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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

This is such a delicious recipe and truly a healthy comfort food. Perfect for this time of year. I have always wanted to try this kind of recipe, since I have never cooked with a butternut squash before. Easy peasy. And when I tasted it for the first time I was transported back in time and space to an appetizer soup that I was served at Alejandro's in El Paso, Texas. I have wanted that recipe FOR.EV.ERRRR. Now I have one!


6 Tablespoons chopped onion
4 Tablespoons butter
6 cups cooked butternut squash - cooking instructions below (about 2 squashes)
3 cups of water
4 cubes (or 4 Tablespoons) chicken bouillon (I used 4 t. bouillon powder)
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
Black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 8-oz package cream cheese
Oregano to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

1. Cut the butternut squash in half. Scoop out all the gunk in the middle, if you have any. Some of mine did not. Here's a tip: I had a hard time cutting the squash lengthwise so I cut across the middle and then vertically on each half. Place cut-side down on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Add 1-2 cups of water to the pan to help it soften faster. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until soft and collapses to the touch.

2. While your squash is cooking, cook your onion in butter until soft.

3. Scoop out the cooked squash and put it in a blender along with the cooked onion and all other ingredients. Blend until smooth and well mixed. You can also use an immersion blender if you have mad immersion skills. I am still learning. You should see the printed recipe I had to go from--splatter city!

4. Return to saucepan and heat through, but don’t allow it to boil. Add more seasonings to taste if desired.

5. I served this with brown, wholegrain rolls from Walmart. Yummy! But crusty bread would be good or even a bread bowl.....must try that myself.

SOURCE: Jordan Page

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mike's Baked Fritatta

We have a guest post today.  My husband decided to cook breakfast one day and he thought it might make a good Mormon Mavens post!  Perfect for me because I have had a long day and don't have time to whip up something myself.  Good thing he dictated the recipe to me that day.

4-6 large eggs, beaten ( add 1 T. of water to this)
1 t. all-purpose seasoning
2 t. freeze-dried spinach, re-hydrated
1 t. chopped green onion
1 t. freeze-dried mixed bell peppers, re-hydrated
1/4 cup sausage crumbles
1 cup Colby Jack cubes

1.  Heat 1 T. of oil (he used coconut oil) over medium-high heat in a medium skillet.  Add vegetables and saute for a couple of minutes.

2.  Add beaten eggs with seasoning, and the cubed cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are blended over medium heat.

3.  Transfer to a greased round baking dish and put in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Top with grated Mozzerella cheese and heat until that is melted.

Source: Mike Jenkins.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sunday Night Stir Fry

I was really craving something quick and healthy to eat on Sunday evening--and something that I could just create from what I had on hand.  Fortunately, I had some cut up rotisserie chicken left over from making chopped salad (heaven in a bowl) and several veggies in the fridge that desperately needed to be used before they were unrecognizable.  You know what I'm talking about--those things you buy at the store when you think you are finally going to cook at home and fix all healthy dishes and then life happens, other agendas take over, and there is not time to do anything but go out to eat.  Happens too often at my house, although I do enjoy eating out.  Alas, sometimes even that gets old.  Anyway, here is what I came up with.  I am adding this to my recently-started list of definite menu winners.  I have just got to get organized with a 2 week list of "we will definitely eat this and love it" so that we CAN eat at home more often. 


1 cup cooked or grilled chicken, cut in bite-size chunks
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 2 or 3 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut up
Carrots (mine were already julienned)
Snow peas, cut in half
Red onion, about 1/8 cup, chopped coarsely
Sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt to taste
All-purpose seasoning, to taste
1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1.  Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add all ingredients and stir fry until veggies are just tender and chicken is heated through.

2. Serve with rice.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Risotto with Brussels Sprouts & Browned Butter

Yes it has Brussels Sprouts and yes it is delicious!  How can we have Brussels Sprouts and delicious in the same sentence?  Did not think that was possible.  The Pioneer Woman does work miracles and I snagged this one from her on Facebook.  Holy moly.  Now, I did not use the European Style Super Premium Butter she used--just regular butter.  I can't even imagine what it would taste like with the fancy stuff.  Next time I make this, I might try--if I can find it.  Let me just say that we were "testing" the sprouts before adding them in to the risotto and just those alone--after having been sauteed in the butter--was amazing.  One tip, though: be sure you have no leftovers.  When I reheated this a few days later the sprouts weren't all that.  Just sayin'.


1 stick (1/2 cup)  Land O' Lakes European Style Super Premium Butter, or just regular butter 
2 cups trimmed and halved Brussels Sprouts (about half pound--I found these bagged and ready
1 whole medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio Rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed (more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste
2 t. fresh thyme leaves (or you can adjust and use dried)
Parmesan cheese for serving

1.  Heat a large, high-sided skillet (nonstick is best) over medium-low heat.  Add butter and allow to melt completely.  Continue letting it heat to a very gentle bubble--swirling the pan to keep it from burning--until butter starts to brown.  There will be golden solids in the bottom of the pan and the liquid will be deep golden brown.  Pour half the browned butter into a heatproof bowl and set aside.

2.  Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and increase heat to medium. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until slightly tender.  Remove from pan and set aside. 

3.  Add the onion , garlic, and 1 T. of the browned butter to the skillet and stir, cooking for 3-4 minutes, until translucent and golden.  

4.  Add the rice and stir for 1 minute.  Add 1 cup of the warm broth, stirring while it absorbs.  Continue adding the warm broth a cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.  Test for tenderness and add more broth if necessary.

5.  When the rice is tender but still has a slight al dente bite to it, stir in Brussels sprouts, thyme, salt, pepper, and the remaining browned butter.

6.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. 

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mormon Morsels: Conference Nuggets

Wow.  We haven't posted one of these in a while, so quickly before the morning session of Conference comes on, I am going to share a few thoughts that I get from watching or listening to our Church leaders twice a year.

  • Simplify your approach to Discipleship.  Start where you are.
  • Our individual missions in life started way before we ever came to this earth.
  • I am a child of God.  Therefore, what?
  • No matter where we are, we are the Lord's agents.  We are always on His errand.
  • We are not always aware of what the Lord's sacrifice has done for us.
  • Referring to trials/challenges: It is our load.  Bearing it is necessary on our path to eternal life.  Don't expect to carry it alone.  Seek help.
  • We were tutored in the pre-existence and were given trials and challenges unique to us.
  • For the women of the Church:  Relax and rejoice in our differences and sisterhood.  We need deep, meaningful relationships with each other.
  • Learn to recognize the power of the Atonement in your life
  • The Lord sees weaknesses differently than he does rebellion.
  • You must become the rock the river cannot wash away.
  • Challenges:  some have to be solved, some have to be endured.

Okay!  These were just some that stood out to me from notes I have taken over the past couple of years.  I hope some of them have meaning to you and will help you in your journey.  I am happy to share them and have been strengthened by reading over them again.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mango Lemonade

Over the past several days I have had the opportunity to taste two different versions of Mango Lemonade--one at Outback Steakhouse, and one at Applebee's.  They were both good, but the Outback version was OUTstanding!  I tried to replicate that at home.

Mango syrup, nectar or fresh puree
Lemonade, tangy

1.  Pour desired amount of lemonade in glass.  Add mango to taste.  Add ice.

The quantities you use are according to your taste.  Make sure your lemonade is tart, and if you have carbonated water try using that.  I didn't have any and I think that would be closer to the Outback version.  So good.  And you get more than one free refill if you make it at home!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Breakfast Tostadas

I am currently in a breakfast funk. It's hard to come up with healthy choices when you are used to just throwing some milk and Cheerios in a bowl.   Anyone else out there grow up with cold cereal for the first meal of the day?  I would bet there are a lot of us.  Nothing against Mom--she did the best she could for her kiddos.  I can even remember a time when she was trying to get creative with some healthier options, but we just didn't cooperate very well, except with the frozen banana with peanut butter and wheat germ.  That is STILL a winner!  Maybe that should be a future post!  Stay tuned.

Anyway, as I was scouring my Pinterest folders for some ideas for my post this week, I found this gem and thought it would be a great recipe to share, plus maybe I will love breakfast again.  Plus, their picture looked so colorful and amazing.  By the way, this dish is so easy to prepare and you can do it with the messiest of counters. I had just gotten back from work and the store, plus as I was putting food away I noticed how nasty the fridge looked.  Took all the stuff off the shelves and out of the drawers and that was also on my counters, and I was able to make my tostada amidst the chaos.  Score!  And after my tostada, I cleaned/reorganized the fridge.

1  16-oz. can of re-fried beans
6 tostada shells
6 eggs
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 avocado, sliced
hot sauce

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Place tostada shells in a single layer on baking sheet.  Bake 6-7 minutes or until crisp.

2.  Place re-fried beans in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until warmed through. For those using freeze-dried beans, follow the directions on the package/can.  Mine was super easy and I made only as much as I needed.

3.  Cook eggs according to preference--I like slightly under cooked.

4.  Assemble the tostadas--put equal amounts of re-fried beans on each tostada and spread evenly.  Top each with queso, a few avocado slices.  Place an egg on each one and season with salt and pepper.  You can also use cilantro and some hot sauce or salsa, if you like.  I used hot sauce because, unfortunately, I did not have any fresh salsa ready.  Serve warm.

Source:  Taste and Tell via Pinterest.