The truth is that this soup was a complete accident. I wanted to serve roasted squash for Thanksgiving. So, I sliced up a kabocha and an acorn squash I found at the farmerâ€™s market, added parsnips and cippolini onions to the mix, concocted a vinaigrette to drizzle over the top, and tossed the whole thing on a platter. And it was a huge hit. After dinner, I wrapped up the leftovers, and no one touched them. So, after 3 days, rather than pitching the lot, I thought Iâ€™d just see what happened if I tried to turn the mix into soup. I added some stock weâ€™d made from the turkey, threw it all in the blender, andâ€¦well, it was the best squash soup Iâ€™d ever tasted. The roasting gave the squash this wonderful, full flavor, and the sweet onions worked their magic too. The parsnips kept the flavor of the squash from being too monotonous, and the vinaigrette Iâ€™d whipped up at the last minute just made it magic. Really, how could you go wrong with sage fried in butter, with balsamic vinegar?
If Iâ€™d only known how good the leftovers were going to be, Iâ€™d have served the soup at Thanksgiving! –Becki S.
Click for more squash soup perfection, after the jump!
For those of us who decide not to leave up the lights…
I finally got around to taking my holiday decorations down this weekend â€¦ my little fake Christmas tree gets stuffed back into its garbage bag, and my holiday wreath into its box. I also had several strings of holiday lights up on my porch that need to be tucked away. I got to thinking — every year I spend 20 minutes untangling lights, no matter how neatly I think I wind them up the year before. Next year will be different though! I did a little brainstorming and came up with a storage trick that I think will help â€“ I wrapped my lights around a cardboard paper towel tube, cutting a slit in one end to keep the cord and plug from unraveling. I think this will make putting up my lights a snap next year! What storage tricks do you have? â€“- Rebecca F.
Journalist Nancy Nall had an interesting proposition on her blog the other day. I’m not sure she’s even adhering to it (sounds like her husband is a hard sell), but she suggests that we take down the obviously holiday-related Santas and such, but leave the lights up to get us through this bleak time of year. She explains:
The idea is to say, Christmas is over and weâ€™re not going to depress anyone by leaving Santa on the lawn until April, but itâ€™s a long few weeks before we start to see anything approaching the softer light of spring, and so weâ€™re going to let the candle of civilization burn in the dark a while longer. Until Valentineâ€™s Day, say. Whoâ€™s with me?
I am, Nancy! I am! The tree is long down, the wreaths are retired, the Rudolphs are packed away for another year. But the blue and green twinkle lights above our deck? I’m calling them “outdoor cafe chic.” The pink lights by our front door? A salve against winter’s chill. Anyone else? — Mary T.
Early January is one of the best times for shopping the sales, especially when it comes to holiday decor. Still looking for the perfect Hanukkah menorah? Jonathan Adler (per usual) has got you covered. His Utopia Man/Woman menorah is made up of nine independent pieces that gather together to make up a delightful little community. Each piece is double-faced with a more modern man or woman on one side and a more classic, Edward Gorey-inspired face on the other. Chic and now on sale, marked down to $206.50 from $295! â€“Katie D.
Keep your candy canes and fruitcake. For me, cinnamon rolls are the official food of the holidays. Every year, as Christmas approached, I would head out to the grocery store with my mom to procure the obscene amount of ingredients she needed to make her annual holiday gift of cinnamon rolls. I watched as she pulled the tattered recipe from her file, year after year, the same one — a sour cream coffee cake recipe, actually. I remember her mixing the enormous batches in a rubber tub on the kitchen floor, and how my dad eventually bought her a big sheet of plexiglass so that she could roll out her dough down there too. But what has stayed with me the most all these years, is the scent — a perfect commingling of yeast, butter, cinnamon and caramelizing sugar that makes my mouth water and my heart warm just thinking about it.
Click for more, and the recipe, after the jump!