Bah, Humbug

December 13, 2009

The time has come and gone for us to get a Christmas tree. Every time we’ve thought about getting one something has come up, we’ve been too busy or it’s rained! Who wants to go to a Christmas Tree lot in the rain and bring home a wet tree!?

So we have officially declared this year our second tree-less year in a row. Since we’re going to my parents’ for Christmas, we won’t miss out on the pine love

I got my study on this afternoon while listening to planetarium music by Jonn Serrie on Grooveshark. It’s awesome. I have always loved psychedelic space music! While listening I questioned whether space really exists or if we live in a big dome. Matt laughed. He must believe!

For dinner we made a simple stoup with Butternut Squash, Apples + Carrots.

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I can’t believe we wasted so many years peeling and cubing butternut squash. It is SO much easier to just half it and bake until it’s all tender and practically pureed.

So for this stoup we baked a small-ish butternut (halved, de-seeded, face down in water) for 40 minutes at 400*. We added 2 chopped apples and 3 carrots 10 minutes in and they were all ready to be put into a pot with 1 cup of chicken broth, cinnamon, garlic powder, salt + pepper, and a dash cayenne.

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On the side – a tasting plate. Leftover cheeses, a few crackers, a small slice of toast cubes

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These cheeses are so good!

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After dinner we watched an Animal Planet show on the Anaconda. SCARY!!

Michelle had the brilliant idea to have goodie bags for us all to take home some treats from the party last night! I filled up a bad (as if I needed more desserts!!) with a few no-bake cookies, a buckeye and an oreo truffle.

Matt brought them out tonight for dessert

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I resisted devouring the whole bag and settled for a small no-bake oatmeal cookie, which I savored in little nibbles. Matt had the other and the buckeye (peanut butter filling!)

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I finished reading Wicked a few nights ago. Not my favorite book, but I did enjoy reading it. I can’t wait to see the musical sometime next year. Tonight I’m starting The Road, which Larbs’ Matt chose for the First Annual Family Christmas Book Club! We are all reading it to discuss at Christmas. Matt just finished it earlier so it’s all mine :)

Having blown off about a month’s worth of Monday runs, we are hoping to be strong and get up and run tomorrow before Matt goes to work and I leave for an early study-date with Victoria. It’s going to be cold and dark, but we’ll have to be brave!

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annie December 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

so simple. so delicious looking. love it!


2 Lauren December 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

GET OUT! I had the same dinner! :)


3 Food Makes Fun Fuel December 13, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Goodie bags are my favorite part of leaving a party :-)
And that soup sounds so nice and simple


4 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) December 13, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I am in love with Buckeyes! Although, my family has always just called them “peanut butter candies.” They’re one of the things I look forward to most every Christmas. 😀


5 VeggieGirl December 13, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Buckeyes are my state’s “famous” treat, so you know who to ask if you want more :)


6 Spotty Prep December 13, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I definitely like the music from Wicked better than the book itself. I’m seeing it in February, and I can’t wait! I’ve picked up The Road a couple times, but haven’t bought it yet. You’ll have to let us know what you think!

The goodie bags really are a great idea to avoid a ton of leftovers!


7 Marisa (Loser for Life) December 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I did not like the book Wicked, either! But, you will LOVE the musical! It is awesome! You will be singing those show tunes like crazy! Especially, Defying Gravity!


8 haya December 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm

that is the best way to prepare butternut! plus you are halfway to soup when it’s done!! (and you get a better roasty taste than if you boiled/steamed).

that song sounds fun! i’ll have to check it out.


9 Kristen December 13, 2009 at 8:29 pm

The Road is amazing and will provoke much discussion, I bet! Very intense stuff. I read it in a day because I couldn’t put it down!!

Love the sprinkles on the buckeye. 😀


10 Jil December 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm

The Wicked musical is fantastic. Faaantastic! Ahh, I want to go see it again!!


11 Lexi December 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm

You will LOVE the musical Wicked. It’s amazing!

Great dinner and dessert! 😀


12 Ali December 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Yum… buckeyes, the Ohio Christmas treat!

Question— How can I make the butternut squash without an oven? Any idea? Apartments here in Korea don’t have ovens. Could I put it in a pot with a little water and cover it?

And “The Road” is intense. I fetl very… depressed?… after reading it. Great book though!


