Butternut Squash Soup

Oh, this soup.

5 ingredients + spices + water.

1 hour, 15 minutes.

That’s it. And it’s thick and tasty and even enjoyed by a squash-hater (Dad). And it’s healthy and inexpensive and stretches. And you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (You might think I’m talking pancakes, but I’m not!) Gluten-free, vegan and very awesome. Let’s make this magical concoction.


Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy, piping hot, and full of flavor, this healthy soup provides your body with fiber, potassium, carotenoids and antioxidants. This means a healthier heart, cancer fighters, and healthy nervous and immune systems. It’s a power food with the consistency of buttery happiness and the color of a sunset. It’s all good. And super easy to make and eat this awesome soup. Don’t focus on the healthy and be mesmerized by the awesomity of this power house meal. Serve with crusty bread, a salad or even a potato on the side for the ultimate warmth on a winter day.

8 servings


  • 2 butternut squash (4 pounds total-ish)
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 4 cups water (or 2 cups stock and 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups milk (I used almond)
  • Spices: 2 TB olive oil, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, few dashes pepper, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of each: ginger & cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of each: nutmeg, cloves.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with a nonstick baking mat, parchment, foil or just spray. Peel and chop squash into 1-inch chunks (-ish). Chop apple, onion and carrots into bite-sized chunks, too.
  • In a large bowl, toss veggies/fruit chunks into olive oil and spices until coated. (I had to do this in 2 batches.) Then, spread the chunks out on the baking sheets as one layer (evenly roasts this way). Roast for 35 minutes, or until cooked through and browning on edges.
  • In a large pot, add water and all roasted veggies. Heat on high until bubbling. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Option 1: If you have an immersion blender: blend mixture together until desired consistency. Garnish with cinnamon and toasted seeds and enjoy!
  • Option 2: If you have a regular blender: Add half of liquid and half of veggies to your blender and blend until desired consistency. Transfer blended mixture to a large bowl. Repeat blending with remaining ingredients and transfer to the bowl or pot. Garnish with toasted seeds and cinnamon and enjoy!
  • Note: If you prefer a “runny” soup, add more water or milk and let simmer longer. Also, rinse and roast the seeds with a little olive oil and salt for 15 minutes, for a fun topping.






















Will definitely make this again. Definitely. Now to convert my husband to loving squash…and thanks to you all reading my 300th blog post. Wow, that’s crazy.





Carrot Apple Smoothie

Friends, hello! Let’s have a little refreshing beverage, shall we?

Carrot Apple Smoothie
Makes 5 cups, 3-4 servings

1 apple, sliced (no core)
4 carrots, ends cut, and sliced into 2-inch pieces
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cucumber
10 ice cubes + more if desired
1/2 cup orange juice

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Remember to find the blender’s lid and be sure to attach. (I did not.) This will prevent orange cabinets (sticky). Drink and be merry.

  • Low calorie, sweet, no added sugar
The cucumber and apple make green and red confetti in the smoothie!

 I’m coming down from the high of graduating and realizing I’m no longer a full-time student. It’s strange, really. But -bam- time to find a job. Wish me luck.

Happy eating!


LOC Bites

Like I said yesterday, my sweet grandmother was Southern to the bone. One of her signature desserts was Chess Bars. It involved all of the staples for a Mississippi dish–butter, eggs, powdered sugar, and cream cheese. Not exactly for the faint of sweets. Sometimes she added lemon, but rarely. Usually the cake mix crust warrants the prominent flavor–BUTTER–but I thought it might be nice to jazz it up a little for my Waco friends.

I’m spending two weeks in Waco for Capstone class–let’s hope these are the last classes of my life. I’m good with life long learning, but I need a break! After these two weeks, I’ll present my research project for social work, wait a week, and then (hopefully) snatch up two diplomas. Glory, glory. But back to the sugar. Chess bars…with lime and orange…in mini muffin pans. Can these count as tarts? No, bites is much more technical and approachable.

The flop the first time around. Oops.

LOC Bites (Lemon Orange Chess)

yellow cake mix (the box)
3 eggs
1 stick butter, softened
1 box of cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
1 lb of powdered sugar
1 orange
1 lemon or lime

base Preheat oven to 350. Grease 24 mini muffin cups. In a bowl, combine a yellow cake mix, one egg, and one stick of margarine. Using a teaspoon, pat one teaspoonful of batter into each cup. Pat down with your fingers–this is the crust.

topper In a second bowl, combine cream cheese, 2 eggs, and 1 box (16 oz) powdered sugar together until smooth. A mixer smooths it out so well.

topper2 Split cream cheese mixture into two bowls. In one bowl, grate an orange and add the juice of less than 1/2 of the orange (2 TB). In the second bowl, add grate a lemon and the juice of 1/2 a lemon (2 TB). Whisk each of the bowls’ ingredients separately.

assembly Using a teaspoon, spoon 1-ish teaspoon of the cake mix base in the bottom of each muffin cup. Press down with fingers, like it is a crust. Then, top with either 1 TB of the lemon or the orange filling. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the mini muffins are set and not Jello jiggly. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for 1 hours.

Serve chilled. Share generously. Eat many.

Happy eating!


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