Archive for March, 2016

No Bake Fruit Recipes

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

My family loves dessert but in the summer, I hate baking and heating up the kitchen so I try to find as many good no-bake recipes as I can.  This one was a hit.  Everyone loved the flavors and the little that was leftover became part of breakfast.

I got this recipe from a friend who used raspberries instead of strawberries but I dislike those little seeds in raspberries and tried it with strawberries and it works just as good. If you are inclined, you can make the angel food cake yourself but I use a ready-made cake from the bakery at the grocery store and it’s fine.

I’m not a fan of Cool Whip but in this dessert, mixed with the sour cream and strawberries, I loved it.  I suppose you could try it with real whipped cream but it might not come out quite the same.  Real whipped cream is generally thinner than Cool Whip and the consistency will change quickly with the real stuff.

I am also always trying to cut down on the amount of sugar my family eats. I cut the original recipe from one cup of powdered sugar to a half a cup.  The strawberry flavor seemed more intense when I cut the amount of sugar down so that’s a plus, too.

Ingredients-

1 Angel food cake
1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 lb. of strawberries

Steps-

Cut the Angel food cake into small pieces.  Lay the pieces in the bottom of a nine by 13 inch baking dish. 

Chop the strawberries up so they are fairly small. 

Mix the Cool Whip and sour cream together and fold in the chopped strawberries.

Top the Angel food cake bits with the strawberries and cream mixture. 

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

This is lovely served with a tart homemade class of lemonade.  It’s the perfect no-bake summer dessert.

Creating your own French Feast an Introduction to French Food and the best Signature French Recipes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

The food of France has long been hailed as one of the top standards of Western cuisine, typically bringing to mind richness, indulgence, elegance and the upscale. Cheese and wine, goose livers and buttered pastries – it is no wonder that many Americans believe French food to be difficult and decadent. However, food is an integral element of France that both shapes and is shaped by French culture, and so must be approached with an understanding of the French viewpoint on dining.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology noted that there are some primary differences between the eating cultures of Americans and the French. Questionnaire results showed that the French tend to value quality and unique “joys,” while Americans tend to emphasize quantity, variety and “comforts,” things that are easier. The French approach to food also incorporates ideas of moderation and community, allowing for higher quality or even higher calorie ingredients in smaller amounts, and making the eating experience as much a social event as it is a daily necessity.

With a rich history and emphasis on not only the quality of the meal but on the entire eating experience, French food is a treat that can be enjoyed by all. Below is an assortment of signature French dishes with recipes linking to top food publications; mix and match to create a meal that best suits your time and tastes. To get the most out of your meal, try buying your ingredients as fresh and local as possible, and don’t forget the indispensable ingredients of good company and good conversation!

Brunch

–          Quiche: A savory, egg-based custard is surrounded by an open-faced pastry crust and houses fillings of choice. One of the most popular styles is Quiche Lorraine, distinctive for its use of bacon and in some recipes also includes onions and cheese. Here is a classic Quiche Lorraine recipe from Saveur.

–          Crepes: Delightfully versatile, crepes are distinguished by their flat, circular shape and even surface, appearing like a very thin and delicate pancake. Fillings may be sweet or savory, making crepes a great option for dessert, party fare or a light meal as well. Here is a variations and a video on how to make the perfect crepe from Food & Wine.

Main dishes

–          Coq Au Vin: Translated as “rooster with wine,” Coq Au Vin is a rustic French dish of chicken braised in red wine with mushrooms, lardons (salt pork) and often garlic. Braising, searing the meat at high temperature and then finishing through covered slow cooking at a lower temperature in liquid, allows for a moist and flavorful dish. Here is a classic Coq Au Vin recipe from Saveur.

–          Beef Bourguignon: Also known as Beef Burgundy, Beef Bourguignon is a rich stew of beef braised in red wine and beef broth and often employing such vegetables and spices as onions, mushrooms, garlic and a bouquet garni (a small bundle of herbs tied together with a string, cooked with the dish and removed before serving).  Here is a five-star recipe from the Food Network by Ina Garten.

Desserts

–          Profiteroles: An elegant and fun dessert, profiteroles are adorably small cream puffs often topped with a complementing chocolate sauce. Made from choux pastry , the same pastry that is used for eclairs and beignets, the texture of the puff is light, chewy and bready. Common fillings used are whipped cream, pastry cream and ice cream. Here is a typical profiteroles recipe by Anne Burrell from Food Network.

