the other squash

Pumpkin takes center stage tomorrow, but I would like to make a case for the butternut squash.  It has a sweet, nutty taste and can be used in classic recipes or stand alone as a delicious side.  I cheat and buy my cubed in the refrigerator cooler in the produce section.

Here are two of my favorites:

1.  Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese (from Cooking Light)
It is seriously delicious and a great lighter way to serve homemade mac n' cheese. The kids will never know!


  • 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash) 
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt 
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese 
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 pound uncooked cavatappi (any short noodle works)
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • 2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • 3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
  • 4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • 5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
  • 6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

2.  Pureed Butternut Squash-with a kick (I made the name up!).  This is a super, simple but yummy side!  Sorry no picture.

  • 2 lbs cubed butternut squash
  • ¼ c water
  • ¼ c onion
  • ½ t. thyme
Heat on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.  Stirring frequently until squash is fairly mashed.

  • 1 T. butter
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco (or more for taste)


move over amazon fresh

Ok.  I apologize for resorting to such an overused, unimaginative expression, but OMG.

Nordstrom, has just answered my holiday wish ~ which is to avoid Bellevue Square at all costs between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.  Check it.

Nordstrom is now testing an exciting Same Day Delivery program in three cities: Seattle, WA, Bellevue, WA, and La Jolla, CA. For just $10, items that are in stock at your local store can be hand-delivered to your door on the same day.
Orders placed by 12pm Pacific will be delivered by 6pm the same day; orders placed after 12pm will be delivered by 6pm the following day—even on Saturdays and Sundays. Select Same Day Delivery in Checkout.
Eligible delivery addresses, excluding P.O. boxes, are located in the following ZIP codes:
  • Seattle, WA: 98101, 98102, 98104, 98109, 98112, 98121, 98122, 98154, 98164, 98174
  • Bellevue, WA: 98004, 98005, 98007, 98039, 98040
  • La Jolla, CA: 92037, 92117, 92121, 92122

Amazon Fresh solved one problem for me and now Nordstrom has solved another!  Shop on.


the booby trap

just something to make you smile on a Monday...

I came across these ad posters on the world wide web this weekend.  I suppose this is a perfect situation to use, LOL.   Actually, they are down right hysterical!  They are mock horror movie posters.  The horror? Ill fitting bras...and what the consequences might be for the woman in complete denial.

The Quadraboob.  Can you only imagine this under a sweater? Not good. 

The Sagging.  A good friend of mine calls this look "rocks in socks".  

Who is the brilliant mastermind behind this campaign?  A bra boutique called The Booby Trap. (How much do you love the name of their store?!)   It is actually located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  Hey, if I am ever in their neighborhood, you better believe I will pop in and check it out!  Since I live quite a distance away, I sure hope all the ladies that live in NL frequent this shop. We could all use a little humor while shopping for undergarments. 

You can also check out their facebook page:


secrets to housewife happiness

Yet another tip on making a housewife happy.  Recall, just a short time ago, happiness came in the form of a garage refrigerator. This week it comes in the form of a single-serve coffee maker.   This is the first K-Cup brewed in my new Breville.  Oh, she is shiny, sleek, and efficient.  

Our family made the big leap away from the brewed pot of joe.  I, painfully and begrudgingly, gave up caffeine this summer.  Since the cold, dark mornings are now upon us-I was desperately missing a cup of coffee.  So, I fell off the wagon and not with out consequences. (I thought I could just sneak a little here and there.  That didn't work out for me so well.)   SO, this is a great answer for us!  Each cup brewed special-just for the person waiting.  Fully loaded for my wonderful husband, unleaded for me.  Being totally new to the K-Cup world, the coffee choices are plenty.  There is also hot chocolate, tea, chai, and apple cider.  Who knew?  I should have jumped on this train a LONG time ago!!

I hope you find a little time for yourself  this weekend.  Even if it just 10 minutes to enjoy a warm beverage.


ripped in 30

30 days that is.  Yes, please.
Ok.  So if you know me, you know that I love a great workout.  If you know me, you also know that squeezing in the workout usually trumps the shower for the day. (Disgusting, but true.  I am nothing but honest.)  This DVD has helped me achieve a workout AND a shower on many days recently.  Each workout is just over 20 minutes.  20 minutes!  All you need is are light hand weights (or heavy ones if you are really going for it!), a DVD player, and a small bit of open floor space. The workout is 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minutes of abs.  You never do the same exercise twice.  Love.

Let me just say, I now know why the contestants on the Biggest Loser.....lose weight.  Week 1 was a decent workout, but Week 2 is considerably harder.  Looking forward to weeks 3 and 4. Of course you are supposed to do it 5 times each week.  Me, not so much.   Is that why my abs don't look like Jillian's?  Perhaps.

I picked mine up at Target for around $10 and found it on amazon tonight for $9.49.
My goal through the holiday season: No gain, just maintain. (Thinking this DVD should help!)


holiday red

I know I posted this on facebook yesterday, but is just screaming to be a blog post as well.

Please know, I love the holidays and all that they bring.  Mostly just being with people I love and the spirit of the season.  I don't mind shopping, or cooking, or socializing, or spreading joy near and far.  By goodness...I am not Ebenezer!

HOWEVER.....It being Nov. 1, Starbucks peeled the plastic wrap off the red holiday cups. I call b*llsh*t!  Seriously, 55 days until Christmas and they bust them out.  Can't we look forward to the upcoming season?  By the time the big days finally arrive, we are so sick of the "season" that we often are relieved it is over.

Not sure what the answer is, other than a blog rant!  Sticking to my motto:  only worry about what you can control.  The Christmas season begins in my house after Thanksgiving. Looking forward to it.
I hope you are too!

PS.  I know it isn't JUST Starbucks, they are just lucky enough to be in my crosshairs.   I happened to also get 10 holiday catalogs in the mail yesterday and saw my first "get them what they want" commercials last night. 



Pomegranates are back.  Oh, how I wait for this display to arrive in my local produce aisle.  This fruit is simply deeeelish!  Now with that said, they are also a commitment.  They are not easy like an apple, a pear, or berries.  Oh, no.  These ladies want you to work for the sweet treats!  Every year my first pom leaves my counter, walls, and often times my clothes with red spatter!  Then I remember how to do it.  Those delicious seeds are great on their own, but they are perfect over Vanilla Greek Yogurt.  Seriously could eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner! 

 This is exactly how I do it!  Then seal and eat in the next couple of days.

This salad is my "go to" side dish for special dinners or potluck: 

Fall Pomegranate Salad
Romaine lettuce-torn into bite size pieces
Gorgonzola cheese-crumbled
Pomegranate seeds
Pecans (If you are getting really fancy, candied pecans send this salad over the top!)
Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette

And of course, there is a Pomegranate Martini.

Servings: Serves 2
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces Absolute Citron vodka or white tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau liquor
  • Cup of ice
  • Splash of sparkling water (optional)
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
 Shake ingredients in a shaker and put in chilled martini glasses. Put pomegranate fruit into glass as garnish.
Oh, this is a great time of year!
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