Simple Roasted Butternut Squash


My daughter isn’t in school yet so I have her watch some learning videos every so often just to get her started with learning to focus and retaining information. The other day she wanted to learn about the brain. I showed her a short 4 minute clip and at the end of clip they discussed ways to keep the brain healthy. I was also intrigue. All of the tips were obvious, exercise, eat healthy, work the brain…etc. But the eating healthy one, although is obvious, sometimes I overlook just how important it is to eat healthy and nourish the brain not just the body. So that day, I made the kids and me roasted butternut squash (a great brain food) as a side to our lunch.

I usually buy precut because because it’s just easier. The only thing is you have to use it fairly quick or they become slimy 🤢 in the fridge and end up being tossed. A 12 ounce bag would be enough for 2 adults, but in this case it was the perfect amount for my kids and me. Here is a quick and simple method to make perfectly roasted butternut squash that can be eaten as-is or added to a salad!

Some things to remember when roasting vegetables, water is not your friend. Do not crowd that pan or they will steam rather than brown. Another note is to make sure the veggies are dry. Lastly, season liberally with oil, salt and pepper. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, oil keeps the vegetables moist, the salt and pepper intensifies the flavors and makes taking bites of the veggies after they come out of the oven irresistible!

With 12 ounce I only needed a small baking pan.
Seasoned and ready to go into the oven.
Delicious! I didn’t even need to turn them half way through the roasting process.

Roasted Butternut Squash
12 ounce peeled and cut butternut squash (about 2 inch pieces)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (or to preference)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to preference)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Trader Joes’s Onion Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400℉
Add squash onto baking pan (spaced out)
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and make sure they’re evenly coated.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges become brown and caramelized but not burnt.
Enjoy as-is or toss in a salad with cranberries, red onions and toast walnuts!

2021 *a recipe for happiness*

My family and I watched a movie this past weekend (actually it was really just my husband and me, while our kids ran around and distracted us). The movie was a Disney movie, Soul. My brother recommended it, and I was intrigued. Without hopefully giving anything away, the movie had an important lesson about life that spoke to me, Life isn’t necessarily finding your purpose. If you find it, that’s great (and you can be in the “zone” 😂), but life really is just about living it, and enjoying it. Just live in the moment and make each day as positive and meaningful as you can for yourself and the people in it.

That’s something I’ve already realized as I continue to raise my kids and focus on my family and quality of life. I want to try to cherish each day with them while they’re young and impressionable. I remember how stressed I was when I first had my daughter and now in hindsight, the stress was overwhelming and interfering with the moments and memories I should have remembered with her in her baby years. Not to say that stress is always bad and should never be a part of your life, stress is inevitable. But learning to control the stress, resolve it, and not let it take away from the quality of your life and happiness should be the goal.

This is all what I’m learning and applying to my life as I head into 2021. I don’t want to overthink anything, I just want to enjoy each day and make it beautiful and meaningful for myself and my family. That is what I enjoy in my life and that is what I will focus on.

Anyhow~ don’t worry, I won’t stray away from my food posts! Cooking and learning about food and recipes is what I love to do. I asked my 19 month son a few days back “Where is your heart? Can you point to your heart?” and without hesitation he confidently pointed to his stomach. I think he was telling me the truth. The way to his heart is through his stomach (just like his dad) 😆 so that is why I love cooking and will continue to do so, for the health and happiness of my family and myself!

Baking a Little Something in the Oven

Hi guys! Sorry for a 9 month lapse but I’ve been so very busy. Busy with what you may wonder? Well….what usually happens during a 9 month span? Hmm, I’m sure you’ve guessed it. Yes, I’ve been baking, baking a baby in the oven.  My oven that is.  I’m due next month and we’re expecting a baby boy! I’m so excited since my husband and I agree that we will be a family of 4, two kids and done. 

This pregnancy has been so different than with my daughter. First trimester was the roughest. Nausea, fatigue, and worse of all to me, food adversion. I wanted nothing to do with food, cooking or eating. It was such a terrible feeling that I couldn’t control. I knew I had to eat but it was so not enjoyable. Unfortunately, since I didn’t even want to look at food let alone cook, there wasn’t much to write about. I started to get better in my second trimester and then I found out I had gestational diabetes. Also very tough, since sweets and carbs were the only things I did enjoy. But now I had to really watch what I was eating and cut down on carbs….CARBS!?! As tough as it was, I’m now starting to get use to watching my carbs regularly and walking after every meal, and I feel even healthier than ever. 

