Octoberfest

Well, minus the crazy German party. So more like Fall Fest, because I think I captured everything great about fall in a bowl. Or everything great and edible anyways. As I was searching through ideas for my weekly recipe, I stumbled upon this gem (http://www.onceuponacuttingboard.com/2012/10/sweet-potato-peanut-bisque.html) and it inspired my own fall creation. I thought I had missed the farmers market this week, so when I drove by and saw booths still up in the afternoon, I had to make a pit stop and I knew this recipe was going down. Oh boy, it was going down. It is more of a smoothie texture than soup, but you can change that up with the amount of vegetable broth you add.

Autumn Bisque

1 medium sweet potato
1 medium butternut squash
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or real if you have it, and I used “pumpkin pie filling” as it was just pumpkin with spices already added)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and pepper
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 of a bell pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I didn’t have enough tomatoes to make my own sauce)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 450.  Peel both the squash and sweet potato and chop into small cubes.  Put them into a bowl and drizzle with two tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Lay them on a baking sheet and roast the veggies for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway.  While these guys are in the oven, sauté the the small onion, diced, the garlic clove, minced, and the pepper, diced.  Once the become golden, throw in the tomato sauce,1/4 cup of the pumpkin, and  however much of the vegetable broth will fit in the pan reasonably. 

When the veggies are roasted and the stove mixture is well cooked, start the blender. I had to do it in small portions because I was working with a magic bullet, but you may have more flexibility if you have a blender.  Watching to make sure there is enough liquid mixing in (use the remainder of the veg. broth if needed), go ahead and puree the roasted goodies with the sauce.  Put the blended mixture into a soup-pot on low heat, and add the remainder of the pumpkin, the maple syrup, and the cinnamon. I put a dash of cajun spices in here to give it a little kick (limited college kitchen, it was all I had to work with), but I can’t say that it did wonders for the recipe so I’ll encourage creativity here, do whatever your think.

THEN DIVE IN. If you have somehow managed to not eat the squash/sweet potato cubes or lick the blender parts, you have a ridiculous amount of self control and I probably can’t relate with you.  However, good things are about to happen. Garnish with whatever you think would be tasty, and bask in the fall flavor:)

I also had the first successful tofu experiment, which made its way into rice and veggies with some lovely maple syrup/apple butter/pumpkin sauce. GOOD TIMES. Really milking these seasonal veggies for all they’re worth.

On a life note, things are less crazy but still good. School is kicking into high gear, which is kind of a pain because I am so excited about so many things that aren’t academic, I kind of forget the whole reason why I’m here. Don’t worry DAD, haven’t totally thrown my classes to the wind, but I’m ready to be done with multiple choice tests please.

My job is great though. I had the opportunity to work an open house event and speak to all the wide-eyed prospective students and parents, and it was great. They were all so excited that it was just easy to talk to them about education abroad, and giving advice to upcoming freshman was great. In all honesty, I think a big part was because it reminded me how GREAT it is to not be a freshman anymore, and how awesome things are now. It feels soo good to be settled into my groove, and maybe it was just me, but being in my niche feels so much better than finding my niche.

Other than that, I’ve been going on runs and hikes, trying to binge on all this fall color. There are really three weeks max of perfect fall color in Blacksburg, and we’re trailing the third now. With a birthday on Tuesday (!) I’m trying to squeeze one more fall hike in before things get really chilly and lose color.  Oh and Bailey came to hang out with me for a few weeks. Which is obviously awesome, and a huge highlight of October. He’s really cute. I also got to host a study abroad-reunion when our Beloved Brit (our dive instructor/friend from the DR) came to visit the states, so we all got to have a great time with her! I was so glad that we all were able to come together- with Adele! Good times.

Alright, well the monologue is over for now. The pace has slowed a little, but at the same time it’s almost Thanksgiving and after that the semester may as well be over. Wow. It’s good though. Hope all is good wherever you worldly people may be, and keep me up to date on your happenings. Love you all :)

S

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