Pan-Fried Brussel Sprouts & Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Tomato Sauce!

The first week of recommendations month is always a bit of wrapping up bits and pieces.  So no one recommended these recipes but I just happened to have made them on Sunday.

Sunday night I was on cooking duty which pretty much took me just right up till the Oscars began.

My challenge was with two ingredients in two dishes: brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash. After rummaging through Pinterest, I finally decided on doing the Pan-fried brussel sprouts as the spaghetti squash needed the oven to cook.

pan fried brussel sprouts

Pan fried brussel sprouts

The recipe for that is right here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pan-fried-brussels-sprouts/

I’m just learning about the world of brussel sprouts.  I did another recipe before HERE! That was pretty good too. This was is quite simple to do and honestly, I added all the ingredients as I felt it was necessary and its pretty good.  If you want, it always seems to suggest to add some meat to it to add to the flavor. Since this was done early, my mom decided to reheat it in the pan a bit with some chicken broth.  The result was very good 🙂

Moving on to the second dish, by the time the brussel sprouts were done, the spaghetti squash was almost done and I need to prepare the sauteed tomato sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Tomato Sauce

Originally, the recipe I have here is for a “gremolata”, which they say is this herb condiment with parsley, lemon zest and garlic.  I can’t called this a gremolata because I didn’t have fresh lemons hence, no peel. I ended up making the sauce only.

Here is the recipe: http://www.afamilyfeast.com/spaghetti-squash-gremolata/

I made only one modification in this (other than not doing the gremolata).  If you look at the recipe it says yellow tomato, but I used yellow peppers.  I’m not exactly sure what a yellow tomato is…

Still, this was really good.  I liked the tomato sauce with it and it gave a really good flavor.  I used the leftovers for the next two days with a bit of rigatoni pasta and brought it for lunch 🙂 When I have lemons next time, I’d definitely try to make the gremolata and see how that tastes!

strawberries

Strawberries

I ended the dinner with some delicious strawberries as dessert! Healthy and awesome! 🙂

How do you make brussel sprouts? Have you had gremolata before? How do you like your spaghetti squash (if you like it at all)?

Christmas, Boxing Day and Family Times!

I finally forced myself to sit down and write an actual post that can go up on the weekend on normal times.  As you already have noticed, Tranquil Dreams has been a bit off schedule.  Holidays tend to do that and I take the advantage to really rest up and recharge a bit, although work has suddenly become not so much of that as I’ll be the only one without the week off due to responsibilities.  Still, life is life and I can’t lose my job.

Aside from that, Netflix decided a week or so ago that January 1st would be the expiry day of BBC series Robin Hood so I’ve been working hard (and sleeping less) to try to finish all 3 seasons.

Robin Hood BBC

Of course, work or TV series doesn’t stop me from still enjoying the holidays and spending time with family. If you missed my Christmas Eve celebrations, you can find it right HERE!

Christmas was special this year because my mom invited two of her very good friends and I didn’t only get to invite my boyfriend but also his parents.  I love them to bits and they are awesome so spending Christmas with them makes me so much happier also!

Full of food!

Full of food!

So, what do we have here? Fruit salad, Vegetable Salad, Lamb, Shepherd’s Pie, Steamed Salmon, Spaghetti Squash (recipe HERE) and veggie stir-fry. Mega delicious, my friends!

Our dessert!

Our dessert!

And then for dessert, my mom made her walnut cake and her friends brought homemade peanut-filled glutinous rice balls.  So yummy! 🙂

How about some of my decorations?

Ribbons and my Grade 1 Christmas decoration

Ribbons and my Grade 1 Christmas decoration

 

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus in full bloom

My little Christmas tree and some real Christmas cards (other our from previous years)

My little Christmas tree and some real Christmas cards (other our from previous years)

Yeah, my mom likes to use decoy.  We used to have fake boxes to pose as presents when we had a huge Christmas tree.  Now we can’t do that so we just put Christmas cards.

