The Original Boss Babe

As I jump into entrepreneurship and all the highs and lows associated with it I am extremely blessed to have such a badass role model on speed dial.

My mom left a successful career track in banking, to the chagrin of her bosses, to go back to school and become a lawyer. She faced not only the sexist prejudices of the time but also entered law school quite a bit older than her classmates. I am SO glad she did. Though I never knew the version of my mother in banking, the version of her in law was a force to be reckoned with. My mom is passionate, confident, driven, and giving. She embodies the idea that it doesn’t matter how old you are you or what your original plan was, you can always find and follow your bliss. There is no reason to maintain the status quo if it is making you unhappy. Create a plan and follow through.  An idea she has carried into retirement effortlessly. She is the person I take my craziest ideas to in order to level set and/or fill in the cracks, my full time therapist, and my sous chef.

Growing up we ate a wide variety of food. My mom, although Pescatarian, cooked many meat based dishes really well. I never realized how healthy we ate until I went to college and tried, unsuccessfully, to live on easy mac and other processed foods for a quarter. I later learned that cooking was basically just a means to an end for her. It has been a joy since I have discovered my love of cooking to spend our time cooking together. It has turned a formerly monotonous activity into something we genuinely enjoy. We swap stories and recipes and either enjoy the end result together or laugh at failed attempts. It is a blessing to have such willing guinea pigs and food explorers in your parents.

This month’s menu is probably my absolute favorite meal I have ever produced for my family. It was a birthday/mother’s day gift to my mom a few years ago. A chance to try out some new recipes or riffs on her old favorites and it was wildly successful. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Special shoutout to my first favorite food blog TheEndlessMeal for all the inspiration.

Appetizer: The beet salad is a wonderful way to start a meal. Whether your goat cheese is fried or soft and crumbled or you choose arugula or spinach as your base the varieties are endless. My riff on our favorite salad came by turning it into a handheld, one bite appetizer. The Endless Meal provided the inspiration. Paired with this we had pear tartines with blue cheese and honey .

Side Item: Corn bread is one of our favorite sides. It pairs well with meat dishes and soups. The best cornbread is from The Pearl in the Short North. Thankfully, it is so wildly popular you can actually find the recipe online!

Main Dishes: Our birthday’s are both in May. When cooking in the Spring for a crowd we are firm believers that the grill is the way to go (thanks for the help Dad!). For my mom, roasted veggies with a almond lime satay sauce. For the carnivores, Thai chicken kebabs with spicy peanut sauce.

Dessert: Now how in the world do you finish such a random but oddly complimentary meal? Three words: Bourbon. Bread. Pudding. We are a bourbon obsessed clan and when my mom mentioned her long standing love for a good bread pudding I could not resist combining two of her favorite things into the ultimate dessert. Guys, there is bourbon cream on top it actually couldn’t get any better. Out of all the elements of this fantastic meal, this recipe has been repeated most often.

While this was the first meal created in honor of the best Mom I know I am sure it won’t be the last. Let me know if you make any of these dishes or if you have other Pescatarian recipes you think we should try! Finally, and I probably should have said this first, Surprise Mom! Bet you didn’t think you’d be first.

Check in next month for my second Sentzational Spotlight. 🙂

-Katie

 

 

 

 

Young, Scrappy, and HUNGRY

This week was jam packed with activities. I completed the last few steps to starting my business (insert happy dance here), I juice cleansed, I attended a fabulous event at The Wonder Jam, and tonight I am leaving for a long weekend with some of my favorite ladies!

The Business: I knew there were a lot of steps and minute details to starting a business but OMG. I guess you know you really want it if you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is right? Sentzational Meals and Holistic Health Coach Services is OFFICIAL! Attending the event at the Wonder Jam Tuesday only added to my excitement. I had the opportunity to meet and listen to so many other people in my position. I received answers to some of my long standing questions and worries and was instilled with more confidence and excitement now that my dream is starting to be a reality.

The Cleanse:  I took part in a three day group juice cleanse. Previously, I have only done cleanses with one other person. There was something about commiserating with a group that really set this experience apart. Did we all love or hate the same things? No. Yet, we chatted our way merrily through the three days and they flew by. But, what now? I finished my three days and I am gearing up for an amazing girls getaway to Amelia Island. I needed a day’s worth of recipe’s that weren’t heavy and would not offset or overwhelm my system again and that I could create from what was left in my fridge pre-trip. Enter, the salmon burger. I have not previously had a salmon burger. I thought the general premise was a little strange but I found this recipe and it looked too good to pass up. Couple that with the fact I had most of the ingredients already in my cupboard and I was sold.

