Spicy Sausage Gnocchi Pumpkin Soup

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


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!


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.


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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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.


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.


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

Sloppy Skulls


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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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.


Have a happy Halloween!!

Speculoos Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Whiskey Maple Syrup


Booze and breakfast.


Also, Monday.

And Happy 4th birthday Living The Sweet Life🙂 wooo hoooo!!

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been blogging for 4 years already.

If you could eat any meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

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Mine, breakfast/brunch. Seriously – it outweighs lunch, dinner and dessert any day … and that says a lot!!

It’s all the pancakes, waffles, smoked salmon, bagels, dooooouuuughnuts. I want it all.


These pancakes are fluffy and full of fall spices, and the syrup – I could drink it.

Also, it’s totally kiddo friendly as all of the alcohol burns away ( wink wink… kidding, it does). Or you know, this could totally just be a parents only meal … if I catch anyone with a straw in the syrup … I’ll have no choice but to high-five you!!


Speculoos Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Whiskey Maple Syrup

Speculoos Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup ground Speculoos cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

2 cups milk

2 tbsp room temperature butter ( or margarine)

1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

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In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

Add egg, milk, butter and vanilla.

Whisk until smooth.

Using 1/2 cup scoop batter into a hot frying pan / griddle.

Cook until you begin to see small bubbles – flip and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Repeat for the remaining batter.


Whiskey Maple Syrup

1 Cup Water

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Whiskey

1 Tsp Maple Extract


In a small sauce pan, whisk together all of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until thickened – approximately 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Serve warm over pancakes.


Roasted Grape Red Wine Muenster focaccia

I want to wine and dine you.


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.


 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.


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


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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 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.


 Buon appetite!!

Honey Drizzled Turkey, Cranberry, Sweet Chili Walnut Blue potato pizza with crispy sage


Holy jumpin jones … do I have a pizza recipe that’s about to blow your mind!!

But first, a little story …

A couple of weeks ago Food Bloggers of Canada advertised for their members an opportunity to participate in The Little Potato Company event – each lucky blogger would recipe a couple bags of spuds – make something jazzy – blog about it – and we’ll all live happily ever after.


So I entered. I did so without even thinking much about it … seriously, this little blog wasn’t going to get the chance – there are so many stinking out of this world bloggers that are members of Food Bloggers of Canada , why would I get the chance of spud serendipity?

Fast forward 2 weeks … and this shows up!! 2 Bags of Something Blue Potatoes & 2 Bags of Fingerlings


Of course, the first thing I do is call my mom. And this is how the conversation went ;

“Ma, you need to come to my hose to eat potatoes … I just scored 4 wicked cool bags”

“For free?”

“ yes mother, for free …please come over”

“Dear child, no one in their right mind gets as excited as you do over potatoes … but I’ll be over as soon as possible” 

I wish I made that up. I WAS PUMPED!! The Little Potato company chose me … and I hope I did them proud with my

Honey Drizzled Turkey, Cranberry, Sweet Chili Walnut Blue potato pizza with crispy sage.


While I was compensated with these potatoes, all opinions are my very own … and now, the good – bad – and beautiful about these little taters.


–          They are little, cute and perfect for roasting alongside your holiday meal

–          LOVE the packaging and how compact they fit in my tiny refrigerator

–          LOVE the burst of blue

–          LOVE the thin skin

–          LOVE that this is a Canadian company



–          I wish the purple run throughout the potatoes ( this may be me, just being picky)

The Beautiful :


And now, let’s talk pizza.

Seriously when it comes to pizza – quality matters to me, especially when I’m making it at home. I want fresh – I want exotic – I was sweet- spicy – tangy – rich – a crunchy crust, and chewy dough… and I want it to all work together … read : Pizza Snob. And this one … BLEW MY MIND. It’s not too spicy, but there’s a kick and the honey … oooohhh the honey … and the sage … and the walnuts.


Honey Drizzled Turkey, Cranberry, Sweet Chili Walnut Blue potato pizza with crispy sage

 Pizza Dough (you can of course, also use store bought!!)

3 Cups Flour

1 Tbsp quick acting yeast

1 Tbsp Sugar

2 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/4 Cups of Water

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In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, olive oil and water. Mix until well combined.

Pour out onto a floured surface, and knead until a smooth ball forms.

Using the original bowl, lightly spray grease. Place your dough back in, and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes.


The Pizza


10 small purple potatoes  thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
½  cup olive oil, divided ¼ cup x ¼ cup

3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp sea Salt

1 Tsp ground black pepper

1 Tsp curry powder

1 Tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp ground cardamom

¼ cup sliced brie cheese

½ cup thinly sliced turkey kielbasa

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ Cup + 2 tbsp honey ( divided)

1/2 cup walnuts

1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce

4 fresh sage leaves

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Preheat oven to 425 oc.

In a bowl, combine potatoes, ¼ cup olive oil, garlic & spices. Set aside and allow to marinade.

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In a smaller bowl, combine walnuts, ¼ cup of honey and sweet chilli sauce.

Roll out prepared pizza dough.

Top with marinated potatoes

Sporadically spread your cheese

Add turkey

Sprinkle on your cranberries & top with marinated walnuts.


Bake for 30 minutes.

While baking, in a small frying pan add ¼ of olive oil and sage leaves allow to crisp for 8 minutes. Remove from oil and set aside.


Remove pizza from oven – add sage leaves and drizzle with 2 tbsp honey.

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Verdict, Mama LTSL Loved the pizza … so did Papa … and I ate it twice again this week aka — grab some The Little Potato Company Spuds and PUMP UP THE PIZZAAAA!!


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.


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 


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


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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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.


…. 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:


1 Large Pineapple


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


 Sweet Onion Bourbon Jam:


5 Large onions

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Bourbon Rum

1 Tsp. Sea salt


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:


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)



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:


4 cups Fresh Cranberries

¼ Tbsp Cinnamon


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!!