Thursday, October 25, 2012

'Tis the Season...

...for spaghetti squash! For those of you who may not have heard me rave about this already, I am continually amazed at the variety (in taste, color, smell) of fruits and vegetables that the Lord creates for our nourishment and enjoyment. Spaghetti squash wows me even more...just look at these things...squash that with a touch of a fork literally turn into spaghetti noodles...so fascinating to me!

I used a combination of my grandmother JoJo's recipe, this one from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod, and my own inspiration to create this spaghetti squash dish. 

First cut off the stems of each spaghetti squash and then slice in half lengthwise. I got Cole's help with this part because they are hard to cut. Scoop out the seeds and other messy stuff inside (just like a pumpkin). I would suggest using 1 medium sized spaghetti squash for every 2 people. Brush olive oil, salt, and pepper on the cut sides and then turn over (cut side down) on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 50 minutes. 

In the meantime, make the sauce. I combined 2 T olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 onion finely diced (with the chopper that I always mention on here), 6 roma tomatoes (or any tomato) also cut with the chopper, and 1 cup mushrooms. Saute until onions become clear and sauce is warm throughout. Reduce heat and let sit on low heat until squash is ready. 

Remove squash from oven and flip over so that the cut side is now facing upwards. Take a fork and run it through the squash to form the "noodles". Spoon into dish, top with sauce, shredded parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs (basil and oregano).

*JoJo combines the squash and sauce to make a casserole dish, adds a little dry white wine, and then bakes it until heated.
*It would also be good with store bought spaghetti sauce if you are in a time crunch.
*Also, I thought it could be fun to serve the dish in the halved spaghetti squash.

So fun, so healthy, and so good! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Around the Sims Household

In October we have...

hopped on a plane to celebrate Cole's cousin Dan tie the knot in Rhode Island! We had a fun weekend with family.  Surprisingly, we found our time on the planes and in the airport RELAXING to be able to sit and read, a rarity for us these days. 
Forgot how EASY it is to fly...we were in Rhode
Island in just a few short hours. 
The cousins enjoying dinner together. Where are you Taylor?
The bride and groom
We squeezed in a long morning run around Narraganset Bay
and the surrounding parks.
Last weekend we had a delightful visit from Cole's grandparents. We appreciate them so much for coming to Charleston for a visit. We played the role of tourists, visiting Fort Moultrie, Charleston Tea Plantation, and Angel Oak, and took them "off the beaten path" to some of our favorite places to eat- Bowen's Island and the Tomato Shed.
Dinner at Bowen's Island
What a sunset!!
Charleston Tea Plantation
Angel Oak
Other happenings lately...

Unfortunately, my debit card information has been stolen for the second time since August. Frustrating and time-consuming to deal with this!

I have finished reading through the Bible. More to come on this later, but PRAISE THE LORD!

Also, Cole has applied for residency in internal medicine and is being invited to interviews at many schools. It is an exciting time for us! I have the month of December "off" from rotation during which we are planning to do an interview trip. The best advice Cole has received, in my opinion, is to choose somewhere where your wife will be happy. Amen! I am thankful to have some time to visit some of the programs with him!  We are seeking the Lord with this decision and for a job/career direction for me wherever we land. We covet your prayers for us.

We decided on a whim to run the Greenville Spinx Half Marathon on Saturday, and are on the 2-week training plan.  It will be his first, and my 12th...I promise to take it easy on him :) Wish us luck!



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet Potato Soup

As you may remember reading on a previous post, Cole and I enjoyed this luscious soup at Rooster's in Charlotte. 
I have been craving it ever since, and here is my home recreation. I used this recipe for Creamy Sweet Potato Soup as a base and my version is below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Marshmallows and spiced pecans for garnish

METHOD

1 Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and celery and saut√© for about 7 minutes.  Add garlic and saut√© 2 minutes.
2 Add sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
3 Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot.
4 Add half and half and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Cover and refrigerate soup and celery leaves separately. Bring soup to simmer before continuing.) Ladle into bowls. Garnish with toasted marshmallows (broil on high for about 2 minutes) and spiced pecans (saute pecans in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon). 

Maybe not as good as Rooster's, but pretty darn close! It was good the first night, but extra yummy the second day, so I would recommend making it a day ahead. Also freezes well!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Back at it

As most of you know, although I avoided this fact on my blog, Cole was in Charlotte for the month of September experiencing the internal medicine program at Carolina's. Not ideal to be apart, but we made the most of it! I went to visit him on the weekends as often as I could. While Cole worked, I spend my Saturdays at Starbucks preparing for my Grand Rounds presentation at school (which is now complete, thanks to the good Lord)! I also thoroughly enjoyed running the greenway, "bootie loop", and the Meyer's Park cross country trails. One of my favorite things we did in Charlotte was a visit to the Graham Family Homeplace. What a gem! Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area. 


I have long had a love for Thomas Kinkade's work. He was known as 'the painter of light', and this hand-painted mural entitled "The Cross" lives up to his reputation. It sits floor to ceiling in the Billy Graham museum.

We also had a wonderful dinner date at Rooster's. One of the many things we enjoyed was this sweet potato soup with homemade toasted marshmallows and spiced pecans. I will definitely be trying to duplicate this one in my kitchen.  Thank you Grayson for the recommendation!


While Cole was gone, I had fun girl time with Mom, JoJo, and Marian. Mom, Marian, and I saw Beth Moore at the North Charleston Coliseum.  It was so cool to worship and listen to the Word in the midst of all these women! Look at all of us!



JoJo and Mom treated us to dinner at FIG during Restaurant Week in Charleston. FIG was probably the only restaurant not on the list. Oh well, we were craving it! FIG stands for "Food Is Good", and good it was!


Since Cole was gone, there are really no food updates. I reverted back to my college diet of hummus or cereal for dinner :) It was a nice break, but I was anxious to get back in the kitchen! Charlotte was a great experience for Cole, but I am so thankful he is home!!


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