Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday party season: festive roasted acorn squash salad & spiced rum bundt cake

I holiday partied hard this year. From hotel ballrooms to Bourbon bar crawls, I did it all this merry season of joy. There were trays of jambalaya, skillets of bacon mac and cheese, the hams, the turkeys, and of course the endless booze. For our holiday dinner last night, I brought a festive seasonal salad (because I'm a dietitian) and a semi-homemade spiced rum cake for dessert (because time and balance). I wish I had more photos, but the party was too lit and the food too delicious. Blogger fail / priorities, though. Enjoy the recipes, I got many compliments and thanks for the salad. Under appreciated necessity on the dinner plate! 

Festive roasted acorn squash salad
1 lb salad greens (I had a spicy herby mix from the farmers market)
1 acorn squash, sliced
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup shaved parmesan 
4 - 5 tbsp balsamic reduction dressing*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp all spice
optional: coppa / charcuterie of choice

*Balsamic reduction dressing
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Line baking sheet with acorn squash and walnuts. Drizzle olive oil, maple syrup, all spice, and salt. Toss and bake for 35-45 minutes or until edges of squash browned and flesh soft
3. When ready to serve, toss together roasted squash with greens, dressing and half of the pomegranate seeds and parmesan
4. Top the salad with the optional coppa, parmesan, and pomegranate seeds

✓ vegetables
✓ fruit
✓ fiber
✓ unsaturated fats

✓ vitamin A
✓ vitamin C

Semi-homemade spiced rum cake
1 box spice cake mix
1 pack vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup pecans, crushed
1/2 cup dried cherries 
4 eggs
4 oz buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup milk with 1 tsp vinegar)
4 oz cup rum
4 oz oil (I used avocado, olive / canola are fine) 

Butter rum glaze
1 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup rum
1/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Lightly oil a non-stick bundt cake pan. Sprinkle bottom of the pan with crushed pecans
3. Combine the remaining of all cake ingredients and mix until smooth
4. Pour batter into bundt cake pan and bake for 1 hour
5. In the last 15 minutes if baking time, prepare the butter rum glaze. Reduce all ingredients in a small saucepan
6. Once bundt cake is prepared, pour a third of the rum glaze over the cake. Allow to set for 5 minutes
7. Flip over bundt cake onto a serving dish, poke numerous holes into the cake, and slowly pour the remainder rum glaze over the cake. Allow to set for at least half an hour for rum to absorb before serving 

Grateful for good food and great friends!

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