Mmmm...Squash

I've had a lot of time on my hands lately. A lot of time means a lot of time to experiment in the kitchen and find new recipes to try. So despite the fact that I am ill with a cold, yesterday I just had to try making this recipe because I was craving soup. Now, I didn't have pumpkin, but I had a squash, and I liked it just the same! I didn't even have a butternut squash, but really, squash is squash is squash...It all tastes delish. So here it is! The best squash soup for curing colds! I do not take credit for the picture, but mine looked just the same!

Pumpkin Apple Soup (from Canadian Living Magazine)

1. First off you will have to make yogurt cheese for that lovely white design on the top of the soup. To make simply find a clean linen or cotton tea towel (I used a thin cloth napkin). Plop a few scoops of plain yogurt inside, gather up the corners secure with rubber band or something of the sort, and hang for 8 hours over a container to separate the whey from the rest of the yogurt. (DO NOT try cheesecloth. It doesn't work. Trust me, I tried.) What's left in the towel becomes your yogurt cheese which can be stored in the fridge for 1 week.

Ok now for the actual recipe....
You will need:
1 1/4 lb (625 g) sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (or any squash) halved and seeded.
2 onions, quartered (I only used one and it turned out great)
1 large apple, halved and cored
1 clove garlic
2 C. sodium reduced vegetable broth
1/2 salt
pinch of white pepper (or regular black pepper...)

1. Peel and cut pumpkin (or squash) into 1/2 inch cubes; Place in roasting pan. Add onions, apple and garlic; drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Roast in 425 degree F oven, stirring once, until pumpkin is browned and tender, about 40 min.

2. Peel apple (which I did not. Peels are healthy) ; transfer along with roasted mixture to food processor.

3. Heat roasting pan over med-high heat; Pour in 1 C. of broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add to food processor and puree until smooth.

4. In dutch oven, add 1 T. olive oil. Stir in vegetable puree, remaining broth, 2 C. water (though you may only want to do one depending on how thick you want your soup. I did 1 C.), salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve drizzled with yogurt cheese, sprinkled with bacon, or toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Ode to Blueberries


This is my ode to blueberries. It doesn't come in word form. It only comes in the form of a picture. But these lovely little fruits have been taking over my every meal, snack, and dessert lately. I can't stop eating them. They are SO good! And since they are also taking over my refrigerator, I think I will make something with them and this may be making it's place in my belly later on...

Blueberry Cobbler (from Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog)

Berries:
-5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
-2/3 cup sugar
-3 tbsp corn starch
Place all ingredients in a microwaveable bowl. Heat for 3 minutes stirring once half way through. You just want to get them hot, but not bubbling. Pour hot berries into a 8" square pan or deep dish pie plate.

Biscuit topping:
-1 cup flour
-1/3 cup sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 tbsp butter
-1/2 cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk)
Measure dry ingredients into bowl. Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Add milk all at once and mix with a fork until moistened. Drop by spoonfuls over hot berries. Bake at 425º for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy.

Delicious Granola Bars!

Do you ever get that craving for wheat germ, coconut or sunflower seeds? Well, I have the perfect solution to your craving, and it's super yummy too! And also super simple and a little bit healthy- the perfect combination! Here it is- I wish I had a picture, but you will just have to take my word for it. I made them the other day and can't stop eating them. So good! Here it is:

Chewy Granola Bars

1 cup brown sugar, not packed
2/3 cup peanut butter (I used half crunchy, half smooth)
1/2 cup corn syrup (Rogers Golden Syrup works too, I ran out of corn syrup and it turned out fine!)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons sesame seed
1 cup chocolate chips

*Mix first 5 ingredients. Add the rest and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes in a 9x13" pan (until golden brown). Let cool and enjoy!

Hope this works as well for you as it always does for me! And I just realized how many exclamation marks I have used in this post, but that is because I am so excited about this recipe! It's that good!!!!