Thursday, November 3, 2011

One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.
- Beverly Cleary

I love this quote. I love Beverly Cleary, and I love an occasional rainy day in the fall. It puts a slight chill in your bones as your body craves the warmth of a crackling fire and your mind relishes in the delight of reading a good book.

I chose a quote from Beverly Cleary because National Write a Novel in a Month as well as Blogher’s National Blog Posting Month take place in November. And Beverly Cleary, alongside Judy Blume, was one of my favorite authors growing up. Did anyone else adore Ramona Quimby as much as I did? “Beezus and Ramona” and “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” were two of my beloved books as a kid.

A more than eventful traveling schedule in November created too big a barrier for me to participate in either one of these writing exercises this month. Memphis, South Bend, Chicago and Kentwood, MI, will occupy my time over the next three weeks. And I knew the likelihood of writing a 50,000 word novel or posting to my blog every day for a month was doomed to fail. So, I’ve added this to my list of goals in 2012. If I were to write a novel, as terrible as it might turn out, what would my story line be? Who would be my main character? Kind of fun to think about.

But while I’m still at home, I continue to cook. And this time I’m letting the side dishes bask in the blog limelight. Here are two simple and tasty recipes for roasted honey sweet potatoes and squash casserole. Both dishes require very little time or talent to produce, and they’re both rich in flavor. The sweet potato recipe comes from Ellie Krieger. And the squash casserole is how my mom used to make it during the holidays when I was growing up. It’s cheesy, creamy goodness.

Honey roasted sweet potatoes and melted cheddar cheese over squash casserole need an equally sweet, soulful and charismatic voice. Enter Cee Lo Green’s “Fool for You”, featuring Melanie Fiona.


Click here for Ellie's Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe. 

Mama's Squash Casserole
2 lbs squash, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine chopped onion and squash into a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
Steam squash and onion mixture for about 10 minutes.
Drain the mixture and transfer into baking dish.
Mix the cream of chicken soup in with the vegetables and bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbly
Top casserole with cheddar cheese and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy!

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