Give us candy, give us cake, give us something sweet to take.
Give us cookies, fruit and gum, hurry up and give us some.
You had better do it quick or we`ll surely play a trick.
Trick or treat, trick or treat, give us something good to eat.
|Lady loves to lay next to the winter squash (pumpkins and gourds)!|
|A large butternut squash cut in half. When using, make sure to wash and discard the seeds.|
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter (or butter substitute to save calories)
1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise, washed, with the seeds discarded (about 3 lbs)
1 large yellow cooking onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh sage, chopped (a bunch of large leaves)
6 cups of chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub the olive oil on the cut side of the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast about 45 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Add onion and celery. Sprinkle some salt. Saute about 10 minutes until tender.
Scoop out the butternut squash flesh (discarding the skin) into the pot. Add the chicken broth and a little salt to pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and use a food processor or hand immersion blender to puree the soup. You can also use a blender to puree the soup but make sure you work in batches! Return to the pot and keep the soup warm.
Optional: You can give this soup a mexican flare by adding some toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a drizzle of sour cream. For a hearty Italian flare, try dipping in some crusty bread, or hearty pumpernickel croutons and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. But it’s equally as good on its own! 🙂
For many American families, Friday night is synonymous with one special dish: PIZZA!!! I love and cherish this family tradition and can be found on most Friday nights feasting on pizza at the Gramercy. Baked in a small pan, a Gramercy pizza is only the size of a dinner plate and is unlike any pizza around. It can be enjoyed as a meal but is most popular as an appetizer.
The original panned pie is delicious – the cheese melts and browns perfectly, the crust is actually crusty and never soft, and the sauce is the best the in area. But the toppings are delicious too, and include your choice of peppers, roasted red peppers, onions, sausage, meatballs, hamburger, anchovies, and black olives. One popular pizza, the fresh tomato pie, is made with Pittston tomatoes straight from my grandfather’s garden and is only available for a limited time.
Gramercy pizza has been a staple of my life. As a little girl, my eyes and mouth would water in anticipation as I watched my late grandmother roll the dough and my grandfather make the sauce. My grandmother would give me little samples of dough so I could make my own at home, but it never turned out the same and I usually just ended up ordering one straight from the Gramercy. When I lived in New York, I would pack frozen Gramercy pizzas to eat in the dorms whenever I wanted a good slice (and whenever I felt homesick.) While my heart is with the original pizza, my signature pizza is usually the white pizza with roasted red peppers and black olives. (Sometimes, I even order anchovies.) If I was going to the electric chair, this would be my last meal, hands down. A piece of a Gramercy pizza is the perfect slice, the ultimate fairytale feast! Here are some photos of my favorite pizzas!
|The original slice: a plain Gramercy pizza.|
|Fresh tomato pie with black olives.|
|A plain fresh tomato pie slice.|
|Crumbled sweet sausage, gorzgonzola cheese, carmelized onion and rapinni pizza.|
|A pizza with green peppers.|
|My favorite: a white pizza with roasted red peppers and black olives.|
|“Alan Jackson Dip”|
|The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN|
The Grand Ole Opry reopened its doors to Music City last week, five months after the Cumberland River overflowed its banks and wreaked havoc onto the city of Nashville. The Grand Ole Opry suffered heavy damage from the floods and underwent a massive restoration as a result.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Grand Ole Opry, it is the world’s longest running radio program which features American country music, blue grass, folk, and gospel. It is a weekly country music stage concert that has aired live on the radio and now television since 1925. It is a tremendous honor to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry and some of its’ elite members include Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Johnny and June Carter Cash. Modern country music members include Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McIntire, Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Trace Atkins, Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner and Brad Paisley. Blake Shelton will be inducted as its newest member this year.
Even though it was displaced as a result of the May flooding, the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts were not disrupted and instead found a temporary home in other venues. Click here to see Dierks Bentley give a backstage tour of the restored Opry House on Facebook.
|Grand Piano at the Opry House before the May 2010 flood.|
|The Grand Ole Opry Fan Club
Annual Southern Brunch.
|Alan Jackson in concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, PA.|
Mix together the above ingredients in a large bowl and serve! If you want to give it a quick, add in some Frank’s hot sauce. Really, that’s it!
|Jumbo stuffed pimiento Spanish olives.|