Butternut Squash Soup

Remember my edible turkey?
(last post)

It's time to eat it. That turkey body was a good old butternut squash!

My hubs has been experimenting with this recipe. He is a stud in the kitchen.
He. Can. COOK!

Tonight I told him he needs to write down the amounts and teach me how.

I don't want to beg for help every time I have a bee in my bonnet to make this soup!

Get started: dice 1 yellow onion and one butternut squash (medium will do).
(Don't forget to peel it and remove the yucky insides).
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Now turn the gas on that stock pot and melt 2 Tbsp of butter and 2 Tbsp of e.v. olive oil.

Put the diced onions in and sweat them.

Now add some flava will ya....?
2 cloves minced garlic
A pinch of fresh thyme
A few chopped sage leaves
2 bay leaves
A dash of paprika
A dash of cayenne pepper
A pinch of salt and pepper

Add the diced butternut squash
Toss that around for a few minutes.

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Add enough chicken stock just to barely cover the top. (Approx. 4 cups)
Simmer until the squash is fork tender.
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Don't forget to remove the 2 bay leaves at this point.

If you have an immersion blender, then blend with that!

If you are not cool like me, transfer to a blender and puree it all!
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Then we transfer it all back to the stock pot and taste it.
Now add more salt and pepper until it tastes right and simmer for a few minutes.

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If you want you can garnish with a little cream, or parsley, or nuts if you're up for it.

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This is a savory, yet sweet soup with a little tiny kick.
It warms the soul and makes sure you don't waste that "fruit turkey" body.
Martha hates to waste anything. And I do as Martha says.

Butternut squash soup.... its a good thing!
Today was "Thanksgiving" with my side of the family. It was a hit! Dave and I did the basics and Kass (by the way, that's my nickname for my sister) did the sides. Everything was soooo good, I can go on and on, but I wanted to share a couple of new things I tried this year.

I purchased the "gratitude digital kit" from house of 3. This is one of my fave sites for new digital fun.

I printed out a little place for us to count our blessings.

count your blessings

I tucked them under the napkin so they were optional. Some husbands I know give attitude if we have to say what we're thankful for because it's "cheesy" and his food is getting cold. So this way, people could do it or not. The kids liked it the best and I am just going to put my girls' right into my scrapbook.

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I also love this idea I got from Family Fun. My girls always want to help, and putting the fruit on the sticks was a great job for them. I served our little edible turkey with our favorite fruit dip and it was a great snack before we ate.

fruit turkey
This is my show and tell for the day. Can't wait until Thanksgiving #2 on Thursday.

Fall Cookie Bouquet

I'm a fan of cookie bouquets and putting cookies on sticks. Can you be a fan of that of facebook?
I guess I'd have to be on facebook first.
leaf cookies
You can apply the royal frosting/ toothpick method to beautify any sugar cookie.

(Here's a post with the royal frosting recipe and here's a post about the toothpick method.)

I rolled out my dough a little thicker than usual and inserted a skewer about 2/3 the way to the top.
Make sure the dough is still nice and cold because then your leaf won't get deformed when you do this.
baking leaf cookies
Then after you do the edge and fill, while it's wet draw on it with different colors.

Don't be careful. Kids can do it.

Then take your toothpick and swirl the colors, make vine-like motions.

Here's a few before and after examples:
cookie 4

cookie 2

This one is a little busy with lots of swirling.
cookie 3

This one was very simple.
cookie 1

They're all different. And frankly, I felt like a frosting abstract artist. Okay, I'm flattering myself.

It's just something I had fun with that I thought I should share the love.
I gave a pan to my kids to decorate and go to town with, and I set aside my pile to play with.

After they dried, I slipped my cookies into a little plastic bag. (usually used for candy making)
I tied them with raffia
sticks

And put some foam in a pot
And put my sticks in the foam,
And as I went, I hot glued some fake leaves to cover the foam.

putting it together

I think they made a pretty cute visiting teaching gift. This would be cute for a teacher gift too. Or they could be your centerpieces for the kids table at Thanksgiving and they could eat them for dessert!
leaf cookies 2

I hope someone can find this helpful or fun!

Turkey Handprint Placecards

Last year I hosted Thanksgiving at my house. You have to understand the pressure I was under. You see both Ashleigh and her hubby are fabulous cooks. Normally I just put the turkey in the bag and call it good but I know how Dave hates a dry turkey so I had to brine that bird just to keep up with her.

