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October 2013, Page 2

sausage, peppers, and spaghetti squash {grain-free main dish and family meal time}

they laughed when i said, “i want you to get used to the camera gear around here more.”  when don’t they see camera gear around?

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sometimes they duck when they see me coming, memory card loaded and lens aimed with precision.

family meal time dancing with my father c

but these are the minutes that tick into hours that become distant memories and then puff into “lost.”  and they’re the minutes that matter.  when we gather ’round the table and tell our day’s stories and dare to share our dreams and poke fun in love and make funny faces and tickle bare-chested little brothers who think they’re exempt from the “shirts-at-the-dinner-table” rule.

family meal time dancing with my father a  spaghetti squash with sausage dancing with my father

and most importantly, we talk about what matters.  about the Great Truths our Papa has spoken, and how much He loves us, and about our fears and our misunderstandings and with that we challenge each other to really live.

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and if there’s good food to thank Him for, all the sweeter.

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this dish is a great hearty weeknight meal.  a couple tips:

use the Johnsonville Ground Sausage instead of the Italian Sausage links to avoid unwanted additives.  definitely use fresh fennel – it is delicious and really makes the dish.  (i meant to save fronds for “dish decor,” but alas, i have been working to romance the hubs by keeping a clean workspace while cooking, and i whisked them off with the unusable scraps before i realized it!)  try baking your spaghetti squash in advance, then scraping into a casserole dish.  warm before serving with butter on top.

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want to print the recipe?  save it to an online recipe box?  click on over to (or click on the photo!).

spaghetti squash with sausage dancing with my father c

Johnsonville Sausage, Peppers, and Spaghetti Squash

1 (19.76 ounce) package Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups sliced fresh fennel

1/2 cup diced green onion

1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper

1/2 cup diced green pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

6 tablespoons cooking sherry

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups cooked spaghetti squash


In a large skillet, cook and crumble sausage until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the fennel, green onion, red and green peppers and garlic until tender. Add the tomatoes, sausage and 3 tablespoons sherry; cook and stir until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, stir in remaining sherry. Serve hot over spaghetti squash.

 Too cook my spaghetti squash, I cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Then I place it cut-side-down in a large baking dish with about 1/2″ water.  I bake for thirty minutes to an hour at 350 degrees.  I like to prepare my squash in advance and use a fork to scrape strands into a storage container to use the next day.  You can find alternative instructions at!

did you try this recipe?  love it?  leave a note and review!  here’s to family meal time…

dancing divider webb

seattle in the fall, part one. (a.k.a. seattle with a fork.)

never. ever. EVER. never go to the mecca of great city-food, the home of the world’s largest food site, and leave your “real camera” at home.  no matter if you take photos for a living, no matter if you fear you’ll get stuck seeing only through the lens, don’t do it.  self, are you hearing this?

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so you discover you’ve been chosen to appear in a collective cooking segment for and kahlua.  so it’s during the busiest season of your photographic year, and you’re tired of editing, and you want to just live in the moment.  do it, but take your camera.     otherwise, you’ll be kicking yourself mentally with every. gorgeous. bite.

okay, rant over.  i did have a dream opportunity, the chance to combine my communication background with food-love and this month i flew to Seattle to work with two dream companies.  autumn truly is my favorite time of year and when i had the opportunity to eat my way through spend a few days in a favorite city and show off a great recipe featuring a limited edition Kahlua (Pumpkin Spice, yes, for real), i jumped at it.

the trip in a nutshell, through the lens of my iPhone.  (neglected: photos of our delicious meal at Tom Douglas’ Palace Kitchen.  again with the camera note!)

day one:

of course, how could i not hit up Molly Moon’s for the latest “favorite” sundae?  i swapped chocolate for caramel and left off the whipped cream.  an explosion of flavor!seattle food photos dancing with my father e seattle molly moon ice cream dancing with my father a


day two: filming day!

since i seem to wake at 5:30 without fail in Seattle, i walked for a bit and waited for Storyville to open.  my culinary sister Jordyn had found it online and unrepentantly, i indulged before she had the chance.  (i’ll hate you equally when you go without me next!)  a brilliantly marketed concept, their customer service is friendly and their coffee and treats more than live up to the hype.  get a sea salt caramel heart.  no, get a goat-cheese-thing-a-ma-jiggy.  oh, shoot, drink tea without sugar and eat both.  then walk for miles and miles.

