side dish

{quick and easy} tarragon spaghetti squash

by jani on January 21, 2013

HB has been preparing spaghetti squash for me and our family for as long as I can remember. It’s a wonderful addition to any meal and is very high in nutrients and  low in calories.

According to Wikipedia, “The spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) (also called vegetable spaghettinoodle squashspaghetti marrow, and squaghetti) is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash. The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content. Its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti.”

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Place two halves into baking dish add an inch of water, cover tightly (we use Glad Press’n Seal) Place in microwave and cook on high level for 18 minutes.

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While still hot, carefully scoop out the flesh of the squash into a mixing container, add butter or butter substitute and mix. Add seasonings to taste.

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This is such an easy and healthy side dish to prepare for your family. Our kids grew up on this and have never left their plates empty. It just has a rich,  wonderful taste and texture. Enjoy!


maple pecan yam bake

by jani on November 12, 2012

Is it just me – or does it seem almost impossible that Thanksgiving is just around the corner? That’s right folks – so let’s do the countdown – 11 days until Thanksgiving and 44 days until Christmas.  Well, at least the latter doesn’t sound that close… but still?!

Close or not, we are so excited for Thanksgiving this year. We will be enjoying (almost) the whole family at our home… we’re talking l-a-r-g-e here. And if you asked any of our kids… Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without HB’s own recipe, Maple Pecan Yam Bake! Of course the turkey, stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pies are a must. But this following recipe is seriously the best yam recipe I have ever eaten. And,  of course I’m not biased!


  • 8 large Red Garnet yams
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cube butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2  cup genuine maple syrup, or increase to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp cinnamon or to taste
  • 1/2  tsp ginger
  • 1/2  tsp nutmeg or mace
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows (or to cover yams in ramekins or 9 x 13 casserole dish)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (or 3 half pecans per ramekin)

Slice tips off yams and discard, pierce yams 6-8 times with fork or knife. Bake at 425 F on baking sheet for one hour (use aluminum foil sheet to eliminate cleanup) or until fork can easily pierce through. Remove skins and scoop meat into large mixing bowl. Add butter, half and half (or whipping cream), maple syrup, eggs and mix until smooth texture. Mix in seasonings. Remove mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish or ramekins. We used 8 ramekins and placed remainder in a smaller baking dish. Layer marshmallows and pecan pieces to cover mixture, broil until marshmallows are golden brown. You will want to watch closely, as they can easily burn.  Serves 16

Notice the pierced fork marks; this is very important for the yam (or potato) to release steam as it bakes.

A fun job for the kiddies is layering on the marshmallows and then placing the pecans – just so!

I promise you that this recipe will be a hit at your Thanksgiving table or any fall dinner you’re planning. Your guests will love their individual ramekin yam casseroles! The best part about this dish is it’s super easy to make. Enjoy!

Just a quick note: If you decide to cook your yams the night before, make sure to melt the butter before adding it to the mixture and bake the ramekins or casserole for and additional 30- 45 minutes before broiling the marshmallows.