Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Craving Cheezy Comfort

So October turned out to be quite the eventful month! Vegan MoFo was in full effect on the internet, work got so busy I could barely participate in V-MoFo, the kitten was spayed (yes she is currently rocking the cone-o-shame), I get more political junk mail than a Beverly Hills Housewife gets botox, left and right political parties continue to battle, National Cupcake Day came and went, Halloween parties were attended, and the East Coast is under the wrath of Hurricane Sandy**. I can't believe this month has 31 days, as I can only really remember 4, and that is if I try really hard - my eyes are squinted and I am starring up to the ceiling thinking. **I am sending my love and support (via Red Cross) to those on the East Coast, stay safe. http://www.redcross.org/index.jsp**

With so much happening I have been craving comfort food like a crazed zombie craves human flesh! (Why yes, Halloween is tomorrow and I feel like the occasional zombie reference is warranted.) 

Mmmmm Mac-N-Cheeze

Enter the magical world of Mac-N-Cheese. We all have memories of our parents cooking up this warm, cheesy, comforting, less-than-healthy delight, and we all loved it. Then one day we learned that cheese isn't exactly what we wanted it to be... the "Milk, it does a body good" commercials were replaced with a simpler "got milk" ad campaign, as dairy doesn't really do our body all that much good. Scientist not afraid of the massive dairy bureaucracy stepped up with a lot of startling information about dairy! The more research you do about milk/cheese/dairy the more you learn this isn't something you want in your daily diet at all. This information is often suppressed, and I encourage everyone to do the research and make this decision for yourselves. Knowledge is power. <- Oh wow I went pretty 'cheesy' there! <- Oh crap I made a pun! There isn't any hope for me, I'm doomed. Someone just cue the damn rainbow from NBC's commercials "The More You Know" please. 

Cool Links:

Whoa, haven't jumped on a health soapbox in a while, that was intense. Tra, la, la I'm still fun and light hearted, la, la, la... Anyway, back to the good stuff. COMFORT FOOD and all the joy it brings me. I love Mac-N-Cheese, and want to share this vegan (can be gluten-free) version. So get ready to curl up with a blanket, a warm bowl of Mac-N-Cheeze, and take a time out from this manic October!

serves 8-10
*can be gluten free if you use Quinoa noodles (they are the best GF option out there in pasta town)

1 pack of elbow or shell noodles (look for a box that serves 8 to 10)
8oz crimini mushrooms chopped
1/2 a large yellow onion finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic
2 cups firmly packed kale or spinach (or combo)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup cashews
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cups rice mik 
1/2 coconut oil
1/2 nutritional yeast
1/4 cup yellow miso paste (thank you RFD for this idea)
1/2 tablespoon guar gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard seed powder

Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

First things first, lets get your cheeze going! In a microwave safe bowl (don't judge me, its comfort food, and this speeds up the comfort) put your coconut oil in the microwave and heat just until it is in liquid form. Next pour in the rice milk into the bowl, and whisk the two together. Then place in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until very warm (but not boiling hot). This can also be done on the stove if you hate the microwave like I normally do. Once very warm whisk in the guar gum until it is completely blended into the mixture. Set to the side. 

Next, in a food processor, or a very good blender, put your cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, and mustard seed powder. Blend together on pulse to mix in the flavors. Then on a slower setting pour in your oil/milk/guar-gum mixture. Once you have slowly poured it all into the blender/processor increase speed. Once it looks all blended together turn the blender/processor off and add in the yellow miso paste. Now blend on high until you have a nice think cheezy blend. Set to the side. 

Get your water on the stove, and let it boil. Once boiling throw in your noodle of choice and cook according to the package directions. 

While your noodles are cooking place a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan. Add in your chopped onion and pressed garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, and then add in your mushrooms (at this time you can also add in jalapeños if you want a little more kick, I'd say 2-3 tablespoons of diced jalapeño is enough). Cook the mushrooms with the onions for another 5 minutes. 

At this time your noodles should be about ready. Drain the hot water and return to the pot. Add in the cooked onions, garlic and mushrooms as well as your dark leafy green of choice. Stir all the veggies into the noodles. Then (here comes the fun part) pour your cheeze over everything!! Stir it all up and coat everything with your cheezy goodness. 

Once its all combined pout the Mac-N-Cheeze into a large baking pan, and cover with foil. Cook for 30 minutes covered, and then 15 minutes without the cover. 

Once its finished cooking in the oven, take it out and let set for 5-10 minutes. Then serve, devour, and sit back. Comfort should kick in shortly.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Yum Kale!

