Monthly Archives: October 2011

how to make a very pretty fall dinner

I am an EatingWell junkie.  I subscribe to the magazine and I use the website obsessively.  It makes me feel pleasantly psychotic to have all that exact serving size and calorie information available.  Otherwise, I pass snarky judgments on recipes.  ie “You have 2 sticks of butter.  I think you might be fattening.  But also chicken breasts!  So probably you’re just awesome.”
See, I don’t really like figuring out how many calories are in things.  Just tell me, please.

Anyway, blah blah blah.  This is a calorie appropriate dinner, typical of Chez Maggie:  it’s from EatingWell, it’s about 500 calories and it has bacon.

Katie asked for it, so here it is, recipes for the pretty dinner.

Butternut Squash Risotto
you need: 
3 cups of butternut squash chunks (2 cups big and haphazard and 1 cup nicely diced)
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of Arborio rice
5 oz of bacon, cooked and crumbled (and save the fat!)
2 Tbs chopped parsley

you do:
-optional extra credit – start by simmering away the squashy gut stuff in your broth for maximum squash flavor.  strain that stuff out before starting to ladle the broth into your rice.
-put the 2 cups of big-chunked squash with 2 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan (big enough for all this squash, water and later, the broth).  bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes.  use an immersion blender to blend this up into a baby food type puree.  (or use a food processor)
-take 1/4 cup of this puree out of the pan and set aside.  then dump the broth in and put this over low heat.
-use another pot for the risotto making and start by heating up a bit of olive oil (maybe a bit of butter if you’re feeling crazy).  add the rice and cook it, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
-add in the 1 cup of nicely diced raw squash bits, 2 1/2 cups of the puree/broth mixture and 1/8 tsp of salt.
-do the risotto thing:  stir until the liquid’s nearly gone, add more liquid.  repeat until the rice is cooked and you have that risotto-goo texture.  never stop stirring!  should take about a half an hour.
-if you actually want this to taste yummy and not just like plain butternut squash, i would add in about a cup of grated parmesan cheese once it’s all cooked up.  this is not a part of the EatingWell recipe, but would be my recommendation.
-plate it up and top with bacon bits and parsley.
without the cheese addition, this will make 4 servings of 447 calories each.  i was quite happy to have less than 1/4th of what we made for dinner and used the leftovers to make baked risotto cakes for later lunches. 

For maximum prettiness, serve with a spinach salad.
you need:
baby spinach
thinly sliced brown mushrooms
thinly sliced red onion
bacon crumbles (share some from your risotto ingredients)
Andie’s Maple Bacon vinaigrette*

*This wonderful dressing will last for lots more salad than just this dinner, so you’ll have more for another meal.


Filed under Foodery

weekend in pictures








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Filed under Photography, these are the days of my lives, weekend in pictures

wear your pyjamas to work day

There was some epic pooped-out-ness yesterday.

Then, I managed to stay up until after midnight watching Sister Wives, because I’m still on west coast time.  And then in a fit of good intention, I got up at 6:30 to go to the pilates mat class offered by the gym.

Suffice it to say, I’m a little tired.  Which is the perfect time to talk about wearing pyjamas and pretending they’re clothes.

This little nightie has mushrooms on it!

The hemline is long enough (just barely above the knee) to be unscandalous.  Paired with a belt, long cardigan and a chunky, wooden necklace, and I think it totally works.



Filed under Maggie's closet

when you’re in new york

aren’t you supposed to feel brand new?

inspiring you and stuff?

cause you know…

And as much as a part of me wants to go spin around in a circle in Times Square, instead I crawled back to my hotel room, fell into the very nice white sheets, and put on Grey’s Anatomy.  Then I  took out my travel funnel and proceeded to pour the entire contents of my snack bar into my gullet.  You think I kid.  But seriously.  The only thing that’s left over there is some pretzels.

i’m here working in a trade show booth, telling people about my company’s wares and what’s new in the print-on-demand photo book world.  it’s great and fun and different, but it’s SO different from sitting on my rumpshaker and not-talking except for the telepathic communications i have with my computer, that i am rendered flopsome.

tomorrow then.  it’s new york.  there’s nothing i can’t do.    may the gods of rally find me after a 2nd day of trade show flooring…


Filed under Hi ho

little facts


1. There is a 50 pound rope in my dining room right now.  Sometimes I wonder how men and women are really supposed to coexist.

2.  I would rather have potato chips over chocolate any day.

3.  My feet have dreadful callouses.  I generally wear pretty sensible shoes, so I have no idea why they’re like this.  I got a pat down at the airport once and the TSA lady touched the bottom of my feet through my socks and then asked all accusatorially “What you got in there?”  Because I was embarrassed, I said “Oh, those are just my cloven hooves!”  She gets this kinda scary, aggressive tone, “Excuse me?”
“Right.  Sorry.  I have really gross callouses.”

Thanks again, to Rebecca!  She is a face-washing hater; a girl after my own heart.


Filed under Little Facts, Tidbit

fat tuesday

Well.  Shrug.

I won’t be quitting my day job to become a weight loss blogger today.

But I got on the scale this morning as planned, so I might as well just tell you.

It was not awesome.  Nor was it terrible.  I lost the mass of a small rodent from my person!
And considering that there was some girl-date drinking (1/2 a bottle of wine and a champagne cocktail), some birthday boy drinking (2 paulaners) and then some more birthday boy drinking last night (2 glasses of rosé), I’m not disappointed at all really.

October 4:  193.0
October 11:  189.6
October 18:  191.4
October 25:  190.8  =  – 0.6 pounds this week

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Filed under Chubby girl, Fat Tuesday

birthday boy

it’s my cute boy’s birthday today* and i love him to pieces.

i am so very lucky that the universe saw fit to bring forth this lovely, wonderful guy who likes to dance in the kitchen, is constantly dreaming up new inventions, and lets me put my feet on him when we watch tv on the couch.

*technically, it was yesterday, but i was having a diabolical hissy fit with iphoto and my camera and failed to get a picture up yesterday.

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Filed under Today