Then I was a little stressed about the table decor. Ashleigh watches Martha. I watch other things but not Martha. That's a whole other post. Anyway, what's a girl to do to make the table look Martha/Ashleigh worthy? Have the kids make a project so if it turns out ugly, you can blame them. Hence, the standard handprint turkeys but they actually turned out cute and the table was somewhat redeemed. While your turkey is brining (or in a bag-it's ok with me), get out your patterned paper scraps and cut some leaves. Let the kids trace their hands on solid cardstock and glue an "L" shaped piece to the back to get it to stand up. Then go sneak a piece of pumpkin pie while the kids go to town gluing the leaves on and there ya go.

turkey hands

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Blast From Thanksgiving Past

I was just backing up old photos and I came across these beauties.

I thought these ideas were good ones that someone else might want to use.
Kathryn and I came up with some activities to keep the kids busy during the down time after the meal.

This one shows the paper bag "indian vests" the kids made.
indian vests

Paper bags are free and you just cut the front, and cut arm holes and a neck hole. Then turn them inside out so the plain side is showing.
You can't really tell in the pictures, but the kids colored on them to decorate them.

This idea came from family fun.
Corn cookies made with reese's pieces and fruit roll-ups.
corn cookies

These are chocolate tepees.
This picture isn't a great representation, but Kass dipped sugar cones in chocolate before hand.
Then they decorated with frosting and then they finished them off with three broken pretzel sticks on top.
choc tepees
tepee

A banner for November

After enjoying the pottery bard kids catalog, something on the back cover caught my eye.

I saw this cute banner above the table scape and after flipping through again, I realized it wasn't for sale.
It was just something in the background of the featured plates and stuff.

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I knew it wouldn't be hard to make somethin' like that. Plus I'm in love with felt after making Jenna's costume.
This is my version, only I forgot to buy the cute table, turkey hats and 47 bales of hay.
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The hardest part was finding good colors of felt.
I found this nice green in the more expensive felt section. It feels more sturdy so it was good for the base.

We cut the squares,
made our own leaf templates on cardstock,
traced and cut the leaves,
stitched the outside of the leaf
cut letters on the cricut out of cardstock,
traced and cut the letters,
I machine sewed the letters on, Kathryn hand stitched them on,
Then I hot glued the leaf onto the green so it wouldn't show through.
I finished it off with a rope from Home Depot.

Here's a close up:
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Here's Kathryn's banner... the fall decor makes it so much more enjoyable.
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She stitched veins in the leaves in addition to the outline of the leaves.
She also stitched around the green background which gives it a cute and more detailed look.
Here's the zoom:
thanks leaf

Can I just say this is typical of us. I usually go on the simple side (less stitching) because I have fears and anxieties about a busy or cluttered look. Kathryn is free thinking and just does it. She doesn't over-analyze or over-think, and it turns out great. Plus, I usually end up liking hers a little better. Oh well, they're both cute, right???

In the end it was $14.00 to make including the rope.
My guess is that if it was for sale in pottery barn kids, it would cost more.

Plus it was fun.

p.s. My current project is making a quilt for Kathryn's baby.
It's so hard to keep it a secret from her and I can't post it till the baby comes and I give it to her.

Cupcake Costume

My latest project was making my daughter a cupcake costume.

She fell in love with this one from pottery barn kids. I did too.
cupcake

I sadly would've paid the large sum of money they wanted for this pile of felt, but I didn't even have the chance.
It was sold out way before Halloween.

So, I looked on ebay. I saw one that was up to $250.00 and one that was up to $189.00!

The bidding was not over, people! I have to draw the line somewhere.

I really don't sew, but I decided to overestimate my sewing skills and give it a try.

I was pleased with the end result. Not exactly like the original,
but it resembles a cupcake, which was the goal.
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I wish I could post the step by step directions, but the fact is I made it up as I went along. I didn't even measure her body, I just guessed and cut, and when it was wrong, I trimmed a little here and there. Felt is very forgiving and easy to work with. My favorite part was the little cherry on top. It made me want to make a whole slew of felt food. In the end, it cost me about $20.00. Not bad! {I may list it on ebay next year and see if I could get anything out of it. (I sold my queen of hearts one for $60.00 last year).}

The best part was..... she love, love, loved it!
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