Simple City Life

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A perfect fall treat: Butternut Pudding Parfaits

Fall is an amazing time of year. The beauty that surrounds us overwhelmingly breathtaking. It is warm and embraces you. I tend to mimic this behavior inside my home as well. I rearrange the furniture to allow a cozier feel. Candle and incense are scattered about. I tend to add more colors into the house adding depth and richness to the space. I even start to enjoy and let my creative juices flow in my kitchen. Warm comfort foods are always on the menu. I even start to add a dessert here and there for the kids to enjoy. This recipe is brand new and full of fresh fall flavors, sweet creamy yogurt topped with a pop of color and flavor. 
  • Butternut Pudding Parfaits: 

  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon Tapioca Starch 
  • 1 1/2  cup Silk original Almond Milk, reserve 1T. 
  • 1/2  cup butternut squash, cooked and drained 
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 32 oz Vanilla Whole Milk Stonyfield Yogurt (or 5-6 6oz Vanilla O'Soy to be dairy free) 
  • seeds from one pomegranate
Cut your squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place on shallow baking dish upside down with a 1/4 inch of water. Cook squash in oven at 350 for 40 mins or until tender. Once cooked, in a medium bowl, mash up your cooked squash and wring it out to remove excess water. A flour sack towel works great for this, put the cooked squash in the towel after it cools a bit and gently wring it out over the sink. You will be left with a nice ball of butternut squash. 

In a medium saucepan place the squash, sugar, eggs, salt, milk (minus 1T) , vanilla and honey. Gently mash ingredients together over medium heat on the stovetop. I love this new tool from Dreamfarm to gently mix and mash these ingredients.  In a small bowl, slowly add the 1T milk to the tapioca starch, mix well until blended. I find that mixing with my finger is best so that I know it is completely smooth. Stir starch blend into the saucepan and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Continue cooking until desired consistency. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

To serve, start with a layer of yogurt, add a layer of pudding and repeat. Top with a small handful of pomegranate seed and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serves 4 in a 8oz jelly jar. Total cook and prep time: 1 hour.

If you decide to make this delicious treat, please let me know how it turned out.
Enjoy this month of Thanksgiving. Remember the small things and give thanks for them daily,


I am honored to be a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club. I received product or coupons for writing this post, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fresh from the oven, Rudi's Gluten Free Ciabatta Rolls! {recipe and giveaway too}

Today just happens to be voting day. I love being able to cast my vote. Sometimes it's political,sometimes its personal. Today it is both! Before I cast my political vote, I have already voted pro-ciabatta with these new rolls from Rudi's! We live by the saying, "Plan for the worse, hope for the best". When you are on the look out for good gluten free products, you have to keep that motto. There are several awesome gluten free products on the market and there are some real bummers. Have no fear, today is all about the winning new product that I am certain you will also cast your vote for. 

If you are looking for that perfect gluten free product that is truly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, then you can seriously stand up right now and do a dance of joy. These are truly fluffy on the inside, not gluten free gooey. I am sure you know what I am talking about if you have been eating gluten free breads for awhile. They are super simple too- just toss in the over for 10 mins and you have hot, perfect rolls. Owen has been in heaven! When I gave him his first one he kept asking if I was sure they were gluten free. Even though he has been gluten free for three years, he still remembers the texture of glutenful breads, He was pretty sure I did not read the packing properly and had to go proof read it himself. 

So, with Thanksgiving dinner just around the corner, you must  add these delicious ciabatta rolls to your table. They are available in White or Rosemary Olive Oil. You can enter Rudi's Ciabatta Giveaway here and claim a coupon for a $1.00 off these delicious rolls! Read below how we created a simple yet tasty breakfast sandwich using the Rosemary Olive Oils ciabatta rolls. You can also enter to win a awesome prize pack from Rudi's Gluten Free. 

Rosemary Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich with Chicken Andouille Sausage

Shopping List:

8 Rudi's Gluten Free Rosemary Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls
 8 eggs
 1/2c.  Shredded Sharp Cheddar
2 tbs. Fresh Rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
8 Chicken Andouille Sausage links (I used Tecumseh  Farms)

Preheat oven to 400. Bring your ciabatta rolls to room temperature, slice lengthwise. Press down the center to create a small bowl on one half of the roll. Place the rolls onto a oiled cooking pan or cooking stone. Gently crack your egg onto the bowl side of your roll and let the overflow soak into the other side. Place pan in the oven and back 10-15 mins, until the yolks are to your desired taste, I like mine hard. While the eggs are baking, slice your sausage links lengthwise and saute over medium heat. 
Once your eggs are cooked, remove from the oven and top with shredded cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add the sausage to the plate and serve. Sausage can also be placed on top of the sandwich. 