There's been a lot of press around the wonder-green kale, and I have to say I am a fan of all the attention it is getting. However, not everyone is able to jump aboard the "I Love Kale All The Time" train as it has a tendency to come off a little bitter and sometimes hard to chew. As a supporter of said kale train, I try to find ways to make kale enjoyable for all folks. Here's a couple tricks to help you out:

  • Massage your kale! No not like a Swedish or Thai massage, but when you are washing and tearing up the kale into bite sized pieces rub the leaves with your fingers. The more you massage the kale leaves the more you are able to break down that insanely firm cell structure, and that helps take away some of that bitterness. It also makes it easier to chew in that fabulous salad you are creating. 
  • Heat up that kale! The genius of this very durable green is that you can steam it, bake it, cook it, and it will retain a lot of its nutritional value. This is wonderful as warm kale is easy to eat, tastes delicious  and opens up several new kale eating possibilities (hello kale chips). http://www.livestrong.com/article/540695-does-baked-kale-have-nutrients-left/ 
Recently my catering company was onset at a magazine stills shoot, and served some warm kale wraps that were the talk of the town! I cannot take too much credit as the raw ingredients themselves were from the local Farmer's Market, and I feel like there isn't a way to make those delicious veggies taste bad, lol! But since they were devoured so quickly, I thought to myself "Hey self, lets share this recipe and see what folks think about it." So here we find ourselves, me typing, and you hopefully reading this....

Yummy Peanut Kale Wraps
serves 4-6
**can be gluten free if you use lard chard leaves for wrap

4 to 6 large lavash wraps
1 can of chickpeas
1/2 of a medium red onion (finely chopped) 
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 large bunches of kale
Other options to throw in the wrap:
1 large (preferably heirloom) tomato (finely chopped)
2-3 stalks of celery (finely chopped)

Sauce (adapted from lunchbox.com):
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1/2 warm water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic (pressed)
3 teaspoons tamari
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons agave
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 

Are you ready for operation awesomeness? I thought so, now pour the 2 cups of water and the cup of quinoa into a pot on high heat. Stir it around for a little bit to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once it starts to boil turn heat down to low, and stir occasionally. Once the quinoa has absorbed all the water and is finished cooking set to the side. 

On to the next step, put all those sauce ingredients in your blender, and blend them all up until you have a lovely looking well blended sauce. Set this aside as well. 

Get your kale ready by washing it and tearing it to small bite sized pieces, and massaging it as you go. I like to tear off two pieces, rub them together, and then repeat. Once all your kale is all ready place it in a large bowl, and pour your sauce over the kale. Massage the sauce into kale with your hands until every leaf is covered. Then put the kale into a large baking pan, and place in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Just enough to warm the kale and cook the sauce into the leaves. 

While that is cooking take your cooked quinoa and add in the chickpeas (rinsed), red onion, and anything else you want in your yummy wrap. Once the kale is warm take your lavash wrap and spoon your quinoa mixture out onto the wrap, and then spoon out your kale onto the wrap. Be sure you don't over fill your wrap, as you will need to now roll everything up. And then tah-dah, you have a beyond delicious lunch time meal for you and your loved ones. Ah kale, you are a yummy treat. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The List of 5.

And just like that, this month has flown by me too fast to even know what just happened! Holy not-enough-hours-in-the-day Batman, how is it already so close to the end of the year! I mean Halloween is pretty much directly around the corner (even though I can't see it through all the Christmas decorations that seem to be covering all stores) and I don't have so much as an inkling as to what to dress up as! Suggestions are welcome my friends in the comment section - let's keep them PG as that is how I will roll out this fine Halloween. In other news..... the kitty we found in July has FINALLY been named! Allow me to reintroduce Puma, named for her scratching skillz that killz:

So its a picture of a picture... but look at how cute the picture of the picture is!

How freaking adorable is this cat? I am so happy we found her (even though I am a dog person 100% lol). Ahywho... moving along as this is billed as a foodie blog, not a crazy cat lady blog... Or is it? 

It's a foodie blog, don't worry. And to prove it this particular post is dedicated to the 5 kitchen staples I as a vegan caterer MUST have at all times in my kitchen. I have had a lot of people ask me questions about what ingredients I use, and why I use them. It is time to talk ingredient shop, and get your pantries stocked with some healthy goodness. 

#1) Coconut Oil/Coconut Butter/Coconut Milk
image credit: google image search

Coconut is imperative to my overall happiness. Its health properties make me smile (and make my skin glow as it is beneficial to skin care as well!). Cooking with coconut oil is so important for overall health. Most oils you find in the supermarket (olive, sunflower, safflower, canola... etc) breakdown under the high heat you are cooking with, and create toxic compounds that in the end are harmful to your body. Coconut oil is the only oil that can truly hold up under high heat. Whether I'm cooking up a stir-fry, caramelizing onions, or other stove top delight I try to use coconut oil whenever possible. Some of you might not love the taste of coconut, so to keep the taste from permeating the dish use a little in your pan to start with, and then add in a little water as you cook to prevent sticking. I HIGHLY recommend you look into making the switch. For more awesome coconut oil info check out what this doctor has to say: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html

#2) Nutritional Yeast
image credit: google image search

I cannot live without nutritional yeast in my kitchens, professional and at home (this is partly because the manfriend eats this stuff like mana from heaven). For me as a vegan chef nutritional yeast is my best friend when making vegan cheeze. The nutty natural flavor lends itself magically to the land of vegan cheeze. It is also a fantastic snack option packed with TONS of nutrients. A favorite snack in my home is a piece of multigrain whole wheat toast, a little vegan butter, and then topped with nutritional yeast. If you have kids that you are trying to feed more B vitamins to this is your meal ticket, literally. I truly believe whether you are vegan or not, this is something you will need in your kitchen if you are looking to cook healthy. Here's a little more information about this amazing yeast written by an amazing woman who has been working in the natural food/health industry for 25 years: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/nutrition/nutritional-yeast.html

#3) Quinoa
image credit: google image search
Quinoa has been getting a lot of press right now for its superfood ways, and I could not be happier about that if I tried. This amazing little seed (often called a grain by mistake) has a high protein content, high iron content, high in B vitamins, and the list goes on! The fantastic thing about protein found in quinoa is that the protein is considered a complete protein (meaning it contains all the essential amino acids). This is an important fact for vegans and vegetarians, as the media seems to like to tell us that we will never get all our protein without meat. *Suckers, we know better* I love eating quinoa as a breakfast option (cooking it in almond milk and stirring in cinnamon and maple syrup), as a lunch option in a salad, or as a side at dinner (you can cook it in veggie broth and use curry powder for an extra kick). It is the most versatile ingredient in my kitchen, and I love finding ways to use it! I often chose quinoa over rice and other grain options. For more fun facts about why you should have this in your kitchen here's more info from Whole Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice

#4) Ground Flax Seed
image credit: google image search
How do you cook without eggs? How do you cook without using a egg replacer powder that has gluten in it? -> Ground Flax Seed!!!! Oh my goodness I would be lost without these seeds. I sing their praises daily in my kitchen. I find that subbing eggs out with ground flax seed not only helps me keep my baked goods vegan, but also helps add a fluffy texture and keeps things moist. Let's be honest, when presented with a dry brownie and a gooey brownie the latter wins every time hands down. Flax seed helps us vegan folks keep our baked goods light years ahead of the lardy dairy/egg filled stuff. Plus flax seed is jammed full of nutritional value. So not only will your cookies taste like fluffy gooey joy, there is also a little health benefit. Win-win-win. These little seeds are a great source of omega-3s and fiber! Just be sure you ground them up when using them otherwise they are so small they will just pass through you, and you will miss out on the health benefits. I also like to add a tablespoon or so to smoothies for an extra health boost. Whole Foods has a great write up on flax seed for additional nutritional info: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81

#5) Any Sweetener thats better than White Sugar
image credit: google image search

So this last pantry staple is open to interpretation...lol! However, I think we can all agree that refined white sugar is not something we want to use often in our baking (or at all if we can help it!). It isn't great to the figure or high in health quality, so we need to brainstorm outside of the box. My favorite sweetener substitute is Powdered Maple Sugar or Maple Syrup. There are tons of options out there, but maple seems to be the best option for my kitchen. I love the taste it creates when baking, and have been known to use syrup in stir-fry sauce for a sweet and spicy mix. (Here's a good link to all the kinds of natural sweeteners out there: http://www.raw-living-food-success.com/natural-sweetener.html).   Maple syrup/sugar contains potassium, calcium, magnesium and other fantastic vitamins that make it light years better for you than regular sugar. So why not toss out that fairly terrible refined stuff, and opt for a healthy alternative??

Stay tuned to lear how some of the above listed ingredients help make these Pumpkin Pie Donuts :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


"You say po-tay-to I say po-tah-to" Does anyone really say the latter in that song? If so leave me a comment because I don't think I've ever met a "po-tah-to" sayer, and I would like to expand my horizons. Speaking of expanding horizons, I have figured out a way to expand the french-fries horizon (a little bit).

