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My life... is based on a true story.


This blog is a way to keep up with things that I find interesting in life, from traveling to cooking to entertainment.  Make sure to bookmark this page to see the various things I like to write about. That is when I do get the time to..

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Posted by Earnest Carter on January 19, 2021 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (5)

This Oven-Roasted Butternut Squash is an easy and healthy dish made with only 4 basic ingredients! You can serve it as a side, add toppings, or use it on pasta or salad. It’s the perfect vegetarian and vegan vegetable recipe for the fall and winter.

top view of roasted butternut squash slices

This recipe will show you how to make Roasted Butternut Squash in the oven with just 4 simple ingredients. It’s a rich, filling winter squash that tastes so delicious! Plus butternut squash is full of vitamins and antioxidants, and it’s packed with fiber. It’s a winner recipe that both adults and kids like all season long. Get creative with the toppings you would like to add to these butternut squash while baking like pecans and maple syrup!




  • Fast and easy. This recipe only takes a few minutes of hands-on time. Then pop it in the oven to do the rest. So easy!
  • So healthy. Butternut squash is a winter squash packed with vitamin A and C, rich in other nutrients, and full of fiber. It’s a healthy vegetable that you can feel good about eating.
  • Delicious! Roasting butternut squash in the oven brings out the slightly sweet, nutty flavors of the vegetable. It gets tender, golden, and irresistibly caramelized on the top.




Full measurements are found further down below. This is just a quick list of ingredients you will need.


Butternut squash

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper




*Preheat the oven to 400F.

*Cut the squash. Carefully cut the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard, then cut it again to *have 4 long wedges or quarters.

*Prep to cook. Place the quarters, cut side up, into a baking dish or a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your clean hands, give it a quick rub all over. Pour a bit of water to the bottom of the dish.

*Bake. Transfer to the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, or until fork tender.

*Check the water level. From time to time, check to make sure all the water hasn’t evaporated. Add a bit more water if needed, but not too much or it won’t caramelize.

*Broil. At the end, broil for a couple of minutes to give it a nice golden-brown top. Enjoy!



Butternut squash: Choose squash that feels heavy for its size and isn’t bruised or punctured.

Don’t add too much water: Adding too much water during baking prevents the top from getting golden brown.

Broil: The secret to getting a golden, slightly caramelized top is broiling it at the very end. This is one of the best parts of the squash!


Oven-Roasted Butternut Squash is tasty all on it’s own, but it’s also delicious with toppings. Here are some topping ideas that go really well with roasted winter squash.


Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a hint of cayenne would be delicious.

Sweeteners – This squash is delicious with a sprinkle of brown sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, or a drizzle of honey.

Nuts – Chopped walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts are good options.

Cheese – Gruyere or goat cheese would add some tang to the sweet squash.

Add some Shredded meat – For extra protein, you can top the squash with shredded chicken or pork.



Do you have to peel a butternut squash before roasting it?

When roasting a whole squash or large wedges, you do not have to remove the skin first. The skin will soften while it bakes and the flesh will pull away easily once it is done. If you are cutting the squash into small cubes before roasting, you need to remove the skin first.


Is roasted butternut squash good for you?

Yes! It’s packed with vitamins A and C, and it is a good source of magnesium and potassium. It is also a fiber-rich vegetable and has plenty of antioxidants.


What do I serve with butternut squash?

Butternut squash can be served with chicken dishes, like our Lemon Garlic Oven-Roasted Whole Chicken or our Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts. It can also be served over pasta, on a salad, or in a quinoa bowl, like our Easy Quinoa Vegetable Bowl or this Black Bean Quinoa Salad.


How do I store roasted butternut squash?

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat squash in the microwave or oven.

Spoon scooping out soft roasted butternut squash



Forever Grateful

Posted by Earnest Carter on January 3, 2021 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)
I'm so blessed to have met amazing people off of here. I'm grateful for you & I love you. Y'all know who you are because y'all be the only ones I constantly interact with. Please, take care of yourselves babies

New Years Dinner Meal

Posted by Earnest Carter on January 1, 2021 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Reallly enjoyed my dinner last night from Gris Gris of New Orleans.



Happy New Year!

Posted by Earnest Carter on January 1, 2021 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)


2018: My New Year's Resolution

Posted by Earnest Carter on January 1, 2018 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that your New Year’s Eve celebrations were especially memorable this year. It’s officially 2018 today, and you know what that means: time to kick your resolutions into high gear. While making New Year’s resolutions might seem like a cliché to some people, I always really enjoy the practice of setting positive intentions for the year ahead.

This year, my New Years resolution is to distance myself from all sketch people in my life. Good, genuine people that love ME is all I need. I look forward to everything I can accomplish in 2018!

What is your New Year’s resolution this year?

Please comment and let me know!

Recipe Box: 5 Make-Ahead Salad Hacks

Posted by Earnest Carter on August 18, 2017 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)
how to make quick and easy make-ahead salads

Claire from The Kitchy Kitchen has a confession: She hates salad. Leafy greens depress me. Most like all of us, she usually eats all of the “stuff” in a salad, leaving the greens until the end.

To deal with this dilemma, she put together some of her favorite grain based salads. They’re filling, they’re substantial, they’re make-ahead, and they’re thoroughly non-depressing. There’s also a recipe for everyone (vegetarian or vegan), so everyone can enjoy these for lunch. Enjoy!

