Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}

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Butternut Squash Soup

Want to know a secret? Although I may have you fooled, I am really not that outgoing in my food choices. I’m also really quite timid when it comes to branching out and trying new-to-me cooking techniques. Surprise, surprise! A great example of me not straying from my comfort zone would be the butternut and acorn squashes that have been sitting on my counter for at least a month (more like 6 weeks). Every time I go into the kitchen, they taunt me. They sit there and remind me how little I know about cooking and how silly I am for not knowing how to use them. Well, I stepped out of the comfy zone last night, did a little research, and showed that butternut squash who’s boss! I read through about 1,200 recipes and finally decided I would just wing it and make it up as I went. Well, sometimes it pays to be adventurous. This was definitely one of those times- this soup is to die for! I not only conquered my fear of winter squash, but figured out how to roast it and made up a delicious batch of soup to boot! Let me tell you, this recipe is EASY. Hope you like it!

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 medium/large butternut squash, roasted (instructions below)
  • 2 medium yams or sweet potatoes, baked until tender and peeled.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 c. (or 2 cans) sodium free chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 package cream cheese (you can use light if you’d like).
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

To Roast Butternut Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Because the skin is so tough, it’s helpful to soften the squash before you try to cut it in half to roast it. Pierce the skin of squash a few times with a sharp knife and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the whole squash in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until you can cut it in half lengthwise (it will still be pretty firm, but much easier than trying to do it without this step).
  3. Once you have the squash cut in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom), open it up and scoop out seeds and stringy stuff.
  4. Return to the foil lined pan. With the inside facing up, drizzle with olive oil and add your minced garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until your knife goes all the way through the squash easily.
  6. Remove outer skin before using your squash in your recipe. I found it helpful to flip it over and use a large spoon to peel off the skin. It should easily come off. Cube your squash and it’s ready to use!

To Make Soup: 

  1. Using a large soup pot or pan (I used my dutch oven- similar one found here), melt butter and cook your onion until it is tender.
  2. Add chicken stock, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Simmer until everything is heated thoroughly, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add cream cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Using a blender (we love our Ninja Blender!) or an immersion blender, mix until smooth. You’ll probably need to do it in a few smaller batches.
  5. Return to pan and heat through. Do not let it boil.
  6. Garnish with plain yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, pepper, extra cayenne, green onions, bacon, the options are endless!
  7. ENJOY!

This makes a pretty big batch, so you’ll most likely end up with leftovers. Hard to believe, but this soup is even better the next day! I heated some of the leftovers up in a pan for lunch, added a bit of milk to thin it out and devoured it. YUM.

The Squash Conqueror,
Mrs. Edwards


Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

You may have picked up on this at some point, but pumpkin is possibly my most favorite flavor. It’s good in coffee, it’s great for dessert, and I recently figured out that it’s perfect for breakfast, too! This recipe is easy-peasy and absolutely delicious! The best part is that you can set it before you go to bed and have warm, fall-flavored oatmeal by breakfast. It’s a win all around!

Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

  • 2 c. steel cut oats- it’s important to use steel cut oats. Don’t use rolled or quick oats- they will get mushy!
  • 4 c. liquid- you can use milk, water, apple juice, almond milk, coconut milk- whatever suits your fancy (I used 2 c. milk + 2 c. apple juice)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  1. Begin by spraying your crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray (This is important! You’ll be chiseling oatmeal off of your crock-pot for days if you forget…)
  2. Add all ingredients to your crock-pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve plain, with milk, or with a dollop of yogurt.
  4. ENJOY!

The pumpkin eater,
Mrs. Edwards

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Criss-Cross Crock-Pot Applesauce

There is no denying it, fall is my most favorite season of them all (see what I did there?). I love the changing leaves. I love fall weddings. I love pumpkin. I love the cinnamony, spicy smells of fall. I love the sweaters and chilly weather. I love gearing up for the holidays. I love everything about it!  What better way to bring some lovely fall smells and tastes to our home than to make some tasty applesauce? I just so happened to have a whole bunch of apples and a new Crock-Pot that I needed to break in. I made this recipe up as I went and lucked out with some delicious applesauce! Ready for the recipe? It’s SO easy!

Crock-Pot Applesauce
(makes about 4 cups)

  • 8-10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick + 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice
  1. Place all of your ingredients in your crock-pot. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.
  2. Once your apples have softened, remove from your crock-pot (careful, they’re HOT!). Stir to blend and mash with a spoon or blend with an immersion blender.
  3. Serve warm or refrigerate in a covered container.
  4. ENOY!

