Kitchen Adventures: Houseguests Must Work For Food!

In case last Wednesday’s post didn’t show you, I LOVE having houseguests. Anytime we have visitors, I go crazy in the kitchen baking delicious items like donuts and scones.

After living in apartments for years, it’s fun playing host in a REAL house. And, I take my duties very, very seriously. I even offer up Cole as a cuddle buddy for my guests.

Life is "Ruff"

Life is “Ruff”

He doesn’t seem to mind his “extra duties.”

Anyway, I mentioned on Wednesday that my friend Molly would be staying with us this week. What I didn’t mention is that Molly happens to be a very talented photographer and offered to help me out with improving my food photography. In case you didn’t notice, there’s a lot of room for improvement in that area!

Unfortunately, Molly’s camera needed to charge last night, so she’ll be teaching me a few things on today’s hike…but that didn’t mean I let her get off easy!

She was pretty excited to learn that I would be making her my “famous” Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Cucumber Tomato Summer Salad for dinner last night. But, I wasn’t about to let her get off easy and sit on the couch with Cole as I worked away. Nope, since both were recipes for the blog, I put her to work taking pictures of me cooking in the kitchen.

Three guesses on who took this pic. Hint? Not me!

Three guesses on who took this pic. Hint? Not me!

Houseguests must work for food!

Relaxing and taking in the Hudson Valley...this won't last too long, Molly!

Relaxing and taking in the Hudson Valley…this won’t last too long, Molly!

I mentioned both of these foods in my WIAW post, and since both recipes turned out so well, I just had to share them with you!

Let’s start with Cucumber Tomato Summer Salad. This recipe is my way of holding onto summer for just a little bit longer (Even though I actually love the fall. Pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn and pretty leaves. What more does a girl need?!)

The original plan was for Molly to take beautiful food pictures with her snazzy camera, but alas, due to battery problems, her iPhone 5 would have to do.

This recipe isn’t very complicated and is really more about letting fresh the ingredients speak for themselves. I changed it up from Wednesday by using a better (and more fresh) feta cheese, and it elevated the dish to another level!

Cucumber Tomato Summer Salad
Serves 4
A simple recipe that's easy to prepare and lets the flavors do the talking! Hold onto summer for just a little bit longer with this produce-packed dish.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 1 cucumber chopped
  2. 1 pint cherry tomatoes chopped
  3. 1 cup chickpeas
  4. 2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
  5. 6 oz. light feta cheese (I used sheep's milk)
  6. 1/4 cup basil chopped
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
  8. 1/2 lemon
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine chopped vegetables, sundried tomatoes and chickpeas into large bowl.
  2. Add basil and feta cheese.
  3. Squeeze in juice of 1/2 lemon and pour in olive oil.
  4. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog
As the instructions show, it doesn’t get much easier than this recipe. The best part about it is that you can taste the fresh basil and feta cheese in every.single.bite.

Tomato CucumberMolly was ultra-complimentary of my cooking which made me like having her as a houseguest even more!

While I threw together the salad, the spaghetti squash cooked away in the microwave. Always multi-tasking in a Sometimes Healthy kitchen!

I made this cheesy spaghetti squash on Wednesday, and it involved a lot of stirring, scrapping and mixing. So, I was very excited to have Molly in my kitchen capturing the action. Again, this recipe is quick and easy. Once you cook that spaghetti squash, you’ll have a creamy, steamy dish on the dinner table in less than 10 minutes!

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Serves 3
A healthy alternative to mac n' cheese that uses fresh mozzarella and basil to create a cheesy flavor-packed meal.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 medium spaghetti squash
  2. 1/3 cup Almond Milk
  3. 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  4. 2 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese
  5. 1 tbsp corn starch
  6. 3 - 4 oz. fresh mozzarellaa
  7. 1/4 cup fresh basil (plus dry basil to taste)
  8. garlic salt, salt and pepper (to taste)
  1. Pierce spaghetti squash several times with sharp knife. Microwave 10 - 12 minutes to soften.
  2. Allow squash to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully cut in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the seeds. Scrape the fork around the edge of the spaghetti squash to shred the pulp into strands. Should yield 1 large bowl. Set aside
  3. Spray large saucepan with nonstick spray. Set to medium hit and pour in Almond Milk.
  4. Add in greek yogurt and Laughing Cow Cheese. Stir until cheese is incorporated. Add chopped basil, salt, garlic salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Dissolve 1 tbsp of corn starch in 2 tbsp of cold water and add to sauce. Stir for about a minute until sauce thickens.
  6. Shred mozzarella balls and drop into sauce, stirring vigorously to ensure that cheese does not stick to pan.
  7. Add spaghetti squash to pan and stir until squash is covered in cheese sauce.
The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog
I was hard at work in that kitchen but the time flew by because I was chatting with Molly the whole time. She’s a bit quieter than me so I don’t think my mouth has stopped moving in 48 hours.

Oh hey girl - the chef is in the house!

Oh hey girl – the chef is in the house!

Here’s how it went down in the kitchen:

spaghetti squashI said it my last post, and I’ll say it again in this post: the key to this dish is the fresh mozzarella and the basil. It’s what takes this sauce from an ordinary cream sauce to an ooey gooey flavorful delight! (don’t you just love my descriptive food adjectives?)

Now, I must stop writing because I’m turning into the worst host ever. It’s a gorgeous day in the Hudson Valley, so me, Molly and Cole are heading out for a hike! Expect beautiful pictures on Monday.

I leave you with this brilliant photo!

And THIS is why I never got into ballet ya'll.

And THIS is why I never got into ballet ya’ll.


8 Thoughts on “Kitchen Adventures: Houseguests Must Work For Food!

  1. Oh my gosh, I about died when I saw that dog photo. So precious. Aren’t big dogs just the BEST cuddlers in the entire world?? And that, looks delicious! Great idea!!

  2. You failed to mention how you treated me to my first gym visit in 2+ years. We worked for that dinner! And you weren’t lying – ’twas delicious.

    • jamiehamburg on 16 September, 2013 at 4:09 pm said:

      haha it was my pleasure to reintroduce you to a place that makes me so happy. I am so glad you liked dinner…that will entice you to come back soon!

  3. Cole is one adorable cuddle buddy! :-) I think I need to make your Cheesy Spaghetti Squash .. looks and sounds delicious!

    Have a great weekend!!! :-)

  4. Pingback: Sometimes Healthy Kitchen Staples | The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog

  5. Pingback: WIAW: The Time I Carried a Squash from NYC | The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog

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