Butternut Squash Lasagne

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Doug and I had been in a bit of a dinner rut lately, so I did some digging on the internet (of course) and found a few new recipes. When I came across Butternut Squash Lasagne I knew that I had to give it a try.  A few of you commented on Instagram wanting the recipe, so here it is! Adapted from Epicurious.com:

Butternut Squash Lasagne

  • 1 lb diced butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled, and squeezed dry
  • 1 large egg
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the butternut squash, place squash in a large pot with enough water to cover the squash by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until soft, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove butternut squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender with 1/4 cup of the liquid it was cooked in. Reserve an additional 1 cup of liquid and set aside.

For the lasanga rolls, in a medium nonstick skillet, add the oil and saut¿he shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of fresh cracked pepper adding about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid to thin out the sauce until smooth. Stir in the parmesan cheese and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some mozzarella cheese.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the butternut sauce into the bottom of your baking dish.

Put a piece of wax paper on a work surface and lay the cooked lasagna noodles out on it. Make sure the noodles are dry. Spread some of the spinach mix over each noodle. Carefully roll them up and put them seam side down in the baking dish. Ladle the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls and top each some shredded mozzarella. Tightly cover the dish with foil.

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Bake until the inside is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 40 minutes.

I tailored the recipe a bit since I do not like parmesan or ricotta cheese, so I only used mozzarella and not too much of it.  I used enough to keep the rolls together, but not so much that I would not enjoy the dish.  For additional flavor, I used a bit of rosemary in the butternut squash sauce, and I topped the dish with some smoked mozzarella.

Enjoy!

Modern Girl DIY

I picked up this hat while at H&M’s Grand Re-Opening Event on Newbury Street. I loved the brown felt hat, but I felt like I wanted to make it a bit more versatile for paring it with some of my black items — jeans, sweaters, boots, etc., so I whipped up this quick DIY  “update” that I could use or not use depending on what I was pairing it with. I started by heading to my local craft store for some supplies.

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I picked up some black velvet ribbon, a few assorted buttons, and sticky velcro. I already had some black thread and sewing needles at home. In hindsight black velcro would have been best, but the store was out so I had to make due with their clear/white velcro.

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I started by measuring the velvet ribbon around the hat — I just did it by hand and didn’t use a measuring tape. I gave myself a little extra to work with just in case!

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I placed a pin at the point where the ribbon first meets, so I would know how much room I had to work with for the buttons and velcro.

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I made a quick hem on the side of the velvet ribbon that would show. I didn’t want the edge to fray, so I just folded it over and put in a few quick stitches.

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I did a bit of eyeballing for the velcro, just measuring it using the ribbon itself. This was sticky velcro, but sew on velcro would have worked as well, just a bit more steps involved!

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I thought a button would be a nice addition and I picked up this antiqued gold button with the thought that it would look good with both brown and black. No brain surgery with this step — just sewed on the button!

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I am so thrilled with how the hat update came out! I can’t wait to wear my it this fall and winter with and without the ribbon to match both black and brown outfits!

Modern Girl Beauty on a Budget

Audrey Hepburn

I have sort of put myself on a spending freeze to help offset some of my tuition* costs over the next few months. Besides not buying more than the essentials, I’ve come up with a few other ways to cut costs, particularly in the the area of beauty.

1. A little dusting
Not of your house… your hair! Don’t tell my stylist, but sometimes I give myself a little 1/2 centimeter trim between visits to help keep my ends fresh and split-free. All you need are a pair of really sharp scissors, like these barber scissors. Keep them sharp (and lasting longer!) by only using them on your hair.

2. Save on lesser used cosmetics
When it comes to makeup and cosmetics, I really don’t wear too much on a daily basis besides mascara, foundation and concealer. These are the items that I have tried and found some true quality favorites — Benefit They’re Real Mascara and YSL Illuminating Foundation and Brightening Concealer set with Avène Thermal Spring Water. When I want to wear eyeliner or eyeshadow, I hop on over to CVS and find an affordable choice by Revlon or Almay since I know I won’t use it too much!

3. Splurge on shampoo vs. conditioner
When it comes to my hair, I know that I need a quality sulfate-free shampoo, like Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day, to prevent my fine hair from being stripped of its color. I also don’t shampoo my hair every day, so the bottle lasts me a while. Since conditioners don’t have damaging sulfates, I can pick a wallet-friendly drugstore brand without worry. I like Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle the best!

4. Have an at home spa day
Its not too hard to transform your bathroom into your own luxurious spa! Turn off your cell, light a few candles, pour yourself a glass of wine, and fill up the bathtub with lots of bubbles. In an hour you’ll feel super relaxed and didn’t have to spend any money or even leave the house!

Have you ever put yourself on a spending freeze? What are your tips when you need to put yourself on a budget? Share them in the comments section below!

*I’m going back to school for my certified professional coaching certificate! More on this later!

Bedroom Upgrade with Wayfair

Doug and I have lived in three different houses and never had a proper headboard for our bed. I have been meaning to get one, but with so many other things going on we just never got around to it. However, night after night my pillows would fall behind my mattress, and the bed never looked “finished” when I made it in the morning. Here is the sad before shot of our bedroom:

Wayfair_Headboard_Before

Thankfully, Wayfair and their Daily Sales came to my rescue! Announced each day at noon, they have several different deals that will run for a short period of time on different types of items — home furnishings, rugs, patio accessories, you name it!  And I was in luck that this week there was a Daily Sale for bedroom furniture!

Wayfair_Headboards

There were three headboards I liked and, of course, I sent links off to Doug for his opinion. We considered the Fenton Headboard, the Sanford Headboard and the Dexter Headboard.  In the end we decided the Fenton Headboard would be the best fit for our room — both in style and in height since we have a low sloping ceiling to worry about!

Wayfair_After

I am so thrilled with how our new headboard looks! And I was shocked at how easily and fast we put it together — 3 pieces and a few screws was all it took to connect it to our bed frame. The headboard really gives our bedroom that final touch we were missing. Now if only I could magically make the ceiling paint turn white I’d be all set!  And for those of you who were following my house transformation and painting adventures, the room color actually looked like this before we moved in:

MasterBed

If you’re home is in need of a little pick me up you can sign up for Wayfair’s Daily Sales below! You’ll get an email in your inbox each day with their sales so you won’t miss a chance to stock up with their crazy good deals on patio furniture, under $100 rugs, beach towels, cookware, storage solutions, and more!

 

Wayfair

 

Sign up for Wayfair Daily Sales Emails

This post was sponsored by Wayfair. All options and thoughts are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Rules for the Modern Girl!