If you have not realized it, time flies! It is like life happens while you are planning for it, if you know what I mean. With this in mind, you better start planning your Thanksgiving dinner, so that you are not in a “Rush” during the holidays. The same goes for life… if you take the time to plan things out, you will be amazed at how much time you save when you actually set forth to do the task at hand. Plus, you are not as frustrated or hurried in your efforts. Start taking the incentive to learn how to be more at peace, less stressed out, you know, “cool and calm”. It is better for you, your heart and everyone around you too!
Thanksgiving meal is an all day affair to me, or at least a three to four hour affair. Starting off with some little snacks, don’t worry, we will give out a few of those along the way. Keep it simple, have a few assorted dry roasted nuts, some crudités and dip, and if you can, some shrimp cocktail. A nice assortment of cheese and crackers/breads, are nice to have around too. These kinds of things are good to help curb or at least slow down the drinking and at the same time, compliments the wines, beer, and cocktails.
Then you sit down for the first course. This is when you get your palate a little bit more stimulated. No time to rush, just a time to relax and enjoy with your family and friends. Soup is a nice way to start off the dinner with subtle flavors, warm for the body and soul and not to filling. Since this is the fall season and with squashes being so abundant during this time of year, today we will do a nice and not so nice, butternut squash soup. It is nice because it is semi low fat but bursting with flavors and it is “not so nice” because it has a nice little “curry” bite to it.
Once you cut your squash or squashes, depending on how many guest you are serving, you want to clean the seeds and quarter the squash. Next, you want to cook the meat of the squashes. Do this several ways, but today we will roast the meat of the squash in the oven. You want to leave the skin on for several reasons. First off, it is easier to scoop the flesh of the squash once it is cooked. Next, it keep the meat moister and thirdly, you get more of the vitamins from the skin when cooking. In this recipe you are also going to cook several apples to blend in with the squash. Roasting the apples, again with the skin on, has all of the same advantages as mentioned earlier. Do cut the apple into quarters and core the apples, then roast them also in the oven, then clean the flesh once cooled some. This gives the apples a more sweeter effect because the sugars come out during the roasting and are not boiled away as when making stewed apples (unless you are using the same liquid).
Butternut squash soup recipe
2 – Butternut squashes
3 – Apples, your choice of variety… mix!
1 – Vidalia or Maui sweet onion, cut very thin strips
3 – cups apple juice or cider
3 – cups water and / or vegetable stock
1 – teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Cinnamon to taste
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg or to taste
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon White pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Curry powder or to taste
4 oz. cream cheese, softened or 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Take your clean, quartered squash and salt and pepper them. Place them along with the apples onto a aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake for about thirty to forty five minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven and open the foil on one corner. Leave covered mostly, so the stuff inside steeps in its own juice. Let cool.
In a large sauté pan, cook the finely chopped onion with a little butter. Let the onion cook for at least five to ten minutes. You want the onion nice and caramelized. Towards the end of the cook time add the curry powder. Let simmer a couple more minutes. Season with the nutmeg, cinnamon and the apple cider vinegar. Stir in the cream cheese and mix well. Take off the heat.
In a food processor, puree the meat from the squash and apples along with the onion mixture. If necessary add some of the apple juice to thin the mixture. Once everything is pureed, put back into a large stock pot and thin with the water and juice to the consistency that you want. Use more of the juice if you want it sweeter and more of the water (or vegetable stock) for more of a savory flavor. Adjust the seasoning including the salt and pepper. Serve warm, not boiling hot!
Now that is going to be a great beginning to your holiday meal. In the mean time, practice making the soup and enjoy it with a nice salad for a nice fall dinner, all by itself!
This is definitely the time of year where there is NO excuse for not being kind. Especially to yourself! If you are not happy and overflowing, then how do you expect to be able to give in abundance to others? Think about that one!
O.K. for now, just go out and do something! Who knows what it will be, but by just starting to do “something” that will lead into something else! It certainly has been a beautiful day and the new week is upon us. Get ready to soar into a super successful week, that is if you want it to be! Why wouldn’t you! So until next time, remember to “Live the life you Love” and that life my friends is YOURS! Peace
I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm. – Henry Truman