Category Archives: Seasonal

Broccoli Cheese Soup

20150216_112858The weather around here has been cold and windy recently. It can chill you down to the bone!  In these conditions, not much can satisfy like a hot steaming soup to warm up body and soul.

Though this broccoli cheese soup is made completely from scratch, using only real foods -it comes together very quickly, uses simple ingredients, and contains tender carrots and broccoli with a luxurious, thick and creamy, cheesy broth.

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Apple and Caramel Sauce (Ice Cream Topping)

20141116_144111Here is a super simple recipe you can make in less than 30 minutes, all on the stove-top!

Caramel and Apples are one of those truly great combinations. Spoon it on top of ice cream and you will feel indulgent!

I did not use exact measurements for this one,so it might be a little like following your Grandmother’s recipes…you know, a little of this and a little of that. But please don’t let that discourage you from trying a batch for yourself. This one is quite easy and there is a bit of wiggle room in there for amounts depending on your preferences.

So, here we go:

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Oven-Roasted Summer Squash

P1050922The next few posts, I want to share my favorite ways to enjoy summer squash. (whether that be yellow or zucchini!)

I always look forward to that first wonderful taste of freshly picked summer squash each summer, because I do love this vegetable! It’s so versatile and there are many ways to enjoy eating it. You probably already assume that since it is a vegetable, that it is good for you. And this is true! But, do you know HOW good for you summer squash really is? According to whfoods.org, Summer Squash is high in copper, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K just to name a few!

So, what are some of my favorite ways to prepare and eat this great veggie? Comin’ right up!

Today’s version is roasted in the oven. It really could not be any simpler than this. When you bake the squash, the flavors become more concentrated and I feel like the taste is a little more bold.

You only need about 5 minutes to put this together, and only about 20 minutes to let it bake. I love to serve squash with steak, chicken, or burgers!

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Fresh Summer Chicken Salad

P1050885Last night I made chicken for dinner and since my Tim was out of town, we had more left over than usual.  So, when I began the search through the refrigerator today wondering what to whip up for lunch, Chicken Salad just sounded really good. I hadn’t had any in a long time!

Now, I know people are picky about their chicken salad. It seems like there is the camp that likes all the mix-ins- like grapes and celery, and nuts. And then there is the camp that adamantly hates that and likes it more plain. Well- I am one of those in the mix-ins camp. But, sadly I didn’t have any of that good stuff on hand to mix in!

So, I created this chicken salad with a fresh summer-flavored twist, using ingredients you are likely to have in your vegetable or herb garden this time of year, or that are in season for you to buy- and yum, yum, yum! I will make this again!

Instead of the traditional grapes, I used strawberries. Instead of celery, I’ve used cucumbers, plus fresh summer herbs and avocado. Perhaps the combination sounds a little weird to you, but it really hit the spot, and it was a great way to use up leftover chicken. It gave me a non-boring lunch for a change, too!

I ate mine right out of the bowl, but it would also taste great served over lettuce or on some good homemade bread! Give it a try!

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Strawberry Shortcakes (from scratch – without a packaged mix)

P1050852Sunshine, Summer, Simplicity, Strawberries, and Shortcakes. They just all go together too well to not make this dessert at least once this summer!

Strawberry Shortcakes make such a pretty little dessert to the eye and a yummy dessert to the taste!

There are many different styles of this classic berry treat. Some people use pound cake or a plain yellow cake, and some people prefer angel food cakes to absorb those yummy strawberries!

My personal favorite version is with the slightly sweet individual biscuit-like shortcakes. The most well-known way to make these are with a pre-packaged biscuit mix, like Bisquick.

But, you can make them quick as a wink on your own with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. This will be cheaper, as well as better for you than a packaged and preserved mix.

These shortcakes are buttery, slightly sweet, with a fluffy inside and a little crunch on the outside from the sprinkled sugar!

Here’s how to make them!

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Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (no eggs)

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There’s nothing like the taste of homemade ice cream. Yum!  Whether it’s served at the church ice cream social or as the finishing touch to your backyard family cookout, homemade ice cream is always pleasing and the perfect simple dessert.

Well, this strawberry ice cream is no exception. It is absolutely delicious- fresh strawberry taste, cold and creamy, sweet and tart- it’s the perfect welcome to summer!

My family gave it rave reviews, and most everyone went back for (at least) seconds.

And what a great way to use those strawberries you worked so hard to freeze and save after berry picking!

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Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder

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Where soups are concerned, I think this one is my very favorite!

My sister-in-law, Christa, first introduced me to her version of this soup many years ago, which is very similar to the way I now make it.

Hearty and comforting, this soup is creamy and cheesy, a little bit thick- like a chowder- and filled with tender chunks of chicken and vegetables like carrots, celery, potatoes, corn, and onions.

P1050641I love it all over again…every time!

Not only does it taste great on a chilly evening for dinner, it also warms up to make wonderful leftovers that taste just as good for lunch the next day.
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Fried Apples

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I have had fried apples on my mind ever since my Grandmother last visited a month or so ago. We were on our way to the apple orchard and discussing good ways to prepare apples. She reminisced about the absolute deliciousness of Fried Apples.

So, last night, I decided to get my fix, and serve fried apples with our turkey dinner. And I’m with Grandma- they really were yummy!

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The apples were soft, the syrup was thick, sweet and buttery and the flavors spoke of fall with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger coating the apples.

What a treat!

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How to Cut Butternut Squash

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I remember the first time I wanted to prepare butternut squash. I stood looking at that oddly shaped thing on my counter and wondered how in the world I was going to get to the good stuff inside.

I don’t remember exactly how I ended up cutting it that time, but through trial and error I have learned an easy method that works well for me.

Here’s what you do:

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12 Homemade Fall Favorites

PicMonkey Collage fall with revised textIf you are like me, the nip in the air, the crispness of the blue sky, and the gorgeous display of gold, red, and yellow leaves makes you happy because it is fall!

Fall also means ‘hello’ again to many yummy treats that we’ve missed since this time last year- like a lot of apple and pumpkin, soups for chilly nights, and winter squash!

Here are 12 of my family’s fall favorites…all homemade- no mixes and very few processed ingredients. (with the notable exception of the ‘Fall Snack Mix’…had to throw that one in there, though!) 🙂

From soups to sweets to veggies!

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