Saturday, November 10, 2012

Feels like FALL

Fall is finally here in Florida - crisp winds and perfectly warm days with cool, chilly nights make you want to grab a big bowl of hot, savory soup and curl up with a good book or movie.

That's what I was feeling when I purchased the ol' fall favorite: butternut squash and had a plan to make some super comforting soup. Usually I go with a twist of either apple sauce or roasted pears, a pinch of cumin, cinnamon and nutmeg, but this time I decided to do something a little different ... why not add everyone's favorite pork: BACON?!
And along with my usual pinch of cumin, I decided to kick up the flavor profile a bit and add some Indian spices such as coriander, curry powder and tumeric! Oh, the savory goodness that resulted was amazing!!

You can check out the full recipe for my Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup here - and follow the step-by-step picture instructions from de-seeding and roasting the butternut squash, to perfectly incorporating those tasty Indian spices, to topping the creamy, rich soup with more bacon!

Since my last post, we also took part in another typical fall pastime, Pumpkin Carving! I had a hard time choosing between a fat, round pumpkin and tall, skinny pumpkin, so I ended up with both! I ended up choosing the fatter pumpkin to carve and saved the tall one with the awesome stem as added Halloween "decoration" for the yard.

Of course, I couldn't let all those pumpkin seeds go to waste, I scooped and rinsed them of their sliminess and planned to bake them. I read somewhere that it is better to boil them first; that way they become totally crisp without the burnt flavor - since my last few batches had ended up super tasty, however a little chewy, I decided to try this new method out.

Salty-Sweet Pumpkin Seeds:
  1. Rinse the seeds of all their gunk - try using a colander. Boil some water and place the clean seeds in and let boil for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. 
  2.  Place all seeds evenly on a baking sheet and toss in olive oil until just coated.
  3. Season: Sprinkle equal amounts of sugar, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, garlic, onion powder and curry powder. Toss until evenly coated.
  4. Place in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes, tossing half way through baking. 
  5. Once done, pull out and let cool completely. Store in zip-tight baggies.

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather - until next time! ;)

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