𝑳𝑬𝑨𝑽𝑬 𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑳𝑬𝑨𝑽𝑬𝑺!
“𝑩𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒃𝒊𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒅𝒆𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒇 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓. 𝑶𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒎𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒉𝒔, 𝒃𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒔 𝒂𝒔 𝒑𝒖𝒑𝒂 𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒑𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒓 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒇 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓. 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒓𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒖𝒑, 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒑𝒖𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒃𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔. 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒇 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓, 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒍𝒔𝒐 𝒅𝒓𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒃𝒊𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒐𝒇𝒇𝒔𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈.”
Kabocha or Carnival squash is a Japanese pumpkin. It’s sweeter than most squash or regular pumpkins. The skin is edible once it’s roasted. Kabocha contains iron, fiber, vitamins A, C, B and is lower in carbohydrates than other squash or pumpkins.
You’ll need a cleaver knife and carefully slice it by safely rocking the knife, this is a difficult squash to cut, so take your time. You can also poke the squash with a fork and microwave for 4 minutes to soften it for slicing. It can be baked whole for 15 minutes to soften for slicing too. Once the squash is sliced in half, spoon out the seeds. Slice each half into 4 pieces. The seeds can be saved and planted in your garden next year.
Place the squash on a foil or parchment lined baking tray. Brush the squash with melted coconut oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper or salt and ground cinnamon on each piece.
Roast at 400F for 35 minutes or until fork tender.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a cleaver (it helps if you have a rubber mallet as well) to cut the kabocha squash half into a few large pieces. Scoop out the seeds and save them to roast like pumpkin seeds! and scoop out the stringy insides. Place the squash pieces on a foil lined roasting pan. Rub olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt. Put the squash pieces skin side up on the pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until completely cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let sit.
2. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a 6 quart pan. Add the celery. Lower the heat to medium and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook 2 minutes more.
3. Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Place the roasted kabocha squash flesh into the pot with the onions and celery mixture. Add the stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender (or work in batches with a standing blender, only filling the blender bowl 1/3 of the way each time) to purée the soup. Add more salt to taste. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro to serve.
Esther’s Pumpkin Pie
Cuisine: Esther Approved, Dessert
Prep Time: 1 hour
Serves: 9″ pie, 8 slices
Author: Chef Linda | Esther’s Kitchen
2-1/4 cups pumpkin (canned)
2 Tablespoons unsweetened plant milk such as almond or coconut
1/4 cup vegan light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 store bought 9″ frozen pie crust, thawed, unbaked (confirm it is Esther Approved and does not contain lard)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
1. Combine all filling ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. You can also use a mixing bowl with electric hand mixer.
2. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie crust. Use a spatula to smooth the top. Spread the filling out and upwards to meet the edge of the sides of the pie crust.
3. Bake the pie for 40 minutes. Check the crust for browning at 30 minutes. If it looks like it is darkening, wrap foil around the crust.
4. Allow the pie to cool completely before refrigerating it. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight prior to serving. Serve alone or top with an Esther Approved, non-dairy whipped cream.
Note: Purchase 2 (15 oz) cans of plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Measure 2-1/4 cups of pumpkin and refrigerate the remaining pumpkin for another use such as a smoothie. Use a gluten-free pie crust for a gluten-free option.
Photo by Scott.
Hike a portion of the Appalachian trail.
This has been on my list for a long time. And we finally live close! Just waiting for cooler temps and autumn leaves to start turning. Ticks are super bad here in NJ so I’d rather wait till the little evil things are resting!
Finish my Crystal Healer’s Certification Classes!!
Should have this completed this month!
Start taking some pottery classes to get my hands back into the craft.
I loved making pottery. But don’t love using it. I took a pottery class in college and loved it. I found it to be very meditative to work with my hands crafting. I didn’t pursue it as a hobby because I don’t use pottery. I love the artistry but the weightiness of the pieces seemed just clunky to me. So I would love to get back into it to challenge myself to create pieces I would actually use and display in my home. And who knows, perhaps a business opportunity? Or a side line I could add to a little shop me and the hubby have been dreaming up lately 😉
Complete 1 of my Reiki certifications, level 2 classes.
With everything that’s been happening the last several months I haven’t focused on classes or practice. I miss it!
Go apple picking.
I’ve never gone apple picking before and we have orchards close by. So this fall we plan to go picking @ Battleview Orchards
Bike a scenic trail or two.
Yayyy we finally got bikes! A friend very generously gifted us 1 gently used and 1 new bike this summer. Sadly we still haven’t taken them out. Next week we plan a test run.
Baking & making 90% of our holiday gifts this year.
Last year we decided we wanted most of our gift giving to be homemade. Last year we baked breads and made jams and bought a few thoughtfully coordinated extras to add on to the experience. We haven’t quite laid out our plans yet, but we are on staycation next week and have time to come up with our ideas for this year.
Here’s the app!
Take lots of mini road trips around NJ, PA & NY.
While we’re here we need to do some exploring!
Adopt a puppy or kitty.
Happy to say we already checked this one off the list before I finished this blog post!! I’ll be posting about him! Check out Petfinder, there are thousands and thousands of animals to choose from.
Bake a pie, from scratch.
Remember, apple picking will be done!
Host a scary movie night.
Lights off. Autumn snacks and beverages a plenty. Plenty of comfy pillows and sleeping bags/blankets so people can be cozy and comfy if they fall asleep lol.
Send notes to friends and family for Thanksgiving telling them why you are thankful for them.
This is something I’ve thought about doing for a few years. But every year I over think it and just don’t do it. This year, scale it simple. Just little notes of love, appreciation and gratitude. Doesn’t have to be fancy to be heartfelt.
Take lots of fall foliage walks.
Drive somewhere new and just walk the town or area we’re in and take in the beauty. Try and keep a photo journal and blog it!
Make leaf art; here are some ideas…
37 Best Leaf Craft Ideas to Help You Fall Into the Season
Get a 1000-piece puzzle with an autumn theme to put together on a chilly night.
I want to make hot apple cider and just spend a quiet evening working on a puzzle with my honey. Perhaps some Vivaldi, Four seasons playing in the background?
Learn how to knit and create a scarf for fall or winter.
Pretty simple plan. And best part, my hubby would help. He’s actually the sewer in the house so he has a few skills in this department.
Visit the local farmers markets/Eat Everything That’s in Season.
We didn’t get a chance this summer to check them out.
Make homemade autumn latte’s
Here are some of the recipes we want to try – https://vegnews.com/2018/9/5-must-make-vegan-lattes-perfect-for-fall
Preserve something to enjoy for throughout winter
This will fall right in with us making homemade holiday gifts this year!
Go through a corn maze!
I’ve never gone through a cornfield maze before, hopefully this is the year.
Donate another bin or two to a shelter or resale shop
Since I started this list I already have a full trash bag and a full bin just waiting to be donated!
Normally I blog my bucket lists and forget to post updates. Fingers crossed I keep up!
Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili for dinner, yummmmmy
SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN CHILI
1 tablespoon vegeatable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1½ tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (15 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
Heat the oil over medium heat.Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.Add the garlic and cook one more minutes.Next, add the sweet potato, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cinnamon. Stir until the sweet potatoes are coated with the spices.
Next, add the diced fire-roasted tomatoes, 3 cups of the stock, and the tomato paste. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the black beans and cook until they are warmed, a few minutes more.If the chili is too thick for your preference, add another cup of stock.