Random recipe: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

One of our favorite restaurants in Portland, Ox, has the most amazing Spaghetti Squash. I had never had spaghetti squash until a few years ago at my first visit to Ox. Their version is: Coal-Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Toasted Garlic, Lemon, Aged Goat Cheese. You had me at goat cheese. I am a fan of almost anything with goat cheese. Last week, Chris, tried a new recipe we found for spaghetti squash. It was good, very good. Do not be deterred by how much description is below. It is actually much easier than it looks.

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Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Creamy spaghetti squash with cheese and herbs, topped with crunchy panko. Serves 4.
Found: Megan (I Eat Therefore I Cook)

Ingredients
  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese,
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TSP Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 TSP Fresh Oregano, Chopped
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Panko
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash with knife a couple of times. Place on baking sheet and place in oven for about 1 hour, or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Turn up oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Let cool and slice in half. Remove seeds from squash with spoon. Scoop out squash insides into a large bowl. Add olive oil, mozzarella cheese, thyme, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix together until evenly distributed.
  4. In a 8 by 8 glass baking dish, place squash mixture in pan. Spread evenly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Sprinkle panko on top evenly. Place in oven and cook until panko becomes golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy.
  5. Note: We skipped step 1, and cut the squash in half, placed face side up with wax paper on top, and put in the microwave for 20 minutes, then went right to step 3.

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Let me know if you try to make it, and if you do what you think!

Say what you want to say

“Say what you want to say.” I love this line from a Saturday Night Live skit. How many times in life do we say what people want to hear? Do you want to go out with me? Inside you are saying: “I am too tired, you bore me, I just need some time to myself.” Instead of being honest with others, we say yes, we go, and sometimes we wish we had just stood up for ourselves and said no. This skit shows how exhilarating it would be if we just said what we were really thinking.

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Do you feel invigorated after watching? While I am someone who is more often than not going to tell you no and be completely blunt and direct about it. However, even for me there are times when it feels awkward, or when it feels like it is the right thing to do to say yes and go along with things. Usually when we are in those situations we feel how wrong our decision was and that we should have listened to our gut the first time. It is better for us all to: “Say what you want to say” rather than say what we think others want to hear.

What do you think?

4-7-8

I have nights when I sleep beautifully, and other nights when I toss and I turn. Either I cannot sleep on one side, I get hot, or I have to pee multiple times. Some nights I toss and turn because Chris is snoring. I have to either deal, or pat him and ask him to roll over so I can actually go to sleep. Other times I ponder life, and eventually fall back asleep, or I get up and read and when my eyes can no longer handle it, I snuggle up next to my warm husband and fall back to sleep.

When I found a new way of approaching falling asleep, I thought why not try it? It actually works (from what I have found so far). It is the 4-7-8 principle outlined here:

“She happens to be a licensed wellness practitioner who studies meditation, stress, and breathing techniques, and told me it would change my life. You simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. She explained that the studied combination of numbers has a chemical-like effect on our brains, and would slow my heart rate and soothe me right to sleep that night. “It works,” she told me. “It’s crazy.”

I have tried it a few times and since I do not remember what happened next, I think that means that I have fallen asleep. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale through mouth for eight seconds. When I do it I can physically feel a difference in my body. When you hold your breathe for seven seconds, and then exhale, your body has to go through a moment of relaxation. You would exhale out in a different way if you had not held your breath. While it feels a bit strange, I feel my body relax and release in ways it probably would not if I did not do: 4-7-8.

They are right that is slows your heart rate. It somehow slows my mind, which is just what I need to let go and let my mind and body relax and allow a few hours of sleep to get me to the next morning where it all starts over again. Take a moment to read the above link to see more detail on mindless breathing, and how it can help you sleep better. ZZZZZzzzzz…

On Mothering

I do not really think about the idea of feeling mothered too often. Until a few weeks ago. I met a woman who calmed me. It was not anything she really did, but I wondered if the vibe she gave off was one of a “mother.” Random I know. This woman is slightly irrelevant to this post as I may never see her again, but the hour I spent with her began a chain of events in my thoughts over the course of the next few days. Mothers. Mothering. Lack of a mom. My mom passed away 20 years ago. I have lived more of my life without my mom then I did with her.

Yes there have always been individuals in my life that have “mothered” me in different ways. I have tears in my eyes as I remember the ones that had a lasting effect on me. And, while many of those that mothered me are not deeply present in my life today, they are still in some ways always present with me. I saw how they mothered their own children, how they loved me, or how they taught me to love. It is interesting for me to look back over those 20 years of the diverse mothering in my life.

Jump to today. I am a bit of a hard-core person. I go all into a project. Usually it is hard for me to stop until I am done. You know you can count on me, trust me, and that I will not let you down. But with being hard-core there is an intensity that I exude that sometimes is well: intense. This woman a few weeks ago calmed me for that hour. I have no idea why. I have no idea if I would like her, or if she would continue to have that effect on me. It makes me wonder about all my friends, family, and co-workers who have lost parents, siblings, friends, co-workers in their life. How do they continue to feel fathered, mothered, taken care of? Why did this women calm me?

Is it that I need more mothering in my life? Do I need to let go a bit and allow myself to be mothered? I guess it depends on what our definition of mothering truly is. Sometimes I think it is knowing that I could pick up the phone and cry, share of my day, or ask for advice. Other times it is to tell me that everything is going to be okay, or to tell me how proud she is of me. Whatever the definition, I imagine a good amount of us could use a bit more mothering in our life.