I had a dinner guest tonight!

This is Ashley [she comments sometimes as LeiLei] and we’ve been friends since we we’re wee little things

Beautiful dinner dates = Beautiful dinners, in lieu of scrambled eggs.

Luckily I had a little somethin’ up my sleeve.

I assumed my ‘onion carmalizing stance’ right hand on right hip, left knee slightly bent, head tilted to one side

and cooked one thinly sliced white onion over low heat for 45 minutes. The sweet onion smell has permeated the couches, my clothes, my hair… but it was all worth it for…


All the while, I had a tray butternut squash roasting in the oven. Once it was tender and browned, I added it to the onion with one chopped gala apple and a smashed clove of garlic.

My barley was resistant…

But eventually made its way into the stew

two cups of water and two cups of vegetable broth later…

Butternut-Squash Stew with Apples and Barley

Serves 4


  • 2 c. butter nut squash, cubed
  • 1 gala apple, chopped
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 c. fresh spinach
  • 1/3 c. dry barley
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper and thyme


Toss the butternut squash cubes in half of the olive oil and roast in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter and the other half of the olive oil in a medium sauce pan and add the thinly sliced onion, cook on low heat stirring constantly for 30 minutes or until carmalized. Add the roasted squash, whole clove of garlic, chopped apple and thyme to the carmalized onions. Add the barley, and all of the liquid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the barley is cooked through. Stir in the fresh spinach and season to taste.

I love it when my little cooking experiments work out.

We enjoyed our stew with a big hunk of bread and butter.

I have four slices of that bread sliced and sitting out to get stale for french toast tomorrow morning, you know me… always thinking one meal ahead.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have barley stuck in between my toes.


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