Hello, Spaghetti Squash! Goodbye, Pasta!

Spaghetti squash, in one word…Amazing!  I bet you’ve seen it in your produce section while grocery shopping & wondered…how do you even cook that stuff.  I know I did at first!  Thank goodness for the internet & a quick google search!  I first started cooking spaghetti squash several years ago, but for some reason I haven’t picked any up for a year or so.  Anyways, I was at the grocery store this past weekend & noticed that they had some nice small sized spaghetti squash, which was perfect, since I was only cooking it for myself.  They come in all sizes, so you can pick one up that will suffice for however many people you’re cooking for.

IMG_1590There are several different ways you can cook up your spaghetti sauce, so just go with whatever way is best for you.  I’ve baked it in the oven and used the microwave both and it comes out the same either way you cook it.  So, if you’re going to go the microwave route, like I do, you’ll want to poke it several times with a sharp nice all over!  This is a very important step, otherwise, your squash may explode & nobody wants to clean up the microwave after that mess!

IMG_1591Once you have poked your spaghetti squash all over, so it can vent while cooking, you’ll want to place it on top of two paper towels in your microwave & cook it for 10-12 minutes.  While that’s cooking, you can prepare whatever else you want to have with it.  I had picked up some chicken meatballs & had them baking in the over for 25 minutes, while I was doing everything else.  Next, I put some spaghetti sauce on the stove to heat up.  Then I thought some mushrooms cooked in a little garlic would be a good addition, so I got that started up on the stove.

IMG_1595Once the microwave goes off, you’ll want to get your squash out of the microwave.  Be careful, it’ll be steaming hot!  You can let it set for 5 minutes or so, if you like.  When you’re ready, you’ll want to use a sharp knife and cut it in half length wise.

IMG_1597Next, you’ll want to take a big spoon and scoop out all of the seeds in the middle.  It should only take you a couple of scoops & it comes out super easy.

IMG_1599Once you’re done scooping out the seeds….it’s time for the fun part!  Get yourself a fork and just start scraping from the sides, towards the center and you’ll quickly see why they call it spaghetti squash!  Just scrape until you’ve got it all out of the shell and put it in a bowl!

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IMG_1602See!  It looks just like spaghetti, only this is super healthy & very filling!  Just an FYI for those Weight Watchers people out there…this stuff is ZERO points, so eat up!  So once you’re all bowled up, add whatever toppings you’d like!  I chose chicken meatballs, mushrooms & spaghetti sauce & topped it all off with a little parmesan cheese!

IMG_1605Bon Appetit!

Goulash – It’s What’s For Dinner!

I don’t know about you, but I have a few comfort foods from my childhood that standout in my mind & my mom’s goulash is one of my favorites!  What’s even better…it’s one of the easiest meals there is and you can throw it all together within 20 minutes!  First off, I’ll start you off with the ingredients, so you can pick them up if you don’t happen to have them all on hand, but most likely you will. Even better, right?!

  • 1lb box of pasta (whatever shape and kind that you like)
  • 1lb of lean ground beef
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Dried Minced Onion or the real stuff if you prefer
  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • Ketchup
  • BBQ Sauce

Alright, what you’ll want to do first is get yourself a big pasta pot full of water & then throw in a good amount of salt to get that water boiling faster and to flavor the pasta.  Don’t be shy on the salt…the majority of it will be going down the drain when you drain your pasta!

IMG_1551Next, you’ll want to get your your ground beef and break it all up in a skillet to brown.  While it is browning, put in a bit of salt and pepper to your liking, as well as a few sprinkles of dried minced onion for some good flavor.  Once your meat is all browned up and cooked through, you can drain off any excess grease if any and then you can set it aside.

IMG_1550Now, once your pasta is all good to go, get out a strainer and drain all of the water off the pasta.  You can let it sit in the strainer for a few minutes while you prepare the next step.

Next, you’ll want to open up your two cans of tomato paste and scoop both cans into the pot that you were just cooking the pasta in.  Once those cans are empty, fill them up with water and add to the pot.  You’ll probably want to use 3 to 4 cans of water depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce.  You’ll want to stir this on low to medium heat until it’s all nice and smooth and blended together.

IMG_1552Once the sauce is all ready, you can then stir in meat and the pasta and stir it all together really good.  Next, you’ll want to squirt in a good amount of ketchup & BBQ sauce.  Just keep stirring and tasting and adding in a little more of what ever flavor you prefer.  I prefer a little more BBQ sauce myself, but everyones tastes are different.

IMG_1553Now dish it into a bowl & enjoy!  See, I told you it was easy!

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Bon Appetit!

P.S.  Corn on the Cob & Cornbread go really well with this dish!

A Much Needed Saturday Out

Man…weekends are just too darn short!  After another crazy week at work this week, I decided I needed a day out on Saturday, so I made plans to meetup with some peeps at Downtown Disney around 1:00, so I could sleep in that morning and enjoy snuggling in my bed while the weather is cooler out.  Headed out the door around 12:30 and as soon as I got on I-4, it was a parking lot.  What is typically a 20 minute or so drive turned into a 50 minute drive….BLAH!  Once I finally got parked and met up with my peeps at the bar at Bongos, we decided to head over to Raglan Road for lunch.

RaglanRoadSince I slept in…I ended up eating a breakfast at 11:00, so I wasn’t hungry, so I just got dessert…bread pudding.  OMG…so good!  I would highly recommend getting this dessert if you get the chance, but you may want to order it and plan on sharing!  Unfortunately, I was only able to eat about 1/3 of the dessert, but since we were heading to the parks, I didn’t want to mess with getting it to go & everyone else was too full from there lunches to eat any of it.  It was really a shame for so much of it to go to waste….it was piping hot and came with a carmel sauce and a vanilla cream sauce that you could pour over the top of it….Nom,Nom,Nom!!  I’ll definitely be headed back to this place one of these days when I actually have an appetite!

RaglanRdBreadPuddingWhen we were all done, we headed for Epcot as our park of choice for the day.  It was nice and cool out and great weather for just walking around the park in a hoodie.  We ended up going on the Finding  Nemo ride & then The Land ride & then after that we walked around the World Showcase.  Unfortunately, the park was crazy busy for some odd reason…maybe because of the 3-day weekend for people with President’s Day off…not sure, but it was really odd for this time of year to see so many people.  To give you an idea…it was an hour wait if you wanted to do the little Viking boat ride in Norway, it was a 2 hour wait for Soarin’ & a 3 hour wait for Test Track!  Needless to say, after we walked completely around the World Showcase, we decided to check our Disney app to see what the wait times were like at Magic Kingdom & the other parks and they were insane.  So we decided to call it a day at the park.

I wasn’t in any hurry to go home, so a couple of us decided to just head back down to Downtown Disney and hit up a movie at the AMC movie theater.  We ended up deciding on “Hansel & Gretel”.  I love fairytale related stuff & I was quite curious on what kind of a twist they were going to put on this old fairytale.  The movie was actually pretty good to my surprise.  It was a bit too much on the guts and gore side for my taste, but it was still a pretty good movie.  Definitely not a kid friendly movie!  The witches are pretty “scary” looking and like I said…lots of blood and guts!

Hansel-and-Gretel-Witch-Hunters-2012-Movie-PosterAfter that, we called it a night and I headed home in another crazy amount of slow traffic on I-4.  So, by the time I got home, I just decided to have a nice hot cup of tea & read for the night before getting all cozy in bed.  All in all, it was a pretty good day out!