November 25, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

This is a simple, delicious, and healthy recipe for Butternut Squash soup. This is a great dinner, or would be a great side for your Thanksgiving meal. Is great even if you make it ahead and just reheat before serving. Also, this is vegan-friendly!
Most Butternut Squash soup recipes I have seen involve a lot of butter, cream or both. While they are good, I think this practically fat free recipe is just as good. Plus, this has just a slightly different flavor than you are used to because of the grated ginger. It is so worth it!

Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium butternut squash (about 2¼ pounds) n>
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger, about 1/2 to 1 inch
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish

Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Arrange the halves cut side up on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray, season with salt and pepper. Flip to cut side down. Bake squash in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until very tender. Set aside to cool. When the squash is completely cool, scoop the flesh from the skin. (Or if it is easier, peel the skin off with a paring knife and cut into cubes. You'll see later I did both.)

While the squash is baking, cook the onion and a saucepan, sprayed with cooking spray, over moderately low heat, for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the ginger, cook until fragrant.

 Note: this is my ginger. It freezes well. Peel with spoon or potato peeler, grate with microplane, and freeze the remaining.

Add the broth and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, covered.

Add the squash pulp to the sauce pan.

Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, in batches, and puree until smooth. 

Return the soup to the sauce pan, add enough water to achieve the desired consistency, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over moderate heat until it is hot.

Garnish each portion with the heaping teaspoon of low-fat sour cream. (Obviously don't do this if you are trying to be vegan-friendly.)

Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving. I will return after the Holiday weekend with a couple more great recipes!

November 24, 2009


Today I was going to post a delicious soup recipe, but that will wait until tomorrow. A friend of mine is going through a very hard time right now. I can't even imagine the range of emotions she must be feeling. It has made me reflect on my life, my family - and has made me very grateful for what I have. I thought since thanksgiving was just around the corner it was appropriate for me to remember to be grateful for my family, friends, health, and my faith.
Pray for my friend. She is amazingly strong and positive through this hard time. Thanks Hilary for your example.

November 23, 2009

Funny Library

Saw this on My Simple Life. This is from her local library. I love the librarian - she/he deserves a big wet kiss!

November 20, 2009

Mint Ice Cream "Cake"

Don't be mad. I know I promised this a or two ago but as I was editing my pictures, my baby started throwing up and had me up all night. That's my excuse. Sorry, probably not the best started to a recipe...
Speaking of recipes, this isn't much of one, more a method. Super simple "cake" I say that because there is no cake in this, but my husband has had this every birthday since he was 10.

Mint Ice Cream "Cake"

About 25 Oreos
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 container mint chip ice cream
Caramel topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Remove ice cream from freezer, set aside and let it thaw while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.


Place all but 2 or 3 of your oreos in your food processor. Pulse until small crumbs. Mix in melted butter and dump into springform pan. Press down with fingers or the bottom of a glass. Don't forget to press it into the sides of pan as well. (Note: if you use double-stuffed Oreos, you probably won't need the butter, there should be enough cream to hold the crust together).

Put about half of ice cream into spring form pan. Note: I put mine in little peices all around because if you try to spread one large ball, your crust will come with it. Smash it down and around until it is one even layer. Spread a thin layer of caramel on top of the ice cream, about 1/4 inch thick. Add remaining ice cream, the same way as you did the first layer. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down so you don't get little ice crystals all over the top of your cake. Freeze overnight or until hardened.

Just before serving, remove cake from freezer, set aside. (This will thaw it just enough so you can cut through it.) Whip your whipping cream, sweeten if desired... and I always want more sugar, so I do. Crush remaining 2-3 cookies and place on top. Top with candels, sing, make a wish, and enjoy!

November 18, 2009

It's Been a Little Crazy Around here

Teaching a prenatal class, finishing my finals, work, teething, birthday parties, life... I appologize for the lack of posts lately. I promise a fun, easy cake recipe tomorrow!

November 14, 2009

Winner Winner!

So I am not a lucky person. I enter many giveaways, drawings, etc and never win. Well, back at my first Social Media Retreat, I did win! I won a pair of Sorel boots of my picking. After much deliberation, I decided my husband needed winter boots more than I did. So we picked these.

Picture via

AC loves them. Very warm, waterproof, and stylish! Not much else you could ask for. I also love the removable interior in case they get wet from the top or stinky from the inside you can take them out for faster drying or washing.
And perfect timing - today is his birthday! Happy Birthday Hubby! Love you!

