Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

A few weeks ago, I found a butternut squash in my fridge. You’re probably wondering how one buys a squash and then forgets that it exists. Well… butternut squash keep basically forever in the fridge and it was waaaaaay in the back. So, yeah. I bought it god knows when and forgot about it. Of course, when I found it, I had to use it immediately since I didn’t know how old it was. I wasn’t sure, at first, what I was going to make, but then the crazy pregnancy brain kicked in and butternut squash mac and cheese was born.

I know (after googling it last night) that there a ton of recipes for butternut squash mac and cheese out there, but I didn’t use any of those. I made up my own recipe, which I’ll replicate as much as possible here.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1.  8 0z whole wheat shells

2. 1 cup fat free milk

3. 1 small-ish butternut squash (roasted)

4. 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

5. 1/4-1/2 cup shredded parmasean cheese

6.1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese

7. 1/4 tsp dry mustard

8. 1 spring fresh rosemary (about 3-4 inches long)

9. 1/4 tsp Italian spice mix

10. salt and pepper to taste

11. bread crumbs

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F

2. Peel, seed, and chop squash.

3. Toss squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

4. place squash on sheet pan and roast in oven for about 20 minutes (until its tender).

While the squash is roasting, start on the cheese sauce and pasta…

5. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

6. Heat the milk and spices until it simmers (keep an eye on it.. don’t scald the milk!)

7. Remove milk and spice mixture from heat.

8. Add all the cheeses into the milk/spice mix and stir until melted.

9. Add the roasted squash to the milk/spice/cheese mix and stir until combined (try to squish the squash a little).

10. Mix the pasta into the squash/sauce mix

11. Pour the mix into a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs.

12. Bake at 375F until breadcrumbs are brown and cheese sauce is slightly bubbly.

I know this is my own creation and I’m probably a little biased, but this was really good. As proof that it not just pregnancy appetite  and/or bias talking, S. thought it was good too. This wasn’t the quickest dish ever, but it wasn’t that time consuming either. I estimate maybe 40 minutes start to finish, so it’s a pretty doable  weeknight meal (with a nice side salad).

Enjoy!

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 23-30

For the record, I know the challenge ended on November 8th. And, I know that it’s currently November 18th. Yep. I’m late. But the good news is that I finished the challenge! That’s right. I made time for yoga for 30 whole days (except for that one day when I was too tired). Of  course, I waited so long to finish up the posting that it seems useless to try to recap each practice. Instead, I’ve decided to just recap my experience.

This challenge, even though I’ve been kind of terrible with blog updating, has been great. It has forced me to make time for myself every day and to realize that time for myself might vary day to day. Sometimes it’s an hour practicing in a room alone and sometimes its a 20 min practice in my living room with S., the dogs, and the TV in the background. I’ve found that both, and everything in between, is rejuvenating for me depending on my mood.  That in itself will be very helpful in the next few months, but probably the best thing about this challenge is that it’s helped me develop a yoga habit. Even though the challenge has been over for 10 days, I’ve kept up with the daily practice without too much trying.

After the challenge, I’m more relaxed than normal and I feel pretty fabulous, both of which are really surprising considering I’m roughly 10 weeks away from giving birth (!!!) and have been working 50 hour weeks for the last 6 weeks (also one reason I’ve been lagging on the blogging front). Basically, the only downside to the challenge is that you have to make time for it. At first that’s a bit of a challenge in itself, but really its not that hard. All in all, I recommend doing your own challenge, just maybe don’t commit to blogging about it every day…

Black Bean Quesadillas

So remember how I’ve been craving black beans? Well that hasn’t changed at all and, luckily, they’re healthy and pretty much every recipe I use them in is fast.

Yesterday, I spent some quality time on pinterest and discovered a new recipe for Black Bean Quesadillas. This recipe is super easy and very fast, two things I needed yesterday. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but there are times when I go from not at all remotely hungry to oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-die-of starvation-if-I-don’t-eat-immediately in a matter of minutes. Pregnancy has made this worse and yesterday around lunch time I hit that critical point more quickly than normal. So, I was pretty stoked that I had all the ingredients for the recipe on hand. Of course, there was a bit of hanger induced yelling when I put everything into my food processor only to discover that my food processor is, apparently, broken. No big deal in the long run though. I just mixed everything together and had a chunky filling instead of a smooth one. Still delicious. 