–          Tarte Tatin: A caramelized fruit tart popularized by Julia Child, the Tarte Tatin features fruit caramelized in butter and sugar, topped with pastry and then turned upside down before serving. A dessert both beautiful and hearty, the tarte tatin is most commonly made with apples but can also feature pears, peaches or other seasonal fruit. Here is a recipe for classic Julia Child video from PBS showing how to make three different French apple tarts.

Party fare

Want to sample a taste of France but don’t have the time or resources to try your hand at these recipes?  Not to worry – simply visit your local grocer, bakery or specialty food retailer and pick up an assortment of French tidbits to create a varied assortment, perfect for inviting friends over and sampling together. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even attempt your own fondue! While it is best to ask a knowledgeable staff member at your local store, below are several suggestions to get you started:

–          Breads: Baguettes, Brioche, Boule, Croissants

–          Cheeses: Brie, Brebis, Camembert, Comte, Ossau-Iraty, Tomme de Savoie

–          Pastries: Fruit tarts, Caneles, Macarones, Madeleines, Fraisier cake

–          Drinks: Café au lait, Chocolat Chaud, Wines like Bourgogne Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, Artisanal French Cider like Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche

Have you enjoyed this walk through some of France’s signature foods and dishes? Not of all of us can afford to jet off to Paris, but learning about the country’s foods and attempting to recreate them in one’s own kitchen is one of the best introductions to French culture. Explore the flavors of France further through foods like pain d’epices (spice bread), ratatouille, bouillabaisse, duck a l’orange and cherry clafoutis.

Easy Corn on the Cob

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Here’s a cool and easy way to enjoy great corn on the cob!

It’s summertime, and let’s face it, you hate to be in the kitchen anyway; never mind having to add to the heat by boiling a pot of water, right? But you love corn on the cob! Here’s a way you can enjoy it quickly, easily, deliciously AND cooked in a healthy way for you. Try this simple recipe:

1. Strip off all but one layer of the husk. You can leave the silk, it will come off easily after cooking this way. Re-wrap the husk over the cob if you decide to strip the silk first.

2. Cover with lukewarm water and soak the corn in the water for a few minutes. I just stop up the sink, but you can use a bowl if you wish. (Use milk instead of water if the corn isn’t really fresh OR if you know it hasn’t been very sweet.)

3. Place ears parallel to each other, alternating top to bottom, on a turntable in the microwave oven.

4. Every 3-4 minutes, rotate the ears closest to the center to the outside and flip them top to bottom. 2 ears takes about 6 8 minutes; 4 takes about 9 to 12 minutes; 6 ears takes about 12 to16 minutes total. No hot, steamy kitchen in the middle of summer, no mess to clean!

5. Let them set just a minute or two in the microwave.

6. Then, (I use my rubber dishwashing gloves makes this part quick and painless) pull off the husk in one direction, and the silk in the other, and rub down the length to catch any stray silk, you’ll be amazed how easy this is.

7. Use a basting brush to brush with butter and enjoy.

By not boiling, you haven’t allowed the vitamins to escape, so you are getting better nutrition from the corn, never mind not having to wait for the pot to boil!

Alternatively, if you have corn that is already shucked, soak it as step 2, then place in a square or rectangular dish with just a bit of water on the bottom and cover with wrap. Rotate as described, being careful of escaping steam.

Cooking times are the same, though all microwaves seem to vary, so you may have to make your own adjustments. The nice thing about this method is if the first bite isn’t cooked to your taste, you just put the corn back in, cover it and try for a bit longer! Brush butter on and let set for a minute before eating.

Final tip don’t salt corn before or while cooking, that can toughen it.

It doesn’t get much easier, and if you are only cooking for 1 or 2 people, you can cook as you go; eating the first while cooking the next. Bon appetite!

An Introduction of Dry Cough Medicine

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

With regards to medicating for any dry cough, a few large number of different choices. You should make sure to in no way self-treat along with coughing blend for any time period lengthier compared to fourteen days. For those who have already been utilizing coughing medicine for a long time of your time without having substantial enhancement, there’s a reason behind the possible lack of improvement, as well as you should visit a physician that can determine the reason, and permit a highly effective remedy.

