Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dark chocolate, cinnamon, fresh orange, and everything you love about Mexican chocolate, in cake form. ;)

A few years ago, I learned about the Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico. Prior to that, I always assumed it was just a different name for Halloween in Mexico, but was otherwise pretty identical, with more skeletons. I’d like to thank the public school system for that gap in cultural knowledge, thankyouverymuch.  (more…)

My Favorite Butternut Squash Soup {dairy-free, vegan, Whole30}

Looking at the title for this post with all the dietary qualifiers, I feel like I don’t even sound like myself. Where is the baker Godmother, the cheese-loving Godmother, the Godmother that rivals Paula Deen and Ina Garten in her love of good-quality butter? She’s here. She just started making this soup several years ago by piecing together a few things in the fridge and never really stopped making it that way.

The Best Easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

If you had a glimpse into our daily menu, which you sort of do in a way now, you’d see that most of what we eat is very simple, and on the healthier side. It’s simple because the Godfather and I are busy people, we always have been, and healthier because we choose to emphasize whole foods in our diet. We are healthier that way, and in turn, more productive. You really don’t need much to dress up fresh foods, and the flavor is unmatchable by anything artificial. And if you eat healthier, there’s more room for treats… balance!

This soup happened one day in California when the Godfather was off on a business trip and I was fending for myself. When I cook for me and it requires more work than say, salad, I make a big pot and eat leftovers. I had a beautiful butternut squash, probably from the farmer’s market, some homemade broth (maybe… this was around the time I was transitioning away from store bought), onions, garlic, and almond milk in the fridge. My office at the time was on a breakfast smoothie kick and one of the other ladies got me started adding almond milk to my smoothie. So with those ingredients, and probably the motivation of a chilly California evening, I decided to make soup by basically throwing things into a pot, crossing my fingers, and praying it all turned out. Which obviously it did.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

I didn’t realize how well it turned out until I took leftovers to work the next day and one of the ladies in the accounting department smelled my lunch and said “What is that? It smells reeeeaaally good!”. I told her how I made it, and made a mental note to make it for the Godfather later. He liked it, so this became how we make butternut squash soup.

In the recipe I used cream of coconut instead of almond milk because that’s what I have right now, and I’m not making my own almond milk just to stay Whole30 compliant. The coconut cream was easier to use and I’ve used it several times before. You may also use regular heavy cream, and I’ve included measurements for almond milk and heavy cream in the notes.

Clean Eating Butternut Squash Soup

My Favorite Butternut Squash Soup {dairy-free, vegan, Whole30}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Our favorite recipe for butternut squash soup.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled and cubed
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (homemade or store bought)
  • ½ large sweet onion (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz can of cream of coconut*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • (optional) ¼ c chopped hazelnuts
  1. Heat your olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook an additional 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the butternut squash and stir to coat, then cook for 2 minutes or so before adding all the broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes until the butternut squash is cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat, scoop out 2 cups of broth, and puree the rest with an immersion blender.**
  4. Place the soup back on the burner over low heat and stir in the cream of coconut, almond milk, or heavy cream. Do not let the soup boil, you just want to warm the new ingredient.
  5. Slowly add in the reserved stock until you have reached the desired consistency. Save the rest for use in a future soup or for making pasta or rice.
  6. Optional To toast hazelnuts, roughly chop the nuts or smash with the broad side of a knife. Place a skillet over medium low heat and add the hazelnuts to the pan. Stir regularly for 3-5 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted. Immediately remove from heat. Use to top your soup!
*If not using the coconut cream, substitute 1½ cup almond milk or 1 cup heavy cream. Using the heavy cream will make it neither dairy-free or vegan, but use what you have.
**I don't have an immersion blender currently (it's on my wish list) and our blender broke, so I use my large food processor.



“Not Too Sweet” Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans recipe has been updated with new photos as of October 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project. This recipe is a family favorite and has become a tradition in our home. We enjoy it so much, I make it at least one or two times per year outside the holiday season. If you must add marshmallows for guests, I’ve used the same base and topped half marshmallow and half pecan with fabulous results. Enjoy, darlings! 

Need a "not too sweet" sweet potato casserole? This sweet potato casserole with pecans is a family favorite and so easy for Thanksgiving! * Recipe on

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

When I was a child, we usually ordered our Thanksgiving dinners from Publix. Read this blog long enough and you’ll notice we got a lot of things from Publix. Anyway, the dinner we would usually order included a few sides including stuffing, green bean casserole, and a marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole that everyone seemed to love except me. (more…)

The Godfather’s Smoked Turkey

The Godfather’s Smoked Turkey recipe has been updated with new photos as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better photos to already delicious recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

The Godfather's Smoked Turkey - Perfected over nearly a decade, the brine recipe and smoking process for our Thanksgiving turkey results in a juicy, flavorful bird everyone loves. You may also use the brine for a roasted bird if you don't have a grill to smoke. * Recipe on

I’m not quite sure how to introduce this recipe. Maybe I can start with the story of how, years ago the Godfather (well before he was the Godfather), set out to create a smoked turkey so we could have amazing turkey without a deep fryer or running our not-so-awesome-at-the-time base housing oven. Or maybe I could talk about how my father-in-law (who is the unquestioned meat-patriarch in his family) fell in love with this recipe so much it that he created his own variation as his go-to recipe for turkey. Or I could take you to our kitchen in California last year where we had a Thanksgiving party with friends and L turned around to find two of our guests grabbing turkey leftovers, jostling each other for space to eat over the kitchen sink even though we had all just finished a huge meal. (more…)

I Am Thankful for Salted Caramel Apple Pie


This post updated Oct 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project. 

All butter flaky crust, loads of fresh apples, and caramel. I *need* this apple pie for Thanksgiving!


Goodie Godmother Salted Caramel Apple Pie Recipe from Scratch

The last time I baked an apple pie was many months too long ago, which I find funny because apple pie has to be one of my favorite types of pie ever. I like to enjoy warm apple pie plain or with homemade vanilla ice cream, apple pie at room temperature after a meal, or even cold apple pie late in the evening curled up on the couch watching a show. It reminds me of childhood, even though all our apple pies came from Publix. Publix makes delicious apple pies, but they don’t make this one! 😉 (more…)

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