Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Coconut Milk

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Coconut Milk

Roast sweet butternut squash with apples for an easy autumn soup.

Lee had his instructions. On the evening of the day of the announcement he was to cook a turkey and bake a cake.
East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

The dreaded holiday dilemma has arrived. May we discuss? It begins with Thanksgiving. The assumption that because we like to cook, we would like to cook more. Clearly, if we cook, we want to cook even more. It rarely occurs to anyone that we would like to be pampered and enjoy Thanksgiving too. Finding a way to change tradition which is heavily reinforced with unstated expectations is a big, big challenge. You will have to speak up, make new plans or heavens forbid, switch up the menu. Otherwise it will be the same old exhausting Thanksgiving.

Cook as much as you want, but just enough so you can enjoy the celebration too! I want to thank picky daughter for teaching me how to enjoy Thanksgiving. Everyone who arrives at her place brings their assigned dishes. Looks like I have stuffing and candied yams this year, fabulous! If she’s busy working all week she picks up her items at the store. No fussy expectations, just good food and company. I couldn’t ask for a better Thanksgiving. READ MORE . . .

Apple Pie Bread

ApplePieBread

IFBC 2017 with a Big Fat Slice of Autumn

I asked what you wanted, and you said, A box. What for? To put things in. What things? Whatever you have, you said. Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts —the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

Somewhere between SEO and avocados I lost my patience. My pen dug deeper into the paper while my heart shattered into a heap of brightly colored sprinkles. Other than the opening remarks at the International Food Bloggers Conference by Nick Papadopoulos of CropMobster, it was all about me, me, me. I found myself wedged between blogging as a business and searching for a way to nurture my creative spirit. We learned the importance of more unique sessions, better SEO, having more followers, all about making money blogging. And yes, I know we need money to live in this time and place. And yes, we all would love to have wildly popular blogs that bring in six figures from advertising. I wanted more. READ MORE . . .

Roasted Apple Butter with Maple Syrup

Apple Butter on Toast

A Change of Seasons

You aren’t planning to start preserving? Well, why shouldn’t we?

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

Fruit butter is this month’s Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. There were so many decisions, what fruit to use and then what method of cooking. I was so very tempted to try peach or nectarine butter but the gravitational pull of autumn was more than I could resist. We stopped by Gizdich Ranch and bought newly harvested apples. On the day we went they had tiny, tiny Gravensteins, Golden Grimes, Honeycrisp, Gala and Mutsu apples. After sampling them all I chose the tangy, green skinned Mutsu for apple butter and baking. A few Golden Grimes and Honeycrisp came home for afternoon snacking. Apple season is here and I’m planning on enjoying every crisp slice. READ MORE . . .

Apple Cranberry Pie

Apple Cranberry Pie

Getting Ready for the Holidays

“Did you put some fruit in his room? He asked. He loves fruit. Pears, apples and muscat grapes, said Lee.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

I’m the one who must try all the different apple varieties each fall. Of course I end up with too many apples. More than I could possibly use as my afternoon snack or for our evening salad. I can only make Warm Cabbage, Onion and Apple Slaw so many times each month, before we tire of the simple goodness of the recipe. I try to buy just five apples each week. When I go through the refrigerator to finish up our weekly shopping list there will be leftover apples. Then at the store or farmers market I’ll be seduced by another gorgeous apple variety. At some point I begin baking with all this apple goodness. Maybe that was what I wanted all along, an excuse to make pie. READ MORE . . .

Marie Hélène’s Apple Cake

Marie Helene's Apple Cake

The Season of Change

“Want to see a present I got for Lee? Look! She opened a little cardboard box. It’s a new kind of potato peeler. Takes off just the skin. It’s easy. I got it for Lee.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

Apple season, a reminder, a wake up call, we are skidding along the ark of change. Soon it will be fall. There was a time that I dreaded apple season. It was long ago. Standing on a stool I was given a vegetable peeler and scraped and whacked away at the apples until the pile finally, mercifully grew smaller. Now I use a sharp knife to peel apples. In pastry school I learned to quarter the apples, remove the core and then swiftly peel away the skin of each quarter. Even though the work flow has changed there isn’t an apple that I peel that doesn’t bring back childhood memories. Doesn’t matter if it’s slicing an apple for a snack or making a cake, I vividly recall how overwhelmed I felt looking at the huge pile of apples. I don’t mind peeling apples anymore. I suppose its because I get to choose how many apples to peel. The cushion of time softens even the strongest of memories. READ MORE . . .