Saturday, November 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Mini Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

I know in one of my past entries I mentioned that pumpkin was one of my favorite fall ingredients, but butternut squash is definitely in the running as well! Every time I'm at a restaurant or an event that serves butternut squash soup I always order it. It tastes so good when the weather gets cold and crisp. I think the reason I haven't attempted to make the soup myself was because I thought it was complicated but this recipe was so easy. Butternut squash is tough to cut but the supermarket sells pre-peeled and pre-cut packages, so that makes it easier too. I plan on making this soup again soon! The original recipe calls for slices of French bread with Swiss cheese, but I thought warm mini ham and cheese sandwiches would be a nice addition.

Butternut Squash Soup with Side Salad and Mini Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4

1 tablespoon butter
3 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs)
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 1/2 cups fat free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches:
16 Slices French Baguettes (about 1/4 inch thick)
8 slices of ham
8 slices of swiss cheese
Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon butter


1. To prepare soup, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, carrots, and onion; saute for 12 minutes. Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half and salt.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Place squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place clean towel over opening in blender (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. NOTE: I used a hand held blender instead, to prevent extra clean up.

4. To prepare toasts, spread butter evenly on each slice then arrange 8 pieces, butter side down, on a baking sheet. Spread dijon mustard on each piece of bread. Then layer half a slice of cheese, a piece of ham, then the other half slice of cheese. Close with the 8 remaining French bread slices, butter side up. Broil for 5 minutes, then flip sandwiches for 5 more minutes or until toasted. Make sure you keep an eye on the sandwiches, they will cook quickly. Yields 2 sandwiches per person and about 1 cup of soup.

For side salad:
Combine 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 6 cups fresh spinach and 1/2 cup sliced red onion, and toss to coat.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday RJ and Emmy!

Last week I made my biggest cookie order yet! It was for a first birthday party for twins. The theme was Rubber Duckies and Blue/Yellow and Pink/Lime. This is the finished product.

Happy Birthday RJ and Emmy!!

Rubber Duckies..


Friday, November 5, 2010

Her Royal Cuteness - Abbie's 1st Birthday!!

Our friends Colleen and Chuck's little girl is turning 1 years old today. She is the cutest! So Abbie's Grandma (Mrs. Heyert) requested some favors for the special event. The color scheme was pink and lavender, naturally!!! She really is the royal cuteness!!!
Her Royal Cuteness...
Love Always, The Cookie Closet!!