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A good recipe for spaghetti squash


SpaghettiSquashAuGratin

On our recent foray into the mountains we purchased some spaghetti squash and some butternut squash. A while back I had found this recipe for spaghetti squash and decided to try it out. Rob and I both really liked it and would highly recommend it.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 Tbsps. butter or olive oil
1 small onion sliced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
about 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side up in a 9" x 13" pyrex baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water. Partially cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 8-10 mins. or until squash is tender.

While squash is cooking saute onion in butter or oil until lightly browned. Combine with thyme, sour cream, and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

After squash is cooked scrape it from the shell with a fork and add to the onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 mins. to warm through and melt cheese.

Here is a link to another post about how to prepare the spaghetti squash which might be helpful if you have never cooked one before.

More recipes coming soon.

Becka

Local Grandchildren Update


My summer "vacation" lasted a bit longer than normal since my daughter-in-law, Katie was on maternity leave until mid-September. So, just last week I started baby-sitting both Ryan and little Avery. Things have been going pretty well so far and there has just been one time when both were crying simultaneously. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ryan's vocabulary has increased by leaps and bounds over the summer. He still loves construction equipment and he also enjoys coloring and reading books. He absolutely loves to sing and when he's upset I can often diffuse a bad mood by starting to sing a song.

Here he is with a little construction vehicle:

RyanSeptember13chair1

Here he is singing Oh Be Careful Little Lips What You Say:

RyanSeptember13Singing

Avery has filled out nicely and is now sleeping through the night. She smiles when you talk to her and is becoming quite vocal making all sorts of little shrieks and squeals of delight. Since she sleeps so much at night she often just takes short "cat naps"during the day.

Here is a rather solemn pose:

AverySeptember26

Here is a smiling pose that her Aunt Nora captured this week:

AverySeptember13Smiling

Mark and Katie are adjusting to having two children. Friends told us years ago that one child is a novelty and two children are a family. ๐Ÿ™‚ This has been a big year for them. Mark finished his master's degree in the spring and then Avery was born in July. Mark was named "Teacher of the Year" at his school. There was a special breakfast at a restaurant for all the teachers of the year in the county and he was given a gift certificate to purchase things for his classroom at a teacher store. Perhaps the best perk of all is that he was given a reserved parking spot for this year! We are very proud of him and his accomplishments.

Each of our children, their spouses, and their children are very precious to us and we are truly thankful to see the Lord working in their lives.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend and enjoy the lovely cooler temperatures. I hope to post a few new recipes soon.

Becka

Fall is in the air


GingerBaconSlaw

I always get excited when the temperatures start to cool down a bit and I can anticipate baking all of our fall favorites. Usually by now we would have driven up to North Carolina at least once to get some mountain apples and cabbage. Unfortunately we haven't been able to make the trip yet but I did try a new cabbage recipe that I'm eager to share with you.

I posted this recipe for coleslaw and we have enjoyed it so much that I keep a bottle of the dressing in the refrigerator at all times so we can have slaw frequently. I saw this recipe for Ginger Bacon Slaw a while back and thought it sounded good so I printed out the recipe and finally got around to trying it. Let me tell you, it has become a new family favorite! It is delicious and I hope that you will try it if you enjoy coleslaw. This recipe is by Leila, who is the same blogger who posted another favorite of ours, the Egyptian Lasagna.

One thing I did differently than the recipe states is that I did not make the garlic ginger paste ahead of time. I just grated about four cloves of garlic and about 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh ginger on my microplane grater as I was making the dressing. It makes a very colorful and flavorful slaw and would be a nice choice if you want something a little special to round out a meal. Here is how I made the recipe:

Ginger Bacon Slaw

2-3 cups shredded cabbage
a large handful of dried cranberries
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 sliced green onions or about 1/4 cup of chopped red onion
3 Tbsps. mayonnaise
4 cloves garlic, grated
about 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsps. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine mayonnaise, grated garlic, grated ginger, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt with a whisk. Gently stir dressing into shredded cabbage, onion, cranberries, and bacon. Enjoy every last bite!

