It’s that time of year again!

The leaves are falling, the air is getting that crisp feel, and it’s time to get cooking! October is a favorite month of mine. Although, I can find something I like in every month. Canning is one of my favorite things to do. This time of year you can find such great soup making ingredients, such as, squash. I love squash! I was given a beautiful, huge squash from a friend’s garden. I feel so good about cooking with it because I know exactly where it came from. I love to experiment with spices. One of my problems is I go by taste, so I really don’t measure anything when it comes to creating dishes. Baking is a different story because there is a science to ingredients reacting with one another to create beautiful desserts. I hope you will be able to find this inspirational to experiment on your own.

Squash soup:

Start with any squash( I have combined different types such as butternut squash and cucurbita)

Bake them on 375 split in half, face down in about an inch of water. I salt my water a little bit with Himalayan Pink Salt. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Scrape the squash out and toss the meat into a blender. Add 2 cups of chicken bouillon water. I use the powder bouillon because it has a more flavorful impact on my dishes vs the cubes. I will add a bit more water to the mixture until I get the consistency I prefer. Make the consistency not too thin. It will thicken a little with the cream. The cream will add a great fat that will bring out the individual flavors you are about to add to the soup. Salt and fat are two components that can make or break a dish.

Blend well until creamy. Then take the mixture and put it in a large pot. Turn the burner to medium heat and add half and half. I added probably about a cup. Stir well. I did add about a 1/8-1/4 tsp of  cayenne pepper and a few twists of a grinder of black pepper. After the pepper additions, I sprinkled nutmeg until it had a full, unique flavor. Then I canned the soup in quart jars.

Remember, this is just a guide to get you cooking. Some squash is sweeter naturally than others. Taste your ingredients first and then decide how to use them. A friend of mine recommended a book called the Flavor Bible. I love that book. It is so helpful in pairing flavors, especially if you are not familiar with certain flavors.

Have fun exploring and experimenting!

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What’s your outlet?

Everyone needs to have some sort of stress relieving outlet. What’s yours? I have recently spoken to many people about how they relieve their stress. One thing they all had in common was they had a hobby. The hobby had the same qualities among those I spoke to. That quality was they all loved and was interested in what they chose to spend their time doing. Some of the people tried many activities before realizing what activity stood out the most and that they liked the most. It is important to explore new things and ideas because you just never know what you will find interesting. It is kinda like seeing a shirt on a rack in the store and saying it’s ugly or not for you when it’s on the hanger. However, I have tried on some of those clothes and discovered it actually looked good on me and I purchased it. So, the moral of this story is to explore, even if you think you may not like it. You could not only discover something new about yourself, but you might be good at something you didn’t even want to give a try to. Enjoy your day!

 

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I understand…………..

I write about positive mind frames and attitudes. Yes, that is a huge component for me staying even keel, I do recognize that sometimes, medical intervention is necessary. There are chemical imbalances in the body that can cause depression, anxiety, and other mind altering issues. If you feel like you are in the boat of needing medical help, get it. Depression is real. Suicide is real. If you know someone who needs help, encourage them to get it. Listen to them and be there for them. Be a true friend in their time of need. I understand how it feels to be down a deep dark hole. It is so hard to find the light when all you feel is sadness and hopelessness. I understand. This is why I am encouraging you to open up to someone you trust. Sometimes we need someone to give us a helping hand, a loving gesture, or just a listening ear. I hope this post has helped you.

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Life is……………….

Wonderful! Stuff happens I get that. I am not immune to negative things. However, I do believe a positive frame of mind is most important. There is always a way to deal with things. Solutions do present themselves but you need an open mind to realize what to do. We all have decisions every day to make. Each decision puts us on a different path. Try to have a clear vision about what you want for yourself. If you know what you want and what you don’t want, making decisions is so much easier. Spend time making deep connections. A tree cannot survive if the roots are shallow. In order for the tree to thrive, it needs deep roots to ground itself and take in nutrients, it needs the sun in order to photosynthesize, it needs water, and time to grow into its potential. That tree is just like us. We need deep roots( moral grounding) and connections, we need nutrients, time to grow and form who we are, and we need most of all LOVE. Love makes everything brighter and creates a different mindset for problem solving. So many people in this world want to go it alone because they are protecting their hearts from breaking. I get that. But what if, all that protecting of your heart keeps you from expanding and growing? What if you pass by what could be the best relationship of your life because you are too scared to jump off the proverbial cliff? You are only here on Earth once. Make your time here wonderful. Make good decisions, take risks, and most of all, love with an open heart. Give freely but also recognize who to give it to. People come and go from your life and that is ok. Not everyone is meant to be in your life. Keep your chin up and laugh super hard every now and then. It is exhilarating! You have such huge potential. You just have to believe it and not hold yourself back. Self-sabotage is a really destructive act. Love yourself fully so you are able to love someone else too.

 

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Day to day stuff is fun.

I really think real life and day to day stuff is fun. I get joy out of cleaning the house and even doing the shopping for necessities. Life doesn’t have to be a roller coaster in order to be fun. I don’t need exciting or entertainment every moment of the day. I have become happier and more content with life ever since I recognized the joy in regular activities and work. I challenge you to find the joy in the little things. I keep saying it and I will say it again. The little things are the BIG things.

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Bring the room down………….

Attitude is everything. There is always one person in a group that is just so negative. Don’t be that person. That one person can infect the whole group. The type of energy you give off is what will turn into reality for the group. That is the same with life. Yes, I know things happen and life isn’t always roses and sunshine. It is how we get past those curve balls that will determine how we view the outcome. I do believe to my core that if you cultivate a positive attitude, you will be aware of more solutions. If you focus on the bad, that is all you will find. If you try to keep an open mind and look for solutions, you will find those as well. Recognizing that we have emotions and dealing with them is important to being healthy inside and out. Sometimes we just need to go in our car and scream our heads off and let it out. That is ok. Dealing with negative feelings is healthy. Dwelling on them is not. My philosophy is this, deal and move forward. Try to focus today on what is good. Find the good in those you meet. Find the sunshine through the clouds. I wake up with a grateful heart and I thank God for giving me another day to try again. We all have faults but sometimes those faults are not really faults at all. We look at ourselves through foggy lenses. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Love yourself. Accept yourself and realize you are enough. This world is full of people who don’t think they are good enough for anyone and I believe that is because they don’t accept themselves. Every day we can improve our behaviors and attitude. Be enough for yourself and love with an open heart.  You have nothing to lose and only to gain.

 

 

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What we crave….

We crave connection. Look at traffic for instance, you will notice that people travel in packs on the road. There will be clusters of cars traveling together even though they are going to different destinations. We crave connection and some sort of acceptance from others. With cell phones and social media, we are still not getting that connection. As a matter of fact, I am convinced we are less connected than ever. I see so many couples on dates ignoring each other because they are on their phones. I see people walking down the street with their faces in their phones. I know for myself, I need that deep connection, that face to face interaction, those conversations that are not superficial…… You are never going to get what you need or establish any deep connection if you are not in the present. You have to be an active participant. My challenge to you today is this, have a face to face conversation and be in the present. Don’t check your phone, don’t think about what you could be doing, listen to the person in front of you and actively listen to them. You just never know what you might discover…………..

 

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