Thursday, October 8, 2015

Try this Thursday: Fall Mantle and Winter Squash!

Happy Thursday y'all! Does anyone remember once upon a time when I posted recipes, how tos, fun DIY projects and other awesome things of the sort? Don't worry, it's a pretty distant and vague memory for me too. Luckily, I've started to get back on the cooking, decorating and DIY-ing bandwagon. Hopefully this means that I'll have some fun stuff to share with y'all over the next few months. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, the holiday season is currently among us, so I have lots of projects to work on and recipes to whip up! Speaking of the holidays, today I'm going to share with you some awesome and easy fall decor and a winter squash recipe.

I love decorating for the holidays. I feel like the majority of my home decor is pretty much the same most of the year until the end of September hits, then it's all sorts of awesome until January comes around again! Every year I decorate for fall the week of my birthday. It's officially fall by then, I've already bought more fall decor that I probably didn't need and the house is ready for some changes even if the weather in Houston isn't. Here's a look at my before and after around our living room which is where most of our decorating is done!

Mantle Before:



Mantle After:



Table Nook Before:



Table Nook After:



Book Case Before:



Book Case After:



As you can see, I love fall, earth tone colors and my house is decorated with them already. That makes adding in fall decor super easy. I have less things to take down and it's more about moving things around, add fall flair and spicing the living room up a bit. Now let's go back to that mantle.


Our mantle is the focal point in our living room. When you come up the stairs and turn into the living room it's the first thing you see. It's in the center of our space, and the red pop of color above the mantle draws your eyes there. This year I simply moved some things around and added a few fall decorations. The blue vase simply switched sides, and the center candelabra and picture of JP and I are actually in the same spots. I added a few need candle sticks, a festive candle, a sparkly pumpkin, two fall quotes and of course a burlap banner! The candle sticks and pumpkin are from Home Goods a few years ago, but the fall quotes and the banner materials are all from Target this year. The banner consists of black burlap pennants and tan burlap sticker letters. You can actually peel the sticker off and stick them to something, but I chose to use some small clothes pins that I already had. That way I can reuse the letters for something else...like Christmas! I love a beautifully decorated mantle and think that I knocked it out of the park this fall.

Now onto a recipe. I've posted about spaghetti squash before and I'm going to do it again. It's so delicious and a great substitute for pasta. It's only about 45 calories per cup of spaghetti squash and it's easy to make. You can heat it up in the microwave, roast it in the oven or even put it in your crockpot. The goal is to soften it up and give it a good consistency. Once your squash is soft, it should peel away from the rhine with ease in the form of small, skinny strands that resemble spaghetti noodles!

Here are a few recipes that I posted on my blog in years past. I previously worked with Red Gold tomatoes and really do use them all the time!

Ground Turkey & Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 14.5oz can of Red Gold Diced Tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano


Directions

  1.  Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. {See top right pic}
  2. Bake in oven rind side up at 375* for 30-40 minutes
  3. Separate strands with a fork 
  4. While spaghetti squash is baking, brown your ground turkey
  5. Add in Red Gold Diced Tomatoes. I love the one pictured above with basil, garlic and oregano because it automatically give it that Italian spice and spaghetti sauce flavor without all of the sodium!
  6. Cook on low until heated all the way through
  7. Push desired amount of meat and sauce on your squash and enjoy!!!


Chicken Parmesan Tenders

Ingredients

  • Frozen chicken breast tenders {I used Trader Joe's!}
  • Olive Oil
  • Flour
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Spaghetti Squash {Regular spaghetti can be used here!}
  • Red Gold diced basil, garlic and oregano tomatoes



Directions

  1. Thaw out chicken tenders. I just leave them out while I'm at work to thaw perfectly for dinner time.
  2. Start with about 1/2 cup of flour in a bowl and add seasoning salt for flavor.
  3. Rub olive oil on chicken tenders. You don't need too much, just enough to allow flour mixture to stick to the chicken.
  4. Heat olive oil on stove top. Add chicken coated in flour to pan in batches. 
  5. Cook until golden crispy brown and flip. Before removing from heat, make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through.
  6. While cooking the chicken, heat up your spaghetti squash. You can do this in the microwave or oven. Directions here!
  7. Heat up your can of Red Gold tomatoes in another pan and add a bit of Parmesan cheese! I also added a little bit of pasta sauce to thinking up the mixture.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked, serve chicken and spaghetti squash with Red Gold tomato sauce on top and enjoy!!!

I hope these recipes can help you get in some healthy meals over the next few months! Since spaghetti squash is a winter squash, you should be seeing it around the produce section a little more often. Next time, pick one up and give it a try! It can't hurt with tailgating season among us and the holidays right around the corner! 

Now go off an have a wonderful Thursday. It is Friday Eve after all!

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