Tag Archives: butternut squash

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew - In Her Chucks

After what seemed like a pretty cold winter for us Californians, the temps are finally starting to rise.  The days are getting longer and spring is just around the corner.  But I can’t say goodbye to winter without sharing a great stew recipe that is sure to warm you up from the inside out.


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup Marsala wine

1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

3 to 4 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and sauté until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes.  Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour.  Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot.  Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala wine.  Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add the butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine.  Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash.  Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Recipe from Giada De Leurentiis via FoodNetwork.com

The flavors in this stew are incredible.  You have the sweetness of the squash, the rich smokey flavor of the Marsala wine and of course the fresh aromas of the rosemary and thyme.  And like most soups and stews, this dish is even better the next day once the flavors have had the chance to meld together even more.

As excited as I am to start breaking out my shorts and flip-flops in anticipation for beach weather, I am going to miss the hearty and delicious comfort foods of the colder months.  What are some of your favorite recipes to keep you warm during the winter?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

PS:  Congratulations to Katie of Baking and Swimming for winning the 3 Month Subscription to Conscious Box!  Thank you so everyone who entered.  Stay tuned for more awesome giveaways coming your way soon :)

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What’s in the Box? #57


So…it’s Friday and I am just getting around to writing this.  My sincere apologies.  But I have an awesome excuse…and it has nothing to do with the dog eating my homework.  Although, believe it or not that really did happen to me before.  The reason why I am late with my weekly What’s in the Box post is because I have been busy recording my first CD!  For the last few days, I have been strumming my guitar, banging on drums and singing along to my favorite kids tunes.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  It’s been a joy and an honor to share my love of music with mamas and babies over the years in my music classes, but now families everywhere can rock out to the songs at home!  Details to come…

But in the meantime, let’s refocus ourselves on what we came here to do…celebrate our fruits and veggies.

Last week we had 7 wonderful links.  Some of my favorites included Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash HashSalmon Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Pomegranates and a batch of Pumpkin Oat Muffins.  I mean…*drool*!  Thanks ladies for sharing your delicious goodies with the rest of the group.  I appreciate your participation and generosity :)

Now it’s time for me to reveal my first box of 2013…

In Her Chucks - What's in the Box? #57

Ta-dah!  Not a bad way to start off the New Year right?  And the first thing that caught my eye was the sweet potato.  Holy moly that sweet potato is huge!  Although, I bet I could eat it up all by myself…in one sitting.  I kind of have a major “thing” for sweet potatoes.  And thanks to Meghan, I have an awesome recipe to follow :)

Another recipe I am excited to follow is the one for my Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup.  With temperatures in the 50s, it’s the perfect dish to whip up on a cold winter night.  Both the garlic and onion will come in handy for this dish as well.  Nothing like fresh onion and garlic to flavor your food and help fight illness.  And believe me, after being knocked out by a nasty stomach virus this week, I am doing my best to boost my immune system any way I can.  The mandarins will be a great dose of vitamin C, as will the kiwis, apples and broccoli.  Forget about CVS, I got CSA baby!

And then there are those silky, smooth avocados.  Pure heaven, I tell ya.  Guacamole anyone?  Oh, and do you want to know what I am most excited about?  We have an avocado tree at our new house…score!  So whether or not I get blessed with avocados in my CSA, I will be enjoying them on pretty much everything from here on out.  Happy New Year indeed.

Last but not least, we have rabbit food.  No offense to my carrots and lettuce, I am just feeling uninspired this week.  I need a break from salads and I have had my fair share of carrots lately.  But, as I always do, I will put them to good use and appreciate my fresh produce while I can.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #4


Merry Christmas everyone!  Hope you all had a fun and fabulous holiday :)  Ours was pretty low-key.  In fact we stayed in our pajamas the entire day.  Success!!  After opening presents we enjoyed a few slices of The Best French Toast with a side of bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Then we snuggled up on the couch and watched Home Alone while a batch of Turkey Ricotta Meatballs baked in the oven.  Family time, good food and relaxation…the perfect way to celebrate Christmas :)

Due to the holidays, I will not be receiving a box for the next two weeks.  I am most definitely experiencing withdrawal symptoms but I am working through them one fruit at a time.  However, this break in delivery gives me the chance to rant and rave over some delicious recipes that never made it on the blog.

But before we jump into that, let’s take a look at last week’s party.  All 6 links were packed full of festive holiday treats…CSA style.  There was acorn squash bathed in butter, brown sugar and walnuts, Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread, a two pound sweet potato and a partridge in a pear tree :)  A big thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their goodies.  Keep ’em coming.

Now it’s time to take a walk down memory lane.  Check out some of my favorite recipes from the last few weeks of CSA deliveries…

What’s in the Box? #53

What's in the Box? #53 - In Her Chucks

Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash:  I love a hearty side dish.  And although I can eat butternut squash simply roasted any day, this recipe has me reconsidering my habits.  There are so many delicious flavors bursting from this dish it’s pretty much a party in your mouth.  You have the brightness of the lemon mixed with the sweetness of the butternut squash rounded out by the nuttiness of the pignolis.  I could eat the entire pot my myself…no joke.

What’s in the Box? #54

What's in the Box? #54

30 Minute Shepherds Pie:  Yeah I went there…Rachel Ray all the way.  And this dish delivers.  I got the recipe from my neighbors who swear by it and it is the perfect solution for a delicious and nutritious weeknight meal.  The potatoes, carrots and lettuce (for a side salad) came in handy.  It was a winner for the husband and baby and even made enough for leftovers.  Score!

What’s in the Box? #55

What's in the Box? #55 - In Her Chucks

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew:  I don’t mean to be a tease here but I can’t help but share my excitement about the stew I made with that lovely butternut squash.  With the busyness of the holidays I haven’t had time to sit down and write the post but the pictures have been taken and all that is left is to add a bit of commentary…stay tuned…your recipe will be here shortly :)

What’s in the Box? #56

What's in the Box? #56 - In Her Chucks

Red Cabbage Juice: So to be honest, I have used up everything from last week’s box except for that monster of a cabbage.  I guess you can say it intimidates me a bit.  I have had my share of cabbage dishes in the past and I really want to do something different.  Enter, Red Cabbage Juice.  Ever since Freddie bought me a juicer for my birthday, I have been having enjoying all types of combinations.  But I have yet to juice cabbage.  I am inspired by this recipe and am looking forward to giving it a whirl.  I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite CSA recipes?  Feel free to link up some of your CSA inspired meals from 2012 that you are the most proud of.  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #55


You know your day is going to be busy when by 9:30 AM you have already cooked breakfast for three, washed a load of dishes, put a cake in the oven, addressed Christmas cards and sliced veggies for a veggie platter.  Then it was time to shower, blow dry my hair, get Harper ready and head out the door to run errands around town before music class at noon.  Phew!  And that was just part one…the rest of the day included a trip to the police station (nothing major…just a fix it ticket), another music class, more food prep and kitchen clean up, a Hanukkah party, cooking club and as always, hanging with my favorite toddler.  I am tired just thinking about it all.

But nothing gets me rejuvenated like a box full of fruits and veggies and a party full of good food.

Last week we had 8 link ups.  And it was all about no-guilt comfort food.  Tacos, pizzacocktails, and chowder just to name a few.  Pretty sure I will be making each of these very soon.  Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their goodies.  I love filling up my recipe files with delicious and healthy ideas :)

And let’s be honest, there is nothing more delicious and healthy then this lovely goodness right here…

What's in the Box? #55

She’s a beauty isn’t she?  And can you believe the size of the head of lettuce?  Took me forever to jam that thing in the crisper! Salads. For. Days…

Unfortunately it’s pretty much the only thing that is going to last around here.  The green beans were the first to go.  I whipped up a family dinner for a friend of mine (which included one of the oranges and some of the garlic) and made a batch of my famous green beans to go alongside.  They were a huge hit!

The green onions will be perfect for the spinach dip I will be making for a Christmas party this weekend.  I am also signed up to make a dessert.  Trying to decide if I should use the beets for a cake, the apples for a crisp or the pears for something special.  I love having such delicious options to choose from.

For the kale I am most definitely trying this recipe.  If this won’t warm you up and make your tummy happy I don’t know what will :)  Can’t wait to plant my face into a bowl of this ASAP!

I don’t know about you, but I love lemon water.  I go through phases of making it.  Mostly because I feel silly buying lemons at the store just to use them in water.  But if someone gives me some fresh lemons from their tree or I get some in my box I get inspired to make another batch.  So refreshing.  And it’s a great way to keep me sipping on H2O.

And finally, for the butternut squash, I will be enjoying it roasted.  Roasted and tossed with olive oil, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon.  Mmmmmm…I could eat JUST that for every meal :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #53

Hello, Friends :)  It has been too long.  I have been meaning to write but I was a bit preoccupied by these beautiful views…

Needless to say, our Thanksgiving in Texas was wonderful.  And being outside, exploring my sister’s horse ranch with Harper as my guide, was magical.  So much to be grateful for.

