nourishing & unapologetic
This weekend. This weekend. Man, it's been a full one!
Friday we had the incredible fortune to go see the man, Mr. Garth Brooks, in concert in Tulsa. Yes. And, you don't have to ask, it was awesome!!!!!!! (You may think I've already overused the exclamation point, but I assure you it's totally warranted in this instance.) Seriously, our puppy's half-namesake is a PERFORMER extraordinaire.
Recap of the concert, in brief, he sang the hits--the old stuff, the good stuff. Nick's sisters and significant others joined us for the memory-making night. It was a blast!! Despite our really pretty decent seats (in a section filled with mostly lame-o sitters), we stood, danced, and sand along. I can't tell you how thrilled we were to have scored tickets and gotten to go. And it was all the better to share it with A and B and their guys!
Despite a late night, and still in Brooks afterglow, it was a semi-early wake-up call to work Wichita's Bridal Fair on Saturday and again on Sunday. It was time well spent passionately sharing the stellar talents of Ashley and company of Events and Design by Ashley.
So really, after all that, I should not have wanted to cook. But, my hunger generally always supersedes my exhaustion. Fast-forward to tonight's dinner. I had this spaghetti squash lingering in the fridge. This misty cold evening seemed to be the best time to put it to use. I decided to make a recipe I'd already made because, well it was easy and it had such rave reviews from Nick: spinach dip spaghetti squash.
If you've never made a spaghetti squash, don't be intimidated. They're totally approachable. Plus, this vegetable will absolutely fit into your January diet resolutions. Well, not this recipe, but the veg itself. Next time you're in the grocery store, please pick one up.
Spinach Dip Spaghetti Squash
Originally inspired by Taste and Tell
~30 minutes; 4 servings
1 spaghetti squash, seeded
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 half large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or a scoop of minced refrigerated minced garlic)
½1/2 cup sour cream (I usually use light)
4 ounces cream cheese (full fat, or light version, either work)
1/3 ¾ cup grated Parmesan
3 cups packed baby spinach
1¼ cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped (sometimes I use these if I have them)
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, or your other meltable favorite)
Family, friends, fulfillment, and food, that's where it's at. 2015, you're doing us right so far. Seriously, try spaghetti squash. You'll feel like a B.A. in the kitchen and you'll be doing your body a favor by using this low-carb or gluten-free substitute. Win-win.
Now, onward through this month!
Until next time-
It's almost the 4th of July! For me it's the unofficial high point of the summer...there is so much excitement and reverence surrounding it. It is a weekend of families, friends, and food for many, including us. But foremost, it is a day to remember why we can celebrate with BBQs, fireworks, and pool time. We are the "land of the Free because of the Brave." I am enormously grateful for those who have, currently do, and will serve in our Armed Forces. Take some time to appreciate, reflect, and honor our heroes and privileges.
We're looking forward to spending time with bestie M, her hubby J, and sweet baby C for part of the weekend and then with our families and more friends for the remainder of the weekend. I can promise I'll eat too much and likely have the remnants of a sunburn come Monday morning. As this post airs, I am in the kitchen baking some sweet treats for our festivities. Those recipes will appear on Born Daily soon.
In the meantime, I have some fast fixes you can add to your holiday spread. We'll start with one of Nick's favorite summer foods: sweet corn. Until him, I'd never seen anyone consume as many ears of corn as he can in one setting. He just plain loves it. And in true Nick style, let's cut to the chase.
Grilled Sweet Corn
6-8 ears of sweet corn
1 stick of salted butter
Nick has declared grilled corn his favorite way to eat corn on the cob. Undoubtedly, we'll be eating this on a regular basis until summer is over. And we can bet that when we have more space in a future garden, there will corn popping up in rows.
Now another quick fix for your summer meals: SPECIAL SAUCE! I know that sounds a little yucky or fast food-y, but really there's no better name. This sauce is great for burgers, brats, and fries. It's a pretty common combination of ingredients. Here's our rendition of special sauce.
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we're a Hellman's household)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 splashes Worcestershire Sauce
Celery Salt (if you have it on hand)
Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Serve in a small dish or squeeze bottle. (YES, it's that easy!)
Note: this was enough sauce for three hamburgers and three brats, but we're heavy condiment users so yours might spread a little further.
As always, thanks for reading along! May you have a wonderful 4th of July and weekend! And, may the independence we enjoy ever be honored and protected.
Talk to you soon!
Getting married brings lots of changes to one's life. The most obvious, a new last name. For most of my life I was convinced that I would not change my last name. Or at the very least, I would hyphenate. Seriously. Well, enter Nicholas. This crazy fellow turned my world upside down and inside out. He was and is everything I am not. The day after we met I told my best friend A that "my heart was in trouble." Flash forward to 2013, Nicholas proposed and eight short months later we walked the aisle. In preparation for the wedding, we completed the obligatory marriage license documents. Towards the bottom of the form, it asks about the bride's new last name. With no hesitation at all I wrote "Born" in the last name field.
Yes, in the blink of eye I abandoned a long-held conviction with no regret at all. To this day, I don't know that I can explain my change of heart other than it was just right. Perhaps the words of the Avett Brothers will give it a little more context, "...theres was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name." Right on, huh?
I still love and respect the idea of a woman choosing to retain her own family name or hyphenating. I thought I'd be in that club but it turns out I really love being Mrs. Born, plain and simple. Though, just because I now sign another four letter last name doesn't mean I am any less of a Pope. I am the last Pope born into my Grandpa's side of the tree. With or without that name on my driver's license, that's still my place and still my honor.
In observance of Memorial Day, I think it's only fitting I introduce you to the dapper man who gave my family of origin its name. Kermit Pope served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940's. He'd suffered polio as a boy and was left with one leg shorter than the other...in other words, a ticket right to rejection from the Service. But, my Grandpa had a sense of obligation like no other, coupled with family pride, so he fashioned a wood block to wear in his shoe so that he could qualify. He was a member of "the Greatest Generation" and is still one of the greatest men I've ever known. He owned and operated a pharmacy for over 40 years after his service and was a dedicated community leader before serving your community was cool.
Being a Pope means a lot of things, specifically dedicated involvement to many things and people in the communities we co-exist in. But being a Pope also means you must LOVE potatoes. No questions asked. Period. My Grandpa often said that his girls (he had 1 grandson and the rest granddaughters) would have potatoes coming out of their big ears (inherited trait from him) if someone didn't take away our spoons. This favorite starch was a staple (sometimes in multiple forms) at big family meals. And every time I have a serving, er I mean a heap of, incredible potatoes, it makes me feel a little closer to my family.
On Saturday of this Memorial Day Weekend, I cooked potatoes. Gasp! That's underwhelming, huh?
These were not any just ol' taters... they were crispy salt and vinegar potatoes. Tangy, salty, and utterly swoon-worthy... Do yourself a favor and visit Climbing Grier Mountain's blog for the recipe. I feel like this food blogger and I would hit it off just splendidly. Her family owns restaurants (i.e. Harry's and Bourbon and Baker) in Manhattan, KS (aka The Little Apple; aka one of my most loved cities). It's a total bonus that she makes AWESOME food and shares the details.
Here's a snapshot of our rendition of Lauren's recipe. Gosh, pixels can't even do them justice.
Potato. Patato. Papas. No matter how you say it, they're delicious and they're a food of my family. Reflect some this holiday weekend on what matters most and why we're able to enjoy the things we do. And most of all remember, be who you are and adore what makes you, YOU. If it means a few extra calories, so be it.