I enjoy doubling up on my cooking from time to time, as I’ve written about it on RE, to have something to share with others, especially if I know they could really use a home-cooked meal.

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A few weeks ago a reader shared her “ah-ha moment,” when she realized how easy it can be:

I never used to do this because I was so afraid that the recipient may not like my cooking. Also, I wasn’t sure how common it was to do, as I had never received a meal myself. I had a lot of doubt about the whole process. Then one day, years ago, when my son had a minor operation, a good friend showed up at my door with a lasagna within hours of us arriving home from the hospital. I was so surprised. How sweet of her. After that experience, I decided I would give it a try and hope for the best. So far, so good, and everyone I have shared a meal with is always happy to receive it. I realized it was just a matter of a leap of faith to get the whole process of neighborly hospitality going and to put all my self doubt to rest.

How many of us spend wasted energy when it comes to our thought life. I say put those bad thoughts away and decide to do something awesome for someone.

I want to share this amazing “vegetarian” meal that I cooked my family last week. Because this is the week before Thanksgiving, I think it’s easy to make, put in the fridge, and pull out when you’re ready to bake and have a hot meal. And I love anything that involves butternut squash!

It’s even good enough to double-up on and take to another family!

I love this month of being thankful and thinking of others.

Have you had the “ah-ha moment” of realizing how easy it is to double up on cooking and share it with others?


Recipe: Butternut Mushroom Bread Pudding {ReluctantEntertainer.com}

Summary: Delicious as a side dish, or double it up for a vegetarian main dish.


  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. white pepper, divided
  • 4 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz. mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups cubed rustic white or wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, toasted
  • 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
  • 2 cups cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • *1 cup fresh cranberries (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Pile the squash onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle 1/2 tsp. each of salt and white pepper; toss to coat.
  2. Bake, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic; mix in the precooked squash. Set mixture aside.
  4. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter in the same pan, adding mushrooms and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Increase heat and stir until liquid is brown, about 6 -7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Mix the squash and mushroom mixtures together and put in 9×13 sprayed pan. Add in the bread and mix together with a large spoon.
  6. Whisk the eggs, cream, half and half, remaining salt and pepper, Parmesan and Fontina cheeses together. Pour the custard mixture over the breaded mixture. If cooking right away, let stand for 10 minutes and then bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35-40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8


You can make this up like a breakfast casserole the night before, pull out of the fridge, uncover and bake! Easy peasy! Oh, and I added cranberries and my husband I voted “yes” to cranberries, but my kids said, “no!” That’s why they are optional … Enjoy!