Wicked and What I’ve Been Eating Lately

Well, hello there! How are you doing my friends? I am just fine over here. I had an incredibly relaxing weekend full of family and friends.

Oh, I suppose I haven’t filled you in on my Thursday evening yet either.

On Thursday, I went to the Orpheum in Minneapolis to see Wicked!! It was Dana and me, mom and dad, and Kevin. Please excuse the blurry photo–it was raining and people were pouring out behind me so I had to take a walking photo.

wcked

 

wicked with family

dana melanie wicked orpheum

 

This was my first time going to see Wicked and holy cow….I get what all of the hype is about! It was funny, the story was great, the music was phenomenal, and the acting was wonderful. It was amazing! So now I can say to you, if you haven’t seen Wicked yet you MUST go see it at some point! You won’t regret it!

Moving on to some food photos. I have a whole slew of random photos of food I have been eating over the last week or so. When I say random, I mean random.

PB and J on regular whole wheat bread (I just had to have it although I’m still trying to mostly stay clear of gluten), carrots, and a pickle.

pb and jelly

Homemade veggie soup. I decided not to share this recipe with you all because the soup is just ok to me. I’m really hoping I get creative in the kitchen this week so I have something nummy to share with you all. I have been slacking!

veggie soup

I’ve really been into the cottage cheese lately. I found that I really like Organic Valley’s 4% cottage cheese. I love it on salads, with veggies, by itself, and with crackers.

cottage cheese

IMG_4251

 

One weeknight I made a big batch of stir-fry veggies over quinoa.

stir fry with quinoa

The next day I used the leftover veggies in a southwestern stye dish with veggies, black beans, avocado, cheddar cheese, and salsa. I really enjoyed this one!

black beans veggies salsa

On Friday night after work, Dana built us a fire in our fireplace. It was a chilly night and it felt so nice and cozy to sit in front of the fire and take care of bills, Halloween costumes, etc. FYI Moose is not a fan of the fires, especially when the logs fall and make crashing noises. He is so ready to bolt in this photo below.

fireplace dana moose

Neither of us really felt like cooking on Friday night, so we cheated and picked up a ready-made meatloaf from Costco. All we had to do was reheat it in the oven. It was good, but not as good as homemade. It was nice to not cook though!

mashed potatoes and meatloaf

 

I’m missing a bunch of food photos. On Sunday our friends had us over for French onion soup (my fav) and chopped salads and they were both SO good. We finished lunch off with homemade apple bars. I felt so spoiled!

Throughout the weekend I think I watched at least 10 episodes of New Girl Season One on Netflix. I can’t believe it took me so long to get into this show. Thanks Luke! 🙂 I also slept a lot and got some walks in on the treadmill (it was a pretty rainy weekend here).

It was perfectly relaxing. I actually feel well-rested after this weekend which feels nice.

How was your weekend? What was your favorite thing you did?

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Yesterday the last bit of snow in our yard had finally melted. Today, I woke up to this…

april snow

Mother nature has decided to prolong our winter a bit longer around here and we are faced with some more snow. Instead of getting upset about it, I am trying my darndest to embrace it. I had forewarning that it was coming so I was at least able to “prepare” myself for it, but it still hurts a little bit to see the ground covered in white.

But, there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it. So I’m trying not to let it ruin my day.

It’s kind of like life. Sometimes life throws you a few inches of snow in April. We are all faced with ups and downs and curveballs along the way. We can choose to sulk and get dragged down by the downfalls, or we can choose a positive attitude and make the most of the situation.

To embrace the weather we decided to make a fire in the fireplace. I honestly didn’t think we would be having any more of these this spring but last night I figured, why not, it’s cold enough outside and it would make for a cozy evening.

Yup, this is a real scene of an April evening.

fireplace fireplace

moose

What else do you think of when you think of a perfect cozy evening? Homemade soup of course! I had a package of frozen butternut squash that I roasted in the oven with onion and garlic.

butternut squash soup butternut squash soup

Once it was roasted I added it to a soup pot, added bone broth, and some spices, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I then used my immersion blender to puree the soup. I ladled the soup into a couple of bowls, topped them with fresh cilantro, and that was it. This soup is so incredibly easy.

butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup
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Ingredients
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 small garlic cloves (or 3 large ones)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (you can substitute with soy sauce)
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder *optional
  • a sprinkle of nutmeg
  • fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you have a roasting option, select roast.
  2. Spray one large baking pan with olive oil. Place squash, onion, and garlic on the pan and spread into one layer. Spritz top with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer to soup pot.
  5. Turn stove top to low. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Stir, bring to a simmer and cover.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh cilantro.

 

An outdoor workout is not in the cards today. I’m going to continue to “embrace” the snow situation as best as I can and lace up my shoes and hit the treadmill downstairs. Spring WILL make its appearance again and it WILL stick around soon. I am not losing hope.

Life WILL have its ups and downs but I refuse to let the lows keep me low. Keep your head up, be thankful for a new day, and make the most of a less than perfect situation.

Question: How do you stay positive?