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18 Nov '14

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrots

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes

I'm pretty sure I could eat roasted butternut squash every single day - it's just so yummy! This fall, I've been making it a new way. My children aren't root vegetable fans, so that means one entire cookie-sheet's worth of roasted veggies gets split between my husband and me. No problem there!

The beauty of just about any roasted vegetable recipe is it's very flexible. Add or take away ingredients to fit your own tastes.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrots

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Then toss these ingredients in a large bowl:

Butternut squash (I'm lazy and use two 20oz. packages that are precut and prewashed)
Carrots (3-4, peeled and chopped into chunks)
Garlic Powder, Nutmeg, Salt, and Pepper
Italian Dressing - around 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup

Once the vegetables are well-coated, spread it out onto the lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the following over the top:

Fresh Dill (I like a lot, so I use about 2 cups chopped up)
Romano Cheese (around 1/4 cup)

Roast for 60 minutes, tossing every 15-20 minutes. Eat the vegetables by itself or toss with pasta, whatever suits your fancy.

Dinners in my house have to be fast and easy, so I love easy roasted recipes like this one! Hope you enjoy it.




19 Sep '14

Roasted Tomato Soup

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Recipes

If you're looking for a great basic tomato soup to enjoy now that the crisp fall air has arrived, I recommend trying this one.

I cheerfully made this soup twice this week. The first batch was consumed before I remembered to set a bowl aside for this post. I love this recipe because my kids will actually eat several bowls at at time before dashing off to play. And, like spaghetti sauce, there are so many variations of vegetables and herbs that can be swapped to this basic recipe that it's almost impossible to tire of it! Below I even share a suggestion for adding pork. I hope your family enjoys my family recipe as much as we do!

xoxo, Kari


 Kari's Roasted Tomato Soup


4 TBSP butter* 1 fennel with stalks  2 large Italian sweet peppers 1 onion 4 cloves of garlic
1.5 TBSP Dill
1 TBSP Sage 
3 LBS tomatoes, roasted (I used Early Girl tomatoes) 
5 cups stock 
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop onion, sweet peppers, and fennel. Sauté in butter on medium heat until pepper is bright red, about 5-8 minutes.

2. Mix in whole garlic cloves, dill, sage, and salt.

3. Add roasted tomatoes and stock, let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

4. Puree soup with immersion blender.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste. We enjoyed our soup with a dash of Parmesan and artisan garlic bread on the side. Fresh whipped cream or a ricotta w/o animal rennet would also be a delicious addition. I usually add meat to our soup by mixing 1 pound of ground pork with 1 tablespoon tomato puree, salt, and 3-4 TBS fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley. Mix well and roll into small balls, drop into soup and simmer until they are cooked through.  

*Ingredients are everything. I prefer to use grass fed butter, fresh organic produce, local sustainable meats, and high quality herbs in my cooking, the flavors are unmatched!


13 Aug '14

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Recipes

Earlier this week, the kids and I tackled our blueberry patch in the back garden. My goodness, those six blueberry bushes went all out this year producing a bounty of berries!

With the freezer full and our dehydrator humming merrily in the garage, we decided celebrate summer by making a tart with the remaining berries.

I'm not a regular pie/tart baker, so I was pleasantly surprised when our dedicated work (I resisted the urge to use a store bought crust) produced the perfect summer dessert. Fantastic!


11 Jul '14

Double Plum-Arugula Salad

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Recipes

This salad was a perfect shake-up to my otherwise very routine salad. I don't often use radicchio, but here, its slight bitterness is paired perfectly with the sweet plums and Willapa Pluvius cheese. After reading this article about the leafy green, I plan on using it more frequently. Enjoy!

Double Plum-Arugula Salad

1lb firm ripe plums
2 Tbsp extra-virigin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
5oz baby arugula
1 small head radicchio, cored & shredded
1/4 lb dried plums, quartered
3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
1.4 lb Willapa Pluvius cheese, crumbled


Pit fresh plums and cut into small wedges. In blender, puree 1/4 of the plum wedges with olive oil, vinegar, shallot, thyme, salt & pepper. Thin with a little water if needed. 

In a large salad bowl, season arugula and radicchio with salt and pepper, then toss with the fresh plums and pine nuts. Drizzle with dressing, garnish with the dried plum pieces and crumbled cheese. 

Try it this weekend with a grilled meat main...it won't disappoint!



13 Jun '14

Spaghetti With Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes

My parents eat meat at almost every evening meal...which isn't the way my family and I usually eat. So with Dad and Mom out of town on a trip, I'm kind of excited to have my mother's big kitchen all to myself and take advantage of all the amazing fresh local produce here in the Northwest. Spaghetti is of course, always an easy meatless entree, but it gets boring to always have it with the usual tomato-based sauce, don't you agree?

For one of this weekend's dinners, I'm turning to a favorite pasta recipe, saved from an old issue of Real Simple. The dish is incredibly flavorful for having so few ingredients and as with any Real Simple recipe...it's a cinch to make! Although recipes with sweet potatoes are usually considered more for autumn meals, this is a keeper of a dish...good year round! 


Happy Friday and if you don't know about it, hop on over to Design Mom this weekend to sign up for the Brimful giveaway she's running on her blog!



[Images above found here, here, here, and here.]