Lee MathisINSANELEE DECADENTGrand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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March 14, 2013
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FOOD: That 'green' time of the year

Yeah, nothing like coming through DeBeque Canyon and knowing that after a 5,000 mile/13-day road trip that the next bend will unveil the beauty of the Grand Valley. Yes, Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore!What better way to celebrate being back home than to have St. Patrick's Day on the first weekend back.Throughout the Grand Valley, we will be seeing lots of leprechauns (or at least people who think they look good in green) prancing about, celebrating an Irish Holiday, even though a lot of them have no clue as to the origin. (Google the history of St. Patrick's Day and you can find out why the Shamrock has a huge part of this.)But as we all have seen, many of these same folk, all Irish for the day or extended weekend, will be green the following day after their celebrations. At least, we do not turn what is left of the Colorado River green.But, coming with St. Patrick's Day is a great celebration of Irish food - Corned Beef & Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, Shamrock Cakes and all kinds of green cookies, oh my! Go out, have some fun! Check out the local restaurants, bars, breweries and such, as they will all be having some "green" specials! And then get ready for Spring's official arrival!Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, on the web at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the web by searching Facebook, Pinterest or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

A pinch of sugar and salt makes this butternut soup a savory holiday soup.2 tablespoons butter1 onion, finely chopped3 medium apples2 medium butternut squashes (about 3 pounds)1 cup apple juice or cider3 cups chicken stock2 tablespoons brown sugar1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spiceSalt and pepper1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft and translucent. Remove the onion from the heat.2. Now set your kids to work peeling the apples while you peel, seed, and chop the squash. Core and chop the peeled apples.3. Add the apples, squash, juice or cider, and chicken stock to the onions and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 25 minutes.4. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and pepper. Puree the soup, reheat, and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.Recipe courtesy of Spoonful.com

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The Post Independent Updated Mar 14, 2013 01:44PM Published Mar 14, 2013 01:42PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.