Ha, finally an entry that is ahead of its time!
First things first, here a quick summary for the events of the past 4 weeks that haven’t made it into the blog yet.
Who would have thought that I would share a baby kitten photo so early after Xena just passed, but after days and days of crying, swollen eyes and empty Kleenex boxes, I guess Mike couldn’t take it anymore and thought the best medicine for battling sadness and loss is this little bundle of joy and although my heart is still aching about Xena’s loss, looking at this little cutie petutie does make me happy!
I really didn’t want to get attached to another furry friend just to see them pass away too early in their life but then again, there are so many animals out there that need a home and little Jules really needed some attention because in her home they let her suffer from worms, fleas and worse of all a really bad respiratory problem. When one door closes another one opens and so I want to believe that Xena is living on in little Jules. She already made a big impression on Mike and wrapped him around her little paws.
Once a year Mike and I take off for our “obligatory” camping trip, meaning at least once a year we have to make sure we use all this camping gear stored in our garage – the older we get I think the less we like to sleep on a cod or air mattress, but as uncomfortable the sleeping is and cumbersome all the packing might be (you guessed right I just pack WAY too much stuff) the reward is always amazing, at the bottom right you see our view out of our tent – a breathtaking view onto Walupt Lake. This year our friend Cara joint us camping and I could impress her with real outdoor Dutch oven cooking. So even though we don’t sleep all that well while camping, we for sure will eat well. We were so hungry in the mornings, that I never got to take photos of our breakfast casserole or the warm pineapple upside down cake made in the Dutch oven.
We also had two anniversaries come up last week – my little blog turned ONE and Mike and my 8th year wedding anniversary. Thank you to my (old) friends supporting me with this blog and Thank you to my new found friends who started to follow my blog. I am honored you have chosen my site to be part of your blog reading. And of course a BIG Thank you to my husband for supporting me with (almost) ;-)) everything I do and hitting the 8th year mark with me – its not easy to live with a German ;-). For our anniversary trip we packed up little Jules, Kodi and Sky and spent a couple days in Plain/Leavenworth (more on Leavenworth can be found in my previous blog entry here:))
Here our cute little cabin at the Wenatchee river (picture top right)…
and a quick trip to Leavenworth to enjoy some German beer and a Brat in the Muenchen Haus followed by a little bit of shopping. Sky and Kodi of course can’t miss out and were treated to some royal éclair dog cookies.
Now that you are caught up on the past 4 weeks, lets get to the recipe – roasted Butternut squash soup – a Thanksgiving staple in my house. You can pretty much feed 10-12 people with the below amounts since nobody really eats an entire huge bowl of soup prior to the Turkey dinner. What I love most about it is that you can make the soup a couple days in advance and keep it in the fridge or make it a couple of weeks ahead and freeze it. You can also set up a “tiny” self serve bar with pumpkin and pistachio seeds, pumpkin oil, paprika, croutons, bacon bits, tiny apple and/or pear pieces, sage etc. and have your guests top their soup as they like. I think next time I make this soup I want to throw in a couple of pears instead of the apples and see which taste that will yield. Also the garlic lover can throw in some garlic too..I omitted it this time and tried to get a very pure Butternut Squash taste. Serve this soup with a side salad (e.g. spinach, pear, blue cheese) and some thick fresh garlic bread and it can be a main dish.
Butternut Squash Soup:
- 2 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 2 big onions peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
- 6 cups chicken broth
- salt, pepper, nutmeg
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 – 2 tablespoon sage cut into little strips
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Transfer the chopped butternut squash on to one sheet and the cut up apples and onion on a second sheet. Mix the oil and honey and brush it all over the squash, onion and apples. Bake the squash for 45 minutes and the apples and onions for 30 minutes.
- When everything is baked, throw it all into a big pot together with the chicken broth and cook on low for another 20 minutes.
- Let the butternut squash/chicken mixture cool out a little bit and then blend in batches and return to the stove. Add the half and half and season with a little bit of salt, more pepper and a little bit of nutmeg. Heat up the soup and serve.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with some chopped up sage and pumpkin seeds or pistachios.