Saturday, 6 October 2012

Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup

Fall is upon us and nothing says fall quite like butternut squash soup! The great thing about soup is that you don't have to be exact so this recipe is just a general guideline, feel free to get creative!

 In a large pot over medium heat add oil. Chop onion and garlic and saute. Add rosemary. 

Peel butternut squash as you would a carrot and cube. Add to pot. Add carrots. Saute all vegetables for about 5 minutes.

Add water until it just covers all vegetables. Add bouillon and salt. Cover. Cook on high until boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until all vegetables are fork tender.

Allow mixture to cool. Working in batches using a blender or food processor, puree soup adding 1/2 cup of milk or 2-4 tbsp of cream cheese to each batch. Pour pureed soup into large bowl. Once all soup is pureed, mix soup by hand in large bowl. You may want to add more salt at this point as well.

Reheat and serve.

To freeze soup, place a sandwich bag into a cup as you would a garbage bag into a garbage bin and add 3-4 scoops of soup. Seal bag, removing air, lay flat and freeze. Makes 10 servings.

Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 tbsp dried rosemary
6 cups (approx) cubed butternut squash
2-3 cups baby carrots
*2 bouillon rectangles 
6 cups (approx) water
2 cups milk OR 1/2 - 1 cup cream cheese (both optional)
salt to taste

* I used reduce sodium, organic bouillon as most others have MSG.  

Nutritional Information
Calories: 115  Fat 3.2g  Sodium: 187mg  Carbs: 20.8g  Fiber 1g  Sugar 7g  Protein: 3.3g

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Key Hanger

After losing my car key for 45 minutes one day, I decided it was finally time to make this key hanger that I've been meaning to make for almost a year!

Picture Frame
Measuring Tape

When choosing a frame, make sure it's durable enough to drill into. For the picture I'm using an awesome caricature of my house that my cousin gave to us for our wedding.

Remover backing and glass. Measure frame, making marks where you want to drill and insert the hooks.

Drill holes using a drill bit slightly smaller than the threaded end of your hooks.
 Twist in hooks.

Replace glass, insert picture and hang. It's just that easy! I hung mine with a few command adhesive strips.

*Bonus Tip*
My car key no longer has a hook to hang it so this is what I did:

Using an old travel size soap bottle,  trace a line where you want to cut the bottle. I found kitchen scissors work well.

 Cut out the shape (low in the front, high in the back). Punch a hole in the top.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Peanut Butter and "Jam" Date Balls

Super simple but these little balls pack a lot of flavor! This is a small recipe so feel free to double or triple it.

Add all ingredients to a food processor.

Process about 2 minutes or until able to form into balls.


PB and J Balls
1/2 cup Dates
1/4 cup Puffed Wheat
1/4 cup Peanuts
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

Makes: 10
Nutritional Information: Calories: 43 Fat: 1.4g  Carbs: 7.2g  Fiber: 0.7g  Sugar: 5.5g  Protein: 1g

*Alternate Recipe*
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup Dates
1/4 cup Puffed Wheat
2 tbs Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Peanuts
1 tbs Cocoa Powder

Monday, 27 August 2012

Healthier Nuts and Bolts

Nuts and bolts can be a decently healthy as far as party snacks go but all the recipes I found added almost of cup of butter. Completely unnecessary.

Preheat over to 350F.

Mix pretzels, peanuts, bagel chips, cheerios and wheat squares in a big bowl.

Melt margarine. Add Worcestershire sauce and spices. Pour over dry mixture. 
*Tip: Pour margarine mixture on edges of bowl instead of directly on mix. This allows for better overall coverage instead of the wet mixture getting absorbed by a few bagel chips.*

Put mixture into one or two baking pans. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes. Toss every 5 minutes.


Healthier Nuts and Bolts
3 cups pretzel sticks
4 cups Bagel Chips
1/2 cup peanuts
3 cups cheerios
3 cups wheat squares
3 tbsp margarine
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 - 2 tsp spices or seasoning (ie: BBQ, taco etc)

Makes 13.5 cups
Nutritional Information: per 1/2 cup
Calories: 103   Fat: 3.3   Carbs: 16.6   Fiber 1.7g   Sugar: 2.3g   Protein: 2.9g

Bagel Chips

Bagel chips are a great way to use up old bagel s and make for a tasty snack on their own or can be added to other snack mixes. You can use cinnamon raisin or blueberry bagels for a sweet chip.

