[Recipe] Spaghetti Squash and Cheese Casserole

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Happy October ya’ll! (Yes, I am 100% Yankee, with my great-grandmother being my only tie to the south, so just run with it).

I’m back, bringing you an easy, comforting and healthy fall dish. Drum roll please: Spaghetti Squash and Cheese Casserole. No, spaghetti squash does not taste like pasta, as it is slightly sweet and a vegetable. But if you are craving mac ‘n cheese, this is a tasty alternative without the guilt.

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 flour

2 cups skim milk

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

8 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese

4 cups baby spinach

1/8 cup grated parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds

Place squash in a roasting pan, flesh side down with a small amount of water to cover the bottom

Bake until tender, about 1 hour

Separate the strands of squash with a fork and place in a medium bowl. Discard shells

Heat butter and oil in a sauce pan over medium heat

Add onions and cook about 2 minutes

Stir in flour, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continually, 3-4 minutes

Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick

Season with salt and pepper

Remove from heat, add cheddar and mix until melted

Add cooked spaghetti squash and baby spinach

Pour into baking dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top

Bake until golden, 25-30 min.

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Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin 500

{diy} Anthropologie Inspired Tumblers

Here’s the thing about Anthropologie; everything is gorgeous. But buying one thing means Visa ain’t getting paid and my landlord will be getting a “So, here’s the deal…” call. Awkward.

These fabulous confetti glasses inspired me to make my own. I purchased four red stemless wine glasses from Crate & Barrel and some acrylic paints from Dick Blick to start the knockoff process.

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What you will need:

  • Red, yellow, blue & white enamel acrylic paint
  • Glass tumblers
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton swabs
  • Baking pan
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Gather your materials. Use enamel or all-surface acrylic for long-lasting results.
  2. Squeeze out a small dollop of each color of paint and then mix together to create additional colors for your tumblers. You can create different tints of colors by adding white. Or experiment with mixing the primary colors to create greens, oranges and purples. Place a length of parchment paper on a sheet pan and then place the glasses upside-down on the pan.
  3. Press the end of a cotton swab in one color of paint and dot around the base of the glass. Continue dotting with other colors to create a first layer of dots, and then let dry while working on the rest of the glasses.
  4. Continue working on the other glasses, experimenting with color combinations. Once the first layer is dry, go back and add more colorful dots, working from the base of the glass to the sides — staying clear of the edges of the tumblers.
  5. Let the finished dotted tumblers dry for an hour, and then flip them over on the sheet pan. Place in a cold oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes to set the paint. Turn off the heat and allow the glasses to cool in the oven for an hour before handling.

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Posted in diy

[Recipe] Italian-style stuffed red peppers

For those of you who know me, know that I have the diet of a five year old. Until recently, I would turn my nose up at the thought of eating red peppers, or any pepper for that matter. Now, I can’t seem get enough of them. My food preferences must be evolving as I get older.

Most stuffed red pepper recipes are made southwestern which means I will not even think about eating them, as they are made with beans (yuck). So, I decided to channel my inner Italian with these Italian-style stuffed red peppers.

I could not get enough of this super filling and satisfying dish, so I thought I’d pass it along:

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Ingredients:

1 lb Lean ground turkey

3 Red bell peppers

2 Cups Pasta sauce

1 tsp Basil seasoning

2 cloves Pressed garlic

1/2 tsp Salt & pepper

1 1/2 cups Fresh spinach

8 tbs Parmesan cheese (mozzarella works too)

Optional 1 tsp sugar for sauce (I like my sauce slightly sweet)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil for easy clean up and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Remove stems
  3. Cut peppers in half, length-wise, and remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers. Set peppers aside on baking pan.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the ground turkey in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir and break up the turkey as it is cooking. When turkey is completely cooked, reduce heat to low and add the sauce and seasonings to the pan. Add the spinach and parmesan cheese and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Scoop 1/2 cup mixture into each pepper half
  6. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over the top of each pepper
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown
  8. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!

