Happy Friday, Y’all. Sending you lots of loungable, lazy, weekend love and a few choice nuggets from the inter webs.
“Do you re-men-bah…the twenty first niiiiight of Sep-tem-bah…” Does anyone else hear Earth, Wind & Fire right now?
Not only does month nine signal birthday time over here it also means the transition to Fall, my fave of seasons. Back in the day it also served up a new school year which meant reuniting with friends. My classroom days are long gone (as are the seasons) but I’ve been in LA since the start of summer and I’m excited to say that this month is all about reuniting with my No. Cal. besties.
I was feeling seriously nostalgic this weekend. I mean, seriously. Maybe it was the rain or maybe it’s that we’re nearing the end of September. I was just really missing a good, old-fashioned, Fall weekend. Like the ones that used to have me gallivanting around New England. Strolling through Russell Orchards with a bag of cider donuts in hand, on a blanket at the Head of the Charles and scooting off to New Hampshire to camp and hike in the leaves. California has a ton going for it but from September to November I want to wear cable knit and harvest things that go into pie.
Speaking of autumnal eats, one of my favorite fall meals was, and will forever be, a big bowl of soup with a loaf of crusty bread (insert glass of wine, here). During my early years in Boston a friend introduced me to the most delicious, pureed soup I’d ever had the pleasure of thoroughly enjoying. It was a very special Curried Butternut Squash Soup.
It was creamy but yet not. Complex but so simple. Hearty but not at all heavy. I quickly began making it for myself and for nearly everyone I knew. A rough eight years later it has been used to manipulate the hearts of boyfriends, fill my lunchbox and entertain on girl’s nights. Many girl’s nights. This soup is now firmly planted in my repertoire as one of my go to’s, a signature even. I’ve added a few personal touches such as the fried apple strips in this version. Occasionally I’ll add cinnamon or ginger or I’ll swap the apple for pear.
Another thing to be said is that this dish couldn’t be much better for you. Many pureed soups call for cream making them slightly heavy but the profile of this soup would be diluted with dairy as a base ingredient. Aside from my garnish this variety is pretty much all vegetables and fruit keeping the fat content low and flavor clean.
I’ve had a long love affair with this soup and can say that it’s best enjoyed with with a rustic loaf of bread, a cheese plate, your favorite bottle of wine and something chocolate to top it all off.
But summer is over you say? Hardly. Around these parts things are just heating up so to honor this wee bit of warm weather I decided to whip up a frozen treat. I typically would go for a heavy cream based something-or-other but after eating my face off on vacation I decided to live a little lighter and make a simple, vanilla yogurt.
The great thing about frozen yogurt is that can be pulled together lickedy banana split! There’s no need to let the custard chill for 24 hours before mixing. A little cooling and couple of spins in the maker and you’re done. This one goes from mixing bowl to belly in under 90 minutes.
From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)3 cups (720 g) plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%/nonfat but low or full fat would be delicious)
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix yogurt, sugar, and vanilla. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Oh Sunday. I love you so (insert sleeping in, day hikes and Extreme Home Makeover). But there’s no denying the inevitable Monday morning dread. Regardless of how I’m feeling on any given Sunday its loved and loathed arrival always means that it’s time to prep for another work week. A quick pass through my schedule helps me organize a few details. What days looks to be more challenging at the office? When will I work out? When can I see friends? And laundry, when will that happen? In addition to the bit of time management I also try to be mindful about my mid-week meals.
I love the yuletide season and for the past five years I’ve indulged by hosting a party to share it with friends. It’s become a tradition that I look forward to more each year. Along with my circle of close girlfriends, there always seems to be a special guest or two. Someone’s parents or friends visiting from out of town. There are a few recurring themes; some variety of sparkling cocktail, a new play on gift’ing and loads of butter in many fattening and fabulous forms. This year managed to deliver on all three rituals. Most fun was the manifestation of the butter in my first attempt at a Buche de Noel.