The one thing I did not have was cabbage, or any perishable leafy green for that matter. Instead I transitioned this meal to brunch instead of lunch or dinner and topped it with a fried egg. If you do not have the ingredients to make the slaw or just don’t like slaw I strongly suggest the egg.

If you are staying in Columbus this long weekend stay safe during the expected snowmageddon and stock up on ingredients to make this super quick, super easy, incredibly comforting, healthy meal 🙂

-Katie

 

New Year, Same Self Care

There is nothing quite like a bomb cyclone or polar vortex to make you want to snuggle up inside with a big cup of tea (or wine) and a great movie and not leave until Spring. Add in the first week back to work after the holidays and self care should be your top resolution.

Yeah, Yeah work out, eat right, of course but have you heard of the de-stress, total relaxation bubble bath? Honestly, while I strive to keep my workouts fun, new, and exciting, and my food delicious and nutritious I don’t switch up my bath game much. I realized recently that I talk about baths pretty often but I have never given you a glimpse into my little corner of this amazing practice.

It has taken me a while to perfect my routine but now I am so excited to share exactly what I use to wind down.

To me candles are an essential part of my day to day and, depending on the scent, can aid relaxation. I prefer spicier scents to sweet but my current favorites are actually a mix of both. Cardamom and Vetiver in the Magnolia candle collection and Amber Oak from Southern Firefly. My all time favorites come from Votivo and the Vanilla and Fig candle from Anthropologie. The latter I had to buy because once I smelled it I physically could not put it down I needed to own it. It smelled THAT good. All of these candles burn forever and have strong but not overwhelming scents.

Once you have the candles you can build the bath. Dr. Teals Epsom Salt’s in either Eucalyptus and Spearmint or Lavender set the base. Follow this by a little bit of the Coconut Milk Bath Soak. A little bit goes a long way. This soak is a more recent find but adds that extra level of luxury. If I am feeling a bit under the weather or just need an extra pick me up I will add a few drops of lime and eucalyptus essential oils as well. Finally, the bubbles. Occasionally, I will throw in a bath bomb from Lush but I have found most to be filled with glitter and that adds a whole new level of annoyance when I have to deep clean my tub specifically to get the glitter out. If I use the bomb I do not use the essential oils, the coconut soak, or as much epsom salt.

The products I use range in price but all last a really long time and together create a level of relaxation that is thus far unmatched. Add in your favorite Netflix, Amazon, or HBO GO show and you’ll forget the Winter weather until you have to brave it again tomorrow.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products or if you have others I should try!

-Katie

Making Turtles Out of Caramels: A Story of Delicious Disaster

In a month focused on consciously infusing joy into each day I have found it is important to find it even in missteps. This year I prepared for Christmas. All presents were purchased and wrapped early, I decorated, and then I baked.

It was the baking that could have been my unraveling. I set out to make these bourbon cider caramels dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. The recipe sounded so easy. I had most of the ingredients on hand already. I was excited to make these delicious treats for friends and family. I even purchased a candy thermometer to all but guarantee success. All signs pointed that way, until I actually started to bake.

For some reason my caramel would not harden. It remained what I can only equate to caramel soup for the better part of 48 hours. Normally, this would drive me NUTS. This time, it drove to me think outside the box.

While watching my umpteenth Holiday movie of the season I undertook the task of coating these little disasters in chocolate. The first one partially maintained its square appearance  giving me a glimmer of hope that was crushed by the ginormous chocolatey puddle the second and third created. Yet, they were actually covered in chocolate. The silver lining to my now elbow deep in chocolate sauce mess was that the caramel and coating had not swirled but instead stayed in two distinct layers. It was at this point that my brother’s words from a few days earlier came to mind. My family is dessert obsessed. My great grandmother was known to enjoy dessert at every meal and we take that very seriously. So when I mentioned I was attempting these tasty treats I said “I’ll bring them over if I think they are good” to which he responded that I should bring them over either way. It made me laugh at the ridiculous situation I had been dwelling on. Just because I was not happy with the result doesn’t mean I did not make something good. While I had not made what I set out to I realized I had stumbled upon another possibility in the process and that is how caramel bites became turtles.

