Spicy Sausage Gnocchi Pumpkin Soup

Dipping temperatures outside can only mean one thing, it’s gotta get toasty inside!!

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Can we finally say, soup season is here?!? The temperature has been so weird lately … not that I’m complaining, but we’ve been having warmer than normal days, and then this weekend — hellllloooooo November chill!

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I’ve got a couple of soups floating around the blog, and ironically ( or not so ironically) most of them, have a pumpkin base. It’s the colour … the burst of orange, reminds me of fall. The spices, leave my home smells aaahhh-mazing.

This soup is hearty, its quick, it’s got a kick — aka perfect recipe, to leave you warm, comforted and with a soup baby.

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Spicy Sausage Gnocchi Pumpkin Soup

·         2 lbs Turkey sausage

·         3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 large onion, chopped

·         3 cloves garlic, minced

·         1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Thyme

·         2 Fresh Basil leaves

·         1 Dried Bay Leaf

·         ¼ tsp curry powder

·         ¼ tsp caraway seeds

·         1 ½ cups Pumpkin Puree

·         6 Cups Chicken Stock

·         2 cups Water

·         1 tbsp Salt

·         1 ½ tbsp. Black Pepper

·         1 package prepared gnocchi

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Directions:

In a large non-stick frying pan, on medium-high heat brown the Italian sausage 2 minutes on each side.

Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Once cooled. Slice into bite sized pieces.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add cooked sausage, onions, garlic, thyme, basil, bay leaf, curry powder and caraway seeds. Allow to sauté for 7 minutes. All of your ingredients should start to become fragrant.

Add pumpkin, chicken stock, water , salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add gnocchi and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

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Sloppy Skulls

I don’t do Halloween.

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What I mean is, I don’t do the dressing up scaring the cheese doodles out of myself and others kind of Halloween.

I do the eat tons of candy, make themed treats watch movies all night with the lights on kind of Halloween, still holding on tightly to Mr. LTSL….

You never know, evil ghosts and creepy things can still appear in the light.

What are you guys doing for Halloween?!? Is anyone hosting a party, dressing up, stealing your kids candy?!?

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Will anyone else be eagerly awaiting the Jimmy Kimmel I stole your candy video?!?! Hahahah so good … yet, so evil.. but so good.

The last couple of years I’ve focused on snack-ish items with my Halloween Chocolate Funfetti Cookies and a healthy dose of Halloween Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Squares … this year though I have something not just spooky but so delicious and savory, because let’s be honest, as much as I’d like to live on cookies and cakes and doughnuts ( oh, my) – I can’t.

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I need sloppy joes. Ooooorrr in this case, sloppy skulls.

Sloppy Skulls

Dough

3 Cups Flour

1 Tbsp Instant Yeast

1 Tbsp Sugar

2 Tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/4 Cup Water

Sloppy filling

1 pack dried sloppy Joe Mix

1 can tomato paste

1 lb medium ground beef ( you can totally sub in ground chicken, turkey or pork)

1 1/4 Cup Water

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Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil.

Slowly add water and knead until dough comes together.

Cover and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough rises, on medium high heat, brown the ground beef – should take about 10 minutes.

Add sloppy joe mix, tomato paste and water.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 425 oc.

Once dough rises, punch down and empty onto a lightly floured surface.

Separate the dough into 4 even pieces.

Roll each dough piece into a 1/4 inch circle, place into  greased skull cake pan.

Carefully fill each with sloppy filling and cover with remaining dough.

Repeat with 3 other dough pieces.

Bake for 30 minutes.

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Have a happy Halloween!!

Roasted Grape Red Wine Muenster focaccia

I want to wine and dine you.

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All in one meal .. snack?… appetizer?

Bread – Gooey cheese – and red wine, and grapes .. so it’s also health food … all in one!!

 YES YES YES .. dooo it, dooo it , dooo it!! …. Seriously, peer pressure of the best kind.

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 Cheese, bread and red wine may be my choice last meal. Ever.

