Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

It’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight featuring slow cooker soups! This was a pretty easy theme for me since I usually make soup in my slow cooker. Earlier this month, I threw together a ham and bean soup with leftover ham from Christmas….but I forgot to take pictures before we ate it all. So….I had to make another recipe.

I love butternut squash soup, but I don’t like working with it. Whenever I cut up the squash, my hands feel like they have wax on them. It’s the strangest thing and it takes at least 24 hours until it goes away. Please tell me I’m not the only one that this happens to. Anyways, the soup was really good and I loved the addition of the roasted garlic. It was quick and easy to make as well. I threw all the ingredients in my slow cooker before I started work one morning and let it cook away all day. So simple and easy!

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #fantasticalfoodfight

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Blood Orange Cooler

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I’ve been doing a little experimenting in the kitchen lately to create a cocktail for the Stirrings “Stir It Up Holiday Blogger Mixology Challenge.” I hadn’t heard of Stirrings before this challenge and I’m sad I missed out on knowing about them this long. I love the four products I was able to sample and can’t wait to try more! I really like that their mixers are made with real fruit juice and cane sugar. Continue reading

Ricotta Banana Bread

Once again, I found myself with almost a full bunch of bananas that were on their way to being overripe. I should learn that when my kids ask for bananas, they only want 1 or 2 and not to buy a bunch, since they never eat them all. I decided to wipe up a loaf of banana bread last night to use up a few and then cut the rest into slices, frozen them and they’ll be used for smoothies. I also picked this recipe since it uses ricotta and I had some leftover from another recipe that needed to be used.

The bread came out super moist and you would never know there was ricotta in the batter. It’s really good warm with a little smear of butter. With a slice of this bread and a cup of coffee, it’s a great way to start the day!

Ricotta Banana Bread | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies – #FilltheCookieJar

This month the theme for the blogging group, Fill the Cookie Jar, is healthy or a cookie/bar that makes you think of a fresh start. For me, January is always a time to get a fresh start especially since I usually indulge over the holidays. These cookies are made with only four ingredients and take 20 minutes to make…plus they’re the perfect little treat to satisfy your sweet tooth!

These cookies use coconut flour in place of all-purpose flour. Coconut flour is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. It’s also free of wheat and other grains, so a great option for those who have certain allergies.

If you’re not familiar with the Fill the Cookie Jar group, we’re a group of bloggers who share cookie or bar recipes the first Thursday of the month. Be sure to check out the link below to see all the other healthy/fresh start cookies and bars shared by the group.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Twisted Sticky Caramel-Pecan Roll

I know the beginning of the year is usually a fresh start for everyone – me included – that’s why I made this last year. I’ve had this recipe saved for two years and I finally made it and it was delicious! I was a delicious treat for breakfast over the holidays and using pre-made pizza dough really saved on time! I loved the caramel glaze that went over it and all the twisted pieces were able to soak up the glaze… YUM!!

Twisted Sticky Caramel-Pecan Roll | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Cranberry BBQ Sauce

cape-code-select-blogger-challengeCranberries are one of those things that I go overboard on in

the winter and then rarely use them the rest of the year – except that’s going to change with this recipe for cranberry bbq sauce! It’s tangy and a little sweet, but the perfect addition to grilled chicken or to smear on a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich. I developed this recipe for sauce as part of Cape Cod Select’s First Annual Blogger Recipe Challenge.This was my first time working with Cape Code Select Premium Frozen Cranberries and I was really impressed with them. They’re packaged in a bag with a resealable top to make it easy to portion out and because they’re frozen, they’re available year-round! Check to see if your local grocery store carries them!

After creating this sauce recipe, I cooked a batch of chicken wings in my instant pot, tossed them in sauce and then under the broiler they went…. and I didn’t get pictures before they were gobbled up!

Visit Cape Cod Select over on their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest  or Twitter for more delicious recipes and find out where you can get your own Cape Code Select Cranberries!

Cranberry BBQ Sauce | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprouts Dip

This recipe is one I had saved for years and I finally had a chance to make it and I’m kicking myself for not making it sooner. It was delicious, unique and would make a great dip to bring to a holiday party! I used to HATE brussels sprouts – my mom used to eat them all the time but would microwave a bag of frozen ones and I’d have to eat at least one. They were always mussy and gross. Over the past few years, I’ve found that I like them either roasted or sauteed….no steaming of sprouts in this house!

Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprouts Dip | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Caramel Chocolate Shortbread

Last week, my company had their holiday luncheon and I always look for a new recipe to make and came across this recipe for caramel chocolate shortbread. I love Twix bars and this totally reminded me of them…though better since I accidentally browned the butter while making caramel. It really amp’d up the flavor and added more depth of flavor. I doubt I could do it again and I’m not even sure what I did, but I’m glad it happened. The shortbread layer is light and fluffy, the gooey caramel and a chocolate top – perfection!

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Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff

Another delicious recipe made in my Instant Pot! I’m really enjoying the ability to make inexpensive cuts of beef taste like they’ve been cooking all day long in such a short amount of time. This was a big hit with everyone in my family including my 4 year old who is currently being super picky! I loved the addition of the spinach too!

My noodles were a little soft and when I make it next time, I’m going to try whole wheat noodles to see if that helps. If you’re using regular egg noodles, I would drop the time down 1-2 minutes to see if that helps. Even with the soft noodles, it was a delicious dish!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Chewy Almond Vanilla Bars – Simple Sesame Blogger Challenge

I’m excited to share a recipe I created for the Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe 118956612Challenge!
As part of the challenge, I received three flavors of Simply Sesame to try: Vanilla with Almond Bits, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom and Pure Roasted Sesame. I immediately knew I wanted to make experiment and make a recipe for granola bars. My kids are big fans of snacks and these would make great after school snacks for them.I loved that all three were 100% natural, non GMO and low in calories, sugar and salt – and it makes a great alternative to peanut butter or hazelnut spread. It’s also gluten-free and vegan!

I love the vanilla and almond flavor of the bars and hint of sesame. The bars held up well and can be cut into whatever size you’d like. I did rectangles for my oldest and then smaller bite sized pieces for my youngest. The spread was great to use and I loved the flavor. I can’t wait to try the regular variety to make a batch of hummus! There’s so many possibilities with these products and are great substitute for those of us with food allergies.

Visit Simple Sesame over on their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram  or Twitter for more delicious recipes and find out where you can get your own Simple Sesame spreads!

Chewy Almond Vanilla Bars | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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