Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Butternut squash soup

It's been cold lately, and all I want to cook is soup. 

This is a delicious butternut squash soup, changed up ever so slightly from my favorite Soup of the Day cookbook.

Sweetly Savory Butternut Squash Soup

2 butternut squashes (about 4 lbs) halved, seeded, peeled, cut in 2" chunks
1 lb apples, peeled cored and quartered
1 leek, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and sliced thick
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp chopped sage, plus more for garnish
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup hard cider
1/2 cup creme fraiche

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the squash, apples, leeks and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp chopped sage and 1 tsp cumin. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with the oil and stir to coat. Spread all into one layer.

2. Roast the vegetables and fruit for20-25 minutes, stirring twice, until golden and the squash is tender. Remove from the oven.

3. Place roasted fruits and veggies into a dutch oven or other large pot and add half of the chicken stock. Using an immersion blender, blend until very smooth. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender, working in small batches until complete.)

4. Add the remainder of the stock, cider, and 1 Tbsp sage an 1 tsp cumin and stir to combine. Bring all to a simmer, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Ladle the soup into bowls and stir 1 Tbsp creme fraiche into each. Garnish with sage leaves if desired.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My 2015 Shelf

In past years, I've selected books I want to read at the beginning of the year and shared them here with you. I've been moderately successful at working my way through each list…but I have found that through the year, new books entice me…my interests veer in a new direction…I get stuck again somewhere in the depths of Anna Karenina.

So this year, I'm changing it up. I saw this 2015 Reading Challenge (on Pinterest of course, via Popsugar) and thought it sounded like fun…and a very lofty goal.

I'm starting out by wrapping up a few books I'm almost done reading and then I'm excited to choose books based on these topics! I'll keep the blog updated with progress and/or reviews of what I've read.

And a dose of reality: I know that I probably won't complete this in just one year…but I'm excited to give it a shot! Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy (one of my favorite daily reads) has a similar but more condensed list this year…so if you like this idea but think that 50 books is a bit steep, check out Anne's challenge of 12 here.

I'd love to know if you have a reading plan for this year…please share in the comments!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Hello 2015!

Since you've last heard from me, we have:
  • celebrated the kids turning 11, 9 & 7
  • taken a trip to Disney World
  • said goodbye to sweet Georgia friends as we...
  • moved to Mississippi
  • discovered a mold issue in our rental house the day we moved in 
  • enjoyed a beautiful autumn…we love our trees!
  • been matched with a precious little boy to adopt from China
  • tried our best to keep up with homeschool despite unpacking & dealing with the previously mentioned mold
  • traveled to NC and then OK to celebrate with family & friends (a baby shower & wedding)
  • decorated our new home for Christmas 
  • celebrated the birth of our new nephew Kayson!
  • enjoyed seeing all three children participate in our church's Christmas pageant 
  • helped Brent as he hobbled around on a broken toe
  • made new friends
  • traveled to Asheville for Christmas and loved on our two precious baby nephews!
  • completed the first phase of paperwork for the travel portion of our adoption
It's been a full few months, but I am thankful to be feeling a bit more settled. I'm excited about what this new year holds for us as a family…and excited to be sharing more here.

I'd love to hear what you've been up to…and even though it's 9 days late, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year!


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