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October 18, 2016

Butternut Squash Soup 8 Ways

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

Imagine you’re on your way home from work. You’re frantic. You need to make dinner and you want all of the people you have to feed to be happy.  You’ve worked all day and the LAST THING you want to hear is complaining. That’s when you make a “Choose Your Own Adventure” meal!  How do you do that? Well you provide a bunch of options so everyone can customize dinner to their own taste.  The best quick weeknight meals are the ones where everyone gets what they want. That’s why Taco Night & Burger Night are both so popular at my house.

Let me show you how you can turn Soup Night into something much more!

First we’re going to take our base soup– Imagine’s Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and we’re going to make a BUFFET of toppings.  This soup is PERFECT way to celebrate Autumn.

It’s light, creamy and super velvety.

shutterbeanbutternutsquashsoup-4

I wasn’t kidding about the toppings. Bust out ALL THE BOWLS.

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

Toppings above include:

  • fried sage
  • spinach
  • pomegranate seeds
  • cilantro
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • cranberry sauce
  • browned butter
  • crostini
  • caramelized onions
  • candied walnuts
  • chili powder
  • curry powder
  • green onions
  • tortilla chips
  • cheddar cheese
  • blue cheese
  • sriracha

Heat up your soup in a pot over the stove.

One container of Imagine’s Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup can make up to four small bowls of soup. I used two containers for all 8.

Let’s top it!

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

OK. Are you ready to see 8 different combinations? Let’s go!

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

This version has pomegranate seeds for sweetness, green onions for a sharp bite, bacon for a smoky/salty vibe and a swirl of sour cream to make even CREAMIER!

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

This version is similar to the one above but we add cranberry sauce and caramelized onions!

It tastes like Thanksgiving!

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

We go for a Thai inspired soup with this one. Stir in some curry powder, drizzle some sriracha on top and finish with toasted coconut and fresh cilantro! I bet a little coconut cream would be divine in there.

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

When I think of Autumn, I think of butternut squash and SAGE! Browned butter makes everything better, doesn’t it? I fried some sage in the browned butter and it made its way into the butternut squash soup!

Autumn dreams are made of this combination.

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

Let’s turn it into a Mexican inspired soup! Here we have salsa, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, chili powder and hot sauce. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

Bread + cheese + soup = YAAAAAAS

Here I topped crostini with blue cheese & caramelized onions. Now that I’m looking at this I am sure a balsamic reduction drizzle would be a good addition!

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We combine candied walnuts with the fried sage, a drizzle of browned butter, candied walnuts and creme fraiche. We add a little pomegranate seeds for extra fun.

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

This one is one of my favorites because the blue cheese and spinach wilts into the soup. Candied walnuts for an extra crunchy surprise!

Other toppings that would be awesome:

  • pepitas
  • apples
  • dried cranberries
  • cheesy croutons
  • cannellini beans
  • grilled cheese sandwich cut up into little pieces

Turn Imagine's Organic Butternut Squash Soup into 8 different soups with toppings! Find all of the soup inspiration on Shutterbean.com!

There you have it.  Butternut Squash Soup 8 Ways.

Hope this inspires you to have a soup party with toppings in your near future!

This post was produced in partnership with Imagine®. As always, all opinions are my own.

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October 16, 2016

My Everyday Life: Week 41

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life Week 41

Running through the puddles at sunset to get dinner.

My Everyday Life: Week 41 on Shutterbean.com

We had a storm! I forgot how good the air smells after the rain.

My Everyday Life: Week 41 on Shutterbean.com

The fog rolled in.

My Everyday Life: Week 41 on Shutterbean.com

The fall morning light right now is insane. It’s very dark when we get up.

I am turning into an early morning person….slowly….

My Everyday Life: Week 41 on Shutterbean.com

I edited this photo instead of drinking a cocktail.

Processed with Snapseed.

