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  1. Thursday, January 31

    Baked Stuffed Winter Squash

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    stuffed acorn squash2

    Baked Stuffed Winter Squash
     
    Yummy stuffed and baked winter squash!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Vegetarian

    Ingredients
    • 4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
    • 2 C cooked wild rice (I used 3 C of the the Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley (brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds) & it worked great)
    • 1 C cooked wheat berries (I didn’t have these, which is why I did 3 C of the TJ’s medley)
    • 1 C roasted pears
    • ¼ C canola oil, divided
    • 1 large shallot, diced
    • ⅓ C apple cider
    • ½ C dried cranberries
    • Salt & Pepper to taste

    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast squash cut side down for 30-40 minutes. While squash is roasting, cook rice and wheat berries according to package directions (Jane note – I added salt to the water that the rice cooked in for flavor). One squash is soft, cut pears into large dice and toss with ⅛ C canola oil. Roast on sheet tray about 20 minutes. Saute shallot in rest of oil over medium heat. Pour apple cider in with shallots, cooking and stirring to deglaze the pan. Mix rice, berries, pears, and cranberries into shallot mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each squash with filling and serve.

     

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  2. Wednesday, January 30

    Superbowl Eats!

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    Mi madre-in-law requested ideas for Superbowl snacks in her non-cookie-dough-cookie-dough comment today…I was going to do a Superbowl post laster this week, but let’s get the ball rolling! Time to share your favorite foods and recipes for the Big Game! Sweet, salty, fancy, easy…anything you’ve got! (Although, Pat, the mom-in-law, is looking for yummy and easy or make-ahead ideas…so that would be good too! Help me keep her happy…she’s a bear of an in-law. hee hee.)


    My favorite sweet treat is the Sweet Chex Mix recipe. Yum.

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  3. Tuesday, January 29

    Cookie Dough 101 Pop Quiz

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    Way back when I made these amazing chocolate cookies (thanks to my blogger friend Lindsey who created this perfect recipe). If you haven’t made these cookies yet, you really should. This recipe is a keeper. The best chocolate cookie recipe I’ve used. Awesome, delicious, perfect. Enough gushing? Okay.

    Now for today’s POP QUIZ. A simple True or False question for you.

    When you make cookies, you should cook all the dough at once.
    T or F?


    Get out your red pencils…here comes the answer…I would put it upside down at the bottom of the post, but I don’t want you hurting yourself lifting the big heavy computer monitor…FALSE!!! Unless you have 13 children (which I was nearly forced to have thanks to Pottery Barn, more on that another day), when you make your cookie dough, simply cook one tray of cookies. Stick the rest of the dough in the fridge for later. Why, you may ask? Well, what is better than fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies? Why fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies day after day, of course! :)

    If you got the answer right, A+. If you didn’t, you fail…but it won’t go on your permanent record. Promise.

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  4. Sunday, January 27

    Week 53 Menu

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    I think food can be really beautiful. As an artist and designer, I definitely enjoy looking at food more than preparing it (of course, I don’t mind eating it!). This week, an onion won the “pretty prize.” I know this sounds cheesy, but I really enjoyed chopping this onion – the colors were especially striking to me. I loved looking at this onion. I didn’t even mind that it made me cry. And, no, I wasn’t crying because it was so beautiful…I’m not THAT bad. Seriously, though, I couldn’t wait to take a picture and share it with all of you.


    Thank you all for your menus every week. Participation is growing and I love getting ideas from you. Please keep the menus, recipes and comments coming!!

    MONDAY:
    - Sausage sandwiches w/pepper & onion
    - Salad
    - Chips

    TUESDAY:
    - Chicken Piccata
    - Mashed potatoes
    - Veggie or Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    - Baked French Toast
    - Hashbrowns
    - Fruit

    THURSDAY:
    - Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    - Ravioli & leftover lasagna (not quite enough lasagna for full dinner for all of us, so a combo)
    - Salad

    SATURDAY:
    - Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    - Quiche (bacon & cheese…yum!)
    - Crusty bread
    - Veggie

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  5. Thursday, January 24

    Recovering Grapefruit Junkie Lapses

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    I went through a phase with two good friends where we ate red grapefruit ALL THE TIME. That was a super healthy phase in my life: everyday we ate grapefruit, spinach and cottage cheese for lunch and worked out together after work. Those were the days…what happened?!?! I’ll tell you what happened…TJ’s chocolate covered pretzels, that’s what.

    While I may not eat grapefruit every day anymore, I still LOVE LOVE LOVE red, sweet grapefruits (and Ruby Red juice, which I can chug, chug, chug). As I was enjoying an especially tasty grapefruit today (even Cate ate a few pieces!), I decided I needed to share some pictures of it with you (yes, I went picture crazy today) as well as the most killer technique for eating it.

    The BEST WAY EVER to eat a grapefruit:

    1.
    Get yourself a red flesh grapefruit – sample varieties are Ruby, Rio, or Star.


    2. Peel the grapefruit.


    3. Break it in half (the only reason it’s cut in my pictures was because it was pretty…you don’t have to cut it) and peel off the rind from the grapefruit flesh. The rind pretty much stays together while you peel off the flesh from each slice.


    4. Enjoy!!!


    Forget a spoon. It’s only going to massacre your fruit, destroying the texture. Trust me – it is so much better this way and worth the extra 5 minutes it takes to peel. Yum.

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  6. Monday, January 21

    GO PATS!!!!!!!!

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    I know that whenever I show open support for a sports team on the blog I risk alienating a few readers (case in point, my own dad, who is a yankees fan for some sad reason)…and I especially take that risk today, seeing as how I’m in San Diego and may be attacked…but I gotta say it…

    GO PATS!!!!!!!!!

    I do feel bad for my San Diego friends out there – REALLY! But not that bad, I suppose. It’s what we Patriots gotta do to reach PERFECTION. Seriously, a 19-0 season?!?! (And you all know it’s gonna happen.) Can New England sports get any better? Besides breaking the curse, of course.

    For all the non-sports readers out there, I’m done. Well, until the Superbowl in 2 weeks!

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  7. Sunday, January 20

    Week 52 Menu

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    Our good friends (remember Nikki, Christmas cookie extraordinaire?) recently got back from a trip to Nikki’s home state…Hawaii. Can you imagine growing up there?! Anyway, they brought us a beautiful, deliciously ripe pineapple. I don’t know how they got this dangerous-looking fruit through security…but I’m glad they did. It was so good and sure did make for a pretty picture (in fact, I think she brings me beautiful foods just so she gets mentioned on the blog…keep bringing it, Nikki!).


    Here’s my menu. I can’t wait to see what you’re all eating this week!

    MONDAY:
    - Beef Stew
    - More of that good Trader Joe’s bread

    TUESDAY:
    - Pasta of some kind…I just cleaned out the pantry a bit and discovered MANY bags of open pasta. Any suggestions for something easy and yummy that isn’t boring spaghetti & red sauce?

    WEDNESDAY:
    - Orange Chicken (different from Costco & TJ’s…be sure to check out this delicious recipe from Nate’s grandmother)
    - Rice
    - Salad

    THURSDAY:
    - Letovers

    FRIDAY:
    - Chicken Parmesan

    SATURDAY:
    - Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    - Beef Stroganoff
    - Salad
    - Rolls

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  8. Friday, January 18

    The Goods: Costco’s Orange Chicken

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    I’ve been meaning to write about this forEVER…but I would always forget to take pictures of the food! Finally got my act together.


    Today I want to discuss frozen orange chicken options. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know I always sung the praises of Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken (in the freezer section). It’s yummy, we loved it, ate it all the time. Then one day we tried Costco’s version (also in the freezer section and comparable in price). I never thought Costco would trump TJ’s, but in this case it did.

    Reason #1: The Meat. I mean, just look at those yummy frozen chicken pieces! It’s all white meat. TJ’s isn’t. Seriously, the first time I poured the Costco version on the baking sheet, I was shocked at how much more appetizing and yummy that chicken looked.


    Reason #2: The Sauce. I don’t necessarily agree with this reason…but Nate does. The sauce is different. I actually kind of like TJ’s sauce better because it has a little kick to it, but Nate definitely likes the Costco sauce better. It’s more orange-y and fresher tasting. Despite my affinity for the TJ’s sauce…I agree the Costco sauce is dang good. And the quality of the chicken in the Costco version definitely makes me willing to give up the TJs sauce.

    So there you go. Orange Chicken review finally done. I feel like I’ve cheated on Joe, but hopefully he’ll forgive me.

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  9. Thursday, January 17

    Super Baby Food

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    I have a few friends right now who are starting their babies on solid foods. I was talking to Nate about it and he suggested I do a quick post! Sorry to the non-baby people out there…although, the book I mention below is a great baby gift idea!

    Tip #1: When it’s time to start your baby on rice cereal, use Earth’s Best brand. Trust me…not to get too graphic on a food website, but it will keep your baby’s system happy, if you know what I mean. :)

    Tip #2: Super Baby Foodby Ruth Yaron is a GREAT resource. If you want to make your own baby food, it’s a must-have. If you don’t want to make your own baby food, it is still a very handy book to have around. I used it a lot in the beginning. It really helped me to know what foods I could feed to Cate at what stages, etc. Despite eventually giving up on making my own baby food, I’m still very glad I had the book at my fingertips. You gotta get it, mommies!

    So, that’s all I have to say on the subject…well not really, I’ve got plenty to say on the subject. I’m just giving you a break for now. :)

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  10. Sunday, January 13

    Week 51 Menu

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    Tonight we had Costco’s Chicken Corn Chowder (remember from last week’s picture?). It was awesome. Nate and I both really liked it. Two thumbs up! Add a slice of Trader Joe’s yummy bread (previously featured here), and you’ve got yourself a nice cozy dinner for a frigidly cold San Diego winter’s night. ;)


    Time for a menu. Hmmmm…what to eat…maybe some real cooking this week? Maybe not…

    MONDAY:
    - Orange Chicken (stay tuned this week on commentary on my new favorite orange chicken…sorry Trader Joe)
    - Veggie Stir Fry (Trader Joe’s freezer section)
    - White Rice

    TUESDAY:
    - Waffles
    - Fruit

    WEDNESDAY:
    - French Bread Pizza
    - Salad

    THURSDAY:
    - Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    - Sausage Alfredo Lasagna (Thank you, Isa! She brought this last week and we were able to freeze half of it – so nice.)
    - Salad

    SATURDAY:
    - Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    - Beef Stew
    - More of that good Trader Joe’s bread

    Now, bring on the menus!

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