Super Easy Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

So when I first started making spaghetti squash I had no idea how to start. How to slice open a spaghetti squash was a complete mystery to me…lol. I would look forward to eating spaghetti squash at a favorite restaurant at the time when I lived in Minneapolis, MN. The rich and butter flavor of spaghetti squash had me captivated.

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I was determine to learn to make one for myself at home. After experiment different ways to prep spaghetti squash, I discovered a super easy way of making the process go faster. I used the magic of the microwave and learned that softening the squash was the best way to enjoy making this lovely side dish.

Super Easy Spaghetti Squash

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F
  • Pierce spaghetti squash with fork a few times.
  • Place spaghetti squash in the microwave with a paper towel underneath or a microwavable plate for 5 mins. This helps soften the spaghetti squash and makes prepping easier.
  • Using oven gloves, transfer the spaghetti squash onto cutting board and let it cool for about 5-10 mins.
  • Cut the top of the stem off and slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the seeds and ribbing with a large spoon.
  • Drizzle the inside of spaghetti squash with olive oil and add salt and pepper.
  • Add olive oil to the baking sheet.
  • Place the spaghetti squash face down.
  • Roast spaghetti squash for 40 mins. or 50 mins. *The time will depend the size of the squash.
  • Remove from the oven and use oven gloves to flip the squash upwards.
  • Let it cool for a few mins. Then use a fork to gently scrape the strands from the spaghetti squash.

Crispy Oven-Baked Garlic Fries

These potatoes are so yummy…it’s like love at first bite. They are a perfect weekend meal when you are busy getting other projects done. Plus, it pairs well with other main dishes. I promise you it’s a win-win.

Garlic French Fries, The Comfy Cabin, 2022
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image by Quotes Gram

Crispy Oven-Baked Garlic Fries

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder optional, 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450° degrees F
  • Cut the potatoes into ¼ sticks
  • In a large bowl soak the potatoes in cold water for 15 mins. and sprinkle salt. This helps with the crisping process because it helps remove the starch and adds extra flavor.
  • After 15 mins. drain the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Place the potatoes in a new bowl. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well to distribute all the spices.
  • In a large baking sheet, add extra olive oil and spread the potatoes. Leave some space in between each potato so they can bake evenly. Place on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Bake for 45 mins. or until golden crisp.
  • Add parsley and serve immediately.
    Optional: You can serve the potatoes with parmesan cheese or crumble blue cheese.

Southern Green Beans with Prosciutto

When I first moved to the South, I wanted to try Southern Green Beans and it was absolutely delicious! I decided to add crispy oven-baked prosciutto instead of bacon. It’s the perfect combination of rich flavors that will leave you craving for more.

Southern Green Beans with Prosciutto, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022.
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What is Prosciutto?

The word prosciutto translates to “ham” in Italian. It’s 100% natural cured ham without any additives, preservatives, hormones, gluten or coloring agents. Prosciutto had been a popular dish in Italy for thousands of years. So, if you love bacon then you should try oven-baked prosciutto.

History of Prosciutto (c) Prosciutto Di Parma, 2022

Southern Green Beans with Prosciutto

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz prosciutto, about 6 slices
  • 2 lbs string beans either fresh or frozen, with ends trimmed
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • tabasco sauce, 2-3 drops
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place prosciutto slices on the parchment paper and make sure they don't overlap.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl and let it cool down.
  • In a large frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil and chopped onions.
  • Cook onions until they are translucent.
  • Add the green beans, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, and tabasco sauce. Stir gently to combine.
  • Cook for additional 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth and cover with lid and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, blot the slices prosciutto with a paper towel. Chop the prosciutto into small pieces.
  • Place green beans on a serving dish and add the prosciutto.

Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

During the cold winter months, I have been craving shrimp and broccoli. I love the sweet and tangy flavors that would melt into your mouth. I recalled how easier it was to place a phone order from one of the local Chinese restaurants when I lived in New York City.

Please don’t get me wrong, I love living out here in a cabin in the woods. It’s that the restaurants out here are too far away, and they don’t deliver food.

