What to Do with All That Squash!

Winter squashes are really rewarding to grow.  And they just keep growing, and growing and growing, and pretty soon everyone in the neighborhood is bringing them over is baskets and buckets to share them with you.  Now I really love squash, so I wouldn’t want them to stop offering to share the bounty, but I’m running out of room.  I mean there’s squash everywhere in the kitchen, a few in the garage, and I just can’t stand the idea of any of it going to waste.  So when there’s too much of anything I bag it and put it in the freezer.  Fortunately, squash freezes beautifully, and I just peel it, cut  it into bite size chunks and freeze a few bags for roasting later in the winter.  I also cook some in the microwave until tender, puree it and freeze flat in bags for using in pie, breads, and even souffles.   

Still, my favorite way to enjoy squash is stuffed and baked in the oven.  This delicious, flexible recipe is one I got from my sister-in-law, Skye Morgan O’Malley.  You can use any kind of winter squash including pumpkin, and make either sweet or savory variations.   Below is the sweet recipe which is a good choice for those of us who grew up eating sweet potatoes and squash with butter and brown sugar, but you can give it a savory twist by cutting back on the sugar and adding a some browned sausage.

Baked Curried Squash

Baked Curried Squash

Baked Curried Squash

The recipe below is for 4 servings.


  • 2 butternut or acorn squash, or small pumpkins
  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil


  • 1 tsp curry powder (you can adjust this to taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup each dried fruit like cherries, cranberries and golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup diced apple
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (strictly optional)
  • 1/8 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmet, ginger, allspice and cardamon, or (2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup of browned crumbled sausage (vegetarian option – Leave it out or substitute curmbled up Morningstar breakfast patties)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter with all of the stuffing ingredients. (You can substitute a tablespoon of vegetable broth for the oil). Set aside.
  3. With a sharp knife or other suitable instrument, split the squash or pumpkin in half, or cut the top off and remove all of the seeds and fibers.  Scrap clean.
  4. Fill the hollowed out squash or pumpkin with the stuffing ingredients and place in the baking pan. 
  5. Lightly spray the squash with cooking spray or oil, place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the flesh is fork tender.

Helpful Tip:Slice just enough of the rind off the bottom of the squash so it will sit flat in the pan.




Texas Beans and Corn Meal Dumplings

Spicy Beans and DumplingsFall has arrived and with the crisp weather and lower temperatures, something hearty and full of flavor seems like the perfect choice.  So, I’m making Texas Beans with Corn Meal Dumplings.  I found the original recipe for this as a soup on Cooks.com.  However, being from Texas originally, I know that beans and soup are two different things. Neither of them are chili, and there are NO CARROTS.  So, of course I had to “improve” on the basic recipe.  Ordinarily, I would make corn bread in the cast iron skillet, but since I’ve never met a dumpling I didn’t love from the first mouthful, I thought I’d get the best of both worlds. 

My first consideration is always to make a healthy meal.  This dish is extremely low fat and nutritious.  An added bonus is that it’s also really economical and feeds a lot of hungry mouths, and that’s a big consideration these days. 

I recommend using a Dutch oven for this dish.  The slow cooker takes too long and when you’re using canned beans it’s kind of a waste of time and electricity.  I’m getting hungry, so let’s get started.


  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans or chili beans rinsed & drained
  • 3 c. vegetable, beef or chicken stock (fat free, of course)
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz.) no salt added diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup mild or hot salsa
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1  jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (if you’re really brave, use canned chipotle pepper)
  • 2 instant bouillon cubes (for depth and richness)
  • 1-2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine onions, garlic and pepper in a Dutch oven with a couple of tablespoons of stock and sweat until onions are translucent.  Add the stock and all other ingredients.  Cover and cook over low heat for 2-4 hours.

 Half an hour before serving make and add the dumplings.

 Corn Meal Dumplings:

  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Dash of salt (optional)
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 beaten egg white or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil

 In a small mixing bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine egg white, milk and oil. Add to flour mixture; stir with a fork until just combined. 

 Turn to medium heat and drop teaspoonfuls of dumpling mixture into the beans to make mounds atop the beans. Cover, cook for 30 minutes more. (No peeking! Do not lift cover.)

If you try this recipe please let me know how you liked it.