My quilting and family life journal

Fall Soups and Bread

The unusually warm weather turned this weekend and we were given a rainy/sleety Saturday and Sunday. Just the type of weather to kick-off our soup and stew season. To welcome in the season I made a pantry soup of  butternut squash, parsnip and apples, and a basil focaccia bread for Sunday dinner. We enjoyed the meal so much that I wanted to share the recipes with you.

bread ans soup

Butternut Squash, Parsnip and Apple Soup


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 large parsnips, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 medium tart apples, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in large dutch oven.
  2. Saute the chopped onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add crushed garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in cumin and saute until fragrant.
  5. Add chopped parsnips, butternut squash and apples to the pot and stir all ingredients together.
  6. Add stock and thyme and cook until vegetables have softened.
  7. Use an immersion blender to smooth the soup.
  8. Garnish with a bit of parsley.

Basil Focaccia Bread

basil focaccia bread


  • Herb oil
    • 2 tsp dried basil
    • 5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • Dough
    • 4 cups whole wheat flour
    • 2 cups water
    • 3 Tbs olive oil
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Mix the dried basil, extra virgin olive oil, and sweet paprika in a small bowl and let steep for at least 30minutes.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of warm water. Add the yeast and stir. Allow to sit until the mixture becomes frothy.
  3. Stir flour and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in olive oil and yeast mixture. Mix until dough is smooth, elastic and slightly sticky.
  4. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Remove from bowl and flatten on a floured work surface. Divide into two equal parts.
  6. Spray two jelly roll pans with oil and place dough in pans.
  7. Gently work dough out to the edges of the pans and then split 1/2 of the herb oil across the trays of dough.
  8. With your fingers, indent the dough, keeping the bread approximately 1/2 thick.
  9. Let the dough leaven for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Pour the remaining herb oil on the loves, dimple lightly and sprinkle with salt.
  12. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Christmas Tree Skirt

I am down to the last two paper pieced blocks for my quilt-as-you go project so I just had to start a new project. It seams that I am not comfortable unless I have 4-5 quilting projects going at the same time. The latest project is an English paper pieced tree skirt.

Christmas tree skirt

The skirt will have a dozen poinsettias circling around the midpoint of the skirt and holly leaves at the base, with a beige background in multiple shades of the color.   The skirt will be hand pieced (great travel project) and quilted. It was just started this month and I told my family that I would finish it for the Christmas season, fortunately I didn’t say which year :)



End of harvest stock

The gardens have now been cleared, the herbs and vegetables either canned or dehydrated, so it was time to create some vegetable broth and stock powder for the fall and winter soups and stews.

veggie broth

Today I made a container of vegetable stock powder that I like to use to season beans and some winter squash soups.  As well as a vegetable stock powder which is great for stews and a number of soups.

stock powder

The following is the stock power recipe.


  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium parsnips, thinly slices
  • 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cabbage leave, cut into small pieces
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


  1. Wash and dry all vegetables.
  2. Arrange the vegetables on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 135F for an hour, then continue to dehydrate at 115F for about six additional hours. Check often and remove vegetables as they dry.
  3. Add the dried and cooled vegetables to a blender and process until a fine crumble is created.
  4. Pour crumble into a bowl and stir in seasonings.
  5. Store mixture in air tight containers or sealed bags.

October Pumpkin Harvest

Since there has been an abundance of pie pumpkins and butternut squash (these two can be used interchangeably in recipes) this season I have been collecting and preparing  a number of recipes I have collected and dehydrating as many of the gems as our machine can handle as possible (1/4 cup of dehydrated pumpkin makes a cup of nice thick puree). The following provide links to some of the yummy items that have been prepared in our kitchen over the past few weeks.

pumpkin ravioli

The pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce and pecans made for a wonderful Sunday with a harvest vegetable salad.


Honey Butter Pumpkin dinner rolls were made to complement a wonderful roasted parsnip, sweet potato and cherry tomato with caper dressing dish out of the Plenty cookbook.


