Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Marinara - a one pan pie!

So a couple of nights ago I showed you a photo of some spaghetti squash cooking in the oven.

I promised a reciepe for the yumminess that was to be our dinner.  Well, here it is:

The recipe is fast, easy and delicious - and if you've ever perused your local farmers market and seen spaghetti squash and not known what to do with it, try this!

First.   To cook the squash, I bake it, but it can also be microwaved.  It can be cooked whole, in halves or in pieces.  These babies are really hard to cut into uncooked, so be careful.  You can poke a few knife slits into them and microwave them a bit to make them easier to halve.  I trudged through with my ginsu knife and cut mine in half.  Then, I removed the seeds and loose pulp and drizzled their insides with a bit of olive oil and also rub a tad bit of oil on the outside as well.  Place them inside-down on a cookie sheet or baking pan and set the oven to 375F.  I bake them for about 45 mins, less time with smaller squash.  To test if they are done, turn them over and poke them with a fork, they should be quite soft and seem scoopable.

Once the squash are cooked, brush a cast iron skillet with olive oil (I'm sure this would work in a quiche pan, pie pan, or other casserole dish).  You will build the entire meal in this one pan.  You will also bake it in this container, so make sure the container can bake (I guess it would cook in a microwave as well, but I liked the oven).

Scrape the spaghetti squash from it's shell.  As you scrape with a fork, the squash sort of shreds into pasta-looking pieces. 

Fill the bottom of the pan/dish with the shredded squash.
Next, layer on your favorite spaghetti squash.  I think this time I was using a jar of organic marinara sauce.  Sometimes I make my own sauce, sometimes I use organic store made.  It doesn't matter, you can also use any sauce with additional ingredients like garlic, mushrooms, etc..

Next, a layer of mozerella cheese, just like a pizza!

Now - the first layer is done, but don't stop there - another layer of squash, more marinara...

Top it off with cheese.  I threw on a handful of  fresh chopped italian parsely, a dusting of parmesean cheese, salt, pepper a bit of granulated garlic and a dash of crushed red pepper.
OK - ready for the oven.  I baked it at 350F for about 30 mins, long enough so that the top slightly browned, the cheese was well melted and tiny little bubbly action was happening around the rim of the pan.
I let mine sit for about 5 minutes to firm up just a bit.  Then I sliced it with a knife into pie shaped sections and scooped a piece of pie onto each plate! 
It was SUPER delicious.   And one great thing about this dish - left overs!!!  The extra pie slices store and heat up rather nicely for a warming lunch later in the week.
Today, it's a bit cold around here...about 50F degrees but a rainy, chill to the day.  A few hours ago when I was getting geared up for my running group, I psyched myself up for a jaunt in the rain by promising myself a warming plate of heated spaghetti pie marinara when I returned home.
Now don't get me wrong - if you know me, you also know I LOVE to run in the rain.  So I got appropriately geared up... and now it's time for lunch!
Along came my gore tex jacket (which I didn't end up wearing), my favorite rain avoidance running hat and a nice bright red shirt so cars could see me.  And, of course, my beloved Smartwool running socks that I never leave home without!

I hope it was a good day where you are and if it's a little chilly and rainy, here's hoping you had a nice warm lunch!
I finished a crochet scarf... photos and ta dah to come.  Sher

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Weather Glory

So, we've had a hurricane (tho. the worst of it passed my neighborhood right on by), last week I shopped at the Farmer's Market in the SNOW,

and today it's a balmy 60F degrees.  Who can figure?  At least the weather is nicer for all of the folks just north and east of here in NY and NJ who continue to dig out of the mess left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Our town packed up two 18-wheelers full of donated cleaning supplies, paper goods, clothing, etc... and drove it up to Staten Island this weekend.  WAY TO GO!  There was a big collection at all of the polling places for the goods so it couldn't have been easier to make a donation.

By the time Halloween came around, most of the people in my town who had lost power had gotten it back.  We never lost power or cable at all - so I guiltily did not have to endure any hardships from the storm or it's aftermath.  It was trick-or-treating and Jack-O-Lantern making as usual in my neck of the woods.

The trees were heavy with their leaves when the hurricane passed thru and amazingly, they didn't all blow off in the high winds.  SO, our trees are finally showing their beautiful array of colors.  By the time election day came around, I had a lovely fall run to the voting booths and now that's come and gone as well.

My hubby dismantled the last of the dried out garden yesterday

and raked a bunch of leaves into piles to cover the garden soils. 

It's so warm today that he can mow the lawn in just a tee shirt!  The squirrels are getting their fill of my left over pumpkins.


I got out a little bit ago with my camera and attempted to capture some of the beautiful leaf color in my yard ...


and a few snaps of our happy dog, racing around in the unseasonal temperatures.

I decided it was a good day for a little chocolate goodness and threw together our family's favorite no bake recipe for a treat. 

We call them Rockin' Robins but I'm sure they have plenty of other names.  They are super easy and fast to make and have a very short list of ingredients - here goes:

4 T peanut butter, 1/4 c milk (or milk substitute if you're vegan or dairy allergic), 1T of cocoa powder, 1 C of pure cane sugar, 1-1/2 C of rolled oats, 1t pure vanilla

Melt the peanut butter, milk, cocoa and sugar in a pot on the stovetop over low head until well blended and until the sugar is mostly dissolved (it takes only about 5 mins and shouldn't boil or even simmer).  Turn off heat and add oats and vanilla.  Stir until oats are coated with mixture.  Spoon onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet.  Let sit at room temperature until hardened or put into fridge for faster firming up. 

THEN...EAT!  Yum - delish.

I've also got some spaghetti squash baking up in the oven for a yummy dinner tonight - I'll share that recipe tomorrow!

A last few gazes out the kitchen windows before the sun begins to set!

Hope the fall weather is lovely where you are - Sher
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