Banana Oat Stuffed Squash, New Uses for CSN items, and a Giveaway!

a fall specialty!

Thanks for all the comments on my culinary school post! I got lots of questions regarding it and I will answer them in a seperate post some time this week. I really do encourage those of you who “dream” of going to actually do some research and make it happen! It’s kind of mind blowing because it will be a lot of hard work, but you will want to do every ounce of it. Thats very rare. If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I’ll either address it in a future post or email you.

I know I promised to write about going to treatment and what you should think about if you are considering it, but I totally forgot it is my birthday next Wednesday.

I’m terrible at receiving gifts, so I’m giving YOU one!

A lot of bloggers do CSN giveaways. Nothing against those bloggers, but I thought that instead of usual spiel about their products, I would post some cool new and different uses for some of their products.

Product #1: Creme Brulee Torch: besides creating that beautiful, classic, crunchy custard topping, you can use the torch for all sorts of cool culinary creations!

-Exhibit A: make a “floating” roasted marshmallow for your hot chocolate.

-Exhibit B: use it for this fabulous breakfast idea, grapefruit brulee! You simple cut a grapefruit in half sprinkle raw sugar (that brown kind, it makes a better crunch) and torch it! I usually dont like grapefruit, but it made me a believer!

-Exhibit C: toast that floating piece of cheesy bread aatop a french onion soup

-Exhibit D: Of course, you can also use it for household DIY projects, like soldering…handy for lighting candles and conducting hard-core seances.

Product #2: Colander. There’s more to this tool than simple washing produce or draining pasta! You can….

-Use it as a “bug tent” for picnics. Simply cover you edibles with the colander to keep pesky bugs way

-Ice bucket for a Party: I hate nothing more than fishing for a solid piece of ice in a pool of water. At your next fete (haha, I love that word!), simply place a bowl underneath the colander and fill it with ice. Yay! Drip-free ice!

-DIY lie detector: this is a total urban legend. Apparently, in the late eighties, police interrogators wired a metal colander to a Xerox machine and convinced a suspect it’s a lie detector, thereby extracting a confession. Thats a pretty awesome and creative use!

Product #3: muffin tins. Besides baking up a batch of your favorite muffins, you can also….

-a desk organizer. You can fill up the cups with rubber bands, paperclips, whatever you need, to keep all of your supplies neat and handy.

-Soap mold. There are loads of recipes online for making your own sweet smelling soaps. Use the muffin tins as molds.

–Centerpiece: Place a votive candle in each cup and tie a ribbon or raffia around the edge of the muffin pan. Sounds a little outrageous, but it can look really awesome.

Product #3: Waffel Iron: Besides the crunchy breakfast staple, you can…..

-make grilled cheese sandwiches or pannini.

-make falafel! yep! Just use your basic falafel recipe and add a little flour and eggs (or flax eggs) and voila! Perfect with a salad and tahini dressing on top!

-make french toast. Simply make an egg/milk bater, dip the bread, and let it be smacked by the iron.

-crimp your hair, Belgian style! self explanitory. Just remember, don’t leave it in too long. Unless you’r going for that “singed” look.

Product #5: Dining Table: Some think the importance of dining tables is used only for meals. While this might be true, there are other uses as well:

-Many women find the dining table as a sort of meeting grounds. I think all the women in my family recall a time that around that table we sat until we were numb.

-a folding laundry station

-a workstation (for children and adults, hey, it beat a cubicle!)

-Storage (sadly)

Ok so heres how to enter to win a 35$ gift certificate!

Leave a comment about a new use for an item (you can totally steal something from Real Simple which I hate to admit is one of my bibles. They tend to always have new uses for old things)

Spread the word about the giveaway and tell me you have done so OR if you don’t have a blog, leave a comment telling me what I should do for my birthday. Every year its always dull and unexciting. I’m not aiming high this year, but something kind of interesting would be nice. Remember, I dont drink so bars kind of bore me and its a weekday.

Good luck!

And for today’s food…..

in its "raw" state, pre baking

We have oatmeal stuffed golden nugget squash! Its totally gluten free and vegan too! Makes one serving!

