Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ladies of Hazzard aka Cody's Saloon

Happy Sunday, friends! And not just any Sunday, but Superbowl Sunday! I'm a Steelers hopeful-I lived there for two years, plus my brothers, for whatever reason, always loved the Steelers. However, this is not to say I actually care much about the game or football, for that matter, because I'm not really into that sport. Or basketball. I love every other sport, just something about those two that bore me to death. This is all well and good, considering we may have a snazzy little t.v. but we don't have cable or any stations, for that matter, so we're not missing out.

Anyhow, I'm long-winded this afternoon. It was a crazy night with the ladies and there were a few casualties (the pole in our backyard that holds our windchime, for example-someone fell on it when she lost her balance running to the house to use the bathroom). But, at any rate, last night was declared "Cowgirl Night!" My friend Meg really digs Western-ware...etc...and mentioned a while back that she wanted to go to a country bar. This was no easy "Make a Wish Foundation" task in our town, but we located a bar called "Cody's Saloon" with linedancing and cowboy hats and a mechanical bull. When I suggested "Ladies Night" (thanks to my Fi suggesting it might be time for us to have another this weekend-I secretly think he enjoys seeing us be ridiculous almost as much as we enjoy the night itself) this weekend, cowgirl attire came into play, as well. 

The problem is, I don't have any cowgirl attire. I've got some kick ass, nearly-knee-high brown boots with a sweet buckle near the bottom, a wide brown belt (so wide no pants have loops it'll fit into!), but I lack other essential cowgirl equipment: a shirt, turquoise jewelry, a hat (preferably ten gallon)...etc. I suppose this comes from being a "city" girl, if you will. Thankfully, my fi is from the midwest where, it turns out, everyone can dig up some "Western-ware" when called upon to do so. At the last minute, before caving and heading to the local Western-ware store, I casually asked D if he had any cowboy shirts and, without hesitation or surprise, he, just as casually, responded: "Yeah. I've got a red and white checked one at know, with the two pockets and buttons..." What??? Where has this been hiding and why haven't I seen it yet?

Problem solved. Now all I needed to pull off my outfit was a hat. And, although I knew just where to find one (top of the coat closet by the front door), I had some reservations about wearing it. On foolish, really just comical, principle, I decided I disapproved of this straw, cowboy hat a while back when I saw pictures of Dustin's most recent ex-girlfriend wearing it. (Now that I think of it, she would have had TONS of Western-ware for this event.) It's not that I totally hate this chick or anything, I just don't dig her. Let's just say she wasn't super nice to me (not like I blame her) and any time we've happened to be at the same place at the same time, it's always been kind of awkward and we all avoid each other. At any rate, we had this hat, but all my thoughts of the hat had her in it...and I hated that idea. Dustin suggested we buy a new hat, but that was clearly just sill given the fact that we already had one. So I decided we could "deskankify" the hat, which he agreed to. 

Together, we FeBreezed and disinfected the hat. It took some time, but we let it dry out and, VOILA! Deskankified!

(Note the red and white check shirt...I went for the "Daisy Duke" look as much as possible last night.)

Problem solved, again!

I cooked up a Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Tofu "Meat"balls which I half made-up and half found on Post Punk Kitchen's website (a new foodie-find I am fairly in love with for their fab vegan recipes!). This was my first time working with Tofu in crumbles (I dried it out, like usual, but then crumbled it up like chopped meat, just using my hands, to make the recipe). I was pleasantly surprised by how it came out. You can find this wonderful recipe here.
For the Spaghetti Squash Casserole (or "Spaghetti Western Squash Casserole," as it were), I did this:

1 Spagh Squash
Half a jar of tasty pasta sauce (I didn't feel like making some from scratch)
1 C. vegan cottage cheese (made of tofu)
As much chopped spinach as you like, cooked (or just heated in the micro til it wilts)
Half a block of vegan Mozzarella cheese (can find in Clovers and other natural stores)
1 big clove of chopped garlic

1. Cook that spagh squash. My usual method is in the oven, but I felt pressed for time last night, so I nuked it, which worked wonderfully! To do this, take a casserole dish, put a fourth of a cup of water in it, saw open your squash (those suckers are ROUGH!) and put both sides face down in the casserole dish. I heated mine for about fifteen minutes, stopping at ten to see if it needed more time. I find this also made it super easy to get the seeds out-by just stripped them off the top.