Now cautiously optimistic I placed these newly branded bites in the fridge to harden and twenty minutes later taste tested. While I am a firm believer that chocolate can make almost anything better it actually did not have much work to do here. The cider and bourbon flavors were evident and delicious with the chocolate and flaky sea salt compliment. Surprisingly, the gooey center was a welcome surprise when biting into the hardened chocolate outside.

While I will absolutely work on the original recipe until I can get it right I left this experience feeling proud of my weird little desserts instead of annoyed at myself for failure. I believed in myself and chose a change in perspective to throwing in the towel and I feel like that is something I have been working on all year. Finding joy and growth in the little moments is exactly what this month is about.

-Katie

The One With The Unicorn Themed Christmas Sweater

Saturday was my ugly sweater secret santa gift exchange (say that five times fast). In a month of searching for joy, having an ugly sweater party with good friends is a sure fire way to locate it. Since I moved into my new place in March and have extra storage and slightly more space I have been adding to my holiday decorations collection. Christmas is no exception. Target and I have been best buds since early November as I find more and more ways to add the holiday spirit to my place. This party was the ultimate showcase and the fabulously timed winter weather was an excellent touch.

The food was low-key. I wanted to make sure it was all about human interactions and not about a big meal. I feel like creating this kind of laid back atmosphere makes people want to linger longer than just eating and leaving.

I bought some heat and serve appetizers, three Trader Joe’s pizza’s, and I had my friend bring cheese and jam. Find yourself a friend who is a cheese connoisseur…or lives within close proximity to The Rhined in Cinci. This selection was the perfect addition, and maybe even the showcase item to our appetizer spread. I only made two items from scratch and those were my desserts. I made cannoli dip served with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, and pretzel chips and this pumpkin gingerbread from Hummusapien. While we didn’t get to taste the bread at the party I taste tested it the next day for breakfast and it is an absolute must make. The cannoli dip came out after our gift exchange during a round of Dirty Minds and it was extremely well received. I used extra large dark chocolate chips instead of regular milk chocolate and locating them in a sea of delicious cream cheese and sugar is incredibly fun.

I really like having a signature drink at my parties. For Thanksgiving it was spiked apple cider and for this party it was sangria. This drink was Christmas in a cup. It was easy to make and was actually better made ahead which is my favorite kind of party drink. Along with a signature drink I also really enjoy creating party playlists. I feel like it helps add to the festive mood and honestly, this close to Christmas I am happy to have some of the classics on repeat.  Check out some of the pictures below. I am not sure what happened with my camera but some are a bit grainy.

 

 

Ha! I forgot my snapchat had a caption but you get the idea it was gorgeous out. Did you have a Holiday party this year? If you have one in the next week consider using these awesome recipes and absolutely let me know if you enjoy them as much as we did!

-Katie

 

The Month of Joy

True Life: I have been in a two week funk.

I am just not my normal cheerful self. To put this into perspective for those who do not know me well I am an optimist. My motto is “cautiously optimistic”. I have been perpetually agitated, and finding annoyances in every little thing. I feel slightly off kilter, a little out of tune.

So this month is about reminding myself what makes me happy. I am doing one small thing each day that brings me joy. This can be anything from going to my favorite workout, reading my favorite new obsession (Halfbaked Harvest Cookbook), to watching a new series I have been putting off, or going out with friends. Anything to remind myself, in this most festive of seasons, what I am thankful for and to re-ignite my creative juices.

Part of keeping myself balanced both mentally and physically is my diet. I am finally at the last diet change of the year! This month the goal is simple. I want to maintain a diet that keeps me uplifted. I am chronicling what I eat journal style for the month and identifying which foods make me feel happy, which slow me down, and which (outside of onions) just downright don’t agree with me. It is the final step in my food discovery journey of the year. The final change before I pick the diet I will stay with, at least for the foreseeable future.

During this diet I am trying to create at least one new recipe a week. These recipes are clean, healthy, and balanced meals. I created one such meal Wednesday. It was beautiful, it looks tasty, but I made it at 4:30pm when I was not ready to eat it but the sun was in the perfect place to photograph it (epic eye roll from the non-food photography obsessed reading this). I had a late workout and I left it still feeling uninspired and also that sushi would boost my mood rather than the veggie packed meal I created earlier. Fusian people, go there now. I made the worlds most perfect “To-Go” sushi roll. It was my item of the day that created a little happiness. It had tuna, avocado, cucumber, jalapeno, carrots, and pineapple. Totally overstuffed and topped with a spicy creamy sauce, sesame soy sauce, and masago. It was a beaut. Thank goodness my previously made dinner was even better for lunch Thursday morning.

