Our October recipe of the month is Autumn Soup and I hope you will like it as much as I do. This soup is thick and creamy and has a balance of sweet and savory flavors that I love. Winter squash is cooked with onions and apples in chicken broth. At the end of the cooking time, the soup is blended smooth and a little cream cheese is added to make the soup extra creamy.
This summer, I grew butternut squash (a type of winter squash) in my garden. This was only the second time I have grown butternut squash. My crop was only a little bit successful – I got four large squash from my plant. We have some friendly deer who like to visit our yard at night and they ate most of the blossoms off my plant.
Since I love butternut squash for this soup as well as our roasted veggie recipe, I will have to buy some more this fall. The farmers market is a great place to find winter squash and the grocery store usually has a good supply too. Once I get stocked up on squash, I am going to make a large batch of this soup and freeze most of it, so it is ready for me to use when I need hot soup on a cold winter day. Enjoy!
A few years ago, I was browsing through some old recipe files that a co-worker sent me. We were looking forward to the upcoming anniversary of one of the programs we both work for and she thought some of the recipes might be fun to bring back. I was skeptical, but I like recipes, so I started reading. It turned out that she was right and I found quite a few recipes that we have been able to bring back over the past year.
One of those throwback recipes is our September recipe of the month, Breakfast Cookies. These cookies check off a lot of boxes for me.
They combine fresh apples and dried fruit with shredded cheese to give the salty/sweet flavor combination that I love.
The oatmeal provides some fiber, which makes me feel full longer.
They store well, so I can make them at night and they are ready to go for breakfast in the morning.
These cookies are great for a quick breakfast, which is important to me on school days. I like to sit down to breakfast with my children before they head off to school, but I usually do not have time to make a big meal. If I make these the night before, we feel less rushed in the morning and we can enjoy our meal together before they are off for the day. Follow along with our blog for the rest of the month for more ideas on eating meals with your children and eating breakfast.
It is July and it is hot! This is the perfect time for our July recipe of the month – Frozen Pudding
Sandwiches. These treats are sure to cool you down on a hot summer day.
Frozen Pudding Sandwiches are like ice cream sandwiches only made with pudding. You simply stir an
instant pudding mix with milk and peanut butter to make a thick, creamy filling that goes in between
two graham cracker squares. Freeze them for about three hours and then they are good to go. They
make a great snack or dessert on a hot day (or any day).
I have made this recipe with both chocolate and vanilla pudding mixes and people like them either way.
However, peanut butter lovers often prefer the vanilla pudding mix and chocolate lovers prefer the
chocolate pudding mix. Also, if you would like to make these, but peanut allergy is a concern, you can
substitute sunbutter or another nut butter.
Our June recipe of the month is homemade croutons. If you enjoy store-bought croutons on your salad, on your soup, or for a quick snack, you are going to love these. When I make these, my children, my husband, and even my mom devour them – there are never any leftovers.
The thing I like about homemade croutons is that they are made with whole wheat bread. Using whole wheat bread is important to me because it has more nutrients than wheat bread or white bread. In particular, it has more fiber, which is something we all need to get more of. Fiber helps protect against chronic diseases and it helps keep our digestive system healthy.
If you are like my children, you will just eat these croutons on their own. But, if you are like me, you will want some recipes to use along with your croutons. My favorite recipe to top with these croutons is Autumn Soup. I also like croutons on a salad, such as Whole Meal Salad. Regardless of how you serve your croutons, I hope you try this recipe soon.
Our May recipe of the month is Crispy Baked Chicken and it is a popular one. Boneless, skinless chicken is coated in crushed cornflakes and baked. Serve this tasty chicken with a fruit and a vegetable and you have a complete meal. Many people I have talked to about this recipe like to season the crushed cornflakes beyond the garlic powder. Some suggestions I have received include basil, Italian seasoning, chili powder, lemon pepper, and oregano. If you have a favorite herb or spice give it a try!
Recently, we have been talking a lot about unit pricing on the blog. This recipe is a great chance to use your unit pricing skills when buying the chicken. The recipe calls for 1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken. This can take several forms, so lets look at the unit price below to see what is the best buy.
$3.49 per pound
$2.49 per pound
$4.39 per pound
In this case, the chicken thighs were the best buy. Remember, prices will change from week to week, so make sure to double check the unit price before you buy.
Fish is not a food that I ate very much growing up, so I did not really know how to cook it when I was on my own. For several years, I did not even try to cook it. I kept hearing about the health benefits of eating fish, so I decided to give it a try.
After a few failed attempts, I found a way to bake fish that my (then new) husband and I both liked. I baked fish that same way for about 10 years until Christine introduced me to our April recipe of the month – Broiled Salmon. Now I broil salmon, and other types of fish, regularly. Here is why:
We love the flavor that the lemon adds to the fish.
It is easy to make with just a few ingredients.
It is quick to make. With this recipe, I can pull together a full meal in 15-20 minutes!
My family gets the health benefits from the fish.
If you are considering adding fish to your menu, I hope you give this recipe a try.
Our March recipe of the month is an old favorite here in Iowa. Four Layer Supper is a casserole that has been a staple recipe here for many years. The name says it all, this recipe is a casserole made up of four layers – potatoes, green beans, ground beef and onions, and cheese.
Over the years, we have learned from this recipe and made some updates. These updates make the recipe easier, more nutritious, and less expensive.
To save time, prick the potatoes with a fork and microwave them for 5 minutes before cutting them up. This will reduce the baking time by 15-20 minutes.
To add nutrition to this recipe, substitute sweet potatoes for all or some of the white potatoes. Sweet potatoes boost the fiber and vitamin A in this recipe.
To save money on this recipe, check your grocery ads and substitute a less expensive meat for the ground beef. This could even be leftover cooked meat from a previous meal.
Our November recipe of the month is Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup. It is perfect for a busy day. All the ingredients go into the slow cooker in the morning, cook on low for 8-10 hours, and you have a delicious soup ready to eat in the evening.
There are some wonderful things I love about this recipe.
It is easy to put together. There is no cutting up or chopping needed to get this recipe into the slow cooker. The chicken just needs to be shredded right before serving this soup.
It uses dried beans.Dried beans are tasty, inexpensive, and nutritious. They take a little longer to cook, so they are perfect for the slow cooker. Fair warning, the dark color of the black beans changes the outer color of the chicken.
It freezes well. This recipe is great to measure out into single serving containers and freeze for lunches. Or, you can eat half of the soup one night and freeze the other half of the soup for another night.
It is great for a party. This soup tastes delicious with different toppings – avocado, crushed tortilla chips, sliced jalapenos, plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese. You can serve the soup out of the slow cooker and let your guests add any toppings they would like.
Our October recipe of the month is Sweet Pork Stir Fry. To be honest with you, my children are pretty picky when it comes to stir fry. There is only one stir fry recipe I make that they really like. This is one that they tend to pick around and eat only their favorite pieces.
When this recipe was in the testing phase, I had to make it often to get it just right. Since it was not my children’s favorite, I made it for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. It was such a hit with them that my mother-in-law called me a few days later asking for the recipe because she wanted to make it for her own in-laws! That was almost two years ago, and they are still making this recipe regularly.
What I really like about my in-laws using this recipe regularly is that they have made this recipe their own. They try different vegetables depending on what sounds good to them – carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, and asparagus. They will change out the meat depending on what is on sale at the grocery store or even skip on the meat to make a vegetarian meal. They will also switch the noodles out for brown rice sometimes.
This past winter they invited me over to share a meal and they made this recipe for me. This recipe has been one that we have enjoyed together and I hope you can enjoy it with friends and family too!