Butternut Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls

It’s the last day of October! I should blog. I am blogging because it’s 6:37 AM Sunday and I’m awake, sitting in the dark on the couch. I woke up at 5:10 for some reason and couldn’t sleep so I came down here, ate a piece of bread with raspberry jam and then read blogs until now.

I baked a couple of things last week for people but this post won’t have any baking because THOSE pictures are on my other camera. These ones are from my little Canon PowerShot.

We celebrated Aaron’s grandmother’s birthday this month! We had dinner at my mother and father-in-law’s house. I made carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert. Those were a battle. I made one batch and they completely overflowed and then the second batch didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted either. Then, the frosting was too soft. It was unseasonably warm that day…

It all worked out in the end though.

Dorothy:

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Husband:

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Aaron’s brother Dave and his girlfriend Rachel:

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I guess I didn’t get any pictures of Aaron’s parents but they were there, to the right preparing lots of good food.

Last weekend, Aaron and I became bikers.

Pumping up the tires with an air compressor…in the hallway…

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So my little neighborhood is at the top of a hill perched over one of the rivers in Pittsburgh (sad that I don’t know which) about 2 miles outside of downtown Pittsburgh. This presents a problem for any biking because, first of all, I have to get off the hill to get anywhere (aside from the Unimart down the street) and then I have to bike back up to get home.

There are two options for getting off of the hill. We could have biked about a mile extra and gone down a less steep hill, or we could pick up our bikes and carry them down one of the steepest hills in Pittsburgh.

Option 2 happened.   

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But first break out the camera and take pictures of your not entirely pleased quasi-bike punk wife.

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Yes, steps next to the hill. It’s that steep.

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And we made it down to the semi-major highway that we’re probably not really supposed to cross.

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We biked to the Harp & Fiddle in the Strip to say hello to some of Aaron’s high school friends then took the trail that I usually run on to Millvale.

Aaron was recruited to drive a tractor for children’s hayrides for Millvale’s children’s Halloween festival thing.

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I’m on the hayride here about to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I packed.

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Aaron drove the tractor for about 2 hours while I wandered around with my friend’s Sara and Reena and her family.

Sunday I decided to make soup in pumpkin bowls for dinner. I was trying to be festive.

I bought two pie pumpkins at the farmer’s market on Friday for this purpose. Inspiration for this came from last month’s Food Network magazine. (It was on the cover)

First I cut the tops off of the pumpkins and scooped out all of the seeds. Then I seasoned the inside with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and sugar then I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.

In the meantime, I made Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash & Apple Soup. This stuff is AMAZING! Seriously! It’s so good. I’ve made it twice now. I’m going to go ahead and post the recipe but it’s also on the Foodnetwork website.

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Yield 3.5 quarts

Ingredients:

   * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

   * 2 tablespoons good olive oil

   * 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large)

   * 2 tablespoons mild curry powder

   * 5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)

   * 1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples)

   * 2 teaspoons kosher salt

   * 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

   * 2 cups water

* 3/4 cups good apple cider or juice (I used cider and cut down the amount. Original recipe calls for 2 cups)

Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup through a food processor, blender or immersion blender.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add enough of the apple cider or juice to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.

We added soup to our pumpkin bowls and ate.

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I roasted the lids too and just took them out about 20 minutes before the pumpkins.

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After we had enough squash for the night, Aaron and I tore up the rest of the pumpkins and added it to the leftover soup.

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I couldn’t stop eating it though. Still wearing my apron…

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I don’t brush my hair on Sundays.

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And done.

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Well it’s 7 AM now. I’m going to go lurk in the bedroom and inadvertently wake up Aaron….

We eat squash three times a day around here.

LONG WEEKEND!!! I work at a bank. We have off Monday for Columbus Day! I got home from work about 40 minutes ago, ate a bowl of cereal and then some feta cheese, read blogs and now I’ve decided to blog myself.

I have a few pictures from the morning of the Great Race. This would be my husband, Aaron, in all his new gym sock glory.

