Candied Winter Squash with a not so sweet alternative!

“Growing food was the first activity that gave us enough prosperity to stay in one place, form complex social groups, tell our stories, and build our cities.” ― Barbara Kingsolver

Unique Heirloom Turban Squash!

Fall is full of wonderful delights to cook with…. really all the season’s are, but fall is for comfort food. This recipe for sure falls into that category! You can make this a super sweet dish or a savory side to go with any meal.

I will be using Sweet Dumpling squash for this recipe, however you can use any winter squash.
Other options include: Acorn, butternut, delicata, turban, & more.

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients:

2 Winter Squash- I am using Sweet Dumpling for this recipe

4 TBSP Butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar, packed- divided

Non-stick cooking spray

The finished product… soooo yum!!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wash your squash of any debris and dirt.

3. With a sharp butchers knife, carefully cut squash in half stem to bottom end. If there is a stem on the squash, break it off before attempting to cut it.

Pro Tip: For those who don’t want such a sweet dish, simply omit the brown sugar and add ½ tsp each salt & pepper in its place.

4. Scoop all the seeds out and discard. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray evenly across the bottom; Place cut side up in a 9” x 13” x 2” baking dish.

5. In each squash cavity, place 1 TBSP of butter and 2 TBSP brown sugar; cover and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Once a knife goes into the squash without any resistance it is done. Do not poke all the way through.

6. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes uncovered; With hot pads on, take each squash and pour butter brown sugar mixture into a large bowl; then with a spoon carefully scoop out the meat; mix together with butter brown sugar until thoroughly mixed.

Here is a video on how to scoop the cooked flesh from your squash!

If you enjoyed this post & thought this was a super yummy recipe leave me a comment.
…. and of course please LIKE, Follow & Share.

You can purchase my wonderful cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats again! Click this link to purchase: https://fordragonfliesandme.com/purchase-my-cookbook…/

Be sure to check out my Facebook page & follow me there for daily inspirations, lovely photos, & of course all kinds of great home & garden tips! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Wholesale Case Pricing for my Cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats And Treats!

Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats

My cookbook contains almost 1000 easy & delicious recipes gathered from the women at Bethany Mennonite Church in Michigan.

Wholesale pricing is available for either half case (10 books) or full case (22 books). Message me for more information.

Thanksgiving: How-to host the perfect holiday dinner!

“Thanksgiving just gets me all warm and tingly and all kinds of wonderful inside.
~Willard Scott

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year right along with Christmas. Autumn is so beautiful with the splendid colors, the rustic smell of fallen leaves, and of course the cackling of the blue jays. But even better than all that, I love to decorate for the the holidays.

I wanted to share a few of my holiday decorating tips with all of my wonderful Dragonfly friends. I thought I’d start with Thanksgiving as I don’t really do a lot of Halloween décor. I generally keep to a fall theme. I hope you enjoy this post, and please be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

My delicious recipes will be coming the week before Thanksgiving, so if you aren’t already following me on Facebook, click this link & hit the LIKE & Follow buttons so you don’t miss any of my wonderful posts!  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

I always prep the day before I host a holiday meal or party. I love to entertain and make my guests feel incredibly special. As most of you know I am a mother of six with two grandsons, so we often gather at my home as it has the most space.

Pro tip: If you are bringing in additional tables & chairs, bring them in the day before and get them set with whatever linens, dinnerware, flatware, glasses, etc. This will alleviate so much day-of event stress! As you can see from these pictures, each guest has a linen napkin tied with a piece of raffia and then a special name tag at their place.

Layering makes a showy table! As you can see, I have a table cloth, table runner, dinner & salad plate along with a linen napkin. Each place setting is different which adds to the elegance of the table.

Name tags make people feel special! When your guests arrive and see the extra effort you made to the point of making handmade name tags, they will feel all the love you put into this task!

Use real greenery & gourds!
I have a smorgasbord of living vines including bittersweet in my woods and the ditches around me. I love to incorporate beautiful fall leaves as well. A table centerpiece is so inviting!

Pro Tip: To make name tags I simply cut 4″ x 4″ squares of card stock, fold in half to make a tent style card, and then place a black name label on it. I used chalkboard paint markers to write my guests names. Be careful to let them dry adequately or they will smudge!

