Barefoot by the Sea

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm Back and it's the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

It's been a while, I know. I took an impromptu break. It wasn't planned, it wasn't on purpose and to be honest, I had good intentions. I would try out a new recipe and intend to post, I would take some great photos and want to share but then, after a full day of running all over the place, I just wasn't feeling it. I was tired. I was ready to relax and I just wasn't feeling it. So, I shut the computer off and hoped for a better day. Truth is, a couple days off turned into over a week! Do you ever loose your (for lack of better words) blogging mojo? I sort of lost it but now I'm back thanks to the Wednesday Hodegpodge. This introspective exercise helps motivate me to think and share. Plus, it's so fun to link up and read other's answers. Come join the fun!  

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now? Always Sitting Around in the car waiting for People. Does that count? I'm in the car a lot these days. Heading to school to drop off and pick up the kids, bringing them to activities and heading to work. Now my kids are busy with theater and gymnastics. It's a lot and I'm in the car the better part of the day lately! 

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no? I'm somewhere in between. I may have an idea right away but don't necessarily share it ASAP! 

3. What do you remember best about being 12? That was the year we built our house. We moved in with my grandmother (Babci) and she lived right next to a farm. They had goats and all summer long I hung out with my goat friends, picked dandelions and rode my banana seat bike all over the place. It was fun and I felt adventurous. My grandmother's property was lined with blackberries so I spent hours in the July sun picking and eating. The farmer even let me pick rhubarb! Now my oldest daughter is 12! 

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. Sometimes I'm a Tigger (especially after too much coffee), I get excited and enjoy running around and getting things done. Sometimes I'm an Eeyore because it's easy (especially in the doldrums of Winter) to feel sad or get down in light of what's happening in the world. Quite frankly sometimes, I'm Pooh. I do love honey! Honestly I think those characters are so relate-able because they are a little in all of us!  

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? I love my FitBit app, it holds me accountable.

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL) have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why? That's a tough one! I'd love to go to San Francisco...I've always wanted to ride the trolleys and visit Alcatraz. I think I'd pick Sanibel though, it looks amazing!
7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? Elizabeth Mitchell...I played her music into the ground when my girls were younger. Perfect for naptime, carrides and snuggles. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Veggie Spaghetti Pie #Easy Meals

Here we are, 2017! I've been reading a lot lately about having a clean slate and a whole year ahead of us which is very exciting indeed. Ask any mother about what it's like to send your kids back to school after a couple weeks of Christmas festivities and many are less than enthusiastic. Am I alone here? Since Thanksgiving we were looking ahead to the holidays and they're gone almost as quickly as they came! So we're slowly pulling ourselves out of our over-sugared stupor and getting back into a routine. It's easier said than done. In many ways, January feels a lot like September to me. Looking ahead to several months of school and work with a few breaks in between but knowing new activities, projects, homework and commitments are not far behind. My oldest has started back quickly with a pile of homework and theater practice so we're not easing back into it as easily as I had hoped.

All that to say, I'm always searching for an easy weeknight dinner that will please everyone that will be easy on time and money. Welcome Spaghetti Pie! I whipped this up quickly the other day and the kids loved it. This dish is warm and comforting after a long day. I originally found this recipe over it Weelicious and modified it so that everyone in my house could enjoy it. I made this without cheese but it was simple enough to top my husbands with a little parmesan after it had been baked.  I love that this is a one dish meal, are used whole wheat pasta, a lower sodium spaghetti sauce, veggies and lots of Italian herbs. The egg adds extra protein so you get a little bit everything in this dish! The fact that it took me a little time to prepare it and only 30 minutes to bake? It's a win-win! 

Veggie Spaghetti Pie
If someone asked me my family's top 10 recipes without a doubt Spaghetti Pie would be one of them. First of all, anything with the word “pie” in the title is an easy sell with kids and adults. Now add the word spaghetti and you’ve got an exacta!...
  • 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked, about 1/2 package
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon italian herbs
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  1. 2. Place the cooked spaghetti in a bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  1. 3. Add the eggs to spaghetti and stir to mix well.
  1. 4. Place the spaghetti mixture into a greased deep-dish pie plate and spread to make a “pie crust”.
  1. 5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, red bell peppers, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft.
  1. 6. Pour the tomato sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine.
  1. 7. Spread the vegetable mixture and finally, top the italian herbs
  1. 9. Place dish on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  1. 10. Cool, cut into wedges and serve.
  2. 11. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

  1. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

First Hodgepodge of the New Year!

Happy 2017! Hope you're rested from an amazing Christmas break. I'm feeling ready to get back to blogging a bit! 

Welcome to the first Hodgepodge of 2017! Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks the questions. Come join the fun
1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. I cherish the feeling we have on Christmas Eve. We read the Christmas story and the girls get in their Christmas pajamas. The house is quiet and calm, yet full of excitement. 

2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it? I love our Christmas breakfast. When I was younger, we had homemade biscuits with an assortment of jam, fresh fruit and brie. We continue this tradition and absolutely love it. It's simple but so good. 

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays? I saw my girls holding hands when we went out looking at Christmas lights. It was effortless and made my heart so joyful. I also saw the excitement they had in GIVING this year. They gave to one another whole hardheartedly and with so much happiness. That in itself was a gift. 
4. What does fresh start mean to you? Having a whole year ahead of me and a blank calendar means new memories to make with our family. A new year of hope and promise. 

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain. I feel like 2016 was a 7. I worked a bit more, and tried to focus on our family without loosing myself in that process. I've made a bit more time for my friends without compromising what is most important to me. I've tried to say more of what I mean without apologizing and in general, am working on living a more honest and real life. It's a journey but slowly, I'm getting there! 

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before. Here's the 2017 list of banished words- You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruptionWhich word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list? I find the idea of selfies a bit irritating when overused. So, the development of handing selfie shots off to a drone? No thanks, I'm good. 

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. I want to expand our garden a bit and plant raspberry bushes. Seems achievable. I also want to look towards the "now" with hope and optimism. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Hodgepodge - the last one of 2016!

It's the last Hodgepodge of 2016! Come join the fun - because, we all have a ton of time this week right ;)? This may or may not be my last post for 2016. My girls are getting older, I want to enjoy every little blessed minute with our family. It's bittersweet looking at their Christmas photos throughout the years! 

I hope you're all off to a wonderful week so far !

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? A little wrapping (I'm waiting for a couple gifts to come in), some grocery shopping. We also have to watch a few of our beloved Christmas specials! 

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? I do love a snow day, being warm and cozy inside after a day of sledding and/or shoveling.  

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. I'm not the greatest, most experienced cook. I tend to stick to what I know. One goal for 2017 is to step out of my comfort zone a bit, maybe even take a cooking class. We have a Stonewall Kitchen cooking school nearby, that would be fun! 

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? Believing in my children. They are good people, they make smart decisions. I need to trust in that. 

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? I'm not a shrimp fan so alas, no crustaceans for our holiday feast! 

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? The sound of ocean waves. 

7. What one word best describes your 2016? Crazy - the political campaign season was one I'll never forget. Living in New Hampshire we had a very interesting year! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Merry Christmas my friends! 
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