Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who doesn’t love a little more pink??

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October is Breast Cancer awareness month, and in order to help raise money, the NFL players are all wearing a little pink!  Eventually the pink items will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to breast cancer research.  Can I just say how much I LOVE this??  First and foremost, I think it’s fantastic that the NFL is subconsciously getting men to think about breast cancer, which in turn raises awareness in so many more homes.  But secondly, how great is it to see those pretty splashes of pink all over the place when you’re watching the game??  It’s every girl’s dream.  :)   
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Shout out to our very own Roy Williams, sporting some pink on his gloves!
Cowboys pink Ravens Patriots Football
Awesome picture in general, but this girl likes it even better with those pink gloves. 
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Check out Tom Brady’s pink kicks… and that butt!  ;) 
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Happy game watching!

P.S.  I’m in second place in my fantasy league!!  Woo-hoo!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

squash pasta
Oh.  My.  Full Tummy. 

Tonight I made this recipe since I had a nice butternut squash handy thanks to the co-op vegetables.  I have to admit, it was a LOT of work, and there are still quite a few dirty dishes waiting for me in the kitchen.  But it was all worth it.  After the first bite Logan said it was his favorite thing I’ve ever made.  (And he doesn’t even like squash.) 

While it sounds terribly unhealthy, I actually got the recipe from the Cooking Light website, so it’s not too bad.  Here is the recipe, and I strongly suggest you try it.  Immediately.  :)

Yield: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried rosemary
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 3  cups  (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • Cooking spray
  • 6  sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced shallots
  • 8  ounces  uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.

Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  469 (28% from fat)
Fat:  14.4g (sat 7.3g,mono 4.4g,poly 0.9g)
Protein:  22.1g
Carbohydrate:  66.6g
Fiber:  6.8g
Cholesterol:  40mg
Iron:  3.5mg
Sodium:  849mg
Calcium:  443mg

Dad’s Birthday Dinner

DSC01931 A few years ago, I started the tradition of taking my dad out to a nice steak dinner every year for his birthday.  This man loves steak as much as I do (which is a lot…) and it’s something he will never buy for himself, which makes me even happier to do it for him. 

This year we went to Capital Grille downtown, which was fabulous as always.  We both got the 10 ounce Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes, asparagus, and green beans for our side dishes.  I was worried about being able to take down a 10 ounce steak, but my dad assured me he’d have no problems.  Apparently back in his younger years he ate an entire 40 ounce steak in one sitting.  (Yes, I thank God every day that I inherited this man’s metabolism.)  Since we were celebrating and all, we rationalized that we “deserved” dessert, so I had the chocolate hazelnut cake, and he had the cheesecake. 
DSC01933 DSC01932  Happy 60th Birthday, Dad!  Start thinking about where you want to eat next year…

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thanks, Mike and Leanne!

Co Op
Leanne is a member of a local organic co-op for fruits and vegetables, and since she and Mike are in Padre this week, she asked if I’d like to have their share.  Umm… Yes!!  So Saturday morning I headed out to Bedford to pick up the goods.  Granted, I’d just worked my second night shift in a row, and the pick up wasn’t until 10 am, so I was basically holding my eye lids open with toothpicks as I drove.  In my sleepy stupor, I wasn’t sure it would be worth all the effort for some fruits and veggies – especially since I had to work again that night.  But boy was I wrong.  I am SO glad I made the trip!  This stuff is amazing, and I’m having SO much fun cooking with it! 

Here are all of the veggies (minus the head of lettuce, 8 potatoes, and the leek and kale) all washed and ready to go. 

veggies
And the fruits!  Plums, pears, apples, oranges and bananas.  Besides the fact that they taste amazing, they look pretty good on our counter too!

fruits

Since I’d worked yesterday night, I hadn’t had a chance to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients I’d need for the creative dishes I’ve decided to make.  So instead, I whipped up some rosemary chicken, and steamed the broccoli and carrots, and made fresh side salads with the lettuce and one of the tomatoes.  I have to admit – it was pretty great.  :) 

I am loving cooking these days.  Logan even commented that I’m getting quicker at it too, which is a good thing.  (It used to take me three times the suggested prep time.  I never denied being a perfectionist…)

Since we’ve enjoyed having all these fresh fruits and vegetables, Logan and I are thinking about joining the co-op location near us.  I like that it forces me to be more creative with recipes.  For example, I never would have picked up a butternut squash at the store and thought “I’m going to make something good with this.”  Frankly, I wouldn’t have even known what a butternut squash was.  But since one came with the co-op stuff, I’ve been able to research a great recipe for tomorrow night.  (I can’t wait to make it.)  The next night I’m planning a homemade potato and leek soup.  I’m so excited to be making things besides chicken!  (I’m pretty sure Logan is thrilled to be eating things other than chicken…)

Thank you so much Mike and Leanne for sharing with us!  We are thoroughly enjoying it!