If the coughing is actually dried out or even thickly, coughing desserts, coughing falls, or even lozenges in many cases are the very first interface associated with phone. These types of frequently include elements for example menthol which numb the actual receptors permitting short-term respite from the actual coughing. It’s not recommended which young kids get difficult candy, because there’s a possible choking risk.

By using any kind of medicine, such as dry cough medication, make sure to obtain sufficient rest. Obtaining sufficient rest indicates the actual medicine offers better period along with that to operate.

The dry cough is actually a non-productive coughing, that essentially implies that it doesn’t supply any kind of advantage towards the patient. The majority of coughs are helpful within expelling phlegm or even mucus, however they are lacking within dried out hacking and coughing, so the coughing could be handled having a coughing suppressant. Coughing suppressants slow up the behavioral instinct in order to coughing. You will find organic coughing suppressants for example ” lemon “, sweetie, glycerine as well as linctus.

There’s also chemical substances that may control the actual reflex additionally, a few examples which tend to be codeine, pholcodine, as well as dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan is among the most widely used as well as efficient coughing suppressants, and therefore is actually typical in several over-the-counter medicines obtainable. It’s the actual additional benefit it hardly ever leads to unwanted effects besides sleepiness. Codeine is also really efficient, however like a narcotic medication it’s just obtainable through doctor prescribed in many cough. Utes. says.

A few medicines additionally include sympathomimetics, that are ingredients which create decongestant results in addition to unwind the actual breathing passages. They are not likely to become advised like a dry cough medication, although, like a dry cough is actually hardly ever along with a obstructed nasal area.

Remember to find the actual guidance of the health-related professional prior to getting medicine.

Huckleberry Cake Recipe

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Huckleberries, while similar to blueberries, but a tad bit more tart, are a tasty treat originating from the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. Be aware if you decide to pick your own, that huckleberries are one of the grizzly bear’s all-time favorite meals. You may not want to pick fresh huckleberries if you don’t want to run into a bear during his dinner! During any season huckleberry cake is a delicious dessert or even a sweet treat for breakfast.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ cup of whole milk

1 large egg

5 teaspoons melted butter

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups frozen huckleberries*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9” square cake pan. Place bag of frozen huckleberries* into a sink or bowl of warm water to thaw partially. Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in large bowl and stir by hand. Separately, in a smaller bowl, mix and stir milk, egg, butter and vanilla to make a wet batter. Pour the wet batter into the flour mixture just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Add the huckleberries* stirring gently to keep the berries in whole pieces. The mixture should be thick. Transfer to the greased cake pan, put on middle rack in preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry. Cut into pieces sized to your liking and serve.

To make low calorie substitute the whole milk, egg and butter with 1 cup skim milk and 1/3 cup of plain low-fat yogurt. Add the vanilla extract to the yogurt mixture for the wet batter.

Optional ideas to serve with it:

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

Add a Crumb Topping*

Mix 2 different berries of your choice

Garnish with thinly sliced and peeled pears

  *any frozen berries can be substituted for the huckleberries

*Crumb Topping: Mix together ½ stick softened butter, ¾ cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup light brown          

    sugar packed firmly, ¾ teaspoon baking powder, 2/3 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until

    crumbly or the consistency you want it to be. After 10 minutes of baking sprinkle crumb mix over

    cake and continue baking.

Abdominal Pain Relief – Receiving In the evening Pain

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Whenever an individual has back pain, these people are looking for relief. Should you are afflicted by this particular attempting situation, unwind. The pain relief are available. These days, numerous options can be found to permit sufferers to obtain back to the regimen associated with coping with a proper back again. The rear is definitely an incredible architectural question that may be therefore powerful as well as versatile. Whenever you look at your own back again in this manner, inside a good gentle, it may provide you with much more pleasure compared to discomfort.

