Cooking · Dinner · Lunch

Some days…

… you just come home feeling defeated. Today was one of those days for me. It was only Tuesday and I felt like I had worked a whole week, and I felt like a miserable failure when it come to a work and personal life balance. I could have worked for a couple of more hours in the office tonight, but I had to pack it up after putting in an extra half hour at my desk.

I really wanted to get to the gym, but my knee was swollen due to an art installation at work and I knew I had a lot of cooking to do at home to keep up with my meal plan for the week. Last night I had every intention of cooking my butternut squash in the oven so that I could have that one step out of the way when it came to making my homemade butternut squash ginger soup. But once I got home last night, ate dinner, prepped breakfast, snacks and lunch for the next day i knew I was done. I could have easily prepped the squash and popped it in the oven. But it just did not happen.

I went home instead of going to the gym. I was really upset about this – but once I got home I felt it was the right choice. I prepped (cut in half, washed, scooped the seeds out and peeled) the squash and got it in the oven. It baked for just over thirty minutes.

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During this time I iced my knee for 15 minutes and took two Motrin. Then I chopped shallots, half an onion, carrots, celery, ginger and melted a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. I cooked the vegetables:

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Soon enough the squash was out of the oven. I cooled it a bit, diced the squash and put it in the Le Creuset along with four cups of low sodium chicken stock.

Everything cooked away and as it did I started feeling better. I focused on the good things about my day. I ate well, I was very productive at work, and tonight I was being very successful in the kitchen. The kitchen success definitely helped save the day.

While the soup cooked I prepped my salad for the next day:

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After the soup had come to a boil and then simmered for twenty minutes, I turned the burner off and used my newest kitchen tool:

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Yes, I finally have an immersion blender!! I am really excited about this. I had been trying to come up with a time to pick it up but I finally gave in and called my mom to see if she would mind picking it up for me. She did a great job picking one – a Calphalon immersion blender was brought home yesterday and it really helped cut down a lot of time when I was cooking the soup today. I loved not having to transfer the hot liquid into my food processor – thank you Mom!!

I was really impressed with the blender. After I mixed it all together, we turned up the heat a bit and cooked the soup with the lid off for a couple of minutes. We toasted a couple of pieces of sour dough Seven Star bread, and eventually served up the soup. We both added a couple of splashes of hot sauce (I’ve converted my mom to a hot sauce fan!). I did season the soup with cumin, garlic, freshly ground pepper the smallest smidge of salt and some dried thyme.

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My bowl of soup was extremely satisfying, especially due to the fact that it was snowing outside while we ate dinner. The first official snow of the season… I can’t stop wondering what this winter has in store for us!

Tonight I am thankful for ending my day better than I was feeling in the middle of the day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better – my fingers are crossed!

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