Meatless Pulled BBQ

I can honestly say there were no animals hurt in the making of this meal.

I must admit, I have a husband that is a better cook than I could ever be. He really is! I think his
specialty is in seasoning things. 

I like to cook up spaghetti squash and use it in place of spaghetti when I eat my Nutrisystem meatballs or other Italian dishes. However, I'm not always eating Nutrisystem. I have been on the maintenance plan of the diet where I eat a lot of my own meals. They call these "flex meals".

I'm always looking for healthy alternatives. First let me say, I am no vegan. I love meat! My problem
is eating veggies. I need to eat more of those. That's when I found a recipe for BBQ using spaghetti squash. I just so happen to have one in the fridge already cooked and ready to eat. I showed it to my husband and he worked his magic.

I came home for lunch and the house was smelling like grandmas kitchen on Sunday afternoon. He had made me the most delicious non meat BBQ I'll ever have. I slapped that stuff on a 100 calorie sandwich round and bam! It tasted almost like the real thing (almost). It was spicy and sweet at the same time and pretty much had the texture of pulled pork.
If your looking for a meat free meal, needing to digest more veggies or just want a healthy alternative, this is a win. It will leave you feeling full and satisfied. You will leave the table feeling good that you just had your vegetables.


Here's the recipe. Your welcome.

Pulled BBQ Squash
First- Cook a spaghetti squash.
Cut in half, scoop out the seeds, spray with olive oil, salt/pepper and bake 375 for one hour.
Scoop out the inside and set aside. It scoops out looking like spaghetti. Hence the name.


In a sauce pan add all ingredients below and saute until onions are soft and browned.
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
Add 1/2 tsp vegetable stock (this will loosen onions from the pan)
Once the stock is adsorbed, add the spaghetti squash and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Heat and stir 3 to 5 minutes longer. 
Remove from heat
Place on a bun and top with slaw if desired. 
Enjoy


Note: The squash can be cooked and refrigerated for a couple days until ready to make this recipe if desired.



MarshBerries

Oh my goodness! It's been almost a week since my last post. It has been sort of hectic at my full time job and when I get home in the afternoons, I'm ready to rest. I'm also busy catching up on some crochet and also spending some quality time with my husband. I'm still suffering ear problems and vertigo. My blogging has been put behind. I'm gonna try and do better.

This past weekend I had some time to enjoy my patio before the much needed rain set in. I made a little tiny table top fire pit. (But not for the heat).
 
This was an experiment. I needed a gel fuel can in the center but I thought I'd try some tea lights before I go purchase a can. It didn't make a great fire pit but it did make a nice candle. Hahahah.
 
Next time I'll do it right. Meanwhile, with the tea lights I was still able to pull off some marshmellow roasting. I didn't make smores because my hips said no and my hips don't lie. 
 
I dipped some strawberries in marshmellow cream and toasted them over the large fire pit. Haha. It worked once I caught them on fire and let them char. 
 
These little boogers are delicious and I'd go as far to say they are healthy. I did a couple over the stove fire in the house later and they were just as good. The marshmellow cream hardens to a soft candy shell that will not stick to your fingers and gives a light crunch when bit into it. This is my new favorite way of eating strawberries. I even gave them a name. "Marshberries". 
Its better than chocolate if you ask me. 

This week I'm working on loosing eight lbs I have gained since Christmas. No problem. Im just going to go back to strickly Nutrisystem and I bet it will be gone by the weekend. Wish me luck on that. I want to keep that 50lb loss though I think I could actually use a couple added lbs. Im just afraid the weight will keep adding on if I dont watch out. I caught myself lately snacking on chips and sweets more ofern than I should. I blame it all on not really feeling good. 

Summers coming.



Creepy Coconut Thing

My husband and his brothers are trying to get rid of and sale things out of their fathers estate. There all kinds of vintage stuff still lingering around in the garage there. From Ice cream memorabilia and tools to this!

 

It's a hand carved coconut head! It's old and it's ugly. It creeps me out. I've seen these in places I've visited and I will go way out of line to get as far as I can from them. I absolutely dislike them. 

