Monday, October 15, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

I procured this recipe from a very dear friend last year when I needed an appetizer for my Thanksgiving dinner I hosted. I learned 3 things when I made this recipe: 1. Don't present a new dish to an unadventurous crowd (needless to say, I ate most of the soup). 2. Butternut squash are very hard to peel and cut; hence, I recommend roasting before cubing. 3. I am totally in love with the butternut squash and I looking into more ways to enjoy said squash. Thank you, Dorothea, for this wonderfully warm and deliciously good recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tbsp Butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 med-large butternut squash, seeded, cut in half
1/2 large granny smith apple; peeled, cored, and diced
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 apple bourbon (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 thyme (or oregano)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp EVOO
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

-->Preheat oven to 350*. Split the butternut squash down the middle. Remove seeds. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle salt. Roast squash for 45 minutes.

-->While squash is roasting, chop apple and onions. Render bacon on med-hi in a large skillet. Remove excess grease from pan and set aside.

-->15 minutes before squash is done, in a large skillet, on med-lo, melt butter and start sauteing onions and apples. When squash is done, peel and cube (this is a messy process). Add to the onions and apples with the bacon, salt, pepper and thyme. Saute for 5 minutes.

 -->Slowly add the apple cider and apple cider vinegar to the skillet. Let simmer for 5 minutes before slowly adding chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

 -->In small batches, puree in a food processor until very smooth.

-->Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream or warm apple wedges with cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin seeds

Fall. My favorite time of year. The leaves changing from brilliant green to muted shades of yellow, orange and burgundy. Cool, crisp nights. Warm days. Blue jeans, sweaters. Not to mention the smells and wonderful fall foods...pumpkins, cinnamon, warm apple crisps.

Yesterday, my husband and I carved our pumpkin.

We found the perfect pumpkin at the local grocer. Not too big, not too small. Round with a good stem. Most importantly, plenty of seeds. My husband and I both have fond childhood memories of eating roasted pumpkin seeds after carving the pumpkin. Hence this next, very simple, recipe for Roasted pumpkin seeds.

Seeds from pumpkin and Salt

-->Clean seeds from pumpkin goo (stringy slimy stuff that we fondly call pumpkin guts)
-->Wash and set on towel to dry in a single layer.

-->Remove any leftover goo and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

 -->Bake at 275* for 1 hour. Enjoy!

**For a sweeter version, I was thinking about melting 1 stick of butter, adding 1/8 cup of brown sugar and a 1 tsp of Cinnamon. Coating the pumpkin seeds in mixture and roasting at the same temp and time.**