Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

It's Halloween - and figured I would make up a festive meal while I wait to hand out candy to like the 2 people that came tonight :)  I thought this was pretty good, but Ross had like 2 bites and said the cheese was too it was a bust.

If you are going to make it - to save some time, bake the squash the night before and it will save a lot of time!

1 large butternut squash1 tablespoon olive oil2 medium shallots1/2 cup quinoa1 cup water1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, plus extra for toppingpinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400˚. Slice butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place each half cut side down in a 9×13 pan and pour 1/2″ of water in the bottom. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Once done, remove and set aside.

Rinse quinoa and set aside. In a medium pan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Dice shallots, add to oil, and saute until shallots are fragrant. Stir in quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer at let cook until water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes.

While quinoa cooks, scoop out butternut squash, leaving a 1/4″-1/2″ on the sides and bottom. Drain water from pan and return butternut squash to the pan, cut side up.

Mash butternut squash and stir in gorgonzola cheese. Once quinoa is done, add it to the butternut squash. Taste and add salt if need be.

Scoop filling evenly into butternut squash halves. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese and return to oven. Let bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and the tops begin to brown. Remove from oven, cut eat half in half, and serve.

Evenly spread filling back into butternut squash.

Prego halloween costumes

When I was prego I searched and searched for pregnant Halloween costumes and found I thought I would share :)

1. Gum Ball Machine and her nickle

2. Bumpy Road with her Truck Driver

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple Sauce

We went to an apple orchard a couple weeks back, and I got motivated to make my own applesauce.  This couldn't be easier!!  I don't know why I thought it would be hard.....We made up a couple batches - and it took a total of 30 minutes!  Now we have breakfast for a month :)
optional: Sugar

Core and slice apples.  Put into a big pot (no need to peel).

Add 1/2 cup water (yes, only 1/2-1 cup water....for real....I had to call my mom 2x to make sure!) - and bring to a boil, then turn low.

Stir occasionally so that none of the apples start to burn, and wait till apples begin to get mushy.

Then run apples through sieve (this fancy apple making tool!)

Once in container - add some cinnamon to taste.  If sauce is super bitter, add a bit of sugar.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

AMAZING!!!!  I'm really tempted to only write that, because it was that good!!  Don't be scared of this recipe....I kinda was cause it had a lot of really random stuff in it, but it was SO GOOD!!  I can't wait to eat more of this for lunch today too!!

It makes a lot, so you can either cut it in half - or freeze it like us!  Now we'll be eating like champs when Baby S is here :)  It also was really easy to make - I just prepared everything the night before, and then threw the crock pot in the fridge...woke up this am - and turned it on, and came home to the best dinner ever!!

Makes 16 cups: OBB Cookbook

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (any color)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapenos, minced
20 oz ground turkey breast
8 oz mushrooms, minced (about 2 heaping cups)
2 teaspoons cumin
2  teaspoons kosher salt
½  teaspoons pepper
1  teaspoon oregano
1  teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2  teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
28 oz can tomatoes (not drained)
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
32 oz beef broth (one box/carton)
15 oz can pumpkin puree (make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling :)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
optional: sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro or green onion, and fresh lime juice for serving

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant.  Add to slow cooker.

In same skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil.  Add turkey and mushrooms and stir to combine.  Sprinkle in cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and smoked paprika.  (note: the meat will taste very seasoned when done.  Keep in mind these seasonings are not to flavor just the meat, they will season the entire pot of chili, so they are intentionally strong!)  Add turkey mixture to slow cooker.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir til combine.  Place lid on pot and cook for  4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.   Slow-cookers vary greatly in temperature and cooking times, but really, the important thing to note is if the sweet potatoes are tender.

When done, turn off heat and let chili sit with lid off for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Season with additional salt to taste before serving.  If desired, serve with sour cream, sliced avocados, and a small squirt of fresh lime juice, and any other toppings desired.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple Crack Dessert

So someone at cookbook tonight said their "favorite thing to eat was apples...." - really?!  :)  We had someone else say "dessert" - so I figured I would team them up.  This was so good we ate most of it BEFORE we ate dinner!!  Perfect treat for FALL too!!

1 block cream cheese, (room temperature)
4 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
Caramel sundae sauce
Mini chocolate chips
Crushed heath bar
Granny Smith Apples, (sliced & soaking in lemon juice/water until ready to serve)

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until slightly fluffy.

