Friday's recipe (10/28/11) - Aimee Fortney’s butternut squash - WSMV Channel 4

Friday's recipe (10/28/11) - Aimee Fortney’s sweet butternut squash soup, pumpkin cupcakes

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This is a great way to entice those non-vegetable lovers to actually eat them and enjoy!  This soup is loaded with Vitamin C, potassium and fiber.  So delicious and so good for you!

2 butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
4 large carrots, washed and peeled
2 medium to large sized sweet potatoes, peeled
Olive oil
kosher salt (about a teaspoon)
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper (ground may also be used)
*1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
6 cups chicken broth
dash of cinnamon
**Apple or Orange Juice to thin soup to your desired consistency

Preheat oven to 425.  Cut all vegetables in uniform, cubed sizes.  Place vegetables on two large baking sheets and add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to each pan, with salt, pepper and brown sugar if using.  Using your hands, mix together to make sure vegetables are coated with olive oil.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Add vegetables to food processor or blender, with a little bit of the broth to puree, to your desired texture.  (If you are using a blender, you will likely have to do this in batches).  In a large pot or saucepan, heat the soup mixture, adding seasoning to your taste.  A dash of cinnamon will go a long way, but it compliments the vegetables nicely.  You can sweeten this and thin it to your desired consistency using orange juice or apple juice.  You can make it more of a savory soup by just adding the amount of chicken broth desired.  

AIMEE FORTNEY'S PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
This is the most delicious and moist bread.  I love this bread, all year long!  This is the way my Mom used to make pumpkin bread.  I just turned it into cupcakes.  These freeze really well (without the frosting!)  

2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves (ground)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together shortening and sugar and add eggs, one at a time.  Next add pumpkin and water.  Mix well.  Blend in dry ingredients.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into lined muffin tins.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Wrap for freezer or store in airtight container; or wrapped in refrigerator for longest enjoyment.  However, this is so delicious, it's going to be eaten up immediately!

AIMEE FORTNEY'S PUMPKIN ORANGE BUTTERCREAM
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon orange juice
zest from half of one orange
1 teaspoon orange extract (optional; vanilla may be used)

In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and pumpkin until well incorporated.  Add powdered sugar, slowly, then pumpkin pie spice, heavy cream, orange juice and orange extract (or vanilla).  Beat until desired spreading consistency, adding more heavy cream/orange juice if needed.  Spoon into a large zip-top freezer bag, then seal.  Push mixture to one corner and with scissors, snip one edge, then pipe onto cupcakes, or spread with spatula.

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