Potting Shed: A Haunted Tableau

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I have a Haunted Tableau and final Halloween post for you. . .

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Set in my Haunted Potting Shed. . .

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Ravens have arrived to alight on windows,

covered with a creepy fabric. . .

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And spiders are multiplying, conjured with

Martha Stewart Crafts Gothic Lace Window Clings.

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Reusable glittery spider clings adhere to glass surfaces

and also transferware plates for a little spooky fun.

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Potion bottles line the window ledge. . .

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And dreadful images of bones, skulls and bats join the Haunted Tableau.

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Spooky graphics are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy~

(enter Halloween in the search box for images)

and proceed with caution. . .

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Haunting skull martini glasses are

waiting to serve your potion or poison. . .

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And ghostly white pumpkins are offered under glass

with barbed wire for Cloche Encounters.

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Sinister skeletal hands have previously held

munchkin pumpkinsgraveyard and witch hat cupcakes

in their evil clutches, and are offering napkins to use, if you dare. . .

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Halloween is the time of year when everyday items

can appear a little creepy and spooky . . .

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And when a garden fork can appear as a sinister hand. . .

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 If only fueled by your imagination and a spooky spider ring. <|:>)

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Favorite Haunts & Details:

Skeletal Hands / Target, several years ago

Skull Martini Glasses / Pottery Barn, several years ago

Ravens & Martha Stewart Crafts Spider Clings /Michaels

Glitter Spiders, Creepy Black Gauze, Faux Barbed Wire / Walmart

Transferware plates / Colonial Pottery, Grace

Flatware / World Market

A Potting Shed Happy Haunting

Happy Haunting!

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A Potting Shed Happy Haunting

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My Potting Shed is ready for a Happy Haunting!

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And I’m rolling out the pumpkins in welcome

 for Members of The Black Hat Society!

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A wreath at the door warns:‘The Witch is In’,

 spelled with a sign scared up at Michaels

and some creepy black gauze. . .

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Along with a vintage garden trowel, masquerading

as a rusty witch hand with a bejeweled spider ring.

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Ravens have flown in for Halloween to light on pumpkins.

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And witchy shoes are parked by the door

next to a broom, ready for flight!

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A cauldron is bubbling with colorful mums. . .

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And lanterns, destined for the graveyard,

have a new life & a spooky facelift . . .

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Befitting their cracked glass panes, rust, and a broken hinges.

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Martha Stewart Crafts Gothic Lace Window and

 Mirror Clings were conjured from Michaels. . .

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Reusable spider clings adhere to glass surfaces. . .

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And add to haunted lantern fun with ghostly

 white pumpkins, glittery spiders, leaves and twigs!

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Chippy spindles repurposed as candleholders

elevate Jack Be Little pumpkins. . .

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And a burlap banner puts the ‘Happy’ in Halloween. . .

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Along with witchy legs, whether tucked

in a fern or in a cauldron at the table.

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Spiders are multiplying. . .

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And a bittersweet wreath frames a transferware plate.

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Favorite Haunts & Details:

Member Black Hat Society & Annual Witch Rides Signs/ HomeGoods

Burlap Happy Halloween Banner/ Pier 1

The Witch is In Sign/ Michaels

Witch Ring, Witch Legs / Target

Witch Shoes/ Kohl’s

Ravens & Martha Stewart Crafts Spider Clings /Michaels

Glitter Spiders & Creepy Black Gauze / Walmart

Bittersweet Wreath (real) / Farmers Market

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Hope to see you at the Annual Witch Rides,

Come One, Come All October 31st!

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 Happy Haunting <|:>)

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A Delicious Autumn Table with Mikasa Belmont Red

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I’m at the table with pumpkins, mums, and Indian corn

in a celebration of Delicious Autumn and

Mikasa Belmont Red Dinnerware!

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Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Belmont stoneware is available in a prism of colors~ blue, green, black, and red.

Plates are available in a round, traditional shape or a square shape for a more modern interpretation for dining.

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Belmont Red leans towards a warm russet shade, ideal for a table to pair with the colors and textures of autumn; rustic woven placemats, colorful Indian corn and some fall foliage.

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Fall is my favorite season and the inspiration for the table

came from one of my favorite quotes. . .

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“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird

I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

~ George Eliot

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A favorite urn, with a bird relief and pair perched as handles, serve as a centerpiece for the table. I added a potted mum, some leaves from a maple and a dogwood tree and a bird’s nest.

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The mum fits down in the urn with the leaves tucked in to fill in and add color & texture around the pot.

I tucked the bird’s nest in for some added interest.

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It’s natural and quick & easy to create in 5 minutes

using foliage and a pot of flowers from the grocery store or garden center

and urn or vase of your choice.

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Bird napkin rings marry a pair of napkins in shades of pumpkin and russet.

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And a plaid fringed throw is layered over a brown matelasse coverlet,

both used here for a Delicious Autumn and Flavors of Fall Picnic!