I lie. For my last meal, I want fruitloops. No, no I don’t.

I want chocolate chip cookies … or macaroni and cheese – but not the boxed kind.

Or a smokey brisket sandwich would do me right – but so would a healthy (read : huge-mongous) slice of carrot cake …. But I can’t forget home-made bread … or pretty much anything my granny makes.

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It’s a good thing, I’m not going anywhere – I’m not ready to make my last meal decision quite yet – it’s too much pressure, and plus I have waaaayy to much to still eat ( that should say do/travel/learn … but no, eat)

 Ladies and cheeseheads … heh. I called all the boys cheeseheads … I feel like you need this focaccia. Either you need it, or you need to rescue it out of my sight because I can totally see myself ( read: have) polishing off the ENTIRE thing.

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 Real life.

Red wine Muenster focaccia

 INGREDIENTS:

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet quick rising Yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided ( 1 tsp x 1/2 tsp)
1-1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided ( 2 tbsp x 2 tbsp)
1 cup fresh seedless grapes

¼ cup red wine

1 tablespoons dried rosemary

2/3 cup cubed muester cheese

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DIRECTIONS:

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 In a small bowl, combine grapes and red wine – allow to marinate while you prepare other ingredients.

In an other bowl, add flour, dry yeast, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until combined.

Using a Microwave safe bowl, combine water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Microwave on high for 30 seconds

Add oil mixture to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until well mixed.

Spread into greased 9×13 inch pan. Cover with towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

 Gently poke holes about every inch in the dough going nearly to the bottom of the dough.

Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and evenly top with  rosemary and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Let rise, uncovered, an additional 15 minutes. Make indents one more time and scatter your marinated grapes and parmesan cheese. Allow to rise one last time while oven preheats to 400 degrees.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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 Buon appetite!!

Roasted Butternut Beer Nut Soup

SSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUPPPPP makes me want to slllllllllllllllllllllllllluuuuurrrrrp.

Sorry .. except, it’s true.

One of my pet peeves is loud eaters … there’s something about hearing someone chew like a cow that makes me want to ninja them in their head. I know sometimes it can’t be helped. It’s mostly those who chew with their mouths open that I can’t handle. Not that I would actually do anything to them, except shoot them evil laser beaming stink eye.

Here’s the fun part of this whole story … I’m a gulper.

My coffee … I gulp.

My Tea … I gulp.

And soup … I gulp.

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Not on purpose and I definitely want to throat punch myself when I realize I’m doing it… but this soup – it’s totally gulp/slurp worthy.

Slurp away home-fries …

Perfect for a cold fall day, sweet – spicy – nutty. I added beernuts as a thickening agent to this soup… and beer #WINNING.

Another little story before I get to the recipe … or you can ignore this jibber-jabber and just scroll down. I read tons of food blog, some I comment on – others I read and admire in a corner.. in true creeper form. There are two blogs though that I read no.matter.what. these two are by far my favourite bloggers in all of internet land and I would probably get heart palpitations if I were to ever meet them in person.

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Joy, from Joy the Baker and Jessica from How Sweet It Is. These wonder women and freaking geniuses … not to mention, cooler than this cat would ever be. The reason I mention this, is both these lovely ladies, have used funky things to thicken up their soups. Joy in her Vegan Carrot Jalapeno Soup used cashews .. cashews!!! ~ I don’t mean to be a snob, but TOLD YOU SHE WAS A GENIUS!!

And Jessica in her Smoked Gruyère butternut soup ( first, how freaking delicious does this sound?!?) added coconut milk.

I die. And also, because I want to be hip and happening like them when I grow up .. I used both soups as inspiration aka, I totally copied their ideas and then threw in some LTSL love.

Roasted Butternut Beer Nut Soup 

INGREDIENTS

1 large butternut squash, sliced in half lengthways

1 onion cut into chunks

4 Cloves of garlic

3 bay leaves

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

sea salt

pepper

2 cups of water

2 Cup of Beer Nuts

2 1/2 cups pumpkin ale

1 teaspoon Cinnamon Spice

1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss squash, onion, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast with skin size up for  60 minutes.