If you’d like to make a larger batch, you could try your hand at canning some for later (some on canning tips here and here).

Hope you enjoy this yummy treat!

Totally applesauced,
Mrs. Edwards


I Can-Can!

Tonight I decided to try my hand at canning. This was my first time embarking on this task solo. Other times that I have canned I’ve had my Mom holding my hand. Yep, for all the homemaking that I embark on canning has remained something that I’ve been slightly intimidated about. No more! I have conquered this beast!

Just as I mentioned in this post about making blackberry jam, canning does not have to be done huge batches, as many people assume. It can be done in a stockpot on the stovetop in small batches. Tonight, I tried my hand at canning some fresh pears from my parents orchard. I was pretty conservative in my efforts and only ended up with 3 half-pint jars. Yeah, yeah, yeah…all you canning pro’s are laughing right now. But only worrying about 3 jars was perfect for my first time solo-canning. Next time, maybe I’ll double my batch :)

First I peeled and cut up my pears and placed them in water that had some Fruit-Fresh mixed in (to keep the pears from browning). Lemon juice is also a great option to prevent browning. Once I had all my pears peeled, cored, and sliced, I heated them in a simple syrup. Simple syrup is ridiculously easy. Basically, you mix two parts sugar to one part water. Heat your water to a boil and add sugar. Heat and mix until sugar is dissolved completely. Voila! Simple syrup!

I heated my pears for about 5 minutes while I prepped my jars and lids. It’s important to wash/sanitize and heat your jars and lids before you add your fruit. I was using a large stock pot to process my jars, so first filled my pot with water and heated my empty jars in it. I heated my lids and rings (which I realized afterwards that it’s not necessary to heat the rings, duh) in a small sauce pan. Basically, by heating the lids you’re softening the rubber seal.

Once my jars were ready, I removed them and placed them on the counter to be filled. I ladled the fruit into a glass measuring cup and funneled it into each jar. Once the fruit was packed into each jar I added the simple syrup liquid to about 1/2 inch from the rim. It’s also important to release any air bubbles from your jars. You do this by using a gently inserting a knife or a plastic spacer (like the one from this Ball Utensil Kit) on the side and pushing your contents towards the center of your jar. You’ll see a few bubbles rise to the surface of your liquid.

After I removed all the air bubbles, I wiped the rims off and used my handy-dandy magnetic lid grabber thingy to fish my lids out of the simmering water. Once the lids are in place I gently screwed on the rings and placed the jars one by one into my stock pot of almost-boiling water.

I covered my pot and boiled the jars for about 15 minutes. I carefully removed each jar from the pot and let them dry/cool on a dishcloth. After about 5 minutes of sitting on the counter, I heard the pop-pop-pop of the lids letting me know that the jars sealed successfully!

And that, my friends, is how I canned my first 3 jars of pears! I’m sure my next batch will be done slightly different. I’ve found a few other ideas that may be fun to try (like this and this). Thankfully, there is no shortage of pears at my parents orchard and they’re coming to visit next weekend! My mom is a canning wizard- just tonight she posted on Facebook that in the past 24 hours she has canned blackberry jam, vanilla bean pear jam, and zucchini relish. I said, “Teach me your ways, oh wise one!” Hopefully I’ll get a few pointers from a pro next weekend :)

Have you tried canning anything lately? Did you end up with a huge haul or just 3 measly jars? Any tips that you’d like to pass along? :)

Homemaking some more,
Mrs. Edwards


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies // Simply Mrs. Edwards

A few months ago, I took the plunge and began cutting gluten out of my diet. It has been the roughest yet most rewarding diet change I’ve ever made. Cutting gluten out has helped me immensely with migraines but sometimes I crave the stuff like nobody’s business. I love baking and have really missed being able to easily (and inexpensively) whip up a loaf of bread or batch of cookies. Well, I think I’ve finally found a good solution for my cookie cravings! And guess what…it only requires 3 ingredients, all of which you most likely have in your cupboard! These cookies are amazing, even if you don’t have to avoid gluten like the plague.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop the dough in teaspoon sized dollops.
  4. Place sheet in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from freezer and using a fork, flatten cookies.
  5. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Let cool completely on the pan and remove with a spatula.
  6. ENJOY!

This makes a pretty small batch, which is great for me because I may or may not be tempted to eat them all in one sitting. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you’d like. Hope you love these just as much as I do!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Thankful for cookies,
Mrs. Edwards