BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH PECANS AND BLUE CHEESE This has many strings to its bow: it serves as a vegetarian alternative to the Holiday turkey; it gussies up a plate of cold leftover turkey; it adds the right balance of mellow warmth and tang to any plain wintry dish; it is a good whole meal on days when you just feel fleshed-out.
This rich, creamy dip can be assembled through step 2 up to 3 days ahead, then covered & refrigerated; it can also be served as a side dish. Two pkgs of frozen spinach can be substituted for the fresh. Thaw according to box instructions, drain well, chop
CHEESE STARS This is a new variant of an old and easy party favourite. The dough is mixed up in the processor and rolls out easily. It may crack a bit for the first roll-out, but just resquidge together and roll out again like Play-Doh. Unlike other pastries, you don’t have to be afraid of handling it. I keep rolling and re-rolling to the bitter end. You can use any cutter, but I’m a sucker for stars.