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#PrayforParis

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Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

butternutsquashsoupWhat you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds whole butternut squash(about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable orchicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

 

What you’ll do:

Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.

Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.

 

recipe & photo via Chowhound

National S’More Day

Today is National S’More Day!

s_more_blueprint_by_billyjebens-d6hlopg

In celebration, here a few fun facts about S’mores:
The s’more “recipe” made its first appearance in the 1920′s as a Boy/Girl Scouts treat known as the Graham Cracker Sandwich.

An average of 2.1 million s’mores are eaten every summer

Currently, the world’s largest s’more made weighed 267 lbs, had 140 lbs of marshmallows, 90 lbs of chocolate, and 90 lbs of graham crackers. That one BIG s’more!

Summer 101: Grill Prep

 

colorful grillTime to clean off those grills! In preparation for the Fourth of July this weekend, here is everything you need to know in order to have your grill fired up and ready to go.

 

  • If you have an electric grill, make sure that all dials are in the off position.
  • Place in a Make a bucket or large pot of hot water mixed with dish soap.
  • Remove the grates and the metal plates under them.
  • With the grill brush, scrub the underside of the hood. If you see residue that looks like peeling paint is actually a harmless buildup of carbon from grease and smoke.
  • Use the grill brush to scrub the inside walls above the elements. Wipe the walls with a damp paper towel.
  • Remove the drip pan and turn it upside down over a trash can to empty it. Drop the pan into the bucket or large pot to soak.
  • Grab a few stainless-steel wipes and clean the grill’s exterior and the inside of the cabinet. For porcelain-coated, cast-iron, or ceramic grills, use a cotton cloth dampened with soapy water and follow with a dry cloth.

After this you should be all set to start grilling for your Independence Day weekend.

 

#LoveIsLove

Happy Pride everyone and cheers to marriage equality in the USA

June Rainbow banner

Summer 101: UV Index Apps

Ultraviolet

The Summer 101 series is back!

Kicking it off is the importance of knowing the daily UV Ray Index for your location. It’s important to know everyday want UV rays you will be facing, whether it’s a fun filled day at the beach or your daily commute to work.

One of the best apps we’ve found is UltraViolet ~ UV Index. You can find out UV Ray Index for your current location, or search different places.

BONUS: It’s Free!