-1/2 cup oats

-1 small or half large medium ripe banana

-handful of frozen cherries (or any frozen berry)

-1 tsp canola oil

-1 tbs flaxmeal

-dash of cinnamon

-a roasted golden nugget squash (yummy, but essentially a garnish)

see one serving!

simple mash all the ingredients in a bowl and bake at 400 degrees for twenty minuets. Allow it to cool and transport it into the squash and let it bake for another 5 or 10 minutes at about 350. Enjoy! I love this because its sweet without being too overly sweet!

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48 thoughts on “Banana Oat Stuffed Squash, New Uses for CSN items, and a Giveaway!

  1. I love real Simple.
    One of the uses for the fabric softner sheets is to remove the static from the computer screen and from the tv.
    I also use newspaper wadded up to make sure that windows do not have streaks when I wash them .

  2. I don’t really want to enter the giveaway, but since you mentioned your birthday…have you received anything yet by any chance???

    Anyway, I hate losing the end of a roll of tape so I stick a toothpick under the end. That way I can find it next time and not end up with strings of tape (or flinging the roll of tape against the wall.)

    I also wrap a piece of paper towel/kleenex on a paper clip and use it to clean between the keys of my computer keyboard.

  3. Ok golden nugget squash?? Not heard of that one. Love the idea of using the waffle iron as a panini maker. I bought the hubs one last year b/c he was obsessing about making waffles (which I don’t like). This would be a way for me to make use of it too. 😉 And I must say that I love your take on the giveaway. Such a refreshing change from jumping through hoops. Now, do I have anything creative to add to get me entered???? Um, no. I’m lame like that. how about using wine glasses as a center piece by filling with water colored with food coloring of your choice with floating votive candle.

  4. Another use for the waffle iron is cookies! I’ve seen recipes for it, but I have yet to try it. the waffle iron is probably my favorite appliance because of it’s ability to make so many delicious foods beyond waffles.

  5. I didn’t know your birthday was coming up! How exciting. I don’t need to win again, but I wanted to play along. This is kinda boring, but I use a favorite mug as a pencil, scissors, etc. holder on my table/desk. I actually like the muffin tin center piece idea. If only my muffin tins didn’t look like crap from being used far too often.

  6. I have never seen a golden nugget squash, but I like the looks of the stuffing! It looks like an oatmeal cookie.

    New uses for old things…I gave my dad a picture frame with pictures of us in it for one of his birthdays…he uses it as a coaster. He keeps it on his coffee table and puts drinks on it. I’m not sure if I should take this as an insult or not, but I choose to laugh. He insists it’s a decorative piece! He also uses an old shoe bag (the ones with separate compartments for shoes) to organize his tools.

  7. one great other use for a griddle, if you don’t have an iron, is for ironing clothes!! Just get a heavy thing, and it’s like a reverse iron!

  8. Re: the waffle maker? I totally think mashed potatoes in the waffle maker would be awesome! I need a waffle maker, and I am anti-small-appliance. I could make an exception for some crispy potato waffles.

    Also? Coffee Beans: I use them in my glass hurricanes as filler around my candles. It’s interesting and it also is a natural deodorizer for the room. Surprisingly enough, it does not make the room smell at all like coffee.

  9. I so want a waffle iron to crimp my hair now!

    A lot of the kitchen gadgets in our house double as toys for my brother. It’s funny that a plastic spatula can entertain him far more than any toy we buy him.

  10. Advance Happy Birthday Eden 🙂

    I think you should take a mini vacation for your birthday. If that’s not possible, go to an all day spa like Glen Ivy or something or do whatever you feel like doing and pamper yourself.

    I use jar caps to shape cookies and I re-use glass jars to store grains or cooked granolas.

  11. I love the freezer Ziploc bags to use as a cake decorating tool (or cupcakes mainly for me) and that you can use them to make individual omelets – just throw in what each person wants in their omelet, then boil for 13 minutes and voila!
    I also love the everyday wooden spoon. Not only will it stir up a good cake, but it will scare small children everywhere. (please don’t tell me I am the only one that got swatted with the dreaded wooden spoon!!)
    I don’t have a blog, but since I won the stevia giveaway, don’t enter me in this contest. But for your birthday, do something with your Dad – like ride horses, ride a motorcycle, or just go biking somewhere you have never been! Be adventerous!

  12. I hoard empty plastic containers (sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, etc) like there is no tomorrow and just reuse them. I also like to take metal lids from glass jar’s and use those for making hamburger patties. They come out the same perfect size every time!

