in the kitchen.
I wish you all true joy, happiness, love and a prosperous new year!
- 3 smallish Acorn squash, or evenly sized, cut in half and seeds scraped out
- 1-2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice powder (I like Frontier brand Chinese Five Spice Powder because it's more sweet than savory)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 cube vegetable boullion (I love the Rapunzel vegetable broth cubes)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4-1/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
- Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Brush the acorn squash halves with olive oil and then season each cut side half with Chinese Five Spice powder and salt.
Place them in a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until they are soft.
Before preparing the rice, sauté the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once the onion is wilted, add the garlic and sauté a minute longer. Then add the cup of rice, the water and the bouillon cube. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover. Let it cook for about 40-45 minutes or until done. Fluff with a fork.
Stir in the cranberries and toasted walnuts while the rice is hot and then cover with a lid for another five minutes. Taste for seasoning.
When you're ready to serve, fill the acorn squash with the rice mixture and garnish with the chopped fresh Italian parsley.
Note: I typically prepare wild rice with 1 cup of rice to 1 3/4 cups water, depending on the brand and type of wild rice you're using. So prepare the rice according to package directions.