This “noodle” bowl tastes even better than it looks, especially if you cooked the ingredients together and everything is now a little purple thanks to the beets. The multitude of flavors produced using these simple ingredients really come together and compliment each other well.

This bowl is also totally stress free. The majority of the prep can be done a day or two before. The zucchini can be spiralized, the winter veggies can be roasted, and the red pepper can be cut. The hour you see in the recipe is the total time but really it took me all of fifteen minutes to create since I had meal prepped. That is my kind of mid week meal.

Winter Veggie and Black Bean Zoodle Bowl

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 50m
  • Total Time: 1h

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini (spiralized)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup basil and cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup beets (cubed)
  • 1 cup squash of choice (cubed)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bell pepper (cut however you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add cut squash and beets to sprayed baking sheet, toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 35-45 minutes until they are fork tender. (Can be done a few days before)
  3. Add remaining tbsp of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and wait until fragrant.
  4. Add the red pepper. After 2 minutes add the spiralized zucchini, black beans, cumin, and red pepper flakes.
  5. Add the squash and the beets cook for about 5 more minutes just so the flavors blend then add the spinach and mix ingredients for 2-3 more minutes until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Place an even amount in two bowls and top with parmesan cheese and herb mix.
  7. Enjoy!

After this meal mix equal parts toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate chips, and dried cranberries in a bowl and enjoy with red wine for dessert. If this doesn’t add a little joy to your day, I’m not sure what will. Trust me it is dessert gold.

-Katie

Seafood Spaghetti Squash

This month has been all about clean eating for me. As it draws to an end I have found the MOST amazing, low carb, delight for dinner. As you should know by now I am head over heels for Trader Joe’s. I am always looking for more ways to utilize my favorite place. On one such deep dive into this mecca I discovered their Seafood Blend. I generally try to buy my seafood and meats fresh and locally caught or raised but I thought it would be nice to have this option for that last minute craving.

That last minute craving came faster than I anticipated. The blend lasted about four days in my freezer. I had a little white wine left from the weekend, lemons that were about to turn, and capers just begging to be thrown into the mix. Yet, with this rich topping I wanted a light base. Enter spaghetti squash. It is after all the most wonderful time of the year, squash season, and I have been favoring its counterparts so I thought it was about time to get back to basics. I also found some marinara sauce I forgot I had purchased and upon opening it realized it was really thin. This is not my preference, but was a good addition in this sauce.

I cut the spaghetti squash length wise, took out the seeds, and added a pinch of salt and pepper to the cut sides. I roasted on 375 degrees for 35 minutes and they turned out perfectly!

In the last ten minutes I started my seafood portion. I think it would benefit you to defrost these little guys a bit before adding them to a hot, lightly oiled, pan. I did not do this and the brick of ice with an assortment of seafood stuck inside took a little longer than the suggested three minutes to separate. Nonetheless, the seafood all cooked at the same speed so even though it went a little longer than expected they were not too chewy. I added about half a cup of white wine and maybe 1/3 cup of marinara sauce to the seafood while it cooked. After I added the spaghetti squash to the mix I added a tablespoon or two of capers and the juice of a lemon.

Next time I think I will add some red pepper flakes and some parmesan cheese but for a first try it was certainly delicious not to mention quick and easy to throw together. While I did not take specific ingredient measurements I will do my best to document them below and feel free to add more or less of one you really like. My dinner was a little soupy but the sauce would be great with some crusty bread :). I know, I know, bye bye low carb meal but so worth it as the weather gets colder.

Seafood Spaghetti Squash

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 40m
  • Total Time: 45m

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 bag Trader Joe's Seafood Blend
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup red sauce of your choice I used Trader Joe's Marinara
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (roughly chopped)
  • optional: red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and take out the seeds. Add a little salt and pepper to the now empty cut sides
  3. Place squash cut side down on a sprayed baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until you can stick a fork easily into the squash
  4. In the last ten minutes of baking start the seafood topping. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic to oil.
  5. Add, at least partially defrosted, seafood blend to the oil
  6. After a minute of letting the blend acclimate to the oil add the white wine
  7. Add the red sauce and the capers and continue to move the seafood blend around until the shrimp is almost opaque.
  8. When the squash is done run a fork through it to create "noodles" and add them directly to the pan. Turn the heat down if not already there, add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and just mix the ingredients long enough for the seafood to fully become opaque.
  9. Separate into plates, top with basil, and enjoy. (Optional add: red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese would be amazing)

I hope you all enjoyed your first full week back after an extended Holiday weekend. Keep the holiday feel going with this dinner and let me know if you like it!

