Roasted Butternut Squash and 10(?) Bean Soup


Last night, as a side dish to our roast, I made butternut squash. I roasted it in the oven with sage, oil, salt, pepper, and then finished it with cheese. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling it last night. Something didn’t quite taste right. Maybe I didn’t salt enough or maybe I was just feeling stressed about the evening and decided to take it out on the poor, unsuspecting squash. Disappointed, I just put it aside, and decided to make soup out of it later.

After the dishes were done and kitchen cleaned, I sauteed onion and garlic, and then added the squash cubes and simmered everything in stock for an hour or so, smashing the orange flesh against the sides of the pot until they were broken up. I seasoned it to taste, simmered it a bit longer, then put it in the fridge to be dealt with today. Today, when I thought about what I was going to do with it, I decided that I wanted to add some protein and substance to it instead of pureeing it and calling it good. I plan to take it for lunch this week to work and I need something more substantial to get me through the day. I hunted through my cabinet, peeked through various mason jars I have on my counter filled with broken pieces of pasta, lentils of all colors, beans, and barley–eventually, I stumbled upon a jar of assorted legumes. It has two types of lentils in it, white beans, garbanzo beans, split peas–so many different types of dried legume.  Definitely too many to count. So I settled on 10(?).


The first thing I did with these legumes was soak them in water for awhile.  Then I added them to my mashed butternut squash mixture with more  stock.  Now it’s simmering on my stove until the beans are tender.

It’s not much to look at, but it’s the perfect soup to take to work this week!




Sunday Morning Procrastination


I think our ice storm has ended–I can hear the drips and cracks outside of the trees warming up. If things keep melting and clearing up, there will likely be school tomorrow (sorry, kids and teachers [and me! sad face]). I am still my pajamas–and I am thinking that I mention that in every blog post, which leads me to believe that you all must believe I never get dressed. On the contrary, my friends–on long snowed in weekends, I shower and change into clean pajamas. No shame in that. Not even a little bit.

The two year old is playing with the computer his grandma bought him–and it’s loud and obnoxious. I have spent the morning snatching the obnoxious toys out of his hands–but at this point, I surrender. I cannot win. So I will drink my 4th cup of coffee, contemplate getting dressed, and post some interesting recipe links I found this morning.

(Turtles are good swimmers…turt…tur..t..tur..turtles are goo…ttt…tt…turt…Ok. I am taking that toy away.)

Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Pasta  I am always looking for family friendly casserole or slow cooker recipes. This looks like a slightly different twist on a few recipes I already make.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup  Henry and I talk about opening a soup and sandwich shop sometime in our future. I love making soups and this is one I haven’t tried yet.

Orange Chicken  Closet Cooking is an amazing blog. I need to cook more of his recipes.

Eggs Fried in Onion Rings  What?!

Slow Cooker BBQ Mac and Cheese

Chili Colorado from the Homesick Texan. This is, by far, Henry’s favorite food. I am always trying to find the best recipe. From what I know about this blog and the recipes, this very well be our new household favorite.

Ok. Enough wasting time. I need to get dressed. We’ve got to go pick up the five year old soon. I miss her little face. Here’s a photo taken the day after we moved to our new apartment. These kids love their arts and crafts.


What a(n) (ice) day


Snow and snow and snow and ice and sleet and ice and ice.

But I am wearing clean pajamas and I did do a lot of organizing and cleaning around the apartment today. I have a roast beef in the crockpot that needs about another hour or so. Roasted butternut squash and mashed potatoes. And the best part: sweet potato biscuits. I may never make regular biscuits again. Granted, I did grate an entire stick of frozen butter into these puppies, but I’d like to think that including an entire baked sweet potato into the biscuits counterbalances the butter. Right? Right. (right?)

Over 5300 people in Eugene are without power at the moment and out local electricity company said to expect outages even if we haven’t had any issues so far. So, yeah. Henry went to the store to get beer, candles, and hot cheetos. That’s all we need to be snowed and iced in–and without power.

Please make these biscuits. I didn’t change a thing about the recipe. Some reviewers said that grating frozen butter was difficult, but it was so easy and weird that it was almost a novelty.  Ooh! Grated butter!  Even Henry smiled at it.


