Bye South America, Hello New York! (roasted butternut squash soup)

Now that I’ve been home for a day or so, I’ve really been able to reflect on my tour to South America with Beyonce. I have to say, it was really rough! Not a lot of sleep, lots of traveling, the life of a musician. Fortunately, the pros outweighed the cons! Just the people alone that I met in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico were so beautiful and incredibly inspiring! I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone that I came across! You have a place in my heart forever and I’m so grateful for all of you! Here’s a little video after our last show in Puerto Rico:

One of the things that I was looking forward to most in New York (besides seeing my family of course) was the fall time! These 2 weeks will be the only fall I experience this year since we’ll be heading to Australia and New Zealand next! So the next 2 weeks are all about me making my favorite fall dishes! First one’s up!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, deseeded, cubed (the smaller you cube it the faster it roasts)
  • 2 shallots halved
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp plain green yogurt (with extra for garnishing)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Season squash and shallots generously with salt and pepper. Toss in olive oil until coated evenly. Spread squash and shallots out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake until tender all the way through (30-45 minutes) flipping every once in a while. Meanwhile,  toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over med heat (watching carefully to not burn the nuts!). Once squash is tender put in a blender with 2 cups chicken stock and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Remove from blender and pour into a stock pot over medium heat. Stir in cardamom powder and greek yogurt. Pour into bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts and a dollop of yogurt. Serve with a toasted baguette.

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Improvise

  • Try toasted almond slices instead of pine nuts
  • You can use heavy cream instead of greek yogurt
  • Try roasting ¬†root vegetables like parsnips or carrots as the soup base

This recipe is so warm and comforting. Perfect for the autumnal season in New York! All we need left is that air outside to get a little colder and crisper! (why does it still feel like summer, NY?!) The perfect song to go with this recipe is none other than, “Autumn in New York” performed by Joe Lovano and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra (this is a throw back to my Jailyard days.. that’s me on baritone)

Ciao!

A

Backstage Experience: Medellin, Colombia

While backstage a few nights ago in Medellin, Colombia lots of interesting discoveries occurred. First, while finishing up our makeup and hair we had a visit from La Escuela Kolacho (The Kolacho School). This was a group of kids that studied hip hop and dancing as a part of a program to keep kids off of the streets. They were just yet another very inspiring group of people that I have met in South America. Here’s a clip of one of the kids showing us how it’s done:

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Part 2 of my discoveries in Medellin come from Dani and I in catering. I discovered one of my new favorite foods! The granadilla! It’s a fruit native to Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia and tastes similar to a passionfruit but is sweeter!

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The granadilla has black seeds on the inside and surrounded by a pulp. It may look weird but it’s so yummy and packed with Vitamins C, A, and K, phosphorus, iron, and calcium! As you can see by this video however, I need to work on my eating technique of this fruit. That last bite wasn’t so lady like.. :p

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Caracas Venezuela and Medellin Colombia

I know I’m a little late on your post, Venezuela! Thank you for the most adventurous show I’ve ever experienced! I’m grateful for you! At this point in the tour, just the traveling alone is enough to wear you out.. So I decided to stay in the hotel for our time in Caracas, but loved experiencing the mountains of Venezuela on the way from the airport to the hotel!

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While at the hotel I had some pretty good food! I think one of the top dishes of this leg so far is this one: crema de auyama: (pumpkin soup)

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It was the most comforting dish and reminded me of home. (Can you tell I’ve gotten a little homesick, yet? Lol) Comes with the territory.
One of the best moments in Caracas was going to Benihana with Rie and sitting next to two couples from Venezuela (both speaking Spanish and one couple knew Italian too) Rie didn’t know a word of Spanish or Italian.. And mine is very broken in both languages, yet we had a full dinner’s conversation talking about where we were from and how we like South America and all.. What an adventure that was. Rie and I left the dinner and she said “Adison, that was SO MUCH FUN! Like one giant game of charades!” Hahaha and it was!

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Today is actually the day of the show in Colombia.. So I hope you guys are ready, Medellin! We got here yesterday, after the quickest plane ride I’ve ever experienced.. (2 hrs but I was passed out for the entire thing) I fell asleep before the plane took off and when it landed, I woke up and started freaking out because I didn’t know where I was, but the more alarming question was, who was underneath my bed shaking it. I really thought I was being attacked by the boogie monster. (Rough, I know). To give you a better idea of my flying experience yesterday.. here’s Mr Bear and I after 2 hrs of sleep and waiting for 5 hours in the airport. Wait, this one needs a proper intro.
Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you the most glamorous part of the road..
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I’m going for Miss America with that shot.. Jeez Louise. My point is people.. Is that this job isn’t all makeup, heels, and fabulousness. It involves a whole LOT of looking like that. Anywho..

Luckily I woke up enough to experience the winding mountainous roads and beautiful landscape of Colombia. I wouldn’t of been able to sleep even if I wanted to the way the bus driver, Weavie Wonder (ba dum psh) was flying around the corners like we were in an Aston Martin.. Plus the whizzing by of the motorcyclists.. Turning the corners like they’re in a video game and going by so quickly it sounded like a bumble bee was permanently in my ear. The views and the weather were stunning, though:

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I’m looking forward to playing for you tonight, Colombia!
Have a beautiful Sunday, all!