Saturday, July 31, 2010

Squash!

Last weekend my husband received some squash from a coworkers garden! The majority of it was acorn squash, and even as a novice squash connoisseur I knew what that was! Then there were two squash that I couldn't identify at all had it not been for Google!
They looked like this
(image courtesy of Google images)

Thanks to my vast Google skills (hahahahahaha) I was able to find out that these were Buttercup squash. I had to scratch my head and think for a bit because I had never heard of buttercup squash. Butternut  yes, Buttercup... Isn't that a little yellow flower That grows in my yard??? Well thanks to google for saving the day yet again! Because I found out that buttercup squash is a very flavorful and sweet squash that once cooked closely resembles sweet potatoes!  And my first thought before I had even tried to cook them or anything was... Sweet potato casserole. Yes! Then I thought this would be an awesome introduction to squash for my poor squash deprived children.
Lets just say it worked and oh how well it worked
I had all my children asking for seconds
Even my husband tried it... and said it was pretty good ;).
So Let me share my "recipe" I just threw it all together really...

Buttercup Squash (sweet potato casserole)

2 good sized buttercup squash (halved and seeded)
brown sugar
milk 
cinnamon
oatmeal
butter

Place the halved squash cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 30 min. or until squash is soft.

Scoop squash into a mixing bowl and mash up with a fork or potato masher. Mix in about 1/4 cup of milk (just enough to make it smooth), Add in 1/4 - 1/3 cup of brown sugar. taste it to make sure it is sweet enough/ not to sweet. This squash is pretty sweet to start with. Add in 2-3 teaspoons (or more LOL) of cinnamon. Pour into a casserole dish.

Top with a sprinkling of oatmeal, Brown sugar, Top with a few pats of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Oh my it was heaven on a plate. It was buttery, sweet, and just really good! We served it with chicken and cucumbers from our garden! yum!

Spaghetti

When we first started our garden we planted lots of tomato seeds. Which is sort of funny because as a family we never buy tomatoes. We don't eat tomatoes raw. No one in our house even really likes tomatoes, aside from ketchup or spaghetti sauce. The one thing we all wanted to try was to try to make our own spaghetti sauce. Well last week we were able to do just that!
First of all I just want to say... Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a spaghetti sauce recipe that doesn't involve canned tomatoes or tomato paste??? Maybe I am just not very good at searching but I found it pretty difficult. This was the easiest one I found.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, about 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Preparation:

If desired, peel tomatoes; remove seeds, straining juice into a bowl. Save the juice and discard seeds. In a food processor, combine garlic, tomatoes with juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and basil. Pulse quickly to chop roughly. Pulse more for a smoother sauce, if desired. Transfer to a bowl, add salt and pepper and let stand to marinate for about 20 minutes. Cook pasta until just tender, drain and toss hot with the marinated tomato sauce. If hotter spaghetti is desired, heat the sauce just until hot on stovetop or in microwave. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese.

I let the boys cut up (and seed) the tomatoes, Then the girls got to help pick the basil and measure all of the other ingredients. We threw it all in the blender because the kids won't eat a lumpy sauce. Threw in some oregano,  and Italian seasonings. Along with other various herbs that taste good! Threw in some Parmesan cheese to the mix. Browned ground beef and added that then let it simmer for an hour. And the results....
Wow! It made me realize that our normal spaghetti sauce it pretty bland... I never would have said that before I like the sauce we usually use. But now as long as we have plenty of ripe tomatoes I think this is the sauce we will be using more often!!!!!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Take me out to the ball game!

Yesterday was a fun filled day for the kids, we started with the library. They had a special story time with the Woodstock River Bandits. Our local Baseball team! 
At story time everyone got free tickets to last nights game.
The kids had such a good time, They even saw friends that they got to run off and play with! For the girls it was their first baseball game ever :).
And of course they got some peanuts and cracker jack ;).
They are excited to go again!!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The best weekend of the year!

We just got back from spending the weekend at my parents house for the fourth! This is (for me) The Best weekend of the year. Just getting to hang out with my parents and kids. Play games, eat,  not worry about the laundry, and so on :). The kids also look forward to this trip all year....


They do crafts
Look for deer in the back yard
Play Wii
Play on the climbing structure my parent built on to their deck!
Pose for pictures
Watch Pa-Pa build a fire
And get ready for Smores!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yayyyy!
After Smores is Fireworks!!!!!!!!!!
ohhh pretty!
ohhhhh. And for the first time in YEARS, I actually got to watch the entire fireworks show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My grandmother and some of my mom's friend came over too! It was sooo much fun!
I was amazed I actually got some pictures of the fireworks!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the weekend!!!!!!! We had a blast!

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