When I saw this one, I sat for a while just staring at it.....nope, cant do it. Hes gotta go. I do not want it. 
I bet someone has a tiki bar somewhere that this might look good hanging around but not me.

 

I'm not sure if there is a folk lure behind these carved nuts or not. If anyone knows, feel free to tell.
This thing is so old, it could be from Gilligan's Island. Who knows. 

I try to help out selling some of the little things, so If you want it, its's in my Etsy shop

Somebody please get this ugly, creepy thing away.

Gifts and Surprises

It has was a great weekend full of surprises. I spent Mothers Day weekend at the beach. My daughter tagged along with us of course. Despite the cloudy weather, the temperatures were in the 70's and we didnt get rained on. We had a small shower the night we went out to dinner but that was ok. We got to spend lots of time walking the beach and enjoying the ocean.

My husband and daughter treated me to crab legs at Duffys Seafood Shack. It was delicious. My Mothers Day gift was a round beach towel that I had wanted and a gold bracelet. I love them and cant cant wait to use the towel on my next beach trip in June.

 

 

Then came today. I am 48 years old today. Until yesterday, I thought I was going to be 47. Haha. I feel great! My goal is to live to be 100 years old. So far Im doing pretty good at it.

My daughter is home today so she can celebrate my birthday with me. Her being here is the best gift ever. She came in the door carrying a giant doughnut instead of a cake. I love doughnuts! 

 

Then I opened more gifts. She wrapped me a beautiful tasseled shirt and a new sports bra. Ha. I love them. 

 

My husband gave me a beautiful card with some cash to buy myself something nice and wanted me to assure him I wouldnt spend it on anything else but me. That will be hard, so I hid the money until I find something to buy myself. 

I have had so many friends wish me happy birthday on Facebook and other social media. They all mean so much to me. Everyone has made my day special. Of course I want at least 52 more of them! 

Things Mom Said

Happy Mothers Day. I hope you all think of your mothers today no matter where they are now.


This is the first Mothers Day that I did not attend Church. I feel a little guilty about that but we took a beach trip this weekend and right now we are heading home. We will be back in town in time to join the rest of the family to have dinner with Mom. We will be taking her to her choice of restaurant. Im thinking a lot about my mom as I ride down the road. 

Growing up, my mom would say (and still says) many things that showed me direction and love. but I did not always agree with some of them and some would make me mad. Now that im older and have a daughter of my own I understand it now. This brings me to thinking of some of the things I remember that my Mother would say. I remember it like it was yesterday (really it could have been just yesterday).
Let me humor you with some of the things I remember and I actually find myself telling my own daughter sometimes.

1. "Just pray about it"- This is what she would tell me when I was hurt and confused. At this point, I knew she just didn't have the answer and these words would comfort me, so pray is what I did. and it worked!

2. "Your not going out of this house like that"- This pertained to any thing I wore above my knees or showed my belly button.

3. "Well, then they are not your friends!"- Often I would complain that my friends would make fun of me or be mad at me because I couldn't do certain things. Well, They were my friends and still are, they just didn't understand at the time because they lived with different rules.

4. "Well, your not everybody"- When I really thought I was the only one that could not go or do something I wanted to do. I mean, everybody else did it! Really!

5. "You look like a clown"- This is when I'd put on makeup. Therefore, I would sneak and wear it. Nobody else called me a clown. If they had, Id probably listened to them. Ha.

6. "Your gonna sit there until your plate is clean"- Ok, I would actually sit for long time. and I think it was only when we had butter beans. The dog wouldn't even be around.

7. "Your grounded until your next report card"- She meant this. I was grounded all school year every school year. which leads back to quote #3 and #4 and sometimes quote #1.

8. "You listen to me when I tell you something"- I often felt this one on my behind. yikes!

9. "Stop crying before I give you something to cry about"- This was actually a hard task and by her saying this, it would often bring on more tears.

10. "One of these days, you will have children just like you"- Um...this is the all mighty mother's curse she put on me and all my siblings , but luckily, mine did not turn out "just like me". Shes alot of the opposite. But because of my own daughter, I understand alot of my mothers reasons.




I have the best mom in the world that always worked hard to keep us straight. She worked hard to keep the family together and keep christian pricipals in the home. I know she didn't have it easy and I appriciate all shes taught me and showed me through life. I find myself  more like her every day. 


