Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Cookies

This is one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes.

Sweet Squash Cookies
(adapted from new classics from the moosewood kitchen cookbook)

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup pureed squash
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the squash, egg, and vanilla and mix until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and add to the mixing bowl. Stir well to form a soft batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a large, unoiled baking sheets, allowing a little space for the cookies to spread as they bake. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cookies just begin to brown slightly on the bottom. Use a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack or plate.

Note: To make pureed squash, you can either bake or steam squash of your choice. I use butternut squash because I get so many from my CSA. If steaming, peel and cut into chunks; steam until tender and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor.

Random Thoughts: Brief and Bad

I don’t really have much good news.

I’m at trouble at work because of how much time I have been home with sick children. And you know what? I think I did the right thing staying home with them. So that’s that.

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Flora woke up SCREAMING at 11:30 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. with ear pain. Dan’s taking her back to the doctor this afternoon.

Guess those antibiotics aren’t working.

I had ear infections as a child, and I remember how very much they hurt. As hard as it was to be empathetic at 2 a.m., I think Dan and I did okay with Flora. We were a little crankier — all right, a lot — with each other. Really have to work on that.

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Oh, wait, I do have good news. The plague of insects that has descended on the house in the past few months has been stemmed. Thank goodness for cold weather.

I still see the occasional G-D FRUIT FLY buzzing around the kitchen. I make it my priority to track it through the air and squash the life out of it. We’ve a few Asian lady beetle carcasses laying around, too. It’s amazing that some of those seemingly dead bugs will rediscover their will to live (and their tiny little feet) and crawl out of the pile of crumbs I have swept up.

They aren’t very fast. They get dumped with everything else.

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I have a lot of baking to do in the next 10 to 14 days. This is bad news if you are on the receiving end as I’m not much of a baker. But Flora needs cookies for her class (she’s going to be 5 years old in less than a week) and I am attending the infamous Cookie Swap with Burgh moms on Nov. 14. I have a couple of pretty easy recipes on tap; the trick will be how I deal with the kids while baking.

If I suit them both up in hazmat uniforms, I guess I can let them help.

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Our new back door won’t go in because of wood rot and other problems. Do we just do something half-assed for now (and not use the back door) or do we spend thousands of dollars to do the job right and make the payments? FUDGE.

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Updated to add: Flora has infections in both ears, a temp of 102, a new, stronger Rx, and she threw up in the doctor’s office. This day is just going swimmingly!