FEAST! part I

I know you have all been dying to hear what I decided to make for my "in over my head" dinner party. I decided to just make a really simple, easy, quick meal...

-crustinis with balsamic reduced shallots and goat cheese

-butternut squash soup

-lobster cob salad

-linguini with a garlic butter cream sauce, asparagus, mushrooms and caramelized onions

-herb marinated pork tenderloin.


Ok, I might be slightly rediculous. Just slightly. Lucky for me my lovely boyfriend went to the store for me. This is the picture I received while still at work...

One of the best parts about this whole learning to cook thing is getting to play with all the crazy new ingredients. Every family has their staples and often times we go a majority of our lives with out trying a lot of really awesome foods. My mother was always a really great cook but she cooked what she liked. Pork and butternut squash were things I never ever had. Good god was I missing out!

I love love love Halloween. Ok... this might seam off topic. But don't worry, I swear I'm going to tie it together. Promise.

I love Halloween. I make crazy costumes, and carve pumpkins and hand out candy. I seriously enjoy this holiday. Or any other reason to get dressed up. Basically, I go all out. And here is some proof... homemade loofa costumes.

Ok... here it comes. The tie in. I love Halloween, but there are few things I hate more then cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin!!! It's gross. And slimy. And takes forever. Well guess what is just like cleaning out a pumpkin? Cleaning out butternut squash. I should have anticipated this since ya know... they are related and all. But for whatever reason. I didn't. Serious downer.

You know what though? For some reason, I found joy in it. Joy in knowing that i was going to clean that squash. And cut up that squash and make a delicious soup that the people I love would really enjoy.

Finding joy in life's most slimy, gross, time consuming tasks.

Love and Beer floats

P.S. What does this remind you of???

Butternut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 to 8 cups)
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter and oil and melt together over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the squash and the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat.