FFWD – Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote

Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts

The usual obstacles to a properly chopped ingredient are dull knives (got that covered – there’s a good sharpener in the drawer), poor knife skills (improving every year, thank you very much), or unripe produce (great selection at the local market this week). I have another, quite individual obstacle, in the person of one small dog:


Imagine that face staring intently at you while you prepare your meal. Distracting, right?

Roxy’s five now and when she was two, she got quite ill and had to be put on a diet of home-prepared pork and yam for a year-and-a-half. She’s back on dog food now, but is only allowed small quantities of fruits and vegetables as snacks. All this has led to her belief that everything prepared in the kitchen is for her.

This week’s dish included two of her favourites, squash and apple. There was some whining involved and it may come as no surprise that not quite the entire apple called for in the recipe made it into the oven. I also may have hurried through the chopping process a little, rendering my cubes of squash and apple a little less than uniform.

Distraction aside, this recipe was quick to put together and, en papillote, easily left to its own devices in the oven while the rest of dinner is prepared.

I liked the combination of Brussels sprouts, squash, and apple. Sage and brown sugar brought the flavours together well, though I think I might add some nutmeg next time. I also think I’ll forgo the foil – a little caramelization would really make this dish.

And Roxy? She moved on to demanding a portion of the blueberries I added to this banana bread. Everything in the kitchen. For her.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote


37 thoughts on “FFWD – Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote

  1. Teresa, cute little dog picture. We do not own any dogs but we have thirteen rabitts and they get all the part of veggies that I cannot use in my cooking. Your Brussels sprouts, squash and apple dish does have a wonderful color and now that you mentioned freshly ground nutmeg, I think you are absoutely right – I will try that next time I prepare this lovely “en papilotte” recipe.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Oh, she is too cute 🙂 A distraction like that doesn’t seem all that bad.
    One of my co-workers has a dog that needs a special diet (i.e. from scratch) and its funny to hear how many times she doesn’t get to have all of what she’s making because the dog ends up “demanding her share”.

    1. Yes, the no kitchen rule sort of went out the window once we had to start making her food. It’s amazing how large a share a 20 lb. dog believes she deserves…

  3. She is so darling- my 3 Doxies all think they are sous chefs & want to taste anything Mom cooks….don’t we love them so?

  4. Roxy is adorable. Who could resist her pleas for a little extra fruits and vegetables? I enjoyed this one too, but, like you, will definitely forego the papillote next time and just roast the ingredients. Nothing like that caramelizing action. Have a great weekend!

  5. My father-in-law spoils their little dog, and she has the same how-can-you-resist look on her when someone’s prepping in the kitchen. And really, how can you? 😉 I liked this dish, and it’s easy to see how a little dog could approve. And uniform pieces or not, yours came out looking splendid. Lovely!

    1. Thanks, Sara! We only give her healthy treats in (relative) moderation, so resisting doesn’t happen too much.

  6. Oh nutmeg sounds so good! Lovely idea! I really loved this dish…easy and delicious!
    Sweet little dog…I wouldn’t be able to resist her whining either! I always threw little pieces of food to the floor for my dog, pretending they fell! He knew! I was always a sucker!

    1. My Dad used to do that with our first dog, especially when we were having steak for dinner. That dog ate really well.

  7. My goodness, what a cute distraction. When my cat was alive he always sat in the kitchen while I cooked, but he only cared about what I was cooking if it involved a can being opened. Then, whether there was tomatoes or sardines in the can, he would hop up and start begging for a bite. And it certainly was distracting, so I can appreciate your predicament.

  8. Love the picture of your doggie. Black and White photograph. Very nice. I agree that this was delicious but I also agree with you (and, others) that vegetables are best when roasted and carmelized. Why try to reinvent the process. I am not a lover of “en papillote” but this was tasty. I’m a sucker for brussels sprouts and the sage and brown sugar made those little creatures even better. Thank you for giving me the heads up on the OMG site – goodness, she is an enthusiastic person. I will check in periodically to see what they are cooking. Teresa, his two cookbooks are really special. The Jerusalem book is a history lesson as well. I recommend them highly.

    1. Brussels sprouts are favourites for us, too, though my partner would happily leave all the squash to me! Beth is great. She occasionally joins in on a French Friday, too.

  9. It is so difficult to be in the kitchen and not share with our little loved ones, isn’t it? Roxy is just so cute and I know that I would also have a difficult time not giving in to those woeful eyes. 🙂 I think nutmeg would be an excellent addition to this recipe.

    1. Her eyes turn from woeful to keen and hyper-alert when there is food involved. We can’t get anything past her!

  10. We have a Westie (McDuff) who is particularly demanding when veggies or fruit are being chopped. The black pug simply wants all food but is so lazy that she typically goes back to her dog bed after just a minor amount of begging. The cat we recently adopted is a challenge as he is able to make it up to the kitchen island (we are learning about the water spray bottles) but he doesn’t devour food like the dogs. My hubby is usually the one who is disciplined about no table scraps (I think their lives are short and their eyes too weepy for me to be tough) but he managed to share carrots and apples he had been chopping a few years back with the Westie. Needless to say – the sound of chopping now means McDuff will be firmly planted next to the kitchen island 🙂 The recipe was great this week- loved the ingredients and the ease of prep. Adventure is good (I am looking at you, liver) but favorites are nice too. Happy FF !

    1. Roxy is half Westie, so maybe it’s that part of her asserting itself. I love your pug’s attitude! The cat must feel very superior to the dogs, since she can get so much closer to the action.

      This week was a nice change from challenging, I agree.

  11. Aw, your pup is adorable!!! Our dog’s favorite treats are apples, sweet potatoes, carrots and marshmallows. She is acutely aware of any time the produce drawer is opened! I agree with you about this dish, just plain roasting would be easier and just as good if not better 🙂

    1. Thanks, Liz! Roxy gets all those treats, too (with the exception of marshmallows). My mother is especially keen on the ‘some for us, some for Roxy’ routine.

      I think I’ll stick to roasting the veggies in future, though this was quite good.

  12. Such a fun post! Love your doggie. Most of our pets think they are people and think they should eat everything we eat…so funny. Nutmeg is a great addition idea…I’ll make a note. And your photos are great, as always. Have a wonderful week, and yes, I look forward to your garden when it is too hot here for ours.

  13. Cute story! We had a cat who never begged for food unless it was crab or cantaloupe. She always got her own little plate of crab for Christmas.

  14. We have squash in spades throughout the winter months, and I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. I never thought about serving it with sweet apples and sweet-tart cranberries, but after trying a version prepared by the chefs at Yale during a dinner celebrating Indian food, I was hooked on the balance between creamy and chewy, sweet and spicy. It is a beautiful holiday side dish that I now prepare throughout the season. Most supermarkets sell squash already chopped into pieces. This is a great time-saver since all of the peeling, seeding, and chopping is already done for you.

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