Monday, October 25, 2010

Inspired By...Fall Flavors

Friends, what did you do this weekend? On Friday, a rowdy celebration of a dear friend's birthday went well into the night, so when a rainy Saturday evening rolled around, Will and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than a stay-in date night.

When the leaves begin to turn, I start to crave fall flavors, and typically butternut squash is top of the list.

 I sketched this squash bounty at the Le Marché aux Fleurs during a fall trip to Paris in 1999.

I think my all-time favorite squash recipe has to be Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics.

 Love how the orange color pops on my favorite blue and white vintage dishes.

I love the sweet-salt-savory flavor combination of the pancetta with the squash and maple syrup--although I often use prosciutto instead of pancetta. So I whipped up a batch of that (meat-free for my vegetarian husband, lots of prosciutto for carnivore me) and added a salad of arugula and roasted pear (another Back to Basics favorite). Squash and pears are so delicious right now and Ina's recipes so easy that I could hardly go wrong. Add a yummy bottle of red, a fire in the fireplace, some candlelight and port paired with Fran's Gray Salt Caramels for dessert and you get a perfect date-night-in dinner. How easy is that?

Speaking of which, how excited are we that the Barefoot has a new book out this week?

I can't wait to get my hands on it! I just love Ina -- her recipes are never any more complicated than they need to be and always result in something delicious. What's your favorite fall flavor?

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