Butternut Squash Soup


We love butternut squash soup.  Here is an easy, very nutritious one!



3 slices bacon

1 onion, chopped

2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, cubed-many markets sell it already peeled and cubed

1 pear, peeled, cored, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


Cut the bacon into about 1/2 inch pieces.


Chop the onion


Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom of a large stock pot.  Add the bacon and onion and cook about 5 minutes.


While the bacon and onions are cooking, slice the carrots.


Add carrots, butternut squash, pear,  Herbs de Provence, and nutmeg to the pan.  Cook until soft, about 9-10 minutes.


Pour in the chicken broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.


Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the soup until smooth.  Add salt and pepper.


Just before serving, stir in the half and half.


Serve with a dallop of sour cream.  Delicious on a cold winter evening!

Steak and Pepper Panninis

We had a lot of left over tri tip steak from our Sunday dinner.  We are making grilled pannini sandwiches with the left over steak. Put it with a cup of butternut squash soup and there’s dinner!


Thinly sliced steak or roast beef

1 onion, thinly sliced

1-2 yellow or red bell peppers

4 french rolls, sliced in half

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons prepared chimichurri spread

cheese of your choice

Place about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the onions and peppers, cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the steak, warm through.  Lower the heat to simmer.

Prepare a spread by combining mayonnaise with chimichurri spread.

Spread on both sides of the roll.

Spoon steak with onions and peppers on one side of each roll.

Place a slice of cheese on each sandwich.  Place tops on.

Grill sandwiches on a pannini grill or a grill pan on the stove with something heavy like a cast iron skillet to press it down.

Dinner is ready!!

Chicken and Corn Chowder

I have a beautiful picture of this soup on my Farmer’s Almanac Calendar.  This recipe looked easy, so we decided to try it.  We changed it a bit, adding more seasoning and it came out pretty good!


3 cups corn, divided

3 cups chicken broth, plus a little extra for the puree

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced ( we used a rotiserrie chicken)

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 Tablespoons flour

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 cup half and half

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a food processor or blender, puree 2 cups of the corn.  Add a little chicken broth to get the desired consistency.

Chop the onion and celery.


Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to a large stockpot, turn the heat on to medium-high.  Place the onions and celery in the pot and saute about 5 minutes, until softened.  Sprinkle the flour over all.  Add the chicken broth and stir.



Next comes the diced potatoes and pureed corn.

Cook about 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.  Add salt, pepper and cayenne.

Add the cooked chicken and half/half, heat through gently and serve.

Megan’s Easy Guacamole

We made a delicious summer southwestern salad for dinner and Megan made the guacamole to go on the grilled chicken.  Here’s her recipe!


1 1/2 to 2 ripe avocados

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon

1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper

Green Tobasco sauce to tast

1/2 teaspoon salt

Remove the pit and scoop out the avocado.  Add the lemon juice and smash with a fork.

Stir in the chopped onion, chopped tomato and jalapenos.

Add the salt.  Sprinkle in the tabasco sauce to your liking.

That’s all there is to it!  Enjoy!


Chinese Chicken Salad

Megan wanted to make Chinese Chicken Salad for dinner last night.  We used one of Bobby Flay’s recipes changed it a bit. 


First we made the Spicy Peanut Dressing:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped finely

2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo, smashed

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/2 cup canola oil

Place all ingredients in a bowl or food processor.  Whisk or mix until smooth.  Set aside.

Ingredients for the salad:

3-4 handfuls of spring salad mix

1 carrot, shredded

1/4 pound snow peas, julienned

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives

2 cups cooked chicken, diced

wonton strips or crunchy chow mein noodles


Place spring mix in a large serving bowl

Place the rest of the salad ingredients on top: snow peas, water chestnuts, carrots, onions….

Add the chicken, wonton strips last.  Toss with dressing and serve!

Mushroom, Bacon and Caramelized Onion on Naan Bread

Megan and I went to a Taste of Home Cooking School demo recently.  They demonstrated so many delicious recipes.  In our goodie bag was a sample of Naan Bread.  We decided to try an “open face” pizza-like sandwich for lunch and this is what we came up with.


1 tablespoon olive oil

3 slices of bacon

1 onion, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 Tablespoon butter

pinch of sugar

1/2 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper

Naan Bread

optional toppings:

goat cheese, sour cream, pesto, Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces

Add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large saute pan.

