Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin & Fennel Soup

Pumpkin & Fennel Soup:

Makes 2-3 big bowls:
1 small Sugar Pie Pumpkin
1-2 fennel bulb
4 cups of water
2 Tbs Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup or so Heavy Whipping Cream (optional)
Fresh grated Nutmeg
Toasted Pecans or Pumpkin Seeds (As little or many as you like)

1: Pumpkin: Peel, clean and cut into cubes.
2: Fennel: Trim, clean and slice
3: Add all ingredients except salt, pepper and cream into pot.
4: Bring to a boil and simmer until pumpkin and fennel are soft
5: Add salt and pepper to taste
6: Toast Pecans or Pumpkin Seeds
7: Add cream
8: Use immersion blender or put soup into blender (be careful its HOT!!!!!) and blend until smooth
9: Serve with fresh grated Nutmeg and toasted pecans or pumpkin seeds
10: Enjoy

I get a box of fruit and veggies 2 times a month.  It has whatever is in season and usually not things I buy.  So I have found many uses for the box, mostly soup.  I usually make the soup and share it with my Mom.  She is a soup lover like me, so it works out well.  I didn't use cream in this bowl since I was out, but I have before so I made it optional.  It is delicious either way.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Bake

We are trying eating less meat around our house, which is a big deal.  Every meal we have has involved some sorta meat.  So after watching many documentaries, we decided to cut our meat intake.  We haven’t totally gone vegetarian but we are noticing that we feel better when we don’t have so much meat in our diet.  Also our clothes are getting bigger and thats always a plus.  My only problem is finding stuff to cook.  Im so used to having meat as our main staple that finding ways to make a satisfying meal is a challenge.  Also trying to find food my kids will eat is hard to say the least.

So I had a spaghetti squash staring at me for a few days and was clueless as to what to do with it.  I guess I could have searched online for a recipe, but I get distracted when online and an hour has gone by without me doing what I planned on doing.  So spaghetti squash.  I searched in my cupboards, which is easy since I have moved into a house with a much smaller kitchen and no pantry.  Another challenge I will go into another day.

I located a bottle of pasta sauce and some mozzarella cheese.  I am also challenging myself to not use the micro so much, which is why I cooked the squash in the oven.


~Spaghetti Squash, get size that works for your family.
~1 jar of your favorite spaghetti squash
~Fresh Mozzerella, sliced or favorite cheese
~Olive Oil
~Celery Salt
~Spices to taste
~Italian Breadcrumbs


~Cut squash in half and clean our the seeds.  

~Put squash in a baking dish or a cookie sheet with a lip, add 1/4” water.  Bake @375 until tender, about 35-40 minutes.

~Use a fork to separate the squash meat in to spaghetti.

~Put the spaghetti in a bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil (you can also use a flavored oil if you have it), salt and pepper.

~Add your favorite sauce and as much as your family likes.  Remember that spaghetti squash is sweet, so watch which sauce you use.  I have used tomato sauce, pesto sauce and Alfredo sauce.  They are all good.

~Now is the time to doctor it up.  If you are a spice adder then go for it, if not then I suggest tasting it and adding more salt and pepper if needed.  Also add some celery salt and basil.

~Spray baking dish with non-sticking spray and add half of the spaghetti.

~Put a layer of cheese.  Use what you have or like.  Mozzarella is what I had on hand, but I will use some parmesan and maybe ricotta next time.

~Add the rest of the spaghetti.

~Top it off with more cheese and sprinkle some Italian flavored breadcrumbs.

~Bake @375 for 20 minutes then turn on the broiler.

~Broil until cheese is a beautiful, delicious golden bubbly brown.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.  This was a hit for the adults and kids.  So now I have another spaghetti squash staring at me again.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cereal Bars


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups oats, ground
  • 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat because its what I had)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 1/2 cups fruit of choice (Frozen or Fresh)
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Sugar to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Heat fruit in a saucepan over med-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook until the fruit begins to cook down and thicken, about 15 minutes
  • If the fruit is to chancy, put in a blender to puree for a few pluses then put back into the pan.
  • Whisk in cornstarch and cook 5 more minutes.
  • Taste fruit and if it is too sour add 1 teaspoon of sugar until it is to taste.
  • Put fruit into a heat safe bowl and into the fridge until cool.  About 20-30 minutes.
  • You can make the fruit up to 2 days prior to using.
  • CRUST:
  • Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and applesauce 
  • Add to flour and mix throughly. 
  • Place dough onto plastic wrap and form into a brick.  Cut in half and wrap each in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • Roll out half of the dough and transfer onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  To make it eaiser on myself, I rolled the dough out between 2 peices of parchment paper.
  • Spread fruit onto dough.
  • Roll out 2nd half and place on top.  Press down the sides to seal them.  Use an egg wash if you want to help keep sides sealed.
  • Trim the edges if you want it pretty.  :)  Im a mommy with 2 kids under 4 so I dont do pretty, Im just happy to bake.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Take out of pan and cool completely on cooling rack.
  • Cut bars into desired size.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Use parchment paper between layers.  
  • Freeze remaining bars in freezer safe container or bag.  Let thaw overnight in fridge

