Sausage, White Bean, & Winter Vegetable Soup

Sausage, White Bean, & Winter Vegetable Soup

How are we feeling about the holidays friends?  Thanksgiving is over and it is full steam ahead towards Christmas.  Like it or not, that train is moving and it’s moving fast, so I guess it’s time for us all to jump on!

I’ve talked to people that have all of their shopping done already.  Some of them even have their gifts wrapped!  

I am not one of those people.  

We got our first holiday card in the mail yesterday.  

I was tickled that I even got my cards ordered.  Getting them addressed and in the mail is a whole other story.  If I were you, I wouldn’t wait by your mailbox in anticipation of receiving it.   

I’m seeing pictures on Facebook of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, holiday mantles, and outdoor lights.  

We are getting ready to replace the flooring in most of our first floor, so I am using the anticipated dirt and dust as an excuse to keep all of our decorations in the crawl space.  

Elves on the Shelf have already made appearances in many homes and are getting up to their usual holiday hijinx.  

Our elf, Rosie, has shown up after the incessant questioning by my kids of when she would come and has unceremoniously plopped herself in the usual boring and uncreative spots.  

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Maple Walnut Butternut Squash Soup

Maple Walnut Butternut Squash Soup

Come fall, pumpkin becomes the star of the culinary world and it is easy to forget that there is a whole family of winter squash out there that are equally delicious.   Somehow we have started putting pumpkin in just about everything.  It’s certainly festive, but I’m always a bit perplexed by the pumpkin-everything phenomenon because when it comes to winter squash, pumpkin is arguably not the best one. Butternut squash is sometimes a bit neglected but it is just as versatile as pumpkin, if not more so.  It is naturally sweeter than pumpkin with a mellow flavor.  Just because Starbucks has thus far failed to bring the world a butternut squash spice latte doesn’t mean that butternut squash isn’t worth a try.  The next time you find one, pick it up and make this soup!  

Maple Walnut Butternut Squash Soup

Maple Walnut Butternut Squash Soup

For as good as butternut squash tastes, it doesn’t make it easy on those that want to cook with it!  Its shape is cumbersome and the peel is tough enough that a vegetable peeler doesn’t really cut it (literally), so you actually have to peel it with a knife.  On top of that, butternut squash tends to leave an orange film on your hands, which is admittedly a bit bizarre.  When it comes to butternut squash, however, preparation and cooking doesn’t get much easier than cutting it in half, scraping out the seeds, and tossing it on a pan to roast.  By the time it comes out of the oven, the flesh is tender and you can scoop it out with a spoon.   No peeling, chopping, or orange hands necessary.

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