Add the bacon to the cold pan, turn on the heat to medium-high.

While the bacon is cooking, slice the onions and peppers.

When the bacon is cooked, add the peppers and onions.  Cook until soft.


Add the sliced mushrooms.  Melt in the butter.  At this point add a pinch of sugar, paprika, salt and pepper.  Stir together and lower the heat.

Place the Naan Bread on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for 2 minutes, just to warm and soften them.

Now it is time to start building.  We had the ingredients for pesto, so we made a fresh one.  Prepared pesto works fine.  We spread goat cheese on one Naan and sour cream on the other.

Spread about one tablespoon of pesto on each.

Top with mushroom mixture.


Sprinkle some grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the top.  Place under the broiler for 2 minutes.


Ready to serve!

Chicken with Tomato and Feta Sauce

It’s Megan’s 28th birthday today! 

We have an easy dinner recipe this week that we learned at a Greek cooking class a couple of years ago.


2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

salt and pepper

2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup feta cheese

3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped in half


 Chop the onion

 Place olive oil in a large saute pan, turn the heat to medium high and add the chopped onions.

 Sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary on both sides of the chicken breasts.

 After the onions cook about 5 minutes, add the chicken breasts, cook another 5 minutes or until chicken is browned.  Flip over and cook the other side another 5 minutes.

 Pour the tomatoes and chicken broth in and cook on medium low, covered until the chicken is just cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter.  Boil the sauce over high heat about 5 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the feta cheese and olives.

 Add the chicken back and warm through.

 Place chicken on a serving platter, spoon sauce over the top and serve.

Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

There is no better comfort food than homemade chicken noodle soup, especially on a cold winter night! It doesn’t have to take all day.  Here’s a quick recipe for a delicious soup in no time!


1 onion, chopped

*2 carrots, chopped

*2 ribs of celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

6 cups chicken broth

1 rotisserie chicken, meat taken off the bones and choppped

2 cups pasta or noodles of your choice

*You may be able to find veggies already chopped in the produce section of your market.

Chop, one medium size onion

Turn the stove on to medium high.   Place 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large stock pot and add the onions

While the onions are cooking, chop the carrots.

Chop the celery

Add the carrots and celery to the pot and cook about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock

Chop the rosemary and add it to the soup.

Stir everything together and check the seasoning.  Add salt and pepper if needed.

Place the cooked chicken in the soup.

Cook the pasta in a separate pot.

Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the soup.  Stir together.

It’s all ready to serve! Yum!

Roast Beef Hoagies with Onions and Peppers

We had quite a bit of prime rib left from Christmas dinner.  We made these sandwiches for dinner one night and they came out great!


3 cups very thinly sliced, cooked roast beef

1 onion, sliced

2 red bell peppers, sliced

4 slices deli sliced cheese ( we used Swiss)

4 hoagie rolls, sliced in half

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon creamy horseradish

Remove the outer skin from an onion, cut in half, then make thin slices

Make long, thin slices with the red pepper

Place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan and turn on to medium high heat.

Place the onions and peppers in the pan and cook about 10 minutes, until soft.

Mix mayonnaise and horseradish together to spread on sandwiches.

Place sliced rolls on a cookie sheet under the broiler until lightly toasted.

Arrange sliced roast beef on one half of the toasted rolls.

Place the cooked onions and peppers over the beef.

Then a slice of cheese on each sandwich.

Return the sandwiches to the oven, under the broiler until the cheese melts and bubbles.

Spread the horseradish sauce on one side of the bun and serve!

Quick and Easy Turkey Chili Verde

This week we used our leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make a tasty chili verde.

Ingredient List:

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 cups diced, cooked turkey

1 can (7 ounce) diced green chiles

1 can (15 ounce) white kidney beans (Cannellini Beans)

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup salsa verde

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Optional Garnish:

Sour cream

Diced avocado

Chopped green onion

Dice the yellow bell pepper on a cutting board.

Dice the onion

Place the canola oil in a large pot and turn the heat on to medium-high.

Place onion and pepper in the pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the turkey to the pot and stir to combine.

Add the cup of salsa verde….

1 cup of chicken stock…..


The can of chopped green chilis….

The cumin and ancho chili powder.  Stir all ingredients together and allow to cook about 15 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking add the beans…

and the lemon juice.

Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with sour cream, diced avocado and chopped green onion.

So yummy on a cold winter night!!!!!