Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Gypsy

Mom and Claire headed out on the town. We decided to save money and bring our own our to-go cups. Claire picked up a sucker at the post office. Why were we at the post office? We decided to do the right thing send that really cute shirt to my Aunt for her b-day, instead of greedily keep it to ourselves :)

We stumbled upon a gypsy market while we were downtown. Why were we downtown? To find an interesting object for me to draw...we got a little sidetracked.

There were bagpipes. Along with lots of beautiful art. But as a rule I don't take pictures of other people's art because I don't want their ideas to get stolen! It's an artist thing ;)

I could live with fall weather + scenery forever.

Even dead stuff looks pretty!

After scouring all the antique and knick nack shops of downtown and finding nothing interesting for me to draw, I finally decided to just draw the antique style key I had at home. Pictures later :) I did get a little present downtown...again pictures later.

We stopped at the food co-op for some specialty food for me to test out a new recipe...scroll down for a sneak peek.

We then went to Target and Mom was quite generous and took out a 3rd mortgage on the house to buy me some essentials :) (Black pants, jeans, laundry basket...etc. It adds up fast.)

Then we stopped at Cub Foods because I had a sudden fall food craving attack. Please tell me you know what I wanted...

Buttah-nut squash...I cooked it pretty much exactly like the directions told me to...after taking some pictures that is.

Worst part about making squash? Cutting it in half. Ugh. I need to lift weights more often or something!

I rubbed on a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkled some cinnamon and nutmeg on the squash. Then I put it in a 9x13 baking dish with 1/4 cup water and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (when I could poke it with a fork I took it out. I wanted mine a little crunchier today usually I cook it for 45-55 minutes, make sure to check often since it's easy to forget and let it burn to a crisp!)

Since the oven was already going to be on for 40 minutes I made a low-impact choice and decided to make multiple dishes at once. Instead of turning the oven on 3 separate times, I only turned it on once! There were at least 2 things cooking in the oven for all 40 minutes it was on :)

I also decided not to throw away the butternut squash seeds, but to use them! The only waste created by this butternut squash was the top and the gooey innards.

Cinnamon Butternut Squash Seeds


-Seeds from a butternut squash
-Olive Oil spray or just plain olive oil

Scoop seeds from butternut squash and take off large chunks of squash innards. Once seeds are relatively clean (no need to rinse or anything the leftover gooeyness from the innards adds a nice flavor) add them to a cooking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Coat seeds evenly with cinnamon and nutmeg. Add an even sprinkle (I mean just a sprinkle) of salt. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Make sure to check often as they burn easily!

Now let me tell you, I hated, and I use that word rarely, I mean really HATED everything associated with squash. The seeds were bland in a bad way (I have a thing for bland foods). And squash itself was just disgusting in every way, the texture, the taste, blehhh (I think it might be because my mom always wanted me to eat mashed squash...which I would love now but back then it triggered my gag reflex).

These are NOT bland. I think I may have put a tough too much salt of them...but they were still pretty darn good. I loved the salty taste with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. I wish I would have had more seeds to make more of these! I'm thinking up a Chex Mix recipe right now with these incorporated in...perfect for Christmastime. Yes I will extend my love of all things squash related all the way from fall to winter.

While these seeds were cooking I made up a little science experiment that looked like this...

More about that another day though :)

By now my squash was finally done, and it was time for Day 2 of the mega salad promise.

Another winner.

In the Mega Mix:
-Waldorf Salad (made by mom!)
-Butternut Squash
-Cinnamon Butternut Squash Seeds

While we were at Cub Foods we picked up a bag of grapes, only to discover upon bringing them home that they would soon be mush balls. So Mom decided to whip up a quick and easy Waldorf Salad to use them up fast.

Whipped Up Waldorf Salad

-3 cups grapes cut in half
-3 small granny smith apples, cubed (or two medium-large)
-1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
-1/4 cup mayo
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp sugar
-Salt and pepper to taste (I would have used cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger ;)


Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

The Waldorf Salad was good but Mom and I agree it would have been better with less lemon juice. She really only put the sugar in to counteract the sourness from the lemon juice. But it made for a really interesting taste in my salad!

Scooter of course watched and begged while I photographed.

Oh yeah we picked up a beeswax candle at the Gypsy market. They are supposed to naturally cleanse the air. And you know what?

They work! For only 75 cents this little candle made the living room nice and fresh. It didn't have an overpowering perfumey smell like most candles either. I want more!

Ok it is not creeping up on 4 o'clock...I can no longer procrastinate...I must begin my drawings!

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