CAROLFAITHWALKR's Recent Blog Entries

Batchcooking Vol. 1: Butternut Squash & Recipes

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Today I started doing something I've been putting off: Batchcooking.

I only cook from scratch. The exception is canned goods and other staples I have that once I use them up, won't be replaced.

I was gone 5 weeks Nov-Dec for saying goodbye to my sister in hospice, her funeral, and the 1700 mile trip there and back. When I got home in mid-December, I had to start over in the food dept. Well it's been several weeks but I haven't cooked hardly at all. I've been dreading it in fact, so much so that I've eaten all the fruits, nuts, tuna, frozen crockpot soups, canned soups, etc. that I had on hand. Scrounging every day. I could not even motivate myself to fire up the crockpot - which had me wondering where the real Carol went. Part of it is grief, I know; but part of it is laziness from getting off my healthy habits during the 5 weeks.

Also I think it's not wanting to open the can of worms of dirtying the kitchen, the mental dread of making a mess that has to be cleaned up. Slow food is messy and not convenient. And as a single I don't have the urgency of doing this every day for non-existent hubby & kids.

Now once I get started cooking, it's not so bad, as I was pleased to be reminded of today. And although I'm not really a gifted cook, and learned as an adult, and often use the crockpot to prevent disaster, I love what I cook.

I had 2 medium butternut squashes from before my 5-week trip, so decided to cut one up and make crockpot soup while I chatted on the phone with a friend. The first one only made 4 cups of raw cubes, so I decided to go ahead and do the other while the cutting board etc was already dirty (the economy of batchcooking!). It helped that prepping the first one wasn't bad at all, in fact was pleasant, once I got started. Then thinking outloud to my friend on the phone about how I'd use / store / batchcook the butternut, spurred a memory of $5 Dollar Dinners.

I highly recommend $5 Dollar Dinners. I just love her site. Check out the Square Foot Gardening section, menu planning, and other features on her site, too. You can subscribe for free. Erin makes healthy, from-scratch meals, and shows you short homemade vids of HOW to do it, so if you're self-taught like me, no problem! I love finding good grocery bargains and so does she; she shares all hers which I love.

So one of her ideas I remembered on the phone today with my friend, was using part of the butternut for orzo butternut salad (I add spinach in mine). Cold in the summer or in lunches, or as a hot side dish in the winter. Yum. Something which personally, I assure you I would have never made without Erin at $5 dinners. But if she has it on her site (actually she mentions it in the vid), you can be sure it's wonderful. And I have orzo that I never use . . . another economical dish I can make from what's on hand.

$5 Dinners' Butternut Squash

Click on the above link to find:
Video: How To Cut and Freeze Butternut Squash, 4 mins
Recipe: How to steam-bake butternut squash
Recipe: Homemade baby food
Recipe: Cinnamon butternut squash muffins
Recipe: Maple roasted butternut squash

$5 Dinners' Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (yes, w/butternut)

Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce:

Stephanie O'Dea's Crockpot Butternut Soup Recipe:

I have some almond milk to use up so I'll replace half the broth with milk and turn this into a butternut bisque. I'll let you know how it turns out. I highly highly recommend this site, as well. Stephanie "The Crockpot Lady" knows her stuff.

My winter squash handling tip: Preheat oven 350. Wash, stab gently (shallowly, just through the skin) a few times, and place the whole, uncut squash on the bare oven rack for 15 mins; 10 mins if smaller sized. Be sure not to forget it in there or you'll have a mess! Set a timer or two. Remove and let cool while you do something else. It will peel super easy; machete and first aid NOT required!

My butternut tip: Don't be afraid of buying the big ones. You want the ones with really long skinny "neck" part, like this picture, because the neck has no seeds and more flesh. This means they've been on the vine longer and got bigger:

I pass on the smaller-sized ones like this, which might look easier to handle and less inimidating, but in reality the bulbous end is full of seeds so you're getting less meat:

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I agree about cooking. I like it once I get started but sometimes I'm not in the mood to get started.

I've got 2 butternut squashes and an acorn squash I need to use up. Thanks for the tip on how to peel it.

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SCHNEBL 1/8/2011 8:11PM

    I am sorry for the loss of your sister ~ that's hard. :( Thanks for the links though, I'll be looking at them soon.

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DONNACFIT 1/7/2011 8:55PM

    Thanks for the links..they look do your recipes. Deepest sympathy on the loss of your sister..hugs emoticon

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    I'm happy to hear you've crossed a hurdle with cooking. I'm sure part of it is your grieving, and possibly after the first hurdle is crossed it will be easier. Hugs to you as you continue to make mental and emotional adjustments in the loss of your sister. Allow yourself to grieve. I think of you often and pray for you. In the food department - I love butternut squash, but I've never made a soup from them. I had butternut squash in my garden last summer. Most of them got chunked up and oven roasted - were so yummy!

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MPALMER15 1/7/2011 12:38PM

    Thanks for the links! I'll have to check them out!

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SPARKLOVE 1/7/2011 12:20PM

    Thanks for the tips- loved your blog. Joy

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A*L*P* 1/7/2011 9:11AM

    Well darn it! I got unsubscribed to your blog, lol! Thanks for the links as always! I am right now starting a whole lotta bookmarks that I can keep tabs on making homemade baby food. I am drooling over the Baby Bullet, it is a fantastic little tool (from the makers of the Magic Bullet) that I am considering... a ways off, I know.

I love butternut squash. It is so yummy! I just found them at the Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocer for $.89 a pound for organic. I am going to get one!!! Thanks a bunch lady!!! TGIF!!

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    I meant it's not necessary to stab deeply, LOL. I'll add that.

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JEAN_WIKE 1/6/2011 6:26PM

  Thank you so much, especially for the winter squash handling tip. I had to laugh, though, at your instructions to "stab gently". Heh.

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Handbook 2011

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I got this from Gloworm's blog and I am passing it on. I don't agree with every word, and I changed a few, but it contains much wisdom.


Health :

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2010.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day and just think, and deep breathe.
9. Sleep for 8 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality :

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your spouse of his/her mistakes from the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree ...

Society :

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others, even if it is only a laugh.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life :

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your inner most self is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least :

40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about, I just did.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I love this. I need to follow - 33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

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YW84FRIDAY 1/8/2011 10:43AM

  This is an awesome blog! I'm going to print it up and hang it on my refrigerator. Thanks!


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Goals Jan 3, 2011: Be Invincible

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My incremental goals are to reduce into the next smaller classification of BMI every 6 months.

- My Jan 3, 2011 BMI is 46, Morbidly Obese.
- I want to become Severely Obese before Jun 30th
- and Obese before Dec 31st.

My "big" goal is physically fit, first; and also 125lbs by 50th birthday (end of Jun 2012). Although it's true I might stop at 150, 140, etc; and I won't know til I get there.

276.4 lbs - 125 lbs = 151.4 lbs to lose
Jan 3, 2011 - Jun 30, 2012 = 77 wks
151.4 lbs / 77 wks = 1.9662, or, 2 lbs per week

At 276.4 lbs, the 1% rule means I can safely lose 2.8 lbs per week, in the beginning.

3lbs / wk = 10,500 cals reduced or burned per week
Which = 1500 cals per day reduced or burned

So my Jan 3, 2011 goals are: daily reduce 1000 food cals, and daily burn 500+ exercise cals.

But I have another more important goal, that eclipses "the math" above. A Success Secret that is failsafe. A Secret Weapon.

A doctor told me something years ago: start by walking every day, and by increasing the amount of time spent walking you will come to a point where you start losing weight, without changing your diet. For some people it's 20 mins a day, 30, 45, 60, 90 mins, etc.; everyone's different.

She was shocked to find out, personally in her own experience, the 20 mins 3X a week she'd heard all her life as a medical professional was a lie.

She upped it to 20 mins 4X a week. Then kept upping it til she was at 20 mins 7X a week.


NO weightloss.

"Just WHAT is this going to TAKE?!" she wondered.

She kept upping it until she was at 60 mins 7X a week. Once there, she started losing weight.

She gave me her personal example for the purpose of giving me with this advice: find what amount of activity works for you, what the tip-off point for weightloss is, and then stick with it.

I plan to do this via The Step Diet SparkTeam & philosophy, which is a sane, safe program to add 500 steps a week gradually over time til you're up to 10,000 steps per day. If you're interested in the team, please click on the team icon on my SparkPage.

Brenda Willis did this, she was in her 40s and had been overweight all her adult life, and she lost 140+ lbs with The Step Diet and kept it off for 7+ years. Brenda has a new life now - in high demand as a well-paid motivational speaker.

So don't say you're too old, or have been heavy all your life, or have too much 100+ lbs to lose.

My doctor and Brenda Willis did this. WE CAN DO IT, TOO.

Sedentary: less than 5,000 steps per day
Low Active: 5,000 to 7,499 steps per day
Somewhat Active: 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day
Active: 10,000 to 12,500 steps per day
Highly Active: 12,501+ steps per day
Old Order Amish women w/very low, 4% obesity:
14,000+ steps per day

BMI Classifications:
Less than 19 - Underweight
19-25 Ideal BMI
25-30 Overweight
30+ Obese
35+ Severely Obese
40+ Morbidly Obese
50+ Super Morbidly Obese

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OOLALA53 2/20/2011 10:46PM

    So, what are the steps to be invincible?

Every time someone asks me what I want for my birthday, I say, "Resolve." Really. I'm going to put that in my play. emoticon

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OLDSCUBACHICK 1/12/2011 12:25AM

    Oh shoot! I love your picture on this! I learned about SMART last year in a class I took! Can I ask where you got it? I'd like to snap it up for myself, too, if you don't mind!

I love your goals. My next goal is to write down MY goals! Ha! Thanks for the boost to get mine done!

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    I kind of did something similar. I have to get up to 20,00 steps a day to lose weight and keep my calories between 1200 and 1400. I stay in the old order amish range.

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YW84FRIDAY 1/8/2011 10:42AM

  Great blog! I like the step chart. What I thought was active is only considered somewhat active on the chart. I guess I'd better start increasing my steps each day.


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MPALMER15 1/5/2011 3:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLOVE 1/4/2011 4:20PM

    Wow! I didn't realize I was Super Morbitly Obese! Great Blog!
Thank you, Joy

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SHARON2014 1/4/2011 8:47AM

    Walking was the key for me when I was actively losing weight. Though I did not get up to 60 x 7 I lost slowly, ate moderately within SP program...once I stopped walking I did not lose, even though my diet was the same!!

This is a great program and I am joining you! Thanks!

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Monday, January 03, 2011

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I just signed up for FPU, it starts Jan 16 already!! Missed quite a bit last fall, between my sister and myself.

I'm on a laptop, my least fav way of computing, but very grateful to have it.

Way waaaaaaaaay behind on SP, between my sister and my computer. Oh well. I'm digging in.

Job hunting every day this week. I need to cook, sigh. So guess I will be cooking every night this week to get the fridge stocked and the crockpots humming.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I sure hope you can find a job. I know if I were an employer I would hire you in a minute.

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NELLIEC 1/3/2011 9:32PM

    Well, it is good to have the laptop available at least.

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KMICHA 1/3/2011 5:48AM

    Get back into it one baby step at a time! emoticon

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Computer Issues

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I got trojans, spyware, malware, and tons of problems when I clicked on the movie, "Miracle on 34th St", on Christmas Eve. Here's the latest update.

My desktop is a Dell Dimension E510, running with Windows XP Media Center operating system, and Internet Explorer 8 browser.

Although I could not use F8 to get into Safe Mode due to keyboard failure (keyboard failure message has always been on my computer since day 1), I was able to get into Safe Mode via Start/Run/msconfig.

I ran Spybot and Malwarebytes, until they found no more problems. Each found problems the other didn't. I had planned to download and run AVG next.

The Dell screen comes up, BIOS runs, then a screen with the keyboard failure comes up (as usual), and the only hope I have is that the next screen that comes up has "F2 Setup", and "F12 Boot Menu", appears on the screen; then it goes into a message "Loading BPR . . . . " (it's too fast to read the rest) . . . ; and then it goes to a blank screen, dead in the water.

I think it does not go into Safe Mode because Malwarebytes found the registry files and Windows Sys files to be heavily infested. (Not a good sign.) I don't have Windows XP disks . . . Dell sent the computer pre-loaded and without disks.

I am going to get a PS/2 keyboard (whatever that is) so that the F2 and other features can be accessed without the current problem of "keyboard failure".

Now any advice from you computer experts?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAYGRANNY 1/4/2011 7:56AM

    I have put out more money than I care to think about to have things fixed on my pc, so sorry, not much help here from me. BUT.............I must tell you when you posted that you had trojan, porn, and virus I was relly concerned emoticon do know that they make a condom with the brand name of Trojan? and then you said porn and virus.........I started to think.........well just never mind what I started to think..........LOL LOL emoticon

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JANC319 1/3/2011 12:34AM

  Hopefully, with that new keyboard, things will be easier to fix.
DH seemed to think you almost had it licked until that keyboard failure goofed you up.

Keep in touch!

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NELLIEC 1/2/2011 9:29PM

    No disks? Ack!

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    Wish I did. So sorry.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/2/2011 5:56PM

    I will be seeing my son later tonight and will show him your info. I'll let you know what he says. If you can send me your email address, it'll be easier to contact you.

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    Not a one, I went through just about the same thing with my brand new HP computer and played with getting it fixed for three months and then just went and bought a new one that has windows 7 and I love windows 7. This is the best os I have ever used. God be with you in getting it to work.

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