Monday, December 12, 2011

The only time being half empty is better than being half full.

Let's take a look-see at our little list, shall we?

Little List
Make K's b-day present*
mini's bee party**
Christmas Carnival for the kids at church***
Make cookies for bug's holiday concert at school
Church Christmas party
Make everyone's Christmas presents
Stock the shop
bug's outer space birthday

*Whoops.  I totally didn't tell you about that, did I?  Huh.  Looks like I have some blogging to do.
**Yes, I still need to share some details.
***There will be pictures of this.  Because it was insane, and let's admit it.  It was a party for 50 kids.  I'm a little proud of it.

So, as you can see, the insanity is almost half over.  Or, in other words, my list is almost half empty.  Thank goodness!  I love Christmas, and I always have, but this is one reason I find it hard to savor the season.  I really think that next year I'll have to reevaluate what I get myself into, because I really want my family to sharpen our focus on the reason we celebrate this season.  Which is, of course, this.

However, now that the carnival is done (which I think was probably more work than any other item on that list combined with any of the others) I think I can maybe hammer some of these things out!  So let's celebrate tonight with a real, honest to goodness, 

since it's been a little while since I've shared the whole shebang with you.

Tonight I bring you:
Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Green Beans in Bearnaise Sauce

Phew.  That's a mouthful.  Literally!  Ha ha!  Ok.... anyway....

Let's start with those green beans.  Firstly.  I made this dinner a while ago.  This means that I cannot for the life of me find the darn recipe for the beans.  Which is a shame, because I really liked them.  I should start pinning EVERYTHING.  (As if I don't already)  Anyway, the sauce was much like a bernaise sauce - like the one you can find here.  The only difference was the parmesan cheese sprinkled on the beans at the very end.  I cooked the beans by boiling them for about 3 minutes and then quickly bathing them in ice water.  I say "bathing" because apparently that's the official, technical term, even though I think it makes me sound like I'm whipping out the rubber duck and washcloth puppets.  I was tempted, but I didn't do it.

So, the consensus?  Beans = yummy.  Although I can't find the exact recipe, I may try that basic bearnaise sauce recipe with them since it seems very similar.

Now, for the piece de resistance: the spaghetti squash.  I always wondered why it was called spaghetti squash.  I mean, it's a squash - an overgrown gourd.  Weird.  But then I scooped a few out and realized that it totally DOES look like spaghetti.  I bet you could trick your picky family into thinking they were eating pasta instead of vegetables with this casserole.

Spaghetti Squash 
1- 8 inch spaghetti squash
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 chopped fresh tomatoes 
1/2 lb chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp. oregano
S & P
 1 cup cottage or ricotta cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. basil
dash of thyme
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Bake it, face down, on a buttered tray at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork.  Cool until handleable.  Scoop out insides.
While the squash bakes, saute the onions and garlic with salt, pepper, mushrooms and herbs.  When onions are soft, add freshly-chopped tomatoes.  Cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Combine all ingredients.  Pour into buttered 2 qt. casserole. Top with lots of grated parmesan.   Bake uncovered,  about 40 minutes. 

 My mom sent me this recipe, and I admit I don't know where she found it.  Somewhere online, no doubt, but I bet she doesn't even remember.  At the bottom of the email it says it's from the "Moosewood Cookbook" which doesn't take me to any specific recipes when I google it, but does give me a lot of cookbook purchasing options.  The whole family really liked this meal, and we even ate the leftovers - which is saying a lot for us since usually our leftovers become sentient life forms before we finally manage to trick them into the garbage can on trash day.

For dessert, we had Cheese Danish Bars.  It is not a new recipe to us, but it is a favorite.  We're talking EXTREMELY tasty, people.  We make it every Christmas, actually, or at least my sister usually does, so this is a very timely post.

Cheese Danish Bars
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 pkg. crescent rolls

cinnamon sugar

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Press out one package of crescent rolls in a 9x13 pan. Spread cheese mixture on top. Roll out other package of crescent rolls and place on top of the cream cheese mixture. Brush the beaten egg on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Please ignore the crazy amount of cinnamon sugar on top.  That was an accident.  Delicious, sure, but an accident.  These are so easy and fast to make.  Which is good since they disappear so fast...

And there you have it.  I think it's a delicious way to welcome back the return of Yummy Mondays.  For a few weeks anyway.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

1 comment:

kellystar said...

I have that Cheese Danish Bar recipe from my grandma and it is a family favorite. To change it up a bit, I sometimes squirt in fresh lemon juice and the grated rind of 1/2 lemon. I LOVE it this way---a nice summer version!

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