13 Kath December 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Yes, you could definitely cube it and steam it. It will just be more work! although I bet you could actually steam it without cubing it. In a steamer basket. If you could get it to fit in there. Perhaps in pieces?



14 Jenna December 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm

soup looks great! nice and warm for the winter :)


15 katherine (blissful-body) December 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm

did you know Wicked is showing at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC for 3 weeks in January/February? my mom, uncle and i are going and i can’t wait. you and matt should really go. i’ve never seen it and can’t wait.


16 M December 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I agree that The Road is super intense. It’s incredibly disturbing, very, very unsettling, and so thought-provoking. It is definitely not a light read, but it’s the sort of book that you can sit down and read straight through (although, it may take a few “starts” before you can actually dive into the book). It’s a book that will not leave you.


17 Jennifer December 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

You are a very nice wife to forgo the Buckeye! I love those, especially when they are frozen. I took my daughter and her best friend to see Wicked this summer, it was fantastic!!


18 marie December 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

The Road is the *best* book I read in 2009. It’s amazing. Make sure you have a lot of time to read it when you start because you won’t be able to put it down. My sister and me are actually avoiding to see the movie for fear that it ruins the book!


19 Jessie (Vegan-minded) December 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm

That soup looks so hearty and delicious! Love butternut squash! I will be sad when the season is over.


20 Heather December 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Oh, I hope you enjoy The Road! I agree with what everyone else is saying – it’s not a happy book, but it’s fantastic. Your stoup looks great!


21 Ashley December 13, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I love your theory about living in a dome. I often have really goofy thoughts like that too. Funny! Buckeyes are delicious!! They were always around at Ohio State b/c the mascot is a Buckeye…weird, I know, haha. There is some football game chant that like “….WE ARE THE BUCKEYES, WE ARE KILLER NUTS…” or something like that, haha :) Stinks about the stomach ache last night, I hate when that happens. You almost just feel like you can’t breathe sometimes [or I do]. If I drink any champagne it gets worse and it makes me throw up, haha. Sorry, gross I know. I actually yakked the day we got engaged!! How romantic…we were in Charleston and we ate so much food all day long and free champagne at a few restaurants = terrible stomach ache = yak! Okay, now that I’ve grossed you out, I’m done now :) Byeee xo


22 Kath December 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I always drink water, which makes it so much worse! Glad I”m not the only one :)


23 Lisa December 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm

My Husband and I decided to not do a tree this year either. We’re away from the 24th till 29th so we figured why bother? It’s just us and neither of us care! I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who celebrates Christmas that doesn’t put up a tree 😉


24 Carolyn December 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm

My husband’s uncle lives in a dome. Right outside of Charlotte, actually, in Belmont. He even built a matching dome garage.


25 Kath December 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Oh how cool!


26 Christine December 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I’m studying too, for a final tomorrow, and I needed a better study ambiance so I decided to check out John Serrie. it’s great as a background sound. thanks for the inspiration :)


27 Lee December 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I just made Oreo Truffles!


28 Kris December 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm

We’ve decided to be tree-less this year too. At first I was a little bit bummed out over it but I’ll be spending Christmas at my parent’s house in Canada and they have the tree with all of the ornaments I remember from when I was a kid, so I have a feeling I’ll get that Christmas feelin’ anyways. :-)

Your dinner looks delish!


29 Kristen @ Change of Pace December 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Your stoup looks tasty! We didn’t have a tree for awhile. This year was the first in 3 years. They are a lot of work. I just did like you and enjoyed my family’s tree :)


30 Stephanie December 13, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I never could get through Wicked, too slow for me. The musical is awesome though! I’ve seen it twice. Can’t say enough good things about it.


31 lynn (The Actors Diet) December 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm

i like baking butternut squash whole – i can’t be bothered to cut at all!!!!


32 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope December 13, 2009 at 9:30 pm

OMG, that stoup looks SO good! I am definitely saving this recipe! :)


33 skinnyrunner December 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm

i love the idea of a goodie bag fulled of yummies! yes, please.


