A life-changing kitchen trick…

A brilliant trick for the kitchen...

About a month ago, I read something on The Kitchn that caught my attention…

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A brilliant hostess gift

Olive oil on aragula
When we were on our honeymoon, our of our vineyard guides told us that bringing a bottle of wine to a party is tricky business in Napa Valley—people really know their wine, they’ve tried a lot of it, and they probably have quite a collection already (it’s the same with barbecue sauce in Kansas City!)…

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Lazy Cacio e Pepe with Spaghetti Squash

When you’re entertaining, sometimes you plan out meals or details that don’t happen.  We had spaghetti and meatballs, I’d planned to use spaghetti squash to cut my Weight Watchers points, totally forgot about the squash (aka got seduced by carbs), and it’s been sitting on our counter for two weeks.  Tuesday night, I was debating drowning those strands in marinara or going totally nuts with a spaghetti tacos situation…when I thought of a cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) recipe that was a grad school staple.  I adapted it for spaghetti squash and celebrated while watching Law and Order: SVU.  This recipe is lazy because  non-lazy people saute garlic or onion or shallots.  This is a heat, sprinkle, and stir affair.  If you wanted to, it could be entirely done in the microwave.  La-zy.

No photo because nighttime and iPhones.

1 whole spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sharp chef’s knife
Cutting board
Soup spoon
Medium-size roasting pan or baking dish
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Poke holes all over the spaghetti squash skin and stick the whole thing in the microwave for four minutes.  Let rest until cool enough to handle.  Split the now-somewhat-softened squash in half and use the spoon to scrape out seeds.  Line an oven tray with aluminum foil. Season the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, heat the butter until melted.  Stir in 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.
When squash is cool enough to handle, using a fork scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin.
Add the strands of squash to the buttery garlic sauce and toss. Add Parmesan and toss well. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.
Roasting the spaghetti squash adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spaghetti-squash-with-marinara-recipe.html

10 Tips and 7 Tools to Master the Early Morning Workout. (Seriously, you can do it!)

10 Tips (and 7 Tools) to help you master the early morning workout.

I hate mornings and I hate sweating, so the early morning, before-work trip to the gym seemed impossible.  But when I started training for a triathlon this summer, I was forced into two-a-day workouts, which meant that I needed to get to the gym before work.  After much trial-and-error, I settled into a system that actually makes me look forward to mornings workouts (usually), and collected a few items that makes it easier for me to simply grab my gym bag and go.  For those of us trying to get back into an exercise routine for the new year (and stick to it this time!), I hope these are helpful.

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