Category Archives: Recipes

Spaghetti Squash

This could be a recipe page, but it also could be an observation page, so it’ll probably encompass both.  As a kid my mom used to make Spaghetti Squash all the time, it was a side dish, a main dish, and probably a dessert once too; OK that might be an exaggeration, but it could have been.

I’m walking down the produce aisle, minding my business, smiling at anyone whose glance (or stare) I end up meeting, and BAM, right there in front of me is a small basket with just the word SQUASH handwritten on it.  So I start looking through the basket, and hidden at the bottom are 2 really large squashes that have a sticker on them.  This sticker clearly states that what I am looking at is Spaghetti Squash.  A flutter runs through my heart, and my pulse quickens, I’m suddenly nervous; can I make this work?  should I even try?  Why yes, yes I should.

So I picked up the best and biggest looking Spaghetti Squash.  Then started searching for recipes online while I finished up my shopping, and finally just ended up texting my mom with, “Mom, Help, how the heck do I prepare Spaghetti Squash?”

My mom’s response: “cut in half, cut down, olive oil and water, cook 375 until soft.”  Wow, that’s simple!  I can do this.

Then she sent another text: “don’t forget the butter, lots and lots of butter.”

Quickly I sprinted over to the dairy case and picked up 8 sticks of organic butter, OK not really, I picked up 8 sticks of store brand butter, because I couldn’t remember if the 12 sticks I had recently bought were still in the fridge.

What, you don’t buy 16 sticks of butter on a weekly basis for your home?  What’s wrong with you?  🙂

Once I had all of my supplies I headed to the checkout, once I’d put my sundries on the belt to be magically transported to the cashier the women behind me asked, “How do you cook your Spaghetti Squash? Do you bake it or boil it?”

Not wanting to seem squash illiterate I said, “I do both, it just depends on what I am going to use the finished product for, but I prefer to bake it.”

She responded with, “Yes, that’s how I feel.”

Phew, dodged that one.  She was so unaware that I’d never cooked any kind of squash before.

So now I have this Spaghetti Squash home, and I’m trying to cut it in half the long way.  Now I really wish that someone would have said, “hey guess what, the hardest part of making SS is going to be cutting it in half.”

So once I had it cut in half, there were seeds.  Wow, who knew.  So I commenced with removing the seeds.

Then placed the results cut side down into a baking dish, with olive oil and water.

Placed foil over my endeavor and baked for about an hour in a 350 degree oven.

Much better outcome than I expected.  Then all that was left was to scrape out the insides with a fork.  I was using it as a side dish to some boneless chops that I made, so I didn’t do much else but add a lot, did I say a lot, a lot of butter.

With the left overs, because I didn’t realize how much this would make, I tossed them into a slightly olive oiled skillet, and added Parmesan cheese and some herbs.  Then we had a light lunch the next day.

So I think we enjoyed this very much, and I plan on making it more often when in season.

 

 

Cody’s Easy Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwiches

The 4th of July was a quiet one, my son and I spent it together, eating and watching movies while everyone else was away from the house doing their own thing or working.

So about 1pm he asked me, “What are you going to cook for 4th of July?” I thought to myself, really I always cook, can’t I have just 1 day off; but answered with, “Um nothing, I hadn’t thought that far ahead, it’s just you and I.”

He offered to cook, as long as I bought the ingredients, and who can pass up an offer like that from their 20-year-old son?  Well I can’t, so off to the grocery store we went.  He picked up Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, pre-made BBQ Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Monterrey Jack Cheese, and hamburger buns.

He also asked me to make my Potato Salad and Deviled Eggs, unsure of what he might be cooking I told him sure, so that I’d be assured of something edible to eat.  Boy was I wrong about the edible part, not only was what he made edible, it was also really really good, delicious even.  I had more than 1 helping, here’s what he put together for us to eat.

Easy Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwiches (variation of a Rachel Ray recipe)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/3 cup of BBQ Sauce
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1 whole onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic or 1 elephant ear (minced)
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 6 oz of Monterey jack cheese (shredded)

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Place it, the chopped up onion and minced garlic into a pot.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the chicken.
  3. Add the BBQ Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Hot Sauce (to taste)
  4. Bring this to a boil.  Reduce heat once it starts boiling and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred it.
  6. Continue cooking the sauce for about another 15 minutes, sauce should reduce to about 1/2 the amount. But even if it doesn’t 15 minutes on simmer is enough to finish it up.
  7. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot, and cook until the chicken is heated through.
  8. Remove from heat and add the cheese to the sauce.  Serve on buns of your choice.

Along with my potato salad and deviled eggs, this was a great meal.  Thanks to my “little boy” for loving to cook, and for being game to try new recipes.

Applesauce Your Way

Usually there is a reason for me to make applesauce.  When my kids were babies, because store bought just seemed wrong for a sensitive stomach; when one of us has had oral surgery and are on a liquid diet, I see this as the perfect opportunity to be “that mom” for them; and just because someone says, “Wow I’d really like some great applesauce.”

There are thousands upon thousands of recipes for Homemade Applesauce on the internet, and I’ve probably made several of them in an attempt to get that perfect applesauce consistency and taste. Then I realized, I can make applesauce my way.

Applesauce My (Your) Way (approximately 32 oz.)
(cut it in half to make less, obviously)

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  • 8 cups of chopped apples (I use a different type each time, usually what ever is left over in the fridge, but McIntosh are the favorites at our house)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups of water (This will depend on the consistency you want, start are with 2 cups the first time and adjust from there)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (again start with this, and adjust to your taste preference; you can also try different variations on spices, like Apple Pie Spice)
  • Sweetener (you decide which you are going to use)
    Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup (to taste)

We use Vermont (pure) Maple Syrup, or organic honey; but you can use any type of sweetener that you want.  We have tried “Sugar in the Raw” (any of the  “in the raw” sweeteners work well), Stevia/Truvia, etc.; all come out tasting great, but your preference is what makes it Applesauce Your Way.

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Put everything but the sweetener into a pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover.  Cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until the apples reach the consistency that you want, takes approximately 20 – 45 minutes, depending on your preference.  We’ve used apples that didn’t completely break apart in the cooking process, but never fear take the apples off the heat when you feel they are done and use gramma’s potato masher to smash them up.

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Then while still hot sweeten it, use a little at first, and taste as you add; or leave it tart if you prefer.  Bottle it up, and refrigerate.

Or, make Apple Crisp or use it as a filling for your favorite apple desert.

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