Monday, November 24, 2014

One Week

Well, there's only one week left of November (HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN??)

But guess what that means... only ONE week left until the Christmas Joke Advent Calendar begins...

If you haven't been around the blog the past two years, prepare yourself now (you should be excited).

Christmas is my favourite. I love doing the advent calendar, as lame as it may be.. and this year I may or may not have a secret guest joining me for some (or all) of the days... but I'm keeping that secret for now.

See you all in a week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lasagna Spaghetti Squash

Today I'm going to share a recipe for one of my absolutely new favourite meals (I've cooked it twice in the past week and a half and will probably cook it again soon). I've been slacking on getting this post up, but my dear friend Shannon has been hounding me to get this posted.. so here we go.

Side note: these pictures do NOT do this dinner justice because my photography skills were not on point when I made this.

Now before we get started, do yourself a big favour and pour a big glass of wine. I'm a 75% glass full kinda girl, don't judge me.

Now we can proceed.

First, cut your spaghetti squash in half and gut it (like a pumpkin). Just go ahead and throw out all the goopy stuff and the seeds... unless you want to roast the seeds, then go ahead and keep them. I'll wait until you're done. Done yet?

Okay so bake the squash face down on a baking sheet (or in a baking dish, I'm not fussy) with a bit of water (I like to put a little bit of salt and pepper on the squash for added flavour).
If you don't know how to cook spaghetti squash, this is a great recipe.

Here's a list of the ingredients I used. I'm a terrible blogger and forgot to take pictures of my spices, but oh well.

Things & Stuff You'll Need to Cook This:
  • 2 medium spaghetti squash (or one big one)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic salt
  • basil (dried)
  • sriracha (if you like spice)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (whatever kind you like, really)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (I really like garlic - add more or less depending on what you like)
  • 1lb lean ground beef (lean ground pork, or turkey would work really well)
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 1 lb can crushed tomatoes
  • Lots and lots and lots of cheese (for this recipe I used marble cheese, last time I made it I used Mozzarella)
How To Make This Deliciousness:

Step One: Cut a hole in the box. Preheat oven to 400ºF and put your spaghetti squash in (as directed in link provided above).

Step Two: Have your boyfriend (or girlfriend, or spouse friend) chop your onions for you.

While they're cutting dem onions, toss a little olive oil in your pan, and throw all that heavenly garlic in there and let that deliciousness sizzle up. Then, have your spouse friend throw the onions in the pan and toss those babies high. The higher the toss, the closer to Jesus, and then clearly you have blessed garlic and onions (and this is really the secret ingredient to the worlds most delicious lasagna spaghetti squash) ... so don't miss this step, unless you want average lasagna spaghetti squash.

Holy side-track moment.
Okay, Step Three: Go ahead and toss that beef in there. Nothing like raw meat to really make a meal look delicious.

Toss in a few generous pinches of salt and pepper (..nobody wants bland meat). While this is cooking a bit, get to work on chopping that chorizo.

If you like big pieces of meat in your mouth (TWSS) then cut your chorizo into slices like the picture above. If you'd rather have small pieces (like me) then you may want to chop it like this:

Either way, it's still going to be delicious and how you chop your chorizo doesn't really matter. I'm a fan of draining my meat, so I drain the beef/onion/garlic mixture to get rid of all the excess fat and juices, and then put the pan back on the stove. Now just toss that chorizo in with the beef and stir.

Step Four: Look super busy while stirring this. Now have your spouse friend chop the carrot and bell pepper for you and toss that in to get things really going.

Step Five: Stir stir stir. Let all of these ingredients get to know each other. Once it all looks happy and yummy, dump in place a few pinches of garlic salt in there. Add a few pinches of basil (really, however much you'd like), then add a bit more salt and pepper. If you're a sriracha (or Frank's hot sauce) kinda girl person, add it now. Wait another few moments and add the jar of sauce to this delicious mixture of beefy goodness.

Once everything is mingling quite nicely and the sauce is cooking, go ahead and grate a ton of cheese. You could probably get by with a cup, maybe two, but I like to grate cheese until the plate is full - just use your judgement here:

What Step are we on? Six? Okay, Step Six: Once your spaghetti squash is done, take it out of the oven and flip it over in the pan (I had a really good picture showing this step and I forgot to upload it and I'm typing this from my phone and I'm currently mad at myself for this).

Anyway, take a fork and scrape the inside of the spaghetti squash to get the 'spaghetti texture' happening. Scoop a bunch out and put it in a bowl and set aside, we'll need this in a minute. Now put a layer of cheese in the squash bowls, then add a big scoop of your sauce, then add some of the squash you just set aside, then cheese, sauce and a LOT of cheese on top to finish it off. Easy, right? Just make layers like lasagna.

Step Seven: Turn your oven to broil. Put these babies in there and keep an eye on them. Remember, everything is already cooked, we're just wanting to melt that cheese. For me, the more bubbly, and 'burnt' the cheese is looking, the better it tastes.

This is what it should look like going into the oven (on the left), and this is what it'll look like coming out. I should've left my squash in there for another 2 minutes, but the boys and I were starving and we needed to devour this meal right away.

Bonus Step: I'd recommend making garlic bread. You won't regret it.

And now you get to enjoy your final product! The pic on the right is the first spaghetti squash I made last week, and the two on the left are from this weeks squash.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I've Been Keeping Secrets

Oh hi there, little 'ol blog-o-mine. As I seem to keep saying, every single time I write a post, I've been struggling with writing on here consistently lately - my bad. I'm trying to turn that around (kind of). Anyway, I've got my double shot of espresso in my system and diet coke in my hand and I feel like I'm ready to take on the world (just waiting for that caffeine to kick in).

I was thinking about what I should blog about - and I have two partially drafted posts sitting here waiting to be finished so I can post, but I felt like writing something new and different instead (maybe I'll get around to sharing that recipe and those hideous selfies later this week - but then again, with my track record lately... probably not). Anyway, I'm getting side-tracked. Focus, Faith.

For the past month or so, any time somebody asks 'what's new?', I basically have to give the generic 'oh, you know - same old same old' response.. and I guess I've been keeping a secret from the blog. Justin and I officially live together. It's really exciting (and slightly terrifying), but I've never been more sure of anything in my life.

Justin and I took a trip to Halifax in the summer for my best friends wedding, and for Justin to meet my family - when we came back, Amanda (my roommate) suggested him moving in. We talked about it, thought it would be a great idea since we really didn't want to spend nights apart, and then started working on our landlord to let it happen - and he eventually caved and agreed to it. So on Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving, not American Thanksgiving - obviously), we moved Justin into our apartment and made it 'mostly official'. But this past weekend, on November 1st, it really became official for real because he handed over the keys to his old apartment and was officially at our place permanently. Ahhhh.

So now it's time to let the cat out of the bag (BECAUSE IT'S OFFICIALLY - clearly I'm a bit excited about it), and now I feel like I'm no longer keeping secrets from the blog. Phew.

I'm sure there's going to be a post in the near future about all the things you have to deal with when living with a man... but we'll get to that in the next week or two.

So on Saturday, Justin and I went to our first concert together in celebration of my birthday (the concert tickets were my birthday present) and celebrating officially living together.

This poor man - when we first started dating, he had never taken a selfie in his life and his FIRST ever selfie was for me.. now he's becoming a pro at it, because we've only taken 42,079,317 of them.

Okay, I've shared my news and now I'm rambling.