Baked Acorn Squash

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I’m making the most of the fall harvest this year and cooking up all my favorites. Today I bringing you an easy baked acorn squash. A simple method of hollowing out the squash, filling it with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and baking to perfection. The result is a flavorful squash with a pool of all the goodness in the world! They’re also a perfect side dish for all of your holiday get-togethers.

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Get your squash ready.

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Slice in half lengthwise.

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Scoop out the seeds and membranes.

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If you’re squash is being nice and stays flat without rolling over, you’ve got a winner. If not, just slice a thin part off the bottom to stabilize it.

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Now here is the debate. Some people score the squash, others like me don’t score. I’ve done it both ways and have found no difference in taste or texture, so I make it easier on myself and don’t. Feel free to score if you’d like. Add in the butter. I used this handy-dandy honey butter once again. You should probably make it today!

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Next up, dump in a heaping teaspoon of brown sugar.

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Finally, a drizzle of PURE maple syrup. No Aunt Jemima here!

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Set on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil…

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And bake for 45 min or until squash is soft. See my fork marks above on the left. That’s done! I eat it right out of the skin, but you could always scoop out and plate. Why waste a plate though? Just a thought ;)

Baked Acorn Squash

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 whole Acorn Squash
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar
Pure Maple Syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Halve each squash, then scrape out the seeds and membranes. Cut off a small part of the skin side to stabilize squash. Place the halves, flesh side up, on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.

Add half the butter to the center of each hollow,  followed the brown sugar, 1 heaping teaspoon per hollow. Next drizzle with maple syrup.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until squash flesh is soft.

Eat!

What are your favorite fall sides? Is Acorn Squash on your Thanksgiving menu?

DIY Ice Cucumber Eye Pads

The holiday season is a busy time of year. Our social calendars are filled to the max and there’s endless to do lists to finish. It’s the most fun time of year, but it can also drain you of energy. Living on coffee is one solution to be less zombie like, but what about those dark circles and puffy eyes? You could buy those expensive cucumber eye pads you see in beauty stores or you could make your own at home for a fraction of the cost. It’s easy and takes no time at all. All you need are a few ingredients and you’ll be on your way to looking more refreshed! Who doesn’t want to look their best for the holiday’s?

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With a juicer or blender, juice 2 whole cucumbers. If you’re using a blender, just strain out the pulp.

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Put the cucumber juice in a bowl.

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Soak the cotton pads in the juice and squeeze out excess.

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Place the soaked cotton pads in a zip top bag.

Store in the freezer. Since there’s no preservatives, the freezer will help keep them fresher longer. When you’re ready to use, just leave them out on a plate for 5 minutes to thaw a little and place over your eyes for 5-10 minutes. Voilà , you now look like you’ve slept 8 whole hours :)

What do you guys think? Easy enough right? What are some of your favorite DIY beauty tricks?

Fit Foodie 5k Recap

This past weekend was a blast! All of my favorite things rolled into one weekend…fitness, food and cocktails! Not to mention I got to do it all with my bestie, Julia. She’s also responsible for all the photos. Apparently, it was all to exciting for me :)

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Friday night started off with the Light Up the Night Cocktail Party. It was at Florent Restaurant in the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego. They had beer, wine and cocktails with appetizers. The vibe was great and we got to hang out with celebrity trainers and chefs. All in all, it was a good night.  Soon after, we went to our hotel to rest up for race day.

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The night before and the morning of our race. Not a bad view!

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The next morning we got to the event and were able to see the course up close. It was gorgeous! We’d be running right along the bay front. I was getting really excited at this point. We did a race warm-up with The Run MC. He is hysterical and I think all race events should hire him! He was fantastic and had a ton of energy, which is exactly what you need for an early morning race. We also did a quick yoga stretch with Kristin McGee, more on her later. We were warmed up and stretched, all that was left was to run!

I’m new to the fitness scene, but am really enjoying running and doing yoga. I think it’s important to find activities you love to do so you keep doing them. I’ve never done a race before, ever! I was a little intimidated being an ambassador for the event and this being my first race. I put in the work beforehand, and it paid off big time. I finished the race, ran the entire time and actually enjoyed myself. I didn’t push myself too hard and was focused on being in the moment and enjoying the scenery. It was an amazing first race experience. I finished in the top 30% of all runners. It was a wonderful accomplishment :) After the race, we took part in a post run yoga session and a Power Systems class (a lot of squatting and resistance bands). We were really earning our calories for the food and beer portion of the event!