Recipes that have rustled my jimmies (in a positive way) lately


Iced and snowed in. Eating pie for breakfast. Listening to the two year old say: I am so happy today!  The only thing we are missing is the five year old, and we’d have a perfect morning.

I’m sitting on the couch, looking through some recipes, doing some menu planning, and drinking coffee.  Here are some of the best and weirdest ones I’ve come across.

Bacon Onion Rings  Can you even imagine wrapping a giant onion ring with a slice of bacon and then frying it? Is this even allowed?

Sweet Potato Biscuits I plan to make these tonight to go with the pot roast I’ve got cooking in the crockpot.

Chinese Chili Hoisin and five spice in chili? I’d try it…

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs  I am kind of obsessed with all foods buffalo’d these days. I might have to make these soon…

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Coffee Chocolate Chia Overnight Breakfast Pudding  Whew. That’s a mouthful.

Dandelion Violet Lemonade

Shakshuka  Eggs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce? Has anyone had this before?

Roasted Parmesan Creamed Onions  These look heavenly.

What a great morning. My biggest issues at the moment are talking myself out of another piece of pie and trying to keep the two year old from spilling my coffee with the ball he is tossing around.

On Apple Pies and Boiling Broth


Snow Day Eugene 2014. More snow than this area has seen in decades (Don’t fact check me; I heard that on facebook).  I had a productive day in my pajamas. It felt good to clean, cook, and organize before the kids get here on Sunday.

I made Mongolian Beef for dinner with this recipe. Then I took the chicken carcass I had been saving and made a stock.  Then I even got the inspiration to make an apple pie adapted from this recipe. It was my first apple pie ever. I was on a roll.

Then I got cocky. I may have even gloated a bit when I saw how beautiful and rich my stock had gotten.  I asked Henry to help me strain it so that I could cool it and freeze it. Then, Stupid Jenn decided to process the stock into her large, antique glass bowl. Before I knew it, boiling stock had spilled in a torrent down my feet and the bowl had cracked into several huge pieces. I cried and Henry ushered me to the bathroom to soak my feet in cold water. He then proceeded to clean up the entire kitchen, cutting himself in the process.

Thankfully, the apple pie turned out. I think I need to go to bed now before I hurt myself or anyone else.


Lasagna Soup OR It’s Superb Owl day and neither of us are giving a single care.


Over the past 5 weeks, our household has experienced H1N1, sinus infections, bronchitis, and strep throat. Fevers, chills, cough syrup, too many antibiotics. Here we are, beginning February–and Henry woke up with a fever. My cough is returning. I am bone deep tired of being sick. With that said, it’s been a great winter. Wonderful holiday trips to Alderdale and Bellingham. Work at my high school has been going exceptionally well, considering the change in our grading system. Things are plugging along. I am feeling rather optimistic…so much so that I just got done painting my fingernails. And now I am actually doing a blog post. Henry is on hour four or five of homework and I am considering starting dinner.

I chose this recipe based solely on the pictures. Drool.  I mostly followed it. I can’t wait to eat it!

It’s simple. I tweaked it a bit–I thought the addition of spinach at the end would lighten it up a bit and make it more healthy. Now I only wish I had bought some french bread to go with it! ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Trains and Thomas the Tank Engine and Scooby Doo, Oh My!


What a fun and exhausting day. Up at 7:30, the kids tore through their presents, one of them threw up (fingers crossed it was a fluke), we made breakfast sandwiches, played, played, and played some more. Then nap.

While they napped, I made a simple Thanksgiving-type dinner for Christmas. I got a bone in turkey breast, made mashed red potatoes, bacon’d green beans, rolls, gravy, stuffing, and a cherry cobbler. Simple stuff–food I have been making for my family for years. At a young age, I was responsible for the Thanksgiving dinners and I have this down. So far down. Underground. I’ll stop now.

For the turkey, I lifted the breast skin (gross) and slathered butter, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper, garlic, thyme, and sage on the meat. Then I salted, peppered, and olive oiled the skin and set it in the oven at 350 for three hours. The rest of the dinner came together like a snap.

turkey1 turkey2 turkey3 turkey4

Now, we are, in our own special blend of procrastination and harried productivity, packing for our trip to Washington tomorrow.

Merry Christmas. We are a hot mess, trying to pack and clean. Wish us luck!