It is the muscle tissue of the back again which figure out the healthiness of your own backbone. Which means which maintaining your own back again muscle tissue powerful, versatile as well as well balanced may be the crucial in order to getting back pain relief. Simply because a lot of an incredible number of People in America are searching for back pain relief, it would appear that it’s a situation which has absolutely no remedy. A few of the facts associated with the reason why a lot of possess difficult shells tend to be insufficient suitable physical exercise, the inactive way of life with no power to alter present recommended treatments to bring back the rear. Extending, specific therapeutic massage as well as flexibility workouts, nevertheless, show to provide a variety of back pain relief. Additionally, the healthy diet, tension administration as well as physical exercise may demonstrate that the back again could be wholesome. Combined with guidance of the doctor as well as any kind of medicines, you’ll find the pain relief.

Receiving In the evening Pain

Pain is really a wholesome protecting reaction the body utilizes to inform a person which some thing is not very correct in your body. This lets you know that the region requirements looking at as well as repairing. Discomfort informs all of us that people require to deal with ourselves. Whenever a discomfort receptor is actually triggered, this transmits an indication towards the mind that the damage or even additional issue offers happened. The majority of the discomfort receptors within the back again can be found within muscle tissues. Whenever a muscle mass is actually stretched, overworked or even hurt, or even spasming as well as knotted because of pressure, you’re created conscious of this using the urges delivered to the mind. If you’re not really created conscious of this simply because your mind is actually as well hectic at that time, the actual discomfort might appear later on when you’re not really anticipating this. Once the discomfort endures lengthier compared to 3 times as well as helps prevent a person through doing your own regular day to day activities, you need to visit a physician with regard to analysis. A lot can be acquired whenever a great physician requires a cautious background from the beginning from the issue, the actual features from the issue, reflexes as well as pinprick assessments, and some easy pressing, tugging or even stretches. Once the discomfort is actually some thing you’ve experienced prior to, then you might make use of a few of the methods beneath with regard to back pain relief.

Abdominal Pain Relief – Deal with individuals Muscle tissue

Simply because 95% associated with left lower pain on abdomen or back documented is actually “nonspecific, inch that’s, not really associated with severe fundamental health conditions for example illness, bacterial infections or even cracks, muscle tissue would be the very first location regarded as with regard to back pain relief. Muscle tissue do not begin to harm with regard to absolutely no cause, therefore some thing should be leading to which discomfort. Decreasing the actual discomfort is actually the initial step. Over-the-counter discomfort reducers as well as anti-inflammatory medicines are extremely useful to consider the actual advantage from a personal injury. Following, the actual bodily harm ought to be tackled. Remaining back again is essential, and really should end up being located in an appropriate placement with regard to 2-3 times. Glaciers is a good back pain relief whenever combined with extreme caution. A maximum of 20 min’s at any given time, almost every other hr. Following the 3rd day time, warmth might be used, once again, forget about which 20 min’s as soon as each and every 2 several hours. In those times, you should not really stay immobile. This could trigger tightness as well as extend recuperation. Gradually shifting the rear within regular jobs for example seated erect, position as well as minor rotating in the event that tolerated is actually suggested. Heavy therapeutic massage as well as specified workouts in order to determine the actual discomfort are essential to find the back to discomfort free of charge residing. Specific therapeutic massage may interrupt the actual adhesions as well as chemical substance provides which contain the back again muscle tissue within discomfort. Based on your problem, particular workouts may extend as well as repair the actual muscle tissue leading to discomfort which create pain-blocking urges. Back again facilitates will also be made to maintain your own in placement as well as assistance your own back again while you recuperate.

Numerous publications happen to be released which describe each therapeutic massage as well as extending processes for back pain relief. Pilates, Yoga exercise as well as Tai Chi just about all stress manage from the entire body whilst extending as well as creating muscle tissue simultaneously. Additional non-invasive processes for back pain relief consist of bodily treatment, rehab as well as sports activities medication, that just about all stress the primary power from the back again as well as belly in order to reinforce individuals muscle tissue. The actual workouts discovered with this treatment should be adopted following the periods to keep the pain-free back again.

More severe Problems

Occasionally back pain may come through more severe problems. For those who have experienced current stress, possess a background associated with osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes or even kidney complications, or even possess discomfort that’s even worse whenever prone or even through the night, possess intestinal or even bladder problems or even inexplicable a fever or even weight loss or even obtain, you have to look for back again pain alleviation from the competent healthcare professional. The good thing is which under 2 % associated with neck of the guitar as well as back pain issues tend to be due to a significant trigger.

How to Handle and Store Fresh Vegetables in the Refrigerator

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Refrigeration Tips: Keeping Vegetables Fresh-

To retain the springtime freshness, care for that just-picked vegetable as you would your own skin.

Cleansing the surface of vegetables is important. Wash with a mild soap, rinse in cool water and then air-dry or dry with a soft towel. The soap removes any oily residues, poisons, pesticides, and chemicals the vegetable has picked up from the air, soil, and its surroundings.

Rinsing in cool water closes the pores of the skin and careful drying avoids bruising and blemishes, and prolongs its healthful just-picked flavor.

When buying fresh produce, look for items with no splits, bruises, leaking, or pest bites and, of course, no gnats.

-Tomatoes should have a bit of the stem intact, and have that tomato-y fragrance. They should be heavy for their size, which means they are juicy, and they should be bright-colored, with no green showing. To keep tomatoes fresh during refrigeration, wash under cool running water using a drop of mild dish soap, rub gently, then rinse in cool, running water to remove all soap. Allow to air-dry or gently wipe the surface of the tomato with a clean, soft cloth.

Store tomatoes in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator in a single layer and spaced about one-half inch apart for proper air circulation. Do not keep in plastic bags.

Hint: Tomatoes taste best at room temperature. For maximum flavor, remove them from the refrigerator an hour before eating.

-Root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and turnips, should be cleaned before storing; they need to be gently washed then softly and completely dried before storing in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator. These root vegetables keep well in zip-lock bags or in loosely arranged layers no more than three layers high. Potatoes, once washed and dried, can be kept at room temperature.

-Vine vegetables, such as cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins, can be kept in refrigeration quite nicely. After washing and drying, arrange in single layers in the bottom part of your refrigerator/vegetable bin. If kept dry, these thick-skinned vegetables will store well.

-Eggplants should be washed with a gentle soap under running water, rinsed well, dried with a soft cloth and kept in the refrigerator, but not in the vegetable bin. Eggplants need lots of air circulation and do better tucked into the corner of the lower section of the unit. Do not store in plastic bags.

-Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce(s), and leafy herbs, should be rinsed with cold water, spun in a salad spinner, and allowed to air-dry on a paper towel or kitchen towel before placing in zip-lock bags with most of the air removed. Separate the leaves gently when washing to remove all the grit and dirt.

Heads of lettuce should have the core removed, then cool water run into the cavity until it overflows. Invert, allowing water to drain, break into fourths, and place in a salad spinner. Spin until almost dry. Remove from spinner and allow to air-dry for 10 minutes before placing in zip-lock bags, or simply wrap in a paper towel and drop into the bags. Release most or all of the air out of the bag just before sealing. Store in the vegetable bin of refrigerator.

Proper cleaning, handling, and storing of vegetables is of utmost importance. In these challenging economic times, money is hard to come by, so we don’t want to waste it by allowing fresh produce to go bad.

We care enough to buy fresh vegetables, so making certain they last as long as possible and taste incredible is vital. Using the techniques included herein assures proper cleaning and storing of the different groups and rewards us with great-tasting, long-lasting vegetables.

Why Drink Regular Water – Regular

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

An enormous amount of money is spent each year on bottled water. According to the latest statistics shown on Statistic Brain’s website, at least fifteen billion dollars is spent on this liquid refreshment annually! If one has a filtered water system in their home, or doesn’t mind the taste of tap water, then why purchase bottled from the stores?

Almost all cities have to pass quality tests in order to distribute their water for human consumption. These facilities remove bacteria, lead and other unpalatable elements. They do this through the use of ozone, ultra-violet light and chlorine. The result from this process is clear, germ-free water safe for human consumption. The water is then pumped through feeder pipes to homes and other buildings. When some people complain about the “chemical taste” of tap water, usually it is the chlorine they are describing, or it could be caused by water pipes that are degraded or maybe even rusted.

Even though the taste of water in some cities might be offensive to some, the water has to pass safety tests to be fit for consumption. Some folks go through the extra step of setting up another water filtering system in their homes for another margin of safety. The end result is water that should be safe to drink, but the taste might not measure up.

Bottled water could be the only alternative when tap water just doesn’t taste good. What many folks who object to drinking tap water fail to mention is that they are still consuming that water through cooking, washing and cleaning. Even taking a shower can mean some of that water is absorbed by the human body. It’s extremely hard to avoid tap water at all costs, no matter how diligent some people might be. But the question is, what is preferable to consume, bottled water or tap water? 

