Monday, October 31, 2011

Poncho, Poncho

I love the way ponchos look...on everyone else.
But every time I put one on I feel like I can't quite get it right.
Hence I have had this poncho for 4 years and couldn't figure out how to wear it:
So I decided to just call a spade a spade, I cannot wear ponchos.
So I made it in to a sweater!

Step 1: Remove cowl neck, veeeery carefully so the neck hem remains in tact.
Step 2 Put poncho on inside out, and pin where you have to sew to make sleeves.
Step 3: Sew the sleeve seam, then carefully cut along it
Step 4: Sew the seam closed that will now be the body of the sweater on both sides.
Step 5: Turn right side out.
I added a Step 6: Sew fabric to pockets because I had this fun fabric and loved it.
And if you have a two year old girl I recommend Step 7, which is sew a piece of fabric around the bottom of the cowl neck, insert elastic, new skirt!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Diva in Training"

At my little cherubs weekly sing a long today there was a girl with a shirt that said "Diva in Training".
There are many, many things that I wanted to say to her mother but I didn't because I was trying to stay in the confines of polite society and I was too busy moving Belle away from that girl lest she inadvertently become friends with her.

Following is a small rant of the things that are wrong with calling your daughter a "Diva in Training".
Self-confidence is wonderful, all little girls should have it, we should all do our best to teach our girls to be proud of who they are.
Self-importance is something entirely different. It is a horrific attitude that basically amounts to "I'm better than you, more important than you, and you should do stuff for me". This is dismal behavior in an adult, in a child it's so grotesque that it inspires a physical reaction in me, blood pressure rises, and I find myself wanting to assault the parents who cultivated that attitude.
I imagine that these Diva-children end up being the kind of self-absorbed horror shows that expect people to hold umbrellas for them (I'm looking at you Beyonce), who want people to see them work out in high heels (I'm looking at you Mariah), and who think that all the rules of society apply to everyone but them including silly little things like laws (Paris Hilton, your turn to get the evil eye).

But, the thing that really bothers me the MOST about a mother being proud that she has a "Diva in Training" is that this poor child is going to grow up without knowing the joy of what it means to help your fellow man.

I know that probably sounds a bit extreme, but it is this kind of attitude cultivated at a young age that causes children to lose their innate abilities of empathy, caring and compassion. If this little girl starts out now thinking that others are meant to serve her will she ever know what it means to serve others? To make a meal for someone, to help a friend, to give a stranger change for the parking meter, to hold a door open for a woman who has an arm full of groceries, to assist an elderly person in the grocery store.

It is time that we stopped teaching children that they are the only important thing in the world, that there needs come before anyone else's. It is not only severely detrimental to them, but to the vast majority of our future society if we continue to cultivate Divas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

This summer I was fortunate enough to stumble across a cinnamon roll recipe that I have had since probably 2002 or so. It was from Vegetarian Times magazine, and I remember ripping it out and thinking "Wow, that's the only cinnamon roll recipe that has ever seemed easy enough for me to actually try making".
Apparently after saying that I never made it.
Until this summer.
And they are in face glorious, and easy cinnamon rolls.
However, since it's fall, I had to do them up Autumn-Style!

Honestly, at the moment I don't have the energy to type out the whole recipe, I promise I'll update that part soon.
But the important part is:
If you're making cinnamon rolls with any recipe, even pop-open-the-can, you can make the delicious pumpkin frosting that really makes these special.

Whisk together:
2 Tbsp canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
Spread over the rolls while they're still warm after they come out of the oven.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gratuitous Outfit Shots

Ok, it's official.
I need a new location for my outfit shots.
I hate them.
They look so posed and ridiculous. Suggestions please!!

But I will share these with you because I love the outfit I wore today to showcase my zebra heels!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Butter...aka Stepha's Seven

I love my friends, I really do.
Until they do something evil like post a picture of Land O Lakes new Cinnamon Sugar Butter on their Facebook pages.
Then, I kind of hate them.
I present to you a super easy recipe to make the butter at home, with ingredients I bet you already have in the pantry.
I'm titling this recipe, Stepha's Seven in honor of the approximately 7 pounds I expect to gain this week from the butter.

