19 November 2015


It's time for this month's Improv Challenge.  The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it. 

This month's assigned ingredients were squash and sage. Lovely fall ingredients.  It didn't take me long to decide what to make.  There was a sausage and butternut squash skillet recipe in an issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray that I had been wanting to try for a while.  Sausage, squash, and sage seems like a fantastic combo.  This was the perfect opportunity to try this dish.  I changed it up a little bit (of course!), the biggest change being the addition of goat cheese.  It just seemed to fit.  Here's how I made it.

Sausage, Squash, and Goat Cheese Skillet

Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground sausage
4 cups butternut squash, ½” cubes (1 lb.)
2 tsp dried sage
½ cup beef broth
½ cup goat cheese crumbles

Directions:
Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Add sausage and break up with a spoon.  Cook until sausage is browned and fat has rendered.  Add butternut squash and dried sage.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the beef broth, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until squash is tender.  Uncover, stir, and let cook for just another minute or two.  Remove from heat and top with goat cheese crumbles.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Info
Per Serving
Calories:  444
Fat: 34
Sat. Fat: 12
Cholesterol: 112
Sodium: 906
Potassium: 282
Carbs (net): 8
Protein: 25
Vitamin A: 170%
Vitamin C: 28%
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 10%

Oh man, this was so yummy!  And besides cutting up the squash (which I always hate!), pretty easy. I wanted to buy the pre-cut squash in a bag, but my store didn't have it. I bought the smallest butternut squash they had, and it ended up being the exact perfect amount for this recipe.  Love it when that happens!

Any of you who are fans of the sweet and salty combo will love this dish.  The sweetness of the squash is so perfect with the saltiness of the sausage and the creaminess of the goat cheese.  Mmm.

I used dried sage because I can never chop fresh sage small enough so that I don't feel like I'm eating bits of leaves.  Not palatable for me. I only use fresh sage for stuffing in a turkey cavity. :) But the dried was perfect for this recipe.  I know you can buy a sage variety of sausage; if you do that, you might want to cut down on the dried sage you add.  

I used beef broth because I happened to have an open container in the fridge. You can certainly use chicken or veggie broth instead. Water would even be fine if you didn't have any kind of broth.

My husband and I have been low carbing for a while now, and I have not allowed myself butternut squash yet this fall. :( So sad, I know! I love butternut squash, but it is a little carby.  But I was glad when this came out to 8 carbs per serving, because that is totally doable.  I consider any main dish recipe under 10 carbs/serving to be low carb, so this counts for me.  This dish kind of reminds me of one of my favorite pasta dishes: Roasted Squash and Sausage Pasta.  This is kind of the low carb version of that!

This will be my go-to dish whenever the butternut squash cravings get too much to bear.  Looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today!

Be sure to check out all the other great squash and sage recipes below and come back next month to see what I make with cranberry and orange.


06 November 2015


It's time for another All Whisked Up reveal.  The members of Wisconsin Whisk get together and secretly peruse another blog and make something fun to share.  


This month I was assigned the blog Wisconsin Fun Next Exit written by Erica.  Erica lives in Madison and considers herself a "mostly vegetarian".  

Erica has lots of great recipes on her blog.  I nearly chose her baked cheesy eggs; and I still want to make those!  I am always looking for new ideas for breakfast.  But then I saw this cheeseball, and I knew I had to make it.  Like Erica's family, my family always served cheeseballs at holidays.  It was kind of a special occasion thing.  I love how this recipe is personal to Erica.  She even included a pic of the recipe card her grandmother hand-wrote.  Love it!  I had never made a cheeseball with olives in it, but I thought it sounded genius.  

Cheddar Olive Cheeseball

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp toasted onion flakes (or regular onion flakes)
10 green olives stuffed with pimento
½ cup pecan chips

Directions:
Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl.  Add cheddar cheese and onion flakes.  Pulse green olives in food processor until chopped, but not pureed. Add to cheese mixture and stir well.  

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and place the pecan chips in the center.  Form cheese mixture into a ball shape and place it on the pecan chips.  Roll it around to cover with the pecans.  Close up the plastic wrap around the cheeseball and refrigerate for 4 hours.  

Remove from refrigerator and let soften a bit before serving.

Makes 6 (2.5 oz.) servings.




This is a really great cheeseball.  And it really couldn't be simpler to throw together.  I cut Erica's recipe in half; I think hers was meant to make two cheeseballs.

I used Penzeys Toasted Onion Flakes, but regular onion flakes will work fine too. 

Don't you just love the little flecks of red and green inside?  Perfect for Christmas!  

I enjoyed getting to know Erica and her blog this month.  Thanks for a great recipe, Erica!

Be sure to check out all the other great Wisconsin bloggers below.



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