Hijiki, Brown Rice, Salmon, Nori, Shredded Carrot, Green Onion

hijiki, brown rice, salmon, nori, shredded carrot, and green onion salad


  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled
  • 4 ounces salmon, cooked and flaked
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 nori sheet, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons green onion
  • 3 tablespoons hijiki (also spelled hiziki), cooked, strained, and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


Combine all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Quinoa, Beet, Goat Cheese, Spinach, Walnuts, Lemon, Parsley

Quinoa and beet make-ahead salad


  • ¾ cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 2 beets, cooked, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • ¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


1. Combine all ingredients, except the goat cheese, and mix thoroughly.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Fold in goat cheese.

Brown Rice, Cilantro, Pico de Gallo, Black Beans, Corn, Hot Sauce, Red Onion, Cotija

brown rice, cilantro, and corn make-ahead salad


  • ¾ cup brown rice, cooked and cooled
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 cooked corn cob, kernels removed
  • 1/8 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pico de gallo
  • up to 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese


1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the cotija, and mix thoroughly.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Fold in cotija.

Quinoa, Apple, Pecan, Cheddar, Caramelized Onion, Arugula

quinoa apple pecan salad


  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • ½ apple, cubed
  • 2 ounces cheddar, cubed
  • ¼ cup pecans, lightly toasted
  • ½ yellow onion, caramelized
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup arugula, packed


1. Combine all ingredients, except the arugula, and mix thoroughly.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Fold in arugula.

Kale, Peanut Sauce, Chili Oil, Peanuts, Green Onion, Cilantro, Tofu

Kale, peanut sauce, and tofu salad


  • 2 cups kale leaves, ribs removed, cut ¼-inch thin
  • 3 tablespoons peanut sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 3 tablespoons peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons green onion
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup tofu, cubed


1. To slice the kale, cut out the ribs, then stack the leaves.

2. Roll the leaves up and cut across in 1-inch slices. Chop again to get large pieces.

3. Combine kale, peanut sauce, and chili oil in a large bowl and massage the leaves for at least 3 minutes, until wilted and bright green (they should be tender and easily chewed).

4. Add the remaining ingredients, salt and pepper to taste, and mix thoroughly.

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons sesame paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy paste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic, minced

In a food processor, combine peanut butter, sesame paste, soy paste, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and white vinegar. Process until smooth and fold in minced garlic.

These five salads should get you through the rest of the summer, especially if you put them on rotation.

Which one of these salads sounds the best to you?

Let me know in the comments!

4-Ingredient Cherry Nice Cream

Posted by Earnest Carter on August 14, 2017 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Ready for the dessert of the summer? 4-ingredient cherry NICE cream. No dairy, no added sugar, and no ice cream maker required. Easy, quick, healthy, and crazy delicious. What's better than that!?

So if you're new to the "nice cream" concept, it's basically just frozen bananas that have been blended or pulsed through a food processor until it turns into a frozen yogurt / ice cream-like consistency. It takes a couple minutes of blending, but you won't believe how creamy it gets. You could literally make it with just the one ingredient, but it really takes it up a notch when you just add a couple other things to it. Sometimes I keep it simple and just go with banana, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Delish! I have to say though, this combo with the cherries, coconut cream, and cacao nibs, is definitely my favorite! 

3 cups frozen sliced bananas
1 cup frozen pitted cherries
1 can coconut cream*
1/4 cup cacao nibs (or chocolate chips)

*Refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk overnight. The next day, the coconut cream will have separated from the water. Pour out the water (or save for smoothies) and use the remaining cream in this recipe. 

1. Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper. 
2. Blend frozen bananas in a high powered blender or food processor. It will take a couple minutes of blending until you reach a creamy consistency.
3. Add frozen cherries and coconut cream and blend again.
4. Last, add the cacao nibs (or chocolate chips if you prefer) and do a quick blend or pulse (don't blend them completely - a little crunch adds some nice texture!) 
5. Pour into the loaf pan and freeze for at least 3 hours. 
6. Before serving, allow to thaw for about 10 minutes or so. Run an ice cream scoop under hot water and then scoop the nice cream. Enjoy!

I mean... on a hot summer day, is there anything better than this!? I don't think so! So excited for you to try it and report back how much you love it!


Posted by Earnest Carter on July 8, 2017 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

LOVE the Green Tea Latte from @starbucks! ☕☕☕
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Posted by Earnest Carter on July 8, 2017 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Reasons to love a Gemini

  • Will keep you entertained endlessly
  • Very mindful, helpful and can give good advice
  • Will say what you need to hear and not what you want
  • Down to earth

How to attract a Gemini

  • Talk, talk, talk and talk some more
  • Show them that you’re knowledgeable
  • Don’t be shy
  • Speak your mind
  • Encourage debate of any sort

Reasons to not mess with a Gemini

  • Will take all of your friends, because they can
  • Everyone loves them
  • Not afraid to speak their mind
  • Always one step ahead of you

Geminis are typically known for

  • Always having something to say
  • Being a social chameleon
  • Being overly intelligent
  • Having no filter at times

Gemini: Reasons to love yourself

  • You’re smarter than you think, and your intelligence isn’t up for debate
  • You know how to communicate effectively 
  • You’re actually super sweet and friendly
  • You know how to have a good time
  • You know how to make people laugh

(Source: Geminizone.com)


Posted by Earnest Carter on July 8, 2017 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Love this pic of my mom