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He made an egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I ate pb&j and drank coffee while taking pictures.

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Please note the Silk creamer in the background. I normally buy Trader Joe’s brand soy milk creamer which is WAY better than the Silk brand. (Just sayin’ since this is a food blog and all.)

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I already wrote about the Great Race sooo moving on to another day later in the week. This past Monday I believe. I came home not in the mood to cook but did it anyway for the sake of sitting down to dinner together as a (tiny) family. First I cut every speck of fat off of skinless, boneless chicken breasts then I dipped them in a mixture of honey mustard, yellow mustard and honey. Then I breaded them with a cornmeal/paprika/salt/pepper mixture. Then I grated a leftover chunk of cheddar on top and baked covered in aluminum foil until the meat thermometer registered 165 degrees.

Cooking chicken with a meat thermometer is the way to go. I tend to overcook meat otherwise because I’m always scared of undercooking it. Using a thermometer eliminates this probably.

I also roasted up some acorn squash and a sweet potato.

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Aaron makes funny faces when I take pictures of him and not let him eat.

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By the time we were done, we had just about finished off that ENTIRE dish of squash. So good. I’m roasting another one right now actually and plan to have that and yogurt and peanut butter for dinner. Big Friday night…!

Aaron is on his way home now from work. There is a stink bug attacking the window. My coworker has a stink bug in her house that she won’t kill so her and her two young daughter’s named it Stinky Pete.

Plans for the weekend include:

Tonight:

  • grocery store for some baking supplies
  • Lay around and probably watch an episode of The Tudors. I got season 1 out of the library today!!!!

Saturday:

  • Go for a run in the morning
  • Eat a large bowl of oatmeal
  • Bake cupcakes
  • Bake dinner rolls
  • Decorate cupcakes for grandmother-in-law’s birthday
  • Walk down the street and watch a home be auctioned off
  • Head North of Pittsburgh to Mars, PA for dinner with parents-in-law
  • Watch more Tudors

Sunday:

  • Church
  • Clean house a little?
  • Cook dinner
  • Watch more Tudors probably…

Monday:

  • Another run perhaps
  • Go shopping!
  • Feel guilty about still not sending wedding thank yous (I bought them at least!) while watching Tudors.

Alright off to check on the squash! I hope you have a good weekend! I hope you work for the government or a financial institution and have a long weekend also!

Cake post coming up soon and of course tomorrow’s cupcakes!

QUICK dinner for two.

Good Morning!

It’s 6:39 AM right now. Thursday! One more day then a long weekend for me!! I haven’t blogged in a week or two I think but I’ve been cooking a fair amount and running more and more. I think I’m going to run a half marathon on September 11th (the IKEA one for Pittsburgh readers) but I haven’t actually registered yet just in case I burn out in the next week or two… My long run this Saturday is 8 miles. 8 trail miles. Last week I did 7 on a trail with an average pace of 9:41. I’m hoping to average about that pace for the half too.

A few nights ago, Aaron and I had shrimp stir fry with refried beans for dinner. By the way, I LOVE our new plates. A wedding gift from friends Gina and Jason. I just sauteed onion, pepper and zucchini in a little olive oil then added cooked shrimp and Trader Joe’s General Tso’s stir-fry sauce until everything was heated. Served with refried black beans and whole wheat tortillas and done in about 20 minutes. That general tso’s sauce is GOOD but really high in sugar.

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Aaron never successfully avoids the camera.

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His band, Meeting of Important People, had a show at the Warhol Museum this past Friday. It was lots of fun! A bunch of my friends and a couple coworkers came out and the weather was perfect. I sold t-shirts in the back. The show was packed and sold out. Aaron is on the left playing bass.

Aaron and I are going to be taking over the merchandise making for MOIP so we’ve been brainstorming design ideas. I think we’re going to get American Apparel shirts!!

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Close up courtesy of my friend Sara (thanks Sara!):

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Alright I have to get ready for work now but I have about 30 more things to post about so I’m going to get to that this evening. Recipes! Granola! Long weekend! Have a good day!

