Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let the Cooking Begin!

My head has been in a whirl for the last few weeks.  So much to plan!  So little time!  So much time... with in-laws!!  But I'm starting to get things checked off my "Thoughts in My Head" list, and it feels really good.  The most recent thing I checked off that list?  Cooking for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Our family is celebrating the holidays with Nate's family this year, at a rental house on the beach.  We thought some neutral territory (and more bedrooms) would help all of us relax a little and actually enjoy each other this year.  So we're headed to Delaware! 

So of course, trying to plan a relaxing weekend means I need to do a little more prep work in advance, which is less relaxing... Ironic.  But it also means that I got to start cooking some of my favorite foods last night.  Oh!  So yummy!  The house was filled with the smell of Thanksgiving and Fall last night as I baked and scooped and blended and whipped.  And of course nothing is actually made per se, but everything is started.

Sherry Sweet Potatoes:  These sherry sweet potatoes are a family tradition on my side.  It mostly involved my grandmother adding too much sherry to the potatoes, and probably drinking more than her fair share in the process.  They were... a little too drunk for me as a child.  Turns out they are delicious when made with the correct amount of sherry!

Corn Casserole:  Ok, so I did nothing to prep this yummy side dish last night, besides actually buying the corn, cheese and pimentos.  But I have the ingredients!  I can whip this up very quickly Thanksgiving day. 

Squash Soup:  Can you believe it?  I don't have the recipe for this typed up yet!  So easy, so I'm sharing it here!



2-lb butternut squash (medium)
1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup cream or milk
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 

Peel squash and remove seeds.
Cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks and set aside.
Add oil to 4-quart saucepan and place over medium heat.
Add onion, celery, carrot, and rosemary
Cook until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionaly, about 15 minutes.
Add squash, stock and 1 cup water.
Bring to a boil
Reduce to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and let soup cool slightly, about 8 minutes.

Using a blender or processor, puree soup in batches until smooth.
Transfer to a clean pot or storage container.
**Can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

When ready to serve, reheat.
Add milk, salt and pepper; stir well.
Add additional milk or stock  if soup is too thick.
Simmer 5 minutes.
Serve warm.

Doesn't get much easier than that!  Happy Thanksgiving, friends!