Vans Creamy Garlic Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

Vans Creamy Spinach Pasta

HELLO THERE! My forgotten blog child!  Rather than jumping right into the stress that is my life these days, I’d rather talk about food for a little bit.  I’ll give you an update on the boys after we dive into some pasta heaven.

SO, as we all know, I may be SLIGHTLY busy these days and my time in the kitchen has been pretty limited.  It’s not to say that I wouldn’t love to be laboring over the stove on these snowy winter days cooking up all sorts of yummy goodness to share with you, it’s just that I don’t have the time to, period. And if I do happen to have the time to make something, I don’t have the time to photograph it before we’re shoving it into our face in the 2 seconds we have before the baby starts screaming.  I HAVE made some pretty delicious things that I would love to share the recipes for but I don’t have good photos for them, I may just share them anyways and use the crappy cell phone pics that I took. You don’t care right? Oh good, thanks.

Vans Creamy Garlic Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

So the other day I got a delightful little package on my doorstep from Van’s Foods.  I stood there opening the box at 4:00 in the afternoon, in my sweats, baby spit up all over me, starving because I hadn’t had a chance to eat any lunch.  First I saw their soft baked granola and literally started plowing through it before I could even see what was in the rest of the box. It may be the sleep deprived hungry fog that I was in but that stuff is NO joke! It literally tastes like you’re eating oatmeal cookie dough. I’ve been trying to save a few morsels so I can take a pic for you so if I get a chance, I’ll post about it later.

The next things I came across were their new pasta sides.  A few hours later I would be cooking up that deliciousness for a quick and easy dinner.

Van's Creamy Pasta with Spinach & Sausage

The pasta is gluten free and is made from whole grains & lentils, it really fills you up a lot faster than regular pasta.  You can serve it as a side but I decided to make it a main meal by adding some spinach feta chicken sausage, wilted spinach and good “sprinkle” of parmesan cheese on top.

Van's Creamy Pasta with Spinach & Sausage

It was so fast to make, I even had time to snap a few photos for you. Say thank you Van’s! I’m looking forward to trying the other varieties, Rotini & Red Sauce and Ultimate Cheddar Penne.  My ultimate review? Delicious as always.  Fast, easy & full of good stuff. What more can you ask for?

Ok, pasta. Thank you for helping me through this tough time. Your time is done, let’s talk about the cutest babies that ever existed.

Camden

Jax

A lot has happened since my “Life in the NICU” post.  Camden came home on January 8th and has been such a joy. He is seriously such a happy and lovely baby, we’re having so much fun with him.  Jax was probably about a week behind him when he came down with RSV in the hospital. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a really nasty respiratory infection and for a little 6 lb baby, it kicked his little bum.  They transferred him to the pediatric ICU since the NICU no longer wanted him there with a contagious infection.  He spent a little over a week sedated and on a ventilator while he pushed through it. It was really hard to see him like that, he went from a bright eyed little boy to being completely OUT for an entire week.  We weren’t able to bring Camden into the hospital so Tom & I took turns driving into the city to see him. We felt guilty not being able to spend much time there but when we were there, there wasn’t anything we could do besides watch him and talk to the doctors. It was a tough few weeks but he has finally come out of it. He’s had to basically relearn feeding and everything he was doing before the illness.  They wouldn’t take him back in the NICU so he spent a week on the general pediatric floor which was totally not the place for him. The poor little guy was laying in a normal hospital room in the middle of this huge bed by himself with nurses that only stopped in every few hours.  We got pretty upset about the situation and ended up transferring him to the Special Care nursery at a more local hospital. He is now completely over the RSV and doing SO well, we’re hoping he’ll be home soon.  He’s had quite the journey but he’s a strong little dude and we can’t wait for him to come home and be with his brother.

On top of all of that, we lost my wonderful grandfather who had been sick recently.  We were really hoping to make it down to see him with the boys but unfortunately we weren’t able to.  We did get to do a little video chat with him a few weeks ago so I’m glad he at least got to see them.  He will be sorely missed.  Needless to say, it’s been a rather rough winter.