In a bowl stir together:
1/2 stick of butter, softened (room temperature, not out on the counter for 5 minutes)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
Mix it all together in the bowl using a regular metal spoon. You can try to get fancy and use silicone or some other snazzy utensil but it won't work as well as a regular soup spoon, because you can smush it, and meld it, and beat the bejesus out of the butter. Don't get fancy.

Yes, it tastes just like the butter at Texas Roadhouse.
Of course, I also had to make a batch of pumpkin muffins to go with this, which incidentally I highly recommend, great combo! Since the teaspoon of olive oil really makes this spreadable you don't abuse the muffin at all.
I also plan on mixing it in to some roasted sweet potatoes, and maybe trying it on a grilled cheese filled with brie and apple slices.

Stepha, I love you.....and I hate you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Purple and white Zebra print shoes DIY!

The inspiration for this came from Pinterest, where I feel like 90% of my inspiration as of late has come from!
A friend tagged this fantastic pair of zebra shoes and I knew that it was a DIY waiting to happen.
First, I had these horrendous white pumps in my closet, I know, I know, why? If for some reason you don't have a shoe travesty of this nature lurking in the back of your closet I bet you can get them REAL cheap at a thrift store:

Step 1: I took painters tape and ripped it. I think that this is key. Most zebra print shoes are on dyed on to calfskin or a similar (albeit synthetic) material to make them look more like "hide". This cuts back on the super clean lines that could make zebra look like striped, which is not what you want. Painters tape (it turns out) tears in a really great asymmetrical way giving exactly the right look. I did NOT push down on my tape too hard on purpose, I wanted some random bleeding to soften the edges and give more of a water color look to the shoes. If this is not your style, then push hard on the tape to make sure it gives you a clean line.
Here is the taped off shoe:

Next I used acrylic paint (I prefer Martha Stewart's all purpose acrylic in this case I used the Pearl finish for a little shimmer), and painted two coats on the shoe. I would have gone with black for a more traditional look except I don't wear a lot of black, I wear a lot of grey, brown, green etc. Believe it or not I will get more wear from a purple shoe.
I only let the second coat dry for 15 minutes before removing the tape because I didn't want to fight the "dry-paint-clinging-to-tape" battle.
And Voila!
They aren't perfect, but I like them that way. Truly, if the water color trend wasn't in I might have done a touch up to sharpen them but I like the softer lines personally.

Outfit post coming Tuesday! I'm wearing these bad boys to WORK!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wonderful Bookstore

I was given an amazing opportunity today.
8 Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, MA hosted a local authors day with 24 authors represented.
It was absolutely packed to the gills, and an enormously wonderful experience.
Sure, we only sold one book.
Oh wait, I've never mentioned my book on here so just a touch of background, I wrote a children's book that my aunt was kind of enough to illustrate, titled Bellerina.
You can visit our website here if you're so inclined, and this is one of the lovely sketches:
So back to today, we only sold one book but I had so many lovely conversations with wonderful people who were genuinely nice, and informative.
I got some amazing tips from a guy who has written four adult novels on how to get moving with mine, and what to do about organization and follow through.
All in all I left there a few business cards shorter, and a thousand thoughts richer.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Alphabet Soup

Ok, so I unfortunately don't have my camera down the Cape with me at my grandfather's house so I can't do a picture of this...but if we have leftovers I will take one later to try to give a visual.
I made tomato soup tonight, super easy:
Sautee half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1 small can of tomato paste and 1 quart of vegetable stock.
Bring to a boil, let simmer for about 10 minutes.
I use a hand held blender to make it smooth because my daughter won't eat it if she sees chunks of tomato. She's on of those kids who eats with her eyes.
Tonight I decided to add some alphabet pasta to the soup to make it a little fun for her.
Apparently I have never cooked with this stuff, though I have very fond memories of alphabet in my chicken soup as a kid.
I poured in about 1/3 of the box, and it basically took over the soup. It was huge, and unwieldy, and impossible to get a bit of soup without Supercalafragilistic in it.
I mean, it was still good soup, but it was way heavier on the pasta than I intended.
Any tips???

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Take THAT wheat bread!