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Belmont Red Table Details:

*Dinnerware /  Mikasa Belmont Red Dinnerware

*Flatware / Mikasa Gourmet Basics Contempo

*Stemware/ Mikasa French Countryside

Chargers / World Market, several years ago

Bird Urn, retail days, used here

Napkin Rings / Pottery Barn, several years ago

 Napkins / Pier 1 & HomeGoods, several years ago

Matelasse Coverlet / Bed, Bath & Beyond

Plaid Throw / Target, several years ago, used here

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Enjoy 20% off one Belmont Red item through November 23rd with the link below:

www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKBR201

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You’re welcome to join me at the table with

Mikasa Belmont Blue, here, or Belmont Green, here.

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Delicious Autumn Table and Mikasa Belmont Red

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Chloe’s Hooked on Fishing

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Our cove has been ‘boiling’ with bass feeding with the cooler fall temperatures for the past month.

Chloe and fish

Chloe’s discovered a new pastime and fascination. . .

Gracie

And Gracie is content to watch the action from the comfort of her cushion.

I took these photos and video with my phone so the quality is not the best. . .

Chloe fishing

But I hope they bring a smile to your face just the same :)

Chloe Fishing

Happy Sunday!

Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats, aka Pretzel S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats, aka

Pretzel S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

are a quick and easy treat for Halloween!

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They start with Pillsbury Ready To Bake!® Chocolate Chunk & Chip Cookies as a base and are layered with marshmallows, pretzel twists and deadly morsels, aka Nestle Toll House Halloween Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels. These bars are ready from start to finish in less than 25 minutes, and like Easy Caramel Apple Bars, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool long enough to cut!

Pretzel S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I found the Halloween Limited Edition morsels at Target, if you can’t find them, substitute regular semi-sweet morsels.

You could always add some Halloween sprinkles if you want to add some seasonal color to dress your twisted treats.

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Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats, aka

Pretzel S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, recipe adapted from Pillsbury

Ingredients

16 oz. pkg Pillsbury Ready To Bake!® Chocolate Chunk & Chip Cookies

½ cup miniature marshmallows

 25 to 30 mini pretzel twists (or enough to cover marshmallow layer)

½ cup Nestle Toll House Halloween Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Orange Colored Morsels or semisweet chocolate chips

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over opposite sides of pan. Spray foil with nonstick spray.

Place cookie dough in bottom of pan. Press dough with fingers to flatten and cover bottom of pan in even layer.

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Bake 14 – 18 minutes or just until center is set.

Sprinkle marshmallows over partially baked crust. Arrange pretzels over marshmallows in 5 or 6 rows of 5 pretzels each. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.

Return to oven; bake 5 minutes longer or until marshmallows appear melted.

Allow bars to cool in pan before cutting. (Pillsbury’s recipe said to cool 30 minutes but my bars were still too sticky. I had better luck cutting after refrigerating for a couple of hours.)

Lift bars from pan by using foil overhang; place on cutting board. Cut bars to desired size and store in airtight container.

You can find a printable recipe here.

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Cupcake liners provide an easy and festive way to serve these twisted treats

and keep sinister skeletal hands marshmallow-free <|:>)

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You’re welcome to join me at the table here for more

Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats!

Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats

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At the Table: Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats

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Halloween’s around the corner which means it’s

that time of year when Treats become Twisted . . .

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Witch’s Cauldron Cupcakes

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Chocolate cupcakes with frosting in a bubbling cauldron hue

and topped with cauldron potion Halloween sprinkles.

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  Twizzlers Chocolate Twists make edible cauldron handles.

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It’s also the time when seemingly normal ingredients can appear Spooky. . .

Spooky Lasagna Soup

Spooky Lasagna Soup

Mozzarella and olive slice eyes to stare up from

 your soup bowl with a quick trick & spooky treat!

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 Scary Hand Pies are easy to scare up with pie filling,

refrigerated pie crust, and Wilton Candy Eyes.

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Scary hand optional <|: >)

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Beware. . . it’s the time of year when

morsels become deadly. . .

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Death by Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

A triple dose of chocolate deadly

enough for the most die-hard chocoholic.

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Bottles were collected for potion ingredients. . .

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Pick your poison. . .

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And shake up a Skeletini Cocktail.

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Ravens have gathered for twisted treats. . .

Brains of Cawing Ravens

aka, White Chocolate Popcorn Crunch

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Candy Corn masquerades as Bat Fangs,

Dried Cranberries magically become Lord Neckswoop’s Blood Drops,

and White Chocolate Almond Bark is arsenic-laced

all by conjuring ingredient labels.

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Wishing you a Happy Haunting!

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Deadly Morsels and Twisted Treats Table:

Deadly Morsel Plates & Tiered Centerpiece Basket / Hobby Lobby

Dinner Plates / Pfaltzgraff Delaney

Tablecloth & Goblets / HomeGoods

Witch Hands / Target, several years ago

Flatware & Chargers / World Market

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Around the Potting Shed: Weighing in On Fall Love

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I’m weighing in on a little fall love with pumpkins, mums, and

leaves for garden smiles around the Potting Shed!