While roasting, combine water and beer nuts in blender. Blend for 1 minuet to create a smooth paste.

Remove bay leaf from roasted vegetable and allow to cool slightly ( 10 minutes)

Add cooled roasted vegetables and blend until desired consistency ( you may need to add some water if you prefer a thinner soup – I ended up adding about a cup of water).

Pour into large pot, and reheat over medium.

Add cinnamon, paprika, clove and pumpkin ale.

Heat thoroughly and serve.

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…. Welcome to a mish-mosh of thanksgiving and Sunday football!!

Open-faced Pineapple Turkey Summer Slider

It’s Monday, and it seems like your socks need to be rocked.

 Drop your glasses, shake your asses

Face screwed up like you having hot flashes

Which one, pick one, this one, classic

 … *gasp* bad words

Also, that song will now be in my head all day … I’ll be strolling down the street , yelling Eve at the top of my lungs.

 That’s some classy stuff right thhhuuurr.

I annoy myself … on the constant. True story. 

I like it when my food looks pretty, I feel like it’s half the battle.

Especially these days, I’m trying to eat healthy and I know that healthy doesn’t have to taste or look like cardboard but sometimes it can get boring. A woman can only drink so many smoothies, and eat so many kale / spinach salads.

 I’m on a new sweet-salty-savory combo kick these days. And pretty – when life fails, get pretty.

 And then I made this pish-posh meal. It looks fancy pants, but is a breeze – that’s the good stuff. Wow your tummy and guest by making it seem like you got all Haute and bothered, when actually you’ve been sipping margaritas with your feet in the pool all day.

 I actually had no intention of writing about this recipe, therefore I have little to no pictures, but then I tasted it.

And it would be wrong ( and probably a little greedy) if I didn’t sprinkle some sum-sum-summaaa time in your life.

Annoyed. I know. Sorry.

 Open-faced Pineapple Turkey Summer Slider

Grilled Pineapple:

Ingredients:

1 Large Pineapple

 Directions:

Slice the pineapple into 1inch rounds – set aside, as you will grill these at the very end.

 

 Sweet Onion Bourbon Jam:

Ingredients:

5 Large onions

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Bourbon Rum

1 Tsp. Sea salt

 Directions:

Finely slice each of the onions – no need to be neat, they will melt down either way.

Over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil.

Add onions to pan and brown for 25 minutes.

Add 1 tbsp. of bourbon, cover and reduce heat to low.

Allow to cook for 40 minutes, mixing occasionally.

 The onions will caramelize and begin to melt down. Add sea salt.

Remove from the heat and set aside for your burger

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Turkey Rye Burger:

Ingredients:

1 Lb Ground Turkey

1 large egg

4 Cloves of Garlic – minced

¼ cup fresh parsley – chopped

1/2 Tbsp Sea Salt

½ Tbsp Ground pepper

½ Tbsp chilli flakes

2 slices of day old rye bread broken into small pieces ( you should end up with about a cup and a half of pieces)

 

Directions:

Mix together all of your ingredients, forming 4 large-thick patties.

Grill your burgers to your liking.

Before turning off the grill, add your pineapples to the BBQ for 2 minutes on each side ( just long enough, to get those delicious char marks)

 

Cranberry Compote:

Ingredients:

4 cups Fresh Cranberries

¼ Tbsp Cinnamon

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 oc

Wash and dry your cranberries. Scatter onto a baking tray.

Roast for 40 minutes, turning half way through to avoid sticking.

 Remove from the heat, place in large bowl and add cinnamon. Using a potato masher, mash until smooth.

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 Layer all of your components and chow down!!

Spicy Apple Carrot Ginger Soup

Easter is right around the corner!!

He’s coming – the master chocolate monster – except he’s not a monster.

The Easter Bunny.

Cute – fluffy – and filled with chocolate … what’s not to love?