I decided to create my version of shrimp and broccoli. With a little bit of experimentation, I found the right combination of simple ingredients. So far, I have been pleased with the results. This recipe is easy and brings back all the flavors of an elegant Chinese restaurant.

Enjoy!

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(c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

Here is what I used for the Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients for Shrimp and Broccoli. (c) The Comfy cabin, 2022

I am enjoying egg rolls from Feel Good Foods as a side dish. They are gluten free and very delicious!

Chicken Egg Rolls from Feel Good Foods.
photo by: The Comfy Cabin, 2022

Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 24 ounces broccoli
  • 1 1/2 lbs medium shrimps
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • For the sauce: In a bowl whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, white wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and sweet chili sauce.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent.
  • Add the red peppers and broccoli. Stir for about 5 mins.
  • Remove the veggies and place in a bowl.
  • Add extra olive oil if needed. Add shrimps and stir for 10 mins.
  • Return the vegetables along with the shrimps.
  • Add and stir in the soy sauce mixture.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, or scallions if desired.

Notes

Optional: Add mushrooms, snow peas, or water chestnuts if desired.

Flavorful Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Nothing says The Holidays better than having some warm and flavorful herb roasted potatoes as a side dish. This side dish pairs well with any main dish or served alone.

Can you hear the sizzle? Flavorful Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021
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I enjoy making these herb roasted baby potatoes in huge quantities and freezing any extras. Also, I love eating them in the morning with eggs whenever I need a power pack breakfast for a very long hike in the mountains.

Flavorful Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag of baby potatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbs Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F
  • Wash and cut potatoes half or quarter.
  • Pat the potatoes dry with paper towel.
  • Combine potatoes with olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle extra olive oil.
  • Bake on the bottom rack for about 25 mins. or until fork-tender.

Curry Rice Pilaf with Pecans & Raisins

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Curry Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Raisins, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

I love making this dish as a quick and savory meal for dinner. Rice pilaf makes a great vegetarian meal. Also, both curry and turmeric have many health benefits.

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I serve this rice dish with my favorite chutney, Patak’s Major Grey Chutney-Sweet Mango with Ginger.

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You can find my favorite chutney here.

Curry Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Raisins

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried sweetened cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground 
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbs ghee or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan add, ghee or olive oil, with the chopped onions.
  • Brown the onions in the saucepan for about 5-8 mins. 
  • Add all the spices: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, curry, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon
  • Brown for another 5 mins
  • Then add the rice and stir for about 2 mins. to infuse the flavors.
  • Add water and cover with a lid.
  • Reduce the heat and let the rice simmer for about 15 mins. 
  • Remove the lid, add the chopped peacans and raisins.
  • Then continue cooking for 5 mins. or until all of the water is absorbed.

Notes

You may use any pre-mixed spice of Indian Curry blend of seasoning.
Optional: Serve with yogurt, or your favorite brand of chutney.

Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod

Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod, (c)The Comfy Cabin, 2021

This recipe is a flavorful mixture of tangy and sweet. As a child growing up in New York City, one of my favorite dishes was tomato-based salted cod fish, bacalhau. Once a week, I would always look forward to this dish with a side of french fries…yum!
I recreated this dish inspired by my Mediterranean and Hispanic heritage. It’s a fusion of flavors that makes this dish extra delicious! Plus, this dish pairs well with any side of rice, salad, or potatoes.

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Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod, (c)The Comfy Cabin, 2021

Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Spanish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds cod fish or frozen bag or cod
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes or tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of mixed olives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine or water
  • 4 tbs olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pad the cod with paper towels until dry. 
  • Add olive oil and cod to a  9”x13” baking dish.
  • Add all the spices, chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and olives. 
  • Pour water or white cooking wine in the dish.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins. or until the fish is opaque (depending on the thickness of the cod fish).
  • Add extra olives if desired

Notes

For extra flavor: add the spices to the cod ahead of time and place back in the fridge for about 30 mins so the flavors can set in.