Monday Musings


First of all, I have to thank all of you who bought my e-cookbook! It means so much to me, and I hope that you enjoy the recipes. For those of you who haven’t yet bought it, but are interested, it is sold exclusively through the Amazon Kindle store, but you do not need a Kindle to purchase or read it. All you need is the Kindle app, which works on most smartphones, tablets, and computers.


Halloween may have come and gone, but my pumpkin preoccupation is nowhere near over for the year… as is apparent from this post!


1. We’ve been alternating burning the Pumpkin Spice & Autumn Leaves natural soy wax Old Factory candles, and they smell fantastic! Both scents are part of the Fall Harvest themed gift set; the third in the set is Cranberry, which I’m saving for December.

I don’t often burn scented candles because of the artificial aroma and/or chemicals in the ingredients, but these Old Factory candles have neither. They are on the small side, but each will burn for over 20 hours.



2. Something else I don’t often have in the house is sweetened flavored yogurt (or when I do, I combine a half serving with plain yogurt to cut down on the sugar)… but THIS one is a game changer.

Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt is seriously delicious: thick, creamy, lightly sweetened with half the sugar of other flavored yogurts, and packed with protein. The Pumpkin & Spice flavor is wicked good; I’m going to stock up before they fly off the shelves!




3. I’m a coffee fiend through and through in the morning, but a steaming mug of this Pumpkin Spice tea from The Republic of Tea after lunch serves three purposes:

  1. It satisfies my sweet tooth, which is necessary after getting used to eating dessert midday while writing my e-cookbook.
  2. It warms me up, which is necessary as the New England days turn colder.
  3. It gives me a slight caffeine pick-me-up, which is necessary when you have an active toddler (who still doesn’t sleep through the night).

I love that there are no artificial ingredients, which – for some reason – is common in pumpkin-flavored teas. There are no strings attached to the tea bags, but I like my tea strong, so I just leave it in to steep while I sip.


pumpkin bfast cookies

4. Lily and I both love these Vegan Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod. Maria knows cookies (check out her vast arsenal of recipes here), so I knew these breakfast cookies would be delicious even before I made them; and I was right! They are soft, chewy, and just sweet enough.


doggie 6

5. My mom made a puppy Halloween costume for Lily. She’s obsessed with the super soft tail (attached to an elastic band that goes around her waist)… so much so that she did not want to take it off for her nap on Halloween! My mom sewed a pair of handmade doggie ears onto an oversized sweatshirt and used stick-on felt for the spots. She also made a cute felt collar, but Lily didn’t want to wear it (sorry, Mom).

I’m pretty sure she’ll be wearing this costume throughout the year ;).

Other recipes to check out:

Cheesy, Spicy, & Crispy Spaghetti Squash Fritters


spaghetti squash fritters

Reeling from a Halloween candy sugar overdose? How about recharging and detoxing with these delicious fritters… which honestly don’t taste like the main ingredient is squash.

spaghetti squash fritters

If you’ve never had it before, cooked spaghetti squash yields golden-hued strings of sweet squash that make a great substitute for regular spaghetti. It doesn’t exactly taste like pasta, but it’s a lower calorie, gluten-free, and overall healthier option.

I’m not sure John would be thrilled if I served him a big plate of spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and meatballs, (he’s not the biggest squash fan), but he happily ate a couple of these fritters.

Thanks to a spicy kick from gooey melted habanero cheese and a crispy exterior thanks to high-heat frying, these fritters will satisfy even the most passionate squash hater.

spaghetti squash fritters

I initially served the fritters alongside chicken & mashed potatoes, but they could be the star of a meal as well. I heated some of the leftovers in the toaster oven and ate them with an egg for lunch, and the rest were scarfed down between meals, right from the fridge.

spaghetti squash fritters

Cheesy, Spicy, & Crispy Spaghetti Squash Fritters

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Keywords: bake fry appetizer main entree side snack vegetarian squash fall winter

Ingredients (10-12 fritters)

  • 2 cups cooked & cooled spaghetti squash (I like to bake the squash in advance, chill it overnight, and then use it in this recipe) –> see below for instructions on how to cook spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 1 large egg white, preferably organic (reserve yolk for another purpose, like feeding to your dog!)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated habanero (or jalapeño) cheddar cheese, such as Cabot
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored, high-heat vegetable oil, such as safflower oil, divided use


Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.

While the skillet heats, combine the cooked & cooled spaghetti squash, flour, egg & egg white, grated cheese, and salt in a bowl; stir to thoroughly combine.

When the skillet is hot enough (a few drops of water should sizzle), drop in the batter in about 2 tablespoon heaps. You should use about half of the batter. Gently press down to form circular fritters. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes . Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, about another 1-2 minutes. Fritters will not stick to the pan if they are ready to be flipped.

Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining batter.

*To cook spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce squash in several places with a sharp knife. Place in a foil-lined baking pan, and bake until soft, about 1 hour.

Remove squash from the oven. Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise, and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Remove the seeds and pulp from the squash and discard. With a fork, scrape the squash flesh to release the spaghetti-like strands. Place the squash strands into a fine mesh strainer over the sink to drain.

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