I hope that everyone had a fantastic Halloween! Kramer and I had a really great time – I dressed up as Han Solo and Kramer was Wedge Antilles. We got a lot of compliments on our costumes, and paraded them around every change we got. We ended up going out to a bar last night where we stumbled upon an all-female arm wrestling competition; it was quite a Halloween, indeed, and those ladies were giving it everything they had! At first, we felt a little silly dressing up, and those feelings weren’t helped when we walked outside and it seemed that we were the only adults wearing costumes in our neighborhood. Thankfully, our favorite neighborhood spot, duckduck, was packed with people in costumes, so we felt more at home. What did you dress up as? Did you have a lot of trick-or-treaters?
Now that Halloween has passed us by, it’s time to start thinking about my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! I think I love Thanksgiving because it involves my two favorite things: eating comforting, homemade food and not having to go shopping. Thanksgiving is all about spending time with those you care about, not worrying if they already have the DVD set you’re thinking about buying them, so even though there is a lot of prep work involved, it’s a lot less stressful to me for that reason. Therefore, in the spirit of a stress-free Thanksgiving, I am working with McCormick Spices to bring you some easy to make Thanksgiving side dishes that are both delicious and modern for your holiday table. If you’re bored of the same old thing, then be sure to hop over to the McCormick Facebook page where you can see what other bloggers are cooking up and learn how you can make your Thanksgiving dinner even more enjoyable. Throughout November, the official McCormick “Countdown to Feast Day” will be taking place, which will guide visitors through the meal’s most essential elements with a series of weekly themes: Spectacular Sides, Let’s Talk Turkey, Save Room for Pie! and It’s All Gravy. To help you all out a bit during this holiday season, I’m excited to tell you that I will be giving away a $50 Visa gift card to one reader! All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Thanksgiving side dish is. As for me, one of my favorite autumn vegetables is butternut squash – it’s so versatile and you don’t need to do much to it to make it delicious. I tossed mine with some sage, salt, and pepper, roasted it alongside some other vegetables that I had in my house, and topped it off with some sweet balsamic glazed onions, for a new take on the classic roasted butternut squash. I loved the variety of textures and flavors in this side dish, and it is insanely simple to make. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your Thanksgiving meal, because these things tend to sneak up on us, don’t they?
Edit: This give away has ended and the winner has been contacted. Thank you for entering – there will be more prizes to win soon!
Peel and dice your butternut squash.
Toss it with olive oil, sage, salt, pepper, and any other vegetables that you like (I used some leftover zucchini that I had).
Thinly slice your onions and place them in a medium sized pot with heated oil. Stir until softened, about 5 minutes, then add in your balsamic vinegar.
Cook over medium heat for another 10-15 minutes, until the onions are nicely caramelized.
Add the roasted squash to the pot with the onions, toss, and adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve hot as a side dish for your Thanksgiving table!
- 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow zucchini, peeled and diced (optional - feel free to use whatever extra vegetables you have laying around; carrots or potatoes would also work well)
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Peel your squash, then remove its seeds with a spoon and dice into bite-sized pieces. Place the squash on a lined baking tray, and toss with your other diced vegetables, olive oil, ground sage, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- While your squash roasts, caramelize your onions. Start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium to large sized pot over medium heat. Add in your sliced onions, and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, stir, and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes. After this time, check your onions and, if you really like balsamic vinegar, like I do, you can add another tablespoon or so, if you like. Continue to stir occasionally for another 10 minutes or so, until the onions are nicely caramelized and the balsamic vinegar has reduced.
- When your butternut squash is ready, toss it with the balsamic glazed onions. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve alongside your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.