What is life without celebrations? Not a very fun one! I’m an advocate of adding bows and kittens to everything and anything whenever possible. While neither bows nor kittens (regrettably) made it to this occasion, a very manly birthday week for Preston finally concluded with #IAmAMan events as follows:
- Bacon breakfast (aka Classic Pesek Family Brunch) + Mom Pesek’s banana bread
- Eat like a boss at Red Hook’s Hometown BBQ. This shiz is for realz, they do not mess around with their meat. Get their brisket sandwich, cry a little because it’s so good, proceed to order everything else on their menu to go. DON’T FORGET YOUR SAUCE. I freaked out so much I didn’t even take photos
- Win IKEA, like a boss. We passed the ultimate couples test and survived our maiden couple voyage to Red Hook IKEA. Our marriage is going to work.
- Haul reclaimed pine joist from Big Reuse NYC (into BBQ scented ZipCar). Currently being worked (hazardously) on our window ledge / stoop. #YOLO
- Have minds blown by Tree of Codes with Jamie xx at the Park Avenue Armory. Just because #IAmAMan doesn’t mean modern dance can’t be in the mix, gender is so passé.
- Eat carrot cake (from Amy’s Bread) & be merry!
I am pretty sure birthday week was a success because Preston now insists it should be a birthday month instead. Nice try buddy!! Sprinkle in a few social events to the above means we need to recover for about a week and go on a veggie detox.
With the abundance of hard-shelled squashes, I decided to make a simple spaghetti squash dish dressed with some roasted garlic tomatoes with Herbs de Provence! I hope I am not crushing anyone’s dreams here, but spaghetti squash does not taste like pasta. Though the fun stringy texture and mild flavor means it is a good backdrop for many toppings and can take quite a bit of seasoning, so feel free to experiment! Shmaghetti squash is easier to prepare than you might think, The Kitchn did a great tutorial on how to prepare the squash, check it out!
|Spaghetti Squash||1 – 1.5 lbs|
|Tomatoes||Half Dry Pint Cocktail Tomatoes Halved|
|Raw Shrimp||1/4 lbs|
|Onion||1/4 Onion Finely Chopped|
|Garlic||2 Cloves Chopped (for Tomatoes)
2 Cloves Sliced (for Squash)
|Olive Oil||1 Tablespoon (for Tomatoes)
1 – 2 Tablespoon (for Squash)
|Dried Red Pepper Flakes||1/2 Teaspoon or Adjust to your taste|
|Herbs de Provence||1 Teaspoon|
|Salt||1/2 Teaspoon (for Tomatoes)
Lots more to taste (for Squash)
|Pepper||1/4 Teaspoon (for Tomatoes)
Lots more to taste (for Squash)
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Use a cleaver if you have one, picture your worst enemy, and hack the squash in half. This is how hard the spaghetti squash is. If you don’t have a cleaver, consider roasting the squash whole and softening it before cutting in half.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil and generously sprinkle salt and pepper onto the sides of the squash.
- Lightly coat bottom of deep roasting pan with some olive oil. Then place halved squashes CUT FACE DOWN. Roast for about 40 – 45 minutes until cooked through (the ‘strands’ will fall easily when you drag the insides with a fork).
- While the squash is roasting, mix chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp Herbs de Provence, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper in a small bowl. Pat shelled shrimp dry, season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
- Cut cocktail tomatoes in halves, place on lightly oiled cookie sheet, spaced evenly. Use a small spoon and place garlic on top of each tomato half. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes on the bottom rack, until tomatoes soften.
- Once squash is done roasting, scrape out the insides with a fork / pair of tongs. In a medium pan sauté chopped onions and sliced garlic until golden (3 – 5 minutes), then stir in squash and red pepper flakes until well combined. Add plenty of black pepper / salt to taste.
- In the same pan, add another drizzle of olive oil and sauté shrimp until cooked through. Serve hot.