What to do with all that Squash?

We had a unique twist on our dinner a few nights ago, when my dad and his wife came for dinner, and they brought the steak!

Because we were heading out of town the next morning, I knew I didn’t want to complicate our dinner by going to the store, so I used what I already had. I did splurge while taking my son to get his hair cut, and stopped off at the local bread store and bought a fresh loaf of garlic/cheddar bread.

I also knew that I had a whole garden full of crookneck squash! What’s a girl to do with all that squash? I asked myself. In the past we’ve had an abundance of zucchini, but I've found that you can also make many recipes with just about any kind of squash, by improvising!

I pulled out my Walla Walla Onion casserole recipe (thank you Judy G!) and I did improvise a little. Instead of all onions, I added fresh peppers and a couple of crookneck squash. Delicious!!

2 large Walla Walla sweet onions, 3 medium crookneck squash, red (yellow or orange) peppers – all sliced.
½ cup of butter, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 cups milk (I used ½ and ½), 3 eggs
Salt, pepper & 2 cups of cheese (I used 1 of cheddar, 1 of parmesan)

Preheat oven to 350. In sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté veggies until softened. Grease 9x13 pan with butter. Line bottom of baking pan with bread crumbs. Place veggies on top.

In mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients (minus cheese) and mix. Pour over veggies and top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (uncovered).

Remove from oven, cover with a dish towel and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Our home was built 30 years ago. I happened to run into the builder’s wife a few weeks ago in the grocery store and she said they were dying to see our house, and the changes we’ve made (not all that many, but enough to be different in 30 years!)

The fun “twist” on the evening with my Dad and Ginny was when we called up Fred and his wife and they came over and we gave them a tour! It was fun to talk about the differences in the house, and why Fred did what he did, what the original counters and floors were, and what the neighborhood was like when the house was first built. We specifically asked him about “header” issues in the kitchen, in case we ever remodel that room.

We got to tell Fred how much we love our 70’s back patio. And how so many people come over and comment on it. It was very well built and designed back in 1978, that is for sure! We still have the cool 70’s globe lights, too.

I also tried a new dessert recipe that I found in a Paula Deen magazine as I was perusing it during a soccer game a few weeks ago. Every recipe looks so incredible, but this one caught my eye because it was easy, light, and I could use our (still) ever bearing, huge strawberries from our yard! Using what I had in my kitchen, I again improvised with the ingredients that worked for me.

Delightfully so, our strawberry patch is still producing the most amazing, huge strawberries. We've been spoiled, from May to August!

6 egg whites, ¼ tsp. cream of tarter, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar, 1 tsp. chocolate extract (I used almond ).
1/4 cup cocoa, 1 tsp. cornstarch
Cream (recipe below)
Fresh fruit for topping

Preheat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 10-inch circle on the parchment.
In large bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tarter. Beat at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in vinegar and extract.

In small bowl, combine cocoa and cornstarch. Mix well and gently fold into egg white mixture. Spoon mixture onto circle drawn on parchment paper. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn oven off and let meringue cool completely in oven.
Just before serving, spoon cream over center of meringue. Top with berries and serve.

2 cups heavy whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar, 2 TBS Chambord liqueur (I used Grand Marnier because that is all I had). Beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the liqueur, mix, cover and chill.

If you have an older home, would you like to meet the builder who built it?

If so, what questions would you ask?

And, what
is a girl to do with all that squash?

(My daughter and I on our way to dinner last night with friends to celebrate her (late) 5th grade graduation. Thank you Jill and Ally for sharing a fun mommy-daughter time with us!)

I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday, over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam! Thanks, for hosting, Jen!


Christy said...

Those look and sound like great recipes. The chocolate strawberry one would have caught my eye too!

Two of my favorite recipes for zucchini are Chocolate Zucchini bread ( there's the chocolate again!) and Zucchini Patties. You can find both the recipes on allrecipes.com

One of the easiest and really delicious things to do with the squash is to roast it w/ some garlic, mushrooms, onions, and olive oil. It's healthy too!

maryanne420 said...

those look sooo good! you literally made my mouth water. i hope to try those soon. i wish i had the green thumb that you have.

Apron Thrift Girl said...

A few months ago we noticed that a car was hanging around the street staring up at our house. My protective and curious dh went out and asked if he could help them. It turns out that in the car was an 80 year old gentlemen who was born in our house. In fact he was born in Keiran's room. He could barely walk and couldn't even get into the house because of the stairs but he told us a lot about the house and the neighborhood. I could have listened to him for hours. Sadly they had to catch a ferry but the time we spent talking to him was truly wonderful.