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My vintage National Family Scale is offering up Indian corn and

the first autumn color from leaves of a Sweetgum tree.

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And a crewel embroidered pumpkin pillow join

 other pumpkins and pillows on a bench.

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Raking Season will be here soon, and Indian corn and a

garden fork hang on a rake for a little fall display.

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The botanical face of my Garden Smiles plaque is framed with

a bittersweet wreath and topped with some dogwood foliage.

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And a recent find and vintage Schwinn Breeze bike

may not be road ready but she’s pumpkin ready.

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Pumpkins are nestled in the chimney pot with the

fern fronds for a little seasonal color.

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“Autumn truly is what summer pretends to be:  the best of all seasons. It is as glorious as summer is tedious; as subtle as summer is obvious; as refreshing as summer is wearying.
Autumn seems like paradise.” ~Gregg Easterbrook

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The Witch Is In: Halloween Cauldron Cupcakes!

Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes

 With Halloween on the horizon,

 it seemed timely to pull out my cauldron and practice my

 spell making with a batch of Chocolate Cauldron Cupcakes!

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Fitting too since October 18th is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. . .

I’m happy to celebrate any kind of cupcake day!

{insert *cackle* here}

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I like to use a doctored cake mix for quick & easy spelling for cupcakes.

I used a Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix for the cupcakes, substituting buttermilk for the water, 4 eggs instead of 3, and the same amount of oil called for in the mix.

Follow the box directions for mixing and baking, allowing the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

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Twizzlers Chocolate Twists form the handles of the cauldron cupcakes. Bend and insert them in your cupcake, they’re just the right size, no cutting or spelling required! Make sure not to put them too close to the edge of your cupcakes to prevent the cupcake from breaking.

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I tried to insert them after frosting the top, before adding the sprinkles, but I had better more luck placing them prior to frosting to prevent breaking the cupcake. I used the pretzel sticks, aka cauldron stirrers, to help spread the frosting close to the edges of the cupcakes and around the Twizzler/cauldron handles. I found the Chocolate Twizzlers at Target, a short broom ride away.

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This witch likes Pillsbury canned frosting, but if the idea of canned frosting makes your black teeth ache, use your favorite frosting recipe. I used a vanilla frosting tinted with green food coloring for a bubbling cauldron hue.

Little witches will enjoy custom blending their cauldron cupcakes with sprinkles and nonpareils for a fun Halloween activity and treat!

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I hope these cauldron cupcakes make you

Happier than a Witch in a Broom Factory <|: >)

Halloween Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes

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A Quick Beach Getaway

Pawley's Island, SC

We were fortunate to be invited to the beach with friends

for a weekend getaway to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina.

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A beautiful October weekend with temperatures in the 70s – 80s

 for a little fun in the sun and a few walks on the beach.

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Here’s a little South Carolina coastal scenery for your weekend.

Hope you enjoy!

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Thank you for your visit!

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Butternut-Apple Soup with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

Butternut-Apple Soup with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

Butternut-Apple Soup is a sweet and savory soup,

 ideal for fall with butternut squash and apples in season!

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 I’m serving it up with a side of with

 Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves,

 pie crust leaf “sandwiches” of pecans, cranberries, and cheese!

Butternut-Apple Soup with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

The pie crust leaves are a variation of Cranberry-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves,

with the addition of cheddar cheese to complement the

 flavor of apple in the soup!

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I adapted a recipe for Carrot-Apple Soup in

Southern Living Magazine’s September issue.

In addition to substituting butternut squash for carrot, I made an additional change, using evaporated milk instead of cream called for in the recipe for a lower fat alternative. The butternut and apples are pureed, resulting in a thick and creamy soup with the addition of evaporated milk, without the additional calories or fat.

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You can find the steps and directions to make the

Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves, here.

Cheddar-Pecan-Cranberry Pie Crust Leaves

I added 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

along with 1/2 cup each of pecans and dried cranberries.

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Butternut-Apple Soup, adapted from Southern Living

Ingredients

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed

3 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and chopped (about 1 lb.)

1 large yellow onion

*2 cups cream (substitute 12-oz. can evaporated whole milk and 4 oz. chicken stock for lower fat alternative)

2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock, plus additional stock to thin soup if desired

1 1/4 cups apple cider

3 fresh thyme sprigs

*1 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste

*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste

Garnishes: diced apples, chopped toasted pecans, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, and/ or crispy prosciutto

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Directions

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 to 45 minutes or until butternut squash is tender. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes.

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Remove thyme sprigs. Process soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. For less clean up and no risk of exploding soup, use an immersion blender in Dutch oven, blending until smooth. For a thinner soup, stir in more stock to desired consistency. Spoon into individual bowls, and garnish as desired.

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This soup is even better reheated the second day.

Serve with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves.

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You can find a printable recipe, here.

And you’re welcome to join me at the table with

Pumpkins, Leaves and Mikasa Autumn Nights here.

Butternut-Apple Soup & Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

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