This is, unfortunately, one of those times when I was so hungry that I didn’t think to take a picture of the finished product. So, you guys don’t get to see that it was actually very pretty and colorful. Probably because of the un-food processed filling and guacamole topping. I know just my word with no supporting pictures isn’t the best advertisement ever, but you should seriously try this when you need something fast, healthy, and delicious. 

On a completely unrelated note, if anyone reading this is wondering what to get me for Christmas a new food processor wouldn’t be unappreciated…

28 Week Update: Oh. My. God. It’s the Third Trimester.

Seriously, guys. I’m in the third trimester now.

Wha?

How did we get here so soon? Everything suddenly seems like its moving very very quickly. Good quickly. but I still get a teensy bit freaked out when I think about how soon Baby S. will be here.

In other news, I’ve relieved S. of his photographer duties and have decided to self-photograph for a while. Maybe not the best picture of all time, but at least it’s not blurry, right? Anyway, let’s get to the updating….

How far along| 28 weeks, 4 days

Baby’s Size| ???  As of my 24 week ultrasound she weighed 1lb 9oz, but if she hasn’t gained weight since then, my weight gain is completely unjustified and not cool.

Weight Gain| At my appointment this week, 14 pounds. Yikes!

Sleep| Awesome most of the time. Especially since I’ve developed the pillow nest method of sleeping.

Clothes| About 70/30 mix. I still wear lots of non-maternity things, but maternity clothes (especially pants) win in the comfort department.

Cravings| Bananas, spinach, citrus, chocolate, and peanut butter. Related, I discovered the most delicious desert ever the other night: Toast with peanut butter and a handful of chocolate chips melted under the broiler.

Food Aversions| Broccoli and cabbage. Oh. And pickles. This hasn’t changed since last week.

Symptoms| None really. Except the moodiness, but I feel like the cold I’ve had this week is at least partially to blame for that. Also, my hair is super shiny…

Movement| So much. Love it, she’s getting a LOT stronger.

Belly Button| In.

Highlight of the Week| Two actually. First, cupcake tasting for my first baby shower with mom, my aunt, and the cousins. So much fun! Also, delicious cupcakes. If you’re in the market for cupcakes in Danville, Kentucky check out The Twisted Shifter. Next, deciding to hire a doula. I’m so very excited about it!

What I miss|  Alcohol. Why does it seem like every other person in the world is drinking except me? Oh. That’s right. Because they are.

Oh so slightly better bump picture.

Hope you’re all having a great Sunday!

 

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 14 through 22

Guys, I’m seriously the worst blogger of all time. I don’t know what happened. I was doing so well.

Sigh.

I guess we can call the 30 day yoga challenge a two-thirds fail. I failed at the picture a day aspect-through no fault of my own, I should add. Ahem, S. And I’ve essentially failed at the chronicle-the-challenge-through-the-blog part of the challenge.

Warrior I prep at 27 weeks

But, you know what? I’m okay with this. Because I haven’t failed at the important part of the challenge. Even though I haven’t been blogging about it, I’ve fit a yoga practice in almost each and every day of the challenge. You’ll notice I said almost. That’s because on Day 14 I did not manage to fit yoga in.

On day 14, I had a super busy day. We had a marketing event at work and that night S. and I went to a basketball game. Needless to say, by the time we got home, I was exhausted and barely had time to make it to bed before I fell asleep. Since I had failed to plan ahead, yoga was out.

S. at the game. So much fun!

Any other time, I think I probably would have just given up. I would have felt defeated and like a failure and I would have let the pattern of not practicing continue. The challenge saved me from that. The next morning, Day 15, I woke up and I did some yoga. And I’ve continued that since. I won’t bore you guys with the details of each practice, since I’m so far behind, so suffice to say I think the challenge is leading me back to a daily practice. My body actually craves yoga again and I feel great after a practice.

I wish I could promise that I’m back on the blogging wagon, but honestly, I don’t know that I am. I’ll try to fit it in and finish out the blogging part of the challenge, but my life has gotten unexpectedly and incredibly busy. I’ll do my best though.

In the meantime, I hope your practice is going as well as mine!