You’ve probably noticed it’s Winter Squash season! Your local grocery store most likely has a variety of squash on display in the produce section, but aside from “looking” seasonal and pretty, many people don’t know what the different varieties of squash are called, yet alone what they can be used for!
Hint: they’re more than decoration! Here’s a handy, dandy crash course on Winter Squash, and their many uses.
This colorful variety is a hybrid of an acorn squash and a sweet dumpling squash. It’s perfect for soups and for roasting.
This Winter squash is pale yellow with green stripes and has an edible skin. Try slicing it into half moons, tossing it in olive oil with salt and pepper and roasting it in the oven for a delicious Fall side dish!
A smaller squash that varies in color from dark green to orange, with a ribbed rind and orange or yellow flesh. When halved for roasting, the acorn squash can act as a festive bowl for soups or fillings.
Here is the easiest way ever to cook Acorn Squash…in the crock pot!
Harvest Acorn Squash
Into the crock pot put cleaned, unpeeled squash. Add approximately 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook one hour on High, then change to Low for 6-8 hours. Split and scoop out seeds from cooked squash. Place melted butter, brown sugar, pepper and dash of cinnamon in cavity of squash. Yummy!!
It’s slim neck and round bottom gives this squash it’s distinctive shape. It has bright orange flesh and a fairly sweet and nutty flavor making it great roasted or as a soup. You can use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
It looks like a classic Halloween pumpkin, only a bit smaller. It actually has lots of flesh, and a great pumpkin flavor which makes it great for pie! Try using it instead of canned pumpkin the next time you make a pumpkin pie!
Scraping a fork inside a roasted spaghetti squash will give you strings that closely resemble noodles! It’s mild flavor pairs well with a variety of sauces. It’s a great alternative to pasta!
Jack Be Little
This adorable little guy is actually best used for decorative purposes only. It has very little flesh, which doesn’t make it very practical to use in recipes, but they sure are cute and make great bowls for dip or soup!
Hubbard squash are a fairly large winter squash. They are slightly tear-shaped with dark green to pale grayish blue skins.
Because of their size, they are often sold in pre-cut and seeded chunks which are more appealing to home cooks. Hubbards are sweet with a clear pumpkin flavor. Their extra-thick skins help them store through the winter (up to five months in a cool and dry place). A great way to prepare Hubbard squash is to roast them. They are good seasoned with rosemary and black pepper or roasted and then mashed with plenty of butter and warm spices like cumin or nutmeg.
Squash makes a great Fall or Winter meal or side dish. Pinterest is a great resource for recipes, so add squash to your shopping list soon and take advantage of the season!
Winter Squash – Try It, You’ll Like It!
For more Recipes: Click Here
Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is observed each year on November 11. It was originally known as Armistice Day.
Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day. This holiday honors those who died while in military service. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day which is celebrated in May and specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.
When Veterans Day falls on a Saturday then either Saturday or the preceding Friday may be designated as the holiday. If it falls on a Sunday, it is typically observed on the following Monday. This year we are observing the holiday on Monday, November 12. Source…
Enjoy this quote and several more from well-known individuals about Veterans Day:
“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.”
Read more here: Quotes
Please take the time to thank a vet on this Veterans Day and help out in any way you feel you can.
Related Patriotic Post: Flag Day
A Thanksgiving tradition for some families and a soon-to-be tradition for others…a Thankful Tree!
After all, the meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
This is an activity that all ages can participate in and will be a topic of conversation for your Thanksgiving gathering.
We have chosen three trees that are fairly easy DIY projects. You can get started on them this week and have them ready for Thanksgiving day.
Thankful Tree #1
Start with some tall branches — either gather them from outside, or purchase a bunch of craft branches. For an even more festive look, consider lighted branches. Add them to a simple glass vase. You may have some of the supplies on hand… if not, they are reasonable in cost and can be used year after year!
Before guests arrive, attach ribbon to paper leaves. Using a dark colored Sharpie, write what you are thankful for on a few of the leaves and hang them on the tree. Encourage your guests to do the same as they arrive.
Thankful Tree #2
You will need the following supplies for this Thankful Tree:
Glass Vase, Tree Branches, Pinecones, Autumn Leaves, Ribbon, Scrapbook Paper, and Leaf Pattern
This is a low-cost Tree that can be used year after year.
