Week in Review

Weeks just keep going by...and I sometimes stand still in awe of what each week brings. They sometimes leave me happy, sometimes leave me speechless and sometimes they leave me FULL! 

This week I had the privilege to judge the annual CDS Global Healthier Holiday Recipe contest. 

Appetizers and desserts galore. All delicious and so hard to make a decision. Thank goodness it wasn't my decision alone because I would have picked all of them.

Shrimp and dips..

And divine chocolate and pumpkin desserts...

And the one that won me over...anyone who knows me knows the way to my heart is butternut squash soup. This one had roasted squash seeds, real bacon bits and frizzled sage. Yummmmmm...

Butternut Squash Soup with Butter Fried Sage and Spicy Roasted Seeds
~Matt Butler

3 to 3 1/2 pounds, approx 2, seeded and halved
Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1 tbsp kosher salt, plus 1 tsp
1 tsp fresh ground white pepper, plus 1/2 tsp 
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 strained plain yogurt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Seeds from squash roasted
2 strips bacon diced small for topping
10 fresh sage leaves

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut squash in half and place flesh side down on a parchment paper covered sheet pan. Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of the white pepper. Place in oven and roast for 30-45 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender. 

Scoop the flesh from the skin into a 6 quart pot. Add the broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approx 7-8 minutes. Using a stick blender, purée the mixture until smooth. Stir in the plain yogurt and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg. 

Meanwhile roast retained seeds from squash with a little olive oil and salt. Toss with cayenne pepper and cumin.

Cook bacon crispy and dice small.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a small pan, add fresh sage leaves and fry until crispy. 

I just had to share his healthy recipe. Can't wait until next year!