Monthly Archives: October 2011

Saturday Snax: Butternut squash soup

Since we’ve time-traveled right to January today, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite cold-weather recipes: butternut squash soup.  It is quintessentially fall and the perfect, hearty soup to warm you up on a cold (wintery-feeling) autumn night.

I didn't make this particular bowl, but my soup looks a heck of a lot like it!

Just a slight disclaimer…I tend not to really measure things, so the amounts I’ve listed below are estimations.  Trust your taste buds!


1 large butternut squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled minced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable stock (you may need more or less depending on the size of the squash)

1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (but really I don’t think you can go overboard here)

1 tablespoon allspice

1 tablespoon nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream (or soy creamer–it adds the thickness without making it super heavy)

toasted hazelnuts (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds (you can set these aside and toast them later!)  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then place the halves of squash face-down and roast for 30-40 minutes.  Remove and let cool before handling.  Peel the skin away and cut into cubes.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the minced ginger and garlic.  Saute for about 2 minutes until fragrant.  Add the veggie stock, let it come to a slight boil then turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

3. Combine the squash and the veggie stock in a food processor or a blender (depending on the size of the squash, I often have to do this in two batches).  I also recommend slowly adding the stock so you can achieve the desired thickness.

4. Once it is blended and smooth, return the soup to your pot and place back on the stove over medium-low heat.  Add your spices, to taste.  Just as you did with the stock, slowly add the cream until you reach the desired consistency.

5. Serve with hazelnut garnish and your favorite thick-toasted bread on the side.


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The Universe is all Green Lights

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to make some pretty significant changes in my life:  first by becoming a yoga teacher and getting to teach to real, live people (adults and children!) and then getting a new job that not only affords me the time to teach yoga, but is also going to give me incredible travel opportunities and challenge me professionally.  Right about now I would have to say my life is pretty grand.  I keep asking myself, how the heck did this happen?  Am I just a stupidly lucky girl who was in the right place at the right time?  Maybe.  But I believe it’s a little bit more than that.

Less than three months ago, my life was still pretty great.  I was pursuing teaching yoga and had a fantastic job teaching preschool with wonderful teachers and students.  Yoga was really starting to take off and I was getting a lot of opportunities to teach.  One such opportunity was teaching children in a pediatric unit at a hospital in Brooklyn.  Amazing!  But all of this happened while I was on summer vacation.  How could I make this work with 8-hour school days and an hour commute to and from work each day?  I knew that I was going to have to make a change; I began thinking that yoga would have to wait a year, and then I’d figure out another way to do it.  I considered leaving New York when the school year was finished.  I even submitted a resume to a school with a better commute and shorter hours, thinking that would solve everything.  Not only was I thinking these things, but I began voicing my concerns to friends and family.  “How great would it be to be able to teach school while having time during the week to teach yoga?” was something that I often thought to myself and aloud.

Then one morning I was having brunch with several girlfriends after teaching a yoga class, and one of them asked if I’d be interested in a new opportunity as a private teacher traveling with a family.  My initial thought was, sure, that sounds amazing, but I can’t do that, I have a job.  But as the day went on, I continued to think about it until I said to myself, “But really, why not?”  Over the next few weeks, I talked to my friend about the job a great deal more until I finally came to the conclusion that it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.

Perhaps it is all luck.  I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right friend who had this opportunity for me.  There is definitely some truth to that.  But there is another factor, or rather, factors.  The first being: me.  My willingness to bring change into my life.  And with that, an open mind.  Just putting something out into the universe isn’t going to give us exactly what we want (because if that’s the case, money would be raining down from the sky all over the country).  No, once you put something out there, it’s important to be open to the fact that sometimes what we want comes to us in a completely different package than we were expecting–like this job, which I wasn’t looking for but turned out to be exactly what I needed.  And other times, we don’t get something we thought we wanted because something even better, that we really need, is right around the corner (For example, that other school I applied to?  I never even got an interview.  At first I was disappointed…but now?  Really grateful.).

Recently, a friend shared with me this saying: “The universe is all green lights.”  Meaning, whatever we put out in the universe is what we will get.   If you are a person that says, “I always lose my keys,” then…you will always lose your keys.  But if you say, “I am learning to remember where I put my keys,” then maybe, just maybe, you will start remembering (my friend says this has really worked for her!).

It’s not about being unrealistic.  It’s about being willing to make changes and having the ability to recognize the open doors, even if they’re where you never expected to find them.  I am extremely grateful I saw the green light and walked through my door.  Have you found yours?

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