Ok, so, let me start this by saying, this is still not 100% the way that I want my wheat bread to come out.
I think I got a little too excited on the second rise and rushed things a teeny bit, it said 1-2 hours and I stopped promptly at 1 hour.
But, I did get a good crumb, relatively fluffy, though not as tall as desired, loaf of wheat bread that for the first time ever did NOT weigh 85.6 pounds. This loaf of bread could not kill a man, major accomplishment.
I started with this recipe, from King Arthur Flour, which has truly never failed me on a recipe, their testers must be working overtime because they crank out some amazing stuff!
I did make a few substitutions and changes (of course), first I couldn't find Baker's Special Dry Milk anywhere so I omitted it and I'm going to order it from the website.
Second, I only used 3 cups of flour, it didn't need the extra 1/2 cup for me, and I replaced 1/2 cup of the flour with bread flour to make it a little easier to knead.
Third, took the advice of the commenters on the website and added 3 tsps of vital wheat gluten, which is pretty much going in every loaf of bread I make now, because it was awesome-blossom.
This made fabulously crunchy grilled cheeses but still maintained the soft interior, I used a cheddar with scallions and shallots in it from Trader Joes that is amazing. And the husbando made us his famous Caesar salad, adapted from his father's even more famous recipe, and we threw some roasted tomatoes in there for a change of pace.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apples + Cheddar + Dijon dressing = Perfect salad!

I love salad.
No, really.
I'm one of those weirdos who actually looks forward to having a salad, who craves one not because I feel guilty about a weekend bender, but because I genuinely love greens and veggies.
Especially in delightful combinations like an apple, cheddar salad.
I put this on iceberg, yes I know iceberg is like the bastard child of lettuces to most health nuts, but for this salad it's perfect. Crispy, super crunchy, lets the subtle apple and cheese tastes shine through.
And I slice some red onion on mine because frankly I could eat red onions all day every day but the husbando disapproves.

But what REALLY makes the salad is the dressing!
Combine 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of honey, a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Makes the perfect amount for two delectable salads, and a good way to get rid of your apples from the orchard without making another pie (you know who you are).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

House Party Pack arrived!!

I received an email from Shutterfly (which FYI I do always open because they are constantly having great sales or offering a free photobook or something), and it was a link up to a website I had never heard of, House Party.
So I went on, and they were accepting applications to host a party for Shutterfly and get a free photobook and greeting cards for each of your guests.
And at first I thought, wow, Shutterfly got hacked by this random creepy website.
But no, no.
Turns out I had just been under a rock and didn't know that this was like the genius of guerilla marketing for the 21st century.
They connect companies to the market most likely to use their product, then have people host parties Avon-style and give everyone who attends free stuff.
Yes, my guests will still have to pay for shipping and handling, but truthfully, it's a free hard cover 8x8 photobook from a company I have used many times and actually genuinely like their system.
This is a freaking-fracking win-win kids!
I'm in love and I'm hoping to host plenty more parties!
So here are some random, smiley, gratuitous photos of me opening my "Party Pack"!
The party is on 11/5, and I fully intend to post pictures of it because I already have fun stuff planned, like creating a tapas table and calling them "Food Snapshots"! Puns rule.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sally Hansen Fearless Fig

You can thank me later.
Sally Hansen Fearless Fig is probably the most perfect fall nail color ever. It's that hard to get blend of slate and gray and a little purple. I'm in love.
I almost NEVER paint my nails, here are the many reasons why:
1. I have a 2 year old.
2. I have never been able to bring myself to buy gloves for dishwashing, I know it would save my nails but it's also admitting that I spend that much time doing dishes. The purchase just feels like defeat.
3. If I'm not chasing after a 2 year old it's because I'm typing, very polish detrimental.
4. I don't have an artistic bone in my body and the simple task of putting two coats and a top coat on takes about 45 minutes and minimum 6 q-tips to clear around the edges (please note I obviously missed this step on my pinkie when you see the picture).
5. I have a 2 year old.

