Post-Election Blues? & Butternut Squash Tartlets

I_votedBy the time you read this, you will have already voted … or set aside time for your trip to the polls. I’m assuming most Americans will be riveted to the returns tonight. I know I will be. Depending on how things go, we’ll be in dreamland before the clock strikes midnight … or stagger off to bed around dawn. Your guess is as good as mine.
Thank goodness, we can get back to normal tomorrow. The red, white and blue signs that have decorated the neighborhood for the last month or so can be hauled off to the dump. For those of us who plunged into the deep, dark abyss of round-the-clock news coverage, withdrawal might be tough. I’m thinking a chick flick binge and a bowl of popcorn with a glass of chardonnay will help. In any case, we’ll all be thankful to see the last of the seemingly endless run of political ads.

Assuming the election isn’t contested; don’t look to Washington for excitement for the next couple of months. If you’re hoping for a resolution of one stalemate or another, don’t hold your breath. The House and Senate will be on vacation for a good part of November and December. Not much will be happening until January or beyond. Over at the White House, I’m guessing life will become pretty low key. In spite of being a lame duck, in a couple of weeks Mr. Obama will pardon a turkey. After Thanksgiving, Mrs. Obama will put up a tree and deck the halls. That should be about it until the next president moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Be it tomorrow or a week from tomorrow, if you start to feel any post-election blues, here are a few suggestions to get you through it:

Thanksgiving is three weeks away. Pour your heart and soul into it. Go all out with your biggest and best effort yet. Buy up every foodie magazine you can find and start planning. Forget cable news, the cooking shows are calling.

Take up a new hobby. Knit scarves for the entire family or the entire neighborhood for that matter. Go online and find ideas for homemade Christmas ornaments. Glue ribbons and beads on popsicle sticks or Styrofoam balls, have fun with felt and learn origami.

Go through your closets. Make a pile of all the warm, wooly clothing you no longer wear. Do a second sort and toss out anything that’s threadbare. Donate the good stuff.
Ignore the cold and get in shape. If you’ve spent the last month or two glued to cable news, the fresh air will do you good. While you’re at it, treat yourself to some new exercise gear … just stay away from red or blue. Think fluorescent green or pink.

It’s a little early to put up the Christmas decorations. So, do the next best thing; re-arrange the living room furniture. It will give you a new perspective. But please, make sure you turn the lights on before you enter the room. The days are short and it’s dark early; no accidents please.

Now, if your favorite candidate isn’t be the one taking the oath of office on January 20, your post-election blues may be quite intense. If any or all of the above fails to cheer you up, you can always start packing. I’m not sure if Canada or any other country will take you but you can give it a try.

Here’s to peace and prosperity. Bon appétit!

Butternut Squash Tartlets
Looking for a new appetizer for Thanksgiving? How about a tasty little tartlet? Enjoy!butternut_squash_tartlet_06
Makes 24 mini tartlets

Olive oil
2-3 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
About 1 cup finely chopped butternut squash
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
About 1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
About 1 cup baby spinach or kale, chopped
4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
2 eggs
1/4 cup half & half
24 mini phyllo pastry shells or 1 batch of Savory Pastry Dough
About 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium. Add the sausage and breaking into small pieces, sauté until nicely browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain.

If necessary, add a little more olive oil to the pan. Add the butternut squash and sauté until the edges start to brown. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and continue to sauté until the onion is translucent and the squash is tender. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes more.

Add the sausage and greens, toss to combine and wilt the greens. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Add the fontina to the vegetables and sausage and toss to combine.

Can be made ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated.

Put the eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the half & half and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs to the vegetables, sausage and cheese and toss to combine.

Gently press the phyllo cups or Savory Pastry Dough into nonstick mini muffin tins. If using Savory Pastry Dough, freeze the dough in the muffin tin for 30 minutes.

butternut_squash_tartlet_01Fill the prepared muffin cups about the veggie, sausage and cheese filling. (If you have leftover filling, toss it with spaghetti for an easy lunch or supper.)

Sprinkle each tartlet with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake until golden, about 15 minutes for the phyllo cups and 30 minutes if using Savory Pastry Dough. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Transfer the tartlets to a platter (you may need to use a knife to loosen them) and serve.

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One Year Ago – Lemony Kale & Radicchio Salad
Two Years Ago – Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing
Three Years Ago – Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Crostini
Four Years Ago – Pumpkin Cheesecake
Five Years Ago – Rustic Apple Croustade
Six Years Ago – Cranberry Sauce
Seven Years Ago – Decadent Cheesy Potatoes
Eight Years Ago – Broccoli Puree

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s your secret? Feel free to share.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

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