Butternut Squash and Shrimp Soup

 
 I have a little extra time today since my twins are in preschool so I thought I would give you a delicious soup recipe to make as the weather gets colder.  It’s pretty simple. I made it last week in the middle of a storm that kept shutting our electricity down.  It seemed to be forgiving. butternutsquashsoup1

I am back to real life after camping.  Well, really I am cleaning up the aftermath of the weekend.  It’s amazing how you leave your house clean (or at least close) then when you get home it looks like a bomb exploded.  There was definitely a camping bomb in my house.   I’m trying to get it all organized but really I want to play with my new watch.  I feel like I’m making some progress getting it set up exactly like I want it.  I’ve taken it on a couple of runs and I’m really happy so far.  It is a little big but that just makes me look faster right?  Sure.

So, I talk about running a lot but the other huge health component in my life is Crossfit.  People like to say its too intense or Crossfit people are just crazy but I have not had that experience.  Oh wait, yes I have!  It is intense and the people are a little crazy but it’s great!  You’re not going to go on your first day, deadlift a million pounds and end up with a skeletal muscle disease.  You go, learn about the movements and exercises and work your way up.  My Crossfit buddies are incredibly encouraging but a little competitive which I dig.  Now, I have to say, when it comes to lifting weights I try to be a wuss and get away with smaller weights.  My Coach knows my game by now and makes me stay the course.  I haven’t died yet…  Dang!  I hope he’s not reading this.

 Until January, I am having a bit of a struggle fitting in the miles plus the Crossfit.  I know Crossfit is part of what keeps my body healthy and able to do the runs.  If you see me slacking off, smack me in the head (not really, I’ll get offended) and send me back to the box!

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Soup
Butternut Squash, sweet potatoes and shrimp with bacon on top.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of wild caught shrimp. Peeled and deveined
  2. 3 stalks of celery diced
  3. 3 carrots diced
  4. 1 onion diced
  5. 2 tbsp. butter
  6. 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  7. 1 small butternut squash diced
  8. 3 gloves of garlic diced
  9. 1 cup of milk (your choice of milk)
  10. tsp. sage
  11. tsp. cumin
  12. 1/8 tsp. cayenne (or more to taste)
  13. salt and pepper to taste
  14. 2 cans of free range chicken stock
  15. 8oz of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot warm the butter over medium heat. Add in the diced celery, carrots, and onion.
  2. Once those have started to cook some, add the sweet potatoes, butternut squash and garlic. Cook well until all veggies are tender.
  3. Once tender, add one can of chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Be very careful not to splash the warm liquid.
  4. When pureed add the spices and milk. Stir well.
  5. Depending on how thick or thin you like your soup add the rest of the chicken stock to taste.
  6. Simmer for about 10 mins to incorporate all ingredients.
  7. Lastly, add the shrimp. Let them cook through which only takes a few minutes.
  8. When shrimp are done, serve warm with bacon crumbled on top.
  9. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have an immersion blender the ingredients can be transferred to a blender. Please be careful transferring the hot liquid. It would need to cool some before being blended.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Camping Adventure as Promised

 

 We are home from our little trip and it was as crazy as I thought it would be.  The forecast called for rain but there is always that little voice in your head that says, “No way dude, it’s not going to rain on our camping trip.”  That little voice was incorrect this time…  However, it is still a beautiful place and we ended up having a great weekend. 

Friday night started out nice.  We were there with our neighbors, got everything set up and cooked some seriously delicious camp food.  No smores here, everything was better than that.  My hubby made a new recipe called Discada.  Its traditionally a Mexican dish and it’s actually cooked on a Discada.  Let me just say, as I was purchasing the ingredients I was thinking maybe he has lost his mind.  Maybe we could just eat fajitas like we normally do.  I was wrong, give me this plate of meat any day.  Just ask the neighbors.  I included the recipe below and before the Paleo police come knocking on my door I know its not strict Paleo because of the sausage and beer.  The beer cooks away so no worries there for us and you can leave out the sausage if you need to.  We call this a weekend recipe.  I promise the rest of my recipes will be Paleo stuff you cook in your house.

After our stomachs were full and we had our time sitting and chatting about important global issues we hunkered down and waited for the rain.  Well it started to rain about midnight and I think something happened with the rain cloud.  Maybe it stopped for a sandwich or stopped on the side of the road to send a very long text, but it stopped ON TOP OF US.  We were ok, but it filled my neighbors tent with water.  That or they snuck down to the lake and submerged all of their belongings in the water.  Either way, sadly, they had to leave the next morning.  We hated to see them go but ended up having a great time bonding as a little family. camprunning

Saturday afternoon, after a lunch comprised of chicken sausage, baked apple chips and salsa I headed out for a 10mile run with my new watch!  I can’t figure out how to work the dang thing so far.  It seems like it has a lot of fun stuff and is going to make me super fast but I haven’t played with it enough yet.  Saturday, it at least measured distance and pace in miles so I was happy enough.  My run wasn’t awesome because my stomach was stuffed and Gloria Estefan kept showing up on my playlist??  Either way, NOLA is one run closer.wineandchocolate

Saturday night I had this.  Cabernet I picked up on my Napa trip and 85% dark chocolate I get at a great price at Aldi.  So what if I drank my wine from a solo cup??    

 

 

Mexican Discada According to Matt
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Ingredients
  1. ½ lb bacon cut to ¼” pieces
  2. 1lb chorizo
  3. 2lbs of country style pork ribs, cubed ~1 inch
  4. 1lb Fajita meat cubed
  5. Kielbasa sausage or hot dogs cubed
  6. 1 Mexican Beer
  7. I can diced tomatoes drained
  8. 1 onion chopped
  9. 2 bell peppers chopped
  10. 1 jalapeno diced small
  11. 2tbsp Fajita seasoning
  12. 1tbsp Cumin
  13. 2tbsp Paprika (Seasoning all to taste)
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in center until browned, then push to edge
  2. Cook Chorizo in center until cooked, then push to the edge
  3. Cook/fry cubed country style ribs with some fajita seasoning in oil for around 10 minutes or until nicely browned then move to the side
  4. Cook fajita beef. Then move to the side
  5. Remove ½ - ¾ of remaining oil
  6. Add sausage and veggies. Cook veggies until onion is soft. Also, threw in a whole jalapeno.
  7. Add cumin and paprika, tomatoes, beer and stir all together
  8. Don’t be stingy with the paprika. It will give it nice color.
  9. Cook at medium for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often or until it’s thickened up nicely.
Notes
  1. If you don’t have a Discada, instead of pushing to the edge – remove from skillet, leaving oil and put in bowl until later. When it calls to stir all together, combine all ingredients.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/
So who is going to try this awesome recipe??