But when I saw this color I couldn't resist. I wore it to the party Saturday, then had to reapply 1 coat and a top coat today (yes, 2 days later) because I'm going to work tomorrow and I like to pretend that I'm not a total disaster when I'm there.
So go seek out the color! And this will probably be the last time you see anything nail related on this blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The written word

I am blessed to still have my grandfather here to talk to, to laugh with, to watch while he plays with my two year old daughter.
Friday night the husbando and I were over his house, our daughter was in bed and we were all sitting around reading, and for some reason at that moment I felt an inexplicable connection to him.
We weren't having a deep conversation, we weren't even talking, we were sitting in complete silence next to each other peacefully reading our own books.
But there was something about that action, about the simultaneous deep enjoyment of the written word that felt like a very profound connection.
We have always shared a love of reading, I blame him for my drive to finish a book, even when it's 2:30 in the morning and I know I should just put it down and finish it the next day, I can't. I have to finish a really good story (and sometimes even a mediocre one), or I can't rest.
Though we always share our thoughts on books, and we give each other plenty of recommendations (admittedly my last 3 suggestions for him have been total busts because he hated them), I have never felt our shared passion in the same way that I did Friday night.
Maybe it's because we were in silence, each happily pursuing some far off land, some word shaped dream.
It is a feeling I will never forget, and I'm exceedingly grateful that I had the chance to experience it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Night out!

There is a silver lining to turning 30...all my friends are too and that means PARTIES!
Lots of parties, where I get to be semi-dressed up, laugh, joke and stay up way later than I have in years.
This is what I wore to a friend's party, complete with a DIY necklace that was super easy and ridiculously cheap.

And yes those are gray jeggings. I'm not sure yet how I feel about jeggings in general, but I can tell you I love how they stay in the boots with no retucking all night.

To make the necklace you need 1 foot of chain (mine was a whopping $0.24 at Lowes), ribbon (the length you want your necklace to be plus enough to tie it, PLUS 2 inches to make up for knot tying), and leftover fabric for making small fabric rosettes.
Step 1: Knot the ribbon to the chain, thread the ribbon through the chain and tie it at the other end.

Step 2: Make fabric rosettes by cutting a one inch wide piece of fabric about a foot long and twisting it until it rolls in on itself and wraps up. Hot glue flowers to the ribbon.

Step 3: Tie it on.

My hair is uber-frizzy in this post and I contemplated photoshopping it a bit but I've decided that is just not my style. I'm writing this blog because I like sharing, not because I want to look perfect. That's just silly.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Every time I finish packing for my little one I think I've forgotten something.
Pajamas, undies, toothbrush, something!
I check and recheck and it drives me virtually bananas but usually it's totally fine!

Except that one time in the dead of winter when I forgot to pack her socks.

But this time, this time I'm sure that I have everything! Oh wait...better go double check.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sweater Pumpkins!

I had a sad, sad sweater, she's been sitting in the back of my winter drawer for an incalculable amount of time.
This is her before picture, covered in pills and pathetically downtrodden:

Four steps later she is now two fun pumpkin decorations!

Step 1: Cut off sleeves of sweater up to the elbow.

Step 2: Turn sleeves inside out and sew the cut end together in a gather:

Step 3: Stuff the sleeves with either the leftover sweater or filler until they are a nice round pumpkin shape, leaving about 2-3 inches at the top by the wristband. I used the leftover sweater for two reasons. The first being that I couldn't wear that thing out in public again, the second being that I could stretch the sweater material really far without showing my filling since it's all the same color.

Step 4: Twist the wristband up and tie off with twine, then wrap the twine around creating a pattern of grooves on the pumpkin.


I love the way these look on the once empty shelf in my kitchen, and they are "fall neutral" enough that they can stay up through Thanksgiving.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eat your heart out Starbucks...I'm saving my $4!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
Sweet Perfection.
Horrifically expensive.

So, I researched pumpkin spice syrups, found a boat load of options and then tweaked them all a little to come up with this:

Melt 1 cup of sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water over low/medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Whisk in:
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/5 tsp nutmeg
1 1/5 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp canned pumpkin

Cook over low/medium heat, whisking constantly for 3-5 minutes. Do not let it get to boiling point, and do not overcook it. This bad boy will turn in to a gelatinous mess of pumpkin goo if you do.
After you cook it let it rest for 5 minutes then begin straining (waiting longer and allowing it to fully cool with make it harder to strain).
I highly recommend using cheese cloth and straining in to a glass measuring cup where you can let it cool the remainder of the way before transferring to whatever container you're going to store it in.
Unfortunately I did not have cheesecloth. The don't-want-to-leave-the-house-to-buy-a-necessary-element-of-the-recipe version is this:

Yes, that is a paper towel masking taped to my measuring cup. No, I do not recommend it. It takes forever and the paper towel clogs easily to you have to keep spooning it out or replacing it.
That said, it still came out beautiful, smells delicious, and this will be an addition to my coffee tomorrow morning. Annnnnd probably almost every morning until December, when I will switch it to gingerbread syrup.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Drawing a blank!