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and then it was time to film a cooking segment.  just a little peek for now – more to come when my video goes live!  here’s the gorgeous deck of our studio shooting space:  (and i’m spoiled – it’s been sunny my last two trips to Seattle).

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this is Sydney.  she made me look pretty.  🙂

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allrecipes seattle dancing with my father c

i was the first to shoot on my filming day, so i had a few afternoon moments to kill.  at the advice of marney, our producer, i hiked up to crumble and flake for yet more pastry.  (yes, i was miserable after all the pastry-ing.  i told myself i walked it off.  somehow i didn’t gain a pound on the trip, so my mind-games must’ve worked.)  i promise, i only had a bite of the malted “chewio” cookies.  i took the rest back to the fam.  i did, however, eat all of the pink peppercorn shortbread.  that was ridiculous.  and wonderful.

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such an unassuming little bag. loaded full of amazing.

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after we wrapped up our shooting for the night, the crew hit Cuoco for the feast of all feasts.  two new (to me) delicacies  that rocked my culinary world?  grilled octopus. and burrata.  bliss.

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yum. seattle tom douglas cuoco dancing with my father b

the morning after filming, fellow brand ambassador Jennifer and i made our way to Lola for breakfast.  of course.  and feasted on benedict and those famous made-to-order donuts.  and were surprised at being treated by new friends seated nearby!  you know who you are.  🙂

thank you!seattle tom douglas lola dancing with my father a

day-after-filming: exploring.

on the ferry, headed to Bainbridge Island.  this was the perfect way to spend my last afternoon.  the air was crisp and even stung a bit as it turned to sharp winds on the trip over.  it was the perfect antidote for this Florida girl’s overexposure to too-long-summer-weather-in-Fall back home.seattle food photos dancing with my father d

to say i fell a little in love with bainbridge island is an understatement.  i wish i’d spent a couple days there wandering all the nooks and crannies.  one ferry ride, a couple stops into main street hot spots, and a short walk along the water were not enough to fill this girl’s craving for green space and people-connection.  nor enough to explore all the great things i heard dwell there.  saved some for next time, i suppose…  but oh, isn’t the harbor pretty?

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by the way, hitchcock deli could keep me delighted in company and well-fed on amazing food for quite a while.  after indulging in a ridiculous amount of sugar and treats, i desperately longed for a nourishing whole-food meal.  this salad of fresh organic local greens, raw sauerkraut, local pastrami, and cured olives with blue cheese fit the bill.  it was outstanding.  my mouth is watering thinking about it.

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want to drool?  check it out yourself here: bainbridge island dancing with my father c

…and then, of course, more indulgence.  an autumn apple harvest cake and chai latte at the Blackbird Bakery.seattle food photos dancing with my father c

this is mark.  i met him on the ferry.  i couldn’t not comment on the gorgeous carving he was working on, a desktop version of a ship’s figurehead.  turns out he’s a Christian, a homeschool dad of eight, and a former fishmonger who sold sockeye salmon to Julia Child. apparently he was a favorite of hers – imagine that.  he even did a funny little imitation of her visiting him at the shop where he worked.  now he’s busy carving stunning life-size figureheads and other iconic figures for local builders.  oh, the stories behind the faces we pass…

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the view on my return trip to the city.  the clouds?  seriously?  now that’s God-light. bainbridge island dancing with my father e

last evening, with a couple hours to kill, so how could i resist a scoop of whiskey maple bacon crack ice cream at cupcake royale?  i’d been there before but this time i was thoughtful enough to take home cupcakes for the kiddos!  i promise, they did survive the red-eye flight home!seattle food photos dancing with my father a

goodbye, Seattle.  until we meet again.  (sweet, sappy, verbal meanderings…)seattle food photos dancing with my father b

Seattle was lovely. the weather was perfect. the food was decadent. and i can’t wait to share part two of my adventure!

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