Hello my friends! It has been less long this time, so I consider that a win! I had a test yesterday (and I have one Monday), so naturally I’m here to blog!

Today, I’m going to share a ridiculously easy salad recipe, a fast way to make delicious butternut squash, and then do some food updates.

First, Jackson update! He’s now just over 6 pounds and is in a growth spurt. He’s eating a ton, and gained nearly a pound in the last week! He’s still a lean little guy though! He’s also currently right at my side, thinking about pouncing on the keyboard. He and my roommate’s dog have started playing together, which is adorable! He loves her toys, and she likes his as well! I think the majority of his baby teeth are gone; all his baby fangs came out. I actually found one of them embedded in the arm of my sweatshirt, because in this face he likes to grab onto my arm. (His 2 favorite ‘toys’ are my arm and my iPad, which is clearly very conducive to studying.) He also LOVES human food, and regularly gets his tongue in whatever I’m making the second I turn around. It’s a work in progress…

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OKAY. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the salad!

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It’s super simple. Are you ready?

  • kale/lettuce
  • “roasted” butternut squash
  • aged cheddar
  • egg over easy
  • balsamic vinaigrette

So how do I cook the squash? We all know I’m a tad lazy and impatient in the kitchen. If I can’t have it on the table in 20 minutes, I’m probably not doing it. My butternut squash hack is to microwave it (with a little bit of water) until it’s soft; this works for whole squashes, or pre-cut cubes. When it’s soft, sauté it up in a pan with a little oil, until it’s brown and crispy. Basically all of the deliciousness of roasted butternut squash in a fraction of the time! I’ve been doing that meal quite a bit!

What else have I been eating?

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On nights I’ve had more time, I’ve roasted sweet potatoes. Side salad of kale rubbed in olive oil spray and balsamic vinegar, with parmesan and dried cranberries. Plus and egg.

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Rosemary apple grilled cheese in Santa Cruz.

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Another amazing eat from Santa Cruz: Penny’s Ice Cream. My college roommate literally talked this place up for YEARS, and we never made it over there. Finally, I went with my vet school friends and it was delicious! I got dark chocolate sorbet with toasted marshmallow fluff on top!

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This is another meal I’ve had a couple of times. Butternut squash (cooked as described above) with Mexican cheese stirred in. Plus a side salad with AMAZING aged balsamic vinegar, a spray of olive oil, salt and pepper, goat cheese, and dried cranberries.

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Same salad but with a sweet potato.

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Salad with grilled chicken, bear, and goat cheese.

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The above dessert was one of the better ideas I’ve had in a while! I was craving something fruity for dessert, so I tossed fresh blackberries with some honey, and then topped them with Flapjacked Oatmeal Cookie mix (which is the one cookie mix I haven’t used much because it doesn’t have chocolate), and then microwaved it!

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Salad with goat cheese and blueberries.

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Chocolate Halo Top with salted caramel sauce.

And now I have to run off to a spin class! Have a great weekend!

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