Update on my life

Good Morning!! FRIDAY!

Haven’t been blogging lately. I had a stressful week but one of the major stresses has been lifted (no not the wedding) so I’m feeling good this morning. I actually woke up at 545 and went to the store this morning to get Bowie food because I was scared he would starve to death over the course of the next 8 hours. He was completely out of food….

What’s been going on lately?

1. Aaron and I cooked a little shrimp stir-fry last week that was pretty good:

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Throw every veggie and every spice you have into a pan and cook until the shrimp turn pink then add Red Hot:

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I’ve been running about 3 days a week and then trying to take a yoga class once a week and then the Shred of course occasionally..when I can take it.

I’m focusing on speed these days in preparation for the marathon relay. Must not let the team (of people that I don’t know) down.

5 miles on Saturday in North Park. Glorious run where I tailed some poor old man who didn’t know that he was pacing me:

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Clearly these are running shades:

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Another run home on Tuesday or something. The last two miles are completely uphill on the way home. I’ve been avoiding that route ever since. Also remembering the number 12.

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I got my passport last week! To Bermuda! soon! YES!

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Ummmmm I have a few more pictures on the camera but I don’t have time to upload them right now. What’s on the agenda for this weekend?

  1. yoga class at lunch today
  2. trader joe’s right after work to get stuff for…
  3. grilling dinner at Aaron’s this evening
  4. No set plans for Saturday though I imagine a run and then something (ANYTHING) productive for the wedding (i’ve been slacking lately…)
  5. Sunday = church then probably not much then Aaron is off to a show at Slippery Rock University

Okay time to shower then work…. have a great FRIDAY!!!!

Sun glare will become a problem today in Pittsburgh

It’s Tuesday. I can’t WAIT for the weekend. Nothing too exciting going on though. I think I’m going to try my hand at some Tartelette macarons so stay tuned for that very exciting post. It’s Easter weekend so there will be some new family time and sunrise Church service and probably some finishing of my taxes. Also, there will be basking in the glorious Pittsburgh weather.

ummm

What have I been up to lately? Well, Aaron broke his finger. He has a lovely green cast now which I took a sharpie to…

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We had thai food at Thai Gourmet some time last week. Shrimp Summer rolls for an appetizer:

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And then I ordered basically a giant plate of vegetables in a brown, garlicky, spicy sauce. It was delicious! I now know that I’m a fan of baby bok choy. I later wikipedia’d it and found that it’s in the cabbage family. Aaron and I kind of thought it was some type of onion. It definitely has an oniony texture. Aaron had Pad Kee Maw which I bet I spelled incorrectly.

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Thai Gourmet is sooo much better than Thai Cuisine (both on Liberty Ave. in Bloomfield) so why are there always so few people here. It’s byob!

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Our fortunes:

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Saturday afternoon I made it out for an outdoor run. It was a great run! The weather was perfect and I was listening to the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. Yayayay

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Long sleeve t-shirt and shorts running weather (plus sweet sunglasses).

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Then I made a spinach/frozen blueberries/banana/chocolate almond milk smoothie. Aaron says, “someone got mud in your glass.”

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After shower and smoothie, we met Aaron’s parents, friends and parent’s of friends for dinner at Max’s Allegheny Tavern in the North Side. I opted for the only vegetarian option, the veggie delite sandwich with a side of purple cabbage. It was actually pretty good for vegetarian food at a German restaurant. Everyone else had some form of sauebrauten/wurst/schnitzel thing.

After dinner, we didn’t feel like going home so we drove to the Waterfront and wandered around Barnes and Noble. I checked out this cookbook which looks pretty awesome.

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I’m trying to narrow down my cupcake flavors for the wedding cupcakes. I’m thinking of going with three flavors:

  • blueberry cupcake w/lemon curd filling and lemon buttercream
  • carrot cake cupcake w/ vanilla buttercream
  • chocolate cupcake w/ strawberry jam filling and champagne buttercream

Do you guys have any other ideas for flavors? I’m trying to keep all of the frosting colors pretty similar for cupcake uniformity. I like ORDER. That’s why I blog.

