Friday, March 01, 2013

Lake love: Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi

Thatboy has been pushing for a hiking trip to Lake Poway for a while now.  But we've had such busy weekends, we never got around to it.  And then a couple of weekends ago, we finally had a free day, so we headed out to the lake.

The lake is a great, family friendly destination, because it has easy trails, large grassy spaces, playgrounds, and lake itself.

We love being able to take Thatbaby places where he can run free without us worrying about him somehow hurting himself. 

And Thatbaby loved being able to run around collecting pinecones.

And chasing/feeding ducks.

Of course, all that running and walking can wear little legs out, so part of our hike we let Thatbaby take a break.  And then even more of a break when we got back to the car and he knocked out.  Exhausted. A day at the lake will do that to you.

We did some backwards carb-loading. Like a restocking of energy.  Pasta is obviously the go-to for carb-loading.  This is another winter-pasta recipe, making use of my favorite winter squash: butternut.  As soon as I saw this dish on Nicole's blog, I knew I had to make it.  And it didn't disappoint.  It is so unbelievably creamy and rich - a combination of the egg yolks and the squash.  It's like a macaroni and cheese, without an actual cheese or cream sauce.

Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi (From Prevention RD)
4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
2 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
8 oz uncooked cavatappi
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup milk, divided
1 Tbsp flour
2 large egg yolks
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
3 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.  Combine squash, 1 1/2 tsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper on pan and bake for 24 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 1/2 cup milk, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 
  5. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup milk, flour, and yolks in a small bowl.
  6. Slowly whisk egg mixture into the pan. Cook 5 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Combine squash, pasta, and milk mixture in a large bowl and toss.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts and serve.


  1. I am all for reverse carb loading! and eating mass amounts of pasta to do so. Love the butternut/blue cheese combo.

  2. Gorgeous pictures and great dish! I have butternut squash on my blog today too.

  3. Yum! This looks delicious and the combo is awesome! Your little one is so adorable - love the hat! :)

  4. Thatbaby looks so cute collecting pinecones. You must feeling good with this beautiful scenery and relaxed too with Thatbaby being happy...

    This butternut and blue cheese combination look very comforting to eat. And, great for picnic too.

  5. This recipe has so many of my favorites in it. I'm definitely adding it to the must-make list!