Roasted Butternut Squash

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and you might be looking for one last side dish.  Pick up a butternut squash and I bet you have the rest in your pantry.  Roasting butternut squash is super easy and completely tasty.  I love the balsamic vinegar in this recipe.

You can prep your butternut squash in the morning and throw it in the oven thirty minutes before dinner.


Roasted Butternut Squash

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

3 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

2 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and butter.  Toss the butternut squash in mixture.  Pile squash into a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then season well with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring once about halfway through, until fork-tender and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Serve warm.

Sweet Potato Casserole

And at most Thanksgiving tables, we find some sort of sweet potatoes.

There are so many ways to make sweet potatoes.  Some are great and some are just yuck! This little sweet potato casserole is like dessert.  The first time I had this dish, we were sharing Thanksgiving at my parents house.  My sister made this side dish and we all went crazy.

If you believe sweet potatoes must be served with marshmallows, I will not judge. You probably like Peeps too, again, not judging.   You can add them to the top.  But you honestly do not need them.  The sugars and pecans make this dish come to life.


Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups cooked, sweet potatoes

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter, divided (1/2 cup melted & 1/2 cup softened)

1 T Vanilla

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup white flour

Peel and mash potatoes.  In a large bowl add eggs, white sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, and vanilla.  Mix with an electric mixer.  Place in a 13X9 buttered baking dish.

Mix brown sugar, pecans, and flour.  Then add 1/2 cup softened butter.  Sprinkle on top of potato mixture.   Optional:  top with  1 1/2 cup of  mini marshmallows.  I don’t do this but some like it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve warm. And leftovers are yummy too!

Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

We are on the official countdown to Turkey Day!  I will be sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes over the next few days.  For several years I made this Cranberry Sauce.  This sauce is yummy and has all the ingredients you want on your Thanksgiving table.  But then I discovered the beauty of mixing bourbon and vanilla to cranberries. And now this is our favorite!  Enjoy!
Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

14 oz fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 T Bourbon

1 T Mexican Vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries burst and begin to break down, about 10-15 minutes.


Stir well and remove from heat. Refrigerate the cranberry sauce for up to 3 hours before serving. But feel free to get ahead and make it the day before.


Simple Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

In our home, you will never hear me begging our boys to eat brussels sprouts.  Brussels Sprouts are a favorite and enjoyed often.  For me, this is simplest way to make  tasty, little sprouts.  Add them as any side dish.  Get creative and add bacon!  Sing and Dance- Amanda


24 Brussels Sprouts, cleaned, and halved lengthwise
2 T Olive Oil
2 T unsalted butter
5 Garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large shallow pan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Let the butter bubble a little then add the garlic cloves and cook until they turn a light browned.

Remove the garlic cloves from oil.  Discard garlic. Turn the heat to low.

Place each brussels sprout cut-side down on the pan. Simmer covered for about 10-12 minutes or until the brussels sprouts are nicely browned (cut-side) and tender when pierced.

Place on a serving platter.  Season with salt and pepper.  If you are feeling crazy, add shredded Parmesan cheese.

Asian Coleslaw Salad

Okay, let me just be really honest here. This is not a gourmet recipe. It’s really just a silly little salad that we seem to throw into the mix when we make Mr. Fuller’s “Dr. Pepper Burgers.” Let’s get real, it has Ramen noodles in it. BUT I have had several friends request that it is on the blog so they have the recipe right here. To please those people, you know who you are, I’m adding it to the blog.
You can always jazz it up with grilled chicken. Again, let’s not judge me by this recipe and the use of Ramen. Enjoy or Discard! -Amanda


Asian Coleslaw Salad

1- 15 oz bag coleslaw
2 pkgs. Beef Ramen Noodles
1 cup almonds, sliced
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar

Crush up uncooked Ramen noodles. Put the seasoning to the side to be used in the dressing.
Toast almonds, broken noodles, & sunflower seeds at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
Toss coleslaw and chopped green onions. Mix olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and Ramen seasonings.
Toss dressing with salad. Add Ramen noodles, seeds, and almonds.
I make this salad the day of serving. The next day, after everything is mixed, the noodles get a little soggy. BUT I have known some that love it that way too. YOLO over that.

Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

The man of this house LOVES Brussels sprouts.  Little does he know the amazing nutrition that is served up every time he eats these little buds.  Crazy amounts of vitamins  C and K.  High five for Brussels sprouts!  This creation was a perfect side dish and will be a regular addition to family dinners.  They take just a little extra work and it totally pays off with presentation.  Turn the blah side dish into a Bravo!  Get to stuffing- Amanda


Don’t Judge by the Picture

Stuffed Brussels Sprouts 

15 very large Brussels Sprouts (think…I’m going to stuff these babies!)

1 c Skim Milk Ricotta

1 c shredded parmesan

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T dried Thyme

1 T dried Basil

1 t dried Marjoram

1 t dried Sage

1 t sea salt

a pinch of pepper

1 T Olive Oil

Wash your Brussels sprouts.  Trim the ends and cut into halves.  In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add your sprouts.  Let them cook for 2 minutes, remove, and let them cool.

Now you need to core your spouts.  Simply take a scoop out of the middle leaving a good shell.  Finely chop the cored Brussels sprout pieces.  In a skillet, add olive oil, finely chopped cored Brussels sprouts, and minced garlic.  Cook until the chopped sprouts are tender.

Mix sprout and garlic mixture along with ricotta, panko, parmesan cheese, salt, and herbs.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a small spoon, fill in the Brussels sprouts with the stuffing.  Please over fill them.  Place on your baking sheet.

Bake the stuffed Brussels sprouts for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  (or until the caps are crispy and browned.)

Roasted Pears with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

The quest was to create a roasted pear.  Chris loves roasted pears.  Then to add all the deliciousness of goat cheese, pine nuts, honey, and rosemary… Stop It!  Roasted Pears are the perfect addition to any upcoming festivity.  But please treat yourself to this yumminess whether you have a party or not.  You deserve it! -Amanda

photo-87Roasted Pears with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

2  pears, ripe but firm

3.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled

3/4 oz  pine nuts

1 sprig rosemary, chopped

2 T honey

2 T butter

Wash the pears, slice them lengthwise into halves. With a small sharp paring knife and a spoon remove the core and seeds from each pear, leaving a round well for the filling.

Heat the butter in a skillet and brown the pears, skin side down, on low heat for about 10 minutes

Preheat your oven at 350 degrees.

Place the pears in a ovenproof dish and pour the cooking butter on top. Add half a cup of water in the ovenproof dish. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently toss the goat cheese with the pine nuts and the rosemary in a small bowl.

Remove the pears from the oven. Divide the mixture among the pears, mounding it on top of the indentation. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of honey on top of each pear.  Bake pears again for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately.