Like, Today.

Two more days until Thanksgivinggggg…who else is as psyched as I am?!?! I’m supposed to bring something over to my parents’ house for dessert (no, I’m not hosting this year, and that’s a-okay with me!) but I can’t decide what to make. I’m really the only fan of pumpkin pie (crazy, I know, right?) so I’ve got to think of something else. Anyone have any ideas or tried and true favorites?

So yesterday was a really great day. Jay and I met up with my in-laws for dinner to celebrate my FIL’s birthday and I had the most amazing filet mignon. I also got a super fun package in the mail filled with all sorts of Trader Joe’s goodies.


The package came from my good friend, Shayla, who lives all the way on the opposite side of the country. Although Shayla and I have never met in person, we’ve been in touch for probably almost two years through blogging and really got closer this past year.


I could not BELIEVE this package when I opened it up…I mean, seriously. It’s filled with basically all of my favorite TJ’s goodies, including not one, but TWO jars of cookie butter.


Squeeeeel! Thank you so much, Shayla. You are the BEST!


Even though I really just wanted to dip my new cat cookies (they’re at the bottom of that bag!) into cookie butter for breakfast, I withheld on that. For now.


Instead, I had a whole wheat English muffin, half with PB&J, half with PB & banana, plus a clementine. Not cookie butter, but not too shabby.


I picked up a crate of these over the weekend since they were on sale for $3.99, and they’ve been really good so far. Minus the ones with the random seeds though…hate that.

So, another thing I picked up at the store about two weeks ago? This butternut squash.


Every time I go to make something with it, I wind up changing my mind. I really think I want to make a soup out of it, but I need a good recipe (preferably one that isn’t “curry” anything). Then again, I have seen some interesting pasta dishes with it too.

Do any of you have any awesome butternut squash recipes that you love? If so, feel free to share! I need to use up this bad boy, like, today. Winking smile


  1. Marisa says

    Best dessert I’ve made, and ALWAYS comes out amazing is called Almost Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake. You can google it- I believe its on the foodnetwork website as well. Amazing amazing amazing. People RAVE about it. Especially when I whip up some whipped cream on the spot to dollop on top :) Enjoy!

  2. says

    Do they like pumpkin, but just not pumpkin pie? Because if so, I am telling you, Paula Deen’s pumpkin gooey butter cake is the best thing EVER.

    Trust me on this one! 😉 I also have a caramel apple cheesecake on my blog that is really easy and always a crowd favorite!
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..20 Weeks … and a trip down memory lane.

    • Sarah C says

      I make Paula Deen’s Pumkin Gooey Butter Cake every Thanksgiving! My family wouldn’t let me in the door if I showed up without it :-)

  3. says

    I have that same problem with butternut squash!! I like it fine just roasted, but I always want to make something creative with it. One of my favorite butternut squash recipes is cheesy enchiladas ( I also really like this soup ( but it does have some curry in it. You can’t taste it much though!!
    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats recently posted..Jack’s Second Birthday!

  4. Nicole says

    Oh yum! One of my favorite fall-back recipes is from last year’s Cooking Light magazine – its a creamy, lightened up version of mac and cheese, but uses pureed butternut squash in place of the loads of heavy cream and butter. Check it out – awesome!

    Also, I was told to bring a dessert to our Thanksgiving meal too. I usually go with some sort of cookie or cake, but this year I found a recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding and I’m going to give it a whirl! I thought it looked SO good, and totally different than most desserts I gravitate toward :)

  5. says

    Awww I just LOVE Shayla!! Isn’t she the best?!?!

    I’ve seen all sorts of delicious looking pasta recipes out there lately using butternut squash, but I’ve only ever tried Oh She Glows Mac & Cheese which was very good! I just love chopping it up, tossing it in olive oil, cinnamon, salt & pepper, and roasting it! It makes a delicious side for dinner or you can throw it in salads.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Week 20: Half Way There!

  6. sarah says

    I’m not much of a pie person ( I know, Gasp! ), the only pie that I have come across that I like is chocolate cream pie. It’s so easy, graham cracker crust with chocolate pudding, let it sit in the fridge to cool-delish :)

  7. briana says

    I just made the most delicious pasta with roasted butternut squash last night. All you do is roast the squash for 20 minutes, cook up some angel hair pasta, cook some spicy turkey sausage, and make a cheese sauce out of laughing cow, a bit of flour and milk. Mix it all together and it is so delicious!

  8. says

    I also need to come up with a dessert to take to my moms. Can’t wait to hear what u decide. I have a Carmel apple pie, a chocolate fudge pie, a snickers cheesecake and a pumpkin cheesecake oh and a pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling pinned. Obviously I have no idea!
    Karla recently posted..Rewire my brain

  9. Christina says

    I personally like it roasted with some cinnamon and brown sugar and then you add craisins at the end =) or you can mash it up like sweet potatoes. It is also great to toss in salads if you have leftovers.

  10. Laura says

    Ina Garten’s squash is hands down my favorite meal in the entire world. Also, the easiest! Soooo recommend to you or anyone looking for a good Thanksgiving sidedish. It makes up 90 percent of my plate on Thanksgiving.


    1 large butternut squash
    1 head garlic separated but not peeled
    2 Tbsp. good olive oil
    2 1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta chopped
    16 whole fresh sage leaves
    French bread for serving
    Preheat oven to 400°. Peel and seed butternut squash and then cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes. Place squash and whole unpeeled garlic cloves in a baking dish or sheet pan large enough to hold them all in one layer. Toss with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until squash begins to brown, turning once during baking.

    Sprinkle pancetta and sage leaves evenly over squash and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until squash and garlic are tender and caramelized. Season to taste and serve hot with French bread for guests to spread with the roasted garlic.

