The BEST Butternut Squash Soup!


Celebrate the flavours of fall with a steaming bowl of roasted butternut squash soup. This recipe is not only delicious but also easy to make. Simply roast the butternut squash, then combine it with onions, carrots, celery, and a blend of aromatic seasonings. Puree the mixture until smooth and creamy, then finish it off with a splash of heavy cream. This soup is the perfect way to warm your soul and impress your taste buds (and friends) this season. So grab a bowl, cozy up by the fire, and enjoy the spirit of fall with every spoonful of this comforting soup.

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Mussels in White Wine Garlic RosΓ© Sauce

MUSSELS IN GARLIC, WHITE WINE AND ROSÉ SAUCE WITH RED PEPPERS AND ONIONS

If you love mussels, then this easy recipe is a must try!  This is a definite go to for a quick and flavourful seafood dish without the hassle of long preparations and fussy ingredients.  Quite frankly, I just wing it, but then had to document my steps and quantities so that I could create this recipe to share with other seafood aficionados!

My love affair with seafood is most likely because of my Portuguese background.  I grew up eating seafood simmered in white wine, garlic, onions, parsley and hot pepper paste. Thinking about it makes my mouth water.  This particular recipe isn't necessarily a Portuguese dish. I've added a few extra ingredients to make it richer and saucier (yes, that's a word - haha).  

I normally serve these mussels over linguine, but of course, you can have them on their own.  Just make sure you have something to soak up the sauce (your favourite pasta and/or crusty fresh bread is a match made in heaven).  Once all of the mussels are gone, my husband Steve finishes the sauce with a spoon like he's eating soup! 



Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper sliced thin
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 798 ml of good quality roma tomatoes in sauce 
  • (can be whole, diced or chopped)
  • 1 TBSP Portuguese hot pepper paste or 1/2 tsp red pepper 
  • flakes 
  • 1 TSP salt (or to taste)
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup 35% whipping cream
  • Approximately 3 lbs of fresh mussels rinsed and cleaned (discard any open or broken mussels before adding to sauce)

INSTRUCTIONS
Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large dutch oven or large pot.  Add onion and pepper and stir occasionally until onions become translucent (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic and parsley to the pot and keep mixing for about 30 seconds to ensure garlic doesn't burn.  

Carefully add white wine and simmer for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat until alcohol has evaporated and wine has reduced.  Add tomatoes, hot pepper paste (or flakes), salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Cover with lid and let simmer over medium to low heat for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.  If you are serving this dish with pasta, boil the water for your pasta at this point and cook pasta according to directions.

Once sauce has reduced, if desired, take a hand held blender and puree the sauce just a bit to thicken and combine even more.  This step is optional, but I like to blend the sauce to incorporate the flavours and break up the tomatoes.  Check for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as needed.  

Add whipping cream and allow to come to a gentle boil.  Add the cleaned and rinsed mussels and cover for about 10-12 minutes.  Stir mussels occasionally.

Once mussels are open, it's time to eat!  They don't take long to cook so make sure you don't over cook them or they become a rubbery consistency..... and that's no bueno......Discard any unopened mussels.  

Bon appetit!  
The information presented here is for entertainment and informational purposes only.  The information in this post is subject to interpretation and is an expression of opinion.  It is not intended for, and does not replace professional, medical, legal, business, and/or health related opinions and advice. It is not a substitute for counselling or any other type of therapy, or medical advice from qualified professionals.  

Pumpkin Orange Muffins


These delicious pumpkin orange muffins are a must-try recipe that will satisfy your taste buds all year round. Made with the perfect blend of pumpkin, orange, and warm spices, these muffins are easy to make and will bring a touch of autumn to any day.

To make these muffins, you'll need simple ingredients like flour, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and more. You can even add a touch of Young Living Orange essential oil for an extra burst of flavor. Just make sure to use a trusted brand, like Young Living, that is safe for cooking and baking.

Once the batter is mixed, divide it into muffin cups and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes. When they come out, you'll be greeted with lightly golden brown muffins that are ready to be enjoyed.

So, whether it's pumpkin spice season or not, give these pumpkin orange muffins a try and indulge in their deliciousness. And if you're in need of some relaxation, don't forget to check out the free Yoga Nidra Guided meditation linked below.
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Zucchini Bread Recipe

zucchini bread - quick and delicious!

Picture late summer and loads of (dare I say overgrown) zucchinis from the garden.  You can only eat so many grilled zucchini - am I right?  So....what do you do with the rest?  Bake zucchini bread!  I've been making this recipe for years.  I've adapted it from the Betty Crocker Cookbook and I make it a few times a year (when I'm literally using up giant zucchinis from the garden)!  