34 Claire December 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

I agree about Wicked…but the musical is SOOOO good! I totally prefer it to the book, which I guess is a rare occurrence. :-)


35 Hallie December 13, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Mmm peanut butter balls! My boyfriend’s family makes them for Christmas every year, and I’m really hoping this year is no exception! If it is I might just roll up my sleeves and try it myself. And I had a similar soup tonight but it included chicken, zucchini, and coconut milk. Now that I think about it…I couldn’t taste any apples?!? Maybe they disintegrated in my crock pot…hmm…


36 Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now December 13, 2009 at 9:57 pm

I had my first ever buckeye today at a cookie swap. Where have I been?! So good.


37 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm

That soup looks so yummy!


38 Sarah December 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm

The Road is next on my list as well. My husband read it and loved it, but was thoroughly depressed for weeks on end… Still, I think it’s worth the read. I’m anxious to know what you think! And your stoup looks delicious – we’ll have to try that!


39 Jamie December 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm

THat soup looks awesome! Good luck with the run tomorrow– it is soo hard getting up in the cold but it definitely feels awesome and refreshing afterward.


40 [email protected] December 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm

This will be tree-less year 5….It’s always something, toomuch $$$, too dry and brittle, no room in the house, etc. The last 2 years Christmas trees on my island were sold out by the first week of December……I’m hanging a ornament on my indoor coconut palm and waiting to see how long it takes for my cat to break it haha……aloha:-)


41 Christy December 13, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Looks like some tasty soup! And that peanut butter filled buckeye doesn’t look too shabby, either! 😀


42 ashleigh December 13, 2009 at 10:30 pm

yumm!! no bake cookies are my FAVE! good luck getting up tomorrow for a run!


43 brittany December 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Ok this is going to be weird but I think space is fake too!! There are soo many signs and I;ve convinced my family, even my grandma!, that space really doesn’t exist it’s a way for the government to take money and trick us, I don’t know but I jsut thought it was so funny that you said that!
Also 26 is my lucky number too!!


44 Kath December 14, 2009 at 3:13 pm
45 jac December 13, 2009 at 10:52 pm

kath, could butternut squash be replaced with pumpkin?will it taste the same?


46 Kath December 14, 2009 at 3:13 pm

It won’t taste the same, but you could certainly do it!


47 ashley December 13, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Yes, do see the musical Wicked – it is my all-time favorite!! I think it’s even better than the book!


48 Wendy December 13, 2009 at 11:37 pm

We didn’t really get into having our own Christmas tree until we had kids…the first year we got a real tree (my first real one ever!), then we bought a 4-ft-tall artifical tree to set up high to prevent little people from pulling it over. This year is our first year with a big artificial tree, now that the kids are old enough to mostly leave it alone – I got it on clearance after last Christmas.

I still have tons of b-nuts needing to be eaten…I think I might put your simple stoup on the menu for this week!


49 Marina December 14, 2009 at 12:10 am

That soups sounds delicious. I’ve never had apple in soup, so I’ve got to try it :)
Love the goodie bag!


50 Maggie December 14, 2009 at 12:30 am

I just noticed that the new links to read the older posts say “eat more” rather than the usual “read more.” LOVE it!


51 Kath December 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm
52 Karla December 14, 2009 at 12:39 am

What a great sounding combination for the soup! I had west african soup for dinner! I cheated, I bought it :)
Goodie bags are always appreciated in my book!


53 Liz December 14, 2009 at 12:44 am

No christmas tree for us either, in fact, we’re not doing presents either and just donating to charity. It releaves a suprising amount of stress and saves a ton of money (the main reason we’re being “anti-christmas”


54 Joelle (The Pancake Girl) December 14, 2009 at 12:47 am

That soup sounds lovely!


55 Alysha December 14, 2009 at 12:48 am

Too bad about the Christmas tree, but at least you’ll get to have one on Christmas. That soup looks amazing!


56 Cynthia (It All Changes) December 14, 2009 at 12:50 am

This is Hunni and my second tree free year too. I really want one next year but this year it was just too busy. Even if it is a charlie brown tree I want somewhere to put my ornament collection.

I’ll let you know how the play is. I am seeing it on 2 January with Hunni and my momma. We are so excited since we all love stuff like that. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack all month.


57 Heather December 14, 2009 at 3:03 am

Yum! I wish I had that side plate to eat right now.. Looks great!


