It’s already been over two weeks since Lesley and I had our monthly dinner. Clearly it’s been a busy fall. October’s dinner was almost foiled due to our schedules and the annual change-of-season sicknesses that plague schools and daycares. Poor Lesley had to make the meal twice. This month, it looked as though the same thing was going to happen again. Maddie had a bout of sickness that sent me home from work at noon. It appeared as though she was having an allergic reaction to something, but after some conversations and photos to my aunt, it was decided that she had some sort of virus that wasn’t causing her to be sick but was causing a reaction on her skin. Appetizing, right? Lesley was also having some challenges that day and was caring for the older child of a neighbor who needed to take their youngest for an unexpected CAT scan. Scary. Determined, we kept the dinner as scheduled, and I packed up the things I would need to head over to Lesley’s house.
The dinner turned out pretty well. The chicken was very moist, which for most is an excellent thing. Lesley and I share a fear of food poisoning from meat, so rarely is our meat ever moist. In fact, it’s usually cooked until no moisture can be found, so this was an adventure for us. She was a brave soul and tried it first, announcing that it was indeed cooked thoroughly. Phew. I found this recipe on thelemonbowl.com, and it is definitely a keeper. The flavors are very fall. The apple cider adds a welcomed sweetness, and there is leftover for apple cider floats which is win-win.
1) Peel and cube the butternut squash.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3) Scatter garlic cloves (with the skin on) and squash on the bottom of your baking dish. Pour apple cider on top.
4) Place chicken breasts on top of the garlic, apple cider, and squash.
5) Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Be sure to coat all of the chicken.
6) Cover chicken with foil and cook for 45 minutes.
The soup recipe comes from foodnetwork.com and is delicious! The Food Network version called for fontina cheese for the crostini, but, sadly, my Aldi does not carry fontina cheese, and I just wasn’t willing to spend $14 on a block of cheese (I don’t know if fontina cheese costs $14, but in my mind it does). So, I substituted with Gouda, which came fancily wrapped in red wax. Doesn’t red wax make all fancy cheeses equal? No, it doesn’t. A quick Google search when I got home told me that Gouda is not a substitute for fontina. That may be true, but it was still excellent on the crostini, paired well with the soup, and tasted delicious on its own. I consider it a success.
To go along with our fall meal, I purchased two flavors of Lepreuchan Premium Hard Cider. The Pomegranate and the Golden Cider. Both were delicious and both tasted great with the meal.