With about a month and a half left to go, I’m feeling a bit more empowered to finish my pregnancy strong and welcome my baby into the world. So I just wanted to share this little tad-bit with you about my life. Now that I’ve had my energy and appetite back, I can get back to feeling inspired with my meals and I will post more regularly again. Well as regularly as a mom with a toddler and a newborn can! 😉 My next post, I PROMISE, will be a food post and it will post next week. Come back to see if I keep my promise! =)

Asian Inspired Fish en Papillote, and an actual weekend (sort of)!

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Yay for weekends. Too be honest, weekends don’t always feel like weekends to me. I’m a stay at home mom and my husband’s schedule is never consistent often working on weekends and nights. So while I can appreciate weekends for their offerings of free time and a break from the work week for many, my own routine and life does not change much on weekends.

But this week, my husband had a rare three days off, no calls, no moonlighting, no presentations to work on… and it was nice. We were able to take our daughter for one last splash in the pool before the weather got too cold, we went to Balboa park and enjoyed the nice weather, had family relaxation time at home, and got dessert at a new restaurant we haven’t tried.

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Delicious Brownie Shake

On Friday, I made Fish en Papillote but I wanted to try something different with it and so I used ingredients for Asian Style Steam Fish. It was such a quick recipe, so easy to make and best of all it was tasty! I wasn’t going to make a blog post about this recipe so I didn’t take many pictures, but it was so good and easy I figured I should just share it now. I know I will definitely make this again.

And now friends, it is Sunday, and my husband is back at work, my daughter is napping, and I am back to the routine. 😌

Asian Inspired Fish en Papillote
For one fish packet
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 inch knob of ginger sliced into thin strips
1 scallion, sliced
a couple slices of chili pepper
1 white fish filet

1. Lay fish onto parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
3. Add soy sauce and sesame oil on top of fish.
4. Lay on top ginger, scallions, and peppers.
5. Seal parchment paper.
6. Back at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
7. Garnish with cilantro.

life. not a food post

Has it really been three years since I’ve last posted? Actually, thinking on the events that has occurred in my life since my last post, it is actually pretty easy to believe that three years have passed. I feel it’s awkward to just jump back on here and start posting about food again after such a long break without saying a little something as to why I haven’t posted. Two major events happened which caused me to take a hiatus with blogging, one was the passing of my dog and two was the birth of my daughter.

My dog- It feels silly to say this since I actually have a baby now, but I really considered my dog my baby. My husband and I rescued her when we first moved away to keep me company in a new city. She was a huge part of our lives. She moved from apartment to apartment, city to city with us. She was the only one to be physically present in the moments as my husband and I went from dating to engaged to married. She was loving and spunky and was the joy of our lives, especially the joy of my life when my husband was often gone for work. The events that lead up to the night we had to say goodbye to her (aside from my actual labor) were the most stressful days of my life. I’ve been fortunate so far in that I’ve never had to deal with the lost of an actual human loved one and I dread the day when I will have to deal with it, but up to this point, losing my dog was the first time I felt the actual heart ache of loss. I was physically and emotionally down for a good amount of time. The things that usually bought me joy just didn’t seem to matter anymore…i.e cooking and blogging, and so I decided to take a break from writing.

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My daughter- A little more than a year later my husband’s career had us move again and we decided this new city was a good place to start a family. I did some research beforehand and read that it can sometimes take up to 6 months to be successful in conceiving. I mean it sounded like the stars had to align in order for an egg to become fertilized, so we decided we should start trying, thinking it wouldn’t happen right away….well, it did not take us 6 months, I got pregnant immediately. We had just moved to a new city, I just landed a pretty good job, but now I had to re-evaluate what direction I wanted my life to take, stay-at-home mom or continue to work? I always envisioned that when I had a baby I would stay at home and raise my child, but the thought of having a career was also appealing to me. It took me a while but I had to really think about what made me happy and what I saw my life as, and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom (at least for now).

It’s been quite an adventure adjusting to motherhood. For 10 years it’s just been my husband and me, and suddenly we were sharing it with this little baby. We had to learn how to adjust from a life of two people, a life of complete freedom and plenty of free time, to a life that now involved lots of crying, feeding, sleep deprivation, and figuring out this tiny human that we brought into the world.

She’s now almost 10 months and I still can’t believe I’m a mom and this lively, curious little baby girl is mine and I especially can’t believe she’ll be 1 year old in a few months!

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those feet 🙂

I feel my life is settling back down and I want to go back to what I have enjoyed doing and that is food, cooking, and writing about it. Some days (actually most days) it is hard for me to cook a meal while caring for a baby, let alone take pictures and write about it, but now I want and hope I can get back in the kitchen and do the thing I love again.

By the way, my small patio backyard is now an even smaller balcony, but I’m making it work …at least for some herbs, but that’s better than nothing I guess 🙂