Snow

Oh yah and then this. Snow. Snow. And. More. Snow. I don’t even know what to say other than I’m OVER IT. Spring please! Bring me sunshine and warm breezes and long days where I can take the dog & the boys out for long walks in the stroller. At this rate, we’ll have snow into August. BTW – how hilarious is it that this guy was actually driving his car like this? F for effort.

Ok, that’s all for now. Hope to be back soon! Thank you for not leaving me :)

Oh, and Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!!!

Guest Post: Meet Your Fitness Goals with Aqua Aerobics

Happy 2015 everyone! I hope everyone is getting started with those new healthy habits and New Years resolutions.  I’m looking forward to getting back on the exercise band wagon soon after a very sedentary pregnancy, although I’m not so excited about the always crowded January gym scene. I’m scheduled to start Cross Fit again in March but until then I’ll see what I can fit in at they gym.  Since I haven’t had time to create much content for you lately I’m featuring a guest post today from the talented Kaitlin Gardner over at An Apple Per Day. She has some great information to share about a different type of exercise if you’re looking to bust out of your gym rut or just try something new!

Take it over Kaitin!

My exercise routine used to be pretty much the same things over and over. I’d go running, and throw in an occasional weight workout. Then the term “muscle confusion” came into vogue, which emphasized the need for variety in workouts. I incorporated aqua aerobics into my fitness goals, and it really added a lot to my exercise.

The basics of aqua aerobics. If I’m in the water doing a workout that increases my heart rate, giving me a cardio component, that can qualify as aqua aerobics. It doesn’t always have to be a class or an exotic routine – though those can be fun. Just getting into the pool and treading water for several minutes can really get my breathing to escalate and my heart pumping. The variety added by aqua aerobics is one of the biggest benefits. Here are some resources with more information about aqua aerobics.

Aqua jogging. I’m still a runner at heart, and that’s my primary exercise routine. But as I started to run longer distances, my legs began to hurt and get sore. A man in my running group suggested I check out aqua jogging as a great cross training method. He mentioned that marathon runners regularly use this workout. I went to my community pool when the lap lanes were open, and gave it a try. I got in one of the lanes and began to move up and down it with my best running posture. That’s when I first began to appreciate the concept of resistance. It took extra effort to push my body through the water, and I got a great workout more quickly than I would have imagined. I wore some old tennis shoes to protect my feet, and kept a water bottle at the end of the lane. Now I use aqua jogging at least once a week to give my legs a rest.

Heart health bonus. I read a while back that while you’re in the water, your heart rate will be around 13 percent lower. That means your heart will be going at 17 beats per minute slower than on land. This is thought to be due to the lessened impact of gravity, along with the lower water temperature. So I can work out just as hard in the water, and give my heart a rest. I thought that was a wonderful bonus for adding aqua aerobics to my weekly workout schedule.

Great variety. Going back to the “muscle confusion” concept, one of the things I most like about water workouts is the great variety. If I’m in need of a vigorous workout, I will head to a water kickboxing class. I work both upper and lower body, and really get a super cardio session. If I want that same cardio boost plus some fun, I head to a Zumba dance class, where I get to work out with all those sexy hip swinging moves. I’d never do that class on land, but in the pool, most of me is underwater, so I can really go for it. If I want a stretching session, a water yoga class is great, or aqua tai chi to relax. I can also use water weights and get in a wonderful weight session. When I need a change from my regular gym workouts, the water has a lot to offer. I can even build my core doing the plank in the water, using a foam noodle to support myself. I have begun to think about the pool as my gym in the water.

I’ve really enjoyed incorporating aqua aerobics to meet my fitness goals, and I plan to make it a regular part of my workouts.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

Life in the NICU…

Twins1

Wow! What a ride the past 6 weeks have been! I feel like we’re living in some sort of alternate reality, one I never knew existed.

When I was pregnant, I never expected that we would end up here. I guess that’s one lesson I’ve learned very quickly through this whole process, you can never assume or plan anything.  I had heard of babies being born early and long stays in the NICU but you always assume that it’s something that happens to other people, not something that will happen to you.  I even skipped over those chapters in the twin books because I thought “no need to worry myself with that, I’m healthy and the pregnancy is progressing well, we won’t have to deal with that.”

