Roasted Squash Soup



It seems its been a few weeks since I shared any recipes. I’ve still been cooking, just not taking pictures of any of it 😉 Just eating it instead. Today I’m sharing a soup I made up a few weeks ago over the Christmas holidays.


I grew a lot of these squash in my garden this year and Ive still got them hanging around in my cold room. They make a lovely soup on the cold days of winter.

Roasted Squash Soup


  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup half and half cream
  • 3 cups good chicken stock
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. To roast the squash, cut it open and clean out the seeds and place the opened squash onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, dried cumin and dried cardamon.
  4. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until you can pierce the flesh easily with a fork.
  5. After the Squash is done, scoop it out and set aside. You want 8 cups of squash.
  6. In a large soup pit with a thick bottom, melt the butter and then add in the shallots, garlic and celery. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the celery is soft.
  7. Add in reserved squash along with chicken stock, curry powder, cumin and salt.
  8. Bring to a soft boil. Add in cream and warm it up.
  9. Enjoy.


I served it with grated parmesan on top. Yummo!

Just Rhonda Footer

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Build your own Chili Chart

This post first appeared on LollyJane where I contribute recipes once a month!


Build your own chili

When I was a kid I loved the choose your own adventure books. They were written so that you would get to  certain point in the story and then you would chose where the story would go and depending on your choices you would end up with a different ending to the book. I distinctly remember going back and trying it over and over to see how the book would turn out and then decide which one is my favorite ending.

I have been thinking about chili lately. One of the reasons is this little lady. She looooves chili. So much that she will randomly announce “Man it’s been a while since we had chili around here.” Add on that fall is here. It makes me think about chili even more!! There are so many things you can put into chili to change it a little bit here and a little bit there. I did a lot of chili recipe reading.  And I found a lot of great recipes and adjusted them a bit. They came from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry, Sunday Soup, Soups & Stews, Company’s Coming, and  Dinner and a love show.

Chili two

So I made a little chart.  All of these chilies start out with frying the chopped onions and garlic in some olive oil. You can go straight across and that will make you a great chili. Or you can switch up the veggies and the spices to change it.

Chili Chart.docx

Instructions: Over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the 2 Tbsp of olive oil until the onion turns translucent. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the meat until it loses its pink color. Add flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Get it sizzling so the spices get cooking. If you are adding vegetables add them in. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened and are beginning to turn golden. Then add in the 1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, liquid and the other spices. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the beans if using. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the beans are warmed through. Serve with toppings.

To start out with you can just go straight across and build a chili. And then the next time switch it up a bit and see what you end up with in your pot. Then you can make some cornbread (you can find my favorite recipe here) as regular cornbread or cook it in your waffle maker and eat your chili on top.


Either way you change it up, it’s a kitchen adventure. 😉

Just Rhonda

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Relearning how to make French Toast

A few months ago the cable company called and asked if we wanted to try out cable and a PVR for 6 months for free. I thought of Food Network for 2 seconds and said yes. I’ve set it up to record all my favorite Food Network shows and then at night when I am too tired to do anything but stare blankly at the wall, I watch Food shows. Regan had come home one night after the kids were in bed and found me snuggled up on the couch in my coziest pjs watching recorded cooking shows. He sat down beside me in the dark and watched for a few minutes, before asking “Don’t you ever think, why I would need to watch a show where she was talking about making a chocolate cake, when I could easily do that?”  He got bored relatively quickly and moved on to doing some of his never-ending doctorly paperwork. I kept watching and started a new episode that happened to have french toast in it. Well I watched, even though I know how to make french toast. Or so I thought!

I have never really loved french toast. It’s okay. In my mind, it’s just above cold cereal and way below good waffles and other tasty hot breakfasts. (To me cereal is like eating old, tasteless, soggy, cardboard….not to say that my kids don’t eat it pretty much every day….)  French toast is a I-don’t-want-cereal-but-i-dont-have-much-time kind of breakfast. The thing I don’t like about french toast is the sogginess and the egginess. When you cook the bread, but the inside is still a soggy, eggy sponge. No thanks. (I bet you can guess how I feel about bread pudding…)

Because I watched a Cooking show that showed lowly french toast, I will never make french toast my old way again!

3 things about this french toast:

  1.  The Bread matters. Thickly cut, old, dry Bread. Not that I’ve had this in my cupboard for 2 weeks and it’s got a bit of a green ting but I can’t quite see any green growth…. Not that bread. But maybe you’ve got a loaf in your freezer that’s been there a little too long and it’s a bit dried out. Or you made a rustic loaf a few days ago and you have some thickly cut slices. Yum.
  2. Lemon Zest. My first thought was “really…. isn’t that a bit over the top!” Nope. It’s not. I couldn’t believe the difference the little punch of lemon added. Do it.
  3. Just Yolks: One of the reasons I never really loved French toast was the fear of having one of the slices that ended up with the big clump of egg whites, know what I’m talking about? No thank you!

So. Give this recipe a try. French toast has officially climbed the taste latter at my house thanks to Ree Drummond!