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After finishing our workouts, we headed to the Finishers Village. They had various tents set up with vendors giving away goodies. The tent photo above is before the race. The calm before the storm. I’ve never received so much free swag in my life. There were a ton of cold pressed juices, organic bars, coffees and even massages. They had an area set up where they did chef demonstrations and gave out samples. I wished there was a little more actual food and not just bars, but it was still a good time. They also had a beer garden area where you went into a caged area and drank ice-cold beer. Turns out after running and working out all morning, that beer goes to your head really fast! We stayed until the end, and by the end of the night I was TIRED, but in a good way :)

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Sunday morning we had a yoga class with my favorite yogi Kristin McGee (squeal)! This was the highlight of the weekend for me. I’ve done her DVD’s before and she is more delightful (if that’s even possible) in person. She is so sweet and has the most amazing energy and vibe. You can’t help but smile taking one of her classes. We thought that maybe after a run day yesterday she was going to take it easy on us, but she made us work for it, and it was amazing! She gave Julia and I a couple of her DVD’s to try out. I did one last night, and it hurt so good!

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Right after yoga was brunch. They had Stella Cidre in wine glasses, egg white fritattas, chicken sausage, greek yogurt parfaits and lots of fruit. They did giveaways while we ate, drank and looked at the ocean. Not too shabby!

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I’ve saved the best for last! We ended up raising over $1,100 for City of Hope and couldn’t be happier about it. We more than doubled our goal! It feels so good to give back, especially this time of year. Thank you so much to all who donated. I ran for our dear friend Tom, we love you!

It was an awesome weekend and I will definitely do it again, and would absolutely recommend it to all of you if it’s in your area. I’m hoping next year they’ll expand to even more cities. I can’t thank the people at the Fit Foodie Race Series enough for inviting me!

Have you guys ever done a weekend like this? Would this be something you would be interested in doing?

Ta Za Wine Glasses


Ta Za Wine Glasses

Happy Monday! I’ll be back later on this week with a full recap of my AMAZING time at the Fit Foodie Race Weekend!

In the meantime, I love wine, the end. Haha, just kidding…but not really. Today I’m doing a review of the Ta Za stemless wine glasses. They were kind enough to send me a set to try out. The wonderful thing about them is, they shatterproof and plastic. Usually when I hear plastic I cringe, but these are BPA-free and EA-free. They also don’t feel like cheap glasses, I was actually a little surprised with this. The rim is super smooth, which is what is lacking in most plastic wine glasses and they’re crystal clear so they actually look like glass. Living in a warmer climate, these will come in handy during pool season!

Here’s a little more info about them…

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NEVER BREAK A GLASS AGAIN! With our drama-free glasses you can entertain in style, without the worries. Our glasses are known for their brilliant clarity—such clarity that makes them easily mistaken as crystal. Unlike crystal, however, these glasses won’t crack or break, which makes them ideal for entertaining anywhere, anytime.  These shatterproof 16oz glasses allow you to enjoy your wine (or any drink) indoors or outdoors (think pool, patio, boat, campground, RV, etc)! 
 
Besides our durability, what else makes us better than our plastic competitors?  For starters, we use USA-made Tritan plastic, which is 100% BPA-free/EA-free and FDA-approved. We don’t believe that you should have to be worrying about yucky chemicals leaching into your drinks. We don’t have tolerance for that junk—and we don’t think you should, either.
 
We’ve also paid special attention to our rim—because there is nothing worse than a plastic cup rim that’s rough and nips at your lips. Who needs that? We’ve managed to make extra-smooth rims while keeping our glasses ultra-thin—quite a feat! 

Lastly, our glasses are actually dishwasher safe!!  Avoid being stuck at the sink after a dinner party washing by hand—just throw the glasses in the dishwasher on a non-heated setting, and head to bed! 

To put it simply? We’re your best no-break, no-fear, crystal-clear, chemical-free, lip-saver, dishwasher-safe, party-on choice! 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.

I love companies that stand behind their products and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! So if you’re in the market for shatterproof wine glasses, I would absolutely give these a try. You can get them on Amazon here. With their guarantee, you have nothing to lose. I will be purchasing another set for myself.

What do you guys think about plastic wine glasses?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.