Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Show-stopping and spaghetti casserole

Okay so technically no show was getting stopped... but in honor of our Broadway evening that seemed a little classier of a title to use... while still keeping it real. Mom, sister and I made an impromptu appearance at the last weekend of the traveling Lion King show while it was in town... it was pure fabulousness. I freaking love musicals.. particularly ones where i can and do occasionally sing the entire musical score from the comfort of my own shower (a whole new world anyone?)
In other recent events, the other day I happened upon a dessert that literally knocked my socks off. First of all... I am weak. Pomegranite seeds are too delicious to not be fully taken advantage of when in season, despite their price tag for a singular piece of fruit. Below is a mixture of NF plain yogurt, pure maple syrup, dark chocolate chips and pom seeds. Trust me, once you have this you will never want your unnecessary sugar intake any other way. socks... knocked.. off.It is cold, I have been fretting about all kinds of things (school, loans, work, global warming, how badly i need to exfoliate in the winter, will denim jackets ever come back in style? etc.) and nothing can replace the joy derived from comfort food. An old standby in our house growing up was spaghetti casserole. I realize many families have a variation, after all it is just baked spaghetti with cream cheese. For the self induced health food guilt I often have when I go to all the trouble of actually cooking something, I attempted to healthify it a bit-- although I didn't quite go all the way. For instance instead of using the enriched white flour varity, I opted for whole wheat organic spaghetti noodles. I used all natural sauce and lean ground turkey burger instead of beef. However... I could've gone all of the way and used soy crumbles and fake cream cheese. The particular grocery store I was at wasn't very health-food friendly and an entirely separate shopping excursion would've removed some of the comfort aspect of the dish. I give this meal a solid B, for better than it used to be, but barely improved.

Spaghetti Casserole:
  • one container cream cheese (it was reduced fat, does that count?)
  • one container spaghetti sauce
  • 3/4 package spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 lb lean turkey meat
  • 1/2 cup love (secret ingredient)

cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and mix in 1/2 the bottle of sauce. Brown the turkey meat, drain, and then add 1/4 bottle of sauce. Spread noodle mix into baking pan. Soften cream cheese and spread onto noodle mixture. Top with turkey/spaghetti mix and pour the remaining sauce over the top. My mom usually sprinkles parm on the top before baking, 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Easy peasy and total comfort deliciousness.

sooooo delicious.. doesn't cheese just make everything better? *sigh*

another comfort food basic that i vamped up a bit the other day was the 'ole PB & J. I used almond butter and some all natural berry jelly. The kicker was the pom seeds though. I sprinked them on and each bite had a burst of juicy seeds and tangy juice (that's right.. tangy). Completely amazing.

In other news there isn't a lot going on in my kitchen. This week I've had a smorgasboard of free meals. Between Sunday funday at a local brewery, being treated to lunch by a vendor I use at work, and hosting all sorts of catered meals for work events this week I am having an excess of food.
*warning political rant coming in 5......4......3.....2.....
soo.... my brother who works in DC walked past Hillary Clinton yesterday in a hallway and I am still ridiculously jealous. I fully realize that she is a polarizing figure for a lot of people (and to a certain extent... to each his own), but to me she nothing short of a brillant and competant female who is fully deserving of the respect and admiration I have for her. Last year on SNL's weekend update Tina Fey put it best: 'a lot of people think Hillary is a bitch..... and she is. but guess what? So am I, and so is she (ponts to amy phoeler) ...but guess what? Bitches get shit done.
Amen sister.