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Listing all posts from December of 2012. Show all posts.
  1. Kabocha Apricot Soup
    serves 6
     
    What could be a better treat than a squash puree soup on a chilly autumn day? Although the
    original recipe calls for kabocha squash, any winter squash or pumpkin can be used. The dried
    apricots add a little twist of sweet and tart and a hint of sophistication.
     
    1 kabocha squash, about 2 pounds (1 kg), cut into quarters, seeds and fibrous parts removed
    4 cups (1 l) water
    1 onion, cut into wedges
    12 dried apricots, cut into halves
    1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, sliced
    1 tablespoon butter
    salt and pepper
    2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
     
    1 Place the squash in a steamer basket inserted into a large pot. Add 3 cups (750 ml) of the
    water and steam for 20 minutes. Reserve the cooking water. Place the cooked squash onto
    a plate to cool. Use a spoon to scrape the meat from the peel.
     
    2 Boil the onion, apricots and ginger in the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of water for
    10 minutes.
     
    3 Combine the squash with the onion mixture. In batches, pour into a blender or food
    processor and puree, adding some of the reserved squash cooking water for a smooth
    blend.
     
    4 Return the puree to the pot. Add the butter and bring to a boil. Add more cooking water if
    the soup is very thick. Add salt and pepper to taste
     
    Pour into soup plates and garnish with chopped scallions.
     
    ENJOY!
  2. The holidays are upon us
    and here are 5 ways to SIMPLIFY – your holiday survival guide:
     
    1 – Identify what YOU want to get out of the holiday season – it might not be the traditional holiday fare
    - Maybe you would like to spend some quality time with a special person – just the two of you
    - Maybe you would like to treat yourself to a lovely spa treatment
    - Maybe you would like to spend some time alone, to reflect and recharge
    - Maybe you would love to catch up on sleep …
     
    2 – Plan
    - You know you are going to get busy, so if you do not put your wants into your calendar now, it’s not going to happen!
    - Line up your helpers – delegate responsibilities -– you do not need to do it all alone
    - Take care of things way ahead of time – less frenzy in the end
     
    3 – Tune in to nature’s rhythm and SLOW DOWN
    - at the buffet
    - alcohol consumption – alternate water with wine
    - eating - take breaks between bites – breathe, converse, smile
    - and chew – really savor your food – this way less is more
    - sweets consumption – let quality rule over quantity – prefer homemade over factory production
     
    4 – Reduce
    - Spending – make a budget and stick to it
    - Presents – agree to draw a name among family members and give a gift to just one person
    - Carbon foot print – buy green, buy local
     
    5 – Enjoy
    - have your sense of humor with you at all times
    - be yourself
    - be forgiving
    - go with the flow
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