Friday, September 29, 2017

Foodie Friday: Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs

I cannot believe you guys never told me that I could microwave my spaghetti squash. Why would you keep that kind of secret from me?

Well, now that I know, I am going to tell the world. If you're in a pinch {say, it's 4:15, dinner is in less than an hour and, you just realized that you forgot to start the slow cooker} there is a faster way to cook spaghetti squash!



Cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave is so quick. I don't know if I'll ever go back. Okay, yeah, I probably will because I love the slow cooker, too.





When I cook spaghetti squash, I mostly use it in one of our favorite fall meals: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs.


This would also be good with Chicken Parmesan instead of meatballs, too. It's super simple to make. After your spaghetti squash is done cooking, season the inside with salt and pepper. Scrape the sides and bottom to fill the squash with the pasta-like strings and toss in some meatballs and spaghetti sauce.

There you have it -- spaghetti squash and meatballs. Easy, more nutritious than pasta and delicious!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fair Week - 2017

Two weeks ago, our small town fair came to town for a week. This is what we refer to as "Fair Week" and it's a pretty big deal in our house. I have written many blog posts about previous Fair Weeks. You can read some more about it here, here and here.

I feel like I say this every year but, this year was my favorite Fair Week yet! Piper was old enough to ride on some kiddie rides and we took advantage of "Ride-A-Rama" on two separate days during Fair Week.


Piper had so much fun on all the rides! It brought Nick and I so much joy to see her enjoying the fair as much as we did when we were kids.










While the rides were a new attraction for our family this year, it's the fair food that is always the main attraction for us. I'm talking the freshest mini donuts {new} and the most delicious Gyro's and milkshakes you can find in one place.





Along with great food, we get to visit barn after barn of animals at the fair all week, too.




Even before Piper was born, I imagined she'd be like me and love sheep {it was her nursery theme}. Sheep are my favorite animal and so far, they have been Piper's most favorite animal to visit at the fair each year, too.




Piper loves all animals, really. 








Piper had so much fun in the animal barns this year and she loved it when she got to ride her first pony.


She also had a blast in the kid zone located in the goat barn.




Nick and I had a little fun in there, too.



Fair Week is always a nostalgic week for Nick and I. We have so many memories from when we were in high school together. Every time we go back, it's like we go back in time for a full week. Not much has changed at our small town fair and we like it that way.







Fair week is one of our favorite weeks of the year!

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Month of Weight Gain

Up until September, I had been able to either maintain my weight or lose weight rather consistently this year. This month, however, I may be ending with a gain on the scale.

September turned out to be the perfect storm for me. There was some planned over-indulging and some not-so-planned overindulging.

At the beginning of the month, I had some serious back/neck issues. I was SO uncomfortable day and night. I didn't want to cook much and I sought out comfort food while I was in pain. Thankfully, my chiropractor is awesome and she fixed me up just in time for Fair week to begin!

Speaking of Fair week, that was also part of the perfect storm. If you haven't been reading my blog then let me tell you, fair week is a week where we buy very little groceries and just eat out at our local fair every night. It's an annual tradition and, I regret nothing. This was a planned week of overindulging.

Now, toward the end of Fair week, I got sick. I mean, like, really sick. I actually stayed in bed for a full day during the weekend, trying to get better while my husband took care of everything {because he's the best} and it still didn't cure me. I went through days of headaches, a wicked sore throat, followed by a serious chest cold and then the worst sinus/ear pressure I've ever had. {side note: I think sinus pressure could be considered a form of torture. You look healthy, but you feel like you're on another planet.} While I was sick, I ate a lot of comfort food. My husband cooked me comfort food and we also ordered out a lot.

It's safe to say we ate out more days than we ate in this month. It wasn't all planned but, it wasn't all within my control either. It's hard to make good choices for yourself when you aren't feeling good.  

Could I have done better? Yeah, definitely. But, as I said, this was my perfect storm. I gave in time and time again this month, seeking comfort food when I was uncomfortable. 

Funny thing about seeking comfort in food, I did it and I am still uncomfortable, only now it's because I'm bloated. I can feel the extra weight, even if it's only around 5 pounds. I am ready to stop the cycle of feeling uncomfortable. I am ready to stop feeling this way.


I may have a lot of excuses in this post but, none of them are excuse enough for me to give up. I will continue on.

As I come out of this month of weight gain, I am going to try and get myself away from using food as comfort by seeking comfort in the Bible, instead. I am going to work on a couple study plans from www.bible.com. This is the best place I know to start right now. 

This is the final week of September and I'm not giving up. I am diving into my faith while keeping faith in myself. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Foodie Friday: Italian Bomb Stuffed Chicken

So, I kinda whipped something together and it turned out to be super rich and delicious. I'll call this one my "Italian Bomb Stuffed Chicken".


The recipe goes a little something like this:

Italian Bomb Stuffed Chicken

Nutrition information:
Serves: 4
Calories per serving ~ 310 calories

Ingredients:
24 slices of salami
2 jalapeƱos, chopped (remove seeds)
3 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz shredded cheddar
4 thin sliced skinless chicken breast, 3-4 oz each



Directions:

Wash and dry chicken, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine cream cheese and cheddar in a medium bowl.

Lay chicken out with 6 slices of salami on each, top chicken with 2 tbsp of cream cheese mixture followed by a sprinkle of jalapenos.




Loosely roll each one, secure with toothpicks to prevent the cheese from oozing out.

Bake for about 25 minutes.



Readers, if you like a dish with some rich cheesy goodness followed by a little kick, this chicken may be just right for you! Let me know if you give it a try!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thankful Thursday #6

This week has been a little rough for me. I've been sick the whole time and I'm just not feeling like myself much at all. I feel so disconnected most of the time because of my sinus pressure. It's been weird. 

Even though I have been feeling slightly miserable with this crud I'm battling, writing my "Thankful Thursday" posts always makes me search for some fun things I still have to be thankful for each week.

Fair Week

Fair week 2017 has come and gone! We love our local small-town fair for so many reasons. I am going to share a post about this year's fair week soon but, in the meantime you can see older posts on our local fair and our love for it all, here: Fair Week is Back, 2015Piper's First Fair Week, 2015Fair Week, 2016.


Working From Home

As you read above, I am still sick, going on over a week now. This is one nasty bug that Piper and I have been fighting. My cough is mostly gone, now if only I could get rid of all of this sinus pressure. Thankfully, I work from home so working in your PJ's {and even sometimes from bed} is totally acceptable here.




P.S. I didn't make an official announcement but, Anything Rustic is back from summer vacation!

Anniversary Flowers

This week, my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary together. He often gets me flowers, sometimes just because, but I loved our anniversary flowers particularly this year because they had such a variety in them and they just look like the new season we're in -- Fall.


Leggings as Pants

I think we won the battle. Is this even considered a controversy anymore?



Fall means many things, one of my favorite being that I get to bust out all of my leggings, again. Leggings are so warm and they feel like butter on my legs. I don't care if they ever go out of style, I think I'm a lifer.

Indoor Crafts

Fall is officially here and that means we will get some warmer days {like we had most of the week} and some chilly days. On the chilly days, I am looking forward to doing all of the indoor crafts with Piper that we haven't had much of a chance to do this summer.


I am starting to stock pile indoor craft ideas so if you have any good ones, let me know!

Readers, what is something fun you're thankful for this week?