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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

wicked fun no. 3: halloween play dough & fall recipes

I'm not a fan of loading kids up with tons of goodies for Halloween, so I'm always on the lookout for fun things for preschool or friends that don't involve massive amounts of sugar.

I saw this idea from Ashley at Under the Sycamore on my new favorite blog http://www.eighteen25.blogspot.com/. (I LOVE Ashley's blog too--gorgeous photos.) I used to make homemade play dough with the boys. They loved it. I showed Ella this idea and asked her if she'd like to make it for her preschool Halloween party. She turned her head away from the computer screen and said, "How 'bout we pretend I didn't see it and you surprise me too." She's so funny and definitely as bad as me when it comes to loving surprises. (BTW Hon, Thanks for the tomato soup and wheat breadsticks you brought home the other night. Loved them.)

So I think it's a go. If your child is in Miss Ginny's preschool, you can't use this idea. I love the packaging. I have ribbon already, but I'm trying to find the bigger foam spiders. May have to include something else. Click here for Ashley's great tutorial.

One more goodie. Nothing says fall to me like this yummy and so good for you soup.

This is a McCrary family favorite and a must for fall. It's a tried and true from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

I purchase the containers of butternut squash already cut at Costco. Makes this recipe so simple. They're in the refrigerated fruits and veggies room. I divide the container up and freeze what I don't use immediately. I get three batches from each container.


3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small)
2 cups thinly sliced carrot (4 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced chopped onion (I use less)
1 T. butter
2 14-oz cans chicken broth
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. half-and-half

In a large saucepan cook squash, carrot and onion in butter over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 25 to 35 minutes or until veggies are tender. Cool slightly.

Place one-third of the squash mixture in a blender. Cover and blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture. Return all of the mixture to the saucepan. Add pepper and nutmeg; bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half; heat through.

Pumpkin muffins served with this soup are a must. I know I've shared this muffin recipe before, but for dinner I substitute one cup of walnuts for the mini chocolate chips.



  1. Yummy. Now I know what to do with my squash.

  2. I just posted about the butternut squash recipe and referenced your blog again-I hope you don't mind. We loved, loved this soup! Thanks so much.

    I wanted to make the muffins, but France doesn't sell canned pumpkin anywhere! That will make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving a little more difficult.