Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cranberry Orange Butternut Squash Noodles

Someday I'm going to start a non food blog.  I've decided it's going to be called "The Little Things".  Or, something along those lines because I'm sure that name has been claimed.  I love it though because I find great joy in the little things in life.  I think it's important to notice them and recognize them.  That being said, I had a pretty amazing week last week full of "little" things.  It all started on Sunday morning.  Josh and I almost always go grab breakfast at our favorite Mexican restaurant before church and enjoy some breakfast tacos.  Instead of date night, we have date morning and I love it.  Anyway, there was another couple sitting at a table nearby and they asked if we were from Kansas.  As I looked down thinking I had totally lost it and forgot to change out of my KState sweats for church he mentioned he noticed our license plate.  In case you're keeping track, that's the second person who has noticed our out of state license plate and said something about it and welcomed us to Texas.  I think it's going to be my new go to move for trying to be kind.  I mean, seriously, it is a good way to welcome people!  Anyway, we talked a bit, but then went about our eating.  When we went to leave, they had paid for our breakfast!  I'm telling you, the nicest people live here.  And, I really think that's saying a lot because the Midwest is pretty stinkin' friendly as well. 
While that completely made my day that's not the end of my fantastic Sunday.  We headed to church and turns out I was in for a delightful sermon.  One of the assistant pastors was teaching.  Don't get me wrong, I love our pastor.  However, when Austin preaches, I'm really all ears.  Allow me to paint a little picture for you.   Actually, just look at this one. 
I think we can all agree Mr. Mcconaughey is not only good looking, but his voice is unlike any other. (Cue the radio ad for beef he did.  Yowzas.)  It's his smooth, southern, sexy voice that makes you just want to close your eyes and listen.  Well, his voice double was preaching right here in Temple, TX and it was glorious.  Can I get an amen?!

Just those two items on Sunday were enough to make a girl thankful, but it got even better later in the week when I tried out my new SPIRALIZER.  If you follow me on Instagram you know my excitement.  Yes, I'm that girl who always posts food picture and no, I will never apologize for it. 
I would like to introduce you to the new item that you should all go buy immediately.

It looks intimidating, but it's super easy to use.  I first heard about it from and it's been on my wish list for months.  Once I went gluten free I knew I just had to try it.  You can find it here.
I made cranberry orange butternut squash noodles.  Honestly, I would not have picked this recipe except for the fact that when I decided to use my spiralizer I needed a recipe that I already had all the ingredients for.  Otherwise, I would have looked at it and thought it would be too sweet for me.  WRONG.  It was superb!  So delicious, in fact, that I made it again that night for dinner.  I was so excited I literally had visions of throwing a Spiralizer party.  I'm cool like that.  (Can you say, nerd alert?!)
Cranberry Orange Butternut Squash Noodles
Recipe from:

For the glaze:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cranberry juice (I used 100% pure apple juice because I had some leftover from another recipe)
1 cup cranberries (I used a mix of cranberries and currants and used a little less than this recipe calls for to cut down on sugar)
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from your orange
salt and pepper, to taste
For the rest:
1 butternut squash, peeled and made into noodles
cooking spray
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pecans
honey, to drizzle (I didn't do this as I didn't feel it needed it)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a medium saucepan over high heat and place in all of the ingredients for the orange-cranberry glaze. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until sauce thickens and liquids reduce. When done, turn off the heat, pour into a bowl and let thicken as it cools.
While the glaze is cooking, get ready to bake your noodles. Place them in a baking tray coated with cooking spray. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Once the glaze is done and you've turned off the heat and set it aside in a bowl, bake the noodles for 5-7 minutes or until noodles wilt and become soft. Remove from the oven and pour into a serving bowl.
Then, in one of the baking trays used, add in the pecans. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven for 3 minutes.
While the pecans are roasting, stir your glaze and pour it on top of your noodles, carefully. Once the pecans are done, place them on top of the glazed noodles.
Before serving, toss the noodles, glaze and pecans so that the glaze coats all of the noodles.

That's it!  It really was very simple and oh so tasty!

This picture is ugly (okay, even uglier than my pics usually are), but I also made some zucchini noodles with black beans, tomatoes, peppers and plantains on top a couple days later.  I felt super fancy and it was so yummy.  You all will come to my Spiralizer party, right?!  I'll share this recipe later because you all need some time to go buy your own noodle maker!
In case you're wondering, my amazing little things streak did end yesterday.  No worries, my life is still very blessed, but I did want to snap at the Lulu sales chick that was making me crazy.  Here's the deal.  In my mind, the perfect salesperson at a retail store greets you and then hangs out in sight somewhere so that should I need you I can find you and ask a question.  Until then, back off.  I'm a big girl who can make my own decisions.  I'll ask you if I care for your input.  I am not kidding when I say, everything I touched she had a comment for.
Oh, those ear warmers are the best.  You know they have a reflective trim?  (I held back my angry eyes by not looking at her when spoke to me hoping she'd get the hint)
That jacket is soooo great.  It even has a hood.  Super perfect for a rainy day like today. (I'm sorry, what part of me as I read the tag that says it's a water resistant jacket made me look like I was still in question?)
Those shorts are fabulous.  Can I start you a fitting room? (No, you can't because they aren't my size and just because I touch something doesn't mean I want it or want your help!)
Don't worry.  I didn't really respond with those answers.  I was polite, but come on!  Anyway, instead of going to Lulu you should go to Amazon and buy a Spiralizer so you can make this recipe!  Enjoy!

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