{Styled} Spring Fever

I write this as I sit at my classroom desk with a space heater blasting full force at my face- SPRING FEVER. It would be an understatement to say this winter has been brutal here in Chiberia. This Polar Vortex has created subzero temperatures and over 55 inches of snow accumulated thus far, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon. I think it’s safe to say that dreaming of spring is the only thing getting me by these days.

My S.O. and I have a trip planned to visit New Orleans at the end of March. We are anxiously counting down the days to escape the cold for a week. It will be a nice change of pace to see green grass and go outside without 10 layers of clothing and outerwear on!

J. Crew has the most inspiring spring colors; all the pale blues and greens and nautical stripes remind me of the Gulf of Mexico where my family vacationed during spring break with my Grandparents years ago.

Spring Fever

[Recipe] Super (disappointing) Bowl XLVIII: Stuffed Jalapenos wrapped in bacon

Anyone who watched the Broncos vs. Seahawks in the super bowl this year knows how painful it was to watch, especially those rooting for Peyton Manning like we were. The commercials weren’t even that great. Thank goodness for the Puppy Bowl, am I right?

Aside from the lackluster football game, the spread of food was phenom {nom-nom} enal.

If you’re anything like me and have a mild obsession with all things cheese, then you will love these stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon:

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Ingredients:

10 Jalapenos

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 lb bacon

BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)

20 toothpicks

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, grease baking sheet and set aside
  2. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese until well blended
  3. Add cumin and paprika and stir until incorporated
  4. Slice jalapenos in half (long ways) and remove seeds
  5. Scoop mixture and generously fill each jalapeno half
  6. Cut bacon strips in half. Wrap each jalapeno half with bacon and secure with a toothpick
  7. Slather BBQ over tops of jalapenos
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is browned

[Recipe] Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

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‘Tis the season for all things baking. This chocolate PB fudge recipe is the easiest fudge recipe you will probably ever come across.

Ingredients:

1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 bag (10 oz.) Peanut Butter Chips

1 bag (10 oz.) Chocolate Chips

2 tsp. Vanilla

Instructions:

1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk , 5 oz. chocolate chips and 1 tsp. vanilla

2. Melt until creamy and pour into an 8×8 baking dish

3. Mix 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk, 5 oz. peanut butter chips and 1 tsp. vanilla. Repeat step 2.

4. Cool 2 hours. Cut, serve & enjoy!

-M

[Recipe] Biscotti Cookies

As the temperaturephoto 4 drops and the holidays draw near, so does my sweet tooth.

So today, in honor of Italian heritage month, I have decided to share my grandmother’s biscotti with lemon glaze recipe. These cookies made an appearance at every Thanksgiving feast, Christmas dinner, Easter brunch and birthday party. She loved to bake and this was her go-to for just about any occasion. My grandfather was never too fond of the candied sprinkles (he didn’t like how they got stuck in his teeth), but I just love all the colors.

These cookies rank high with some of my favorite baked goods desserts. They are crunchy with a hint of almond flavoring and are the perfect light dessert to accompany a cup of coffee or cappuccino. Biscotti are traditionally twice-baked biscuits that originated in Italy. First, the dough is formed into a wide, flattened loaf and baked. Then, the freshly baked loaf is sliced into oblong-shaped biscuits and baked a second time until dry and crunchy.

Ingredients:

Biscotti:
3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla or lemon extract

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3 large eggs

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. In a stand mixer or bowl, mix butter until soft. Add sugar, baking powder, and vanilla or lemon extract

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy.

4. Add the flour last, mixing in slowly, and until fully combined. *Add extra flour if dough is tacky until able to handle- about 3 tablespoons

5. Divide the dough into 4 sections and shape each section into a slightly flat log (about 9 inches long and 2 inches wide) 2 on each baking sheet.

6. Bake the logs for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until very lightly browned and the center is cooked.

7. Allow logs to cool slightly.

8. Using a serrated knife, cut the baked dough diagonally into 1 inch wide slices. On the same baking sheet, place each slice on its side so that one of the cut faces is facing up and broil until lightly browned.

9. Allow cookie slices to cool completely. Drizzle lemon glaze and sprinkle candy toppings, if desired.