-Katie

 

Healthy Turkey Day Additions

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Near the end of last week I accidentally poisoned myself. I am allergic to onions but I continue to test the spectrum occasionally to see if maybe there is a strand that is tolerable. As of 11/16…there isn’t.

The latest trial was with leeks and oh boy the results where basically instantaneous. It was because of this that I took it easy on myself over the weekend. I made most of my food, which is rare on Friday and Saturday, and made sure I knew exactly what was in all the other food I consumed. Clean eating is generally a good practice to live by outside of remedying digestive issues but occasionally I slack in favor of convenience foods.

While I finished getting my digestive system back on track in time for the ultimate feast, Thanksgiving, I stuck with soups and squash. I cannot get enough of my immersion bender or stuffing anything I can think of into a squash. Not only is the latter gorgeous but incredibly tasty. When I made this Hazelnut and Farro Stuffing-esque Acorn Squash for Friendsgiving I knew it was not a one time thing. Any time you want that Thanksgiving taste and feel in a meal without the guilt some associate with this holiday, this recipe should be your go-to. You can even make this if you are low on time when the craving strikes with 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s.

The farro in veggie broth with some of the traditional stuffing ingredients and the addition of hazelnuts is a revelation. When you are ready to serve the squash top with a dollop of cranberry sauce or a drizzle of honey to fully round out the flavor. This dish has the added benefit of being vegan. It is perfect for those hard to please family members at the holiday meal whether they normally enjoy meat or live more plant based.

This photo definitely does not do the squash justice. I did not trim the bottoms enough so I needed a bowl to hold up the finished product. After the squash I moved on to tomato soup. Adolescent Katie was rolling her eyes. Traditionally, tomato soup is the lowest of the low on the soup list. Yet, I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and knew I needed to try it. I guess that is the benefit of good food photography, check out that link this soup is gorgeous.  I roasted three different kinds of tomatoes and used asiago, parmesan cheese and more than the required garlic and basil. This soup completely blew me away and totally changed my childhood perception. Run, don’t walk to the store and stock up on ingredients to make this soon!

So as I lay on my couch, surrounded by Christmas decorations yet to put up and still full of the amazing Thanksgiving meal yesterday (with leftovers this morning) I am dreaming of the meals that made it possible for me to enjoy this Holiday.

Hazelnut, White Bean, and Farro Stuffed Acorn Squash

Perfect for Thanksgiving or for those cold winter nights where you want to get in the Holiday spirit without the Holiday food coma. Can feed 3-6 depending on how you cut the squash or if you want it for a … Continue reading

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 1h
  • Total Time: 1h 10m

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked whole grain farro
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped or julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 15-16 oz. can cannellini beans (unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 acorn squash

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook farro according to instructions. If you are in a hurry use the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe's
  3. Cut the tops off the squash and scoop out the seeds. Put a light coating of olive oil and some salt and pepper in the squash, add to a sprayed baking dish cut side up, and bake for about 45 minutes until tender.
  4. In the mean time. Add olive oil to a medium-high heated pan and then add celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add sage in the last minute then remove from stove and add in farro mixture, beans, and hazelnuts
  6. Fill the acorn squash with this mixture, drizzle the tops with a bit more olive oil, and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is slightly browned.
  7. You can serve as is, or add some honey or cranberry sauce over the top depending on your mood.

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday and enjoy this fabulous long weekend.

-Katie

Accio My Drink- A Harry Potter Friendsgiving

I have a confession. I am obsessed with themed parties. It would bring me an insane amount of joy to throw themed dinner parties with reckless abandon. That is why when I mentioned having a theme for our annual Friendsgiving celebration this year I was elated to have all my friends jump in with as much excitement as me.

We have been enjoying Friendsgiving parties for years now. Most have been very traditional with employer provided turkeys. It was time to spice it up a bit. We dusted off our Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbooks and divvied up the courses for an amazing feast. We had root vegetable and Guinness stew with dumplings, yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes from the book. We are a mixed dietary restrictions group so we needed a few vegetarian and vegan options as well. We had brussels sprouts, au gratin and steamed, balsamic and honey glazed carrots, stuffing, and farro and chestnut stuffed acorn squash. We had an assortment of drinks from Madame Rosmerta’s finest oak matured mead (Chardonnay) to warm crock pot apple cider with caramel vodka instead of caramel sauce, and of course Great Lakes Christmas Ale made its seasonal debut.  Finally, and I believe most importantly, the Harry Potter desserts.

