Holiday Parties are rarely sit down affairs… the best gatherings are winter buffets with pickup foods that are easy to pick up and eat and if utensils aren’t required that’s even better! I hope it goes without saying that I love Southern Food. While we generally have iconic pick up foods on hand such as cheese straws, deviled eggs, pimento cheese, toasted pecans, ham biscuits and even tea sandwiches with simple fillings can be assembled in just a few minutes. Still. Some of my favorite southern foods don’t exactly come in pick up form. Southern flavors like sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese and so many wonderful casseroles. My personal favorite is Squash Casserole; made with summer squash and yellow onions steamed together- bound by eggs and cheese into a wonderful dish that is beloved by all, but certainly not a dish that’s easy to serve for a Winter Buffet. Several years ago, we hosted a party which highlighted southern foods– specifically local cheeses, produce, even preserves, nuts, fruits and honey. A few years later, I decided to have a party at home with even more of my personal southern favorites- Pickled Shrimp to Ham Biscuits to Banana Pudding, Pound Cake and Fried Pies… For this party, I experimented with a sheet pan frittata – which I called Summer Squash Squares. To be honest, I wanted to include foods that made the buffet taste like a sit down dinner. That meant getting creative with the taste of a casserole in pickup form!
Summer Squash Squares were a personal favorite for me that night and I think the guests enjoyed it too! Easy to make, good hot or at room temperature and best of all- no forks required! Here’s how you make a Pick up Food with a Southern Flair!
Camellia’s Squash Party Squares
- 8-10 cups of sliced Yellow Squash
- 2 cups of thin sliced Yellow or Spanish Onions
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4-6 slices of Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 1 small carton Sour Cream
- 2 cups of shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup of green onion tops or scallions
- 1/2 cup of Self Rising Flour
- 12 eggs
- Optional- parsley for garnish
Steam yellow squash and onions in a small amount of salted water- generously adding black pepper while steaming. Drain squash and onions very well in a colander and allow to cool. On a large sheet pan, oven fry hickory smoked bacon at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until done. Remove, drain on paper towels. Set aside. Drain almost all of the bacon drippings from sheet pan- leaving enough to oil the sheet pan. *Cook bacon on the same sheet pan as the squash squares will be baked on! Chop bacon into medium size crumble.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, add carton of sour cream, 1 and 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and green onion tops; fold drained squash and onion in carefully- sprinkle flour over mixture and gently stir. Carefully pour the mixture into oiled sheet pan. Sprinkle chopped bacon evenly over top of squash mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and center is set. Do not overbake. Remove and sprinkle the top with reserved 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Allow to cool and cut into 2 inch squares. Garnish with additional green onion tops if desired.
Summer Squash Squares were served here at the cottage in 2018 for Thanksgiving and transported well as my contribution to a Christmas gathering which was a Winter Buffet, and the name was shortened to Squash Bites! Easy, pretty and quick enough to make for a New Year’s Eve party, a casual football party and would even be appropriate for a bereavement buffet. During the upcoming chilly and dreary months ahead…why not have a few friends over for a Sunday Supper or a Winter Buffet? Okay, okay… I know folks are ready for a break from holiday food now… but surely there will be those days when we just wish the fog would lift! And a Winter Buffet may be just the answer for lifting the spirits and a good excuse to gather again!
Love y’all, Camellia
*All photographs are obviously mine.
*Summer Squash Squares are also wonderful cut in a larger ‘luncheon size’, with a simple side salad, a bowl of soup or a few slices of ham- makes a satisfying light meal. Leftover squares may also be stored in the freezer and reheated successfully. And… I do also think Summer Squash Squares would be truly delicious all year round!
I hope your 2018 holidays have been happy, and I continue to be humbled that you read and follow Camellia’s Cottage! Follow us on Instagram! We’ve been posting content that doesn’t always make it to the blog! And…
We’re planning now to bring you more and hopefully even better content in 2019! Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve!