Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Barndoor Baby Gate

Well, I can't believe it but next week little Miss Lila turns 1!!  She has become extremely mobile...including walking :)  So a few weeks ago it was time to put up the baby gates.  
Our not-so-lovely-but-thankful-we-have-it military housing comes with the really steep stairs.  With really sharp edges.  
So we needed to stop little Miss from climbing them (and she IS a climber!).  I'm really not a huge fan of the plastic baby gates...they don't have a lot of character and are really expensive for what you get.  So my crafty husband searched the internet for a better solution and came across this lovely barndoor baby gate plan from Remodelaholic.  He used mostly pallet wood - so they were very inexpensive.  Like most everything else in our house we decided to add color.  In fact my daughter has been known to punish her dolls by making them wear all white or all grey...the horror!

The gate at the bottom of the stairs had to be hinged in the center - there wasn't enough room to open it all the way.  

It simply folds neatly against the wall.
(don't you love that handrail...?) 

My thanks to the Officer for his mad woodworking skills. 
I love them, and they add just a little more character to this big white box we live in...that I'm very thankful for ;)
p.s. Be happy with what you have and you will have plenty to be happy about.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

{Recipe}Twice-baked Butternut Squash with Feta, Sage, and Cranberries

I feel like butternut squash gets overlooked.  It's kinda like a sweet potato, but more I think people just run away.  But to me - it's a wintery evening delight.  Even the name - butter + nut, makes me feel all warm and if you've been unsure of what to do with this vegetable in the past - let me suggest you give this a try!  Here's what you'll need...
1 butternut squash
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350.  If you have a large squash, cut it in quarters length-wise.  If it's a small one you'd do better just cutting it in half.  Scoop out the seeds and score the flesh.  Dot with butter and roast until a fork can easily pierce it (this takes about 30-40 minutes).  Remove the squash and gently scoop out the flesh and place it in a bowl.  You should be left with little "boats", that you will soon fill with deliciousness...
Increase the oven temp to 400.
Add the sour cream and sage to the squash in the bowl and blend with an immersion blender (or mash it up really good by hand if you didn't make it to the gym today...)
Then gently fold in the feta and dried cranberries.
Scoop this mixture back into the squash boats and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Put the squash back in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes more, until it's a little bubbly and the cheese is just starting to brown.
Hope you enjoy this recipe - and let me know - what's your favorite way to cook butternut squash?

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