Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Supper From My Garden

This year I planted spaghetti squash in our garden and to my delight I'm getting quite a few of them.  If you've never tried it, promise me that you will.  It is delicious and a great substitute for pasta if you want to save some calories.

Since our garden is also producing an abundance of tomatoes I decided to make spaghetti squash with a chunky tomato-zucchini sauce.

I chopped one small onion, one small to medium size zucchini (also from our garden), minced 2 gloves of garlic.  I also added 1/2 cup of store bought shredded carrots.  I did plant carrots, but they are not ready to harvest yet.  I chopped 6 fresh tomatoes.
I took the photo before I chopped the tomatoes because I wanted you to see how beautiful they look fresh from the garden.

Next, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the zucchini, onion, carrot, and garlic and cook until tender.  Don't forget to stir once in awhile.

Now add those beautiful chopped fresh tomatoes, One 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of dried Italian seasoning and black pepper to taste.  Bring this to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.
While that is simmering away, take one large or two small spaghetti squash and cut in half lengthwise; remove seeds and strings.  Place cut side down in a microwave safe baking dish.  Make sure you pierce the skin side all over with a fork.  Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.  No microwave, no problem.  Just bake it in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.  Carefully, very carefully remove from dish, cool slightly and using a fork shred and separate the pulp into strands.  I'm not a very patient person so usually I just use a pot holder to hold the squash in one hand and shred with the other.  Although I don't recommend this way 'cause you could end up with some serious burns.


One a side note, my squash were on the smallish side so I used two.

Now, serve it up on a pretty plate, top with the chunky tomato-zucchini sauce, some fresh basil leaves (also from our garden) and a little shredded Parmesan cheese and there you have it, a tasty, friendly on the waist summer supper.  Oh, and there was plenty left over for lunch the next day.  Believe it or not, this is quite filling.  It will feed four, but since it's just my hubby and I, we had leftovers.
I sure hope you will try this sometime. Even if you don't have a garden, all of these fresh ingredients are available in your local supermarket or farmer's market.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Did you ever have an idea that at the time it seemed like the best idea in the world E.V.E.R............and then you realize........hmmm.......not so much?  That is exactly what happened to me.  

I have a birdbath in one of my flower gardens and I had read somewhere to put some stones in the bottom so that the birds had something to stand on, 'cause apparently they don't like to be in really deep water.  Since I didn't have any stones just laying around I went to the dollar store and bought 2 bags.  I rinsed them really well 'cause I didn't want to have anything in the water that could possibly make the little birds sick.  They have enough problems dodging my cats.   That's another story.  

It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't such a good idea.  Why, you ask?  Because every time I change the water I have to remove approximately 30 little stones and rinse them off 'cause they are slimy, sooooo slimy.  Here they are in the bucket getting rinsed.
Since the summer is almost over I've had decided to keep using them, then they are getting recycled for some other use.  I'm on the look out for one big rock to place in the middle of the birdbath.  Here's what they look like in the bath.
It's pretty, just not very practical.

Monday, August 22, 2011

So Many Things To Do...........So Little Time

Yes, I am alive.  We are back from our last camping trip for the year.  Our summers are very short so we like to take full advantage of them.  Had a wonderful time, however me thinks a few too many s'mores were eaten.  My pants can give testament to that.  Thank god they can't talk; however they do moan and groan a little when I zip them.  Oops!  That's me doing the moaning and groaning. 
Coming back though, is bittersweet, especially when I look around at all the things that need to be done, besides the obvious mountain of laundry.

My head is swimming.  Where do I begin?

Should I start painting the kitchen cabinets?

Do a little project using these 4 dollar store picture frames?
Plant the perennials that I bought on clearance at Lowe's just before we left?
Do some weeding that got out of control?
I'm so embarrassed about the weeding.  Here's the part that did get weeded.  So much prettier.
Pick all the tomatoes that ripened in just 9 short days?

Do a project from this yard sale find that was found in June?
Pick up the toys leftover from the grand-kids visit?
Get rid of the leftovers from my garage sale that was held in June?

Ugh!  Think I'll take a nap instead.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rodeo

I'm going to bore you with more vacation pictures.  One of the things on my bucket list was to attend a rodeo.  I always thought I would have to go west, but nope, right here in New York State there was a Rodeo.  Who would have thunk it?  Yippee!  I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  

What's a rodeo without your cowboy hat?
Okay....................I guess you can wear a baseball cap...............this time.
Opening Ceremony


It's not a rodeo unless you have bucking broncos
Rodeo clowns

Bull riding
Trick riders
And a fun time was had by all.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm Back....................

We're home from our week of camping.  Had a blast.  We stayed at Watkin's Glen State Park, which is located in the Finger Lakes Region where there are a. lot. of wineries.  Believe me I did my fair share of  wine drinking tasting.  This is the third year we have gone there and still haven't hit every winery.  We ate lunch one day at the Thirsty Owl Winery.  They have a very nice little Bistro there.
Their van was much better than the sign on their winery.  Go figure.
We made friends with another couple and asked them to take our picture, after we took theirs first.  This is us, not them.  Just in case you were wondering.
This was our view as we ate lunch.
These were planted behind where the van was parked.
I even got some inspiration in their restroom.  Isn't that finish to die for?  I love love it.
This is my cupboard that sits in the teeny tiny hallway that leads down to our family room.  I've been wanting to paint this but didn't know what to do with it.  Now I know.  Hopefully soon it will look like this.
Right now though I have a ton of laundry that's calling my name.  It's good to be back.