Thursday, December 30, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Caramelized Onions

I fell in food love with this at the Skylark Hidden Cafe in Bellingham. Since they wouldn't give me the recipe I found this one and it is pretty darn good too, even if I had to cook it myself.

1 large butternut squash (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 medium-to-large yellow onions, sliced into rings
pinch of sugar
1 pound lasagna noodles (regular, no boil or refrigerated)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
2 cups 2% milk, heated in the microwave 1-2 minutes until warm, but not boiling
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel butternut squash, slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss 
squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Spread out in an even layer on a 
half sheet pan or a Mario Batali pizza pan if you have one (the Batali pan 
is an excellent tool for roasting vegetables). Roast 35-45 minutes, turning once or twice, until 
butternut squash is browned and fork-tender. Remove from oven and turn the oven temperature 
down to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and 
saute 1-2 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the pinch of sugar and reduce heat to 
medium-low. Continue cooking onions until they become very soft and golden brown, stirring 
occasionally, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
If you're using regular lasagna noodles, prepare them according to package directions. Drain, 
but do not rinse.

In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes. Add the milk all at once, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let the sauce cook about 5 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon. Transfer the butternut squash to a food processor. Add the ricotta cheese and nutmeg. Process until smooth. 
To assemble the lasagna, spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place about 1/4 cup of the white sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top with enough lasagna noodles to cover (it doesn't matter if you have to cut the noodles to fit). Top with half of the caramelized onions, then half of the butternut squash mixture and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Top with another layer of sauce, then the noodles, the remaining caramelized onions, butternut squash mixture and the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Finish off with a layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce and the mozzarella  cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes. Allow the lasagna to rest at least 20 minutes (30 minutes is even better) before serving.
Serves 10.

Per serving: 441 calories, 22 g fat (11 g saturated), 83 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 22 g protein, 131% Vitamin A, 24% Vitamin C, 54% calcium, 14 % iron

Read more at Suite101: Butternut Squash Lasagna: A vegetarian lasagna recipe that's worthy 
of serving to to original recipe

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

an iBand Christmas

What a great reason to get an iPad for Christmas, or a few!! Hubby doesn't agree. :-( . Enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

T-day and my little pies

Happy Day After Thanksgiving. I refuse to call it Black Friday, I'm not a shopper and ... I'm not going to go there today, I'm in a good mood. Anyway, Thanksgiving was wonderful here, so much so that I totally forgot to take pictures. Tommy, our previously "pet" turkey was delicious, all the sides perfect, and my little pies were a hit. everyone got their own and they ate every last morsel. It snowed all day long, and the G-kids had a ball, making snowmen and then tackling them flat. After dinner they had a snowball fight with the neighbors G-kids. Fun times!

Sorry..forgot to post this right away so...5 days later!?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Little Pies

I came across this recipe and am going to try it. I think the G-kids will really enjoy having their own pie for thanksgiving, on second thought the adults will probably like it too. If you try it let me know the results, I'll post  the comments from my family.  see the recipe here

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


After agonizing for several weeks about posting lists..I've come up with a list to define how I feel about lists:
1. I hate lists
2. no one really cares about my lists
3. lists are, in reality, pretty boring
4. random lists serve no purpose
5. I'll not post another list on this blog (after this really dumb one)
SO There!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

only 100 years

an e-mail too interesting not to pass along:

 1910 Ford Model R

One hundred years ago. 
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1910:
************ ********* ************ 
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only. 
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !
The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,
 and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
Were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard.'
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was only 30!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and 
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,
Regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'
( Shocking? DUH! )
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. ! 
I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD - all in a matter of seconds!
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years. 


List # 3 - Jobs You've Had

This list thing is starting to feel like a job. I rarely put this much information out about myself, but since hardly anyone reads this I guess doing it for myself is OK . Again inspired by by  and the book Listography Journal: Your Life in Lists

1. File clerk - actually worked for my dad alphabetizing his customer records stored on cards with punched holes in them, very pre, pre computer database stuff.
2. Babysitter - Of course, oldest of 5 and only girl.
3. Waitress 
4. Assistant to the assistant manager in a totally upscale department store, designer salon department. Never got out from the back room but did get to try on all the new samples that came in my size.
5. File clerk  - for a then monopoly, I was just a number.
6. Wife and mother - don't let anyone kid you that his isn't a JOB. No pay, lots of benefits and very rewarding but a job none the less.
7. Switchboard operator
8. Customer service - department store
9. Direct Sales - nice name for Tupperware, and Avon pusher
10. Bank Teller 
11.Real estate agent - Loved this job, mostly the "caravan" weekly visits to the companies new listings.
12. Small business bookkeeper
13. Self employed bookkeeper
14. Online retail shop owner
15. Fill in secretary/office support

Now why can't I find a job?
What about you?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

List 2

Another list inspired by  and the book Listography Journal: Your Life in Lists .
Places you've lived:
1. my parents home -  the typical 60's built tri-level suburban family home. Lisle, Illinois
2. honeymoon cottage - actually a single wide mobile outside of the Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.
3. cozy furnished apartment - the building probably pre-dated the Civil War, I'm sure the furniture was older than WWI, the neighbors were "southern" crazy, the wildlife (cockroaches) unbearable. Shreveport, Louisiana
4. family apartment - one kiddo, 2 bedrooms in this nondescript but wildlife free apartment complex. Shreveport, Louisiana
5. Moving on up - kiddo 2, three bedroom rambler, in a neighborhood of young families moving in and out as per Air Force transfers. down side, B52's nearby on standby (end of Vietnam) Bossier City, Louisiana
6. my parents home - veerry short lived
7. Swinging Singles Apartment - we, married with 2 little kids. inexpensive sub-let with a great view of a lake and tiny ski hill. Lisle, Illinois
8. Our first purchased home - 1920's standard well built 2 story with tons of oak woodwork, floors, real plaster walls, postage stamp lot....15 years and 4 kids didn't wear this beauty out. rapidly changing neighborhood in Aurora Illinois.
9.Temporary rental - The leaking roof, suspicious mold,  mini kitchen, and barely room to breath bedrooms, did not detract from the gorgeous area we transplanted our selves into. Bellingham Washington
10. The end of the road - No foreseeable plans to move from our acre with views. nestled in a valley with our small orchard, veggie gardens and chickens, pretty close to living the dream. Deming Washington

Where have you lived?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

List 1

In honor of the nasty rainy weather, my ribcage aching, mind fogging, whine inducing cold and a moment of lucidity, I thought I'd post a list. I unashamedly stole this idea from a blog I follow, seemed like a good one so here we go.

Pets I've had
  1. Goldfish and or turtles, I really can't remember which but I do remember that the snails added to the bowl for cleaning purposes were a fascination until watching them made me throw up. Nice
  2. Misty the big stupid cuddly dog. She was the only one that understood my teenage angst.
  3. Daisy the cat. Not being a cat family, this stray stole out hearts and peed all over the house, think she was really a he and was acting out on it's name choice. Prematurely met a car he/she didn't like.
  4. Tina as in Ike and.. Our first pet as a married couple. She was a stray white terrier that someone had penned "Devil" on her tummy, this may have been why she was a stray. She turned out to be a good dog  when the kids came along, and only behaved like her first name when she was required to obey.
  5. Sandy the Golden Retriever. Best pet at our house award!  Kid pillow, jogging buddy, fierce sounding watch dog, best friend. She would retrieve anything including basketballs, fire crackers and an o.l.d deer carcass. She died too soon of lymphoma at 16.
  6. Butch Chuckins aka Butchy. Part Lab part Retriever, part scaredy cat. Sweet and loveable a great companion for Sandy. Would follow anyone anywhere, we had to go get him from the elementary school once or twice and when our kids were getting less interested in pets he adopted the neighbor girl and let her dress him up in all kinds of humiliating clothes. He was a talker and would greet us each morning with a WHOOwhoo whoo. But scared?? he was terrified of water, even walk towards the hose and he was gone, he left the fire crackers to Sandy and found any tiny spot he could crawl into at the first bang. Miss him greatly, He lived with us for 12 years.
  7. Fiona and Rebel the cats. We were petless (except for the fun filled Tiger, dessert gehko) and the boys begged for cats and as luck would have it a friend had a litter. We came home with Fiona a blue cream calico and a year later same momma had another litter and we were begged to nurse the runt, she wouldn't eat and mom had disappeared (likely dead) We took her and another for her company, she hated the formula wanted to chew the nipple not suck and we were worried. Finally we were feeding the other cats some peices of cheddar that we were grating and Rebel ate it and the rest is FAT CAT history. Saved by Cheese. Sister cat LC lives with our granddaughter.
  8. too many chickens to count and thats alright cause they aren't my pets and 1 turkey, all are entertaining to watch but touch (pet) them? NOT ME.

