So get this… Mr. Fantabulous hates zucchini, yellow and spaghetti squash (well okay hate is a strong word. Let’s just say he greatly dislikes it but will eat it if I force him to. But here’s the kicker he loves butternut and acorn squash. Now to me a squash is a squash is a squash. Okay maybe the spaghetti squash is the exception here as of it’s texture is unlike the others but to me they are all pretty much equal. I mean is he the weird one here or am I? Remember you love me more than him so think before you answer *wink*. LOL
Anyway the other day on our way home from the doctors I told him we needed a few things from the store. Me, being me said “just park and I’ll run in real quick” thinking he’d forget my whole being under quarantine. Apparently he’s been taking his ginko crap or whatever you take to help improve your memory because I got the look (you know the look you get when you try to be sly and someone catches you) and he just huffed and said “Make me a list and I’ll get it while you stay in the car”.
<insert major grumbles here> I think I’m the only person on the planet that is going through grocery shopping withdrawal! It’s not that I buy a boatload of stuff but rather I just enjoy it. And don’t get me started on how much I miss my Food Porn Props store! I fear HomeGoods may go out of business for my not being there every Saturday! OMG I think I’d die! Please tell me you have visited one…
I had a TKW family member tell me on Facebook the other day that they made their first trip to the store on their way through to Ohio. She said it would have ended up really bad if her sister hadn’t kept her on a tight leash meaning she would have bought everything! I already informed Mr. Fantabulous that the day the doctor releases me from this quarantine I’m hitting up HomeGoods, Costco, Restaurant Depot, Kohls and the grocery store. I may not buy a single thing (HA… yeah right *wink wink nudge nudge*) but my butt is going there.
Anyway, back to my making him up the grocery list while I had to sit in the car. The list was pretty basic – bananas, Cheerios, greek yogurt (fruit on the bottom only), ice cream (for him) and butternut squash. And on my grocery list I drew a butternut squash just because I wasn’t sure if he knew what it was. I mean he doesn’t know what the vacuum sweeper or the dust rag looks like (he’s gonna beat me for that!) so I wasn’t sure if he knew the differences in squash.
Heck I don’t know the differences in all the squash varieties – summer, winter… Thankfully Epicurious put together an awesome pictorial of all of the winter squashes! What’s awesome about squash is that it’s now being deemed a SUPER FOOD. Typically squash was reserved for a side dish at the holidays but now that folks are going more for clean eating and healthy eating, squash is becoming more and more a part of our daily diets. Superfood refers to a natural food that surpasses its nutritional target. Squash is certainly one of those because it’s off the scale in terms of vitamin A.
The darker the flesh, generally the sweeter and denser the fruit (culinarily, they’re known as a vegetable) and also the higher amounts of vitamin A. In fact, squash can contain almost five times the recommended daily dose of vitamin A, which boosts the immune system and maintains vision.
Squash is also high in vitamin B6, potassium, manganese and magnesium. Most squash also contains cucurbitacins, compounds with anti-inflammatory and liver-protecting qualities.
Now if you’re like Mr. Fantabulous you’ve probably never personally bought butternut squash. There are a few things you need to look for when buying it to ensure you’re buying an amazing one.
When selecting a butternut squash, keep these tips in mind:
→ smooth skin
→ heavy for its size
→ still has the stem
After I explained this all to him he kissed me on the forehead, got out of the car AND… wait, are you ready for this???
HE SET THE ALARM ON THE CAR!!! No seriously the man locked me in the car and set the damn alarm. He knew I was mad as I was just going to call him when I heard my phone ring. Seeing it was him I said “WTH??? You set the alarm?” He said “baby, you’re stubborn and I don’t want you sneaking in the store. Now be good and maybe I’ll buy you a treat!” LOL What am I 5??? I could have beat that man but then after a slight pause I said “… what kind of treat?” haha I guess I am 5.
Once we got home and unloaded everything I saw the butternut squash he bought. *mental note: specify size not equal to gargantuan!!!* Yeah let’s just say he bought the gunther-sized butternut squash. LOL But he did buy the right one, even though he locked me in the damn car.
Since the squash was huge, a good 5 pounds or so I opted to make 2 different dishes with it. In a future post I’ll share with you my butternut maple cream soup. I had seen this gratin recipe from Betty Crocker eons ago. I tweaked it slightly because honestly it’s that good and didn’t need much improvement.
