Behind Brown Eyes

21st century flogger. That's food-blogger, fyi. Now if it were the 17th century...
Recent Tweets @Krystina_Lynne
Posts tagged "season"

Two weeks ago at church, a member asked me if I liked to cook. Simple question, simple answer: “YES! I LOVE to!” The joy that filled my heart at the mere thought of the word “cook” reflected instantly in my eyes. When his follow-up question involved home grown acorn squash, I accepted the offer with willingness and grace.

With a fresh acorn squash in the palm of my hands a week later, it became official. SOUP SEASON IS HERE. AND SO IS FALL. <3

I love all things fall. Pumpkins. Apple orchards. Golden delicious apple picking. Races in perfect running weather. Spices. Falling leaves. Festivals. Baking. Autumn colors. The sights, sounds and smells of October are a yearly anticipation for me. In essence, this picture:

Combine all of the above with fresh produce and my Kitchen Aid 5-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, and you have a happy Chef Krystina Lynne. (Not pictured, but running through the fall foliage in the background).

With a fresh squash looking all autumnal on my counter, finding the perfect recipe was a must. Simply seasoned, with a unique fall flavor profile. Found it. Finally inspired.

I used A Sweet Pea Chef’s Roasted Acorn Squash Soup recipe and made a few minor changes based on what I had in stock; you’ll find my modified version below. Admittedly, I had to buy two additional acorn squash from the A&P, which I felt guilty for doing since they weren’t garden fresh. But the recipe called for it—and delivered on a fall flavored soup sensation. What a soup-er start to the season!

Ingredients

  • 3 acorn squash, sliced in half and seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (scant)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash, skin-side-down, onto baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and crushed black pepper.  Roast in oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until flesh is tender and skin starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, remove flesh from skin by using a spoon and scooping out the flesh. Discard skin and set flesh aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, apple, shallot and onions and sauté until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Once tender, add salt, ginger, sage, cayenne, allspice, squash and stock. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from heat and puree mixture, with an immersion blender, a blender (in batches) or a food processor. Season to taste if necessary—I didn’t add a thing!

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup. Picture courtesy of A Sweet Pea Chef.

  • Me: (outraged) "Mom, what the heck happened to the 'Candy Mom' ornament I gave you?! You put her laying face-down on the pine needles! She looks like she plummeted to her death!"
  • Mom: (plainly) "...she looks like me after I finish baking Christmas cookies every year."
  • Me: (endless laughter)

Krystina - Atlantic City Half MarathonMy favoritest favorite thing about spring,
Is what the start of the season guarantees to bring.

When the winter chills,
Turn into warm spring thrills,
And the beaming bright sun,
Says it’s time to run!

Hit the streets,
Let your feet grace the road,
Turn up the (Josh) Turner,
Embrace the “Just Do It” mode.

Focus your breathing,
Feel your heart beat,
It’s you and the road,
The road’s yours to defeat.

The breeze keeps you going,
Step-right-left-repeat,
Push yourself to the limit,
Push yourself through the heat.

You’ve made it this far,
Pushed it out every mile,
Your feat is the journey,
And one that’s worthwhile.

Focus your breathing,
Feel your heart beat,
The road is your battle,
Your battle to defeat.

Destination ahead,
Victory in sight,
Run til the end,
This is your fight.

After glancing at my “Daily Dose” e-mail from Talent Zoo to find some quick reads, I nearly stopped dead in my tracks when I came across this article title: “Putting Tweets Under the Tree This Holiday.” What an interesting concept, I thought, and sure enough I clicked the link.

The Barbarian Group created the Tweet Wrap website to promote Samsung’s “boosted” RF510 laptop; it allows users to create their own Twitter-themed wrapping paper for the holiday season. With the first 3,000 orders being free, I gave it a whirl with nothing to lose, choosing my own background pattern and personal tweet threads to customize my paper. And let’s face it. In today’s world, customization is a growing expectation among the majority, a “desired future,” and a necessary product feature or component. Frankly, as the consumer, it is all about us—and that’s understandable. “What can you do for me?” is the question we should be asking ourselves when making a purchase or using a service.

Once you receive your customized wrapping paper in the mail, the user is encouraged to wrap a gift with it; upload a picture of your Tweetwrapped gift to the Boosted Facebook Page (sponsored by Samsung and Intel) and you will be entered for a chance to win the RF510! No matter how great your chance of winning is, it’s always fun to enter a competition with the “I really think I’m gonna win this time” mindset.

I have to admit, the site was quick, fun, and easy to use. Granted, I still got suckered into paying $2.50 to rush the shipping in time for Christmas—but it’s $2.50. Even so, I enjoyed engaging in a clever branding campaign driven by social media. Because social media is the way of our generation, it is the digital age, and it is part of our today and tomorrows. The article makes a valid point, and that is this: How will you, or your company more likely, use social media to involve its customers in creative ways this season? What is your strategy to help you “hit” the digital sweet spot head-on into the new year?

The impact of social media is prevalent and profound; every day, new technology ideas are designed and discussed as frequently as their tangible counterparts are prototyped and shelved. VP-global digital at Blackberry parent Research In Motion Brian Wallace said it right:

Success is about getting likes, or shares, or comments. Or maybe the person will click on an ad or post a photo or video he or she took with a Blackberry. In the end, it’s behavior-based. A Facebook fan has no value. Getting a Facebook fan to do something does.

"Snaps" for Samsung.