Sunday, November 03, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019: Stuffed Honeynut Squash



This and another version of this will be on our Thanksgiving table this year.  My plan is to also make these with my traditional bread stuffing - Herb & Shallot Stuffing.  But I will use veggie stock in place of turkey/chicken stock and I will use olive oil in place of butter.  I have one Vegan in my house and this will be for her but I guarantee that everyone will love it.
My husband just reminded me that many years ago I convinced a long-standing Vegan to eat a homemade apple pie.  We were in Milwaukee for a wedding and we attended the city's Third Ward Block Party.  One of the vendors was  selling these amazing apple pies - individual, roasted in a little brown paper bag with a very delicate butter crust.  Maybe I was being a little bit naughty by convincing our Vegan friend to partake but he LOVED it! Ha!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo
Quinoa-Stuffed Honeynut Squash

1 cup Quinoa, cooked
Juice of one lemon
1/4 or to taste Spanish or Italian Olive Oil
1 tsp honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
one bunch italian parsley, chopped
one jar chickpeas, drained



Cook quinoa, remove from pan to large bowl and allow to cool slightly.  Whisk together the lemon, oil, honey and pour over quinoa.  Add Salt and pepper to taste.  Fold in chickpeas and parsley.  (This makes a lot!  Use it during the week - packs up nicely in lunchbox.)

Cut honey-nut squash in half, remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper (I also added a tiny bit of brown sugar but this is optional).  Turn skin size up (flesh down) on baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until knife inserted into skin goes in without resistense.  Scoop quinoa into cavity of squash (as much as you can to overfilling) and put back in the oven to warm through (about 10 minutes).  Enjoy!



























Thursday, August 01, 2019

Overnight Oatmeal with Chia & Flax


This is just too easy and so yummy.  On these very hot days of summer I am happy to have these waiting in the refrigerator.  For me it is a great post-run snack.  ; )

Refrigerator (Overnight) Oatmeal

1 cup milk (regular whole milk, almond milk, coconut milk or a mixture of any of these)
1 cup rolled oats
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (or any other sweetener) or none at all
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon flax seeds

Mix all ingredients together in a jar or bowl - just give a little stir with a spoon.  Store in refrigerator overnight.  Top will berries, nuts, coconut, raisins, whatever you like!











Thursday, May 09, 2019

How to Clean, Trim, & Store Berries


I purchase berries at the grocery store or farmers' market every week.  Organic only because the skin of these berries is so delicate it can easily soak up pesticides.  Once I get my berries home it is time to prepare them for everyone to enjoy.  I clean, dry, trim and then store them in fridge.  It takes no time at all and you and your family will eat every last berry!  I like to make several smaller jars of mixed berries ready for after-school snacks or breakfast on-the-go.  The bigger jars are ready to pour onto cereal, add to acai bowls (my daughter), or poured into little bowls to add as a side at mealtime.  Just having them ready to go makes it more likely that everyone will eat them up and enjoy them!

How to Clean, Trim, & Store Berries

Step 1:  Clean
The proper way to clean berries is to pour them into a bowl of clean, cold water and then gently lift them out (all the dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl).  More often I end up taking a shortcut by placing my berries (not too many) into a small colander and running cold water over.

Step 2:  Dry
I lay clean cloth napkins or dish towels onto my kitchen counter.  Spread berries out onto dish towels.  Using a clean napkin or paper towel pick up each strawberry and gently pat dry.  Do the same with small handfuls of blueberries (or raspberries or blackberries).

Step 3:  Trim
First - see my Strawberries 101 how-to-trim

Step 4: Store in Fridge
I use various sizes of mason jars with plastic or metal lids.  Make sure to put larger berries on the bottom and smaller on the top.




























Thursday, February 07, 2019

Snowball Dance Dinner Party: Table Setting & Preparations


some of the table decor options ready to go...

I had Fitzy over for lunch yesterday.  When I showed her a picture of the Snowball Dance tent set-up she said:  "You should put that on your blog!"  Since I always follow her advice ...here it is. :)

We hosted a pre-dance dinner party for 26 teenagers.  Just like with our big Thanksgiving crowd, we can't fit that many quests at one table inside.  The answer is a big tent.  Shout out to Sammy's Rental who we always use for tent, table, chair and linens rental.  We had snow on the ground the week before the party so in addition to the heater we added a wood floor.  The tent is so nice and cozy with the heater and wood floor.  The kids also can enjoy dinner without any parents hovering. ;)  I set the buffet up on the kitchen counter so the kids pick their seat in the tent then grab their plate and head to the buffet line.  The best part is that everyone can sit together at one table - yahoo!

My husband and son hung the strings of lights - we used lots of Christmas lights.  My daughter helped me set the table with the decor and place settings.  I mix and match with the china and silverware - no need to have it all matching.  Same goes for glassware (which is missing in these pictures!) - mix and match is fine.  Less is NOT more when choosing amount of table decorations.  I favor lots of votives, lanterns, little bowls filled with crackers or almonds, small glasses filled with crudités, glass water bottles (sparkling & spring) and lots and lots of little pots/vases filled with plants and flowers.  Nothing too tall that will obstruct the view of the person across the table!

Below is the transformation of the table decor.  We didn't add the edibles to the table this time but it would have been even better if we had ... MORE is best!



That should say: "black & red raspberries and blueberries & strawberries".
When it looks pretty it tastes better!