Can you feel the chill in the air? What about the crisp morning freshness of an overnight frost or the crackle of leaves under your cute new walking boots? As we cozy up in warm sweaters and put on Sunday football (So far, my team is looking great!!!), we slow it down a bit. Family comes together again to linger over savory, home-cooked dishes. We relax, catch up and maybe wear the looser pants to family dinner. Cause, hey, bathing suit season is behind us!
Growing up in Connecticut, fall is a pretty big deal. It’s truly picturesque! The changing leaves paint a gorgeous glow of colors against the backdrop of our quaint New England towns. But more memorable (for me) than any of the scenery, was the memories that were made at Nosahogan Drive. I’m so blessed to come from a big, loving Italian family that had Sunday sauce at Grandma’s house every week. These dinners were filled with delicious food, loud and crazy family (I swear, we could have our own reality show!) and lots of kids running around.
These Sundays spent with family linger as some of my fondest memories (hence, why you are reading this blog today!). There’s something magical that happens when we make a meal and come together to just be…a family. Sure, we all have our differences and get on each other’s nerves, but when push comes to shove…these are your people; your tribe. We all have some screws loose, but when we come together we make lasting memories…hopefully over AMAZING FOOD!!!
So, lets talk about the food. Whatcha making for your family dinner? Savory prime rib, slow-roasted turkey, delectable leg of lamb…these are so yummy, but take a LOT of time and work. Kudos to you for your love and dedication to making memories with your family. Can I share a entertaining survival tip with you?…Have one or two show stopping recipes and the rest of your menu NEEDS to be easy (or at the very least able to be prepped the day before). Or even better, if your family is like mine, everyone brings something to help with the meal.
The dish I’m sharing with you today is one of these – super easy, gluten free, can be prepped ahead of time and reheated…delicious, savory side dishes. It’s also the very first recipe of mine that was published. Circa 2011. YOU. CAN. NOT. IMAGINE. MY. EXCITEMENT. to open that large envelope, saying that my recipe was good enought to share with my fellow foodies. Can we just pause for a moment to talk about my happiness? Me, really me!!!
To this day, my wonderful hubby pulls out that “Taste of Home-2011” cookbook to show off the simple side that his wifey made; and was published!!! Most of the time, I roll my eyes at this silliness…My happiness comes from cooking for the most amazing people in my life. If I can make a meal that brings my loved ones around the table to laugh and nosh…I. HAVE.. SUCCEEDED…
So without further ado, this is my very simple side that is a perfect compliment to your next family dinner. I truly hope you enjoy this delicious butternut squash dish.
1 large butternut squash (about 5 lbs) peeled, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup salted butter, cubed **
3 Tbsp light cream or half n’ half **
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add squash; cover and cook for 10-15 or until squash is very tender.
Drain squash in a colander. Return squash to warm pan. Using hand mixer or emulsifying blender, whip the squash together with the remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
**To make this yummy dish dairy free, you can use vegan butter and coconut milk as substitutes for the butter and cream.