Butternut Squash Lasagna

Sometimes you’re going to have a busy week and need something filling that can go a long way.  Butternut squash lasagna is your meal.  This butternut squash lasagna was not only filling, but reheats well, making it great leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.  Don’t be intimidated by  the number of steps, it is really easy to make (and easier to eat…).  I’m glad I took a break from sweet potatoes to make this lasagna and I love that I can be lazy efficient with my time by getting many meals out of this one dish. If you own one of the best vacuum sealer, saving the leftovers has never been easier.  Happy Meatless Monday!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

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Spaghetti Pie

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Around this time every year my company fundraises, usually with a bake sale or pot luck, for AIDS Walk Los Angeles. The walk takes place right in my neighborhood and raises millions of dollars every year to support AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). This is the 30th year that AIDS Walk has taken place in L. A. and I’ve been fortunate to participate the last five years. It’s incredibly fun (although waking up super early on a Sunday can be tough if you were out late drinking many of Sharde’s apple ginger cocktail the night before), and it always feels great to give back!

So where does spaghetti pie come in? It’s been the most requested dish for the last five years at our fundraising potlucks! It’s so easy, super affordable and must I mention yummy? And what’s more fun than food shaped like pie?!

 

If you’re interested in donating to AIDS Walk or learning more visit http://aidswalk.net/losangeles

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Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Chai Frosting

I love chai.  I don’t drink coffee, so my drink of choice is usually a hot chai.  I also love chocolate. However, I had not thought about combining the two until I took a tour of the Theo Chocolate factory when I was on vacation in Seattle a few weeks ago.  Yes, I got to take a tour of an actual chocolate factory! No, it was nothing like Willy Wonka, but we did get to eat A LOT of samples. Highly recommended.  Did you know chocolate is made from fermented, roasted, and ground seeds of a tree called the theobroma cacao (aka the chocolate tree)? Very similar to the process of making coffee beans. So interesting. And no, Theo is not sponsoring me to write this (I wish!). I just think they’re a cool company doing good things aside from making great chocolate. Now, back to these cupcakes.  After having the chocolate chai bar at Theo, I knew immediately I needed to put it on a cupcake.  When I think of chocolate icing for a cupcake, I automatically think yellow cake because yellow cake plus chocolate icing is the best.  Bold statement, I know.  Make these cupcakes with the chocolate chai icing and you won’t be sorry.  And then put the chocolate chai icing on as many desserts as possible.

Cupcakes-with-Extra-Chocolate-Chai-Icing

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Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Homemade Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes

Sometimes you just want to eat a grilled cheese. Adding tomatoes and homemade pesto to the grilled cheese makes it an acceptable adult dinner in my opinion. If you haven’t made pesto at home before, you’re going to be surprised at how easy it is and tastes way better than store bought! If you are a fan of kale, a great modification is replacing half of the basil with fresh kale.  Grab the last of your heirloom tomatoes, dust off your food processor, and let’s get cooking!

Cheesy-Grown-Up-Grilled-Cheese

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Apple Ginger Cocktail

It is OCTOBER already.  I feel like I say that every month.  Moving on. Tomorrow is Thirsty Thursday and today we have a drink that will give you another excuse to go apple picking.  Also, is “Thirsty Thursday” still a thing? I don’t know. What I do know is this drink is delicious and it tastes like fall in a glass.  It isn’t cold enough here for pumpkin spice everything, but I’m glad it is still warm enough for this fall-inspired cocktail.

Top-View-of-Apple-Cocktail

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