I’m trying to take a moment to appreciate all that has happened to me in the last year. I’m preparing to write our yearly Christmas letter, looking back through my planner for significant events and scanning through photo albums on my phone. It’s been an incredible year full of lots of changes and transition and I am so ready to settle in for the holidays and hopefully, find a little peace and quiet.
I love being busy, working hard and making progress. But these last six months have been relentless and I am ready for a breather. Friday night was the last event I officially had booked for 2013. And when I woke up Saturday morning, I felt myself relax a bit for the first time in a really, really long time. I felt proud of the work that I’ve done and so grateful for all of the amazing opportunities I’ve been afforded. What a wild ride!
When I woke up Sunday morning, my body reminded me what I’ve done to it over the last few months. The flu struck swiftly and harshly, but has come and gone and left me with a firm resolve to take it a bit easier in these winter months.
I’m looking forward to decorating our little apartment for this festive season, camping out in the kitchen making Christmas treats and watching embarassingly cheesy holiday movies. I’m anticipating hunkering down with friends and family, holding babies and doing a lot of visiting. All of course, with heaps of good food within reach.
I’m hoping to have some recaps soon from a few of the events that I’ve had in the last couple months, but for now, I’ll leave you with a cozy recipe that I make every year. A small, light taste of the season without the hours of slaving away in the kitchen. More time for you (and me!) to relax and enjoy these cozy days.
- 3 small acorn squash
- 2 Cups peeled and diced parsnip ( two medium sized)
- 2 Cups Italian chicken sausage, browned
- 1 Cup diced apple ( fuji or gala)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 Cup (packed) chopped kale
- 2 T packed, chopped sage
- 2 T Maple syrup
- 1/2 Cup maple glazed pecans (cook pecans in saute pan in maple syrup to cover, and a bit of brown sugar until thickly coated)
- 3T Olive oil
- Splash of hard cider
- salt & pepper
- fresh nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Cut Acorn Squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Brush insides with a mix of 1 T olive oil and 1 T maple syrup. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and lay skin side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes, until you can pierce through skin and flesh with a fork. Remove from the oven and using a metal spatula, turn over, trying to keep caramelized edges in tact, and let cool.
- While squash is roasting in the oven, brown Italian chicken sausage, set aside and wipe out pan. In the same pan, saute parsnips and onions in 2 T olive oil, on medium heat, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add apples and sage, and saute 5 more minutes, until apples are tender. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Generously Salt and Pepper to taste. Splash with a little white wine and add kale and pecans. When wine has evaporated, add 1 T maple syrup. Add sausage back in and taste for salt.
- Fill the squash with the apple parsnip sausage mixture and place in a 350 F until heated through (about 15 minutes)
Photos from our Harvest shoot with Ashley and Aaron.