It's easy and you can do everything by hand....no need to get out the mixer for this one.  I love that it makes two loaves. So, you can keep one for yourself, and gift the second loaf.....or put it in the freezer for a later time.  

Ingredients
  • 3 cups of zucchini shredded - about 2-3 medium or 1 large ;)
  • 1  2/3 cups of sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional - can sub raisins or chopped pecans/walnuts)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Line 2 loaf pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches) with parchment paper (or butter and flour loaf pans if preferred).


Sift and mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs.  Add sugar, vanilla and oil and whisk until combined.  Add zucchini and mix well.  


Add flour mixture and mix by hand until incorporated making sure not to over mix the batter.
Add chocolate chips and combine.
Divide batter evenly amongst loaf pans and bake in centre of oven for 50 - 60 minutes or until tester inserted into centre of loaf comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack.  Remove from pans and place top side up to cool on cooling racks.  Serve warm or cool.  


Enjoy!! 

xo, Bonnie

By the way...if you need some relaxation in your life, click the link below to get access to my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided meditation for relaxation. 


The information presented here is for entertainment and informational purposes only.  The information in this post is subject to interpretation and is an expression of opinion.  It is not intended for, and does not replace professional, medical, legal, business, and/or health related opinions and advice. It is not a substitute for counselling or any other type of therapy, or medical advice from qualified professionals.  

Fresh Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Sauce in Just 15 Minutes!


Cherry Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Sauce You Can Whip up in Flash 
I LOVE pasta! I joke that I should have been born Italian because I really haven’t met a pasta that I didn’t like....In my fantasy world, pasta would be considered one of the major food groups.

Because I work from home, I don’t often prepare my lunches ahead of time (although I really should and remind myself of this almost every day). When I’m working, and lunch time rolls around, I usually stand in my pantry, starving at this point, and pray that the lunch fairies whip me up a delicious and healthy meal! Well, of course that doesn’t happen, so sometimes I resort to cooking pasta and adding a jar of premade tomato sauce (confession time....I love Costco’s White Linen pasta sauce when I’m hangry and in a hurry to make a quick meal).

But, whenever possible this girl prefers to cook from scratch so I like to have quick recipes to make especially during those times when the hunger meter is tipping the breaking point.

I really love this recipe for a few reasons:
  • It’s super quick to put together.
  • It’s a great way to use up vegetables that you have most likely forgotten about in the back of your fridge and are turning kinda wrinkly (you know what I mean).....
  • You can tailor it however you want. If you don’t like mushrooms, don’t add them. If you like spinach, add spinach....you get the idea. Basically add whatever vegetables you have on hand.
  • The base is olive oil, sautéed onions, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Whatever else you decide to add is really up to you.
This, my friend, is not a fussy recipe. Make it your own and you’ll be happy because you know exactly what’s in it and it cooks up in the same amount of time it takes to boil and cook your pasta. Win-win! πŸ‘πŸΌ

This sauce recipe makes enough for two servings of pasta.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes washed and cut in half
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few leaves of fresh basil, or a pinch of dried basil 🌿 
  • Optional - Crushed red pepper flakes (or if you’re Portuguese like me, I guarantee you have a jar of “pimenta” in your fridge.  Go ahead and add some of that to your sauce. I know you will because we put that in everything we make!)

Instructions
  • Begin boiling water for pasta and cook desired pasta according to directions on box.
  • Add olive oil to a large sauté pan, over medium heat.
  • Add onions, peppers and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes until onions become translucent. 
  • Make sure to stir regularly to ensure the veggies aren’t burning.
  • Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes or pimenta, if using, and stir to combine.
  • Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and sauce thickens.
  • When pasta is finished cooking, add to sauce and stir to combine.
  • Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy! 
  • Bon appetit!
This is a great option for quick lunch and dinner ideas because it’s loaded with vegetables! I like to use lentil pastas for my dishes because it’s gluten free and full of fibre and protein!

Next time you’re praying for your own lunch fairies to deliver you a meal, know that you can whip this one up in a flash!  Enjoy. πŸ˜‹

xo, Bonnie

By the way...if you need a little relaxation in your life, click the link below to get access to my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided meditation for relaxation. 



The information presented here is for entertainment and informational purposes only.  The information in this post is subject to interpretation and is an expression of opinion.  It is not intended for, and does not replace professional, medical, legal, business, and/or health related opinions and advice. It is not a substitute for counselling or any other type of therapy, or medical advice from qualified professionals.  
 
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