From personal experience, my family has converted over to using regular water. Sure, we used to purchase cases and cases of bottled water at the supermarket, or wherever we could get the best price. I did a taste taste, and the results amazed both myself and my wife. We both tried a comparison between bottled water and tap water, and could not tell the difference. This just happens to be our experience with one brand of bottled water (the brand is Kirkland, Costco’s brand), and everyone of course has their own preference. But if one is looking to save a few bucks, and doesn’t mind using regular water then they might want to switch over.

It helps to chill the water as well, because it seems to make it more palatable. It might not be a bad idea to try performing a taste test at home. If one is looking to save some money by not purchasing bottled water, regular water just might fit the bill. Everyone has their own tastes, so it comes down to a personal decision between bottled water and regular water

Sweet Surprise

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

There are some things that are worth doing right. No matter how long it takes or how old fashioned it sounds. This cake is made from scratch and is worth all the time and effort. This is one of those times when short cuts do not pay off. Do not try to tweak or hurry the recipe. Simply follow the directions and do it right. It is an amazing cake and it is worth it.

The first thing to do is to make the icing and put in a covered container fridge.
Icing
– 2 cups sour cream
– 2 cups sugar
– 3 cups coconut

Mix all the ingredients and put the icing in the fridge to marinate.

The next day the cakes are made. Bake these in 3 round, greased and floured cake pans.
– 1/2 cup shortening
– ½ cup margarine
– 2 cups sugar
– 5 eggs, separated
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening, margarine, and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, creaming well. Add buttermilk alternately with dry ingredients. Stir in vanilla. Beat egg whites stiffly and fold into the mixture.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes.

Allow the cakes to cool completely. Use dental floss to cut the cakes in half. This will give several layers of icing.

Ice the cake. Make certain every layer has an icing and the cake is completely. Cover the cake and keep in the refrigerator for “4” days. Don’t be tempted to peek or disturb the cake. Let it marinate, soak in and do its thing.

When serving start with small pieces. The cake is very rich and tasty and a little goes a long way. It is enough to cure the sweet tooth for a month of Sundays.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Spaghetti squash is a delicious and abundant winter squash that begins to inundate farmer’s markets and grocery stores in the early fall.  This mysterious squash was aptly named due to the fact that the cooked flesh resembles spaghetti.  Whether you are a seasoned chef or a beginner cook, spaghetti squash is easy to prepare and guaranteed to please.

Depending on the amount of time you have to dedicate to preparing your meal, spaghetti squash can be cooked in a conventional oven or in a microwave.  To prepare the squash for roasting in the oven, you must cut the squash in half, lengthwise with a very sharp knife.  Scrape out all of the seeds and place the cut side down on a lightly greased baking dish or cookie sheet.  Leave it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 minutes.  You will know it is done if a knife can pierce the skin with very little resistance.

If you need a quicker cooking method, a microwave can cook the squash in about a quarter of the time of an oven.  Prepare the squash in the same manner as was called for in the conventional cooking directions.  Instead of a baking sheet, place the squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish and cover it with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.  Very carefully remove the plastic wrap from the dish and insert a knife to test for doneness.

Allow the squash to cool to a level in which you can safely hold it to remove the flesh.  Hold the squash in one hand and scrape it with a fork to draw out the long strands of squash.  You will know if you overcooked the squash if the flesh does not come out looking like spaghetti.  On the other hand, if it is very difficult to remove the flesh you have undercooked it and may wish to put it back in the oven.

Serving the squash allows you to get very creative in the kitchen.  You can dress it up just like regular pasta with sauce, tomatoes, or fresh vegetables.  Tossing the strands with olive oil or butter prior to adding spices is a great way to add great flavor that will stick to every single strand.  Spaghetti squash can also be baked into a quiche, turned into a casserole, or served in a cheesy dip at parties.

Spaghetti squash is a quick and simple way to utilize seasonal produce and expand your culinary repertoire.  The mild flesh will take on the flavor of whatever you pair it with and can be used as an appetizer, side dish, or a main course.  Your imagination is the only thing that can limit your use of this delightful squash.