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!

xoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoo

It is already in you….

Everything you need to be successful is already in you. We can learn from others how to go about tasks or strategies for success, but you already possess your strengths that make you unique. We each offer this world a perspective that no one else has. Our experiences shape who we are and we can use those experiences to help others. The story of the baby born without legs who grew up in an adoptive family to be a gymnast, was a gymnast because it was already in her. Her name is Jennifer Bricker . Her parents never told her she couldn’t do something and she always believed she could do anything. Her idol was a famous gymnast. Later she found out that she was the sister of Dominique Moceanu.  The talent that was in her, was not taught, it was already within her. She had this burning desire to be a gymnast and she was because she pushed herself, even though, she was born without legs. We all have some burning desire to accomplish something. It is up to you to explore and really dig deep down into your soul and find what that burning desire is.  Many of us go through life feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied. I really feel that feeling stems from deep within us because we are not living our full potential. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and have huge goals and aspirations. The feeling to be more is very contagious. Light that fire within you! We are all a part of the human experience. Are you ready to discover who you are?

 

xoxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxxooxoxo

Suzy homemaker(sort of….)

I had this idea a couple months ago that I was going to make my extracts. My yard has wonderful huge mint plants growing so I didn’t want to let those go to waste. I ran to the liquor store and bought the cheapest vodka I could find. I am going to experiment and see if there is a huge taste difference between the cheapest and the middle of the road vodka. Hindsight, I should have experimented with this batch. Anyway, 2.5 months later I cracked open my bottle to see how it tasted. It was super minty towards the bottom. I decided to scoop out the mint plants and put them in the food processor. They chopped up really well and I put them back to soak in the jar. I will check on it in one month and compare it to the other jar I didn’t touch. Here is my recipe:

I liter of vodka

Quart size mason jars

Freshly grown and washed mint plants

 

I filled the jar with the mint leaves( ditch the stems) and poured vodka over it. Everything I have read, tells me to make sure you have no plants that are uncovered. If you do, you will get plant rot and that will ruin your whole batch in the jar. I can’t stress that enough. Allow to sit tightly covered in a very dark place where the temperature is even. You don’t want to put it in the sunlight or have it in a cold place. I put mine in the back of my top cupboard. Leave it alone for at least 2 months. I will be doing coffee extracts next!!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoooxooxoxoxoxoxox

Family Traditions…….

The neighbor invited us over to their house to make their great grandmother’s ravioli from scratch. It literally took all day and there were 20 people all helping. This family is a tight knit bunch. I was not only amazed at how well everyone got along, but at how loving they were towards us as well. It felt like we belonged there. The ravioli was an adventure in itself. After we made about 300 of these things, we ate some. The sauce and every detail was made from scratch. This event last night got me to think about my grandma. I loved cooking in the kitchen with her. I enjoyed helping her do everything. I miss my grandma. The sad part is, all the family traditions died with her. Last night was an eye opener for me. I realized if I am going to have family traditions, I need to start them. I will be the one to begin and hand them down to my kids and so forth. Traditions have to start somewhere. So, the neighbors do the ravioli tradition once a year and that is the only one they have. I suggested we do cookies before Christmas, they all liked that. Now we are starting a cookie tradition with their family and I will implement it in mine.

xoxoxoxoxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxox

IMG_20171126_085934_575