Winter Comfort Food and Dressing Up

When the weather gets a bit cooler, it is time for some hearty meals that are tasty and filling. I do like to cook healthier meals for us most of the time, relying on fresh produce and seasonal fare. Fall squashes are lovely this time of year, and I do like most of them. Recently I wanted to do a stuffed butternut squash as a one dish meal, so I looked in the freezer for inspiration. Pulling out a package of Italian sausage, it seemed like this would be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the squash. I started the dish by cutting a butternut in half longways.

Place cut side down in a baking dish. Bake at 350º for 50-60 minutes, until done.

Remove from oven and let them cool a bit while you do the filling. This is so you can handle the shells without burning your fingers.

Get out onion, sausage and some cheeses. I used mozzarella and Parmesan.

You know, the proportions are not important on this kind of dish. I used one pound of sausage, with about 1/2 cup of chopped onion. Use more or less onion to your taste, add leeks or garlic as you like. Saute onion in a bit of olive oil until translucent.

Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the sausage as you go.

Drain off any grease, then add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are soft. You can leave those out if you don’t like mushrooms. You can add anything else you think would be good as well.

Scoop out the butternut a bit to allow room for the filling. Add the pulp to the sausage mixture.

Divide the mixture between the two halves of the squash.

Top with cheeses. I like the white cheeses best for Italian meals, but you can use whatever you like. Monterrey Jack or Provolone would be good too.

Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

It made so much we split one and then put the rest in the refrigerator.

Full disclosure, this was not a hit with My Sweet Babboo. He didn’t care for the savory and sweet combination, but I liked it. Next time I’ll use acorn squash which isn’t so sweet. Maybe he’ll like that a bit better.

In the mood for more comfort food? Here’s a few more of my dishes, just click on the name of the recipe to link to that post. Leading off, try my Julia Child inspired Chicken Florentine Lasagne.

Try a new take on serving leftovers, including the leftovers from the lasagne above in my post Creative Leftovers.

For a nice side dish, or a meatless main, try Cheesy Baked Acorn Squash.

Quick and easy, make my White Wine Chicken with Mushrooms.

I’ve had precious little time to sew, but I’ll have an update on the quilts for Safelight later in the week. We’ve been playing with our car club friends, and I’ll share a bit of that next weekend. I really need to get to stamping this weekend if I expect to get Christmas cards mailed before the new year. I am looking forward to dressing up this evening for an elegant Christmas gathering with one of our car clubs, a charity benefit for our local food bank. I don’t get to wear my fancy things much, but this time of year I can. So out come my sparkly jackets and big rhinestone earrings, even if I have to wear them with jeans like I did last weekend!! I was so excited when I found a pair of gold sparkly flats at a shoe place while My Sweet Babboo was shopping for a new pair of sneakers. I rarely find things in my size, I wear a 5-1/2. But these were adorable, in my size, and they were on sale, Yahtzee!! I’ve worn them to two parties so far, and maybe will have one more chance at a dinner with friends next week.

I’m reading the next book in the Seasons series by Melanie Lageschulte. It is called The Peaceful Season (Amazon link), and it is just as delightful as the first two in the series. This one is set during the holidays as the little town decorates for Christmas and Melinda readies her farm for winter.

What are your plans this week? Are you cooking winter comfort food?

18 thoughts on “Winter Comfort Food and Dressing Up

  1. Julie

    Wow! What a festive pair of shoes. When you have little feet you either get the display pair of shoes or have to beat a precocious girl to the store.

  2. I’m tickled by your delight in finding sparkly shoes! Glad you are having fun with friends. Although I told myself I wouldn’t put the pressure on myself to make Christmas cards, I put 50 of them in the mail last week, making a few at a time as my whim dictated. Your card making inspiration really fired me up! It’s good to have a fun outlet in these times.

  3. Hi Carole, Have fun dressing up this season. We all need some glitz and glamour after the last two years! I am currently on the 8th and final book in the “Seasons” series. I’m dawdling a bit, knowing that I will leave that little town and our heroine Melanie once the book ends. Of course, I’ve also needed my time to get some sewing done, wrapping gifts, baking treats, and decorating. Maybe I’ll settle in after Christmas and say my final good-byes then and finish the book. Thank you so much for the recommendation of this series. I have enjoyed every single book! Have fun at your holiday gatherings and party BIG!

  4. Your butternut squash recipe sounds delicious to me, but I was thinking Mike would probably not like it – and then saw that your DH didn’t. It’s great he was willing to try it, though! It’s about time for me to make your small sugar cookie recipe – I always love those! Glad you’ve had some time with friends and dressing up, too.

  5. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    That looks awesome to me but Gary wouldn’t touch it – you know veggies in it! He says vegetables are what food eats! LOL Enjoy your time with friends! Those shoes are awesome!!

  6. karenfae

    those sparkly flats look cute – I on the other hand find it hard to find size 9 1/2 or 10 with good arch support and soft toe area so my feet are comfy!
    your squash recipes look so good I so wish hubby liked squash but he doesn’t so I make the whole squash at once and save one for a leftover for me for another meal

  7. Joan Sheppard

    I haven’t had breakfast yet and want to dive into any or all of these recipes! And the books – my family still farms in that area – I can see the roads, the fences, the houses, the llamas! After the holidays it’s the first thing on my list! Love the sense of adventure the shoes bring! Everyone needs a pair of them! Thanks

  8. Great recipes! I have been whipping together some recipes like this with my zucchini and peppers from the garden, also and have frozen them for winter dinners. I just kind of “wing it” with what I have in the house. I had never thought to use acorn or butternut squash, though. I am going to try them.

  9. Connie Jordan

    We had alot of acorn squash this year, planted by God as it just grew in our composte pile from seeds thrown out the year before. I like a combination similiar to yours: Sausage and onion cooked together and add diced apple just to cook a little bit. Fill acorns and top with cheese, brown in the oven. YUMMY!

  10. Carole, I can’t find this online for you, so I will try to send it here. Ingredients: 1 lb. Sausage, 1 box Stovetop Stuffing mix (Cornbread or Chicken flavor), chopped onion, chopped celery. Fry sausage. Add chopped celery and onion to the sausage until transparent. Cook the stuffing mix per instructions on box. Mix sausage and stuffing and set aside. Cut squash and scoop out seeds.
    Spoon the sausage stuffing mix in each piece of squash. For each piece of squash, cut aluminum foil large enough to bring up the sides and twist over the top. Leave a little vent in the foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the squash is tender.

  11. Your sparkly flats are such fun! It sounds like you have some fun times ahead. I’m behind on Christmas cards, too. I need to address the ones I have and start painting. And fast. Maybe they will be new year’s cards, and I can work with that!

    The squash looks wonderful. We do something similar with Acorn squash but I’ve never tried with Butternut, which is so delish. It’s good to have things like this in the winter repertoire! Happy week!

  12. Please get the guest room ready, I’m coming over to eat and plan to stay awhile…how else will I be able to try out all your yummy meals! lol. Took a bit to get here since clicking on your name in the comment you left on my blog took me to your place holder blog, but I made it. Not sure where you’ll see messages first so will repeat here what I put on your blogspot placeholder. I have to use a yahoo email addy or wordpress won’t let me comment. It’s soooooooooo annoying. If I don’t it wants me to log in. I’ve not had an account here (really disliked the platform) in probably 10 years, but even though I deleted my account; if I use my real email addy it still wants me to log in after all these years. Makes no sense to me. If I deleted the account, why do they keep doing that.

  13. Your stuffed squash looks delicious. I’ve made butternut squash a couple times during the past month but no luck getting my husband to try any! 😀 I love your sparkly shoes!! We haven’t been to a dress up in 8 years, and last time we went my feet hurt all night. 😉 I have read all of those Melinda books and currently have the latest one waiting for me. I love them because they are such lovely, peaceful reading.

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