just for fun I made this word cloud. check out to make your own.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I love a theatrical sky what can be more spectacular? 

for more beautiful skies from around the world:

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

how dare you wake me!

its only fair to wake her from her nap - she wakes us all several times during the night, I'm sure, for fun.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

SOCC 9/4

silhouette of the grapes on grape leaf

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hydrangea - Macro

I almost missed capturing my beautiful hydrangeas.
By the time I got around to it they had been chewed on a bit,
but the color is still just as vivid. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shades of Gold

Not quite sunset but a beautiful reflection of the sun.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to the 80's

Seriously, the 80's kinda passed me by. In the music department anyway. I had 4 kids at home, 2 were born in the 80's and I just didn't have time to listen to the radio for all the newest top 40's. I did have time for Sesame Street, Scooby Doo, the Flintstones and my favorite..General Hospital. That being said, when I was offered a free ticket to see Rick Springfield in concert I jumped on it, not for "Jesse's Girl" or any other?? of his musical hits but because he played NOAH DRAKE on GH.
I know pathetic huh? I'm the same person that stood in line for an hour and a half to get an autograph and photo with Marie Osmond. I admit to being occasionally star struck. My conclusion, Rick - Larger than life on the small screen - regular guy in real life but pretty amazing on the guitar. Should have listened to the radio in the 80's I would have enjoyed singing along with the other grandmas.

click here for more photos of Rick's show

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sky Watch Friday - 8/20/10

I couldn't decide which photo of the sunset last month
 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado is my favorite
 so I thought I'd post them all, enjoy.

see more beautiful skies from all over the word at

Friday, August 13, 2010

Skywatch Friday - August Sunset

to see beautiful skies from around the world click here
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Favorite Photos from Our Road Trip 2010

My favorite photos from our 7 state, 5 National Park, 4300 mile, ROAD TRIP.
click on photos to enlarge
 Dusk in the Blue Mountains Oregon
 Lavender Field near Salt Lake City, Utah

 nearing Springdale, UT the entrance to Zion national Park
 Red paved roads in Springdale
from our lodge in Springdale
 Zion National Park
 River Walk Trail, Zion NP

 Virgin River, Zion NP
 Virgin River Narrows 
Leaving Zion National Park
 sunset in Page, AZ
Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, AZ
Buffalo near North Rim of The Grand Canyon 
The Grand Canyon from the north rim

my boys

a short ride on the historic Route 66 in Flagstaff. 
 Sedona, AZ

 Leaving Sedona

We'll be Back Sedona

New Mexico

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Cliff Dwellings - How did they do that and WHY??

from the mesa

Entering Great Sand Dune National Park, Colorado
The dunes

Estes Park CO
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

a lone moose (if he had a friend would they be moosen, meece, mooses?)
 Sunset in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Jed made friends in Wyoming

Back home in BEAUTIFUL Washington
(outside Leavenworth on HWY 2)

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