Variation for Smoky Butternut Squash: Cook the prepared squash on a baking sheet in a covered grill with soaked chips to give a slightly smoky taste. Substitute in any of the recipes that call for roasted squash. If cooking kabocha, acorn, or other difficult-to-peel squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and rub the insides and cut edges with the vinegar/molasses mixture. Place on a baking sheet, cut sides up, and roast at 400 degrees F until tender. Scoop out and puree. Toasting freshens spices, releases their oils, and makes them more fragrant, as well as adding a new dimension of flavor. Taste your chili powder before adding and, if spicy and hot, cut back the amount. California chilies are almost sweet, not hot.
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