Posts filed under Test Kitchen

Tasting Fall in a Bowl | Butternut Squash Soup

I love Panera Bread's Autumn Squash Soup.  It is the perfect blend of sweet, spicy and salty. And what is one to do when a menu item you are craving is no longer available since it is technically after Thanksgiving? Despair not! DIY to the rescue (also known as, cooking it yourself).  

I had shared this fantastic version of the Panera Bread recipe last year as part of our Holiday menu. This year, I decided to skip on a spice and substitute it with another (who knew I was out of curry?? well, hello, ginger!). The taste is quite nice still! Here are the directions below. Enjoy!


1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 20 oz package precut)
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup apple cider
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Heat oven to 450. Toss chopped butternut squash with canola oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
Using a potato ricer, press squash through ricer. (Or puree in blender if you don’t have a ricer)
In a large food processor, blend pureed squash and pumpkin, pouring vegetable broth, apple cider and half and half through the top while blending.
Pour into sauce pan and heat over medium to a gentle boil. Add honey and spices.
Simmer on low for 10 minutes and serve with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Posted on December 7, 2014 and filed under Test Kitchen.

Looking Forward to Waking Up | Yogurt Parfait


Vanilla Bean Yogurt

Pecan Praline Granola



Loads of Honey

The Best Way to Combat Daylight Savings - Tasty Breakfast

I got the idea of making yogurt parfait at home about a year ago, after attending a conference in one of Houston's nicer hotels. They served us mini yogurt parfaits throughout the three-day seminar and at the end of it all, I found myself craving for more. I knew that it cannot be THAT hard to figure out the ingredients they used, right? Ha ha... It took multiple tries of combinations (about 15) of yogurt and granola for a good few months (about 3) until I thought the taste and texture were just right. So, this is the combination that worked for me! I use yogurt and granola from Trader Joe's (links to pictures of what they look like are on the left). Hope you enjoy! 

Posted on March 10, 2014 and filed under Test Kitchen.