November 11, 2009

Recently Starred Items

Some great blogging lately! I haven't had time to catch up on all the recipes I have wanted to make. Here are some of the things I have made or want to make.

 image via Pinch My Salt

Pumpkin Doughnuts
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins
Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet
(hmmm... they are all desserts. weird.)

Some great tips to help you through the Thanksgiving Holiday:
Thanksgiving Timeline
Martha Stewart's Thansgiving Index

Some beautiful Tablescape Ideas for Thanksgiving:

 Isn't this a great idea? Pumpkin for a vase! Cheap too!

Wishbones! For Napkin Rings! Martha. You amaze me.

What great tips or recipes have you found for Thanksgiving?

November 09, 2009

Simple Lasagna

Many of you may have seen this sneaky trick before. But, I loved it so much when I found it, I had to share it. This is a very simple fast lasagna. Perfect for a crazy busy day!

This is more a technique than a recipe, so the format may be different.

Simple Lasagna 

Frozen Cheese Ravioli (I like square, fits in pan better)
Your Favorite Pasta Sauce
Frozen chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
Shredded Mozzerella and/or Parmessan, for topping

Choose your pan size - if there is only two of you, use a loaf pan, if you are feeding a crowd, use a 9x13. I wanted leftovers, so I used a 9x9.  Spread enough pasta sauce to cover the bottom of your pan. Layer the frozen ravioli on top of the sauce. Layer spinach as thick as you want. Add more sauce. You can add more cheese here if you need it extra cheesy. Add next layer of ravioli. Repeat layers until your out of ravioli or until pan is full. Top with sauce and grated cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. If you like your cheese a little brown, remove foil for last 5-10 minutes.

Aren't you glad you know this trick now?

November 06, 2009

Questions Asked: Picky Eaters

Kellie asked me, "My sons doctor says that he needs to gain weight. He has not gained weight in about 6 months. He is 18 months old and a very picky eater. Any suggestions??"

 picture via dandelion mama

I only have a 9 month old and she is not picky in the least. But I did live with my niece and nephew for a year and did see some pickiness. Here are some tips you could try:
1. Make it fun! Use fun names "witches juice" "monster legs" "princess pasta" etc. Have you noticed how kids will try lots of foods on Halloween? Also, try cutting into fun shapes, use cookie cutters. Put them on colorful plates, or even their toy plates. Use silly utensils - toothpicks, chopsticks (they make some for kids), measuring spoons, or on a skewer. Have a no plate day - place a plastic table cloth down, and everyone eat off the table.
2. Have them help. Let kids pick out groceries at the store. Let them help make it in the kitchen. They are more likely to eat that way.
3. Nibble trays or dipping. If you are having pasta, put the sauce on the side and let them dip it. It's much more fun. Use a muffin tin or ice cube tray to put lots of different items for them to pick up. Fun, healthy dippers include yogurt, peanut butter, and guacamole.
4. Protein. If you child is having a hard time gaining weight, find items high in protein that will help fill them up and aid in growth. Try string cheese, avocado, peanut butter, beans (my niece would eat garbonzo beans out of the can), and yogurt.
5. Get nutrient rich foods. If you child will only eat bread, make sure it is the wheat bread.
6. Get the junk out of the house. If all they see are colorful boxes of cereal and fruit snacks, they are not going to want the boring packaged foods.
7. Use lots of Praise. Praise the child for trying, eating, or experimenting - even if they didn't eat all you wanted.
8. Be Patient. It takes a child, on average, 10 times of trying a food before they like it. Reintroduce foods every once in a while.

Here are some articles I found very helpful:
Mayo Clinic: 10 tips for picky eaters
17 Great Tips to Try

What about you readers? Any other tips for Kellie?

November 04, 2009

What's in Season - November

 Wondering what's in season when we are so late in the fall and slowly setting into winter? Well, here is a list of some of the items that will be freshest and cheapest at your grocer.
I am looking forward to these babies:

Image via

I have a few good cranberry recipes up my sleeve that I will be sharing!

Here are some other things in season in November:
Brussels sprouts
Winter squash
Sweet Potatoes

November 02, 2009

Thankful November

I think we all remember things we are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but I think we could do better the whole month. Check out Marta Writes to see her inspiring project this month. Catch the thankful fever!

What are you thankful for?