Tag Archives: food

Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

We had this for dinner Wednesday night. I wish I could say that this was my own personal recipe, but it’s not. It’s from the November issue of Good Housekeeping and it’s from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. But it’s yummy and fits with with squash theme.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Makes 12 appetizer servings (or 6 meal servings)

2T. unsalted butter
2T olive oil
4c. chopped onions
2T. curry powder
5 lbs. butternut squash
1.5 lbs sweet apples (McIntosh, Gala, etc)
Kosher Salt and Pepper
2c. apple juice or cider
1 loaf french bread (baguette)
Goat Cheese, room temp

1. IN a 7-8 Qt. Saucepot, heat butter and oil on medium-low until butter melts and is foamy. Add onions and curry powder; cook 15 minutes or so until onions are tender, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot as needed.

2. While onions cook, peel squash (to aid in peeling, microwave squash for 30 sec or so. Then peel), cut in half, discard seeds. Cut squash into 1 inch chunks. Peel and core apples, cut into 1 inch chunks.

3. To pot, add squash, apples, 2 c water, 2t salt and 1/2t pepper. Heat to boiling on high, reduce to med-low. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until squash and apples are very soft.

Now at this point you need to puree your mixture. I used a hand immersion blender to do the job. If you don’t have one you can use a food pro or blender and puree in batches and return puree to pot.

4. Add 1c. apple juice or cider and 1t. salt.

5. Serve with crusty bread and goat cheese (optional)

Here are some pics of the girls enjoying the yumminess. I may have to start calling the Dragonfly Cinderella though.
                                             Brigid and soup


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Filed under food, frugal, meatless, recipes, Thursday

Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Butternut Squash and Beef Chili

Remember last week, I wrote about how much we love our squash? Well… here’s more proof. I threw this together this week, only to find out that it’s actually a pretty popular recipe on-line. Great minds, right? OK here you go:

Butternut Squash and Beef Chili

1 small to medium butternut squash, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound stew meat or steak (I used a small New York Strip)
1 can mexican style diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jalepeno, seeded and diced
1 pack of chili seasoning (or you can add your own concoction of cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.)

shredded cheddar
hot sauce
sliced jalepenos
diced onion

1. Cut your beef into smaller, bite-sized pieces
2. Heat a small bit of oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot, over med-high heat
3. Add meat and onions and cook until meat has lost most of its pink (about 5-7 minutes)
4. Add squash, undrained tomatoes, drained beans, diced jalepeno, seasoning, and one can-ful of water. Cover.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is soft, stirring occasionally.
6. Serve with desired toppings.

(You can also make this in the crock pot, just put everything in at once and cook on low 6-8 hours.)

What’s great about this chili is that is a nice spin on a traditional tomato based chili. The squash adds a nice , sweet earthiness and a different texture to the slight spice of the dish. Enjoy!!

And, of course, if you try this out, make sure to stop by and let us know how it turned out!

(since I didn’t take a picture, this is a pic courtesy of Laura Pants on Flickr.)



Filed under food, frugal, Thursday

Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Baked Acorn Squash

We are huge squash eaters here in the CCM household… butternut, spaghetti, yellow, pumpkin… you name it, we eat it! This recipe is one that my mom made when we were younger. It is such an easy recipe and it is a definitely a kid pleaser.

Baked Acorn Squash


1 acorn squash
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. With a sharp knife, cut off the bottom of the acorn squash, creating a base.
3. With the same knife, cut the squash in half, length-wise.
4. Scoop out the seeds and fibery strings from each half. (optional: keep the seeds and roast them. yum.)
5. to each half add: 1/8 cup butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and sprinkle pepper over the top
6. Place on a baking sheet at bake until squash pierces easily with a fork… 35-40 minutes.

To serve:

Scrape the flesh of the squash into the butter/ sugar/ pepper mixture in the cavity and eat!

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Thursday’s Tasty Treats: CrockPot Pork Posole

This recipe was given to me by a friend and it has become a staple in the CCM household. It is so easy to bring together and usually leaves delicious left-overs for lunch the next day!

CrockPot Pork Posole


6 Qt or larger CrockPot

3-4# boneless pork roast

1 can hominy (white or yellow)

1 can tomatoes with chiles

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 t salt,  1/2 t pepper, 1 t cumin and Sazon de Goya (if you have it. It’s usually found in the Latin Foods aisle. They are little  orange spice packets.)


To make:

1. Place roast in crockpot.

2. Add hominy, tomatoes, onion, spices and one can of water (I use the tomato can)

3. Cook on low for 6 hours or so, or until Pork shreds easily with a fork.

4. Shred pork and serve on Corn Tortillas with Salsa and Guac!


So easy. So delicious!!


<img src="Pork Posole” alt=”” />

If you try this, be sure to come back and let us know what you think!!


Filed under family, food, frugal, Thursday

Family Food Fridays- The July Meal Plan

I’m taking a bit of a break from Seven Quick Takes this week and thought that I’d hop on to the Family Food fun that TFB is running over at her place. Back in May, I decided that I would challenge myself to plan meals for the entire month and then plan shopping trips accordingly… all in an effort to save some cash. Before doing this, we were easily spending $600/ month to feed our family of four. Mostly because I didn’t have a plan and would wander around the market shopping willy-nilly. Since beginning the intense planning, I’ve cut that food expenditure to about $350/ month. (Part of the reason is that I am actually using the items in my pantry and freezer. Not just storing them.) Not  bad, and I am hoping to make it better!

While it would be nice to have this all in calendar format to import, it’s 9:40p on Thursday night as I am writing this and I’d like to go to bed as my little darlings will be up very early. So I hope you don’t mind a more linear look:

July Meal Plan

Week 1

Friday July 1: Vegetable Barley Soup with Garlic Bread

Saturday July 2: Grilled Salmon with Zuchinni and Salad

Sunday July 3: Subdivision party! No cooking for us!!

Monday July 4: Spending day at Festival! Picnic!

Tuesday July 5: Chicken Enchiladas with Refried Beans

Wednesday July 6: Spaghetti with Salad

Thursday July 7: Smoky three Bean Bake

Friday July 8: “Frey”-day Night Hotdish (family recipe) with Corn

Saturday July 9: Tuna Casserole with Brussels Sprouts

Week 2

Sunday July 10: Smoked Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Potatoes

Monday July 11: The Bear’s 4th Birthday!! Her dinner choice: Pancakes with Sausage

Tuesday July 12: leftovers

Wednesday July 13: Salmon Patties with Salad

Thursday July 14: Garden Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips

Friday July 15: Tacos with Beans and Guac

Saturday July 16: The Bear’s Birthday Party!! Picnic leftovers from party or takeout Pizza

Week 3

Sunday July 17: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Coleslaw, Corn

Monday July 18: Leftovers

Tuesday July 19: Beef Ragu over Pasta

Wednesday July 20: Soup and Sandwiches

Thursday July 21: Knackwurst with Spaetzle

Friday July 22: Chicken and Zucchini Curry over Rice

Saturday July 23: Moroccan Chicken

Week 4

Sunday July 24: Meatball Stroganoff over Noodles

Monday July 25: Bean, Corn and Onion Quesadillas

Tuesday July 26: Tuna alla Puttansesca with Garlic Breadsticks

Wednesday July 27: leftovers

Thursday July 28: Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

Friday July 29: Pigs in a Blanket (Hot Dogs rolled into a Croissant and baked) with Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday July 30: Homemade Pizza

Sunday July 31: Homemade Mac and Cheese with Collard Greens

So there you have it. Our plan for the month. I really try not to deviate from it much but will alter if something comes up, husband travel, etc. If you are interested in any of the recipes, send me an email at caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll be glad to share it, or just comment below! And don’t forget to pop over to The Feminist Breeder for more Family Food Friday Fun or to link up your own! And I’ll work on getting that in calendar format for August!!

Congratulations to STEPHANIE!! She won the copy of “The Invisible World” by Anthony DeStefano!! I’ll be getting that in the mail to you soon!!

Pax Christi!

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Lenten Meals: Nina’s Black Bean Patties

OK. I know it’s not Friday and technically I owe you two Lenten recipes because I didn’t post one last week but cut me some slack, hey?

This recipe was inspired by my friend, Nina. She made black bean patties for her family one night from a blogger recipe. Her family wasn’t too keen on them, so she brought them to my house to make sure that they tasted OK and that it was just her family and not the actually patties. We loved them. I kept asking her for the recipe and so one Friday, decided to Frankenstein up some black bean patties of my own, based on what she told me was in the ones she made. I did eventally ask Nina for the recipe which you can find here.

Nina’s Black Bean Patties


1 medium sweet potato, shredded

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small onion, chopped

1 handful cilantro

1/4 cup walnuts

1 egg

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 T cumin

1 T coriander

2 t cinnamon

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1 t salt

1 t pepper

breadcrumbs (amount will vary, use enough for your patties to hold shape.)



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Add all ingredients, except breadcrumbs, to a food processor with blade attachment. Pulse until a uniform paste develops.

3. Remove bowl from your food pro and transfer paste to another bowl if you’d like (remove the blade.)

4. Slowly add in breadcrumbs until the mixture comes together and can hold a shape.

5. Take a palmful of mixture and pat into a patty shape, about 1/2 inch thick. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. (mine made about 6 patties)

6. Bake at 350 deg until the tops look dried and a little cracked, about 15 minutes.

7. Top with Mango Salsa or Salsa Verde and serve with a  delicious side of your choice. (I served with a Quinoa Pilaf.)


Quinoa Pilaf


1/2 c chopped onion

2 carrots, chopped

1 c quinoa, rinsed

2 c veg broth

2/3 c walnuts

1/4 c parsley (or cilantro)

Heat oil in saucepan over med-high heat. Cook onion in oil for until translucent. Add carrot and cook 3 minutes. Add quinoa and veg broth, bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and fluffy. In a bowl toss together with walnuts and parsley (or cilantro.) Serve hot or at room temp.


Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 jalepeno, seeded and diced

1 T lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix well. Cover and chill until use.

It is the season of Lent. I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

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Filed under Catholic, dairy-free, eco-friendly, family, food, Friday, Lent, meatless

Lenten Meals: White Bean Pita Pockets

Today is the Feast of The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Since this is a day of celebration, the Bishop has given the OK for us here in STL to partake in meat if we want as a day of celebration is not one for fasting and abstinance. (I am sure other Archdioceses have done the same but you might want to check.)

Today’s recipe is meatless and comes from the April 2011 issue of Cooking Light. I made this last night and it was muy delicioso!! If you have a well-stocked pantry, you may not have to shop for much.

Southwestern White Bean Pita Pockets

1.5 T lime juice, divided
4 t EVOO, divided
0.5 t ground cumin
0.25 t salt, divided
0.25 t ground red pepper (I used cayenne)
2 15 ounce cans of white beans, rinsed, drained and divided
0.5 c diced plum tomato (I used roma)
0.25 cup diced red bell pepper
0.25 cup diced, seeded, peeled cucumber
3 T diced red onion
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 pitas, cut in half
4 boston lettuce leaves
0.25 cup crumbled queso fresco (I omitted this totally)
4 lime wedges

1. Combine 1 T lime juice, 2 t oil, cumin, 1/8 t salt, red pepper, and 1 cup beans in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

2. Place remaining 1.5 t lime juice, remaining 2 t olive oil, remaining 1/8 t salt, remaining beans, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a bowl; toss to combine.

3. Spread about 3.5 T processed bean mixture inside each pita half. Place 1 lettuce leaf, about 3/4 cup tomato mixture, and 2 T cheese inside each pita half. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.

(I actually found it to be tastier to omit the pita totally, and spread the processed beans on the lettuce and top with the tomato mix and roll it all up to munch.)

I paired this with couscous last night and it was quite the hit here. Hope you enjoy!!

It is the season of Lent. I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

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Filed under family, food, Friday, frugal, Lent

Lenten Meals: Black Beans and Rice

OK, I have been so bad about posting and I have no excuse other than: random snow and one last snowman to build, parenting, making Easter dresses, hosting book club and having a traveling husband. But please, no pity! This recipe is easy-peasy. I usually just use canned Black Beans, but you can sub dried beans, as long as you pre-soften them by your favorite method. If you are a huge Sir Mix-A-Lot Fan, you can use Red Beans instead of Black Beans…

Black Beans and Rice

1 T butter or oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can Mexican style diced tomatoes, drained
2 cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
1 T cumin
1 T coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt

Enough Cooked rice for the family
Sour Cream
Diced Green Onion (or regular onion)
Hot Sauce

1. In a large skillet, heat butter (or oil) over medium heat. Add the “Holy Trinity” (celery, green pepper and onion) and garlic. Cook until veg are soft and onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep things from burning.

2. Add the tomatoes, beans, liquid (water or broth) and spices to the skillet. Using a potato masher (or other similar instrument) mash about half of the beans. Bring the saucy mixture to a simmer. Cook until everything is nice and hot.

3. Serve over rice. Top with sour cream, onion and add some hot sauce for a little more of a kick.

It is the season of Lent. I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

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Filed under Catholic, family, food, frugal, Lent, meatless

Lenten Meals: Falafel

I adapted this recipe from the blog “CrockPot 365.” The major difference is that I bake my falafel rather than cook them in the CrockPot, I might have monkeyed with the spices a bit as well. Falafel are traditionally fried and I am sure that someone used to traditional falafel would just roll their eyes at this version, but my family LOVES them.

Falafel are usually served with Tahini based sauces, but we love Tzaziki and that is our go-to dipping sauce for this dish. I’ve included that recipe, along with a recipe for Tabbouleh Salad as well. I am planning on making this for dinner this coming Friday (March 11) so I will get a photo up not long after then.


1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, rough chopped
1 T dried parsley
3 cloves garlic
1t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
juice from one lemon
1 egg
1/2-3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray

2. Add all ingredients, except breadcrumbs, to a food processor with the blade attachment. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender in a pinch. If no blender/ food pro, smash the beans with a fork and mince the onion before stirring in the other ingredients.) Process until it has a paste-like consistency.

3. Gradually add breadcrumbs, stirring between, until the mixture begins to come together and can hold shape. For me, it usually takes closer to 3/4 of a cup but it depends on how wet your mixture is. If you’ve added too many breadcrumbs, add water by tablespoons until it softens.

4. Using your hands or a #30 scoop (1 T volume) shape the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place each ball on the parchment lined or sprayed baking sheet. Repeat until the baking sheet is full.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the falafel balls look dried and are slightly brown on the outside.

6. Serve with cucumber slices, tomato slices, lettuce slices, red onion slices, tzaziki and pita bread. Couscous, Brown Rice or Tabbouleh Salad make great side dishes.
Tzaziki Sauce

2 cups plain greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (if you love garlic, as we do, add more cloves to taste.)

Combine all three ingredients. Chill until serving time.
Tabbouleh Salad

2 bunches parsley
1 head romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes
2 peeled cucumbers
1/2 bunch green onion
1/2 c. bulgur, rinsed (If you can’t find bulgur, quinona makes for a great gluten-free substitute!)
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper
dried mint (to taste)

1. Wash parsley 3 times, discard stems. Wash lettuce. Drain parsley and lettuce in colander in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. Chop parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and green onion until very fine

3. Combine with bulgur, lemon juice, rind, olive oil, salt and pepper. add mint to taste.

4. Chill until serving time.

Lent begins this Wednesday! I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

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Filed under dairy-free, food, Lent, meatless

Lenten Meals: Ratatouille

I first became enamored with Ratatouille after watching the Pixar Film of the same name. Strange, I know. The Mister and I are not fans of eggplant (aubergine) so I was wary about this dish, but it has since become a favorite in this house. In the Winter, when fresh zucchini is harder to find/ pricey, feel free to substitute frozen. Also, I use canned tomatoes for the convenience but fresh ones taste heavenly (especially when they come from your own garden!) I usually serve this over quinona, but it tastes great over brown rice as well (and I am sure white rice… noodles might be too heavy for this dish, but you can try!)


2T olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 medium mushrooms, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 large eggplant, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes in italian spices, drained
1 can (14 or so ounces) vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1T dried parsley
1T dried basil
Cooked brown rice or quinoa
Shredded parmesan (omit for vegan option)

1. Heat oil in a dutch oven, add garlic and dried spices and cook until fragrant. Add onion and cook until translucent.
2. Add tomato paste and broth. Scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan while everything heats.
3. Add the eggplant, zucchini, squash, pepper and mushrooms and cook 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the diced maters, turn down the heat after about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve over rice or quinoa, topping with shredded parmesan.

(If you want to cook this in the crock pot, put everything in the crock pot and set it on low for 4-6 hours.)

Next time I make this, I’ll add a picture here.
If you have a meat-free recipe that you’d like to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Leave your name and location for the props that are sure to come (I’ll only use first names on the site!)

Pax Christi!


Filed under dairy-free, food, Lent, meatless, vegan