Becka

Parsley Pesto Pasta and a confession


ParsleyPestoPasta

The last produce box that we purchased from Marvin's Produce had a large bunch of parsley in it. After several days it started to look a bit wilted and I remembered a recipe that I had found for Parsley Pesto and decided to try it. The reasons that I had been interested in the recipe initially are because we often have lots of parsley in the garden and because I must confess that I do not really care for either basil or cilantro. If a recipe calls for cilantro I usually substitute parsley and if it calls for basil I substitute dried Italian Seasoning.

Now don't get me wrong, if you invite me over and serve something with either cilantro or basil I will certainly eat it gratefully, but if I'm doing the cooking I will make the changes mentioned above. ๐Ÿ™‚

This pesto calls for the green part of green onions which we also have pretty much year round in the garden and almonds which I try to keep in the freezer. Both Rob and I really liked this dish and I plan to try to make a supply of the pesto when parsley is abundant so we can enjoy this frequently.

Parsley Pesto Pasta

Approximately 1 pound of pasta
1/2 cup whole unsalted almonds
4 cups parsley leaves
3/4 cup chopped chives or the green part of green onions
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Process almonds in food processor until finely ground. Add parsley, green onions, oil and cheese and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until done and then drain, reserving a small amount of the cooking water to thin sauce if needed. (I did need some.)
Toss pasta with pesto adding cooking water as desired. Sprinkle with additional cheese.

You can refrigerate the pesto for up to 5 days after preparing it or it can be frozen.

Go ahead and be adventurous and give this recipe a try!

Becka

Final Installment of our Michigan Adventure


We stayed in Michigan for a few days after Megan's surgery and helped care for the children, prepared some meals ahead, and did some yard work. It was hard to leave not knowing the results of Megan's tests yet, but since she was feeling somewhat better we decided we'd better head for home.

Our anniversary is in April and we planned to celebrate it on one of our trips to Michigan this summer by spending the night in Berea, Kentucky. On our way home from this trip Rob made arrangements for us to stay there overnight and to tour a few of the many shops where the local artisans sell their wares. We didn't buy much but it was fun to see all the beautiful things that they have created. We were also able to eat a meal at the Boone Tavern Restaurant.

Here is a picture of one of the porches and some of the beautiful flowers:

BooneTavernPorch

We were the first to arrive for lunch and snapped a picture of the empty dining room:

BooneTavernDiningRoom

My mother and I had eaten there thirty-eight years ago and I was able to order the same meal: Creamed Chicken in a Bird's Nest:

BooneTavernChickenNest

My meal was preceded with a salad with the house dressing which had an orange marmalade base:

BooneTavernSaladMarmaladeDressing

Rob loves fish so he ordered this meal which also included Smoked Potato Salad:

BooneTavernFish

All the meals are served with spoonbread, which was delicious.

BooneTavernSpoonbread

We both had peach tea to drink. Each glass had a large slice of frozen peach to help keep it cool and to add to the taste.

BooneTavernPeachTea

On the way to Michigan I had seen a sign for The Quilt Patch quilt shop in Lafollette, Tennessee and we were able to stop there on the return trip. The shop is located a few miles off the interstate and is in a mall. There's not much on the website, but it does give you the address and phone number. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a really nice shop and the ladies who work there were extremely helpful. I saw a quilt in the shop which I liked and they actually looked through their stash of magazines and photocopied the directions for making it for me. I also purchased this pattern for the Church Lady Apron and some fabric to make it.

ChurchLadyApronPattern

Here is the finished product, which is reversable:

ChurchLadyApron

Since arriving home we have tackled some cleaning and organizing projects, I've done some sewing and canned some fig jam, and now Rob is back at school. His classes start later this week. My daughter-in-law, Katie is still on maternity leave for a few more days but I soon will begin keeping Ryan and Avery. I'll be sure to add some current pictures in an upcoming post.

Becka