Autumn / Soup.

David made this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe and it was the perfect meal to match the beautiful scene of Autumn in Seattle. If you’re a fan of bisques and chowders, but want a lighter alternative with much less dairy, give this soup a try and let me know what you think.

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Pasta, pasta.

A sweet Instagram friend asked for the recipe of a few pasta dishes I posted last week. Being that David and I just “winged it,” I put together some quick notes for her that you might find interesting as well :) Excuse any typos or grammatical errors. 

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 Tomato pasta

-on medium heat, add a table spoon of olive oil and saute “some” ground beef or pork (I usually add in only one cup to serve 4) and once cooked through, add in chopped bell peppers (red and yellow are my favorite) and have everything cook in the yummy “meat juice.”

-once the veggies are softened add a small can of tomato paste and a can of stewed tomatoes (drain out the extra liquid)

-let everything simmer together and add salt and pepper until you reach your desired taste

-If you have Italian seasoning, or basil/oregano, add this a teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired taste

-let the sauce simmer on low until it is well integrated and thick – then set aside

-cook pasta to your liking and drain

-with the heat OFF, pour the pasta in a large pan or the pot you cooked your pasta in, and make sure it coats the bottom of the pan

-dump in the cooked pasta and fold it in into your sauce until everything is well coated and the pasta absorbs some of the sauce

-let cool and EAT.

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Salmon/Veggie pasta

-Saute chopped veggies of your choice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper

-once cooked to your liking, set aside

-in the same or separate pan, “pan fry” your salmon. We typically do this by placing a salmon filet skin side down on medium heat and covering with a lid until the filet turns coral/pink. Since we will be chopping up the salmon into small bits, I usually take a knife and see how thoroughly cooked the meat is. It shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes to cook sufficiently. Make sure to add a little water to ensure the filet stays moist while it cooks

-let the filet cool, remove the skin and throw the skin back on the pan on high heat until it is crisp (or you can throw it on foil and broil the skin)

-While you’re doing all this, you can have the pasta going as well.

-Chop up your salmon into small pieces and throw it in a large pan on low heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan

-Add the veggies then the pasta

-add more olive oil depending on how dry or “wet” you want to mix to be when you eat it. We typically add about 5 seconds worth of “drizzle” after we add in the pasta.

-Add salt and pepper to taste

-Once everything is well integrated, crumble the salmon skin crisp and mix everything again.

-let cool and EAT.  

Chicken and rice soup.

I’m a sucker for stews and soups and chowders and porridge, etc. All that warm good stuff. As my mom does, we’ve been using whole rotisserie chicken and not really for the meat, but mainly for the carcass and bones to make a broth. Our go-to has been a winter-inspired Chinese-style broth infused with traditional flavors of rice wine, dark soy sauce and sesame oil. In an effort to do something different for Spring, I used the broth for a chicken and rice soup. After peeking at a few variations on the web (Pioneer Woman’s being my favorite for its simplicity and Ree’s candor), I tried to just make something basic and easy to tweak for next time’s trial. To my surprise, and likely due to the addition of chicken bouillon.. (Ree said it’s okay!), there are absolutely no changes needed and this soup was just delightful.

To make a large pot (yes, that’s my measurement) that makes about 8-10 servings, you’ll need:

  • One frozen or fresh chicken carcass or bones
  • Two chicken breasts (or any part of the chicken you like)
  • 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes or two cups chicken broth
  • One yellow onion
  • Two large carrots
  • 5-7 stalks of celery depending on how much you like it
  • 1.5 cups semi cooked rice (or noodles, I’m flexible)
  • Three tablespoons butter
  • Half cup flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • Two bay leaves
  • Dried or fresh parsley (just about a teaspoon worth if dried)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder (and/or Mrs. Dash)



Making the stock: place the carcass/bones in a large pot and fill it with enough water to cover the carcass by an inch. If you’re using only bones, fill the pot with about 5-6 inches of water and two cups of chicken broth. Bring this to a boil then add bay leaves and one to two chicken bouillon cubes (more if you’re feeling adventurous and like a salty taste). Let the stock simmer on low for about 45 minutes. At the last ten minutes, add in the chicken breasts (or part of your choice) and remove once cooked. At this point, you should have a nice broth with some dollops of oil forming over the top (see above).


Preparing the vegetables: Cut your vegetables into chunky soup size pieces (about one square centimeter or inch) saute with a pinch of parsley, salt and garlic powder (or Mrs. Dash) on med-high until half way cooked. We cooked in two separate rounds to make sure the pieces got an even sear. Pull apart your cooked and cooled chicken meat and saute with the onions to add extra flavor.




Preparing the rice: place the rice in a small pot with 1.5 times the amount of water and let it cook to a simmer then cover and set aside off the heat. The rice should not be cooked all the way, so adjust your heat and timing accordingly (I know that wasn’t very helpful).


Add your vegetables, chicken and rice to a new large pot if available, and drain the broth through a colander into this one. If you don’t have two pots, you’ll just need to drain the broth into a large bowl then combine, or remove the bones directly from the pot (I realize this is common sense and you can likely figure out how to combine your mix with the broth, but I want to make sure to walk you through every possible issue!)


Once everything is combined, simmer on low for about ten minutes, and taste test to see how much salt needs to be added.


Preparing your roux: melt three tablespoons of butter on low heat and once the butter has turned to liquid, combine the flour one tablespoon at a time until the result is a thick, pancake-mix-type of consistency.

Add your roux to the soup around the same time you do your salt-test, then simmer for another 5 minutes, and remove it from the heat.


Let cool (if you can), then enjoy.


Veggie and bacon hash.

This dinner originated because of a few reasons and one undeniable truth. One sensical reason involved needing to use up our Brussels Sprouts, and the undeniable truth is that leftover bacon fat should be used whenever possible. Oh, and breakfast for dinner is the best. I guess that’s two undeniable truths.

We used:

  • Vegetables: Halved Brussels Sprouts and diced red bell pepper.
  • Diced Russet Potato, though I’d like to use a harder, waxier variety like red potatoes next time.
  • Chopped up bacon bits. We used three bacon strips between the two of us, so adjust accordingly…
  • Bacon fat and/or vegetable oil


In a cast iron skillet, or a heavy bottomed sauté pan, partially cook the vegetables, bacon and potatoes you want to combine in your hash. To ensure each piece gets an even sear, cook the ingredients separately, or in small batches. Once completed, combine everything back in the skillet to for baking.


Most of the bacon fat was used to sauté the vegetables, but we used the remainder to coat our mix prior to baking. Though it sounds like we used a lot of bacon fat, we only had about two tablespoons available (it was whatever we rendered off of the four strips we had for breakfast that morning. It was a bacon-rich day).







Bake for about 10-15 minutes on 375 depending on how “done” your vegetables and potatoes were to begin with. Broil on high for the last two minutes.