The Pioneer Woman's French Toast


  • 1 loaf Crusty Bread: Baguette, French Loaf, Etc.
  • 4 whole Egg Yolks
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • Zest Of One Lemon
  • Maple Syrup For Serving
  • Sifted Powder Sugar, For Serving (optional)


  1. To make the french toast, cut bread into slices 1/2 inch thick. In a dish, mix together egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Dip bread slices in mixture, coating both sides, then remove from dish and set aside. Repeat until all bread is coated.
  2. Heat iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Sizzle butter in the pan when hot. Cook French toast on both sides until golden brown, being careful not to burn.

You can find her witty-as-always original post here. 

How do you feel about french toast??

Thai One On

from Eat Shrink and Be Merry
Thai One On
2 tsp butter or olive oil
1 cup each chopped onions and chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup celery
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 2 large)
1 Tbsp grated gingerroot
3/4 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander and curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp each chopped fresh cilantro and chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp light peanut butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 lb cooked medium shrimp, tails removed (thaw first if using frozen)

Heat butter in a large non stick soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper, celery and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
Stir in sweet potatoes, gingerroot, cumin, coriander, curry powder and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 30 seconds more. Add broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, just until sweet potatoes are tender.
Transfer half to blender and puree until smooth. Return to pot with remaining soup. (instead I just put my braun mixer thing right in the pot and pureed it right in the pot.) Stir in cilantro, basil, peanut butter, brown sugar and lime juice. Mix well. Add shrimp and heat for about 2 more minutes, just until the shrimp is hot.

Super easy, super tasty and even low fat 🙂

Soup Nazi?

I love soup!! But my kids do not. Eli is the only one who has ever even tried one. (He LOVES chicken noodle soup. Not the homemade kind – he won’t try that… but the Lipton Noodle soup.)

Since I figure there are more important battles in the parenting home front to fight than soup, I never make it for my kids. So when I have ladies lunches or if Regan happens to be home at lunch I’ll often make soup.

A favorite recipe of mine for Minestrone
(from Super Food for Kids)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 strips of bacon, chopped
1 clove or garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup canned tomatoes
2 small zucchini , finely sliced
1 quart chicken stock
2 carrots finely diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small turnip, finely diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 stick celery, sliced
14 oz canned cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp finely chopped freshly parsley
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat olive oil in pan. Add bacon and fry until it just begins to become translucent. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the garlic and the onion to the pan and fry gently until soft. Return the bacon to pan with the tomatoes.

Pour in the hot stock, stir and then add the carrots, turnip, potatoes, celery and zucchini. Bring to a boil, cover the pan lower the heat and simmer very gently for about 40 minutes or until the veggies are soft.

Add the drained beans and frozen peas and heat through. Add the parsley and seasoning to taste. Serve soup in warmed bowls with the Parmesan served separately, to be added according to taste.

I love this soup.
I got the recipe originally from my good friend and past neighbor Kathleen.
I especially love it served with this.
Sister Glenn’s Cornbread!!
2 cups flour
5 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup cold milk
2 eggs

Beat sugar, honey, milk and eggs in a bowl. Combine all dry ingredients and add to wet. Mix well. Pour into a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.

Gourdian Angel (Pumpkin Soup)

I made this last week and LOVED it.
I promise it is tasty!
Just give it a try!!!

It makes a nice light lunch paired with homemade buns!


(From Eat Shrink and Be Merry)
2 tsp olive oil or butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp grated gingerroot
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups of pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)
2 cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apples
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup evaporated milk or light cream

Heat olive oil in a large, non stick soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add gingerroot, curry powder and ground cumin. Mix well and cook for 30 more seconds.

Add broth, apples, pumpkin, carrots, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Stir occasionally.

Working in two batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Soup will be very thick. Return puree to pot and stir in evaporated milk. Serve hot.

It tastes better than it looks…really.

Silly Greek Chili

I’ve had a few people ask me for this recipe…..
It is from the great cookbook Eat, Shrink and Be Merry. It’s a great book (I’ll return it soon mom!!!) So cheesey, but really good healthy TASTY recipies. This is a really light fresh tasting chili. Total yum!

Silly Greek Chili
2 tsp olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chopped red onions
1 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp each ground cumin and dried oregano
1 can (19 oz) diced tomatoes with sun-dried tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups your favorite tomate pasta sauce
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/3 cup crumbled light feta cheese

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large
non stick pot. Add chicken. Cook and stir chicken until lightly bronwed, but not cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Add onions, zucchini, red pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook 1 more minute. Add tomatoes with their juice, pasta sauce, chickepas, brown sugar and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer with 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro. Ladel chili into serving bowls and top with feta cheese.

I read this book called Hope. I kinda got into it. It has 658 pages… and I read it in four days. Funny how I love to read but when I get into a book… i have to finish it. And fast. Regan kept commenting that he wished he could read his text books like that. 🙂 I think I was reading MUCH lighter stuff!

I’ll leave you with two pictures of my cute kiddios from the last few days.