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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Super Crispy 'Butter' Bites

Not really butter, but 'butterNUT' or 'butterCUP'. These bites are the perfect appetizer for any gathering. Perfectly spiced and simply in flavors, this recipe can only be enhanced by your imagination. Substitute a wide variety of breads below, going as far as rye or pumpernickel. If you are fortunate enough to have true maple syrup at home, try  Grade A Light Amber right on up to Grade A Dark Amber.

Ingredients

For 12 Serving(s)

Recipe

  • 1/2 of a 1 pound acorn squash, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup(s) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup(s) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 slices your favorite bread
  • 1 cup(s) maple syrup

Super Crispy 'Butter' Bites Directions

  1. Cut squash into 1/2-inch thick wedges and then cut into very thin pieces. The pieces should be no larger in circumference than a dime. Place in a bowl and toss with cheese, brown sugar, garlic and chili powder and salt and black pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Spray a 12-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Using a glass with the same size as the top of the muffin tin cups, cut out circles of bread. Lay each into the muffin tin firmly, pressing on the bottom and sides. Take remainder of each slice of bread used and cut into very small cubes. Add to a bowl and toss with maple syrup; set aside.
  3. Evenly divide the seasoned squash pieces into each bread bowl and top with maple bread cubes. Bake at 350-degrees F for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle goes in easily, showing that the squash is cooked. The tops should be browned nicely. Remove, let rest for a minute before lifting each out to serve while hot.
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