To say these were exceptional would be an understatement. My incredible friends made golden snitch cake balls with edible gold and detailed wings, four different kinds of chocolate frogs including dark chocolate salty caramel, as well as,  Ande’s mint filled, and I made a not so traditional treacle tart. I could not find treacle syrup anywhere so I made my own. I also did not have regular bread crumbs on hand so I used graham cracker crumbs. I may be extremely biased but use the graham cracker crumbs you will not be disappointed. This lemony, not too sweet but extremely well rounded flavor, is an absolute crowd pleaser.

It would not be a themed party without decorations. I used mini liquor bottles with various potions labels as party favors. Along with your place setting you also chose a name card with a character from the books. All houses were represented. We also requested that all guests be sorted prior to arrival. The bathroom was the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets with the writing on the mirror and Moaning Myrtle haunting the toilet. I recently purchased a miniature old movie theater marquee and written in lights was “Accio My Drink”. It is definitely the little things that create the perfect ambiance.

I don’t think this party would have been nearly as successful if all participants had not been as excited as they were. The level of commitment and the quality of the food and company made this night perfection. Check out of gallery of fun photos below!

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving or enjoy themed parties as much as me? If so, I would love to see the pictures!

The Soup of Any Squash Lovers Dreams

Recently I went to a beautiful wedding outside of Austin Texas. The venue, the decor, and the ridiculously phenomenal rehearsal dinner food will not soon be forgotten. One item in particular, the squash and ginger soup in adorable Moroccan shot glasses, has stuck with me since the event. The weather is turning colder and getting darker earlier here in Ohio so what better time than now to try to recreate this soup?

I looked all over Google and Pinterest for inspiration and found plenty of great looking recipes that only addressed one squash, or squash and apple or pear or carrot. So, I took the general idea of these recipes and made the most squash-tastic soup of my wildest dreams. I figured if people are making seis leches cakes then I can up the game as well and make four squash soup (five if you include pumpkin seeds). Roasting the squash before adding them to the soup makes them incredibly creamy and really caramelizes the flavors. I tried to keep this recipe as user friendly as possible. Besides using a giant knife to cut open the squash initially, which is really just amazing stress relief, there are no more knife skills needed. If you want to you can even buy pre-minced garlic and ginger. Easy peasy for those nights you want something healthy and packed with flavor. This is largely a set and forget recipe. It is in the oven for 30 minutes and then on the stove top for 20. If you play your cards right that is either one or two Netflix episodes.

I used the spaghetti squash as noodles which added a fun twist but if you aren’t feeling that, go ahead and add them near the end and blend with the other squash. I did not have sage on hand but if you do this would be an awesome addition as well. Just a handful pulled apart and added in when you add the thyme. Finally and unfortunately, I dug in so quickly after adding the pumpkin seeds on top that I did not get a proper photo. My pumpkin seeds were  pre-made from Trader Joe’s but if you have time I would definitely suggest roasting your own.

I cannot wait for you to try this soup and I hope you enjoy it!

Autumn Squash and Ginger Soup

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 50m
  • Total Time: 1h
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 delicata squash
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 4 cups veggie stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 2 knobs ginger (grated)
  • 1 bag pre-cut butternut squash
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 acorn squash
  • optional topping, pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly drizzle a bit of olive oil. Spread out cut side down on a sprayed baking sheet
  3. Bake for 30 minutes. Once done, take out of oven and let cool a few minutes until you can handle them. Scoop out the insides of the squash except for the spaghetti squash.
  4. Add olive oil to a large pot. Over medium high heat let garlic simmer until fragrant. Add scooped out squash and butternut squash, veggie stock, minced ginger (and a small piece of one of the knobs of ginger), thyme, turmeric, and cinnamon. Turn down heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering use a fork to make "noodles" out of the remaining spaghetti squash. After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes use an immersion blender or small batches at a time in a large blender to make soup smooth and creamy. (If you are going to use small batches in a large blender go slow there is a chance of explosion because of heat build up).
  6. Once blended to your liking divide the spaghetti squash into bowls and then ladle the soup mix on top. Top with a bit of salt and pepper and pumpkin seeds.
  7. Enjoy!

-Katie