So on a "just looking" trip through IKEA on Saturday the husbando spotted an awesome find for the wall in our kitchen.
We've been wanting something a little more "country" but also functional because we have nearly zero cabinet and counter space.
So we came home with this, which we both really like:

Wow my wall is not that shiny in real life FYI.
The problem is that now I'm drawing a total blank on what to put in it. I like the little spice jars and intend to actually transfer my spices to them probably tomorrow.
I know that I want to hang mismatched vintage tea cups from the hooks (plan on asking my grampa what he has laying around this weekend), but other than that I literally have no ideas.
Do I put some of my big platters in the plate section?
Jars of dry goods like rice?
A goldfish?

Monday, October 10, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Tonight's dinner was decidedly divided.
First, the good news, homemade honey mustard makes a wonderful "wet" portion of a dredge for turkey cutlets.
Just mix up 1/8 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard and a splash of heavy cream, and use in place of eggs before coating the cutlets in breadcrumbs. I highly recommend a whisk for this because the honey is a little resistant to co-mingling.
I baked the turkey cutlets at 375 for 10 minutes (they were super thin), and they came out crispy and delicious.
Now for the bad news.
I thought I was having a moment of inspired genius. With one potato left in the house I decided, creamy yogurt potatoes, that's what I want for a side dish. I add plain yogurt to mashed potatoes and its delicious, I bake Tandoori chicken in plain yogurt with spices, why not combine the two?
So I confidently stirred the diced potato, about a cup of plain yogurt, scallions and parsley together. I loaded it in to a dish and put it in the oven with the cutlets.
The yogurt did this weird separation thing, the parsley was totally overwhelming, and the whole thing was just a mess. So in to the trash it went:
My husband was even a good sport enough to try closing his eyes, thinking maybe the visual was making it worse, but alas.
You can't win them all!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shoe Rescue

Ever have a pair of shoes that just never seem to work?
I bought these delightful red patent leather, peep toe, big platform beauties about 4 years ago. I was convinced that I was going to wear these with every outfit in my closet.
I've worn them twice.
Why? Because I can't reconcile the shiny patent red and the much more casual wooden heel and platform. Every time I go to put them on with a casual outfit I think "The shiny red is too dressy", and every time I go to wear them with a dressy outfit I think "Wow, the wooden heel really makes this too casual".
We were therefore at an impasse.
Until I thought of two key ingredients that could make these shoes fabulous:
1. Mod Podge
2. Glitter
Because truly, what can't Mod Podge and Glitter solve? WWIII, I'm going to suggest a glitter party.
I taped the shoes off with painters tape to keep clean lines:
Then I mixed a little bit of glitter in with the Mod Podge to give it some weight, used a fine paintbrush to paint a layer of Mod Podge on and liberally sprinkled with super fine glitter. I recommend springing for the fashion glitter, it's super fine and durable.
Please note that while this is a super cheap way to fancy up a pair of shoes it makes a MASSIVE mess. Though I suppose for one learned in the glitter arts it may not get as ugly:
And so I haven't cleaned off the excess glitter yet because they're still drying and I don't want to disturb them but this is basically how they look, expect an outfit post soon!
All those glitter scientists out there, I was thinking I should spray these with a decoupage sealant....thoughts on that? What should I use?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Culinary Delights

Today was a day of culinary delights, and though I don't have any pictures, I can't refrain from bragging. Because 2 of the 3 meals I ate today were cooked by SOMEONE ELSE! This is a virtually unheard of occurrence.
A delicious broccoli and garlic omelette made by the husbando, OUT for dinner which is such a rare event that it feels like a solar eclipse, and ice cream at Peaceful Meadows.
I'm not thrilled with my eating decisions today because I strive to be healthy and I had a bit of a weight gain situation since I was in several wedding this summer that inevitably involved lots of good food and drinking. However, I'm trying to be far more reasonable about this.
I know that one day of indulging myself is not going to cause a 5 pound weight gain, and I have to lighten up a little!

