One thing I was most excited about in moving back to the States (besides grocery stores) was that I would be able to connect with family and friends more often and easily.
No more 17-hour time differences to call my parents. No more setting up Skype dates. And (hopefully) no more missing out on (too many) major events in our friends’ lives (weddings/graduations/etc.).
On Saturday, I got to meet up with not one, but two, different friends who happened to be passing through San Antonio!
I met up with my friend Tara and her adorable son, Christian, for breakfast. Tara and I first met at a leadership conference (dorks!) when we were in high school. We were roommates for those ten days and have kept in touch ever since. The last time I saw Tara was four years ago at my wedding so I was thrilled when she sent me a message saying she would be passing through town!
I had never met her son before, so it was really fun to get to meet him too! He is such a cutie and loved telling me stories all about his new puppy and going to a Naval Air Museum.
It was so much fun catching up with Tara over breakfast! She is the first friend I’ve been able to see since we got back. I was sad to say goodbye, but Tara will hopefully be moving down South this summer so she won’t be too far away from us .
Later that afternoon, I got to meet up with Sarah from Sarah Snacks.
Sarah and I first “met” a few months ago when I was assigned to be her Foodie Pen Pal. Although technically Sarah and I had never met in person, it felt like we already knew each other because of all of the emails we have exchanged.
It’s funny how reading someone’s blog and chatting with them over Twitter can really make you feel like you know someone! Forming these friendships is definitely one of the coolest things about blogging!
For all of you non-bloggers out there, it might seem weird to you that we met up having never actually met one another, but to us it seemed totally normal!
Sarah and I had a lot of fun chatting about blogs, food (of course), and our lives. It was so fun getting to know her better and hopefully we will see each other again .
I thought I would start a monthly series on my blog called “Side Dish of the Month” because sometimes I make some great side dishes, but they somehow never (or rarely) seem to make an appearance on the blog.
I wanted to start with roasted squash because it is definitely one of my all-time favorite side dishes. We probably have it at least once a week—which is why I’m surprised it has taken me this long to write a post about it!
Roasted squash is so easy and versatile that it barely warrants a recipe, but I’ll post one anyway just so you don’t forget the roasting temp and time (although it can vary greatly depending on how you cut your squash) .
The basic idea for roasted squash is to cut the squash into chunks or slices, coat it in oil, season it in some way, and roast in a hot oven (about 425°F) for 20-45 minutes, or until tender.
If you like to keep things simple, roasted squash (my favorites are butternut and kabocha, but I’ve roasted all kinds) is excellent coated in olive oil and sea salt.
However, it is also really fun to play around with the flavors.
Some of my favorite combinations include:
- Butternut squash roasted with olive oil and salt then tossed with feta and walnuts when removed from oven
- Butternut squash and chickpeas coated with olive oil, salt, fresh thyme, and red pepper flakes
- Kabocha squash coated in a coconut-curry paste
- Kabocha squash coated in coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon
- Kabocha squash half-moons coated with olive oil and Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute”
The possibilities with roasted squash are endless. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils and seasonings. Plus it is fun to toss the roasted squash with different flavors (cheese, fresh herbs, nuts, etc.) when it is removed from the oven.
(**Please excuse the “syntax error” message below…I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of it!**)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-45 minutes
- Any type of squash (butternut, kabocha, etc.)
- 2 T oil (olive, coconut, etc.)
- Any seasonings you like (sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, maple syrup, etc.)
- Any toss-ins you might like to add after roasting (fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, cheeses, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Cut the squash in half and scoop out any seeds. If you’re using kabocha squash, you do not need to cut off the skin, but for butternut or other types of squash you will need to cut off the skin. Then slice or cut the squash into chunks.
Toss the squash with oil and seasonings and spread onto a cookie sheet or roasting pan.
Roast the squash for 20-45 minutes (times vary greatly depending on the size of your slices or chunks), or until tender. Stir the pieces of squash every once in a while to ensure even roasting.
Remove from the oven and toss with any extras (if using). Enjoy!
Have fun and don’t forget to come back and tell me about what you did so I can try it too!Pin It