What a Crock!: Cure kitchen fatigue with Butternut Pasta _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- For a change of pace, try Butternut Pasta.

The fast pace of the holiday season has passed and January has entered with a proverbial thud in my household, something that happens nearly every year.

Kitchen fatigue has hit. After putting away all the trimmings, the wrappings, the holiday dishes and the gifts, meal planning just takes a back seat.

The cure for kitchen fatigue is to change up things. Try something new and keep it as simple as possible.

The slow cooker allows cooks to make dinner in the morning when we are fresh off a good night’s sleep. That’s my strategy.

Try ingredients that sound good to you on a given day. Don’t ask why, but butternut squash sounded really good recently so that’s the basis of my newly invented recipe.

Peel, remove the seeds and cut into cubes the night before if pressed for time in the morning. That’s the hardest part of the recipe.

Just make sure you have a good vegetable peeler and a sharp knife to work with.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.