2. While that's happening above, I mashed together the cottage cheese, spinach and garlic in a bowl (I treated this like I would've treated ricotta cheese for a lasagna filling). So you can add some other spices (basil, oregano, pepper, salt) if you so choose. I try not to cook with salt. This way people can add it as they see fit.

3. When the squash is done and cool enough to handle, I scooped out the top layer (which is the seeds) and tossed them in the garbage before using a fork to pull out the spaghetti-looking innards of the squash into a bowl. You can flavor the squash during this phase if you want, too. And, you can even make a meal of it at this point if you don't want a casserole. That's up to you. If so, you're done. If not...keep reading.
4. In a clean casserole dish, start layering it up like a lasagna. Put some sauce on the bottom of the dish followed by a thin layer of cooked spaghetti squash, clumps of the cottage cheese/spinach mixture, the tofu-balls, more sauce, then squash...etc. When finished, top it all off with the mozzarella cut into slices and placed over top.

5. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted at 400.

Tasty! My friend Niya (aka-Jolene for last night) wants to start working toward being a vegetarian. While I have had to explain this a lot lately, because I like to let people know what I'm feeding them before I expect them to just dig in (for example: "This is a spaghetti squash casserole and if you don't like it, I won't be offended. It's vegan). I find that people like to know that and can avoid it if it's not their thing. Anyhow, Niya dug this recipe and it was so nice to hear since I just toyed with the casserole part and had never made the tofu-balls before, but I can proudly say I will be making all of it again in the future.

Meg brought an oh-so-tasty lasagna; Niya brought in the all-important salad (there seriously should be one at EVERY meal), and Steph brought one of my favorite veggies: cooked spinach! YUM-O! (I should point out. I do NOT dig uncooked spinach without anything on it. It leaves this weird filmy, uncomfortable feeling in my mouth. Not cool.)

We ate and talked and took pictures and hung out...then went on a quest to find Cody's Saloon. When we got there, we payed our $5 cover and entered a giant building with wooden floors and tons of cowboys. The linedancing was incredible. So much so that Meg and I discovered they do free linedancing classes on Tuesday nights from 6-8pm  (which we will obviously be attending...certainly there will be blogs on that in the future). Here is a photo-description of the rest of our night:

Niya Tames the Bull

David Teaches Meg the Two and Three-Step

Me and Meg Fake-Linedancing

Whiskey-What Every Country Girl Drinks

Steph was the only one who could not ride the mechanical bull-for health reason. She has a bad back and we decided her chiropractor would kick our asses if we exacerbated it. So she mosied around making adorable faces like so:
And when the night was coming to a close, my incredibly fabulous Fi came and picked us up, then drove us home. Meg and I hung out on the couches and watched part of Mean Girls. I got into a fight with our DVD player and accidentally attacked the windchime near our frontdoor. D cleaned dishes so the dogs wouldn't try their hand at cleaning them for us in the middle of the night (that Byz is a sneaky one!). When Meg went home this morning, she demanded a cheeseburger from BK at 9:30am and, when told it was too early for one, she yelled (and I quote) "What do you mean you don't have cheeseburgers? I thought I could have it MY WAY here." Then said "Whatever, I'm out" and drove off. She has "no time for no cheeseburger serving places." God I love my friends.

I'm gross and need to finally take off my Western shirt from last night and try for a short, and I mean SUPER short-one-mile, that is, run before throwing in the towel and calling it a wasted day.

Hopefully, you smiled, and maybe, next time, you'll join us!

I leave you with this:

From left to right: Loretta, Rubyjane, Jolene, Patsy

(To clarify any confusion: the Confederate flag and all that it stands/stood for is NOT, by any means, something we support or encourage. It is in the photo to merely serve as a "timestamp," Dukes of Hazzard-style. Please do not take it offensively. We certainly left it at home.)


1 comment:

  1. I wore that hat, once. You wear it better ;)