This dish comes together really fast and is awesome as a side dish or as the main dish. For me I loved the addition of the bacon as it just made the dish. It married beautifully with the parmesan cheese and the creamy buttery squash. And plus HELLO it’s bacon! #baconislove
For me this was my dinner but for Mr. Fantabulous this was a side dish to his roasted chicken. Now it’s funny as I set his plate down in front of him he looked at the gratin, looked at me and pointed with his fork asking “what is this???” When I told him what it was and how I used the butternut squash he gave me a very dissatisfied ‘Oh…” comment. I said “What? You like butternut squash honey.”
To which he said that phrase no married man should ever EVER say to their spouse…
The man, yes I’m referring to him as THE MAN said and I quote:
“This is NOT how my mother makes it”
Whoa… Come again cowboy??? I gave him the look which is a bajillion times worse than his look. He stopped breathing at that point and looked at me trying to backpedal by saying “I mean she makes them whole and stuffs them with cinnamon, butter and brown sugar honey… baby… my gorgeous wife… love of my life… have I told you how sexy you are lately???”
Yeah… while I love Mama Fantabulous to the moon and back there are ‘tings a spouse should never say.
However all was forgotten as soon as we both took our first bites of this gratin. The breadcrumbs were buttery, crusty and cheesy, the butternut squash was creamy and the bacon, well… bacon just makes everything more awesome. What honestly shined through the most for me was the sautéed garlic – it wasn’t overpowering but it elevated the flavor of the dish ten fold. This savory gratin needs to be a relevant dish in your household and not just for the holidays. I’m telling you folks, we could not get enough of this!
As we were cleaning off the plates I asked what he thought of his non-mother’s way dish and he grinned, shook his head and said he loved it and that I need to make it more often.
As I was plating dessert I stopped mid-movement and locked eyes with him. “What hon?” he asked. I put my hands on my hips and said “My treat, you said if I stayed in the car that you’d buy me a treat. What is it? Can I have it now?”
His eyes got huge and a grin formed on his beautiful face. he chuckled saying I am a 5-year-old. But I was persistent. I wanted my damn treat! LOL He then stood up, reached into his pocket and proceeded to pull “something” out. He fumbled with it all the while covering it up. Finally I saw him put his hands up to his lips and act like he was ‘fitting’ something over his lips. He then pulled his hands away and had a big ol’ puckered lips waiting for me. He leaned in and gave me a huge kiss on the forehead. He then said “I blew that kiss to you when I was walking into the store but hurried up and grabbed it out of the air, put it in my pocket and saved it for you for later.” ♥
The man… *sigh*…. the man, so love him! ♥♥♥Print
- 1 medium-large butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled, cut in half and seeded
- 4 Tbl butter, unsalted
- 1 Tbl garlic, minced
- 2 tsp parsley, divided
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs or Gluten Free Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 6 slices bacon
- Preheat oven to 375F, rack in the middle.
- Lightly spray a glass casserole dish or a 9×13” baking dish.
- In a skillet cook the bacon until crispy, ~8-10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon and crumble.
- Remove all but 1 Tbl of bacon grease. Set aside
- Place one half of the butternut squash cut side down and slice into 1/4” thick slices.
- Repeat with the other half.
- Layer the squash in the pan slightly overlapping.
- Return the skillet with the 1 Tbl of bacon grease to a medium heat.
- Add in the butter to melt.
- When the butter begins to foam add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or just until the garlic has softened.
- In a bowl add the bread crumbs, grated cheese, salt, pepper and 2 Tbl of the butter mixture.
- Mix just to moisten the crumbs.
- Evenly spoon the butter garlic mixture over top of the squash slices.
- Top with moistened bread crumbs.
- Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the oven top with the shaved parmesan cheese and bacon crumbles and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is slightly melted.
For vegetarian omit the bacon entirely.
Looking for more Squash recipes?
This Apple Streusel Stuffed Acorn Squash is so good. It’s perfect for breakfast, dessert or as a side dish. Want to make it a main dish? Add cooked crumbled breakfast sausage to the mix!
Double the squash is that you get in this awesome Squash the Noodles Lasagna!
For me one of the oddest shaped squashes but man this is such a good recipe for Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Patty Pan Squash!
This Butternut Squash Chicken Pasta Bake is one hearty and delicious meal! It’s cheesy and all kinds of yummies!
This is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes! You so need to make this Spaghetti Squash in a vegetable mornay sauce!
And we can’t forget about my 17 Zucchini Recipes!