Thursday, October 16, 2014

{recipe} Halloween Pumpkin Potluck: Pumpkin Soup

{Recipe & Photo Credit: Heidi Otto}
Halloween is the official start of the holiday season. The air is turning crisp and there is a buzz in the air of spending time with friends, family and community. It's the perfect time to bring people together for a Halloween inspired potluck party (idea: everyone brings a dish that uses "pumpkin" in the ingredients). 

This month, we will be posting pumpkin recipes for your Wonderbag. These recipes are perfect to bring to a potluck, serve at a party or to enjoy before trick-or-treating. Do you have a recipe idea? We'd love to hear about it! Please email your recipe to

To kick off the series, our first recipe is Pumpkin Soup. Pumpkin Soup is so perfect for fall days when the weather is cooling. Using a sugar pie pumpkin adds a special richness to the soup that is sure to delight ghouls and goblins alike.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Stove Top Time: 20 mins
Wonderbag Time: 4-5 hours
Serves: 6

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    ½ cup onion, diced
    2 pound sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
    1 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp cumin
    Salt and pepper
    4 cups chicken broth
    ½ cup heavy cream
    ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)


Heat olive oil in 4-6 quart pot.  Add onion and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden brown. 
Add the pumpkin, curry, cumin and salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.
Add the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.
Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag and seal for 4-5 hours.  After set time, remove pot from bag and blend mixture using a hand blender.  Additional chicken broth can be added for desired consistency.

To Serve: Drizzle with cream and garnish with 1 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds.

Tip:  If fresh pumpkin is not available, 8 cups of pumpkin puree can be substituted.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{recipe} Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce: Tavern Style Pot Roast

Another Wednesday has torn through our house like a tornado... Morning bus drop off, busy day of work and errands and the troops are home and stating "I'm hungry". What's a busy mom to do?  Today over my (second) morning cup of coffee, I prepared a stew dinner using Campbell's Tavern Style Pot Roast slow cooker sauce. And - voila - dinner was piping hot and cooked perfectly by 5:30 p.m.

  • 1 packet of Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce: Tavern Style Pot Roast
  • 1lb stew meat, cubed
  • 1.5 cups baby carrots
  • 4 red potatoes,cut in quarters
  • 1 can of green beans
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used avocado oil)
  • In a 3.5qt pot (it will fill to the top), brown the meat in a table spoon of oil 
  • Stir in slow cooker sauce
  • Add potatoes and carrots, stir
  • Add in can of green beans and their juices, stir
  • Allow to simmer for 15 minutes covered, then transfer to your Wonderbag
  • Allow to cook for 3-7 hours (depending on your time line)

{donation chronicles} The Rotary//Highway Aged

On July 18th, Nelson Mandela Day, The Wonderbag Foundation worked with The Rotary to distribute Wonderbags to the elderly through Highway Aged. Highway Aged is a registered non-profit organization that provides a professional social work service to the elderly in the Pinetown and surrounding areas (just north of Durban in KwaZuluNatal) in South Africa.

Highway Aged now has 14 senior citizen clubs where they facilitate social and recreational activities for the elderly, as well as awareness programs and inter-generational programs. Some club members engage in gardening activities, beading and sewing. They often sell the items they make to generate a little additional income.

The Senior Citizens that belong to the clubs receive a government pension of R1375.00 per month (that is just under $126). These funds are all they have to cover their expenses and purchase food. Many of them also take care of grandchildren or even children who are unable to find employment. Additionally, many of them live in tin shacks, mud houses with tin roofs  or very small RDP** houses with the bare essentials.

The Wonderbag Foundation was thrilled to be able to donate bags to the members of Highway Aged through the Buy One, Donate One program and teach them how to use the bags to help improve their household circumstances.

** Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) is a South African socio-economic policy framework implemented by the African National Congress (ANC) government of Nelson Mandela in 1994 after months of discussions, consultations and negotiations between the ANC, its Alliance partners the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, and "mass organisations in the wider civil society". The ANC's chief aim in developing and implementing the Reconstruction and Development Programme, was to address the immense socioeconomic problems brought about by the consequences of the struggle against its predecessors under the Apartheid regime. Specifically, it set its sights on alleviating poverty and addressing the massive shortfalls in social services across the country. (Definition taken off web)

Friday, October 3, 2014

{recipe} Poblano Pepper & Pork Tenderloin Chili

This hearty recipe is not only beautiful, but delicious. Perfect for fall slow cooking to feed your family, bring to a tailgate or holiday potluck to share. Recipe credit: Jerilyn Brusseau, adapted from Fine Cooking

Servings: 10-12

Difficulty Rating: 2

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Stove Top: 30 minutes

Wonderbag Time: 5 hours


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. pork tenderloin, cut in ½ inch bits
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon + ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons each: fresh thyme, fresh oregano
  • 4oz can green chilies (mild or medium), diced
  • 2 fresh poblano chilies, seeds removed, chopped ¼” bits
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz canned, diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups cooked beans (pinto, kidney, black, navy)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted whole cumin seeds
  • To serve: chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco, sour cream.


  • Heat olive oil in 5-6qt heavy cooking pot with tight fitting lid.  Add pork, salt and pepper, brown lightly on all sides. 
  • Add spices (2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin) directly to meat, let cook 2 minutes, add garlic and onions, sprinkle lightly with salt.  Add additional olive oil if needed. Cook until onions are lightly browned.
  • Add remaining chili powder and cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, bay leaves, thyme and oregano.  Gently stir to combine.
  • Add chilies, scallions and tomato paste, season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 2 cups chicken stock and diced tomatoes.
  • Add 5½ cups bean to the pot.   Puree remaining 1 ½ cups beans and 1 cup of stock to thicken chili, add to the pot and stir well.
  • Bring to slow boil for 20 minutes.  Stir bottom to prevent scorching.
  • Place lidded pot in Wonderbag for 5 hours.
  • To serve: Stir in 1 tablesppon fresh lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cumin seeds. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco and sour cream.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

{wonderbag diaries} Introducing...


We are thrilled to introduce our new Wonderbag website. Stop by to learn more about Wonderbag and join in the conversation.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

{recipe} Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce: Moroccan Spiced Stew

{photo & recipe credit: Campbell's Kitchen}

I'm a busy working mom of two, so I generally try to prepare for dinner when I'm prepping my family to get out the door in the morning. Then when the kids get home from school and the statement of "I'm hungry!" starts to be heard through the house - VOILA! - I'm prepared with dinner in the Wonderbag.

This week I decided to prepare the Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce Moroccan Spiced Stew, which can be purchased in a virtual bundle with the Wonderbag on I was very pleased with the outcome and had to make very small alterations to adapt to prepare in the Wonderbag.

  • In a lidded pot (2-3 quart), brown the cubed chicken with the oil
  • Add slow cooker sauce and allow to simmer with lid on for 10 minutes
  • Place in Wonderbag to finish cooking for 3-5 hours
  • When ready to serve, prepare cous cous per box instructions, serve stew over cous cous

Monday, September 22, 2014

{recipe} Smoked Sausage Cassoulet

{recipe and photo credit:}

Fall is here, but the weather is still a little bit warm in the Pacific Northwest. But the trees are turning and there is a certain, unmistakeable smell of fall in the air. Despite the warm weather, we are still busy with school, homework and after school activities, so I like to kick our week off with a hot meal at home that can feed my troops one more night during the week. Through some internet research to find something new, I stumbled upon this Smoked Sausage Cassoulet recipe that was a hit in our household.

  • 2 bacon slices, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes (drain one can, leave juices of other can)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb lean pork loin, cubed and trimmed
  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage, sliced (I used turkey sausage)
  • 8 tsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 tsp fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  • In a 3.5 qt lidded pot, cook bacon slices and onions in bottom of pot (leave drippings)
  • Once cooked, add pork loin cubes and brown
  • Once browned, add sliced sausage, rosemary, garlic, thyme and allow to cook through
  • Pour in diced tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and stir to combine
  • Cover pot and bring to boil, allow to cook for 15 minutes
  • Place in Wonderbag and allow to finish slow cooking for 2 - 5 hours
  • Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley