spaghetti squash and black bean tacos

spaghetti squash and black bean tacos

I love spaghetti squash. Sure, it tastes great, but my inner five-year-old also really enjoys the way the cooked squash turns into shreds when you scrape it with a fork. So weird. So cool.

Squash in tacos might sound a little weird, but variations on the theme are pretty common, as most squash takes very well to spicy Mexican flavors. This recipe in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is the first I've seen to use spaghetti squash, but while unexpected, it works really well. Spaghetti squash retains a little bit of crunch, adding nice texture to the tacos. Beans, queso fresco, and onions round things out, but the spiced squash is the star here.

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pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake

pumpkin chocolate chip loaf

Okay, it's offish, fall is here. Which apparently means it's time for pumpkin or something?

Seriously, though, when did seasonal appreciation for pumpkin turn into yearly pumpkin hysteria? Pinterest has been 89% pumpkin since late August. Pumpkin spice coffee selfies litter my newsfeed. I posted a filtered picture of a can of pumpkin on instagram and a lot of you "liked" it. A can of pumpkin. I'm starting to become suspicious that we've all been conned by a multi-year marketing campaign by Starbucks.

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roasted salmon and broccoli with chile-caper vinaigrette

roasted salmon and broccoli with caper-chili vinaigrette

Salmon and broccoli, all in one pan and spruced up with a spicy and salty vinaigrette? It's like you were reading my mind, Bon Appetit.

Tonight's dinner is also a great example of the way I usually eat. Yeah, some nights (aka the entire week before an exam) are "microwave some Trader Joe's frozen entree" nights, and when I have time I undertake more ambitious meals, but usually I need some source of protein and vegetables and if they are prepared together, all the better.

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roasted pistachio ice cream

roasted pistachio ice cream

Yep.

Oh, sorry, were you waiting for me to say something? I got distracted by the close-up of homemade ice cream. Really delicious, super creamy, pistachio-full ice cream.

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grilled Hatch chile and tomato salsa

hatch chile and tomato salsa

While I ate ridiculously well on my road trip, all those days in a row of eating out were starting to wear on me. Since many of our later hotels didn't have fridges, I felt obligated to finish my dinners, so a lot of nights I was so full it was a bit painful. So, on the plane, I browsed through my food magazines on my tablet, in between using the free TV to watch Food Network (yeah, everyone nearby probably thought I was ridiculous).

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road trip photo recap

So I did this thing, where I flew out to Seattle, met my friend Jen, and then we drove (well, Jen drove, I can't drive a manual) all the way down to Los Angeles, stopping in Portland, Eugene, San Francisco, Monterey along the way. We enjoyed the elevation of I-5 and the ridiculous coastal beauty of Highway 1. Then, I came home and tried to write a blog post about, and hadn't even gotten to Monterey three days later, and realized this was impossible. I've already made two things I want to blog about!

So I present a sample of the hundreds of photos I took on my trip, with brief explanations. You'll probably enjoy this more anyhow. And look, not that many pictures of food!

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