Let’s Talk – Spaghetti Squash!

Let’s talk about spaghetti squash!

Wait! Stop! Don’t click away!

Come on – keep reading!

Give it a chance!

First – let’s end some misconceptions.

DSC_0187This watermelon shaped yellowish squash does NOT taste like spaghetti noodles.

Nor does it have the texture of spaghetti noodles.

It is NOT spaghetti.

But after cooking – it can be forked out of the shell into a strands that have the shape of spaghetti and are a great whole food substitute for pasta.

It really doesn’t have much flavor at all – allowing it take on whatever flavor you add.

Now that you have mentally prepared and alerted your taste buds – are you ready to give it a try?

Good! Let’s cook it.

Although there are many different methods –  the most important thing to remember is to cut vents in it so it doesn’t build up steam and explode (think baked potatoes).

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To avoid this – and as an extra precaution – I always cut mine in half, scoop out the seeds, and place them upside down in a baking dish with a little water in the bottom.

Then I cover them with foil and bake them at 350 degrees until the insides are tender – or – if I’m in a hurry – I’ll skip the foil and microwave them on high till soft.

It’s hard to set baking time since they vary in size (especially when home grown) but plan on at least an hour in the oven and 20 minutes in the microwave.

Then you take your fork and “string” the flesh into spaghetti like strands.

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See? It’s easy!

Now you can get creative.

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Add butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese for a yummy side dish.

Or butter, cream cheese and Ranch dressing mix.

Or cover it in an Alfredo sauce – add some diced ham or cooked sausage and you have a yummy entree.

Or switch out the Alfredo and ham for ground beef and spaghetti sauce.

How about a “loaded baked potato” dish with bacon, cheddar cheese and sour cream?

The flavor combinations are endless!

An added bonus? You can cook the squash in advance and refrigerate it – with or without the additions – until you need it.

Enjoy!

Flotsam and Jetsam

flotsam and jetsomMy project this month is the attic.

Angel Girl got things started for me – sorting through the things that have a designated place and just needed to go back.

But my job is harder. I’ve been working my way through the piles of stuff that don’t have a home.

The flotsam and jetsam of a family that somehow ended up in the attic.

The orphan shoe.

The pretty ribbon saved from a package.

Scraps of wrapping paper.

An old clock radio.

A cassette tape.

The box of curtains I bought – but never quite got hung.

A random toy horse.

The reproduction fife we bought Matt on vacation when he was four that a sibling later squished.

Random bits and pieces of life, overlooked, outgrown and unneeded on a daily basis.

Every piece must be touched and evaluated .

Keep?

Throw?

Donate?

A million tiny decisions.

The garbage pile gets bigger.

The donate pile tips over.

And there – on a small pile – are the treasures.

The few nuggets worth saving in the piles of stuff.

Mission accomplished.

Ice Skating

Maybe we don’t want to get too serious about the January lists – not yet anyway.

Maybe we can squeeze in a little more vacation time.

Maybe we should throw the list away one afternoon and make a memory.

IMG_1972Seize the moment when the temperature is right, the ice is thick, and the kids are willing.

Dig the skates out, find the thick socks and enjoy the fresh winter air.

IMG_1965Nothing fancy. Just chore coats and warm hats and second hand skates on a farm pond.

No triple axles or anything quad.

IMG_1974Well…okay. Maybe there were a few quads. But they were unintentional ones with painful consequences.

Then we’ll top the afternoon off with hot chocolate while warming our toes in a grandma quilt.

Perfect.

Lists will wait, but kids grow up.

New Year Lists

januaryHey.

It’s me.

I survived December.

Now it’s January.

Amazing how that happens every year.

Once again I’m having a hard time getting motivated to do anything. 

Last night while Jan and I sat eating our typical Sunday night supper of popcorn and sandwiches, he innocently asked what we needed to get done this week.

I looked at him blankly.

Get done?

Need?

Wait – you mean there’s life after Christmas?

So I shook the cobwebs from my mind and wrote a list.

Can I just say that a January list can not compete with the fun lists of December.

Lists that used to say make Christmas goodies, wrap presents, and pack for for New Year’s Eve at Aunt Sandy’s house now say clean the fridge, call the dentist, and work out.

Nope. No comparison.

Yet – somehow it feels good after the busyness and excitement of the holidays to have such simple, normal tasks to complete.

It feels good to find that routine again, like we’ve settled into the New Year.

So I added a few snowflakes and smiley faces to the list and found some lively music to brighten our attitudes as we tackle January.

My first task is to discover what green and growing things are lurking in my fridge.

There’s nothing like a hazmet suit to greet the New Year!

Have a Blessed Christmas!

DSC_0269Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a New Year full of God’s blessing!