03 December 2008

Rest, comfort and about a million other things that are now foreign to me

After finally finishing what has felt like the world's longest exam period in history, yesterday I emerged exhausted but triumphant. I can now exclusively focus on my little baby, the dissertation. The days have been full of duties, some related to my own work and others related to teaching, grading, indentured servitude, etc. While normally I have a system for grading papers that is pretty foolproof, it's been difficult this semester to juggle the mounds of papers that always seem to grace my desk. After grading one pile, another appears to mock me incessantly while I struggle to get the laundry done, cook, and research/write.

Needless to say, there hasn't been much time for cooking beyond the generic frozen veggie/chicken breast/potato combo, and I'm excited to cease eating the same meal over and over and...you get the picture. The other upside to finishing the PhD exams? I don't have to eat snacks out of bags any longer. Whew.

I'd been eyeing this recipe for pumpkin lasagna for quite awhile, and I finally had the time this evening to accomplish more than boil water. After having used up all the pumpkin I bought for Thanksgiving dinner (one more post is coming on that front), I decided to make a lasagna to use up my leftover butternut squash.

The recipe called for sugar pumpkin puree, and since I began with uncooked, cubed butternut squash, I somewhat rearranged the directions. Beginning with some olive oil, I added garlic, then the squash, then about 1/2 cup of liquid to a pan, and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Once the mixture cooled, I blended the mixture (straining most of the liquid out since cooked squash retains a lot of water) and then added honey and brown sugar to the mixture (no measurements--just eyed it). While assembling the lasagna, I realized I'd need a bit more of the ricotta mixture than was called for since I adore ricotta, and ended up increasing the ricotta to a full cup.

This turned out awesome, and despite the fact I was bummed that I couldn't use pumpkin, I'm glad I substituted butternut squash. It's one of my favorite flavors!! Thanks for the recipe, Jessica!!


Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Looks gorgeous! Thanks for trying it.

Melissa said...

Oh my god, that looks amazing! I can't wait to make it.

Congrats on finishing your exams!

Dr. Food said...

Thanks, Melissa! It feels....exhausting!