Side Dish

 

I never go anywhere empty handed.  That includes Thanksgiving, where I spared the hosts daughter the noise of cutting up butternut squash, and made it my way.

I still had the task of peeling, chopping, and cutting the butternut squash.  Then, into the food processor it went, to be shredded.

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Because this was for Thanksgiving, there was not one squash being prepared, but 3.  Loaded into a pan we could share, it was ready to be treated to the goodness I add.

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I sprinkled with light olive oil, dusted with a good coating of cinnamon, and added parmigiana cheese.  How much is up to you.  Then, mix well.

Baked, it darkens in color, but some of that change is cinnamon.

I baked at 375, approx 45 minutes.

My Mom always made mashed butternut.  I totally can’t eat it that way now.

Enjoy!

What is your favorite way to make butternut squash?

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Coffee

Cofree drinker alert!

I have been caffeine free for over half my life.  Imagine my surprise when I was told coffee, with caffeine, was a healthy choice!

Of course that most used word was evident:  in moderation.

So now, I have a cup of coffee in the morning. ✅

I have learned that coffee must be drunk by 10:00 am, or I won’t fall asleep easily that night.

What do I add to my cuppa?  I add a small teaspoon of baking cocoa powder and a teaspoon of maple sugar.  I top it off with some Fairfield Skim Milk.

What do you add to your cuppa?

TwofromNatick

 

Happy flying?!

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:00 am. I thought I would offer SpecialK the option of leaving home earlier, something I had pushed against previously.

He readily accepted and at 7:03, we were showered, packed land in the car. After a quick stop for gas, we headed east along the MA Pike. We were at the Framingham Logan Express bus terminal, tickets bought and car parked by 8:30 am. We hung out, waiting for the 9:00 bus.

We boarded the 9:00 Logan Express and by 9:30, we were approaching the counter, wherewe checked all but the backpacks we carried. The employee who checked our bags told us he wanted to put us on an earlier flight. There was rain in the area, and he didn’t want us to be delayed, so we accepted. We took the 11:11 flight to Philadelphia, arriving by 12:30. Then, the long day began.

Our flight out was scheduled for 4:30. By the time we landed in Philadelphia, we had already been informed of a 2 hour delay. I will save you all the minutiae, but at 7:15, SpecialK sent me a text to come up to the gate. I went up to the gate, listened as they said they were golf loing to pre board and one wheelchair passenger went down the runway.

It was a while before the other wheelchair passenger was loaded onto the plane. Finally, we all boarded the plane. After all passengers were seated, the pilot told us that he had no intention of taking us on a 9 hour flight with no flushing toilets. He asked us all to deplane.

We got off the plane, and an hour later we were notified the flight was cancelled. We were quick to respond and were given two of the last available seats for Sunday nights flight.

We waited another e stwo hours for our bags, because you know, they had other flights arriving and couldn’t do two things at once.

I apreciated the pilots words, and thank him as we all know hygiene is important. I also want to thank Oliver, as he made the best of a long day, and he appreciated my political hiumor.

Sunday found us waking up in a Philadelphia hotel. I was determined to complete my steps before I boarded another airplane. As we waited for the hotel shuttle bus that would take us to the airport, we were notified of a delay in our newly scheduled flight. Before you jump to conclusions, we finally did take off Sunday night at 5:42.

How is your week going?

Every 3 weeks

I told people that when I married SpecialK, I knew my life would be crazy, but I never anticipated this level of crazy.

We are traveling every 3 weeks this fall.

In August we flew to Chicago to say goodbye to Aunt Roz.  She passed away as we were driving home from the airport.  I am so happy we got to say goodbye, and tell her we loved her one more time.

In September we flew to FL, east coast.  My father moved, and I was offered my choice of what he had left behind.

Now it is October, and we are off on a vacation.  After we come back, we have 3 weeks before we fly to the West coast of FL, where I am accompanying SpecialK for a conference.

I am off to pack my bags, and get ready for more flight time.

Where do you go for vacation?

Chili

Do you like chili?  We don’t like a spicy chili, but rather a milder one with good flavor.

I made this recipe before, and it took some time to find it again.  I play with the spiciness, adding less chili powder and less cumin than called for in the recipe.

Regardless, we each cover our bowls of chili in cheddar cheese and I confess to masking the cumin with sour cream.

How do you like your chili?

Leftover, yum

I had cooked a chicken breast, and 1/2 of it was still in the fridge.  Looking to use up leftovers, I made this into a dish for SpecialK.

He only wants sweet onions at home, so I cut out last one (shopping alert) and put in a frying pan with light olive oil.  I added approximately 1/4 of a bag of Trader Joe’s (frozen) Mushroom Medley.  I then added a can of diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic and oregano.  I then realized I should have added more garlic, so I added 3 cloves of roasted garlic.  I cubed the remaining chicken breast, and added it to the pan.  Finally, I added one sliced green onion.  Salt and pepper were the seasonings.

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SpecialK topped this with shredded Parmesan cheese, and ate it over soy noodles.

How do you do leftovers?

In Memoriam: Our trip to Chicago

Early Saturday morning, we headed to the airport.  We were flying to Chicago, with plans with friends and family.

We landed on time Saturday morning and headed directly to our hotel.  Our first plans were at 1:00.  SpecialK’s aunt, who lived in Chicago, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  She had to have transfusions, to keep her alive.

SpecialK’s youngest brother (a nurse)  had been visiting his aunt, and had decided to stay with her, once the diagnosis had been made.

Roz was doing this on her own terms.  She took transfusions long enough to get all of her affairs in order.  She had her last transfusion last Tuesday.

We had lunch with her and SpecialK’s brother.  She was in good spirits, ate lunch, and we had a nice visit with her.  She had welcomed me into the family with open arms before we got married.

After leaving her, we went back to the hotel, and got ready for our dinner plans with Owen (age 3) and his parents.  Speaking for myself, a good time was had by all.

On Sunday, we walked around the loop, and wandered through the parks.  We found the bean, and played an 18 round game of mini golf.

Monday morning, I messaged SpecialK’s brother, and inquired as to the aunts comfort and his own comfort.  He shared with me that the aunt was resting comfortably in bed on Monday, pain free.

Our next plan was brunch, with my cousins.  Lisa and I grew up together, and Jeff (and Tracy) grew up in the Midwest.  A good time was had by all.

After brunch, we debated what we would do until it was time to go to the airport.  We had talked about taking an earlier flight home, but due to the storms, we were satisfied when we found out that earlier flight had been cancelled.

We ended up hitting up an outlet mall, mere miles from the airport.  A few new pieces for each of us, and we headed to the airport.

With all the road flooding, it took quite a while for us to get to the airport, but we finally landed there 2 hours before our 7:01 pm departure.

7:01 departure became 9:30, became 10:15, became 11:20.  We landed approx 2:15 am, and got home at approx 2:45 am.  SpecialK went right to sleep; it took me about an hour.

I awoke at 7:30 his morning, and saw a message that had come in during the night.  SpecialK’s aunt passed away in her sleep, while we were driving home.

She did it her way, and was ready to go.  I respect that about her, and hope I have the same opportunity for myself.

Goodbye, Roz, you will be missed.

Lettuce-less salad

I was playing in the kitchen again!  Cheryl gave me some green onions, and we discussed my desire for a bean salad.

1 Cucumber seeded, 2 tomatoes seeded, 2 green onions, sliced.  When I finished chopping, I realized my cannellini beans were oversized, so I cut them in half.  2 T each EVOO and white wine vinegar, 1/2 T apple cider vinegar.  Salt and pepper.

Sounds so easy, but it does take time to chop fresh veggies.  I am thinking to cook some brown rice to make a complete meal.

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What have you made lately?