Kirstin said...

Yummy both the casserole and the dessert look amazing. I love Paula Deen.

I have used yellow squash and zuchinni cubed and mixed with spaghetti sauce for a meatless spaghetti.

I've made stuffed zuchinni (with rice adn meat and a tomato sauce) yummy. I'm thinking of trying it with the yellow.

I have made zuchinni bread and butter pickles which are amazing.

And of course the zuchinni bread and zuchinni cake (C:

Usually with yellow squash I saute it, or put it in my minestrone soup.

I was thinking today as my week as had added, unexpected guests which means feeding people (usually a friend or two) whom I wasn't planning on feeding and how sometimes we have to get pretty creative in what we make and how our attitude needs to be joyful and lifegiving and flexible no matter how much something like this may tweak our plans! I tell my girls, this may have all been set up by God so that we can be Jesus to this girl, or that girl. But boy my food is getting slim...I mean, this girl has only so much creativity. (C: THis morning I threw together german pancakes and bacon (which used the last of my eggs). For lunch I used the last of the tortilla's to make quesadillas and cinnamon sugar tortilla thingies.

I want my girls to totally have a hostess heart that is willing to serve whomever, whenever, with whatever!

Jen said...

The man that built our home is an old highschool friends grandfather...he is 87 years old and I see him quite a bit....he built our home for his daughter....pretty cool.
Your squash looks great....we grill ours alot.....your dessert looks awesome too. Hey...I get paula Deen cook books at the library all the time..she is great!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Amen sister! Boy do we need new squash recipes - a girl get's tired of the same ones & this will be perfect for tomorrow night!
Looks simple and tastey (of course my husband says "cheese makes anything taste good!"
Karla & Karrie

A Woman Who is: said...

Both these recipes look like winners for me.

Loved reading about your B.G.

Looks like you have had a very busy and productive summer.

Summer squash: one of my easy quick ways of using it up is slice it the long way in 1/4 inch pieces. Toss it in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and toss on the grill

Anna said...

When my Dad was a boy, his family moved to Bainbridge Island. His large family lived in an old house (old even back then). When my oldest son was perhaps 6 or 7, Dad took us out to Bainbridge, thinking he would show us where the old homestead "used to be". To our suprise, the house was still there. Not only had it been restored, but also had some large additions. The spot where his mother had a garden was a little strip mall across a street that wasn't there years ago.
He stood admiring the wrought iron fence, wrap around porch, and pointing to original parts of the house telling us what his family did in those rooms. The house was a Chiropractic office in the new portion in front, while the family lived in the rest of the updated house.
The Dr. saw us, and was probably curious, so came out. Dad explained that he had grown up in that house. The Dr. was intrigued, and invited us in. Of course, there was very little that remained the same, but he enjoyed Dad's stories. He did ask a question. In the basement, carved into the wood beams, was Alberta. It was carved into many places. He asked Dad if any of the boys ever married Alberta. Dad chuckled, and explained that the family had moved from Alberta Canada, and not a one of the boys ever dated a girl named Alberta. I think it kind of burst his bubble.

paperjunk-lc said...

Wow I must try that recipe looks yummy.

I own a home built in the 70's and I'm not sure the builder would want to meet me because I'd ask him why he put the cheapest bathtubs and why all of the electrical plugs are upside down.

Lisa said...

I just found your blog. Your recipes look delicious and your pictures are beautiful. I will put it in my reader:)

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

what a nice evening that sounds, particularly the pavlova, I love that dessert and yours looks spectacular

love the idea that the builder came round, our neighbours are in their 80s and they bought the same cottage as ours all those years ago and are still in it! they've told us a few stories, I'm going to invite them over for a barbie in the summer and really get some stories from them!


mrsjones6 said...

I have a cabinet covered in squash from my mother's garden at the moment. This sounds like the perfect accompaniment to dinner tomorrow night! Your strawberries look divine. How fortunate you are to have enjoyed them so long into the summer!
I think I would be very interested in meeting a builder of an older home. It would make for a fascinating evening, esp when one sees how much times have changed over the years.

:..Rebekah..: said...

Sweet picture of you and your daughter!

Frugal Fine Living said...

Great recipes! I plan to try your veggie casserole soon.


Nicole Feliciano said...

SInce we've got little ones, we also puree extra squash and freeze to add to pasta and sauces (got to sneak in those vegies). I tried my hand at Soft Shell Crabs this week. Hope you'll stop by the recipe exchange here: