Roasted Spaghetti Squash with SausagePrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

If you hadn’t noticed, I took a little break from blogging and social media the last few weeks. Well, except for instagram.

I even have a handful of recipes ready to post, but it’s been difficult to find the words to put to any of them. I tried multiple times to sit down and there was so much racing through my head, but nothing that I could put into words. Not here.

So, I bought a journal. I’m sure once I actually sit down and write in it, it will help.

My life just doesn’t seem real most days. Emotions and feelings are constantly juggled, but by someone who doesn’t know how to juggle. I never really know what day it is until my husband doesn’t get out of bed Saturday morning. Going into the office feels like “me” time. when I run into you, I can tell you my mom’a on hospice and won’t even shed a tear. But I will later. And those I considered to be my friends, now feel like family.

It’s a journey.

 

 

This journey also includes me in the kitchen. The one place where I feel like myself.

A beautiful part of this journey is being able to feed my family. Seeing my mom sigh as she takes her first bite and then finishing her bowl absolutely fills my heart with such joy.

I’ve made this dish multiple times for my family and even the two out of five who dislike any kind of squash, devour this. We’ve been eating a lot of pasta lately (nights when I get home late) and just feels good to swap it out with a vegetable. The sausage and cheese makes this a filling dish, but also very comforting, yet without guilt. It’s so wonderful.

I’m so proud of Todd and Diane, the authors and photographers of this incredible cookbook, Bountiful. A few years ago (almost exactly, this month) we went to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Mexico for Food & Wine where I went as a blogger correspondent and they were the photographers. Instead of bringing my husband, I brought my mom. I was 7 weeks pregnant at the time (& so sick) so who better to bring than your mom. We had such a wonderful time and really great conversations just the four of us. Todd and Diane had shared their vision of their future cookbook (this is it!) and their love for their garden. It’s so exciting to see it all come to life. Mom would be so proud of you two and this beautiful book.

Thank you to everyone for hanging in there with me and having patience when I need to take my time. For those who’d like to follow along with my mother’s journey, you can check out her Caring Bridge page that I try and update when I can (or when there are updates).

 

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

PRINT Recipe

Recipe from Bountiful Cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)
  • 3/4 pound uncooked sausage (I used a Cajun style pre-cooked sausage here, but I’ve done both)
  • 5 medium shallots, thickly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiana Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano or other herbs that compliment the sausage
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Optional – red pepper chili flakes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and pieces, the place the squash cut side down, on the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a fork easily separates the squash flesh into strands. Loosen and remove the “spaghetti” from the skin and set aside. Note: if it’s a smaller squash, start with a smaller cooking time.

Pinch and pull small balls of the sausage out of its casing, arranging them so they stay separate. If you use pre-cooked sausage, slice and cut in half. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cook until soft, stirring, then add the sausage. Cook, untouched, until the sausage starts to brown, then stir. Continue cooking, stirring, occasionally until the sausage is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.

Add the squash strands to the sausage and continue cooking until heated through, about 1 minute.

Remove the pan and the heat. Toss in the Parmigiana Reggiano and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Optional – sprinkle red pepper chili flakes.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

 *gluten-free

 

Mason’s FIRST Birthday CelebrationPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

So much happens in 12 months.

From the whole birthing/newborn journey to raising and teaching this impressionable little being everything you think is important. Loving them endlessly and smothering them with kisses before they’re old enough to tell you no. The true test in patience, especially when they keep everyone up all night, teething (which feels never ending!), throwing their entire dinner on the floor right after you made it, and wrestling diaper changes because us parents always love a good challenge. It’s all a journey, but  a wonderful and memorable journey.

All in all, every day is an absolute blessing with this little one. His smile and big slobbery kisses melt my heart every moment of the day and know I’m the luckiest mama in the world. I love him so much.

 

Mason turned ONE on November 9th

Celebrating his first birthday was emotional for me.

I had envisioned a birthday party with all our friends, family and their little ones. An opportunity to bring everyone together, feed them and love on our little mace.

Given our situation with my mom, the thought of throwing a birthday party without my family, yeah right. So, I decided to put together a little birthday celebration with just us. Nana, papa, auntie and ben and I. All of Mason’s favorite people.

On his actual birthday we spent the afternoon at the zoo with his other grandparents. Also is favorite people. 

 

I was in my zone.

I know it’s a first birthday and none of the details make a difference. But this party is just as much for me as it is for mace. If not all for me…

I loved every second of it. Plus, watching my family sit around while mace “opened” his gifts, all enjoying the room, the food and the moment was simply the best and all I could ask for.

 

First bite of sugar and well, you could say he liked it. It did take him awhile but he finally got his hands dirty. It was so fun to watch.

Seeing mace pick through his cake and the excitement and his little giggles was my favorite part.

This is one of our favorite salads. If you’re local, it may look familiar. This is basically a gluten-free version of PCC Markets perfect protein salad. I plan on sharing this recipe with you next week because you need it. And you’re welcome.

