Today I’m sharing my thoughts on gratitude, with a delicious Acorn Squash Shepherd’s Pie Recipe, a potluck dish or great weeknight meal.

Sometimes it seems we only talk about “gratitude” in the month of November, when in reality being “thankful” should impact every area of our daily lives.

For most of us, we’d rather get out of difficulties than be thankful for them–we all have hurts, losses, failures, hard times–but we can experience a change of heart and have actual JOY in our lives when we start giving thanks …. So beautiful, so real.

I love this time of year!

We learn to give thanks when we experience the bounty, but we also give thanks in the shadow of great loss. We’ve all been there.

Even in those times, I’ve found that being grateful not only helps my attitude, it gives me motivation and renews my passion. It helps me focus UPWARD and not inward. :)

I also love this recipe I’m sharing today, because we used up the last of the acorn squash from our garden. It feels to good to be eating what we’ve grown, even in our humble little garden beds (on a city lot).

This year I’m grateful that there was not only plenty to enjoy in our home, but also much to give away to others.

Do you think gratitude is something to be practiced, or do you think it naturally comes to us all?

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Acorn Squash Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6
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  • 3 – 4 cups acorn squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1-2 capfuls Liquid Smoke
  • Fresh herbs, sage, rosemary, lemon thyme, sautéed in butter
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup butter + 2 Tbsp.
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • Dash each garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper
  • 2 T. Worchestersire sauce
  • 1 cup gravy
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, or peas and carrots


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place squash in a large microwave-safe dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook the squash in the microwave for about 12 minutes, until the squash is tender. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, adding the onion. Stir occasionally, cook until slightly browned, 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Raise heat to medium high. Add the ground turkey, chopped garlic, 1/4 tsp. of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to the skillet. Cook the turkey thoroughly, about 12 minutes.
  • Drain any excess liquid from the skillet, and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with gravy, followed by frozen mixed veggies. Set aside.
  • Drain the excess water from squash and mash well. Sautee the fresh herbs in butter. Add to the squash the liquid smoke, fresh sautéed herbs, pine nuts (optional), 1/4 cup butter, and remaining 1/4 tsp. of salt, and mix thoroughly. Evenly layer the squash mixture over the mixed veggies.
  • Bake in the oven until the topping is slightly crispy, approximately 30 minutes.
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Acorn Squash Shepherd's Pie Recipe