Pro Tip: Be eclectic!!! I do love things to match, but I also love showing off several different styles of linens & plates.

My grandson’s love to see their special plates and personalized name tags!

Pro Tip: Shop the dollar stores & thrift shops! I love to find interesting, one-of-a-kind pieces of glassware, linens, and glasses.

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

All these wonderfully yummy recipes will post on November 16th right before Thanksgiving, so keep posted on my Facebook page for that reminder!

What is a holiday with a Mimosa!

Pro Tip: DON’T use Brut Champaign, it is too bitter!

Herb Roasted Turkey

Our Favorite Pecan & Apple Pie Recipes!

Pro Tip: If you are not a baker like my daughter Taylor is, don’t feel bad to purchase pies from a bakery new you. Supporting local is awesome!

So-Yum Mashed Potatoes & Dad’s Delicious Stuffing

Grandma’s Cabbage Rolls!

Mimosa’s are so easy to make! All you need is a Spumante Champaign, some orange, pineapple & cranberry juice.
Mix 1 part Champaign with 1 part juice. I like to mix the orange & pineapple, but my favorite is a cranberry mimosa!

Pro Tip: If you don’t want all the work of making cabbage rolls, you can make a cabbage roll casserole! You can find this recipe in my popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats. Purchase at this link: www.fordragonfliesandme.com

Of course we will have my famous Real Pumpkin Pie as well. For those of you who have my cookbook, this recipe can be found on page 304 of my cookbook.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow & of course Share! Let me know what you think ! I love your feedback!

Happy Day,
Jean

How-to Host the Best Holiday Cookie Exchange!

“Friends are like sprinkles on the cupcake of life!”
Author unknown.

I love to entertain, and what better time to do so than the holiday season? 

Several years ago, 2012 to be precise, I wrote a detailed article on how-to host a holiday cookie exchange. I wanted to provide an update with a few new ideas I’ve come up with. After all, it’s been a few years! I’ll provide the link to the original post which has several of my cookie recipes down below. You won’t want to miss that!

I want to touch on some older points, and expound on them here. Let me know if you are planning a cookie exchange & what tips would you have to share?

First we need to determine how many guests you plan to have which will determine how many cookies you will each need to bake. There are generally two methods to determine how many dozen cookies each participant will need to bake.

Pro tip: Be sure to be specific when inviting guests! Don’t expect them to know they need to make just 1 variety, not a mixture.

Small Group 5 to 10 guests

Each person will bring 1 dozen cookies for each guest. Therefore if you are having 5 guests plus yourself, each person will bake 6 dozen cookies of the same variety. At the end, everyone will leave with 6 dozen cookies of 6 different varieties.

Large Group 11 or more guests

With a larger group you will want to choose an easy number of cookies for each guest to bake. Generally 12 dozen is reasonable as most recipes will make 3 to 5 dozen.
Once you know how many guests you will be attending, you will use this simple formula  to determine how many cookies each guest will take home.

Formula: # of cookies divided by # of guests = total number of cookies to take from each guest.

Example: If you have everyone make 12 dozen cookies and you are planning on 20 guests you will take 12 dozen multiplied by 12 cookies= 144 cookies; then divide by 20 guests = 7.2 cookies of each variety for each guest. 
Take the .2 extra cookies and give them to a friend who couldn’t attend, a neighbor who doesn’t get out much, or bring them to work. Generally the host takes the extra’s.

There are a variety of containers you can bring your cookies in to the exchange. See my previous post for ideas!

The Invitation

 I am all about the details when entertaining, and that includes the invitation. This will emphasize the theme of your cookie exchange. Here are some cutesy ideas from my previous post & some new ones!

Pro tip: Be sure to invite your guests at least three weeks in advance. This will allow them ample opportunity to find the perfect containers or make them!

What to include on the invitation:

  1. Date, time & location is essential.  
  2. Explain how many cookies to bring, and to bring ONLY 1 variety! 
  3. Encourage guests to bring cookies in cute containers- purchased or homemade!
  4. If you have a theme, include that information. For example everyone is to wear an ugly sweater, Victorian hat, or pajamas. It’s your party, have fun with it!
  5. Ask your guests to include a copy of the recipe on a cute recipe card for each guest with their name and date on it.  Be sure to stress that they would be so extra special if they are hand written. A family member or friend’s handwriting is so special.

