Spicy Sausage Gnocchi Pumpkin Soup

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

IMG_9296

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!

IMG_9288

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.

IMG_9264

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

IMG_9270 IMG_9269

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.

IMG_9284

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.

IMG_2703

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.

IMG_2582 IMG_2665

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

IMG_2602 IMG_2652 IMG_2661

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.

IMG_2705

…. 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

 photo 4

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.

photo 3

 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!!

IMG_20130209_162632

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

IMG_20130209_163020

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.

IMG_20130209_171915  IMG_20130209_174454

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😉

IMG_20130209_202654

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

IMG_20130209_203119

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 ;) 

Camera 360

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.

sms Camera 360 

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

SMS

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

SMS

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

Camera 360

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.

sms sms

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

Sms sms sms

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

sms

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

1000SMS

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

xoxox

Fall Oatmeal Harvest Cookies

Surprise – – Surprise I have cookies for you to celebrate the 1st of October!!

It’s love.

My love for you … and cookies that is. 

Let’s rewind for a second though, OCTOBER 1st?! How is it that the year is just zipping by?

Next weekend, is Thanksgiving – and then Halloween –  and then American Thanksgiving (yes, I celebrate both :$ …with lots of food of course) – then Christmas parties – holiday dinners – Kris Kringle – Christmas Eve – Christmas Day and before we know it it’s New Years Eve😦 . Throw in a couple birthdays, anniversaries, LTSL events and …..

*yawn* I’m tired just thinking about all of it.

The truth is, I say it exhausts me (and it does) but I love it. I love it all. Especially Christmas. LOVE LOVE LOVE  LOVE CHRISTMAS. It’s a big deal in the LTSL home, and not just for the cookies, although they do help to sweeten things up.

Speaking of cookies – – Lookie, lookie what I have for you.

These little puppies were highly highly highly inspired by this week’s Sunday’s With Joy. See, I sat down to read over this weeks recipe for Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies. I started making a couple of adjustments … tweaking here – – tinkering there and before I knew it — I pretty much had a brand spanking new cookie

But these cookies do have sweet potatoes in them. And they also have carrots … and oatmeal… and nuts … can we call this a breakfast cookie, since there’s all this yummy-healthy stuff in it? AND THERE’S NO BUTTER … and not much sugar. Don’t worry … I’m not turning health monster on you … but remember life is about moderation and if a cookie can be counted on the healthy side of moderation

WE HAVE A WINNER!!

Fall Harvest Oatmeal Cookies

* inspired by Joy’s Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies*

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 cup cubed sweet potato ~ seasoned with 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt, 1 Tbsp Honey.

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Flour

3/4 Cup Rolled Oats

1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp Ground Ginger Spice

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Cup Trail Mix

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 oc. Prepare baking tray for your vegetables.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together seasoned sweet potatoes and carrots. Arrange on baking tray and roast for 25 minutes.

 

Remove from tray and mash. Your sweet potato, carrot combination should resemble thick mashed potatoes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 oc.

In a large bowl, combine sugars, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract and mashed vegetables. Set aside.

  

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and sea salt.

Combine your wet and dry ingredients, and mix well.

 

Add trail mix, cranberries and flax seeds.  Mix. Scoop onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.


Happy October Sweet Hearts, enjoy everything this cozy month has to offer

xox

Sunday’s With Joy: Shrimp Mango Salad with Maple Mustard Almonds

With all the cookie munching going on around here and while burying myself in mounds of butter, sugar and flour I noticed LTSL has been lacking something.

Something VERY important.

A salad.

Children of the playground, the fact is life is about balance.

It should be a mix of eating healthy, exercising, laughing, loving, having great friends and family … aaannndd of course a cupcake – – or two. But all in moderation.

Personally, I work out and eat well Monday to Thursday and then on the weekend (yes, my weekend starts on a Friday:) )  I allow my body to rest and indulge in a little sweet satisfaction.  Honestly, I hate working out. HATE IT. I cry, scream and curse the entire time. But after – – I feel like superwoman and I’m happy to go about my day.

I also do it because I like eating things like this … and do we even have to go into my cookie cravings.  But I save that for the weekend.

During the week, I need salads – whole grains – lean meats and to have my cupcake kicked when I work out. I crave fresh vegetables and the crunch of an apple … or two.

I need it all. And it needs to be pretty. And delicious.

This week, I worked my magic and added a splash of Sunday’s with Joy and….

Taaadaaaa!!

Shrimp Mango Salad with Maple Mustard Almonds

1/2 Cup of Joy The Baker‘s Honey Mustard Cashews (see below for alterations)

2 Firm Mangos ~ thinly sliced

1/2 Sweet Bell Pepper ~ thinly sliced

1 Medium Carrot ~ thinly sliced

2 Cloves of Garlic ~minced

2 Tbsp each of fresh Cilantro ,Basil, Mint and Thyme ~minced

2 Tbsp Lime Juice

1 Tsp Granulated Sugar

1 Tbsp Fish Sauce

1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce

1 Cup of pre-cooked shrimp, seasoned to taste with Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Joy The Baker’s Honey Mustard Cashews

*Note: I used Joy’s recipe, that can be found in her fantastic book … buy it, trust me. It’s a classic and a keeper. It doesn’t even have time to sit on my shelf. I substitution Maple Syrup for the mustard and used Almonds instead of cashews.

  1.   

Shrimp Mango Salad

Prepare all of the ingredients, as advised above.

Toss together all of your vegetables and seasonings.

In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and Sriracha.

Add your salad dressing, to your vegetable and herb mixture and toss.

Top with shrimp and sprinkle with Almonds.

With all this yummy action, I don’t mind skimping on the sweet treats for a while.

Enjoy my sugarpies

Xoxox