Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Autumn Calls For Butternut Squash Soup and Recipe

November 1st is always butternut squash soup night at our house. Our busy Halloween Season is over and we usually have all our decorating taken down and can just enjoy a quiet peaceful autumn night. This year our Nov. 1st was acutally on November 2nd, but whose counting :) It was actually a perfect soupy night due to a big storm coming in! I have two recipes I love, one is fast and one that takes a little more "love" haha. This time I was too tired for the extra "love" so we did the quick one so I could just break out the crock pot and then thoroughly clean my house and do a million loads of laundry. That was the plan, I actually ended up veging out on the couch and catching up on my recorded shows from October. (I think the great 3:30 am mass exodus of all d├ęcor Halloween earned an afternoon on the couch!) Anywho- if you have a busy afternoon of "house cleaning" scheduled, break out your slow cooker and here is the recipe for the quick Butternut Squash soup we like:


  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, (I just dumped a box of cubed butternut squash from Costco in)
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  • pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • (optional garnishes: extra coconut milk and cayenne)


Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a slow cooker.  Toss to combine.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork.  Stir in the coconut milk.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender, and puree until smooth, being very careful when working with the hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne if needed.

If you have time for the extra "love" recipe, here it is. It's one of our favorites, courtesy of
Tyler Florence from the Food Network! The smell while cooking this is DIVINE!!

Butternut Squash Soup with Amaretti Cookies
Courtesy of Tyler Florence
  • 2 (2 pound) butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 pound amaretti cookies (I used lorna dune cooikies instead, but you can also omit them)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cups chicken stock, either homemade or store-bought (I only used 1 cup chicken stock and 3 cups vegetable stock so the flavor of the squash didnt get lost in the chicken stock~)
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (i also added brown sugar to taste and lots more nutmeg and salt)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil. Place squash cut side up in prepared dish. Pierce each squash half several times with toothpick or skewer. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, use a handheld mixer with the chopping attachment to pulse the cookies until roughly chopped. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring the olive oil up to almost smoking. Quickly cook the sage leaves until crisp. Remove and reserve the sage, and saute the sliced onion. When the squash is done cooking, using a large spoon, scrape squash into the pot; discard peel. Add 3 1/2 cups chicken stock and nutmeg and puree until smooth, add additional stock to reach desired consistency. Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with crushed amaretti; garnish with sage leaves

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Tricks and Treats and Zombie Cake

One of our favorite times of year has arrived! After 5 days of set up, 8 days of cooking, 82 AA batteries, 20 AAA batteries, 2 electricians visits, 3 parties, and a fun night of trick or treating followed by 4 mad crazy hours of take down our Halloween season has gone off great! Every year for our annual Halloween Party we have about 60-70 of our favorite people over for an evening full of fun Halloween treats, entertainment and costume contests. Here's a fun recap of the goulish goodies and fun costumes from this season! Though most of the treats are fairly simple- they pack a huge punch! I get requests for most of them throughout the year!!
Sugar Cookies, always simple to dress up
Nutter Butter Ghost Cookies
Pretzel and Marshmallow Bones
Cake and Jelly Oozing Brains
Peanut Butter Eyeballs (also called buckeyes) One of the more popular items
Mini Pumpkin Pies (gone in an hour-I may have eaten one or two five)
Pumpkin Buttercream and Chocolate Cupcakes- can you really go wrong with that combination?
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Peppermint Patties
A huge success- and one you can continue making throughout the fall! Recipe at the end of this post!
Also a huge requested item- perfect mix of sweet and salty
Zombie Cake Pops
Our party happened to be the day after my husbands birthday, so his birthday cake got to help out with treats for the party! All edible except the green Zombie Goo
Was so fun to make this!!!
Our entertainers- the crew from Quick Wits Comedy, such a fun show!
1st Place winners for Best Costume Couple- Castaway, Individual- the Octomom
Best Costume Individual 2nd place Tie: Galadriel and Elf on the Shelf
Best Costume Couple 2nd Place Tie: Kim and Kanye & Steampunk
Happy Halloween from us: Cinderella, Gus Gus, Prince Kit and the Fairy Godmother
Cinderella and Gus Gus
I always love our house at Halloween!
 post trick or treating festivities
 Traditional Monster Hot Chocolate and homemade donuts
This year we also made Jello worms for fun!  Hope your Halloween was wonderfully spooky!
Pumpkin Spice Carmel Corn Recipe:
 The best pumpkin carmel corn!! Check out her site, she's super fun!
Makes: 16 cupsIngredients
  • ½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels (about 16 cups popped corn)
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1. Preheat oven to 300°
    2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set this aside.
    3. Pop popcorn kernels using air popper into a large bowl.
    4. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 tsp salt together over medium heat. Bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring.
    5. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
    6. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat evenly.
    7. Pour the popcorn into the lined pan, sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon salt on top and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
    8. Allow the popcorn to cool on a parchment lined counter
Enjoy and eat fast- it won't last long!

Friday, October 30, 2015

CTR Baptism Cookies

Nothing says yummy like 4 dozen cookies! I thought these cute little guys were just precious!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Quick Yet Beautiful Wedding

I was so so happy to be able to make this beautiful wedding cake. Long story, short... I was committed to this wedding cake for a date in mid November. I received a call from a friend on Monday ( it was her mother's wedding cake) and they had just found out her mother had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and would be beginning treatment soon so they had decided to have the wedding that Wednessday evening and was asking if I would be able to do the cake still, but in one day. It was a stressful day but I was so grateful to be have the availability to make it happen. I was so happy with how beautiful the cake turned out. I especially loved the sweet little pink bow for breast cancer awareness around the bottom. I wish her and her sweet family many prayers and best wishes during the coming months.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Football Party and 49'ers Cake

Fall brings fun things, football being one of the more popular! I am actually surprised its taken this long to get a football cake order, but it actually coincided with a football party we hosted in the same week! Comes in waves I tell ya! haha. One day it was the Broncos vs the Colts, then next it was the 49ers party!  Both turned out super cute and were tons of fun!
 let the games begin!

Well represented team mates!
Love these little guys I found on Amazon
 happened to be the night of the lunar eclipse! Got some great shots!
 love walking tacos for sports parties!! SO easy, yet yummy and not mess!
 sorry Colts
Go 49ers!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Flower Garden Party

What a cute idea for a little girls birthday party in September, a flower garden party! I'm always up for bringing back a taste of spring in the fall!

I absolutely loved the ideas for the cake a nd had such fun creating it!
and the cupcakes- what a blast to create so many different types of flowers on cake! How cute for little girls to pick out their own little flowers!
The photos were taken by the very talented Mary Clark at DMC Studios. Check her out, she's fabulous!