Hello Extra-Large French-Fries!
 French-fries have been my one true weakness as long as I can remember. There was a period of time where they were the dessert to my meal. Every time the manfriend and I would go out to a restaurant the menu would immediately be scanned for some form of delicious fry. Some might say an intervention was needed (by some I mean family, close friends, manfriend.... coworkers, the wait staff at frequented restaurants, passerbys...). However, before this intervention could take place the unthinkable happened; I burnt myself out on french-fries! Has this ever happened to any of you? Where you love a food so much you eat it to the point of no return? <-If this has not happened to you, don't judge, one day it will, and I will be here with open arms to tell you "I told you so."

It has been years since this episode, and I'm happy to say I have made a recovery. I am able to eat french-fries once more without feeling like a sack of awful beaten with bad tastebuds. I don't worship them as I once did, alas the plans for the bronze statue are forever on hold, but I can enjoy them again as a normal person would. :)

With my ability to eat french-fries restored I set out on a healthy french-fry quest....and wah-lah! I have something I would like to share with you. It is insanely easy, and I foresee this being a wonderful side to any meal!

Extra Large French-Fries w/ Chipotle Mayo Dip
serves 6-8 
gluten free

French-Fry Ingredients:
4-5 larger gold yukon potatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 dashes of cayenne

Chipotle Mayo Dip Ingredients:
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (any will do, I used rice this time)
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut up your potatoes into large "steak fry" sizes. I can only assume these won't be a side to steak, but that seems to be the going name for this size of french-fry. 

Next dump them in a large bowl, and pour the veggie broth over them and season them. Stir everything around so the potatoes are nice and covered. We are using this broth as a substitute to oil and deep fry. 

Once they look good place the potatoes into a baking pan. Be sure you spray the pan with non-stick first. Then cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes covered. After 20 minutes has gone by remove the cover and stir the potatoes around (keeping them in the oven, so be careful, no burns!). Then cook for 30-35 minutes more. Opening the oven to stir around occasionally. 

While your potatoes are baking up into healthier fries, lets get that dip ready. place all the ingredients (minus the oil) into your blender. Blend everything together till it is completely blended. Then put the blender speed on low, and slowly pour the oil into the mixture. Blend until it looks completely emulsified. Now you have a slightly healthier option to a sugary ketchup. (Could I say "blend" anymore in this paragraph?)

Remove the fries when baked all the way, and serve to your hungry friends. Or just to you, as that is what I did today...maybe I'm not completely cured of my addiction just yet...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vegan MoFo & My Battle With Exclamation Points

I have discovered that this month is National Vegan Month of Food (or as talked about in the social networking sphere Vegan MoFo). As a very new member to the blog world I did my due diligence and looked up this fairy tale sounding month, and low and behold it exists!! Slap my face and call me Charlie this is awesome. A whole month dedicated to vegan food blogging! I don't even know what to say, what to do, what to eat, read or type! <- I do know however, that I should apparently be using exclamation points like they are going out of style!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In honor of this fantastic month I thought I'd try to share a few extra recipes on this little blog of mine! <- Ack, there's another "!" sorry I can't stop them from appearing, I am apparently really excited about everything! <- And another! <- And another!! **Grammar intervention for your benefit, I promise to only use exclamation points when deemed necessary.**

Mocha Extra Large Cupcake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you can see the exclamation point was well used in this instance. That right there my friends is a vegan, gluten-free Extra Large Chocolate Cupcake, covered with Mocha frosting, and drizzled with date caramel topping. This right here is why I wanted to start a blog, to prove vegan and gluten-free desserts can be magnificent. I heart this cake. This recipe works as a whole cake or as cupcakes, and either way you are going to be so happy you made it!

Vegan MoFo Cake!
makes 6 giant cupcakes or 12-14 cupcakes or a cake :)

Cake Ingredients: 
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup corn starch (or potato starch)
1/3 cup cacao powder 
3/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons warm coffee (can sub with warm water, but coffee will accentuate the chocolate flavor)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1&1/4 cup water
1/3 cup shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

In a small bowl whisk together your ground flax seed and coffee. Set aside. 

In a large bowl mix together all your dry ingredients. Next in a separate bowl mix all your wet ingredients together (don't forget your fake egg flax seed mixture). Pour your wet ingredients into your dry, and stir everything together till you get a lovely chocolate cake batter. Once you have your cake batter all blended, ready whatever vessel you are opting to use for the baking and pour the batter in evenly. For regular sized cupcakes bake for 16-18 minutes, for extra large cupcakes bake for 24-26 minutes, and for a cake bake for 29-31 minutes. :)

Frosting Ingredients:
3&1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup earth balance (or other non-dairy butter)
1/2 cup coconut cream or coconut butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
1-2 teaspoons coffee

Yeah... so this recipe isn't know for its health properties, but one delicious vegan dessert isn't going to kill me right? In a mixer put the earth balance and coconut butter, and blend. Once they start to blend together add in your cacao powder followed by your powdered sugar. Put in the sugar one cup at a time so it doesn't turn into a giant sugar cloud all around you. Lastly add in your coffee making sure you don't add too much as you don't want to have the frosting too runny. (If you put too much in its nothing a little extra powdered sugar won't fix). Once its all mixed together place in the fridge while you wait for the cake to finish.

