Friday, November 16, 2012

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

Joining Soulemama

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Taste of Tuesday: GF, SF, DF Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Mmmm... it's that time of year, when squash are abundant and the chill in the air makes me crave soup. 

Looks to me like the tree of life. 

The thing with squash is the cutting it up. I wrestled with this butternut for the better part of an hour with two dull knives (Though squash is known to give even the sharpest knife a run for it's money). I was so proud of myself though when the outcome was a delicious soup. But the very next night, I met Mara Jane King -- "Just put the whole squash in the oven on 400 until your kitchen smells delicious", she said. I couldn't be more thrilled as I have made this soup several more times since - and who cares that we don't have a sharp knife in the house. It's sooooo easy!!!

I found this beautiful recipe from Karina over at Gluten Free Goddess. My edits in red.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free Curried Butternut Squash


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2-3 teaspoons mild gluten-free curry powder
4 cups (diced) butternut squash 
4 to 6 cups light vegetable broth (or fresh water)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or raw agave nectar, to taste
½ to 1 cup coconut milk


Preheat oven to 400. Put whole butternut squash on a cookie sheet and cook until your kitchen smells delicious (45minutes to an hour). Take out of oven, let cool until you can easily peel off the skin. Scoop out seeds and such. Cut up. 
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and curry powder; stir and cook until the onion softens. Add the squash and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.

Simmer until the squash is very soft and fork tender- maybe 30 minutes. Because I cook the squash in the oven, I simmer for about 10 minutes to meld favors.  

Puree the soup with an immersion blender till smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and coconut milk. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Warm through gently and serve. Enjoy!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.
 Joining Soulemama

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nine: Halloween Edition

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

This weeks treasures and random musings are dedicated to Halloween. 

Some time ago, Avi had decided to be a black and white Kitty Cat for Halloween. Then, out of the blue, he announced he wanted to dress as a "Balloon Party" (we still are stumped where he even got this vocabulary). When he woke on Saturday, he wanted to be a Monkey and so dressed the part for our pal, Harrison's 1st birthday/halloween party. And between Saturday and Halloween, Avi juggled Kitty Cat, Trash Can (??), Balloon Party, and Monkey. Halloween morning he was back to the Kitty Cat. So, I finished my lecture, let my students out 15 minutes early, and raced home to get in front of the sewing machine before our nanny had to leave. I had about 30 minutes - and Voila - sometimes, it's all you need! Who cares if he is mistaken for a cow or skunk, he knew he was a Kitty Cat! (As I sit here and write this, Jenn is sweetly giving me some feedback about the round spots making it seem more cow and less cat... and if I had only...    I cut her off, smile sweetly and remind her that I had less than a half hour. He looked great)! I also texted my mom to tell her thanks for making my 3rd grade nun halloween costume the night before because I now understand how she was sure I would change my mind. A new insight as a parent!

A little bit of Halloween make-up makes the nose (which he rubbed off) and whiskers!

Now, if you remember from this post on the 1st of October, Avi's inspiration for his costume came from our neighbor's black and white cat named Boomer. Avi gets on his costume and a few minutes later who should appear? None other than Boomer.

 He was in the far corner of our backyard when Avi opened the door and said, "Boomer, I'm a kitty cat." Boomer, who is sometimes shy and stand-offish, leapt over the brown stalks that were once black-eyed-susans, ran through the grass, came up the stairs and right up to Avi...

...and into our home. Avi was in heaven! The boy and his inspiration!

 It wasn't long before Boomer was bounding up the stairs and into our bathroom shower. Avi was quick to follow.

 The two of them hung out for a bit in the shower and Boomer meowed up quite the conversation which Avi seemed to take in without hesitation. Maybe some pointers on being a feline?!

Avi showed off his tail to Boomer before we led him back downstairs to head outside.

Soon we noticed yet another friend outside. Avi joined Forrest in his kitty cat ways out on the deck. Who knew our son was the cat whisperer.

And finally an evening of trick-or-treating* with our neighbors, Carter, the monkey and his baby sister, Kate, dressed as a bear (who isn't in the picture because she was being worn by her mama). These boys had quite the night!

*A note on trick-or-treating: I struggle with the whole candy aspect of Halloween -- partially hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and sugar. Avi still doesn't completely know what candy is. He knows about chocolate and knows he can have it when he is older. So in effort to keep Halloween from becoming this candy focused holiday, we brought along Lara Bars and other healthier snacks to sneak to the eager candy givers to give to Avi. This lasted for a few homes, but seeing his friend get to pick candy, Avi wanted to as well. In comes the wonderful story of the Sugar Sprite. I came across this idea from other bloggers (sorry, I don't remember who and where). Children collect candy on Halloween and leave it by their bed. The Sugar Sprite comes in the night and takes the candy leaving behind another small gift (stickers, for example) as a thank you. Then the Sugar Sprite uses all that sweetness to sprinkle into kiddos dreams - keeping their dreams sweet. I love this. The Sugar Sprite was mildly introduced to Avi this year... but we will definitely be continuing with this tradition!!  

I wonder how you all handle Halloween.