So, Im' going to embrace that mentality and go pop open a Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.
The only beer more glorious than their 90 minute IPA.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Old yoga mat gathering dust?

Ok, I am in the kitchen constantly.
Not just because I have to, between dishes, and two year old snack times (aka every 15 minutes), but because I love to.
I love to bake bread, knead it by hand, spend time slowly whisking a homemade pudding, delicately chopping vegetables for stew, all of it is delightfully satisfying to me.
So naturally I've been lusting over those kitchen gel mats that I see everywhere, in Better Homes and Gardens, running rampant on Food Network, they just look so delicious for my feet and back.
But reality check, they are $60 for a teeny one and that's just not a realistic purchase for my household right now.
Therefore I bring you the equally fantastic and squishy option: Using an old yoga mat.
Whether you're a faithful yogini who has an old mat lying around with a few tears that you can't seem to part with, or someone who thought they were going to do yoga and never got in to it I know MANY people with yoga mats that are collecting dust in the living room right now.
You know who you are.
I had this wonderful pilates mat that had a tear in it but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to throw away, now I know why.
Step 1: Take your kitchen mat
Step 2: Lay your kitchen mat over your unused yoga mat and trace it
Step 3: Cut out the shape, minus about 1/4" so the yoga mat is slightly smaller than your kitchen mat
Step 4: Lay your kitchen mat over a neutral fabric, trace and cut it out to the same size
Step 5: Sew the kitchen mat and your extra fabric together, right sides facing each other (you're basically making a pillow case for your yoga mat)
Step 6: Turn right-sides out and insert yoga mat
There it is, a super cheap alternative that is equally squishy and delightful for your feet and back!
A few tips:
1.This is a pilates mat so it's about 3/4" thick, if you're using a standard yoga mat I would just cut two pieces out and stack them inside the pillow case.
2. I used a stretchy material on the back so that the mat would easily slide in, if you don't have a stretchy fabric just cut it about 1/4" larger than your kitchen mat so you're not fighting to shove the yoga mat inside.
3. I sewed a piece of rubber kitchen shelf liner to the back of the mat cover so it wouldn't slip when I stood on it, if your fabric is slippery I recommend the same.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup...Fall Goodness

Everything great about autumn rolled in to one delicious soup (if I do say so myself).
There are many versions of this out there, this one is a Frankenstein of my favorite soups, plus some of my own touches.
Please note, that while I am normally obsessive about buying ingredients in the least expensive way, I refuse to cut a butternut squash because frankly my knives aren't sharp enough and I like all of my limbs so I spring for the pre-cut stuff.
Also, I think that the quality of your ingredients is key, I'm addicted to the apple cider from Honey Pot Hill Farms in Stow, MA and I cannot recommend it enough. It is unpasturized so it only lasts a week, which was part of the inspiration for this soup.

1 package of cubed butternut squash
Olive Oil for coating
2 Tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 normal sized apples (only 1 if it's the size of a softball), diced
1 cup apple cider
32 ounces vegetable broth
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Sour Cream to garnish

Preheat your oven to 375, coat butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt
Roast for 30 minutes
When done remove from oven and set aside
Melt butter over medium heat (you could brown the butter but I inevitable burn so I didn't)
When butter is melted add onion and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally
Add apple and cook an additional 3 minutes
Stir in butternut squash and apple cider
Let simmer for 5 minutes
Add vegetable broth and splash of vinegar
Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover and cook an additional 8-10 minutes
Puree soup with a handheld mixer or in batches in a food processor
Serve with sour cream, add about a tablespoon to each cup of soup (don't overdo it on the sour cream or you'll kill it, but don't omit this or you'll have too sweet of a soup, hows that for directions?)
I served mine with focaccia from King Arthur Flour's website (more on this at a later date). The recipe can be found here, the only change I made was subbing 1/3 of the AP flour for bread flour. It's the first time I've made this recipe and I will definitely be repeating it. In fact, I will be using the leftovers to make pizza tomorrow night!
PS My 2 year old daughter loved this recipe and kept calling it apple sauce soup, so it's a multi-generational hit!