Okay time to get ready for work. It’s going to be 80 DEGREES in Pittsburgh this weekend!!!!

We booked our honeymoon!

  Good Morning!

It’s 6:10 AM. I woke up at 5 this morning for some reason and couldn’t go back to sleep. I was hungry and had all sorts of wedding anxiety so I got out of bed and ate a piece of bread with yogurt on top then made coffee and read Bon Appetit until I saw a giant bug, threw my magazine at it, screamed and ran away.

So now I’m on the couch. I just shut off the local news because I couldn’t take it anymore and am sitting here in silence. I grabbed my camera to see what kind of pictures I have on it but all it had were a bunch of pictures of Bowie and one of Aaron at MedExpress with a broken finger. As exciting as those sound, and believe me I was going to blog about them, I left my camera cord in the other room and am too lazy to get out from under the blanket to retrieve it.

Since that’s the case, I figured I’d finally blog about my birthday weekend at Aaron’s parents house in Mars, PA with his parents, brother, and brother’s gf.

We had a whole bunch of food and many vegetarian options.

There was a cauliflower/tomato/cheese casserole of sorts which was good!

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Aaron and I also brought over a wedding invitation sample which I will show you soon but will block off the address just in case any of you were thinking of crashing my wedding.

Invitation on top of the cookbook gift from Aaron’s parents. Thank you! It’s a B&B cookbook and I love B&B’s and will hopefully own one some day.

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The table:

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There are Brussels sprouts!

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For dessert, Aaron’s brother and his girlfriend made fruit tarts. They were delicious!

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They sang happy birthday. I made a wish.

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This blog post took way less time than I expected. I always put off blogging because I feel like it’s a big time commitment that I don’t want to undertake when in reality, it takes about 10 minutes. Quit being lazy Pam.

As for the exercising of late, I’ve been doing some Shred with the 15 oz cans of beans, I took a yoga class at lunch on Friday which was hardcore and I’ve noticed my chaturangas aren’t quite as pathetic as they used to be, Aaron and I went for a run/walk Saturday in North Park in the lovely weather. We ran about 2.5 miles then walked about 2.5 then had a picnic!

Sunday and Monday were no exercise days and then yesterday, I went to the gym after work and ran 4.75 miles on the treadmill in quiet competition with the people running next to me.

Alright, laptop will soon die.

Oh by the way, Aaron and I are going to BERMUDA for our honeymoon!!!!!!! We booked it officially yesterday. CANNOT WAIT.201003240622.jpg

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30 Day Shred. Bowie just threw up. ahhhh

Just a QUICK update

It’s 6:37 AM. Watching the news and drinking surprisingly good coffee from Trader Joe’s.

Tuesday night I finally did something with the butternut squash that’s been sitting in the fridge for about a month. I got home from work, cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and placed it on a cookie sheet with about 1/4 inch of water and set it to roasting at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. I jumped on the SHRED bandwagon about a week ago so I did Level 2 while it roasted then about 20 minutes of a yoga download. I turned off the oven at 45 minutes and let it sit in there for about another 15 minutes while I showered.

Umm also, the Shred is freaking hard (and I’ve only been using cans of beans as my weights).

Squash after I attacked it with a fork:

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Yesterday I ran home from work plus about 1.5 miles (so 4.8 total) in the 60 degree weather!! It was awesome!

Realized I was wearing green shorts on St. Patrick’s Day:

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And examined how long my hair has grown:

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Then ate more squash (which tasted like sweet potato mashed potatoes) with butter and an egg cooked over easy on sprouted rye with lots of ketchup and honey mustard. mmm. I also ate a bowl of Weetabix cereal with almond milk and a kashi bar. mmm

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I still need to post about last weekend too. I started the post, just haven’t gotten to writing the text yet. Alright my coffee is getting cold on the coffee table and I need it because I’m addicted.

99 DAYS UNTIL THE WEDDING! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh