Saturday, November 3, 2012

Zuchini boats

So, It was late summer, finally getting hot, a perfect time for zucchini.
I decided to try something different... something I knew must be delicious.
I had seen Zucchini Boats on Pinterest. Well to be more clear, I had seen them and promptly "pinned" them, knowing that I'd want to try them as soon as zucchini was in season.
I got a great deal of zucchini with these non-aquatic boats in mind.
They were amazing... so amazing....
You need to try them before the season is totally over and the ones in the grocery store are tiny and pickle size.
So here we go!
There wasn't a recipe, so I made up my own...

2lbs Ground Turkey
1 onion
2 green bell peppers
salt and pepper to taste
2tbsp of your favorite Italian seasoning
3 medium zucchinis
1 can Spaghetti sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce
( I wanted mine creamy so I mixed sauces, but really, whatever your taste is, do that and do 2 jars of either or of each, totally on what you prefer)
(no, you can slice it like I did- I had a pound of two kinds of cheese that I sliced, or you can just use shredded cheese.)
Parmesan cheese

First I cooked my meat. I used my Pampered Chef  Mix 'n Chop to get the pieces small.
I added my diced onion and bell pepper and cooked it until the onion was soft.

While the onions and peppers were cooking, I prepared my zucchini.
First I washed them.

And cut them in halves.
I left my stems on because I think they will be prettier in the plating process later.

Then I started to use a spoon to hallow out the centers... not good. Then I remembered that I purchased a Core 'n More from Pampered Chef! It worked so great!!! Plus, it was so much faster.
You can see the difference between the two...

I put olive oil on a baking sheet and lined up the zucchini on it. It was then I realized that the boats were wobbly.
So I cut the bottoms to make them lay flat on the baking sheet.

I roughly chopped the insides and added them to the meat.
I used the Mix 'n Chop to mix the zucchini pieces into the meat. When the zucchini was soft, i chopped it even smaller, making the meat mixture even fuller.

Sliced the cheese.

Added my sauces and 2 Tbsp of Pampered Chef's Garlic & Herb Rub to the meat mixture and simmered for 15 minutes.

Filled my zucchini boats!

Added my cheese!

And baked at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. The longer you cook, the softer your zucchini will be. At 25 minutes, my zucchini was medium soft. So adjust the cooking time if you like your zucchini softer or harder. And beware, not all ovens are alike. My oven is electric (sad I know...).

When the zucchini  is to your likeness and the cheese is toasty, your dinner is done.
Let your zucchini boats rest for 5-10 minutes so you don't lose all of your zucchini juices onto your plate and it gives you a chance to blot the greases off of your cheese with a paper towel if needed.
Plus you don't want a heaping bite of Hades on your tongue!

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the top and Voila! A low-carb, veggie filled, delicious meal.
My family LOVES zucchini and we are always looking for tasty ways to eat it!
† Alethea

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh purple people eater, please just swallow me whole.


I have been trying to come up with the best post to re-enter the blogging world after having an unintentional hiatus. A lot has happened and I think eventually I'll get to all of that, we'll see...

I guess I'll just start with now.

Baby has come to live with us for the year! That is great news! She almost failed 3rd grade, so her mother agreed for her to come live with us for the year so I could home school her... most of the time it is going very well...
                                    but the other times I wonder what I have gotten myself into.

Like today, for instance, I found out that the work I had for her to do yesterday didn't get finished. I had to fill in at my mom's store, and she said that if I helped her out, and wrote a lesson plan, she would substitute teach for me. Not a problem at all, since that is what my mom did during my younger years. But, when I asked Baby if her school work was done, she proudly said, "Yup, even my reading!" Fantastic. Yeah, it's my fault that I didn't check, however, I assumed that it would be handled. She had all day to do less than what I normally give her... I assumed.  I know it's my fault but I am so upset right now.

It only adds to the fact that I feel, most of the time, like I am sinking. Oh, I keep a good face on and I laugh a lot, but inside where no one can see, I feel like I'm being buried alive.

There's the dark part.

I haven't felt like this ever I think, maybe not ever that I can remember, but still.

It is a culmination of things I guess. Going back several months. I'll get into that later, I don't feel like tears today.

I am moody and short tempered, very emotional, exhausted, most often with a headache or migraine, and distant.
But at the same time, loving and cuddly, creative and patient, and long to be close.

No. I am not pregnant.Some things just aren't that easy.

I finally have what I've wanted for the last several years. Baby has come to live with us for a year. I have wanted to pour into her life and love. To teach and be taught. To cuddle and sing. And let her know that everything will be okay.  But I feel like I'm failing her. I'm not saying that I don't do any of the things I wanted so desperately to do, no, I do all of them, I love to do all of them for her. It's the quiet times, the other times, the feeling that I'm not good enough.

We haven't bought any curriculum because we are trying to enroll into a program that will pay for some of it. So, in the meantime, I am scouring the Internet to make a curriculum for her to follow. We have a cross-curricular reading program that we have been following, and that has spelling words that match up with what she is reading about for the week. But it doesn't tell me what to do with it. I don't want her just reading the paper and answering the questions everyday with nothing added. So on day 1 she reads and answers the questions, day 2 includes day 1 and then explaining the answer on back with a drawing, day 3 includes day 1 with researching the topic and drawing an [ecosystem] with four different living and non-living organisms included... etc. I write the curriculum off of what the one page has for the week. I make it last so she really learns about the topic. The same thing goes for Spelling and English and Math. (thankfully there are a lot of printouts for math) However, She is really behind in math, so we are catching up, with the same kinds of things everyday, in new and different ways...

I love doing it, but I feel lost. I don't really have anyone to talk to about it here. There are a few people I know that homechool in my area, but they have other new people that they are helping and plus they still have to school their children.

Then, there's some crazy stuff going on back at Baby's other residence that I am glad she is not there for, but I worry that 1.she will have to go back to that, 2.I won't be able to get her caught up and ready for 5th grade (her mom def wants her back for 5th grade.) and 3.I'll have somehow wasted my year by worrying and not having enough fun with learning.

I thought that it would be museums and field trips, but it takes all day just to do the small amount of stuff that I have planned, that we don't get to take our learning outside of the house. And I'm so concerned that she won't be caught up and ready for 5th grade that I forget to make learning fun.

In the last 2 months our truck has been broken into 4 times. In the last year, we've had 3 vehicles broken into, multiple times. My husband is ready to move, we have a great deal on an apartment, but he wants to buy a house. I don't think that we have the credit to buy a house.
I was arguing with a medical company about whether I was the one to use their services or not and they threw it to a collection agency, however I have not received anything from them, so I can't pay it (I was going to just pay it to stay out of collections). So that's on there...

I don't know.

We stared Bible Study Fellowship as a family recently, it's been great. Everytime I see Blue and Baby studying it makes me cry.
 I have wanted them to have a great relationship for a long time. But neither of them really know how to do it. Blue wasn't raised with a dad for the first 15 years of his life, then he got a very aggressive step-dad. And Baby has had some doozies of male role models walk in and out of her life... They love each other so much, but don't know how to communicate it to each other very well. And I come from an amazing family, I had and have a great realtionship with my dad. So it is hard for me to not see that between B and B. But he was in Korea when she was a baby and then when he got back he was getting a divorce. The pain was there- for a long time, and the clashing of the titans plus the added crazy character made for a very difficult beginning for a father and his daughter... then after a year and a half of that, I married Blue, and 5 months later we moved 3,000 miles away. A very tough decision, and it caused more strain, but, allowed for Baby's mom to start growing into being a good mother for her children and we developed a good relationship through it. Then came the summer and every other christmas visits, where she never wanted to leave. And now she's here for a year! I love that her room is occupied. I love waking her up every morning and going to the coffee shop where she does math, then we come home to finish school.

... But I feel like sometimes school gets in the way of life. I want her to experience things, but it takes forever to do school work...

Life will eventually fall into a pattern and everything will work itself out.
 I know that God is in control.
I have everything I have ever needed and wanted under my popcorn roof.
 I just have no idea what is wrong with me.

I guess it's a pretty downer first blog back, but as I was recently told...

*This blog is for me. To get my thoughts out. People can read it or not. They don't have to like it. It is for me.*

Monday, March 12, 2012