And so you can save the sweet treats and let’s face it the calories for when the Easter bunny leaves behind his sweet surprised, let’s start the week on a healthy note.

Comforting.

Creamy.

Slightly Sweet – A little Spicy and  Oh so incredibly delicious.

Also, shall we discuss the amazing pop of colour?

I love it when delicious food looks as great as it taste … and that extra punch of added health benefits – – winning!!

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Carrot Ginger Soup

1 Large Red Onion ~ Chopped

4 Stocks of celery ~ Chopped

2 Gala Apples ~ Chopped

6 Large Carrots ~ Peeled and Chopped

1 Tbsp Ginger ~ Chopped

4 Cloves of Garlic ~ Chopped

1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme

1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary

1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tsp Sriracha Sauce

2 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp (each) Black Pepper , Paprika, ground ginger powder

4 1/2 Liters of Water

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Directions: 

In a large soup pot, bring the water to a boil.

Add onion, celery, apples, carrots, ginger & garlic. Allow to boil for 25 minutes.

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Add fresh thyme and rosemary. Allow to boil for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend 2 cups of soup to create a smooth – velvety texture. After every 2 cups, return to soup pot. Continue until all of the soup is as smooth as a bunny😉

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Once all of the soup has been blended, return to heat. Add yogurt, apple cider vinegar  sriracha sauce, salt, pepper, paprika and ginger powder.

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Simmer for 10 minuets to allow the flavours to get to know each other.

Then, dig in!!

Besides keeping you healthy, I’m helping to sharpen your eyes so come next weekend when hunting season begins, you’ll be right on top of your chocolate game ;) 

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Have a great week, ladies & gents

xox

1000 Sand Moroccan Stew

Have you ever been sitting at the beach on a warm summers day – drink in hand – you’re in your cute two piece bikini ( this is a dream … just let me run with it) and then suddenly there’s a bit of wind and *gulp* you eat a mouthful of sand.

Dis.gust.ting.

I’m not to sure why I wanted to open this recipe with such a picture but let’s be honest … I needed to break the tension. I received e-mails from some of you who were worried, that I was missing in action. And for all of you, I love you.

For that same set you sent their love … I want to warm your heart with a blanket of this stew.

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Which is de.lic.ious. and actually tastes nothing like real sand. But has tiny little grains of couscous and tons of middle eastern flare … it’s sand stew … of the yummiest variety.

This is the type of meal, you let simmer all Sunday long … you let the flavours and smells permeate every corner of your home and leave your tummy talking until it’s ready. And in true stew nature, the longer it sits … the more delicious. 

1000 Sand Moroccan Stew

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Lamb

  • 3 Lbs Lean Lamb ~ Cubed
  • 1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbsp (each) Salt, Black Pepper, Ginger Powder, Onion Powder, Cinnamon, Cumin Powder, Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions

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In a medium-sized bowl, combine lamb and all of the above ingredients. Allow to marinade as you prepare the other ingredients ( the lamb can also sit over night… but it doesn’t have to🙂 )

Soup

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Red Onion ~ Chopped
  • 2 Small Tomatoes ~ Chopped
  • 5 Cups of Water
  • 1 Large Carrot ~ Chopped
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves 
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro ~ Chopped
  • 2 Cups Canned Lentils
  • 3 Cups Canned Chickpeas
  • 1 Cup CousCous

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Directions:

In a large soup pot, add olive oil and allow to heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic, onions and tomatoes. Allow to cook until the tomatoes begin to sweat ( approximately 4 minutes)

Add your marinade meat to the pot. Allow to brown.

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Next, add your water and boil for 20 minuets until the lamb becomes tender.

Toss in your chopped carrots, and all of your spices. Continue to boil for an other 3 minutes

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Next, in goes the lentils and chick peas. Last, add in your couscous. Allow to boil for another 2 minuets.

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Grab your favorite bowl and dive into a little winter warmth.

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Enjoy my loves, I guarantee this will defrost you from this silly silly SILLY winter weather we’ve been having.

xoxox