Thankful Tree #3
This Tree is nature themed. It uses unshelled nuts in the vase with autumn leaves decoration surrounding the vase. The medallions are wooden with chalk paint so they can be used again next Thanksgiving. Be creative and use supplies that you have on hand. If you need to purchase some of them, remember that you can use this Thankful Tree year after year!
How to Achieve Blended Family Success Using 3 C’s
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Alexandria_Clifton]Alexandria Clifton
Are you a divorcee with kids considering marriage again? Are you engaged to someone who has kids from a former relationship? Soon-to-be-step-parent, are you wrought with anxiety about your upcoming transition?
I am an expert in being honest about the fact that NO ONE knows everything there is to know about step-parenting and the formation of blended families. That being said, the content of this article is inspired by my immersion into a marriage where I simultaneously became wife and step-mom. I am sure that most people agree that parenting, in general, is full of uncertainties, joys, challenges and triumphs. Yet most times these experiences are heightened in newly formed step-families.
The following 3 C’s represent three main categories integral to the healthy establishment of any relationship, especially those involving couples where divorce, separation, and children demarcate the onset of the relational journey.
The First C: Communication
Heed the old adage, “Communication is key.” Communication, however, should not start the day after the honeymoon. The honeymoon should begin well after plenty of candid conversations about the actual logistics and functioning of your soon-to-be-blended family.
For example, if you are the step-parent you may want to broach the topic of discipline, rules, accountability, and authority with your significant other. How do you discipline your kids? Are you okay with my involvement in discipline? How should these disciplinary tactics look? Moreover, bio-parent it is not only nice but important for you to engage your partner here and completely avail yourself to conversations about the fears, questions, and observations of the soon-to-be-step-parent in your life.
Being a parent is tough, and living through a divorce is even harder. Attending to the well-being of children who are more than likely suffering and mourning in some way over the end of their parents’ marriage is extremely difficult. Step-parents should take care to acknowledge the trials and triumphs of bio-parents, while bio-parents must also open the eyes of their heart to the ambiguity, uncertainty, and oftentimes-unparalleled-trials and triumphs of step-parents. Blending is all about achieving a harmony out of bringing together individuals who were previously disparate.
The Second C: Connection
Communication is certainly the utmost of importance. However, all of the ideas, answers, and solutions that come out of candid conversation die when they are not being enacted and engaged.
Before we got married, my husband, then fiancé, was very deliberate and thoughtful about including me in activities that revolved around the entire family. I was not able to make it to all events. There may have been moments when it was healthy for the kids to simply be with their father or mother (or any other family member) without me (the same holds true presently). Yet, we put in the work to achieve quality time and balance, which resulted in genuine connection. It is important to create new traditions that are conducive to and include all members of the “new” family. You can still honor some family traditions that were already set in place.
There is also another dimension to “connection.” It is important for spouses to connect. Reader you might be saying to yourself, “Duh, of course it’s important for partners to connect!” But, trust me, once you are immersed in the day-to-day of school, work, social obligations and the like, date nights and sexual intimacy often fall to the wayside. The adults in a newly formed blended-family can give themselves a thousand reasons why stealing away for a steamy night of romance is out of the question. However, making the time to do so rejuvenates, bonds, and gels a marriage. It is okay! (Repeat this to yourselves daily!)
The Third C: Community
Step-parent…there are bound to be moments when you experience isolation, sadness, frustration or any combination of adverse thoughts and emotions. As I have already mentioned, “blending” simply takes time. The trials and pitfalls common to the bio-parent/child dynamic are typically exacerbated when a new “parental-figure” is thrown into the mix.
All things considered, it is a great idea to become immersed in step-parenting communities. You do not have to be a social media junkie like me to follow a few blogs or join a couple forums geared towards support for step-parents and blended families. Many cities have family centers and churches that provide support groups for parents, divorcees, step-parents, etc.
Every family is different and life brings varying circumstances to every environment. Therefore, take what works for you and leave the rest behind. Keep the establishment of a healthy blended family as the ultimate goal.
As a step-mom, I take each day to reach out and connect with other adults in similar roles. For continued discussion on all things blended family, please go to http://www.saavysage.blogspot.com
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Achieve-Blended-Family-Success-Using-3-Cs&id=8250523] How to Achieve Blended Family Success Using 3 C’s
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