***You can also use a muffin tin instead of cookie sheet.  Make balls and press into the tins.  Make sure to use non-stick spray or cupcake papers.  Use 1 tablespoon of filling for each.

Im back... I hope so

I enjoy writing in this blog very much, even if no one is reading it.  I have found that I helps me vent and its nice to purge my insides.

A lot has changed the past few months.  We have moved to a new town, I love it.  We are now closer to Daddy's work so we get family dinners every night.  I believe that is very important to families.  Mini Me started school and dance, and the Little Guy will start after the first of the year.

I have also started eating mostly veggies.  I drink a lot of juice, I either make it myself, or drink the Odwalla and other real juices.  My body LOVES veggies.  Ive not only lost weight, but I have so much more energy and just feel better over all.

Today I am making homemade cereal bars.  My kids eat a lot of them.  I buy them by the bulk.  The other day I realized, this isn't a good thing for my kids to eat.  So I went in search of a recipe.  As always I started on Pinterest.  Found several, tried one but realized I needed to add other things to make it better.  So I mixed a few and came up with what I hope are some good treats that my kids will love. 

Back to baking.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Phone Case

I just had to share my iPhone case.

It's more pink then red, but o'well.... I still LOVE it, and I wanted pink.

I got it at http://www.zazzle.com/.

I love Pride and Prejudice, but couldn't find a case I really feel in love with.  On top of that I really enjoy all of Jane Austen's books.  So I set out to find one that worked and I couldn't.  I ran across Zazzle late one night because I wanted to design my own.  And this is what I made and I am loving it.  It has the hard case outside and the rubber case inside.  I'm so happy.  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rapunzel Rapunzel... Let Down Your Hair!

My Mini Me has found the Princesses over the past few months.  She has a great love for Rapunzel.  She loves holding anything from a shirt to a towel to my comforter on her head as her hair.  So I thought OK let me make her some Rapunzel hair.  Then of course I searched on Pinterest. 

I found several but didn't like any one more then the other.  So I kinda took a bit from all of them and came up with my own idea.

Mini Me and I went to the craft store in search of the 'hair'.  I bought 2 shades of yellow, a yellow/white combo, purple, and 2 multicolored balls of yarn. I got smaller balls since we were using several different colors.

180 Yards of Yarn 
Tape Measure
2 Chairs you can tie too
Ponytail Holder

Step 1.
I set up my chairs to be 6 feet apart and tied one end of the yarn to a chair and started winding it around.  I did the 2 yellows 10x and 15x for the 3rd yellow.  Then 5x for each of the colored yarn.   Make sure when you are winding that you mix up where the yarn is winding.  If its just stacked then when you separate it to braid you won't have color variation.

Step 2:
Tie together the end you are not going to cut and leave the tie long.  Also tie some ribbon to the uncut end, you need it later and its easier to do it now.  Cut the other end apart so you now have 'hair'.  Tie the other end to the chair.  ***Try not to tangle the hair.  Its very easy to do.

Step 3:
Count out 30 strands for each section and lay them out.  Then start braiding.  **Make sure to keep the sections apart at the bottom.  I had a few mishaps so that is very important.  ;)

Step 4:
Use a ponytail holder at the end and trim off the bottom.  I then measured it around Mini Me's head (make it a bit smaller because it will stretch and it will end up around her eyes) and tied it off with ribbon.  I kinda wove the ribbon in the braid so it couldn't come undone or move.

Step 5:
I tied several pieces of ribbon around the top to not only help hold it together but to add some pretty to it.  I added flowers and ribbon at the bottom and we were done.

I hope you and your Mini Me enjoy this.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I think I can breathe again.

Well the holidays are over, we are finished with vacation, and Spring break is coming to an end so I finally feel like I can sit down and rest and just get myself back in order.  I have so many projects that are bouncing around in my head.  I plan on getting them all straighten out in my head and in my dining room, which doubles as my craft space this weekend.

Cant wait to post my next crafty stuff.  Also have a few receipts that I will be putting up soon.