Archive | July, 2015

Sunday Lunch – Baked Margherita Spaghetti Squash

26 Jul

I have never been very talented in the kitchen. Cooking meals has never come easy for me. I’m more of a “can I put it in the microwave” kind of girl. But when it comes to baking, now we’re talking, but that’s a post for another time, I digress. Anyways, when I found this recipe online a few days ago, it looked fool-proof!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: Approximately 40 – 50 minutes

Serving size: 2 (I doubled the recipe to make enough to feed four people today!)

Ingredients:

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1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large Roma tomato, finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

Let’s get cookin’!

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings. (Helpful hint: If the squash is too hard to cut, place it in the microwave for 3 – 8 minutes depending on the size of the squash.

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3. Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

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4. Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. (*Next time I would cut back on the amount of olive oil. It was pooling in the bottom of the squashes.)

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5. Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. If it’s too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes. Scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.

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6. Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese. Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

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7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash. Enjoy!

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This dish looks beautiful and tastes even better! I only had one slight problem when I burned my thumb (yes, I was using potholders!) when I took the pan out of the oven for the last time. Luckily, my dad told me to put some Lavender essential oil on the burn to take the sting out!

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This is a dish I will definitely make again! Although my family had a suggestion on how to make it better – when scrapping out the squash, put it all in one pot and add the tomatoes, basil and cheese to the whole mixture. We noticed that some of our squashes didn’t cut right down the center, so the portions were a little off – some had lots of squash, some had a little.  I think combining everything in one bowl and cooking it through one last time would make it easier to mix the tomatoes and basil throughout the squash, that was a little difficult to do in the small squash halves.

*I found this recipe on Facebook – from what I could tell it was originally posted on the Losing It With Trisha Facebook page.

Wordless Wednesday – 7/22/15

22 Jul

Gotta love those country summer sunsets!   

Fashion Fact ot Fiction: Taping your toes together makes wearing heals more comfortable

21 Jul

When it comes to fashion, I know I’m not the most girly. I would much rather be in shorts and a hoodie any day of the week rather than flowing skirts and flouncy tops. Nine times out of ten you will also find me in tennis shoes or slip on sandals. I enjoy dressing up on occasion, for a wedding or special evening or event, but in my everyday life, it’s too much hassle, especially when it comes to high heels.

Heels and I have gone round and round for years. While I love them and think they are beautiful works of art, in reality they are devices of torture for my poor feet. You see, I have what I consider to be pretty average size feet. 8.5 is respectable, right? However, my feet have a couple of factors working against them as well – first, I have wide feet, which luckily isn’t usually a problem (except when it comes to buying comfortable heels of course!), and second, my feet are terribly flat, the falling of my arches was timed perfectly to the pain happening in my knee…I try really had to forget about my 16th year of life. However, I still on occasion will stuff my feet into an adorable pair of heels and within two hours regret it.

That was UNTIL I happened upon this tick on YouTube for making heels more comfortable! According to the YouTuber and some quick research online, supposedly taping your third and fourth toes (start counting from the big toe) together will alleviate pain in the ball of your foot. Sound crazy? Apparently there is a nerve that splits between those two toes, which causes pain when pressure is applied, for example when most of your weight is supported on your toes while wearing heels. By taping the toes together, that is supposed to relieve the strain on the nerve, allowing for multiple hours of comfort in your favorite sky-high heels.

This brings me to getting ready for work this morning – yes, I do have to dress up for work five days out of the week, on the hazards of being an adult in the professional world. I chose a cute green, sleeveless blouse and a black and white horizontal striped straight skirt. Typically I wear a comfortable pair of black non-slip Sketchers work shoes (aka my Disney shoes), but this morning I was running low on time and I could not find them… and thus I was forced to wear shiny, black, 2 inch heels.

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I have had these shoes since October 2014 and I have only wore them half a dozen times because they HURT MY FEET – they pinch my toes together, rub the knuckle of my big toe almost raw and cause excruciating pain on the balls of my feet after only an hour or so. (For those who are curious, I bought them at Sears.)

After having them on for a short time to pack my lunch and then for the 25 minute commute to work (I forgotten how different it is to drive in heels!), my feet were crying out in pain by the time I reached my office. Knowing I would be there only one there for an hour, I kicked them off the moment I sat down at my desk and instantly felt better.

That was when I remembered the YouTube video and her advise to tape the middle toe and “ring” toes together. Digging around in my desk drawer produced a roll of Scotch tape – perfect – and proceeded to pate my toes together. This doesn’t sound like it would be a difficulty process, but it took me two tried on my left foot and four on my right foot to get the tape situated in a place where the sharp edge wouldn’t be cutting into the gap between my toes. Something softer like medical tape would probably be better, but I had to work with the resources I had available!

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I couldn’t believe it! After taping my toes and having my shoes on for about 20 minutes, I didn’t have any pain or discomfort on the ball of my foot. And my pinky toe, who is usually squished, had room to breathe for once! I walked around in those shoes for 8+ hours with no problems! However, a word of caution, if you use Scotch tape, I did notice after I took the tape off there was some minor irritation on my toes from where the tape must have come a little loose and started to rub due to the moisture in my shoes.

But other than that, I call this fashion experiment a success! And you can bet the next time you see this girl in heels, my toes will be happily taped together!

I scream, you scream, eat ALL the ice cream!

19 Jul

Happy National Ice Cream Day! Honestly, is there a better summer holiday?! 

Ice cream is such a perfect summer treat – so many combinations to choose from! Typically I’m all about chocolate (in a bowl because cones are gross!), but today was a walk on the wild side of the frozen treat road. 

This afternoon my family and I went to the little, local restaurant by our house called Kyp’s to celebrate. 

May I present to you the BEST Cake Batter Ice Cream you’ll ever have! Rich, silky smooth texture, chunks of cake and flakes of chocolate. Happiness on a spoon! 

Which flavor of ice cream did you enjoy today?! Tell me your favorite combinations so I have something to try next time!   

Wordless Wednesday – 7/15/15

15 Jul

Love in Chicago ❤️

 

Wordless Wednesday – 7/1/15

1 Jul

A Snow White moment with the woodland creatures in our backyard…