Pro tip: Once you know how many guests will be attending, you can prepackage each guests cookies in cute containers. Grab & Go!

Should you create or purchase the invitation? If you choose to make the invitation, here are some super cute idea’s!

Invitation Ideas!

1. Using vintage postcards or the front of an old Christmas card is a super cute idea. Using an adhesive place the postcard or card on a piece of cardstock and put all the info on the back of the card.
2. Attach a mini cookie cutter to the invitation as a keepsake! Simply punch a hole in the top corner of the invitation, tie the cookie cutter with a length of raffia or ribbon. 
3. If you love to stamp or scrapbook, you more than likely have oodles of supplies and ideas. If you have a theme, make your invitation reflect it. 
4. Paper die-cuts in the shape of cookies, snow flakes, or any winter theme would work; get a rubber stamp that has Invitation info on it; or print off your computer with a cute font.
5. Photo Greeting Cards make beautiful invites as well. Take a photo of your cookie, a bowl full of vintage cookie cutters or whatever your theme might be. Have enough 4×6 prints made for the amount of invitations you need. Crop about an inch off either the top or bottom of the photo and then adhere to a piece of card stock. Too cute!

To read more suggestions on setting your cookie table, the luncheon menu, tips on how-to get your cookies home, & of course several of my yummiest cookie recipes, head over to my original blog post! https://fordragonfliesandme.com/2012/12/26/host-a-cookie-exchange-luncheon-making-the-invitation-and-some-yummy-cookie-recipes/?preview_id=392&preview_nonce=78c99accd2&preview=true

If you enjoyed this blog & bonus recipes, please LIKE, Follow & of course Share! Let me know what you think,  I love your feedback! 

Added bonus tip: To find recipes like the ones you’ll find in my posts, you can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook go on over & give it a like & follow me for daily tips & tricks for the home and garden! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Here are some great sites for free printable invitations, recipe cards,
stickers & labels: 

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Rhubarb Strawberry Dump Cake

Who say’s rhubarb is only for the spring? If you harvest your rhubarb properly, you can get a second harvest!

This is a super easy recipe anyone can make! I recruited my son Aaron (12) to put together this recipe! He chopped, and measured all by himself… & then got to enjoy the fruits of his labor with some Hudsonville Vanilla Bean ice cream… oh yum!

Here’s what you’ll need for this supper yummy dessert!
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1- 3 ounce box of strawberry Jello
1 cup granulated sugar, organic preferably
1 box moist yellow cake mix- I like Betty Crocker
1 cup cold water
¾ cup unsalted butter melted
9″ x 13″ casserole dish
Vanilla ice-cream!

Freshly harvested rhubarb!

Did you know that rhubarb is a perennial vegetable?
Rhubarb is generally harvested in the spring & used to make pies, jams & jellies, compotes, and super yummy cobblers, like this one! After harvest, rhubarb will send up a white flower stalk from the center… buttttt you can still harvest new growth late!

My son Aaron ready to make his cake!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray butter flavor is great!

Arrange the rhubarb in an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Layering the rhubarb evenly in the dish
Sprinkle sugar over the rhubarb

2. Next, sprinkle the sugar over rhubarb evenly, then repeat with the strawberry Jello.

Add the Jello as you did the sugar
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly across
Carefully drizzle butter over the cake mix

3. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix powder evenly over the sugar & Jello.
Pour the melted butter and the cold water evenly over the mixture.

Pour water evenly over the mixture.

4. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until crumb topping is golden brown.
Pro-tip: You can test the doneness of the cake by inserting a butter knife into the center to see if it comes out wet or not. If it is wet, check again every 5 minutes until it comes out dry.

Serve this delicious dessert with vanilla ice cream warm, or chill and serve with a tall glass of milk. Either way this dessert is sure to please!

Rhubarb Strawberry Dump Cake with super yummy vanilla bean ice cream!

What’s your favorite rhubarb recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
If you found this post interesting, please LIKE, SHARE, & Follow me for more informative gardening tips & how-to’s, yummy recipes, & organizational help!

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Happy day,
Jean!