Sunday, January 31, 2010

Butternut Squash Casserole

A friend of mine at work mentioned that she found this recipe for Butternut Squash Macaroni Casserole and that it was AMAZING, and since I am trying to stay on the "no meat" part of the Vegan diet and someday hope to move onto full blown Vegan, I thought what the heck. 

The recipe for Butternut Squash Casserole is as follows:

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (2 cups)
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. whole-wheat elbows
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat milk
1 3/4 cups low-fat white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

I decided to substitute the white cheddar with mozzarella, since it is easier to get and the cost is less, but I am pretty sure that I would use the white cheddar next time to add a little more depth of flavor... But either way, really good.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Toss with oil and salt on a foil-lined tray.  Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, set aside.

2. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions call for; drain and place in a bowl with squash.  Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat.  Whisk in flour; cook for 2 minutes.

3. Slowly whisk in milk.  Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer.  Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 1/2 cups cheese; stir till melted.  Stir cheese sauce into pasta and squash.

4. Spoon into 6 greased (or in my case 4), individual ramekins.  Sprinkle on remaining cheese.  Bake 10 minutes.

It turned out great.  I do have to say that peeling the butternut squash was awful and my arm is still sore, but all in all a great meal!  (Oh and I am not sure what happened but when I uploaded some of the pics they turned to the side, so that is why they look funny... Not on purpose I promise)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bowling 101

Today was the first "official" day of bowling with all our new equipment and let me just tell you, I SUCK!  I thought that I was pretty good or at least after a couple of beers I was on par with most people at the alley but today I was proven wrong.  I was terrible and though the man at the pro shop tried to convince me that I would have to get used to the ball being heavier and the holes being custom, I am not convinced that I will ever get the hang of it.

Though it is painful for me to do so, I am going to post the scores of the 3 games that we played today in the hope that I will get better and look back on this day as the beginning of something wonderful and triumphant.

Game 1 -
Paul - 127
Me - 74

Game 2 -
Paul - 200
Me - 66

Game 3 -
Paul - 129
Me - 60

So as you can tell I was working my way backwards and Paul did just fine... Well not if you ask him, but from where I was standing, he was doing a hell of a lot better than I was.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting a Hobbie!

Recently Paul and I have made a decision to try something new, a way to get out of the house and do something fun together.  Not going to lie, I think that many people will be surprised by the hobbie that we are going to take up.  But here it is... BOWLING!  We are going to join a bowling league and in order to do that we needed to get some equipment.  Today we went to this bowling shop in Westminster and they helped us pick out balls and sized us up and in just a few days I will have the following items in my possesion.  And I cannot wait.

You know that I could not get some run of the mill ball, but had to invest in something fashionable and fun and so the black skull ball it was.  The shoes are not the cutest but really I'm wearing them to bowl so who cares.  Well wish us luck on our new hobbie... I am really just hoping to break 120 and move on from there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

California is Under Water

I spend many days laughing at the weather/news folks who say "Oh my there is quite a storm coming and we might get 1/2 an inch of rain" but I have to tell you they were not kidding when they said a storm was coming.  We have had a ton of rain in just a few days and there is still more to come.  There was a tornado in California, well at the beach to be more specific and today I had to drive through a VERY flooded street to get home from work.  And then after I was out of the flood, the freeway was moving at 5 MPH for no apparent reason... And with all of this going on, I am still thankful that this is the worst that it gets in California.  On most days I can find a reason to hate this place, the people and the traffic but right now I am just thankful that it is not snow, a hurricane or worse a devastatingly, tragic earthquake.

So thank you California storm for reminding me that things are only as bad as you allow them to be.

But I still hate California politicians and specifically our Governator.  Oh and PS I am almost certain that good ole' Arnold was hoping that by attending the Golden Globes, someone was going to offer up a telethon for CA.  Not so fast Arnold, you caused this one, not a natural disaster!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

21 Again!

Mom I am sorry about this one... But I HAVE to post a photo from my night in San Diego with Katie, Nikole and Kelly.  The best part is that this is a direct result of too much cheap Chardonnay at the hotel bar.  And believe it or not it was Katie and I, not Kelly and I.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Late 2009 Wrap Up... With my new laptop!

Though I have already talked about 2010, I have come to realize that I did not post any photos from the holidays  So thanks to my NEW LAPTOP (oh yeah I love it) I am going to be blogging much more often and making sure that I get some good photos up on these posts.  So here are a few from the holidays...

Thos were photos from Christmas morning at my parents house, which was great... Relaxing and fun.  And then for New Years we went up to Monrovia for dinner and a movie with my sister, Rodger, Mom and Dad.  It was a really great night and a great way to ring in the New Year.

And for the grand finale here is my NEW LAPTOP... Did I mention that I love it?!?!  Well I do!
More to come in the next year and I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Off to a HARD start... Thanks 2010!

I hate being negative, and I REALLY try to look on the bright side when at all possible but I have to tell you 2010 is kicking my bottom.  I started this vegan thing and though I have been able to handle the no meat part, and for the most part the no dairy, I have to tell you the no soda, no alcohol and no anything that sounds amazing part is really hard.  But this is a choice and not a requirement in my life and I need to remember that. 

And just when I thought that I was about to give in I found this really great vegan place in Tustin called Native Foods and it got me back on track... It was like the world knew that I was about to break and reached out.  Thank you world!

Besides the resolutions being a main focus, my cat Moe has been sick.  For the last 5 days he has had a really hard time breathing and I thought that it was a cold that would just go away... But it did not.  So yesterday I gave in and made an appointment with the vet and it turns out that my Moe has asthma.  Right!  That is what I said.  But we have been giving him cortizone and steroids and it is like night and day, he is SO MUCH BETTER!  Thankfully.

So I guess that even though it has been a rough first week of 2010 the brightside is that Moe is okay and this diet that I am on will eventually get easy and there are people out there to support me, one way or the other.

Looking forward to what else 2010 has to show me... Hopefully this will be the worst week that I have this whole year. :)