 
This is Mom before I was even a twinkle in her eye. She was pretty and still is! 

What are some things you remember your mom saying? 

 

Yard Games

I remember playing outside a lot when I was younger. You seldom see kids playing outside now days. 

I would play jax and jump rope with the girls and ride bikes with the boys. But there were times that families would get together and play games in the yard. 

We had a croquet set. We enjoyed tapping the ball trough the course around the yard.  Then there was horse shoes. I was never good at horse shoes. The men mostly would play this game as the horseshoes were too heavy for the young ones to throw successfully.

I remember families around the neighborhood would meet up to play wiffle ball or rolly bat. Boy was that the fun days.

One game I never played until I was introduced to it at the beach was Bocci ball. It consist of eight large balls and one small ball. You team up and take turns tossing the heavy wooden balls toward the small ball. Each thrower tries to get the closest to the small ball while also knocking others balls away from the target. 
Its a fun game in the yard or on the beach. 

 

My late father in law has this set of Vintage Bocci Balls from Italy. They are old, wooden and well played out. 

 

My husband plans to keep this old set and make a nice display for them. They are over a hundred years old. 

Meanwhile we have a new colorful set stored in the camper. We enjoy meeting up with friends on the sand to play.  

A Fidget A Fadget

Are you a fidgety person? It seems the older I get the more fidgity I get. Always having to do something with my hands. I think its worry. Ever since my daughter left home for college 8 years ago, graduating and now living out on her own, Ive never stopped worrying about her. Im working on that.
I think thats why I took up to Crocheting so much. Crochet helps me deal with fidgety nervousness. 

Come to think about it, Ive been fidgety as far back as I can remember. When I was in school, I would pick erasers off the end of a pencil, doodle or peel paint off the tables. Ok let me ask, "who remembers doing that"? The layers of paint would peel like rubber. 
I will still snap the clip off a pen if I have it in my hands long enough. 

Well its seems latley everywhere I look, Im seeing theses fadgets (fidget gadgets) all over the internet. 
A guy at work just bought him a "spinner". 

 

Then I see there are now fidget boxes for sale.  If you google "fidget toys" or "stress toys" you will see it goes way beyond stress balls.

 


I laugh but then I remember the worry beads I made myself a while back. I keep these on my desk at work. I fidget and flip these things all day long sometimes.  

 

Hey, it keeps me from rolling important papers into straws. 

In todays society, people are always looking for a form of stress relief. Isn't that something?  Out of all the technology in the world, we often revert back to the simple toys. They do not use data and do not require batteries. Now where is my slinky? 

Would you or do you use a fadget for fidget? 

A Day With a Six Year Old

I miss my daughter being small and curious. I miss teaching her new things and showing her the world.  So I was happy when my little six year old niece came over, we spent almost all day playing, talking and learning things. 
I also forgot how a kid will wear you out. 

We stayed outside as it was a warm sunny day. I let her tell me all about caterpillars and the man in the moon. You see how the conversations can go from one extreme to the other? 

I showed her honeysuckles and taught her how to taste the sweet nectar. 

 

I was not sure if she would be alergic to them or not so in my defense, I only showed her the trick and told her not to put it in her mouth. What was I thinking? 
 
 

She could not resist tasting the liquid sugar. I think every kid should know about honeysuckles, dont you? 
She loved the taste and slurped about twenty of them. (I haven't gotten a phone call yet).

We later took a nature walk around the yard. We gathered every colored leaf, flower, rock and stick we could find as I was careful to keep her away from any poison oak I saw. I didnt speak of the poision leaves because she would curiously have to test them too.

 

According to my fitbit, we walked around the yard almost three miles before settling down to learn about some moss we found on the ground. Thats when the idea struck to create a fairy garden. 

 

We didn't get to finish the fairy garden because it was time for her to go home. I had to assure her I would keep an eye on it.

We all went out to dinner that night. She had a fit to sit beside me at the table because I was the favorite aunt that day. She asked what kind of work I do. I told her I worked in an office. She looked at me with big brown eyes and with a puzzled look on her face says "Oh and I thought you were an artist." As soon as I accepted that as a compliment she says, "I Think you could make things out of trash". Then suggest I start collecting trash.
Where do they come up with this stuff?