Cut bagel in half. Half that half and half it again. So cutting the bagel in to 8ths. From this, cut into thin slices. I find cutting this way gives you the most uniform chips possible.

Lay out of food dehydrator. You can season with your favorite spices but I think this everything bagel has enough flavor. Dehydrate at 135F approximately for 1-2 hours or until crispy.


1 bagel = approximately 50 chips

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Blueberry Preserve

I love jam, who doesn't? What I don't love is that most recipes call for a one to one ratio of sugar to fruit. Isn't fruit sweet enough? This is why I made this recipe. I call is a preserve because it's not quite as thick as jam but not as thin as a sauce. This is not only great on toast and pancakes but also on ice cream and definitely in yogurt. If you don't want to go through the trouble of canning it, you can either make a small batch to keep in the fridge or freeze a large batch in small air tight containers and defrost as needed!

All you need is blueberries! (And canning supplies if you are canning). 

1 cup blueberries = 1/2 cup preserve

Clean blueberries.

 Heat jars and lids.

Place blueberries in large pot over medium heat. Stir frequently. As you stir some blueberries will start to squish.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Boil 5-10minutes or more depending on the thickness desired (boil longer = thicker)

Ladle hot jam into hot jars and cover with hot lid and ring. Allow to cool and make sure all jars seal. Enjoy!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Blueberry Field

 This is a simple, delicious, low calorie dessert that is a bit cheesecakey.

Put dates, almonds, peanuts and puffed wheat into a food processor.

Process until it sticks together and can be formed with your hand. About 1-2 minutes.

Spread mixture in bottom of 9x13 or 12x12 dish.

Rinse out food processor and add cream cheese, milk and lemon juice. Blend.

In a large bowl, add cream cheese mixture and fold in Cool Whip.

Spread mixture over almond mixture.

Layer blueberries on top.

Chill 2+ hours.

Blueberry Field
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup puffed wheat
1 1/2 cups (1 1/2 containers) low fat cream cheese
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 large tub fat free Cool Whip

* You can substitute almonds and peanuts for any other nut

Makes 24 servings
Calories: 112 Fat: 5.3g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 88.7mg Carbs: 11/8g Fiber: 1.3g
Sugars: 6.8g Protein: 2.5g

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Hard Boiled Egg White

Eggs are high in protein and make for a great lunch but sometimes I rather not have the added calories and cholesterol of the yolk. Yes I could easily hard boil a couple eggs and simply throw out the yolk but that seems rather wasteful so I cam up with this idea.

You'll Need
Small glass jar
Tight fitting lid*
Egg whites

*If using a canning jar and lid, use a previously use lid or else you'll end up with canned egg whites!

Place desired amount of egg white in to jar. I did a quarter cup which is equal to two egg whites. Place lid on jar and tighten.

Fill a deep pot with warm water. Submerge the filled jar into the warm water, allow to sit for about a minute to warm the jar and egg white. Turn stove to a medium heat. Boil for about 10 minutes.
*Do not put jar into already boiling water as it will break (found this out the hard way!)*

Carefully remove jar from boiling water and allow to cool or run under warm water until you are able to open the lid.

Scoop out egg whites into a bowl and add with your favorite egg salad mix-ins. I added a little low fat mayo, mustard and cayenne pepper.

I make mine into a pita with homemade guacamole, pickles, cheese and spinach.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bouquet

Easy but effective, chocolate dipped fruit is a healthier option you can bring to your next gathering or give as a gift.

You'll Need:
Fruit ( I used strawberries and bananas)
Chocolate (I used dark chocolate chips)
Nuts ( I used walnuts and pistachios)

To melt chocolate, use a double boiler. If you do not have one, do what I did and use a metal bowl bigger than your pot. Make sure no water gets into your chocolate.

Crush nuts. Place is containers suitable for dipping.

Dip tip of skewer into chocolate.

Place chocolate end into fruit.

Place skewered fruit into a cup to allow chocolate to set (5 minutes or so)

Dip fruit into chocolate and then into a topping. If your fruit doesn't stay on the skewer while dipping, try using a spatula to spread chocolate over fruit.

Repeat with all fruit. Place in glasses to allow chocolate to set. 

Arrange in a glass or vase, add a ribbon if you like. Tada! A bouquet anyone would love.