There are some make-at-home recipes that are simply not worth the effort. Sure, you can take a certain amount of pride in the DIYness of it all, but is it really that much better than the storebought version? When we started the butternut squash turnovers for our Fakesgiving dinner, I was afraid we’d nuts-seeds-and-apricots31stumbled onto another of this ilk. Frankly, the jury was out until we had our first bite of these bad boys right out of the oven.

For our early Fakesgiving dinner courses, Mike and I set out a cheese tray from Cheesetique with a variety of spiced nuts, dried apricots and toasted pumpkin seeds (right). We wanted to add something autumnal and warm as a passed hors d’oeuvres and came across this recipe in October’s Food and Wine magazine. It combined some of our favorite fall ingredients: leeks, squash, mushrooms, thyme, and fresh goat cheese. How could we go wrong?

First of all, if you’ve ever peeled a butternut squash you know what I was in for when I began prepping this recipe. The awkard, semi-phallic squash is a mighty departure from the linear, glide your peeler right over it carrot. It is bulky. It is slippery. It is a treacherous beast to dice if you value your fingertips (and I do, unlike Mike who sacrificed his pinky in a pumpkin carving incident the night before. He is SUCH a knife fighter).

“Gawd,” I called to Mike, who was shaving manchego cheese – sans pinky –  for our macaroni and cheese dish, “this thing is already a pain in the ass.”  I tossed the squash in the oven to cook for about 25 minutes and started in on step two. (Please note this is out of order from the official directions from the magazine. Because efficiency? It’s up there with cleanliness in kitchen virtues.)

leeks-squash-and-shiitake2Luckily step two presented significantly less hazard: saute leeks, mushrooms, garlic, and thyme in olive oil. The smell of this filled our apartment and immediately made me forget about hassle factor of the squash. Once the squash was done baking, I tossed it into the pan with the other ingredients. Okay, this was all coming together.

I covered this concoction and set it aside to prep some other recipes and battle with the dust bunnies so our friends didn’t think we were total slobs.

Final results and the full recipe after the jump.