And while I was out in the wilderness, there was a raging party going on.  Last week we had a small but mighty 4 link ups!  With the holiday many folks didn’t receive a box so our party was much smaller than usual.  However, the recipes and goodies that were shared were more than enough to go around.  Sharlea from Fresh Veggies in the Desert whipped up an amazing Onion, Bacon, Butternut Tart with Cranberry Salsa with her CSA goodies.  And Megan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets, made some beautiful Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash.  Kirsten from Farm Fresh Feasts shared come budget friendly tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your food.  And finally Annie of AnnieRie Unplugged shared her ever bountiful Thanksgiving haul.  Thanks Ladies for your participation and for keeping the party alive.  I appreciate your loyalty and support :)

After one week without a box, you can imagine how happy I was to receive this week’s delivery.  I couldn’t wait to crack it open to see what goodies were hidden inside…

This week it’s all about the squash!  Butternut, delicata…all I can think about is cutting them up, tossing them with nutmeg, cinnamon, olive oil and a dash of salt and roasting them until they are deliciously tender.  A true autumn treat.

Another roasted favorite are carrots.  While I was away, I popped some carrots in the oven for dinner one night and they were a huge hit.  So simple, but so darn good!

I am giddy about those apples.  For one, it reminds me that I need to share my that apple crisp recipe (I haven’t forgotten…).  And secondly, Fuji apples are my favorite.  In fact, as I write this post I am snacking on one with a few slices of Gruyère cheese. A perfect pairing.  And when I am done with this I plan to peel one of those juicy mandarins.  A satisfying late night snack.

I love shallots.  They have such a mild flavor but they can easily transform a dish.  I used a bunch of shallots to make my Thanksgiving green beans.  Slice them thinly, saute them with lots of butter, season slightly.  Once they begin to soften, throw in the raw green beans, add some chicken broth to the pan (just enough to soak the veggies) cover the pan and steam for 5-10 minutes until green beans are tender.  Works every time!  In fact, I use this technique with a lot of my veggies.  I will probably saute my swiss chard with the shallots this week.  Might even throw in some of that garlic for an extra kick.

It’s been a while since I got some kiwi.  I usually slice it up and add it to smoothies or throw it into a fruit salad but I would really like to cook or bake with it this time.  Stay tuned to see what I come up with :)

I’m excited to get my fiesta on.  That bunch of cilantro is super fresh and fragrant.  I am thinking about making a batch of Green Rice to go along with a new taco recipe I have been dying to share with you.  Hopefully with my busy schedule, I can get my act together and get some food pics taken (if I can catch the daylight…)

And for the little head of lettuce.  A salad of course.  I might even jazz it up with some apple chunks and grated carrots if I am feeling wild one evening.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What I Ate Wednesday #14

This time last year, I had yet to indulge in a pumpkin treat.  Shameful, I know.  So this year, I made my best effort to stuff my face with all things pumpkin during the holiday season.  I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t started my day with Pumpkin Oatmeal, treated myself to a few Pumpkin Bars, or scarfed down a bowl of Turkey Pumpkin Chili.  And just when you thought I couldn’t possibly eat any more pumpkin, with only a week left until Thanksgiving, I decided to up the ante and incorporate it into my day as much as possible.  Because after next Thursday, it’s all about peppermint, gingerbread and egg nog :)


Pumpkin Pancakes (recipe coming soon)

Side of Kielbasa

I have always taken pride in my homemade pancakes.  But these pumpkin pancakes kind of blow them out of the water.  I’m just saying…they are pretty darn scrumptious!  And nothing completes a pancake breakfast like a side of burnt-to-the-crisp kielbasa.  The blacker the better.  I like it scorched.  Can’t wait to share the recipe with you :) (the pumpkin pancake recipe that is…)

Snack #1:

Pineapple Chobani Yogurt topped with Fresh Raspberries

A handful of Roasted Coconut Chips

Believe it or not, I am still trying to work my way through my huge Chobani shipment.  So today I enjoyed my favorite combination of all…Pineapple Chobani Yogurt topped with fresh raspberries.  It’s so sweet and refreshing it kind of takes me away to a deserted island.  Magical.  And then I had to take it to the next level with a handful of my latest addiction: Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips.  Can’t go a day without them.  You MUST try them.


Chicken Cornbread Salad

After a fun and festive music class, Harper and I were ready for a healthy and hearty lunch.  This salad is one of our favorites.  With add ins such as grilled chicken, dried cranberries, walnut pieces and crumbled cornbread, it’s pretty much an autumn explosion on a bed of mixed greens.  If only my homemade salads where this fancy.

After Lunch Treat:

Slice of Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

Ever since I received my Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows from my Foodie Pen Pal, I have been wanting to whip up a batch of Rice Krispies Treats.  Sadly, Halloween has come and gone and my poor Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows were still sitting on the counter.  Even though Thanksgiving is around the corner I couldn’t let me my fun idea for Jack-O-Lantern Krispies Treats go to waste.  Besides, now I have a killer idea mastered for next year’s festivities!

