Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Soup


Can you think of something that makes you happy? For me, I only need one word- Thanksgiving. I know we are far from Thanksgiving on both ends of the calendar, but who cares! Seriously, are you going to complain about having Thanksgiving too many times in a year? If you are then we can’t be friends. Ok, come back we can still be friends. But, I will give you the stink eye for 2.5 minutes. Thanksgiving is just one big ball of yum. Every once in a while I love to bring out the Thanksgiving flavors because they are too good to only have one day a year.

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Savory Roasted Carrots

When I was little we visited my Great Aunt Jerry and Great Uncle George in Tahoe. It was one of the first memories I have of playing in the snow. I remember thinking I had found the coolest popsicle as I ran across the street to show my parents. They quickly jumped to tell me to stop eating the icicles because they could give me worms. Yum! So I stopped eating them! Soon after I also found out that the yellow snow was not lemon flavored snow cones. Don’t worry I didn’t actually eat the yellow snow. Gross!

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Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

Ok lets be honest. Truth, I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the pan while I was cooking these. They are that good! I have been making these for about 2,5756 years. Ok, not that many, but for at least 2,000 years. Most of my friends have had these and they are always a hit.

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Lettuce wraps are great to have when you have company. It is a “social food” as I like to call it. Everyone gets messy and interactive with each other. They are fun because you can stuff your lettuce with any of the options that are on the table and make it a personal wrap! (more…)

Pink Lady, Parsnip and Potato Soup with Homemade Croutons


It’s time to talk about soup!

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Soup is awesome for many reasons. It keeps you warm in the winter, it makes your belly feel nice and full, it can go with any meal or even by itself and it’s so easy to make! You could pretty much throw anything into a pot with broth, let it get tender and blend away. I mean my Aunt Debbie who volunteers to bring rolls and corn to event gatherings could do that. If she can do it, so can you. I believe in you!

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You would think those reasons would be enough to get the pot out right now at 11 o’clock at night. Put it back, you’re just being silly now! Seriously though, the number one reason I love soup is because you can get a junk load of nutrition in one cup! In case you didn’t know “junk load” is a lot! It may not be in Webster’s Dictionary, but it’s in my dictionary. Webster’s has nothing on my dictionary.
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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


What is better than banana bread?

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Banana bread covered in chocolate chips!

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What kid wouldn’t want to eat this for breakfast? It’s covered in chocolate!

9I love baking breads and muffins because they are so easy to grab when you are in a hurry.  I am guilty of skipping meals, eating a piece of cheese (or chocolate), or just grabbing anything in front of me when I am desperate for time and am in a hurry.

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Uncle John’s Lemon Tart


I want to be the first person to say Happy Birthday Uncle John!! He would have been 62 today.

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Anyone who knows me personally knows that my family had a very big loss this past October. My Uncle John was one of the best men in my life and definitely one of the most important. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that I will never see him again still seems impossible.
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Loaded Shepherds Pie


With all of this cold wet weather lurking around it makes me crave something warm and hearty!

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I love the rain, well, let me rephrase that. I love the rain when I can be inside next to a fire. I don’t love the rain when it is ruining my hair, my shoes, or my freshly washed car. I don’t wash my car that often, but it seems as though every time I do, it rains just like this last weekend. Why me? It’s like there are these tiny little rain clouds lurking around the corner to see when I will be outside washing my car and then BAM old faithful right before my eyes. Well, what can I say, that’s life.
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Creamy Quinoa and Spinach Risotto

Have you ever had one of those meals where you thought this can’t possibly be good for me, but it was?

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Well, this is that meal!

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I once had risotto at Steamer’s, this fabulous seafood restaurant in Northern California. The risotto there was so creamy and flavorful I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was one of those meals you wished would never end.
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Tom Kha Gai


Perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness, saltiness, tanginess and creaminess.

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Tom Kha Gai traditionally is made with coconut milk, galangel, chilies, lemongrass, kafir leaves, chicken and some form of mushroom, typically straw mushrooms.

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Personally I can’t stand mushrooms. I have tried them every way possible and every type you could imagine. I don’t even like them touching my food. I hate the texture, flavor and smell.
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Pad Thai

Healthy, flavorful, GOOD restaurant quality Pad Thai!

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As a child I never ate anything  outside of the perimeter of the simple American foods. Now that I am an adult, or so they say, I have taken a liking to Thai food. It is one of my favorite cuisines and I love most of it except yellow curry.

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When I was pregnant with Graeyson, I opened a container of yellow curry that I had made and at that moment I felt my first feeling of morning sickness. To this day I can’t stomach yellow curry. Luckily, however, I still love Pad Thai!

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Over the years I have had some excellent Pad Thai and some not so much.

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Some Pad Thai is really bland and all you taste is the noodles. This Pad Thai is full of flavor and packed with goodness.

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We no longer have to go out for Pad Thai, we can have it right at home!

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FG!

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Pad Thai:
Yield: Serves 4-5
Preparation and cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Pad Thai

  • Annie Chun’s dried brown rice Pad Thai noodles (8 ounces)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups of chopped chicken, cooked
  • 1/2 pound of cooked shrimp (medium to large size)
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 8 ounces of bean sprouts
  • 8 scallion stalks, greens only cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, crushed
  • 1-2 limes, cut into quarters

Pad Thai Sauce

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 Thai Bird’s Eye Chili’s, crushed

Directions

  • Grab a large pot and fill it halfway with warm water
  • Place the brown rice noodles in the pot of warm water and let them sit there for about 20-30 minutes or until they are almost al dente. When they are finished strain them and rinse with cool water.
  • While the noodles are soaking prepare everything else.
  • Set 4 eggs out now so they are close to room temperature by the time you will be using them.
  • Prepare your scallions, garlic and chicken as instructed in the ingredients list and set aside.
  • Grab all the ingredients for the sauce and a medium-sized sauce pan.
  • Turn the heat on your stove to a medium heat and add all of the sauce ingredients.
  • Cook the sauce until all of the coconut sugar has dissolved and remove from heat. (Make sure to whisk it every minute or so.)
  • Grab a wok or a large pot and heat up 1/4 cup of the coconut oil (Reserve the rest for later)
  • Once the coconut oil is melted add your garlic and cook it for about 1 minute on medium heat. It should be lightly browned.
  • Add the noodles and half of the Pad Thai sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Push the noodles to the side of the wok and add the eggs to the empty pocket.
  • Let the eggs sit in the corner for about a minute and then incorporate them into the noodles.
  • Once the eggs are just about done cooking add in the other 1/4 cup of coconut oil.
  • Add in the chicken and shrimp
  • Add in the other half of sauce
  • Add in the bean sprouts and cook for about a minute
  • Take the wok off of the heat and add the scallions
  • Garnish with crushed cashews and lime wedges