Friday, October 29, 2010

Cold Weather Meals & Pumpkin Carving

The weather has taken a turn this week and it has been dull and cold.  This is the kind of weather that has me making really hearty, stick-to-your-rib meals for dinner.  Wednesday DS had a hockey practice from 5:30-6:20 and then had to be across town for his 6:45-7:30 swimming lesson.  Thankful this doesn’t happen very often.  I needed a meal that was fast, had staying power and most importantly, was something that he likes.  With no immediate plans in mind I put a turkey breast in the crock pot with some water, carrots, celery & onion so I at least had a starting point.  While on the treadmill I thought to turn it into a pulled “pork” type of meal, but we already had that Monday.  Hmmm….the next idea was to shred the meat, puree the veggies with some of the broth and stir it all together with some tomato sauce.  Perfect!  I served it over WW macaroni noodles with freshly grated parm on top:IMG_3932
My next creation came about Thursday night in the form of stoup.  I thawed out a smallish pork tenderloin and had a ½ pack of TJ’s Harvest Blend and some tomato sauce hanging around.  These ingredients started my thinking process.  Here’s what I did:IMG_3940
*chop an onion, a few carrots and some celery and sauté for about 5 minutes in deep pot with about a tbsp of olive oil
*add 1 pkg of chopped Portobello caps and spices of your choice and cook another 5 minutes or so
*remove veggies from pot and add sliced pork tenderloin (or chicken) and cook until both sides are golden brown
*add veg back into pot along with 3 cups of stock and a 19oz can of tomato sauce
*bring to boil then add your grain of choice
*bring back to boil, lower heat and cook covered as per the grain you are using.  (The harvest blend took 15 minutes.)
* serve piping hot with some grated cheese on top
This was a real winner and really helped in using up some odds and ends I had floating around.  I took some for lunch today and added a good splash of water to bring it to more of a soup consistency.IMG_3944
In my last post I promised pumpkin pictures and we’ve had quite the carving party tonight so it’s time to deliver on my promise!  First, these are the “templates” the kids chose:IMG_3951 IMG_3950
DD went the simple route while DS must think his Dad is an artist!  The pumpkins have been on the front porch so the guts were not only slimy, but COLD! IMG_3952 IMG_3955 IMG_3956IMG_3958 IMG_3962 IMG_3964
Hard at work:IMG_3969 IMG_3978 And the finished products!IMG_3985 IMG_3975 IMG_3984 IMG_3982 IMG_3977 IMG_3986 Aren’t they AWESOME????
A peek at my eats!IMG_3941 IMG_3930 IMG_3935 IMG_3943 IMG_3931 IMG_3936 IMG_3945 IMG_3937 IMG_3938 For a quick pre pumpkin carving meal I made some scrambled eggs with turkey and this cheese: IMG_3947 IMG_3948
Then I nestled the eggs in one of these wraps:IMG_3946 With salsa…IMG_3949 Dinner is served!  I’ll be back Sunday night with Halloween pictures,  the Thanks & Giving food item of the week and a giveaway!!!  Until then, tonight’s sunset….IMG_3968
Bye for now!!


  1. Umm your husband IS an artist!!! Those pumpkins look fabulous. Ohh dear DS :)

    I can't wait to see them in their costumes.

  2. SO many good meals come out of your household. You've got fall comfort food down pat.
    I spot La Tortilla Factory... why are those not in ALL the grocery stores? SO good. I've only ever tried the tomato basil though, I need to branch out.

    Hope you guys have fun celebrating Halloween, awesome pumpkin carving skills going on there!

  3. I love stoup! I'm not a thin soup person at all- I need lots of veggies and body. And that TJs mix rocks in just about anything. The pumpkins look great. We still haven't carved ours. Hopefully tomorrow. Happy Weekend

  4. omg those came out so good!!! i wish i could carve a pumpkin like that!

    and that recipe you posted! i have to make that asap! it's started to get cold and gloomy here too!

  5. Wow, the pumpkins are amazing! Spookily perfect, Krista! Your stoup looks really delicious and hearty, I really love meals that help use up ingredients that are just floating around. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Way to come up with a delicious-looking meal last minute! And the pumpkins you all carved are just too cute :-) Have a great weekend Krista!

  7. Fantastic pumpkins!! And I like your different oatmeal bowls :) Happy Halloween!

  8. The pumpkins look great, especially all lit up! Happy Hallowe'en!

  9. love the pumpkins you carved!!!! SO AWESOME!!!

    hope you and the family have a great HWeen!!

    and i love the font change...slightly bigger and easier to read...thank you!! :)

  10. I need to make some bean soup this fall/winter. Your STOUP above looks mighty tasty! Mmmm, I also love a good egg omelette. I'm missing eggs this week!

    The pumpkins look great. Nick and I used some pretty neat templates for our pumpkins this year too, but those templates are way beyond my comfort level. Your hubby is talented!

  11. The pumpkins turned out awesome! Your husband got some pumpkin carving skills!!

    The kids look so cute, your daughter is beautiful like you, she looks like you so much!

    Thanks for the kind words in regards to the passing of my gram, you are so sweet and a great friend : )

    Happy Halloween!! WHat are your kids being?

    Hope the hockey game was a win yesterday! xo

  12. Those pumpkins look absolutely amazing!!! Adoring them!



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