  13. I say Spa day for your birthday or like a wine tour or anything totally fun and random!
    When I make any kind of hamburgers, I use the lid from a plastic containers to shape them. It was a trick my grandmother taught me before she passed. Most of the time it never works they why she did it, and when people ask me what I am doing, I say it’s tradition ha!

  14. I am WAY behind on your blog, but my birthday suggestion is GO ON A BLIMP! Sadly, I wasn’t able to go on one for mine, but it did sound fun. Let me know how it goes, and maybe I can arrange it for my next birthday. Now I am off to try to catch up on your last 14 posts. How did I get so far behind? I blame work.

  15. For my birthday, I always go to a locally owned restaurant that I have never visited. Have found a lot of new places that have made it to our list of favorites – Korean especially.
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

  16. I use my jars as drinking glasses and tea cups as measures. In the random event that I don’t finish drinking whatever it is that I am drinking, I jsut put the lid on and tuck it in the icebox. As for the tea cups, I know it’s not terribly precise, but it has yet to fail me. Happy (early) birthday!

  17. gahhh a torch. yes please! i am obsessed with giving anything a nice char, meat, custards etc it’s just fun! also…re: culinary school. i hear you on the expense. i actually looked into it but was too discouraged by the price! plus, i do enjoy my career as a scientist but i’m a bit of a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ person so i really dig changing things up every now and then. happy early bday!

  18. Another use for a colander (a metal one) is as a steamer. Just put it over a pot of boiling water and you can steam vegetables in there. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  19. Funny, I was just telling my mother-in-law that I think I might be in need of a new waffle maker soon…And I could really use a second muffin tin! I can’t think of any real new uses for old items…So I’m just going to agree that a spa day on your birthday sounds likes an excellent idea.

  20. two of my favorite starchy foods combined!! Youre such a creative cook, thank you!! I love this recipe.
    By the way, I use to have a crimper, used it religously. Maybe I’m due for a waffle maker now. But you must demo how to crimp your hair on it. 🙂

  21. Hey! Love all of the alternative uses. My favorite is using the colander as an ice bucket. Creative. Happy almost birthday too. I like the idea of doing a sweet, breakfast like stuffed squash- very cool

  22. Hahaha… I love the waffle iron ones 😛 Seeing as I just got a pretty awesome waffle iron, I might have to try them out. I’ll probably leave that last one though… crimping is not exactly my thing 😛

    Fall birthdays are the BEST, aren’t they? Mine’s on Saturday!
    ❤ Tat

  23. I love real simple as well! Such great ideas and so much in one magazine! Most for your money! I’m not interested in the giveaway bc I just got married last year and we have TONS of stuff hahaha but I do enjoy your alternative uses for products particularly crimping your hair with the waffle iron? hahah I might have to do that for Halloween!

  24. hahaaaaa!!!! i LOVE these uses 🙂 🙂 and at the same time i’m seriously mad at you because i’ve been wanting a waffle iron for like AGES and the fact that i can make falaf and waffles and sammies and make falaf waffle sammies just makes me want one even more.

    btw i’m all caught up and loved your culinary school post 🙂 woO!

  25. hahhaa…. that section on Real Simple Magazine is one of my fav ones. So creative!!! 😀
    I’d use mugs as teeth brushing mug, or use it to pen pin! 😉

  26. It’s not terribly MacGuyver of me, but I always use one of those potato masher things to break up ground beef or other ground meat while cooking it.

  27. For your birthday, you should do something totally un-food related! Take a one day cruise, go camping, go paintballing, go bowling, go to a movie then sneak into 3 more, go see a comedian, go to show. Just some totally sporadic, different, and fun! I know that’s what I need to do!

  28. I’m working on my degree in ecology/biology so when I go out to do field work I totally use mason jars to collect insect, flower, and water specimens. Not terribly original, I admit.

  29. My birthday is coming up as well and I think I just want to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. Possibly hiking or camping?

  30. I would love to win this.. New use for an item would be for a waffle maker use it to make a panini if you dont have a panini maker!!

  31. um, go SKYDIVING. I went this summer and it still gets me giddy to think about it. Then I remember that I’m not skydiving at this very moment, and that makes me sad. Be warned: every day after the fact you’re going to seek an equally thrilling high, but (at least in my experience) you can’t top (har) skydiving. For something a bit more budgetary, you could go to trapeze class! Same idea, just…toned down a few shades. Whichever way, happy birthday! Do something nice for yourself 🙂

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