Snack #2:

Bolthouse Farms Mango Protein Smoothie

Since Harper has swim class on Tuesdays, dinner is always later than usual.  I was looking forward to a filling meal, but my tummy couldn’t wait.  Luckily, I found this sitting in the fridge and it was the perfect snack to take the edge off of my hunger until dinner was served.


Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Comfort food has never tasted so good.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite autumn veggies and it pairs perfectly with pork.  I normally serve this meal with a side of broccoli but grabbed a bunch of chard from the crisper instead.  I love to sauté chard with some olive oil, onions and a few splashes of stock (chicken in this case).  It’s so quick and easy and the result is mouth-watering.

So just in case you were keeping count, I managed to squeeze pumpkin into 3 of my meals today.  Which in my opinion should win some sort of pumpkin rockstar award.  Granted it was more of a “pumpkin essence”, but the bottom line is, I am a pumpkin machine.  And tomorrow I am shooting for 4 pumpkin filled meals :)

Your turn:  What is your favorite way to incorporate pumpkin into your meals?  Any favorite pumpkin recipes you want to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

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What’s in the Box? #46

Every week I get a bit too excited about my produce box.  But this week my excitement is inflated to the umpteenth power.  Why?  Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

My amazing husband hooked it up big time for my 30th birthday and surprised me with a new juicer.  The man knows the way to my heart…through produce :)

This juicer has taken my fruit and veg consumption to a whole new level.  No need to worry about cooking up all my produce anymore (although I still plan on incorporating them in my daily meals).  Any and all leftovers can now be thrown into the juicer and made into a delicious and vitamin packed beverage any time of the day.  Yay!  I am officially in veggie heaven.

Speaking of veggie heaven, last week we had a total of 34 link ups!  That’s a whole lot of CSA goodness.  And from the looks of the links, autumn weather is rolling in.  There was a great variety of soups and stews this week.  Everything from good old Chicken Soup and Chicken Chili to Sagey Butternut Squash Soup and Roasted Garlic Beet Soup.  And who can forget that Eggplant and Lamb Stew?  Nothing like some delicious comfort food to warm your soul and please your tummy :)  Thank you to everyone who participated.  I appreciate your enthusiasm about this party and your ongoing support.  Hooray for veggies!

Now let’s take a look at my veggies…

The first item to catch my eye was that butternut squash.  Oh, how I love butternut squash.  Sure I like to fancy it up and make it the star of the show, but simply roasting it with some cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt and pepper is enough to make my taste buds sing.  Mmmmm.

You know what else makes my taste buds sing?  Cilantro.  Is there any flavor more bright and refreshing?  Unless of course you are part of the small group of people who find the taste and smell of cilantro reminiscent of soap and thus find this lovely herb to be repulsive.  According to Wikipedia, the reason for this strong aversion to cilantro is “likely genetic, with some people having no response to the aromatic chemical that most find pleasant, while simultaneously being sensitive to certain [offensive fragrances]”.  Interesting right?  Well, either way, the possibilities for this cilantro are endless.  Green rice anyone?

Speaking of bright and refreshing, that pretty much sums up my feelings for this grapefruit.  I love eating my grapefruit for breakfast in the morning with a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds sprinkled on top.  Talk about a breakfast of champions :)  As for the rest of the fruit…it already has a nice sized dent in it.  We have been snacking on the plums and apples all day.  I am hoping to get some sort of apple dessert made this weekend.  After all, what is fall without a warm apple treat topped with some vanilla ice cream *drool*.

Being that we were gone for most of the week, I wasn’t able to use up all of my spinach from last week’s haul.  Part of me wants to throw it in the juicer (which would be amazing!) but the other part of me wants to add it to this bunch, sauté it with some onion/garlic/shallot or all of the above and call it a day.  It makes such a lovely side dish.

Cauliflower makes for a pretty great side dish too.  Especially when you steam it using the new rice cooker that your brother and sister-in-law gave you, and then throw it into the new ricer your Uncle Joe got for you and top it with a slab of butter and a dusting of salt and pepper for some seasoning.  Why eat potatoes when you can enjoy faux-tatoes?  (ps: loving all my new birthday gifts…)

And then of course there is the mother of all sides…the side salad.  Guess whose mother makes the best salads around?  Yep, my mom!  Who also happens to be in town for a few weeks.  So in an effort to eat every last leaf of this lovely head of lettuce, I am going to have to ask my mom to whip up one of her magical side salads.

Finally, it’s all about those bright red tomatoes and peppers.  I have yet to make a batch of homemade tomato sauce this season and these tomatoes would be perfect for it.  I am also interested in trying some sort of roasted pepper sauce.  Tossing both with my new favorite obsession, quinoa pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan.  Yum!

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!  PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post.  Thanks!

PS:  Don’t forget to double your dose of fresh fruits and veggies by visiting this week’s Fresh Foods Link Up from Gastronomical Sovereignty

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