Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Until We Meet Again

Yesterday afternoon my husbands family suffered a great loss. His aunt Deanne had passed away from breast cancer, after battling and fighting against the horrible disease for over 7 years, when they only gave her 6 months to live upon diagnosis. My heart goes out to my husbands family and to anyone who was privileged to know such an amazing woman. I loved her so much.

I married into my husband's family 4 1/2 years ago. And during that time I was so very blessed to get to know Deanne and to learn of what an amazing woman she was. She was the most darling mother. She has 3 daughters who are all mothers themselves, they are the sweetest mothers and that is truly a testament to the type of loving mother Deanne was. She was so full of life. You would never know she was battling a horrible disease or in pain. She never complained and never worried about small or petty things. I am so grateful for her example of living life to the fullest, and not letting anything hold you back from experiencing life and being happy.

I am going to miss her big hug and kiss on the cheek she would give me as I left our family dinners. I am going to miss her pulling out her African Beads and having all of us girls dive right in and make beautiful jewelry with them. I am going to miss her getting excited over the desserts I would make. I am going to miss her beautiful smile and contagious love and positivity she brought to every room she entered. She has taught me to be more relaxed with life, and not worry about the little things, but live life to the fullest. I am so grateful I married into such an amazing family full of amazing people. Deanne was truly amazing. It will be hard to imagine this life on earth without her.

It's hard to get through such a loss, my heart especially goes out to the Krieger family at this difficult time. During this time of Thanksgiving, I am truly reminded of the many precious things I am grateful for. I am so grateful for family. I am grateful for my belief that family's will be together forever, and that I know Deanne's family will all be together again one day, and I will get to see her again. I am grateful for the gospel I believe in, it is the one constant in my life that makes it possible for me to get through hard things. Many have something in their life that helps lead and guide them, it is my belief in this gospel that gives me guidance and strength, especially during such an impossible time. This message brings me comfort. And I believe this message with all of my heart. Love you Deane, will miss you so much. Thanks for all you've taught me without even knowing it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sausage Cauliflower :)

Hey everyone! Well I am back from our six day trip. We first made a stop in Dallas for a few days and then finished off in Chicago. I will share details about why we went on the trip later, but first, let's get cookin!

Some of you may know that I am also apart of another blog, "and it's good for you too". This blog was created by me and some of the women on my mom's side of the family. I come from a family who loves to cook, but we also try to give our families good healthy meals. This blog was a way for us to motivate each other to cook healthy, as well as providing an array of healthy recipes for us all to try. My cousin Melissa posted about this sausage cauliflower spaghetti and I tried it right away!

It was such a yummy, easy, simple, and healthy dish! I used whole wheat penne instead of spaghetti because that's what I had. It felt so good to have a healthy, homemade meal after eating out for nearly a week. I'm excited to get back in the swing of things and start cooking healthy meals..of course I have a cream cheese sugar cookie I have on my list to try soon as well:)

Sausage Cauliflower Spaghetti

Kosher salt

12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

12 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

6 cloves garlic, sliced

1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as the label directs. Reserve 2 cups cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Clear a space in the pan, add the garlic and cook until just golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until the edges are browned, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 8 more minutes. Uncover and boil over high heat until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 2 more minutes.

Add the spaghetti to the skillet along with the scallions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss for a minute or two to wilt the scallions and coat the pasta with the sauce, adding up to 1 cup cooking water, if needed, to loosen. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the cheese and toss. Divide among shallow bowls and drizzle with more olive oil, if desired.