A barrel of apples

My Everyday Life: Week 41 on Shutterbean.com

CONTINUE READING

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October 14, 2016

I love lists

I love lists // shutterbean.com

Welcome to I Love Lists! Let’s surf the internet together:

  1. Whhhyyyyyyyy am I looking at this when I can’t eat cake??! 
  2. Tweets from Fitbit owners that will make you LOL if you have one. 
  3. Reality of being a woman in our world. Thank you for writing this.
  4. OMG the #3 costume. AHHHH
  5. Wrap it up!
  6. Best Productivity Habits from Famous Writers.
  7. Things you should only buy at Costco.
  8. WHAT HAS HAPPENING TO KIDS
  9. At least technology is good for something at times.
  10. Also….I mean. DO WE REALLY NEED A SPOON LIKE THIS? 
  11. Life hacks out of everyday household items. YES.
  12. Motherhood vs. Creativity
  13. The Binge Breaker — oh this is such an important read!
  14. Did you pre-order Ina’s new book? DO IT FOR JEFFREY!
  15. I would go to church ALL THE TIME if the ceiling looked like this.
  16. I don’t think I could be more pleased by the balance in this photograph.
  17. Internet Friends are Real Friends
  18. Cute pins: Books are Cool / Mighty Pen / Be Brave / JERK / FUTURA
  19. I love reading Heidi’s Favorites Lists
  20. Pumpkin carving goals this Halloween.
  21. One day I will go to Kyoto. 
  22. 80% of millennials have never tried a Big Mac. I thought that was interesting.
  23. I love Mike Rowe.
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October 13, 2016

Whole 30: Week 3

Whole 30 - Week 3 on Shutterbean.com

As I write this I am on Day 24 of  Whole 30:

I have 6 days left.

Why is this starting to sound morbid. It’s not!!!!!

I HAVE 6 DAYS LEFT. WAHOOOOOOOOO. I am almost done.

WE ARE IN THE HOME STRETCH.

Part of me wondered why I shared this journey with you.  Is it annoying? Is it boring? Do you think I am crazy? Don’t answer that.

I am sharing this process because I want to be accountable for my actions. I want to say I am going to do something and DO IT. Having you involved in the process means I have more motivation to keep it going.

My willpower is stronger as a result.

So, thank you.

I believe that this is proof that we build better connections when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. 

This week I’ve been working on:

IMPULSE CONTROL.

because…

What I learned most during week 3 was this:

I have incredible willpower. What I need to manage is my impulse control.  Through this process, I am starting to understand what kind of habits and patterns I’ve created for myself. Slowly, I am figuring out ways to fix them. I am loving how less stressed I am about food because I don’t eat the things that triggered my anxiety. 

What is impulse control?

-failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.

When I am stressed, it is much harder for me to control my impulses (like drinking alcohol or having a carb party). Taking the time to understand what my impulses are has helped me make better choices around food. Impulses come from feelings and I HAVE SO MANY OF THEM throughout the day while I am rushing around-doing too many things at once. Instead of understanding how I am feeling and WHY I am feeling a certain way, I tend to self-medicate by swallowing my feelings.

Impulse control can be managed by slowing myself down.

I am learning how to tell myself —in a gentle way— that it’s OK to eat certain things but I need to be aware of how much I am eating. AKA DON’T GO OVERBOARD.

Before I would say things with a mean/angry/jerk voice.

That jerk voice is definitely not a voice I would EVER use for anyone I loved.

When I am not surrounding myself with distractions, I can CLEARLY think about the food choices I will make based on the structure I have for myself right now.

Before, I impulsively ate my face off because I had no structure/no limits/no boundaries.

EXAMPLE:

before (said in a frantic/jerk voice):

  • omg there’s cake
  • i want cake
  • omg i should just have a sliver
  • but then i’ll just want another slice
  • just get the bigger piece, Tracy
  • WHOA YOU JUST ATE THE BIGGER PIECE
  • HOW DID THAT HAPPEN. WERE YOUR EYES CLOSED?!
  • but that bigger piece WASN’T ENOUGH.
  • have another slice! make it SMALLLLLLLL
  • oh. you did it. wow. OK. So WOW. Ummm.
  • how are you gonna work this off?
  • what do you have to sacrifice today to feel OK ABOUT EATING ALL THAT CAKE?
  • YOU DONT EVEN LIKE CAKE.
  • WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO??!!
  • WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE HEALTHY TODAY

now (said in a loving, supportive mom voice):

  • Slow down
  • Pay attention
  • Take a deep breath
  • Examine the situation
  • How will cake make you feel? Can you have a little or would you be happy with fruit?
  • Do you even like cake?
  • Make the choice that will make you feel best.
  • PROCEED, you got this.

What else is up this week?

I had a few moments this week when I went CRAZY on a bag of  plaintain chips. BECAUSE OLD HABITS DIE HARD.  Just because I can eat something within this “structure,” doesn’t mean I can eat ALLLLLLLLLLL of it. If I want to end this program feeling lighter, I have to pay attention my portion control.

