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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

my “aha” moment with a butternut squash

So am I the only cook who does battle when going to cook a butternut squash?  Please tell me differently.

Recently my Fresh Connect orders have produced a lot of butternut squash.  Yes, I know it is Fall and that is the time for all squash and gourd like creations, but what to do with them?  I make soups and love them roasted but when roasting them I feel like I am going to battle just to get them cut length wise.  I recently read an article that changed my relationship forever with my beloved butternut squash.  This is a fool proof method of oven baking that will keep your fingers in one piece.

First wash your veggie, you never know what was lurking around the garden.

Preheat oven to 350.  Find a baking dish that your veggie will stand in.  Pierce slits with a sharp knife in top to let steam out and most importantly so you don’t have a “squash apocalypse” in your oven. 


Bake for 45 – 90 minutes based on size.  Test by piercing with knife, if it inserts smoothly you are done.  Remove and let cool to touch.  Lay on side and slice, remove seeds and skin. Mash with whatever you want and serve.  Yummy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

what's cookin'

I couldn't help myself with this picture. Henry was maybe 7 months old. Quite the appetite wouldn't you say?

monday ~ sausage and potato casserole
tuesday ~ chicken and spinach chowder
wednesday ~ "trunk or treat" at school
grilled cheese and tomato soup
thursday ~ leftovers
friday ~ beef and rice hotdish
saturday ~ cheeseburgers and tots
sunday ~ waiting for Mimi to tell us what she wants for her birthday dinner

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

white chicken chili

I love the fact that Cameron’s school is really a community.  St. Thomas More has done an amazing job at making everyone feel right at home.  Cameron is doing so well this year.  He has actually been playing flag football and loves it.  We practice on Wednesday nights and it is a chance for us parents to once again sit together and share thoughts, recipes and stories.  The recipes are great!  My friend Kelly, her son is in the 2nd grade and plays on Cam’s team, shared this recipe for White Chicken Chili with me a few weeks ago.  She said her husband requests this once a week and I can see why.  It is amazing, don’t forget the avocado on top!  Recipe note I did leave the green chilies out of the soup and just served them on the side. Go to Our Best Bites and check out other great recipes too!

We had some leftover Pumpkin Cornbread from our chili last week that I had saved in the fridge and it went perfectly with it.

pumpkin cornbread

I shared this recipe last November and it is a favorite here. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

what's cookin'

monday ~ lasagna (carry over), salad, garlic bread

tuesday ~ white chicken chili, avocados, tortilla strips

wednesday ~ football practice so it is leftovers!

thursday ~ butternut squash soup, cheese and crackers, honey crisp apples

friday ~ tacos

saturday ~ meatloaf, peas, mashed red potatoes

sunday ~ sandwiches, fruit salad, veggie chips

Happy Eating! I would love to hear some of your meal plans.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

what's cookin'

OK so I am a day behind. Sorry, yesterday was a busy day. We have a new member of the "sippy cup" gang and boy is she a doll. She will fit right in. I feel so blessed because of these kids and their families. I love spending my days with them and because of them I get to have my dream job, Mama! Life is good. Here is what's on the menu this week.
Monday ~ Jambalaya with shrimp and sausage, rolls
Tuesday ~ Roasted Chicken, Steamed Cauliflower, Baked Butternut Squash
Wednesday ~ Chili (carry over from last week), cornbread
Thursday ~ Lasagna, salad, garlic bread
Friday ~ leftovers
Saturday ~ tacos
Sunday ~ Cameron chose pizza since it is his birthday. He also informed me that since it is his birthday week we should be eating pizza all week. I think not but I do give him and "A" for effort.

Friday, October 8, 2010

apple carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting



Have you ever noticed that if you talk about food on Facebook everyone wants the recipe?  Well here you go my friends, they are amazing!  Enjoyed them for breakfast this morning with my French Roast.

On a side note see that amazing cake plate?  That plate belonged to my Great Granny.  I remember as a girl my Mom serving our Birthday Cakes on that plate.  It is a cherished piece in this house and I love when I get to use it.

apple carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

2 1/4 c flour, Pamela’s GF baking mix works just as well

2 tsp baking soda

2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp salt

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 apples, grated (I used Honey Crisp this time)

2 cups grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Add salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Next gradually add flour and baking soda.  Fold in Carrots and Apples.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or I prefer just to spray with Pam.  Bake 17 –21 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Yield: 24

cream cheese frosting ~ I did adapt this from the Barefoot Contessa

1 ~ 8oz block of cream cheese, softened

1 stick of butter, softened

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Put butter and cream cheese in mixer and combine well.  Add extracts and mix.  Slowly add powdered sugar and you have just made a little heaven on earth.  This is my go to frosting.  I filled a lunch baggie, snipped the tip and away I went.  We even have some left today for my “sippy cup” gang’s snack, I am going to put it on graham crackers for them.  These kids eat well!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

perfect fall meal



Last night I had a PEO meeting to get to so I knew I needed to provide a filling but quick meal before I rushed out to my meeting.  I “borrowed” a few cookbooks this weekend from Mimi and I found this recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup.  Amazing!  So easy, served with sharp cheddar, crackers and honey crisp apples a.k.a a “French plate” (thanks Miss Lissa) and you have the perfect fall meal.  Talk about comfort food.

Creamy Tomato Soup

olive oil, 2 tbsp

medium white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 Cup chicken broth

4 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup tomato paste

1 tsp thyme

salt and pepper

3 cups milk

In 2 quart stock pan sauté your onions and minced garlic with the olive oil for about 5 min.  Add spices, tomatoes and chicken broth.  Cook another 5 min on medium heat.  Remove tomatoes and puree in blender.  We left ours chunky. Put tomatoes back in broth.  Add milk and tomato paste.  Simmer on low and stir for about 10 minutes and be ready to have a big bowl of goodness.


Monday, October 4, 2010

what’s cookin’


sausage potato soup

I borrowed a few cookbooks from Mimi this week.  I found 2 of our dinners in the Weight Watchers Momentum cookbook.  They look yummy!  I will post points with those.


Spaghetti, Bread, Salad


Creamy Tomato Soup ~ 4pts for 1 cup

cheese and crackers, honey crisp apples


Chicken and Rice with Artichoke Hearts ~ 8pts



Macaroni and Cheese

Fish Sticks and Apple Sauce


Chili and Cornbread

Saturday ~ Our 11th Anniversary

Date night and the boys are having pizza!


Butternut Squash Soup

Rolls, Salad