This morning I made an iced pumpkin coffee cake as a treat for my honey as a thank you for the afternoon Cirque Du Soleil show to which I was treated.  The coffee cake was well liked and the show was well worth the three hour drive each way. Note: I cut the icing in half and it was still very good.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall vegetables are starting to mature. In our garden most of them are winter squash of one type or another.  So far we have harvested 3 crates of butternut squash that have been moved to the basement to age, a create of delicata squash that I am look for some new ways to prepare and a fair amount of pie pumpkins. Last week I made pumpkin zucchini spice bread, pumpkin spice cinnamon buns and pumpkin mac and cheese. This morning I made some delicious pumpkin oatmeal pancakes. I hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.

pumpkin oatmeal pancakesIngredients

  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple or agave syrup
  • 2/3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup plant based milk


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder and spices.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together maple syrup, pumpkin puree, egg yokes, coconut oil and plant based milk.
  3. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture.
  4. Beat the egg whites until fluffy and then fold into the batter.
    pumpkin oatmeal pancakes 2
  5. Spay a pan with oil and heat the pan. When the pan is hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and spread it slightly.
    pumpkin oatmeal pancakes 3
  6. When the pancakes are st on the top, flip and cook until golden brown.
  7. Serve with maple or agave syrup.

apple crisps

Apples are also in so I spent a bit of time preparing and packaging apple crisps of the winter months. Next I will be moving on to dehydrating some of the tomatoes from this years garden.

A pumpkin weekend


Fall is here and pie pumpkins and butternut squash are ready for picking. The cool weather front that settled in the area this weekend encouraged us to start pulling a few of the vegetable beds, prepare some of the produce for the winter and do a bit of baking.


Saturday we harvested the last of the kale (about 20 pounds) and prepared it to be dried into kale chips and powder. The chips will will be packed into one pound bags for the fall and winter and the powder will be packaged for soups, stews and smoothies. We finished cleaning the kale by the end of the night and the dehydrator will be running for the next few days to dry the bounty.

Sunday we canned stewed tomatoes and bread and butter pickles from the veggies pulled from one of the back gardens.  While I was waiting for the jars to process I spent some time making a pumpkin zucchini spice bread ans pumpkin spice cinnamon buns to use some of the pie pumpkins and ball zucchini that grew so well this year.

Pumpkin Zucchini Spice Bread



  • 1 1/2 cups white wholewheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup  pumpkin puree or butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with cooking spray
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in the zucchini.
  5. Add flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Fold in pecans.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared plan.
  8. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns



  • 2 1/4 tsp fast-acting active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups white wholewheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup warm plant based milk (120 degrees)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup rasins
  • 2 tbs earth balance butter



  1. In a large bowl, stir yeast, white wholewheat flour, 1 cup of all purpose flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt together.
  2. In a small bowl, mix honey, pumpkin, butter, plant based milk and egg together.
  3. Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients ans stir until well blended.
  4. Pour the remaining cup of all-purpose flour onto the work surface and pour out the dough mixture on top of the flour.
  5. Kneed the flour into the dough mixture until it is used up and it is smooth and elastic.
  6. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap/ Let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  7. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped nuts and raisins in a small bowl and set aside.
  8. Transfer the risen dough to the work surface, and roll it into a 16″ x 12″ rectangle.
  9. Spread the softened butter over the dough and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  10. Roll the dough into a log the long way. Cut the roll into even slices (9-12).
  11. Place slices into a prepared baking pan. Cover pan and let rolls rise until almost doubled (about 45 minutes).
  12. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes until they turn golden brown on the top.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool about 15 minutes before serving.

More quilt-as-you-go progress

So far this summer we have canned green beans, peaches, pears and apples. The dehydrator has been working overtime on a variety of herbs, spices , greens, summer squash, fruit leathers, and fruit chips to get the household through the winter. Between food prep activities I managed to get a few more quilt blocks made.

Quilt-as-you-go blocks

Tomorrow I start canning tomatoes and dehydrating eggplant and end of the season kale. So no more sewing for a time…..


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