Twins2B

I took this photo of my baby bump the morning I went into labor.  I knew that I was at risk for an early delivery because of the twins and a shortened cervix but I honestly thought (and hoped) I would make it to at least 35 weeks.

At 29 weeks and 1 day, I was sitting on the couch with Tom posting our Nanny position online when my water broke.  I was in complete shock, I started shaking realizing what was happening, I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed! This wasn’t supposed to be happening!  We packed up a few items and quickly got to the hospital at around 9:00 at night.  After arriving and being admitted to a room in labor & delivery, things started progressing quickly.  The contractions quickly got worse and after a rather painful and uncomfortable night, I was fully dilated by 7:30 AM.  They rushed me in to the operating room, gave me a spinal and then performed an emergency c-section.  The boys were born at 8:30 and 8:31 AM at 29 weeks and 2 days.  Hearing their cries as they were delivered were some of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard, I knew in my heart that they were going to be ok. I got a quick glimpse of them as they were whisked away to the NICU and then I was taken to recover.  Tom went down to visit them and gave me updates but I wasn’t able to visit them until 9:30 that evening. I can’t even explain how difficult it is to have given birth and go an entire day not being able to see or touch your babies.  I was still stunned by how everything happened, it wasn’t the birth that I had expected or planned on.

Twins3

They were so small and were hooked up to so many tubes and wires, it was hard to believe the doctors when they told me they were doing so well.  Over the next few days, I slowly recovered from the pain of the c-section and was able to spend more time with them.  I began pumping breast milk for them which really helped me feel as though I was contributing to their growth.  Even though I know there is probably nothing I could have done, it was hard not to blame myself for somehow failing them by delivering early.

Twins2

Over the next few weeks, they began to slowly take steps forward.  Breathing tubes came out, bilirubin lights got turned off, we were able to hold them more and they started to become more alert.

Twins4

I got to hold them together and they touched each other for the first time.

Twins5

Twins6

Twins7

Twins8

Twins9

It’s been a difficult 6 weeks full of ups and downs.  The hospital and nurses have been amazing, I feel so lucky that they were born in a day & age where medicine and doctors is able to help them grow and thrive.  Today they are 36 weeks, still 4 weeks away from being considered full term babies, but they are thriving and are two of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen (I’m not biased at all). Camden’s feeding tube is out and Jax is bouncing back quickly from a hernia surgery and getting the hang of feeding from a bottle.  They are in open cribs and we can hold them whenever we want. The word “discharge” is starting to get thrown around, it’s still a moving target but still incredibly exciting nonetheless.

This journey has been a real eye opener into a world I have never known. I’ve been blown away by the kindness of our friends and family and even complete strangers.  I feel so lucky to have 2 healthy growing boys and I can’t wait to bring them home soon! Thank you for your patience during what has been a tough time!

Sending love to all the other parents who are dealing with or have dealt with a past stay in the NICU with their babies! It is truly a unique journey!

 

The Nursery Reveal!

Blue, Yellow & Grey Nursery

Since I don’t have any food stuff to share with you these days, I figured I would share some pics of the nursery all complete.  We finished it just days before the boys decided to arrive, it’s sitting all fresh & pretty, waiting for them to come home & enjoy it!  We wanted to keep it simple, neutral & bright and I’m super happy with how everything came together.  We used lots of white with blue, grey & yellow for accents.

Blue, Yellow & Grey Nursery

My favorite find was this blue chevron rug from Pottery Barn.  After combining some credit card points with an online code and a day of free shipping, I paid a total of $3.00 for this rug. It was probably one of my proudest moments :)  My grandparents got us these great cribs from Target, they are very solid & look great in the room!

Framed Nursery Wall Art

Framed Nursery Wall Art

I wanted some simple framed art for the room so I designed this set of 3 prints using their names.  On the bottom of the center one it says “Best friends are we, my brother & me.” So cute!  I got the frames for a great price from Michael’s.

