Pumpkin Curry Soup

I wanted to share an amazingly easy and flavourful dish!  This pumpkin curry soup will win you over to curry if you are not already a fan!  Throw in some naan and red pepper hummus, and you’re in for a real treat.

*If you’re sad I don’t have labels on 2 of my spice jars, you can join my husband’s petition to reinstate them.  Anyway, the big one is curry, the littler one is homemade red pepper flakes from a friend back in Texas.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

  • 3T butter
  • 1 c finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t dried coriander
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper
  • 3 c water &  2 chicken bouillon/OXO cubes OR 3 c chicken broth
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin {UK-ers…can be found for 1.57 at Peckham’s}
  • 1 c half-and-half {I used single cream in the UK}

Melt butter and add onion and garlic.  Stir in curry, salt, coriander, and red pepper.  Cook 1 min.  Add water/bouillon or broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook 15-20 min.  Stir in pumpkin and half-and-half.  Heat 5 min.  Blend to be a smooth texture.

I am linking up to Things I Love Thursday & Full Plate Thursday .

Japanese Chicken

Japanese Chicken

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law who got it from a girl in Turkey when she was visiting my sister-in-law there.  Anyway, it has literally been around the world now, and I urge you to try it- we LOVE this dish!  The Mirin is essential in achieving the right sweetness, and the egg on top finishes it off.  Yum.

Japanese Chicken

  • ½ lb. chicken, sliced thin
  • 1 pkg mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 stalks green onions, cut 2 inches long
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 sheet nori, thinly sliced in strips (I OMITTED)
  • Cooked rice to fill 4 bowls


  • 1/3 c + 1 T shoyu (=soy sauce)
  • 1/3 c + T sugar
  • *3 T Mirin
  • 1 cup water or soup stock

Put the sauce ingredients and onion into a frying pan and bring slowly to a boiling point.  Put in chicken and mushrooms and cook until chicken is done.  Add the beaten eggs and tilt the pan so that the whole surface is covered with the egg.  Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the eggs are just set.  Put ¼ of the egg and chicken mixture on top of the rice bowl and sprinkle with toasted and crushed nori.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

*Mirin subsitute {don’t use this- use the Mirin!}

  • ½ T white wine
  • ½ T sugar

I am linking up to Things I Love Thursday and Full Plate Thursday .  Be sure to check both out for great products and recipes.

5-Cheese Stuffed Shells

5-Cheese Stuffed Shells

I just made the 4-cheese stuffed shells again and really enjoyed them.  You can use jarred sauce or the following marinara.

{Note: this recipe makes 2 smaller dishes so you can give one away or freeze one for later!}

  • 1# jumbo shell pasta (40 shells)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 12-ounce carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1 c (4 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese {I omitted for cost}
  • 3/4 c (3 ounces) parmesan cheese
  • 2T chopped fresh chives {totally forgot to add these!}
  • 2T chopped fresh parsley {I omit b/c I hate parsley}
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 10-ounce pkg (thawed) chopped spinach
  • 6 c *marinara {see below, or use your favorite jarred sauce if you’re pressed for time}
  • 2 c {8 ounces} shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F/190-ish C.  Coat 2 (13×9 in) baking dishes with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Place cottage cheese and ricotta cheese in a food processor, blender, or use a hand blender to process until smooth.  Combine cottage cheese mixture, Asiago, and next 6 ingredients (thru spinach).  Spoon or pipe 1T cheese mixture into each shell.  Arrange half of stuffed shells, seam side up, in one prepared dish.  Pour 3 c smoky marinara (see below) over stuffed shells.  Sprinkle with 1/2 c mozzarella.  Repeat process with remaining shells and the other baking dish.


  • 3 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste/puree
  • a handful of chopped basil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T brown sugar

Pop it all stove top and simmer while you prepare the shells.

I am linking up to Things I Love Thursday & Full Plate Thursday …Be sure to check them out!

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

My good friends and encouraged me to pop my own popcorn…like on the stove.  I was shocked how easy it was, as well as how incredibly delicious.  Plus, Rebekah and Luke love the whole process!  Then, the other night, Josh got a glimmer in his eye and returned 15 minutes later with caramel corn…very gooey caramel corn.  He perfected his work tonight and we all enjoyed the popcorn {even Luke, who surprisingly does not eat a lot of popcorn}.

A handsome overseer is truly crucial. {Josh found and executed this treat!}

Kernels {You'll only need a handful tho}

Heat the oil and add one kernel

Once that kernel has popped, the oil is ready.

Add enough kernels to cover the bottom without over-crowding them.

Give the pot a good shake every few seconds to avoid burning. Once the popping slows down, remove the pot from the heat immediately.

Have your bowls ready and pour out!

A 2-year-old is essential.

Actually, a 2-yr-old AND a 4-yr-old are essential.

For the caramel topping, melt the butter.

Add brown sugar, golden syrup, and salt.

Okay, mix butter, golden syrup, and brown sugar until it's boiling.

Once it's boiling, do NOT stir for 4 minutes. {Crazy, I know.}

Meanwhile, pour popcorn on a cookie sheet.

After 4 minutes, take off heat and add baking powder and vanilla.

Then, drizzle caramel over popcorn.

Bake at 95C/ 135 F for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes {or if you're too impatient like us, just bake for 15 minutes and lick the stickiness off your fingers!}


So, I told you how to do the popcorn in the captions- so easy and fast and waaaaay more delicious than the microwave junk.

Homemade Caramel Corn

Here’s the goods on the caramel topping:

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/8 c golden syrup (Karo syrup)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t vanilla

Melt butter on med heat.  Stir in brown sugar, golden syrup, and salt.  Bring to a boil while stirring.  Boil 4 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING.  Meanwhile, spread popcorn out on cookie sheet.  Remove caramel mixture from heat and add baking soda and vanilla, stirring.  Pour over popcorn.  Bake popcorn at 95 C/130-ishF for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.

Tip : we didn’t have an hour to bake it, so we cheated and ate it after 15 minutes- tasted great, it was just sticky, but still verydo-able.

For more TILT, check out Diaper Diaries .  I also linked up to Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday .