Labor Day is behind us and that means the unofficial start of fall has begun! I’ve been in a fall state of mind since mid-August and it’s nice that my state of mind now matches the season. As a person who does not like change or change in routine, I do love when a new season arrives. There is something new and fresh about the change in seasons; an opportunity for new beginnings and fresh starts. A new season is a good time to refresh our homes. It’s the perfect time to clean off shelves that haven’t been dusted in months, pack away summer items that won’t be used until next year, bring out the cozy quilts, and add in new seasonal décor. Doing these simple things will renew your love of home and prepare you for the new season ahead. Summer in our home is all about light and bright and less is more. When autumn rolls around, our home becomes a little more dark and moody to create warmth and coziness. I live by the motto quality over quantity in the fall and winter months. What do I mean by quality over quantity when it comes to décor? Fill your home with a few pieces you love and cherish rather than filling it with a lot of items that do not have special meaning to you. Your home doesn’t need to be filled with pumpkins, scarecrows, and vibrant fall colors to make it feel cozy and autumnal. Consider adding a few elements of fall, ones that really mean something to you and invoke that cozy feeling. For our home dark wood tones, gold accents, faux leaves, and cream and rust accents give us that cozy feeling for fall. I love adding prints that capture that feeling of autumn, or adding a recipe card from my grandmother to a gold frame, displaying our wedding china instead of hiding it away in a cupboard, or styling some of the items I love to collect from antiquing. Most of the pieces I use for fall décor are pieces or items that could be used anytime throughout the year. If filling your home with lots of pumpkins or cornstalks makes you happy, than by all means do that! There is never a right or wrong answer when it comes to your home’s décor, our homes should be a reflection of who we are and what makes us happy. What are some of your favorite fall elements you like to decorate with, do you have special treasures you display in your home?
Autumn is also the time when our menus and diets begin to change (well in our house it does!). Squashes (never meet a squash I didn’t like), cranberries, pumpkins, and apples all come into season and enjoying these foods is enjoying all that autumn has to offer.
You may remember my blog post from last week, the Autumn Self-Care Challenge. This challenge is all about taking care of ourselves and enjoying the autumn season. One of the challenges was to make a soup or stew. I decided to challenge myself to making a new soup that I had not made before. I went to my favorite local farm stand for groceries this past weekend and they had an abundance of butternut squashes. So, butternut squash soup it was! The recipe I used was adapted from one I found on Pinterest, but I tweaked it a little and made it my own. The soup came out delicious, probably one of my favorite of all time! We typically eat grilled cheese sandwiches with our soup, but I decided to give that a twist. Instead of dunking our grilled cheeses, I made grilled cheese croutons and tossed those right into the soup. The croutons (use your favorite bread and cheese) added just the right crunch to the smooth, velvety texture of the soup. I served our soup in mugs, which we took to the living room, and enjoyed a lazy evening filled with good food and movies. The best part of this…William ate his entire mug of soup, and that says something coming from a very picky eater!
I would love to know if you try this recipe and find it as tasty as me and my family! To find the links to (most) products featured in this blog post click here: LIKEtoKNOW.it
Xoxo ~ Heidi
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 Butternut Squash (about 3 lbs.)
1 Diced Onion
4 Slices of Bacon, Diced
2 tbsp. Bacon Fat
1 Spring of Fresh Thyme
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
2 tbsp. Clover Honey
2 1/2 Cups Chicken Bone Broth (May Need a Little More)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to Taste
2 tbsp. Chopped Chives
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash on a foil lined baking sheet and roast in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until fork inserted into the thickest part of squash is inserted and removed easily.
3. Allow squash to cool, then remove skin and place squash pulp in bowl.
4. While squash is cooling, cut bacon into small pieces and cook in deep skillet. Once crispy, remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon, keeping drippings in the pan.
5. Add diced onion, garlic, and thyme to bacon drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, do not brown.
6. Add squash and honey to skillet and cook for 2 minutes until squash is heated through. Stir in chicken bone broth and stir until combined (more broth may be needed, depending on how thick or thin you like your soup).
7. Puree mixture with an immersion blender until soup becomes silky and smooth.
8. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thickened about 5-10 minutes. Add more chicken bone broth of soup is too thick.
9. Serve immediately garnishing with bacon bits and chives.
Try adding some grilled cheese croutons, they were absolutely delicious!