Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Well Halloween wasn’t entirely cancelled this year, just different!

I prepared a bunch of goodie bags and put them out in our walkway. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I definitely underprepared! There were a LOT of trick or treaters!

I did two batches. The first batch went out late afternoon and then we left for a bit and when we got home I put the rest out and it was all gone in a flash!

So this year, Logan was a Shark! He had a small Halloween party at preschool on Friday.

Then we went to two of my friend’s house to trick or treat there. The first one was my friend Debby. She loves Halloween as much as I do. She usually goes all out!

Logan was a little scared by the skeletons LOL but it was cute. She made a HUGE goodie bag for him. He had SO much candy (like seriously, the equivalent of many houses!).

Then we went to my friend Ed’s house and she put together a whole scavenger hunt in her back yard!!

There were clues for each “Station” in her backyard (I posted some videos on my Instagram account if you are interested) and then Logan had to dig (with a shovel!) for the clue that led him to the next clue.

The final riddle had to spell out a word (scorpion) and he had to find the scorpion in the yard and then dig. And then he found a KEY! And the key opened a treasure chest with a huge bag of halloween candy, toys, a book, etc. It was so amazing.

It was sooo incredibly sweet that friends did this and Logan LOVED it. He was so excited and did not even mention trick or treating or notice that we did something different this year, so that was good.

I also saw, as we drove around, how many people got creative! Lots of tables set up for safe candy grabbing (some with hand sanitizer!), candy attached to fences or string by clothespins. It was so cool. It made me happy so many people tried to make Halloween fun for kids.

We had dinner when we got home. I made Michael and me a Greek bowl: spinach, wild rice, roasted chickpeas, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, onion, feta cheese and Goddess Dressing (it called for Greek dressing, which I didn’t have, but Goddess Dressing made with tahini went perfectly!). It was so yummy!

Michael and I watched “The Quiet Place” Saturday night (Friday night we watched “Hereditary”). So we got our scary movies in. 🙂

Sunday I made a REALLY good dinner I wanted to share here.

Butternut Squash soup with tortellini, sage and goat cheese.

It was the PERFECT fall soup. The soup was delicious, slightly sweet. Loved the pasta in it. The sage was sautéed in butter til crispy, which was a fun addition. I used herbed goat cheese on top. I would definitely make this recipe again. Even Michael, who isn’t a huge fan of soup, or “sweet” soups, loved it, too. I recommend it!

Chrissy Teigen’s Cookbook

I finally broke down and bought “Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen. I’ve followed her on Twitter for years and have liked her and I kept seeing other people tagging her in the recipes of hers they’d make and they’d look so good! It was on sale on Amazon recently and I just did it.

The book is nice. I flagged the recipes I wanted to try. There are a lot of them! Some of the recipes are pretty “simple” and not necessarily recipes (like a caprese salad isn’t really a recipe to me) but I think the easy stuff is supposed to appeal to people that maybe aren’t used to cooking maybe?

The first recipe I tried was a salad.

I made the Roasted Cauliflower, Feta and Orzo Salad.

It sounded really good and I had all the ingredients on hand. Or so I thought! I went to go start and was out of orzo. And then I remembered that I donated the bag of orzo at the beginning of the pandemic to some neighbors so….I had to improvise. I decided to use some Barley and honestly? It was awesome! I’m sure it’s great with orzo, and I will definitely make it again with orzo, but the Barley was a great and super filling addition to a salad.

I would use a little bit less of the olive oil on the cauliflower next time.

I used baby spinach and a little bit of arugula.

Honestly, the salad was pretty darn good. Michael, who said he is not a fan of cauliflower in most forms, even said it was awesome! It was hearty and delicious and had good flavor. I’d give it a solid A. Here is a link to the recipe from another blogger who tried it, too.

The second recipe I tried was the Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe:

I made this with the leftover linguine I had from a recent recipe. Overall, we enjoyed this. We don’t eat pasta very often (before I was doing keto, maybe half a dozen times a year) but this was a nice treat.

So I am not quite sure if I did something wrong, the recipe was kind of over the top spicy. Now we like spicy food but the red pepper flakes were overpowering. It had me wondering if I didn’t pay attention and put the wrong amount of measured pepper flakes in the recipe? I will have to do the recipe again to find out.

That’s the only complaint we both have about the recipe. The lemon flavor was nice. The elements together were nice. It was just spicy as hell. So I MUST have put the wrong amount in there…I will report back once I make this again.

I also made her Sriracha Caesar’s Salad. It was excellent. I mean, it’s a Caesar’s Salad, she’s not reinventing the wheel, but I liked her twist on it. The Sriracha in the dressing was very good. I also liked that the dressing was mayo based instead of raw egg. I like both Caesar dressings when they are homemade, but I feel like this one will be able to stay in the fridge longer, which I like.

Not the best photo, sorry. Tomatoes from our garden. We used some keto bread to toast with the garlic olive oil topping instead of baguette and it was disappointing (lol) so I’d use real croutons next time.

We also added blackened chicken to the recipe, which was a great addition, very filling. All in all, the recipe was great and I’d make it again. I liked her dressing a lot and would make it again to have on hand in the fridge.

So I’ve made three recipes out of the book so far and I’m happy. I’m glad I bought it, I will try the recipes I’ve made again and I am looking forward to trying the rest!

QUESTION: Have you tried the recipes in this book?