How is the new year treating you guys so far? I was never one for the whole new year's hype but I'm actually really excited for this year and fired up about hunting down some new goals. It's been super fun to read through everyone's new year goals in the comments of my last giveaway post! In the past I used to do a birthday goal list every year (this year would be 28 before 29), but I think this year I want to mix it up. I'd rather focus on one or two really big goals that I can work towards, maybe with smaller goals that are contributing to achieving those big ones, and then what I'm also excited about is challenging myself to do something new, or a little scary, something outside my comfort zone, at least once a week all year. It was funny because I was thinking about doing this in 2015 a couple weeks ago and when I got up to Alaska my mom told me about a book she read, I Dare Me, which is basically the same thing except she challenged herself to do 365 new things, not just 52. I think 52 sounds just right, and besides, I can always do more than 52! I think that making goals is much more practical than making resolutions, and maybe it's just the phrasing. "I want to do more yoga" is so much more ambiguous than, "I want to do yoga 3 times a week, every week this year." One is just more tangible and easy to conceptualize than the other. It gives you something concrete to focus on. I want to work on giving myself really clear goals. Not just "work towards XYZ," but "Do *thing* 3x a week to work towards XYZ." Do you have ambiguous resolutions? Go rewrite the in a more goal-oriented way and see if that helps you with actually achieving them!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
(recipe via chow)
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
1/2 medium yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 / Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2 / Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
3 / Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4 / When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
5 / Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
6 / Using a blender or immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with sour cream, herbs, or toasted pumpkin seeds.