Spread the cream cheese mixture onto a serving platter.

Top with caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips & crushed heath bar - and EAT!!

Real Taco Pie

Lots of peeps at cookbook have a "thing" for taco's - so I tried to find a new way to prepare their favorite treat!  This was pretty was a twist on your typical taco.  We had some good ideas of making the crust out of crushed doritos the next time...

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 package taco seasoning mix (1 1/4 oz)
2 1/2 cups mashed potato flakes
1lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (4oz)
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter.  Add milk and 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix.  Remove from heat and stir in potato flakes until incorporated.  Press mixture over bottom and sides of 10" pan.

In a medium skillet, cook beef and onions until beef is browned and onions are tender.  Drain off fat - and stir in remaining taco seasoning mix and BBQ sauce.  Cook while stirring until bubbly, then pour into prepared potato crust.

Bake uncovered in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, and top with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Cut into squares and serve with sour cream.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Cookbook Clubs theme tonight was "Favorite Eats" - so did a combo of someone saying "appetizers" and "anything with jalapenos" to come up with this yummy treat!  Let's just say it was so good, we ran out of are going to need double the amount of bread they have listed below...but this tasted equally amazing with Ripple potato chips :)

2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened (light works great)
1 cup mayonnaise (light also works here, but DON’T use Miracle Whip!)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
4oz can fire roasted green chilies
4oz can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
8oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 sourdough baguettes, sliced, and/or crackers

Preheat oven to 350.

If using bacon, reserve 2-3 Tbs and sprinkle on top of dip before baking.  (We just baked the bacon in the oven - throw it on a cookie sheet, lined with foil - and put at 400 for about 15 minutes....DONE!)

Combine cream cheese, mayo, parmesan, and garlic and stir until smooth.  Add jalapenos and green chilies.  If using bacon, stir in remaining bacon.

Spread dip into a 9 pie plate or a small baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining bacon if using.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dip is bubbly and golden brown.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saucy Hot Dogs

This was a total Ross meal...he always tries to get me to eat brats....hotdogs....but that's not something I can blog :)  SO I found something I could blog!!  This was really good!!  Didn't take much time to prepare, and it got me to eat a hot dog (well a high-quality dog!).  DO it up!

OBB Cookbook

3 slices bacon
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle chili sauce (like Heinz, not like Sriracha)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup apple juice
8 high-quality hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
Desired toppings (like shredded cheese and chopped onions)

In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is crisp. Drain the bacon on a paper towel, leaving the drippings in the pan. Add the onion and garlic to the drippings and saute until the onions are tender and fragrant.

Add the chili sauce, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, crumbled bacon, and apple juice and bring to a boil. Add the hot dogs and cook for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the hot dogs are hot. Either serve immediately or transfer to a slow cooker set to the low setting. Serve with shredded cheese and chopped onions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cream Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken

We made THE-BEST-MEAL-EVER tonight!  We teamed these AMAZING (and so simple)! chicken breasts with brown rice, and Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans, Dried Cherries, and Blue Cheese.  It was filed immediately into our Sodahl favs!  It was just so simple and great!!  
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil 
4 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon basil pesto (
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine cream cheese, pesto and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.

Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up each breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.

Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans, Dried Cherries, and Blue Cheese

YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I literally LICKED the bowl tonight.  We made the best meal ever tonight - another Sodahl fav!!!  We made this with Cream Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken  and brown rice.  Everything was SO great!!  I could eat this every day this fall, and never get bored.  So so so so so so good!!

A tip: dried cherries were kinda expensive, so I just bought Craisins -cherry flavored, and those worked perfect!


1 lb butternut squash, cubes
1 red onion, sliced
pinch of dried sage
about 1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.

Arrange the squash cubes and sliced red onions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, and sage, drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.

Scatter pecans over the top and roast for another 5 minutes. Remove squash from oven and toss with dried cherries and blue cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Month-by-Month Onesies

We have lots of baby showers in the next couple of months, and I found the perfect gift!!  These month-by-month onesies couldn't have been easier!!  (and look how cutie they are!).

3 (0-3 month) onesies
3 (3-6 month) onesies
3 (6-9 month) onesies
3 (12 month) onesies
Month-by-Month Printables
Iron on transfer paper

Print templates on transfer paper. (They will be mirror images.)

Cut out designs, leaving a small white border around each. Place the first month's design face down on the front of the smallest size shirt.

Using a dry iron on the hottest setting, iron the back of the design with firm pressure for 30 seconds. Turn iron halfway through so tip of soleplate is facing opposite direction.

Peel off transfer paper immediately. Stretch design outward in direction of fabric grain.

Repeat for each month, ironing the designs onto the appropriate size shirts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Baby Registry

So if you haven't been able to tell from my blog - I'm in my "nesting" phase of pregnancy :)  It's all been super fun - and every time we get something done, it makes us that much more excited to meet our little one!!  The one part that was a little overwhelming - and I didn't really want to even start was "Registering"....(yeah I just said that I didn't want to start!)

It isn't like wedding registering where you know exactly what you want and what you need....Ross and I walked into Babies R Us, and pretty much walked right back out.  It's so overwhelming...there is so much crap those places tell you "that you have to have".  AND I don't even know what half the stuff is!!!

SO I got smart and organized.  I created a spreadsheet (yup - I run my life with spreadsheets) - and I emailed all the moms I know for their advice.  I compiled all their advice - from what I "need" to what brands of "xxx" I should quantities I really would need.  All their advice is on the tab "Registry Reviews" - and I have it separated out by "Baby Area" & by "Mommy"  :)  THEN - I made another tab "Registry Checklist" where I consolidated what I needed when I got to Babies R US / Target (and categorized that by "Baby Area" to make it more slick).

Then when Ross and I (and my mom and I) went back into Babies R Us / Target - it made it SUPER easy and FUN to register!!  Thought I would share my goods, so all moms-to-be can have fun with the process too!!  ENJOY!

The key to awesomeness:  Baby Registry

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut Squash Pizza

Chef Ross in the house tonight....had a LONG / ROUGH day at work today, so it was awesome to come home and have dindin ready.  We had to hit up new parent class tonight, so this was a quick fix (I'm told) - and it was really good!  Guess what Ross said though......"um - it would taste really good with some meat on it."  :)  It was a good choice for a quick, fall feast!

1 small butternut squash (about a pound, but you will likely have leftover squash)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
Ricotta cheese
a few sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
10-15 sage leaves
Canola oil for frying
Pizza Crust

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Remove the skin: Slice the top of the squash about 1/2-inch under the stem to create a flat edge. Repeat with the other end. Cut crosswise through the squash just above the bulb — cutting the squash into two pieces makes the peeling process easier. Note: I made only one pizza, so I only peeled the longer portion (the non bulb portion) of the butternut squash. Stand the squash (whichever piece you want to peel first) upright and, being careful not to slice off your fingers, run your knife down the sides of the squash removing the peel along the way. Repeat with bulb portion if desired. After peeling the bulb portion, cut it in half, scoop out seeds and discard. Cut the peeled squash crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place the slices of squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with kosher salt to taste, toss to coat, redistribute onto sheet in one layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic and add it to about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Brush dough with the garlic olive oil. (I spooned some of the oil into the center of the dough and then, using the back of my spoon, spread it over the dough to coat evenly.) Spread a thin layer of fresh ricotta over the garlic oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to taste. Top with baked squash slices. Top with grated Parmigiano. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the sage. The sage leaves should take no longer than 5 seconds in hot oil to crisp up. I didn’t use a thermometer or a deep fryer, so it was a trial and error process, but I found that frying the leaves one at a time in a small sauté pan filled with a layer of canola oil worked well ultimately. I had to take the pan off the heat every so often, but once I got the hang of it, it was a simple process and well worth the effort — the crispy sage adds a really nice flavor.

Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the crispy sage. Yum!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hamburger Spiral Noodle Casserole

Rossy is heading home from traveling all week, so figured I would give him a home cooked meal!  This was really yummy, but almost too cheesy.  I would either use a different kind of cheese (instead of the Velveeta), or use about 1/2 the amount.  Other than that - yummy!
Makes 8 servings: General Store Cookbook

1 1/2 lb hamburger
3 cups rotini macaroni noodles
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon sugar

In a large skillet, brown the hamburger, onion, garlic salt, pepper, and salt.  Pour off grease, add tomato sauce and sugar.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir periodically.

Add 3 quarts of water to a pan, and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft; drain.

Blend in sour cream and cream cheese.  Add hamburger mixture and stir all together.  Put into 9x13 inch glass pan and top with shredded cheese.  Cover foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.  Remove cover the last 15 minutes to allow cheese to melt and lightly brown.