Friday, October 14, 2011

Falls here!!!!

Come on cold!  I'm so excited for fall this year.  I've recently decided that fall is my favorite season.  I love the feeling you get with the first cold air, winter is coming, and so is change.  I love the fall recipes like apple cider, apple crisp, soups, stews, and crock pot cooking, bring it on!  I used to hate the cold when I lived further north.  But after being in Atlanta for a year in 100+ degree weather, moving so many times in the July heat, and toting 2 kids around in hot weather, I get so excited when fall rolls around.  I also admittedly love my coat collection.  Here are a couple of my "secret" recipes.  I make the apple cider for our small group on Wednesdays and the soup I have to make when Chad is gone since he won't eat anything with the word squash in it.  Actually, I did get him to eat a whole butternut squash last year (I told him it was a sweet potato, hee hee ;)  

Apple Cider
1 gallon apple cider
1 spice container of red hots
10 cloves
3 or 4 cinnamon sticks

Percolate the cider with all of the spices on top :) Yes, the secret is the red hots.

Butternut Squash, Carrot, Ginger soup
1/2 medium butternut squash
2 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb carrots
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 (2 in) piece ginger peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream

Bake the squash cut side down in greased baking dish until fall apart tender.  Scoop out squash and discard seeds.  Heat olive oil in saucepan add onion and garlic, cook until soft.  Pour in water, add squash carrots and ginger.  Bring to boil, cook at least 20 minutes or until carrots tender.
Puree mixture into blender (something I've gotten really good at with Carsten's diet:) Should be thick and creamy.  Season with cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Mmmmmm :)  Anybody have a favorite fall recipe, please share with me!

God at work

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!!!  Okay, I'm a little late this year, my sweet friend Stephanie always reminds me every year to do the 31 for 21 blogs, (31 days of blogging for Trisomy 21) well how about 1 for 21, better than nothing right?  :)  Okay take a close look at this picture.  Yeah yeah ok what's the big deal, its just a boy throwing a ball at Carsten with a bat.
But it's so much more than that.  That special day at the park, we met two boys about 7 years old that automatically "took" Carsten in and were "teaching" him how to play baseball.  I was hesitant at first as Carsten ran in between them trying to get into their game (like he usually does when any older boys are playing sports).  I always cringe and usually apologize over and over telling them that he just wants to play with them.  But this time was different, the two boys were excited about him playing with them and actually began to "teach" him how to play.  I watched (with tears in my eyes) for about 45 minutes while these boys (with the most patience I've ever seen from 7 year olds) showed him how to play.  Finally after all that time, he hit a ball and the two boys went crazy screaming yeah Carsten yeah!!  It was such a special moment for me to see the goodness in those boys, sent straight from above.  Moments like those give me so much hope for the future.  If that ain't some Down Syndrome awareness encouragement I don't know what is:)