This is a simple, yet flavorful breakfast {or quick dinner}. The spice of the sausage really ties the flavors together. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 3, 2014

Carnival Squash with Fall Spiced Couscous for Thanksgiving #MyPicknSave #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone.

Three days into November already...I can't believe it! I was thinking today how I really want to embrace the theme of Thankfulness this November, either updating my facebook status or instagram with a daily gratitude every day this month. So I thought I would share my first three days here on the blog today. For day one I think I am thankful for fall itself. The season is my all time FAVORITE!!! I love the changing of the leaves, decorating my house with all things autumn and making as much yummy food like pumpkin bread, squash soups and even homemade pumpkin spice syrups. 

For day two,  I am thankful for traditions. I get so excited when November rolls around because my favorite Thanksgiving tradition is heading up to Kevin's folks for Thanksgiving weekend and one of the days we load up on the 4 wheeler and go set out to find the perfect Christmas Tree for our house on my in laws 20 acres. We started the tradition a few years ago and I look forward to it every year!  

My third thankfulness takes it's place in my heart almost everyday..I am so thankful for my friends and community here in Wisconsin. I am surrounded by some of the most amazing people I know and I feel so honored to walk along side of them. This fall Courtney and I decided to do a dinner exchange once a week since our hubby's are traveling so much for work and we flying solo these days. It's been so nice to know I have such a great support system, even a small thing like a dinner I don't have to make one night out of the week. This week I get to take Courtney her meal on Tuesday and also drop one off for our sweet friends  who just had a baby girl this past weekend. Yep, overwhelmed with thankfulness for my people here. 

Making food in the fall is probably my favorite time of year to cook and being able to share it with my neighbors and friends makes it that much sweeter. So when my step-daughter and I walked into Pick 'n Save on Sunday to pick up a few Groceries for dinner drop offs this week I knew I wanted to use some of the beautiful squash that greeted us as we walked in. I was drawn to the white acorn and the carnival squash since I had never cooked with them before and they were just so darn pretty.

I decided to play it safe and do a stuffed couscous squash with apples, dried cranberries and almonds and pair it with a rotisserie chicken I'm gonna pick up at Pick 'n Save before I drop off the whole meal for my friends.  

This recipe is one of my favorites and it is so incredibly easy. You could even use this as a side for one of your Holiday meals this year instead of the traditional bread stuffing. Plus the beautiful colors sprinkled all over the carnival squash make a festive display.

I am writing out the recipe for 4 servings

2 Carnival Squash or Acorn Squash
1 Green apple or any other type you want diced or chopped
1/3 Cup of dried cranberries
1/3 Cup of chopped almonds or walnuts
1 Box of  5 minute couscous (I used a pine nut flavored one but plain works just as great.)
2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 TBS Brown Sugar
2 tsp of olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the insides and be sure to scoop out a good depth to fill with mixture. Take a little bit of olive oil and rub all over the squash after cut and place meat side down in a roasting pan.  Place in the oven and let it roast for about 20 to 25 minutes until the meat is nice and soft.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the couscous as directed on the back of the box. Chop up the apple and nuts if not already chopped. Once the couscous is finished and fluffed with a fork throw in the apple, nuts, and dried cranberries. Now for my secret...add in the 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. This is my favorite part and sometimes I even add a little more:) Mix everything together with the couscous and stir in the 2 tsp of olive oil to bind everything together.

Once the squash has finished roasting, sprinkle the brown sugar on the bottom and over the sides of the meat side of the squash and I also add a bit more pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon here as well. Stuff the squash nice and full with the couscous mixture and sprinkle a little more spice on top. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. 

This recipe can be used as a side or even a main dish because it is so filling. I think it would be fun to take  leftover Turkey and cranberries from Thanksgiving and mix it with couscous and stuff squash for a great day after Thanksgiving meal.  I am excited to share this recipe for the #CollectiveBias #MyPicknSave campaign we were chosen for. There are always some wonderful recipes from Pick 'n Save on social media as well so  be sure to follow them on facebooktwitter and even Pinterest

With a Thankful Heart,