And I think I heard why they call it "the man in the moon" at least ten times. 
Why? Because of craters.

Last Time Under The Hood

My husband has worked on cars almost all of his life. He and his father were owners of Jerry's Front End and Brake shop until they closed the doors in the late 90's. Nick also worked for the local dirt track on weekends to make a little extra money.  

They spent many days not only servicing customers cars, but as I can remember, were always piddling on a race car in the side bay. Nicks father had a few race cars as he was a member of Carolina Vintage Stock Car Racing Association ( CVSCRA). One of his race cars was given to a museum. I'm not sure what happened to the others, but there was a last one and the only one I remember. A 1949 Ford. 

Nicks dad raced this car until he was in his 70's. After each race, he would pull it into the home garage and fix the dings and tune it up. Nick and his dad would often be under the hood getting it ready for the next race. His dad passed away about 10 years ago. The race car has sat in the garage waiting for new life ever since. It became dusty, weathered and stalled. 

The day came this past weekend. The car had a buyer. Nick wanted to get it running so the buyer would be satisfied in the purchase. He worked for a few days getting her running. She was alive now. The sound of the motor would make the hairs on the back of your head stand up. 

When the buyer arrived, I was able to snap a photo of Nick under the hood one more time. 

 

She was running like a charm, or like a race car sitting for ten years would sound awaking from a long hibernation. Vroom vroom! Sounded nice but I'm the weird one and liked the smell.

The car was cranked, the money was swapped and it was loaded on a trailer. The buyer said he liked the way it looked. He doesn't plan to paint it to anything different. He also plans to put it back on the track come November.

 

It will race again and I'm sure Nicks dad is looking down and smiling. It was sort of sad to see it leave as all the brothers stood by watching but it was time to let go. 

23 Married Years

Today marks another year of marriage for me and Nick. Twenty-Three of them. Who counting though? When someone ask how long we have been married, We both look at each other and start counting how old my nephew is since we know he was born the same year we were married. 

People say "It goes by fast doesn't it? I say, "no, it feels like weve been married forever". Ha!  We are like two of the same person. Morphed into this old married couple. I think I'm started to look like him too. Ha! 

I've had someone ask "how do you stay married to the same person for so many years?" My reply, "Oh, well hes not been the same person all these years and neither am I". And thats the fun of it. 

Now I'm no professional on marriage but here are a few things I've learned through the years that helped us keep a marriage happy. These are views of my own.

1. Put God in your marrage. It will not survive without him. Pray for guidance and attend church together.
2. Don't argue about everything. If he folds the laundry wrong or puts the dishes in the wrong spot. Dont nag! Just fix it. He tried. We get on each others nerves. We know that, so instead of letting it aggrivate us, we have fun with it and find the cuteness in our differences.
3. Never go to bed or leave the house angry. And go to bed together at the same time.
4. Always kiss
5. Praise each other for things well done and help each other with struggles.
6. My husband is head of my home. The protector of the family and I respect him for that. Show respect. 
7. Don't go against each others wishes. Hear each other out and help each other reach goals.
8. Put your spouse ahead of your kids. They need a happy mom and dad.
9. Do not continue doing things that each other doesnt like. 
10. Marraige is not 50/50 its 100/100.
11. Never us the word divorce. Never let it in your mind.
12. Marriage is not about being strong together but about taking turns being strong for each other.
13. Weekend trips with friends and away from each other is not healthy.
14. Seperate bank accounts are nice. Have one together but also have a seperate personal account so you each can have your own personal money to play with and buy things you want or to buy gifts for each other. 
15. Sit around the table for meals. Talk and listen to each other. 
16. Never stop dating. Make time for this!
17. If ones sad, cheer them up. If ones mad, make them laugh.
18. Walk in the sun and dance in the rain.
And last: love like crazy!!!

I love my Italian man!  He makes me laugh, and rearely makes me mad.
He is my best friend and thats the truth! No other person likes me as much as he does. 
He gets me. 

I think I'll keep him.