Last year I set up a goal to read an adventure book every month and create a book aesthetic to accompany each book.  I really enjoyed the books, there wasn’t a single stinker in the whole lot.  As for the book aesthetic, I can’t say it was my favorite.  It was fun to pick out an image to represent each chapter of a book, although some chapters made it really hard to pick out just one.  It was also kind of fun to pick out a piece of music to represent what I perceived to be the mood of the book.  But, trying to put it all together, although educational was not my strength.  Some people are naturals at editing, I am not.  Overall, the experience was worthwhile, and I would do it again…just not this year.

For 2023 I’m taking on a different “adventure”.  I want to stick to doing something that takes me away from my typical day to day, even if it’s just for one day.  I, like most am prone to falling into habits.  Not bad habits per se, just habits.  Unless I’m on a road trip or vacation you can catch me doing pretty much the same thing at the same time nearly every day.  I wake up at the same time, eat at the same time, school, climb, shower, etc…all pretty much the same.  Not only is the routine temporally similar day in and day out, so too are many of the facets of my day.  I don’t remember the last time I didn’t start off the day with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana.

So, for 2023, I am going to try and do just one thing each month that takes me out of my comfort zone.  I’m not looking for drastic change, I actually enjoy my day to day, but that is not to say that it couldn’t use a few enhancements along the way.  I have no plan, but some things I’d like to accomplish are learning how to bake bread, putting up a home climbing wall, making a piece of furniture, baking a delicious dessert, making another delicious dessert. I may just be looking for reasons eat sweets?  Who knows?  The point is I want to mix it up a little bit, and maybe have something to show for it along the way.

For January, I kept it simple and made a dinner I would have never tried to make if it weren’t for this half-baked idea.  Did someone say bake?  German Chocolate Cake can’t be that hard to make right?  Maybe! 

My typical dinner is a smoothie.  Not exciting at all.  But, luckily for me my sister just happened to send me a recipe that looked delicious!  We all have certain people in our lives that we trust and depend on for different bits of information.  Someone who always makes the best book recommendations, someone else who you can rely on for great shows to binge, maybe a go to person for music.  I always count on High-Clip when it comes to climbing, I always trust Gaia when it comes to creativity, and when it comes to food, I always trust my sister.  When she says I would love something, there is no debate!

The recipe is Keto Baked Feta Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes. 

I built up the nerve to hit the grocery store one day after climbing.  With an ingredient list in hand, and a directive to avoid smoothies, I bought:

  • spaghetti squash
  • feta
  • parmesan
  • grape tomatoes
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fresh basil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried Italian seasoning

Directions linked below1

I’ve never made spaghetti squash, I cut it incorrectly, I bought the wrong feta, I accidentally put in twice the amount of pepper, yet despite all of this…it turned out perfect.  It was easier than I thought it would be, healthier that I needed it to be, and tastier than anything I’ve ever made in my life.  I’m pretty much a chef at this point, and I’m thinking if this whole climbing and teaching thing doesn’t work out maybe I can open a food truck and sell Keto Baked Feta Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes.  It’s so good, if you are even remotely interested in cooking dinner at some point in your life, then please add this recipe to the must try list!

For my first half-baked idea of 2023, I’d have to rate it a success.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for February yet, but this recipe sure would have been good with some bread!  And maybe cake! 

  1. Recipe

33 Replies to “Half-Baked”

    1. I hope I can keep it up, I’ve never really set a goal like this before, but you are right, even if I do nothing else, this meal was worth it! Thank you for the encouragement!!!

      Liked by 3 people

  1. What a fine tiny-earth-shattering concept: if everything’s fine, stretch a little to make things better! And that spaghetti squash recipe looks great. I await your next kitchen foray.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Annie, thank you so much for the encouragement…I can’t believe how tasty this recipe was. It has me excited to dig in even more for the next one.


    1. That is such an affirming way to put it, I love it. “Habit” does kind of carry a little weight with it, but “ritual”. That has a flexing authority! Now I have to separate the meaningful rituals from the meaningless rituals.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Doing something different every month is a great goal to have for 2023. Like you, I do the same things every day. I think that means I’m in a rut, so I may take your lead and try something new every once in a while. Congratulations on the win with the recipe. I’m going to try it too, so thank you for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one goes in the win column for sure, I just finished the leftovers and can’t wait to make it again. One thing I learned, which now seems obvious, is that the first time making something is pretty expensive since I didn’t have any of the ingredients, but the second time will be just a squash and some feta…a double win!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Smoothies are great. My breakfast is a smoothie of apple, berries, bananas, yogurt, OJ, protein powder. I figure if I don’t get anything else all day, at least I started out right. I think. Maybe…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t believe I never thought to put apples in my smoothie, that sounds so refreshing! Other than that, my smoothie looks identical to yours, sometimes I’ll add PB if I don’t have protein though. So if the smoothie food truck ever becomes a thing, you won’t even have to send in a resume, immediately hired.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrot–I see you are a philosopher. Do you know Bill Ramsey at Univ. Nevada LV by any chance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve met a couple times, we actually talked to him on our podcast twice. He is a great philosopher/writer/climber and absolutely someone I look up to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re old friends. He and my husband met in grad school when Bill was at UCSD and John was at Irvine. Saw him a few years ago and he took us out to Red Rocks. Very cool, though it was raining. Bill is a great guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Usually when we talk to people on the show, our guests will mention that if we are ever in the area that we should get together. And usually we don’t take it too seriously, but when Bill mentioned it, you could just tell he was sincere. In all honesty I would have him on every month because of how interesting and thoughtful he is, and I really hope to make it back to Red Rocks someday soon to mess around on the wall. Thank you for mentioning that you are friends…it makes me want to think of another topic to invite him on to talk about!


      3. Ask him on to talk of his love of mini-vans. When we lived in Cincinnati, Bill stayed at our house a couple of times when he was messing around in Kentucky. Can’t remember the name of the place. Somewhere around the Natural Bridge? Anyway, I remember being very amused by his defense of mini-vans as the proper vehicle to get a climber to a destination. When you suggest this, tell him it was Bickle’s wife’s idea.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Made my mouth water. I have a spaghetti squash in the fruit bowl. I cooked another and made little meatballs with spinach in them and took them to a colleague when we had a snow-poc-a-lypse here. They’re so versatile. If I can figure it out, I’ll email you a recipe for the best and easiest dessert ever: hot fudge pie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes…that sounds so delicious!!! Hot fudge pie seems like it should be illegal for being too delicious. Thanks for thinking of me!


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