Nursery Corner Toy Shelf

Tom picked up these cute corner shelves from home depot and we got some little toys to display on there. The shelves are also going to work great for placing the baby monitors on.

Nursery Changing Table Wall Storage

The flag banner was purchased from Etsy.  My friend Alicia used it for our gender reveal party & baby shower and it was absolutely perfect for the nursery so we hung it up on the wall above the changing table.  We also picked up this tiered white shelf from Home Goods to put all of the diaper changing goods next to the changing table, I think it’s really going to come in handy.

Nautical Kid's Dresser

We bought this Delta dresser so that it matched the white on the Delta cribs & changing table.  I wanted to add something a little extra so I bought these super cute nautical drawer knobs from Leila’s Loft on Etsy.

Twin Boys Nursery Closet

One of my favorite parts of the room is this super organized closet that Tom built.  We took an old black cube shelf from target, built it into the closet, added trim, and then added a few shelves and poles for hanging clothes.  We picked up the cream & aqua drawer boxes from Home Depot.

MeAndBoys1

The boys are doing great, I got to hold them together yesterday which was AH-mazing.  It was so cool to see them touch each other and cuddle, it was so calming to have both of them sleeping peacefully on my chest.

I can’t wait for them to come home so they can enjoy this beautiful nursery and mess it up!

…AND…We’re Parents!

Twins

Hello there blog family! I’m so sorry for the neglect the past few weeks but to say it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride would be an understatement.  The boys decided they couldn’t wait to join this beautiful world and came a LITTLE earlier than expected!

Jax Allston Tria & Camden Thomas Tria were born November 18th at 8:30 and 8:31am.  Despite a lengthy NICU stay ahead of them to do more growing, they are doing as good as can be.  The nurses and doctors at the hospital are absolutely fantastic, I feel so lucky to live in Boston with world renowned medical facilities right at our finger tips.

Twins2

Twins3

Twins4

Twins5

We are already head-over-heels in-love with these guys.  They are both starting to show their personalities already and make us laugh every day.  We’ve had to drastically adjust our schedule and create a “new normal” by making the NICU our 2nd home and trying to balance our time with them with time to rest and our attempt at being normal adults as well.  Its been a difficult adjustment and the next few months are going to be a little strange but it will all be worth it when we get to pack these boys up and bring them home!

Thank you for your patience during this time, as I’m sure you can imagine, my time in the kitchen and ability to take nice photographs and post them for you may not be possible when I’m usually just throwing food in a lunchbox before running out the door.  I’ll check back in to update you on their progress and share more pics :)

Thank you to all of our amazing friends and family who are being SO supportive during this time!

Hope all is well with you guys!!

-Mai-Lis

 

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Hey look! I have a recipe for you! Actually it’s more like I have a dinner idea that includes using Stubbs new Chili Cookin’ Sauce and a bunch of yummy add-ons.  I was excited to get my recent Stubbs package and see that it included some of their new products including this “Chili Fixins” kit.  I’m so into chili right now that the weather is cold.  Just throw a whole bunch of stuff in the slow cooker and a few hours later your house smells all spicy and cozy and you have a big bowl of healthy goodness to dive into at dinner time.  I’m sure this probably would have been good as is but in true food blogger fashion, I had to doctor it up with some extra goodies.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve been loving pumpkin purée lately so I’ve been throwing it in everything.  I’ve read its nutritious for the babies and of course its delicious and its fall and we have to make pumpkin everything all the time.  SO, of course I threw the pumpkin in here as well.  It doesn’t give it a super strong pumpkin flavor but I think it adds a little complexity to the flavor and richness in texture.  My other favorite way to enjoy pumpkin lately is to mix it up with plain greek yogurt, a little maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and top it with some crunchy granola, yum!

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

The Stubbs Cookin’ Sauce bag comes with a packet of sauce and a spice pack.  Just mix it up with meat in the slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it.  I wanted a little more texture and chunkiness in mine so this is what I added:

1 lb ground beef

1 small can diced green chiles

1 can organic pumpkin

1 can organic black beans

1 can organic kidney beans

1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not pictured)

I used a little over half of the spice pack and it was HOT! Like holy moly spicy! It was good but it may have been too hot for many peoples taste since I like stuff pretty hot.  I would suggest using only half of the packet and then taste it before you serve it, you can always add more then if you prefer more heat.  It’s a lot easier to add spice and flavor than to mellow it out if you make it too hot.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

This was SO good, I didn’t mind having it for leftovers 3 days in a row.  I served it with some shredded cheese and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

If you see these at your store, I recommend picking up a few bags, it makes an easy dinner even easier! Perfect meal for a big crowd!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My baby shower :)

BabyShower

I had my baby shower last weekend and it was so much fun.  It made me realize how lucky I am to have so many amazing friends and family members in my life, I was so overwhelmed by all of their love and support! It’s always fun to have events like this that bring together friends you’ve made during all different parts of your life; childhood, college and beyond! Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and to all those who couldn’t make it for sending your love and thoughts, these are going to be two lucky boys!

P.S. The nursery is almost done! I’ll check back in soon with some photos since I don’t have much food stuff to share these days :)

 

 

 

 

WIAW #96

Breakfast

Hey there! Since I’m sucking it up in the recipe creation/cooking department lately I figured I would at least check in and partake in a good old What I Ate Wednesday.  Everything is going well here, I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and take it easy as much as I can without going absolutely bonkers.  I feel like my stomach is resting on my face and have no idea how my skin is going to stretch any more to make room for these growing babies but apparently it will, it’s slightly terrifying to think about.  I hate to focus so much on the pregnancy thing since I know some people just don’t care to hear about it but I totally get it now, why people talk about it all the time when they’re going through it. It’s not something that you can just switch off and then suddenly remember, oh yah, that’s right, I’m pregnant! Its something that is a part of your being 24 hours a day, it pretty much effects every thought you have on a daily basis and it becomes ALL you can think about.  It feels as if aliens have invaded your body and you’re slowing being transformed into something you don’t even recognize.  As weird as it is, I’m so grateful to be having this experience and grateful that my body seems to know what to do (that makes one of us, cause I have NO idea what’s going on in there). I’m also grateful that my two boys seem to be growing well and they’re happy in there, let’s hope they can hang on for another few months!

Anyways, what were we doing here? Oh yah, my eats for Wednesday.  For breakfast I had a piece of toast, some sausage, apple slices and scrambled eggs with cheese & artichoke dip.  YUM.

MidmorningSnack

I’ve been having a mid-morning snack recently even though I’m not really that hungry.  In fact, I don’t really get hungry at all anymore, I don’t think there is any room left in there for my stomach to operate. I’ve noticed that as the day goes along I have less interest in eating so I try to get my calories in during the first part of the day so I make sure I get enough nutrients in there to help them grow.  I used to ALWAYS need an afternoon snack to make it through the day and lately I’ve had no interest in one, it might also have to do with the fact that my activity level is below that of a sloth these days so I guess I’m just not burning the calories I used to.  I had a bowl of honey almond flax cereal for my mid-morning snack.  Again, something else new – I’ve never really bought cereal before but since I’m trying to consume more milk these days, cereal seemed like a decent choice.

Lunch

For lunch I had some Pumpkin Beef chili. I’ll be posting the recipe for this one soon, I got another package from Stubb’s recently and they sent me some of their new Cookin’ Sauces, one of which was a slow cooker chili packet. Holy freakin’ yum, I’ll talk about it more when I post the photos.

Dinner

For dinner i was craving something bad and there was this massive pizza crust that has been assaulting me in our freezer for weeks so I decided it was time to whip that baby out and make a buffalo chicken pizza.  It was pretty freaking good. Oh and of course, the spinach salad on the side for good measure.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Head on over to Peas & Crayons to say hi, grab some recipes, share some laughs…

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Feeling the little duders move around in there.

Belly

I’m pretty sure that one of them is going to be a boxer since he likes to punch my pelvis over and over like its a punching bag and the other one is going to be an American Ninja Warrier because he likes to practice his karate kicks on my stomach all. day. long.

