Grocery Stores, Recipe Inspiration, and My Inner Voice in the Beauty Section

There’s this unmentionable phenomenon that comes over me whenever I’m in the beauty section of any store, but specifically the grocery store. Perhaps it’s the way they masterfully arrange my beauty needs (or rather, my wants because 95% of the time I need nothing from that area), or perhaps its my feminine side kicking in telling me, “F$#k yeah, glitter!”. Who knows. All I have to say is that my inner voice kicked in today as I was perusing the wares at my local grocery store, but not in any way that anyone would find normal.

“I f&*$ing love makeup!” rang my inner voice as I turned the corner into, yet another, aisle of fabulous colors and sparkles.

Then it dawned on me. That inner voice wasn’t my tone at all, but the voice that mimicked an otherworldly being from the depths of Mordor. What the hell?

“Shit, that’s a good deal!” I said aloud as I reached for some eyeshadow and the coupon that stuck to it. This struck me immediately after saying it because, Jesus, I had just had a weird moment with my inner dialogue and now I’m saying ridiculous things out loud? I moved on after saying aloud, “In the basket”.

Like traveling through a video game, I advanced myself to the more difficult sections of the grocery store – food. Though I absolutely relish my time at the grocery store, as I love cooking, they are, at times, challenging. I often think of those moments as a kid at the old Farmer Jack’s in Dearborn Heights, Michigan where my mom would schlep her two kids along with her for three hour grocery shopping extravaganzas. I hated them. I always wanted to hang out in the beauty section because, why not, I was five years old and needed to garishly paint my face with every color under the sun…preferably blue.

Now, in my thirties, I find myself enjoying the grocery store more than any store – other than shoes or beauty stores. I mean, your feet don’t get bigger, so the shoe will fit, and makeup is just amazing because it can sometimes make you feel amazing, or else you find yourself treating yourself to a new pair of gym shorts instead of pants because the pants don’t fit.

So, with a grocery store trip like the one I encountered today, what would one find themselves facing when they returned home? Well, a fabulous new eyeshadow palette and lots of delicious goods to make something phenomenal for dinners this week.

On the menu tonight is a homemade meat sauce with a low-carb pasta substitute, my favorite, spaghetti squash. Dress and prep it right and you have your guests singing your praises and asking you how you made the squash and sauce taste so good.

Homemade Meat Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

*FYI, this medley made a ton of sauce, so make at your own risk because I’m not going to measure everything for you.

2 Cans of tomato sauce

2 Cans of tomato paste

1 box of low-sodium chicken broth

1 Can of diced tomatoes

1 Pound of 96/4 Ground Sirloin

1 Pound of 99/1 Ground Turkey

half an onion

1 container of sliced mushrooms

4-1 billion cloves of garlic, or however many you can handle

1 bunch of curly leaf parsley (finely chopped)

balsamic vinegar

garlic red wine vinegar

olive oil

grated parmesan cheese

1 tbsp butter (or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)

ground pepper

garlic powder

cayenne pepper

cumin

zesty italian dressing mix

seasoning salt

italian seasoning

a pinch of whatever you choose (my “what is that?” spice happens to be cinnamon)

Heat up a pot under low heat and a pan on medium before you add anything to them. Be sure you’re heating up the right burners unlike me. Then you end up with sauce that has been sitting at room temperature for two hours as you throw sautéed ingredients in thinking it’s gonna be awesome sitting on the stove all day. Oh, and you end up heating up the lid that you rested on the burner that wasn’t supposed to be on at all.

Add your tomato sauce, about a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Let that hang out under low heat while you chop up onion, mushrooms, and garlic. In the other pan, coat it with olive oil and let it heat while you’re chopping. Once finished, add your onion and sprinkle seasoning salt on top. Push it around with whatever utensil works best for you, then turn around and start roughly chopping up your mushrooms. Add those bad boys, stir them around, and add some balsamic. Go back to the cutting board and chop up your garlic. Add it and sauté briefly because it loses its flavor and tastes too strong. Add it to your sauce.

Next, coat your pan with olive oil and let it sit for a few while you mix up your meats. Thoroughly spice your meats with garlic, seasoning salt, Grub Rub, cumin, Zesty Italian Dressing mix, and whatever else you might think would taste good. Mix it all up, then add it to the pan.

Meanwhile, spice up your sauce with all of the same spices plus italian seasoning. Once you have browned your meat, add it to your sauce.

Lastly, rinse your pan and return it to heat. Coat it with a thin layer of olive oil and add your chopped parsley, along with some italian seasoning. Stir it for just a couple minutes, then add it to your sauce. Stir your sauce and let simmer until the end of time…or until you’re ready to eat it.

Spaghetti Squash

Preheat your oven at 400*. Halve that bad boy and then gut it with a spoon just like you would while carving a pumpkin for Halloween. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with cooking spray.

Once you’ve tackled the squash, rub down the flesh of it with olive oil. Next, sprinkle some seasoning salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder over it. Flip it flesh side down on the parchment and shove that thing in the oven for an hour.

Once baked, let it cool for a few. Next, pull out a bowl and a fork and go to town on the thing. It shreds very easily, so the work is minimal. Once you’ve removed all of the goodness from the shell, take that tablespoon of butter and add to your squash. While that melts, add some parmesan cheese and a bit more garlic powder. Mix it all together. Once complete, serve just like you would regular spaghetti and meat sauce.

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Supposedly, when Stephen King wakes from a wacky dream, he writes it down and this is what most of his brilliant works are based on. What if I did the same and used those ideas for books? I think everyone would think I’m crazy, delusional, or just plain weird…if they don’t already.

I’m inspired with these thoughts after a run-in with a wild dream or two last night. Around 1:13AM this morning I awoke myself, my dog, and my hubby by yelling out. In my sleep-induced haze I tried to explain my dream.

“I was looking under the bed expecting to see a monster, but I saw a cat. I’m sorry I woke you.”

If you’re familiar with obscure and ridiculous B-rated horror from the 80s, you may be familiar with one of those Saturday night specials aptly named ‘Rawhead Rex’. Not familiar? Check it out above or watch the full movie on YouTube and imagine expecting that sex on wheels to crawl out from under a bed in your dreams; you’d yell out too. I’m not sure whose bed it was, though, since I’ve tried to shove everything under the sun under my bed…for cleaning purposes (much to the chagrin of my neat and calculating husband), so I couldn’t tell you where I was or why I was dreaming about this. I had also just watched The Walking Dead, so it could have been there. Who knows.

To adjourn this ridiculous and nonsensical post, I will supply you with a recipe for delicious:

Roasted Parmesan Butternut Squash

1 medium-sized butternut squash, diced
Garlic Powder (a light dusting)
Seasoned Salt (to taste)
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Pre-heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl, mix diced squash with olive oil and butter. Sprinkle squash onto the pan, careful to keep the pieces separate. Dust the squash with your garlic powder, seasoned salt, parmesan cheese, cayenne, and finish with the juice of the lemon. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes.

Remove and serve!