Caramel Drizzle Ingredients:
18-20 dates (pitted)
1/2 maple syrup
4-5 tablespoons of coconut oil
6-7 tablespoons of water
pinch of salt

So this last little bit is really just for fun, and if you feel like it. The cupcake or cake will take just as devine with or without. This caramel recipe is one I slightly altered from Good Veg. First you will need to soak the pitted dates for 3-4 hours. Then once they are finished soaking put the dates and all the other ingredients in your blender, and presto! Caramel sauce to drizzle as you please.

Thank you Vegan MoFo for inspiring me to eat more food :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

BNS: ButterNut Squash

I just read an article saying Anne Hathaway was wed this last weekend and the food was all vegan. Moment to be happy about the food choices, and moment to to call my friends in the biz and ask them why they didn't throw Girl On Top Catering's name in there to bid, lol! <- Not really on that last part, I think a wedding that size and starlit would cause a full fledge panic attack. 

Bwahaha, how overplayed are these eCards?
And how frighteningly true... as I look at my 2 dogs and cat....
In other Girl On Top news though we will be launching an offer with a site for a deal on private house/dinner parties! (Zenceirge: https://zencierge.com) I'm so excited about this that I can't seem to stop thinking about it. As I fiddle with menus, and tweak last minute ingredients I have discovered a new twist on an old fall favorite....... Butternut Squash Soup. And this fun little twist is definitely worth sharing!

Let's talk Golden Berries real quick. How many of you have heard of them? And do any of you cook with them? I featured them in the sweet potato recipe a couple weeks ago, but didn't get a moment to talk about why I love them so much. Well here's a few reasons I love them, and why you should to: they are high in protein, phosphorus, vitamins A&C, B vitamins, and bioflavonoids. Here's the source for further reading: http://www.nutriforce.com/blog/the-benefits-of-superfoods-the-goldenberry.

Dried Golden Berries, YUM
Why that quick tangent about golden berries you ask? Because my healthy eating friends, golden berries are one of two secret ingredients to this new twist on BNS Soup. Get ready for a flavorful soup delight!

BNS Soup w/ A Berry Twist
serves 6-8
gluten free

1 medium/large butternut squash
3 small/medium honey crisp apples (or gala)
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup dried golden berries (if you can't find them at your local health food store raisins will work)
1 cup chopped leek
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 small/medium avocado
1 cup apple sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon mustard powder
salt for taste
Handful of walnuts as decoration

All right lets get this soup party started right, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Next rub a little avocado oil (or olive oil) all over the two halves, and place them face down in a a baking pan. Cook the squash for 35min-40min. Once it is finished remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to touch remove the skin, and cut the BNS into bite sized cubes.

While your BNS is baking away its time to chop chop chop. Chop up your apple and celery into bite sized pieces and set aside, and chop up your onion and leek into tiny pieces and set aside. Now get out your largest stock pot (my personal one holds 8 quarts and is great for the job). Put your tablespoon of oil in the pot at high heat and pour in your chopped leek and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring often, and then add in your 1/2 cup of golden berries. Keep up the stirring as you want to mix the flavors together. Cook the berry mixture for 3-5 minutes more, and then add in your apples and celery and cook for 5 more minutes.

At this point pour your cup of water over your hot-hot-hot soup ingredients, and add in the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, thyme and mustard powder (salt for taste too). Stir everything around for a few minutes letting the water get hot too. Next add in your baked (and still warm) butternut squash and applesauce! Turn the temperature down to low, and cover (lifting the lid occasionally to stir). Leave the soup covered for about 10 minutes. Towards the end of the 10 minutes add in your avocado <- alert there is your second secret ingredient showing itself. Stir it into the soup blending it with the other flavors.

Now that you have cooked the soup ingredients to perfection its time to blend!! If you have a large food processor you can pour everything into it at once, or pour batches into your blender. Either way the result is going to be AMAZING! This soup is a wonderful side to a meal, a fantastic warm comfort bowl on a cold day, and PACKED with taste and healthy goodness. Top with some chopped up walnuts, and you have yourself a fabulous Butternut Squash Soup. :)

Yes, this is the same photo. But I like it a lot ;-p