Recipe: Squash and Apple Soup


I've always found that when it comes to Thanksgiving recipes, simplicity wins. Amidst all the heavy appetizers, a massive main meal, and the loads of desserts, this soup stands out as satisfyingly simple in its elements (it contains only 5 ingredients if you don't count the butter) and with all the flavors you crave on Thanksgiving day. It also gets its creaminess from the pureed squash--yep, there's no cream here--which is a welcome relief from the loads of rich and decadent foods.

In fact, I've made this soup almost every year for the past decade as a Thanksgiving appetizer, and it's a win with everyone. With subtle sweetness from the apples, it's a crowd pleaser for kids and adults. I serve it in the slow cooker, set on low, so it stays piping hot. Add pomegranate seeds to garnish, and the colors are vibrant and beautifully Fall in nature.

There are many ways to make a squash soup, and I always use Thanksgiving as an excuse to take shortcuts. You could buy a whole squash and cut it up yourself (more on how to do that here), or you could go for my choice and buy the more convenient (albeit: more expensive) prechopped squash.And like all soups, the longer it simmers, the better the flavors develop, so be sure to make this early Thanksgiving morning or even the day before. I've even made this a week or two before Turkey Day and kept it frozen until the day of, and no one was all the wiser.

If you have a baby, this soup too is a winner! It's the perfect pureed consistency for babies who aren't quite ready for textures, but it also contains delicious flavors and spices to help expand their little palates.

Squash and Apple Soup


2 tbsp. butter

2 medium onions, diced

3 tsp curry powder

3-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (or around 3-4 cups butternut squash cubes OR 3 cups of butternut squash puree)

2 apples, peeled, cored, cubed

·3 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add onion and saute until tender. Stir in curry powder

Add squash, apples, chicken stock and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until squash and apples are tender

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or alternatively, transfer to the soup in batches to a blender (careful, it will be hot!). Serve warm with pomegranate seeds as a garnish.

Pumpkin Hummus


With all the adorable treats there are to buy and make (and eat!) on Halloween, it's refreshing to have something that you can serve that feels slightly redemptive. Especially if you're a parent like me who likes to steal their kids' Halloween candy in the name of safety. As in: "Hmm, that Butterfinger packaging looks iffy. I'm going to have to confiscate that." This pumpkin hummus has all the feels for something that looks super spooky (it's orange, after all!). And you could serve it with black tortilla chips and  baby carrots, or even top it with plastic spiders!

Plus, with 5 simple ingredients and 2 minutes to pull it all together, it's totally doable to make despite the chaos of the crazy day. We promise it's worth it!

Pumpkin Hummus

In a food processor, add 1 garlic clove, 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1 cup canned pumpkin, juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin. Puree until completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.






8 Not-Sweet Halloween Treats

This year, when my son's class passed around a list of items that parents could contribute to the school Halloween party, I couldn't believe what was on the list: cookies, munchkins, cupcakes (and fine, fruit).  But with the amount of candy kids eat on Halloween, isn't it overboard to add even more to their daily sugar quota? We know your kids are going to be all hopped on sugar (mine go totally sugar wild!), but these genius non-sweet, super-spooky ideas are so cute that it just might tempt your kid to put down the candy for a half second.  

  1. SPOOKY EGG GHOSTS (from @onmykidsplate) Easy enough for non-pintrest mamas (raises hand), these help balance out the sugar with a hefty dose of protein.

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2. MUMMY GRAPES CUPS (from @produceforkids). Use a black sharpie and clear plastic cups to create an adorable snack.

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3. PIZZA MUMMIES (from @heather_kidskitchen). For when you're begging your children to eat dinner. String cheese and olives for eyes transform the plain old pizza bagel into something that screams Halloween.

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4. APPLE MOUTHS (from @produceforkids). Use almonds for teeth, strawberries for a silly tongue, and peanut butter or sunbutter to hold 'em in place.

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5. CANDY CORN CUPS (from @morepleasemama). A mixture between a treat and healthy fruit, this is one the kids will definitely eat (at least the top layer!)

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6. CLEMENTINE JACK-O-LANTERNS (from @fountainavenuekitchen). All you need is a black sharpie and an ability to draw triangles.

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7. MUMMY HOTDOGS (from @allrecipes) Stretch out strips of puff pastry dough and go to town!

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8. Minion Bananas (from @saralewisphotography ) There are ways to make these super silly by glueing on eyeballs and wrapping the bottoms in blue tissue paper. Or you could just do this and the kids will love them anyway.

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