Along with the protein salad, I made a Chinese chicken salad (from Weelicious Lunches), sweet potato and regular fries, and blueberry donuts (from Baked Doughnuts For Everyone). We had wine and cucumber water, served in mason jars. Obviously.

It was all perfect.

 

 

THE DETAILS

Cake Stand, fry holder and M from World Market
Cake Topper from Sweet and Saucy / Little Cat Design
Water Container from Sur la Table
DIY Garland – inspiration from Oh Happy Day 
Tent (birthday present from mama and daddy) from Land of Nod

Table styled and all food made by me, Lisa Thiele

 

 

Lentils with Mozzarella from FeastPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

Where has this week gone? Part of me is happy it’s almost over, but I hate to wish time away.

I finally bit the bullet earlier this week. I found a local photographer (thanks, Jenn!) and we’re doing family photos in a few weeks. Helloooo (30, ahh!) birthday present to me!

I can’t remember if I said it here, but I can’t stop thinking about all the family photos my sister and I rebelled against and eventually my poor mom finally stopped asking.

I never had the right outfit, looked my best, my roots weren’t touched up, blah blah blah! Growing up, we did a handful of family photos, but I wish I had more, especially of my mom and I. I look at so many things differently now. This has gotten me to take more photos, re-prioritize my life, finally finish my child’s baby book and  really do my best to make the most of each and every day.

So, I’ve decided I’m not going to let myself get in the way and get my ass back in the photo with my family.

 

 

Between feeding my family and capturing moments behind the lens, this is what I’m suppose to be doing right now. And I love it.

I’m so happy to share this incredible cookbook with you. It was written by a beautiful woman, Sarah Copeland called Feast. It’s filled with the most gorgeous vegetarian recipes that will please everyone at the table. With my sister is practically vegetarian and with the two guys (my dad and husband) being meat lovers, I kid you not, the number of recipes I’ve already made for them have been requested multiple times. This cookbook truly makes my life easier.

A lot of the recipes are naturally gluten-free and if not, they’re relatively easy to adapt.

I’ve at least made this lentil and mozzarella a handful of times. The crunch from the vegetables with the flavor of the herb dressing and then the silky cheese and salty pine nuts, it’s absolute perfection in a bowl.

 

Lentils and Mozzarella

Recipe from Feast Cookbook

PRINT Recipe

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • handful of assorted fresh herbs such as dill, chives, basil, and/or mint, finely chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bocconcini mozzarella, torn or mozzarella sliced
  • course sea salt for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoon toasted pine nuts

Directions

Add the lentils, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until just soft, about 30 minutes. Drain the lentils. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic, celery, and carrot and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the lentils to the vegetables.

Meanwhile, pulse together the mustard, vinegar and herbs in a food processor or blender. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse or whisk to bring together. Add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and season with pepper. Taste and add more salt as needed.

Spoon the warm lentils and vegetables onto plates. Top with the mozzarella and sprinkle with course sea salt and pine nuts. Drizzle with the herb vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

 

*gluten-free *vegetarian 

 

 

 

Coffee Talk: 4Print Recipe Print Recipe

 

I’ve really missed our coffee talks.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been drinking enough coffee for you, your mother and I combined. I do love my coffee addiction and certainly no plan in changing it. Okay, you have your coffee? Good, cause I have mine (even if you’re reading this at 4pm, this is still probably accurate).

So, the Seahawks are playing in the playoffs on Saturday and pretty sure we’ve got ourselves the cutest fan. Mason participated in a contest (entered by my husband’s work) and I think I’ve watched this video a bazillion times and then laugh so hard every time he raises his hand like I’m seeing it for the first time.

As everyone else on this planet, I’ve been trying to add more greens into my “diet”. I hate that word, but that’s another conversation. I find when I’m off, emotionally and physically, greens help bring a little balance back in my life. Plus, it’s the only thing my mom AND child will also drink all of so yes, I will happily make green smoothies everyday. I usually just empty the fridge or freezer, but I love this “How to Make the Perfect Green Smoothie” from 100 Days of Real Food. Might switch up my smoothie “recipes”.

I love this. Erin showed us the behind the scenes of blogging and I kind of want to walk in her shoes for a day. The cell phone shots and then cell phone + laptop are my favorite.

I’ve been cooking a lot, trying to feed my family good, whole foods. I made this baked egg with chanterelles dish for my family over the weekend and it was a hit! It made me look way fancier than I really am, which I always appreciate.

Back to Mason. He usually eats what we eat or the leftovers from the night before. He’s not too picky. Although, I feel like I need to get a little creative with the toddler treats. Jenna’s definitely inspired me with her fun toddler food. Thinking fruit snacks and graham crackers are in his near future. Need some mom points, ya know.

Here, you need a good laugh. I had no idea she was so funny – 25 Times Anna Kendrick Was Painfully Accurate.

Have a wonderful weekend all you lovelies! xx