Last weekend I spent 7+ hours at a family party where everyone was drinking (too) much wine and eating crazy good food. I put kombucha in a wine glass… I ate a lot of salami and nuts. I made some solid choices and I put myself in a quiet place every time I felt like I couldn’t handle being around so many people/temptations.

Sometimes you just gotta walk away and give yourself some time and space. 

LIKE SERIOUSLY. GO INTO ANOTHER ROOM. COLLECT YOUR THOUGHTS.

.I threw my back out. Felt sorry for myself. Crawled into the kitchen and still made good choices. Laid in bed with a heating pad while my husband drank a hot toddy RIGHT NEXT TO ME. The jealousy! It was cold out! I wanted a hot toddy. I made myself tea. EVERYTHING WAS FIIIIIIIINE.

OK. That’s all for now. 6 more days!

BTW- I am working on a bigger post to show you all the foods I’ve eaten and what I’m into.

You can read my Week 2 post here btw.

If you’re doing the Whole30:: What day are you on? How’s it going?!!!

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October 12, 2016

Grain Free Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

If you're trying to eliminate grains from your diet, try this Grain Free Cinnamon Apple "Oatmeal" made with cashews, apples, vanilla bean & raisins! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

I’m writing this on the floor of my bedroom right now. I threw out my back. I want to eat a sleeve of Oreos only because I went down some rabbit how on buzzfeed where someone jammed a fork in the creamy filling of an Oreo and dunked it into a glass of milk. Now I want to eat all the Oreos. Also, that’s a pretty awesome technique.

If you're trying to eliminate grains from your diet, try this Grain Free Cinnamon Apple "Oatmeal" made with cashews, apples, vanilla bean & raisins! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

As I write this on my floor of my bedroom with back pain, I’m on day 22 of the Whole30. Someone told me that they were super sick of eggs by this point. Fortunately I figured out how to make this apple “oatmeal” on day 5 and I’ve been alternating it into my meal prep for the weeks. I haven’t had enough eggs to be sick of them yet. WAHOOOO.

If you're trying to eliminate grains from your diet, try this Grain Free Cinnamon Apple "Oatmeal" made with cashews, apples, vanilla bean & raisins! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Not only is this Whole30 compliant, but it’s vegan and gluten free with no added sugar. It tastes like a cross between apple sauce and oatmeal. The soaked cashews in the mix give it that same bite you get with oatmeal and it’s nice and thick to boot!  It’s great served cold as a snack in the afternoon, but I like warm with bananas, raisins and nuts. I think tomorrow I might stir in a scoop of almond butter and coconut flakes.

CONTINUE READING

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October 10, 2016

Hash Brown Omelet

Hash Brown Omelet! A new take on breakfast. Inside you'll find fried eggs, tomatoes with oregano and bacon. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

I am currently on day 21 of Whole30. ONE MORE WEEK TO GOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Seriously though, it hasn’t been that bad because YOU CAN HAVE POTATOES ON WHOLE30 (now! apparently!).

Hash Brown Omelet! A new take on breakfast. Inside you'll find fried eggs, tomatoes with oregano and bacon. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

I’ve been trying to keep things interesting around here food wise. I don’t want to burn myself out on anything, so I’m playing around with preparations. Eggs and potatoes for breakfast in all different ways. This technique of making an omelet out of a hash brown was pretty fun!  It’s a little softer than my hash brown waffle situation. If you don’t have a waffle maker, this Hash Brown Omelet is your best bet!

Hash Brown Omelet! A new take on breakfast. Inside you'll find fried eggs, tomatoes with oregano and bacon. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

Inside that crispy/soft omelet, you have two eggs nestled in snuggly with strips of crispy bacon and blistered tomatoes with oregano. Whole30 doesn’t looks so bad, does it now? Still though…. I was dreaming of cinnamon rolls all weekend.

CONTINUE READING

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October 8, 2016

My Everyday Life: Week 40

Cooper turned 8!!! Casey and I surprised him with a father/son trip to Fenway Park to see David Ortiz’s farewell

I missed my boys but THEY HAD THE BEST TIME EVER, living out their baseball dreams.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

I can’t believe he is 8.  EIGHT.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

Birthdays call for sprinkles.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

I made rice krispie treats with white chocolate + sprinkles on top for Cooper’s class.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

None came home (I made more than I was supposed to).

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

My friend Leslie came over and made me breakfast while my boys were gone.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

CONTINUE READING