As I was starting to prepare dinner tonight, I glanced out our window. Suddenly, a quick trip to get my camera & focus. Now I really do not know who was more surprised ... our guests in our backyard or me who needed to concentrate on focusing! :)
Snow blowers, snow shovels, snow plows & snow rakes! They are the words of the month. Sleet, rain and distant thunder (today) have been added to the mix. However, whenever I look outside at our snow covered grill, one thought comes to mind while day dreaming. Grilled Sockeye Salmon! Much snow has melted in the last day, but grilling is still only a dream!
A bowl of hearty homemade soup on a cold winter day! Sometimes, it's the perfect food for dinner. It sure is if & when you feel a bit under the weather. Ah, Minestrone Soup! Earlier this AM, I could see a pot of colorful nutritious veggies simmering in chicken broth on my stove. That brought me to my pantry to locate the cans of chicken broth, the canned tomatoes & the kidney beans. Spinach & green beans were in the freezer, with carrots in the fridge, so I was definitely good to go!
It's been a while since I've made a pot of Minestrone Soup. It's also been a very long time since I've had the "common cold" (that seems to be lasting forever right now). So glad that I always get the yearly flu shot! The "common cold" is unpleasant enough.
About an hour ago my Dutch Oven pot & cover were located and I was on my way to make a batch of this easy, yummy hot hearty soup! Woohoo!
1 can Red or White Kidney Beans (15.5 ounce)
1 can Tomatoes, drained (16 - 28 ounces)
1 Potato, cut into small chunks, if available
1 Cup Green Beans - defrosted
1 box frozen Spinach - defrosted
1 lb. Carrots - peeled & cut into slices or "baby carrots"
1 Cup Elbow macaroni
4 cans Light & Fat Free Chicken Broth (14.5 ounce each)
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Basil
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)
Drain Kidney Beans. Rinse in cold water & drain. Repeat again.
Place Kidney Beans in large pot.
Add the remaining ingredients into the large pot.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat & simmer for 1 hour. Carrots & potato chunks should be tender.
Place in bowls & enjoy.
Remaining portions can be placed in freezer containers & into your freezer they go to enjoy on another cold winter evening.
"Totally awesome!" was the review of a warm Butternut Squash Muffin after it had cooled for about 20 minutes.
There has not been much baking going on in my kitchen this past 21/2 weeks. My "common cold" did not feel ordinary to me! Friday evening at dinner we enjoyed Baked wild caught Sockeye Salmon, Butternut Squash along with a Baked Potato. Planning ahead, I'd saved 1/2 cup of the Butternut Squash before it was even placed on our dinner table.
I had plans! All I could envision was a batch of Butternut Squash Muffins - with currants. On Saturday my kitchen was filled with the aroma of Butternut Squash, Cinnamon & Nutmeg. It took little time to place 12 golden muffins on the cooling rack. Before I knew it, 11 muffins remained. A warm muffin is a fave with my DH.
After taking pan out of oven, I tip the muffins in the pan. Then remove them to place on a cooling rack to cool.
***Egg Whites, Soy Milk, Olive Oil for baking & sauteing are always ingredients in my muffin recipes, any time of year. This recipe keeps in with the theme of Heart Healthy February! It's easy, yummy & moisty! The addition of Currants = Yum! If & whenever you have a 1/2 cup of Butternut Squash, bake a batch! Better yet, if you have 1 cup, bake a double batch & freeze most of them to enjoy later.
***Yes, Pumpkin can be substituted for the Butternut Squash!
Butternut Squash Muffins with Currants Oven: 400°F Yield: 12 Muffins
Ingredients: 1 and 1/2 cups Flour 1/2 cup Sugar 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg 2 Egg Whites (or 1 Whole Egg) 3/4 cup Soy Milk 1/4 cup Olive Oil (for Sauteing & Baking) 1/2 cup mashed Butternut Squash 1/4 cup Currants
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place muffin liners in muffin pan.
Combine first 6 dry ingredients. Stir to mix.
Separate Egg Whites. Place Egg Whites in small bowl and beat with fork. (If using 1 Whole Egg, beat with fork.)
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Mix all ingredients until moistened. Batter will be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups by evenly dividing batter.
Bake 20 - 22 minutes in 400°F oven until muffins are lightly browned on top.
Remove muffins from pan immediately.
Cool muffins on racks.
Currants are a great addition here. Yes, Raisins can be used, but I prefer the small currants. These muffins are totally awesome! :)
Tonight, Butternut Squash was the veggie at dinner. After all, it is a fave veggie here! Can you guess what is now waiting in our fridge??? Much Snow is forecasted for Thursday. Our snow blower will get more exercise!