Monday, October 3, 2011

Morning Has Broken

It is a glorious Fall morning here in Middle Georgia today. This is my absolute favorite time of year here. I lived in Central Florida for about 16 years before moving here and the one thing I missed there was the beautiful change of seasons, particularly the Fall. The crispness in the air, the changing leaves...the air even smells differently this time of year. It is invigorating. Middle Georgia has a fairly temperate climate. We do get extreme heat and extreme cold, but for short periods, and the Fall and Spring here are marvelous.

This kind of weather makes me want to get out in it. One of the places I totally love to visit this time of year in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Last year they added so much to the already existing and beautiful gardens. They even have a "cooking garden" which features the vegetables of the various seasons. They invite guest chefs in to demonstrate those seasonal jewels. It is really interesting, beautiful and peaceful.
My sister Dayle and I took an overnight trip to Atlanta just to visit the Botanical Gardens. We had a wonderful time enjoying the lovely weather and the beautiful botanical displays. The Annual Orchid Show (which usually takes place in the Spring was going on at the time, and we really got a thrill at all the beautiful varieties of orchids we saw there.
We had a wonderful time that day at the gardens. They have a fantastic raised walkway that wanders through the trees at 40 feet in the air. There are all kinds of separate gardens from roses to ponds filled with fish and some of the biggest bullfrogs I have ever seen.

So, if you are looking for a wonderful day trip in the Central Georgia area, seek out the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. You won't be disappointed.


Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut squash, about 2 pounds, halved and seeded
1 Vidalia onion, quartered
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and quartered
Dash Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chicken broth (I use Swanson's)
Ground black pepper.
1/2 cup fat free half and half

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 F. Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the squash cut-side down on the baking dish and arrange the onion and potato sections around it. BAKE for 60 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the skin.

In a food processor, or large blender, blend together the squash, onion,potato, hot sauce, curry powder, and nutmeg. Add the chicken broth as needed to thin the mixture.

Transfer the squash mixture to a large saucepan over medium heat, and stir in the remaining chicken broth. COOK for about 5 minutes, or until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the half and half just before serving.

This soup is actually even better the second day!

Calories per serving.... 116 A glorious low-calorie, good for you soup!!!

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