58 Jenn (www. ) December 14, 2009 at 4:06 am

Besides bread, cheese is my favorite food. That sampling plate looks soooo good! As does the soup. YUM! 😀



59 Tania @ Moment Anew December 14, 2009 at 4:18 am

I don’t even bother with waiting around for the squash to bake–I poke a bunch of holes in it with a knife, wrap it in a tea towel and nuke it for 5-8 minutes. By then I’m able to cut it, peel it, etc.

Warning: not poking holes=SQUASH BOMB!!! LOL


60 Tamzin December 14, 2009 at 5:17 am

I would like to get my hands on that goodie bag! x x


61 Naomi (onefitfoodie) December 14, 2009 at 5:46 am

baking the whole squash at once saves SO much time in the kitchen, rather than cubing it all in the beginning, so glad you saved yourself some time there! the soup looks PERFECT!! and the spices in there must taste amazing with it.

great cheese plate, i luuurrrvveee cheese 😉


62 sarah (ghost world) December 14, 2009 at 6:16 am

early AM run: YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!! i expect a run report on this AM’s post :)


63 Annalisa December 14, 2009 at 6:21 am

When I don’t want to run the oven to make butternut squash, I microwave it. Halve it, clean the insides, wrap in saran wrap, and put one side in at a time for 8-10 minutes.

PS – This is our 3rd year not putting up a tree largely because we travel so far to see both families and time feels too precious to spend decorating. it’s so nice to hear someone else isn’t putting up a tree this year.


64 Mandy December 14, 2009 at 6:38 am

Kath…I went to an awesome party yesterday and I ate soooo many cookies!! Once I got home, I realized I did not even eat dinner…just cookies! Yuk! I gave my two year old a cookie for the car ride home and later learned that while my husband was “playing” with him in the kitchen, they were really just eating cookies. So, it was a less than stellar day on the eating front for both me and my baby! I fear I am out of the running for “healhy mom of the year’!

Anyways…that candy from your treat bag is NOT a buckeye…it is a peanut butter ball. I live in Ohio and I am a buckeye expert. It would need the tell tale peanutbutter exposure to be a buckeye!! Trust me! 😉


65 Kath December 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Haha. Expert!


66 christie @ honoring health December 14, 2009 at 6:39 am

We bought some new furniture over the past year and realized that we have no room for a tree. We have been debating about getting a small table top one but haven’t gotten around to it.


67 Lauren December 14, 2009 at 6:43 am

My husband and I also forewent a Christmas tree this year. We placed pine boughs around the apartment, which scents the place quite nicely… but I do miss a twinkling tree!

I love the idea of a Christmas book group. My family is comprised mainly of bookworms, although our interest in types of books are somewhat varied. The Road has been on my list to read for a while now, and I definitely want to read the book prior to seeing the movie.


68 Katie December 14, 2009 at 7:08 am


New music, food, fitness + giveaways –

Come visit! Happy MONDAY FUNDAY!



69 rungirlrunn December 14, 2009 at 7:39 am

I LOVE the idea of a family book club!! I had a 1 foot mini Christmas tree for a few years :) This is my first year with a real “grown up” tree 😉


70 Simply Life December 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

sorry to hear about the tree – I know it’s not nearly as good, but we started doing a fake tree because it’s better for the environment, saves us money and doesn’t force us to go shopping in the rain!


71 amanda December 14, 2009 at 8:19 am

Those cookies look great after your butternut squash soup


72 Becky December 14, 2009 at 8:54 am

I have tried several time to read The Road (my husband got it and read it in a day) but I fall asleep every time! After reading the above comments, I guess I jsut have to get into it (although I’m not sure if I want to feel depressed! haha) or at least read it during the day and not at night. Maybe I’ll try again today…


73 Gena December 14, 2009 at 9:34 am

Your butternut squash and kale soup has become a Gena regular — I make it all the time, and often for family and friends. So this recipe looks like it may become a regular, too!

I decorated my tree this weekend. It was bigger than it should have been, given my apt. space, but whatever :-)


74 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale December 14, 2009 at 10:10 am

My husbands from Ohio – land of the buckeyes! I had never had one until I went to school in OH (Miami U.), but quickly discovered their awesomeness!

I mean, a ball of PB covered in chocolate? What could be wrong with that?!


75 Kim December 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

The Road is good in the sense of writing style and ingenuity and creativity… it’s pretty awesome. But it kind of depressed me. :)


76 Sarah (OC2Seattle) December 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm

The Family Christmas Book Club is an awesome idea!


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