Monday, September 24

Daily Dinners

Thursday was Two Squashed Soup....well, originally it was called simply Butternut Squash soup but I added an acorn squash to the butternut squash.

Okay, first up, the butternut squash needs to be peeled and chopped. Then it gets tossed in the steamer. (I have a really small steamer basket that sits on top of my rice cooker, so I had to steam the squash in 2 batches. If you have a bigger steam, save yourself some time and steam it all at once.) While this is steaming, I peel and chop the acorn squash. Then set it aside.

Dice up about a third of a cubanelle pepper. Toss it in a pot with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and stir it up. Mince up about 5 cloves of garlic and stir it in the pot.

I grabbed out the baggie of shredded carrots left over from Mexican night and added that to the pot. Stir this often to keep it from burning. We are trying to brown the garlic and coax as much flavor as possible from the pepper and carrot.

Meanwhile, the butternut squash should be ready to be pulled out of the steamer. Put it in another bowl and mash it up. If you are steaming the squash in separate batches, put the acorn squash in the steamer now and let it go. Add the mashed butternut squash to the pot. Stir it all up and add 2 c. chicken broth.

I also went ahead and stirred in the caramelized onions and garlic, also from Mexican night. I kept this over medium heat. 

Once the acorn squash was done in the steamer, I transferred it to a bowl and mashed it up. Then the mashed acorn squash got added in to the pot, too. At this point I went ahead and turned off the heat.

Then about ¼ to ½ of a cup of light sour cream got stirred in. 

I used an immersion blender to puree the soup. (You could also do this in batches using either a food processor or a blender.) Once the grilled cheese sandwiches were ready, it was time to eat!

I served up the soup and cut up sandwiches to the girls and by the time I got around to taking of picture of Abby’s plate, her soup was practically gone. Then she asked for seconds. Guess she liked loved the soup. J

Remember how I bought a whole chicken at the store during my big grocery run? Thursday night, before I got started doing anything with the soup,  I went ahead and dropped the whole chicken into a large soup pot. I made sure it was covered by at least an inch of water. I turned it on medium-high, covered it, and let it go. When it really got boiling, I turned it down to medium. Now, all of the instructions I had read for boiling the chicken said to do it for about an hour. Well, I’ll save you the time from reading about my follies and just say that it needed more than an hour. Probably between 90 minutes and two hours.

I took the chicken out of the pot with some tongs, and set it on a plate to rest. It was a little difficult to get the chicken out because the meat was literally falling off of the bones and so each time I went to pull it out, more meat would fall off and it would splash back into the pot. So be careful! :p
This is seriously what it looked like by the time I got it all out...not too neat.
The broth afterwards.
After it cooled off a bit, I pulled the meat off of the bones and placed them in to 4 different ziplock baggies. One or two chicken breasts and some tenders went into a gallon bag. The rest of the meat got shredded up and divided up into the other three bags. I wrote the date on them and put them in the freezer. Then it was time to put the broth into containers and into the fridge for later uses. This will all come in handy later. Yay!

This wasn't all of the broth, just one jar of many. :)

Friday was pizza and a movie night. We made Pizza Quesadillas! The girls went nuts about this idea and ate it all up!
 Pull out 4 mini tortillas. Brush the side that will be face down with some olive oil.

 Add tomato sauce (or leftover spaghetti sauce like I did) and top with your favorite pizza toppings.

 Then top with shredded cheese (we used mozzarella and cheddar), dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Put the top on them and place them in a pan that has been heated over medium heat. I used a panini grill pan to get the marks on them. :)

Once they are done, take them out of the pan and cut them up like pizza slices. I gave my girls their favorite dipping sauce to go dip their pizza quesadillas in -- ranch. 

This dinner was a hit! :)

Saturday we went to a Fall Fair at a local gardening store and then Kyleigh went to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The rest of us spent the afternoon re-arranging our living room. Nate had the brilliant idea of ordering out for dinner instead of trying to get to the kitchen to cook something up. Yay Chinese food!!! J


Sunday we had leftover chili. Nate makes such big batches each week that there is always plenty left for another whole meal. He added some more spices to it when he was reheating it and it was still super yummy.

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