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 Friday! It's Friday! And you know what that means? My current favorite things, of course! Here's the totally biased rundown.
1. Renewing an old hobby: reading!
When I was younger, I lived for Saturday mornings. This was when my mom would take me to the public library to exchange the books I'd previously checked out and load up on new ones. I don't kid when I say load up. Man, I was a reading machine! But as time has passed, I have let this hobby slip away somewhat. I still love the pastime but I let others things get in the way. On our recent vacation, I had the time to actually read. I read three books and made it into a 4th only reading on the beach and on our return flight. I think I am going to make it a point to actually read for pleasure more.
Nick will tell you my favorite "pleasure-reading" genre is ridiculous. And, I'll admit, it is, but I just love culinary murder mysteries. (Yes, there is such a thing!) It combines my two favorite things: food and mysteries. What more could I want? So on this fine Friday, I want to introduce you to my two favorite authors in this genre:
2. DIY Car Music Videos
Recently, I've been a bit (embarrassingly) obsessed with a few "lip-syncing" videos that have been in my Instagram and Facebook feeds. They are just a few seconds/minutes of joy. Both videos I share below feature couples on a road trip using a a GoPro to film their shenanigans. This gadget is definitely on Nick and I's list of wants. Talk about so fun!
I've watched over and over just seem to be filled with happiness. Check them out, I promise you won't be able to help but smile.
3. Produce from the Garden
Remember the post about Nick's front yard garden...well, it's done pretty well. We've had more tomatoes than we can count and almost as many jalapenos and chilies. Needless to say, #BornGarden2014 is a win. It's nice not buying tomatoes for an inflated price at the story and super nice to just have hot peppers when you need them. (We eat a bunch of both of these items on a regular basis.) Check out the fruits of his labor. (PS some garden related recipes will appear on the blog soon!)
This near downtown Wichita Mexican restaurant is SOOOOOO good. Seriously, we've been at a loss for good Mexican food. Loss, no longer--this is the place! Nick and I went there this week with a couple near and dear to us. The food was incredible (plus our company was outstanding!). I was so wrapped up in chatting and eating that I complete forgot to take any pictures. Hubby recommends the fish tacos (his go-to test at a Mexican restaurant) and I had the gorditas and some elote. We left well-served and stuffed. Check out, Molino's if you're looking for an easy, casual, authentic joint.
5. That I actually own something similar to something I pinned to my fashion board...
It's not a secret that I love Pinterest. My fashion board was the second or third board I created. I've always adored clothes. I wouldn't say I am particularly fashion-forward, but I am aware. I like a good trend, but I like it better when I can make my own way with my wardrobe. I'm a little bit hippie, a dash of preppy, and skoosh old-lady.
So this fashion board, titled with a nod to the glamorous SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker), has about a bazillion items of clothing that I really like but likely won't ever own. But, this morning I realized, I really do own something similar to a pin. It's a miracle! Okay maybe not a miracle, but close. Check it:
6. Quotes on Pinterest
I've always been a quote junky. I've been known to clip words out of magazines, take pictures of random signs, or jot words of wisdom down. The "Quotes" category on Pinterest is a must review for me. I love finding excellent phrases, inspiration, and advice there. Some are generic while others i come across totally hit home. This quote in particular gives me a perspective check.
I confessed in my introduction that I am a worry-wort. It seems to be as natural as breathing to me. (I grew up with asthma and still have a just-in-case inhaler, so maybe that's a bad analogy...) Anyhoo, I do make mountains out of molehills (sometimes, er often, unnecessarily). It's a constant battle between being considerate and prepared AND flexible and spontaneous. Since I met carefree, predictably happy-go-lucky Nick, he's challenged me to relax and not plan or anticipate so much. Nearly three years in, I'm still a novice non-worrier. But, to my credit, I am working on it. Little by little, I'm learning to let go. So this quote is one of my mantras. (Can you have more than mantra?...)
If you are suffering from worrying, may this forcefully direct, simple statement provide you the motivation, strength, and/or inspiration to be carry forward without anxiety. Warrior is awesome self-proclamation.
Thanks for letting me share some of my favorites! Enjoy some of yours today too.
Cheers to Friday and a new month. (Someone explain how it's August already!?).
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!