It’s completely fine with me though, it always makes me smile.  I love feeling them move around having a ball in there, they’re just working on getting big and strong so they can come out on time and then come right home with us so they can keep us up all night and poop everywhere cuddle with us and show us those cute little baby smiles.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

ButternutSquashRavioli1

HEY!!! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately!  I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where I’m starting to learn the limits of my body and I’ve had to take a huge step back from living my normal active life.  I’ve slowed it down to a snail’s pace and had to spend more time resting which as a result means a lot less time laboring over the stove in the kitchen, and as you can guess, not a lot of recipes to share with you (sorry!!).  I hope you’ll forgive me during this hiatus but I need to do everything I can to keep these little guys baking in there as long as possible :)  I’ll still be stopping in here and there to say hi and share anything I have but it just may not be as frequent as usual.

Anywho, despite my lack of recipe creation lately, I do have one killer recipe to share with you.  I make these ravioli every fall without fail.  The second I see those first few butternut squash showing up at the market, I start dreaming of making these.  It takes a little assembly time but they are pretty foolproof.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Want to know the secret trick?  Instead of trying to make my own pasta dough, which I WILL try some day, I use these wonton wrappers you can buy in the store.  Just fill them up, fold them over and then boil them for a few minutes and you’ve got yourself a pretty killer ravioli.  You can play around with the fillings if you want to get creative but I usually stick to this butternut squash because it’s just so good.  The wontons create a really nice delicate ravioli, they aren’t quite as heavy as your normal pasta ravioli.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Make sure you don’t overfill them or else it will all start gushing out the side and it will turn into a mess that you’ll want to throw on the floor.  Full disclosure: after I took this photo I realized I had overfilled them so I had to take a little off each one.  See that one ravioli that’s one row down, three from the left? That’s about how full they should be.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Simply brush 2 edges of the wonton wrapper with some egg, fold over and pinch the sides together.  After they are all assembled you just drop them into boiling water for a few minutes and they’re ready to be demolished (by your mouth).

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

I’ve played around with different sauces for these and I usually just end up making a little browned butter with sage and topping with parmesan cheese.  This time I sautéed up some sweet italian sausage and then made a sauce using that and the remaining squash mixture from the ravioli.  It was super quick and added great flavor & texture.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

You’ll want to plan on eating these pretty soon after you make them, if they sit too long they start to stick to each other.  I ate the leftover as one giant mass.  It was still just as delicious but the presentation isn’t quite as nice.

Hope you are all having an amazing fall!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Fuzzy winter baby clothing.

BabyOutfit

 

One of the most exciting things about planning for the arrival of babies is all the cute little clothing.  Especially these fuzzy winter outfits, AHHH, I can’t even handle the cuteness.  I just imagine them all bundled up on a cold winter day with their cute little faces poking out of this baby snowsuit.  Why don’t they make these for adults? I’d totally rock one of these!

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Allergy Egg, Milk
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

Ravioli

  • 12oz wonton wrappers (1 package)
  • 1 Large egg (beaten)

Ravioli Filling

  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 1lb uncooked sweet italian sausage
  • 3/4 cups milk

Directions

1. Cook the butternut squash until soft & tender. You can either cook in the slow cooker with a little water, boil in water or roast until tender.
2. Scoop the flesh from the squash into a bowl and mash together with the remainder of the filling ingredients.
3. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and set up an assembling station with the wonton wrappers, egg wash & ravioli filling. Assemble each ravioli by placing a small dollop of filling in the center, then brush two sides of the wrapper with egg wash. Fold the ravioli in half and pinch to close. Set aside on a plate while assembling the remaining ravioli. You should have plenty of butternut squash mixture left over for the sauce.
4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cut the casings from the sausage and add the sausage meat to the pan, crumbling as you go. Cook until nicely browned and completely cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the ravioli and boil for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Depending on how many you make, you may have to boil in batches. Remove the ravioli from the water using a slotted spoon and carefully lay in a single layer on a plate lightly sprayed with oil. They will stick together easily if you stack them in layers.
6. When sausage is done cooking, add the milk and the remainder of the squash mixture and stir well. Cook until heated through. You can add more squash or milk to reach your desired consistency. Serve ravioli topped with squash and sausage mixture. Garnish with parmesan cheese and toasted sunflower seeds (optional).

WIAW #95

breakfast

I’m all messed up on days right now, it feels like it should be Tuesday but in reality, the work week is halfway over already.  Not complaining here!  I’m actually surprised I remembered to take pictures of my eats yesterday for What I Ate Wednesday!  We had an awesome weekend in Nantucket with friends but I’ll share more about that later.  For now, here are my eats.  I had the (now usual) steel cut oats for breakfast with apples, dried cranberries, chia seeds, flax and milk.

snack1

I had a little snack around 10:30 to hold me over until lunch; some popchips with cottage cheese.

lunch

For lunch I made a caesar salad with spinach & baby kale and then had some indian paneer over quinoa & brown rice.

snack2

For an afternoon snack I had some carrots dipped in hummus and a huge crunchy apple!

dinnerI almost forgot to take a picture of my dinner but I had a lightbulb moment about halfway through so I snapped this picture for you.  I had another salad, some butternut squash risotto and a Dogfish Head Espresso Habanero sausage.  It was good but SPICY!  The boys were having a dance party in my belly after that one.

Happy Wednesday!!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

This weekend!

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This is probably our last trip we’ll take before the babies arrive so we soaked it all up and enjoyed sleeping in, going out to dinner and packing only 2 bags for the entire trip.  Tom & I (mostly me) have an issue with overpacking so I’m frightened about how much stuff we’re going to bring with us when we have two little ones in tow.

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Friday was absolutely gorgeous, we spent some time getting settled in to the house, stocking the fridge with beer (and seltzer), and then we went out to a FANTASTIC dinner at The Sea Grille.  This may have been one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had.  The pasta was homemade and it was topped with grilled lobster, a fresh tomato garlic sauce and some drizzled pesto.  Holy guacamole, I’ll be dreaming about this one for years to come.

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Unfortunately the weather on Saturday was a bit of a bust, it was POURING rain with lots of wind; the type of day where you just want to stay inside.  So, that’s exactly what we did.  It was nice though, its been a long time since I’ve had a completely lazy day like that and it makes it much more fun when you have great friends to share it with.  We put together this puzzle which pretty much took all day.  I think we put the last piece in the sky at about midnight and literally cheered out loud, it was a doozy!

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We were blessed with a gorgeous day on Sunday so we all went out to brunch to celebrate Steph & Alicia’s completion of the half marathon and then spent the rest of the day walking around town shopping and eating.

It was a great weekend with great people!  Looking forward to making it back to Nantucket again some day, my heart is in Martha’s Vineyard where some of my best friend’s live but Nantucket certainly had its own special charm.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok, so here’s the deal folks.  Its Thursday night, I’m exhausted, this week has completely kicked my ass.  I’ve been completely bombarded with work to the point where I literally (without hurting myself of course), banged my head on the desk a few times out of frustration. Don’t these people know I’m pregnant and these hormones can’t deal with the stress right NOW?? Anywho, I’m ready to go relax and enjoy a fun long weekend with friends, BUT, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly neglecting you guys and need to share some new recipes with you.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

SO, I’m stopping in briefly to share this one with you.  The only wrinkle is that I didn’t copy my steps down carefully enough to write down an actual step-by-step recipe so I’m hoping you guys can take this as inspiration and go navigate your way through it and create a bowl of creamy squashy bacony goodness on your own.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I decided to try making the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker which totally worked apart from the fact that it was a little more mushy and less stringy.  So, it tasted delicious but didn’t have that same spaghetti-like texture I’m used to.  If you’re ok with the mush, make it in the slow cooker, if not – make it in the oven like normal.

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So in nutshell, this is how I made this:

I cooked about 5 slices of bacon in a pan, then removed it to drain on some paper towels.  Then I added diced onion to the bacon juices, cooked until soft and then added 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) peas.  When those were heated through I added 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper & nutmeg and simmered it briefly.  Then I stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash, chopped bacon and topped it off with some more parmesan cheese & bacon bits.  It was yum-o-yummy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful long weekend!! Love to you all!