“Fall Dinner” – Florida Style

At this time of year everyone in the USA gets excited about fall. The color of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, the fresh smell in the air, the pumpkins, spices and I could go on and on. In Florida, Fall is just another day on the calendar, weather doesn’t change, hurricane season is at its peak and the humidity does not allow for any fresh air as such and the green on the trees is there to stay!

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So the only way to get the “Fall” comfort cozy feeling around here is by cooking dishes that fill our homes with those “Fall” smells as well as pumping that A/C and lighting some fall smelling candles :-).

Today I was having a “fall” moment so I decided to make some Butternut Squash soup.

  • 2 butternut squashes
  • 4 green apples
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg and all spice
  • 2 cups of broth (I used beef broth because it’s what I had in the fridge)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half

Preheated my oven to 385 Def F . Stared by peeling, deseeding and chopping up 2 whole butternut squashes as well as the onion and apples. I left the garlic cloves whole but smashed them up a little.

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Grabbed a large baking pan and lined it with foil (this of course helps a lot with cleanup). Tossed everything in olive oil and placed it in the baking pan. Sprinkled some salt and pepper (about a tsp of each).

I let it all roast nice and slowly for a good hour, checking it every once in a while to make sure nothing was burning or sticking too much.

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Once everything was nice and roasted I removed it from the oven and let it cool down a little. Out came the blender where it all went into, together with 1 cup of broth and I blended it away!

Once it was all nicely pureed, I transferred the mixture over to a saucepan, added the rest of the broth and the cream, a dusting of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of all spice.

The soup is nice and thick, so if you prefer it less thick you would need to add some more liquid, but do it little by little so you don’t lose the flavour!

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All that is left to do is to pump up that A/C, light the cinnamon candle, put some garlic bread in the oven and its time for a “Fall Dinner Florida Style”! ❤

Leftover Ham – The Becoming

Barely got over yesterdays Part I thanksgiving dinner which consisted of Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glazed ham, baked sweet potatoes,  Potatoes Au Gratin garlic and herb bread, spiced green bean casserole and Tres Leches for dessert.

Part II is now in the works with Roasted Turkey, Bacon Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Madeira Cranberry sauce and Chorizo stuffing.


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In the meantime, I have some ham on the bone left over from yesterday so decided to do something with it whilst waiting for the Turkey to cook.

For this I used:

  • Leftover ham on the bone, cut off the excess ham
  • Diced the excess ham to add to soup at the end (I used just under 2 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large potato peeled and diced ( I had used them all for mashed potatoes so I used new potatoes and did not peel them)
  • Can of sweet corn (drained)
  • Can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) (drained), I usually use butter beans or kidney beans but apparently I forgot to stock up on them as all I found in my pantry was the Garbanzo Beans.
  • fresh herbs (bay leaf and thyme in this one), salt and pepper to taste (make sure you taste it as the ham stock is pretty salty on its own)

How to

Place ham in a casserole and cover it up half way with water and let it boil away for about 45 minutes. Discard the bone and set the ham stock aside.

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Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a stock pot and cook the onions and potatoes and garlic until the onions become translucent (about 3 mins).

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Add the ham stock, garbanzo beans and sweet corn, your choice of herbs, pepper and salt if needed.

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Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are soft and tender (time depends on how small you chop your potatoes so I suggest just testing them as you go along).

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Last but not least, add the chopped ham so that it warms up and serve.

Its the perfect leftover dish for a lovely cold crisp evening served with a crisp glass of chardonnay, now I just hope that this cold front down here stays for a few days so we can get to enjoy the soup without breaking out a sweat :-)!