Christmas group picture! :)

Christmas group picture! 🙂

Lovely picture, I’d say! 🙂

So what happens after Christmas? Thats right! 1pm, December 26th is my date with Boxing Day! I went by myself to Walmart and some clothes shops and then my friend managed to get off work early so he joined me and we did our Future Shop, Best Buy, Adidas and Puma outlet! I did some other shopping but I’ll reveal that later on 😉 It has a bit to do with my 2014 announcements which I’ve been not telling anyone.  I did Target and Michaels the day after.  Lets check out a part of what I got! 🙂

Shoes

Puma and Adidas shoes!

My casual walking shoes broke and leak when it rains so it was a matter time before I got a new pair and at 50% off for Adidas (on the right) and 60% off for Puma (on the left), these two pairs cost me $60 or something.  I also got a workout tank top at Puma and a sweater for my boyfriend that I don’t have here.

Movies!

Movies!

And then, these are my movie finds! I think I need a bigger shelf but looking at this, I’m rather happy with myself because now I can catch up with 2013 movies! This is the End was a hesitating one but then Dave at ccpopculture put it on his Top 20 HERE! My review will be coming up soon! I wanted to get Side Effects but it was sold out EVERYWHERE!

Aside from shoes and movies, I managed to get some dress pants and sweaters and a new perfume called DREAMS! 😉 They just needed to add Tranquil in front..haha! And that would probably smell like nothing and be called water.

And I finally cracked open my Limited Edition Oreos in the flavor of Gingerbread!

Gingerbread Oreos

Gingerbread Oreos

I officially declare these my FAVORITE oreos! I’m sorry Golden Oreos, you need to scoot aside because I think I’ll stock up another 2 packs and eat them “slowly”.

While I binge TV and eat oreos (and fruits), my cat was being her princess…

My cat sleeping on me and holding down one of my arms

My cat sleeping on me and holding down one of my arms

Can you see her sleeping?

Can you see her sleeping?

Oh yeah, I caught this at 4am the other night when I woke up because my cat somehow got between the covers and stuck her paw in my face.  The use of my nightlight at 4am when I needed to catch a picture with my phone.  LOL!

How was your Christmas? Any Boxing Day shopping? Did you go out and battle some people for amazing deals? Have you binge watched any TV series? Whats some more 2013 must-see movies?

Christmas Cooking: Spaghetti Squash

I think I’ll start a segment like that next year: experimenting with new ingredients…just need a catchy title. Let me think about it! Since thats what I’ve been trying to put together and decide on: what to keep and what to let go of/add on for 2014.  While my mind is occupied with this, I figured Christmas is over but right now is a great time to have Spaghetti Squash and I think its pretty awesome.

I always try to help out a bit with any house party or celebration.  This year, I decided to make Spaghetti Squash the week before and bought the squash itself and placed it on the kitchen counter so that there was no backing out of it.  Here’s what it looked like:

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

The recipe for this is right here: http://www.vanilleverte.com/creamy-curried-spaghetti-squash/

I did make a few modifications.  I didn’t prepare in advance so I didn’t have any soaked overnight cashews to blend so I skipped that process completely and just put everything else together and simmered it for just a little pit in the pan, put in the squash, so that it would seep the taste into the squash and then that was it.  I didn’t want to make the squash all mushy, because then it wouldn’t be so nice to bite.

Aside from that, I don’t know what the difference would be but I popped it into the oven without taking out the seeds and in wrong way, after revising the instructions (oops!) but still, it turned out pretty good.  I think they only thing it did was made it a little drier in some strands but you can easily remove it and still have plenty for the final dish.

Its a delicious and healthy replacement for spaghetti or even just as a vegetable dish. The broth really gives its a taste and everything matches well with each other. Its keeps its simple but still very tasty.

Have you tried making Spaghetti Squash? How did you make it?