Tag Archives: easy

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca Bake

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Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca Bake | A Big Mouthful

It was one of those weekends I had a lot to get done. Working full-time during the week, weekends are time for my “other jobs”, i.e. freelance writing, blogging, cooking, cleaning and trying to be a decent friend, wife and family member.

Turns out, I can’t do it all. Inevitably, I only achieve half of what I need to cram into the two short days I’m not in the office. It comes down to a choice. Sometimes, I choose to spend quality time catching up with a dear friend, like I did Friday. Or saying screw my to-do list and watching garbage TV for three hours, completely zoned out, i.e. Saturday. I consider it a win that I managed to clean the kitchen, do some laundry and have a nice dinner with my brother. Today was best spent with my mom, aunt and Oma over a long lunch.

No, I did not get everything done I needed to. Yes, I feel a little guilty about it. But what I don’t feel bad about is sometimes pushing everything I HAVE to do to the side and doing things I WANT to do. It’s a tricky battle in my head, but I’m trying to be better about making my weekends more focused on me time and spending time with those I love rather than always working. Balance is coming, slowly.

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Homemade Butter and Buttermilk

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Homemade butter and buttermilk

This morning, I went to the grocery store and got everything I needed to make my favorite chili to bring over to my parents’ house to watch today’s Seahawks game. At my dad’s insistence, I also needed to make some cornbread. According to him, you have to have cornbread to go with your chili.

I’m sure you know the feeling. You go to the grocery store. Get home. Put everything away. And then…you realize you don’t have an ingredient you need. In this case, I had no buttermilk for the cornbread.

Heck no, I’m not going back to the store. Not today. Not just for one thing.

After a quick online search, I learned you can easily make buttermilk at home, as long as you haveĀ  heavy cream and a jar.

Bazinga.

And all you need to do is put the heavy cream in a jar with a lid and shake it until it separates? Really? The solids are butter, and the liquids are buttermilk? For real?

I can do that. Read More »

Happy New Year and a Marbled Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze

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Filed under Home Cooking + Recipes

2012.

What a year it has been.

A year of new friends, careers began, hope and a renewed thankfulness for health, family and love.
I’ve never been the New Year resolution type. I’m in more of a constant state of self-improvement. You know, a work in progress. Though, of late, I have found it incredibly satisfying to focus less on myself, and more on improving the lives of those around me. My family, community, and friends.

If I have a goal for 2013, it’s to continue this journey of living as much for others as I do myself.

The more people I meet and the longer I’m here on this earth, I see the evidence of each person, individually, having their own unique gift to give to the world. Sure, it can be a trite saying, but it does seem to ring true. The choice, however, is whether or not to tap into these special things about us. Passions and skills should be nurtured, protected and expressed.

After all, it can be quite fun to see someone blossom into their own. Seeing a friend find her passion, and putting her all into it. Watching my love accomplish his dream and become a positive figure in a sea of negative influences. A family member standing up for what’s right and fighting for what he believes in.

These are the joys all around me. Read More »

Roasted Tomato, Asparagus and Zucchini Couscous with Lemon Basil Dressing

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Filed under Home Cooking + Recipes

Summer has officially begun. Well, by the calendar, that is. Last week held the first day of summer. Looking outside today in the Pacific Northwest is another story. It’s cold. It’s raining.

Boo.

While the weather might not get the message, summer foods are in full swing. I’m eating all the Rainier cherries, asparagus, watermelon and peaches I can get my hands on.

My Opa brought over some home-grown strawberries earlier this week, and I even got the chance to make strawberry jam. Look for that post later.

If you’ve never had homemade strawberry jam, you’ve not lived. It tastes so…strawberry-y. It’s so strawberry-y, you’ll feel like you’re tasting them for the first time. Summer in a jar.

Recently while at Mayfield Lake with my family, I went on a cooking marathon and came up with this Roasted Tomato, Asparagus and Zucchini Couscous with Lemon Basil Dressing.

It is easily my favorite thing I’ve made in a while. So simple. So freaking full of flavor and goodness. Read More »

Patty’s Pistachio Torte

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Filed under Home Cooking + Recipes

Today is a very special birthday for a very special lady — our family friend, Patty.

I spent this weekend at one of my favorite places in the world, Mayfield Lake, in Southwest Washington, with Patty, her family, and my parents. I soaked up the sun breaks and relished the mid-70 degree weather. Oh, and I cooked. And ate. And we cooked and ate some more.

I love, love cooking in the kitchen at our family lake house. It has a nice, big kitchen and the view is incredible. Looking out the windows, it’s all green. Green tree tops, green water, and if you’re lucky, blue sky.

Not only is it a gorgeous place to cook, but it’s also a fabulous place for photography. The light is sweet, and my photos always turn out a million times better out there.

For me, this weekend was all about writing recipes, cooking and photographing what I made to share with you. Get ready for some great posts coming up.

Every time Patty comes out to the lake, my mom makes a special request. It’s not even a request as much of a demand. She always asks Patty to bring her pistachio torte. Read More »