  11. Kristin says

    If they like Pumpkin just not the pie I make a delicious dessert every year called Pumpkin Crunch…kind of like a yummy pumpkin cake.

  12. says

    I’m actually not a huge fan or pumpkin pie either, but you could always go for a pecan or apple pie. As for the butternut squash, I tried a lasagna recipe from Clean Eating that was absolutely amazing. A little bit of work, but so worth it
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted... my perfect, less-than-perfect diet .

  13. Courtney says

    I loooooove butternut squash! The hard part is cutting it without losing a finge! I just roast cut up pieces with olive oil, salt & pepper till they are golden brown and tender. Then I eat them all since my boyfriend won’t touch them! Good with ketchup too- like healthy homefries almost.

  14. says

    Awww Shayla rocks! She is one of the sweetest girls I know. She told me you connected and I’m so glad you did.

    BTW, I’m also beyond excited for Tday. I’m making a pumpkin pie to eat all by myself. Not lying 😉
    Shanna, like Banana recently posted..Weekend FAIL

  15. says

    Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
    1 large butternut squash
    1 large onion, sliced
    1 large apple, diced
    2 cups apple cider
    1-2 cups water or broth
    1 tablespoon olive oil, for sautéing
    Salt + Pepper, to taste

    Prepare butternut squash by halving, seeding, and roasting in a 425 degree oven until super tender (or microwave). Remove skin and set flesh aside.
    Cook onion in a pan until translucent. Add diced apple and cook until soft. Puree apples, onions, and cooked squash. Return to pan and add cider and enough water (or broth) until desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. This is super good served with beer bread made with your favorite pumpkin ale.
    Shana recently posted..Sweet and Sour

  16. says

    I/ with you with the butternit squash! I have one on my counter for two weeks and everytime I think, I’ll make this with it, I say nah! So there it sits waiting to be used! I usually end up roasting it and then adding it to salads, as a side dish or on top of pizza! When it’s roasted it’s so versatile, plus I grab a few pieces of it for a quick snack! I love it!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Lemon Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Chicken / Turkey Cooking Guidelines

  17. Sarah says

    I had an amazing butternut squash apple soup from Whole Foods the other day. Not sure if the recipe could be found online but it was perfect for fall!

  18. Rochelle says

    For Thanksgiving, I’m in the same boat as you! I’m going to the boyfriend’s family’s house for the meal, and they requested that I bring dessert; anything except pumpkin pie. Okay…?

    So, I decided to make a sampler plate, filled with a bunch of different goodies, since I don’t know what everyone likes, yet. Plus, there will be kids, and we all know that kids can be finicky eaters. I am making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, mini apple cider cupcakes with apple cider cream cheese frosting (yes, YOUR recipe), and I found a chocolate chip cookie brownie recipe that I’m going to make, and of course some jello jigglers, and ummm, I’m drawing a blank. I know there was something else, but I just can’t think of it right now. Anyway, maybe you could also make a sampler plate of your favorite desserts, and everyone can pick what they want.

  19. christy says

    Do they like pumpkin stuff? If so Libby’s pumpkin roll is awesome! If the recipe is not on the can of pumpkin anymore I’m sure it is on the website… always a huge hit with my family!!

  20. says

    that trader joe’s bag of goodies looks so awesome! you have some pretty cool friends :)

    i am so excited for thanksgiving – i am going home for the first time since i’ve been away at college! my birthday is also the day after so basically this whole upcoming weekend is going to be fantastic.
    Julianna @ Julianna Bananna recently posted..One Day.

  21. says

    Hi Courtney! Wow, so happy to have found your blog-and just in time for Thanksgiving! I am also making dessert for our Thanksgiving, and while it does have pumpkin as part of the ingredients, it does not taste like pumpkin pie, so it is a Thanksgiving crowd pleaser! I am making Apple-Pumpkin Bars with Buttery Caramel Frosting. Sounds over-indulgent, but they are actually pretty healthy. They are also completely free of the top 8 food allergens and gluten free! You can get the recipe at my blog, or I would be happy to e-mail it to you! No matter what dessert you decide to make, I hope you have a great time and a relaxing holiday!
    Stephanie Wilson recently posted..Apple Pumpkin Bars with Buttery Caramel Frosting

  22. says

    Your friend is so good to you! I have seriously thought of doing this for others who don’t have TJ’s near them. I lived in Colorado for a long time and was TJ deprived. Now that one is near me, it’s all I eat sometimes. I love those cat cookies! All their cookies, really… I have yet to try the cookie butter, but based on your reaction, I think I’ll pick some up next time.
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted..Creative Ways to Love Yourself

  23. says

    Awwwww you’re so welcome lovely!!!!!!! I hope you enjoy them all and I’m so very happy we’ve stayed in touch and could not be more happy to be here for you friend – even though we’re 3,000 miles away but I’m making it my mission we meet someday!! 😉 Love ya girl :) xoxo

  24. says

    So many good recipes people have left! I gotta try the mac & cheese. I personally love butternut squash and quinoa. You simply roast the butternut squash then mix it with some cooked quinoa and melt Parmesan cheese into it. It’s delightful!
    Shelly recently posted..The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

  25. JenA says

    I made a butternut squash soup in the crock pot with chicken stock, sauteed onions, a pinch of cayenne and added cream cheese at the end. The only thing I would have done differently was to blend the cream cheese with everything rather than just adding it after blending. I’ll probably never make it again though, those squashes are TOUGH to break down. I almost broke my knife! It came out really tasty though, nice and creamy :)

  26. meredith says

    It’s just not Thanksgiving without a Peanut Butter Pie in an Oreo or Graham Cracker crust in my house!
    Wish I had a) someone to send me TJ’s goodies or b) had a TJ’s closer then 8 hrs away :(


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