Friday, June 24, 2011

Under Construction...

I know I started, then stopped, then started and now... stopped again.  But in the end, it will be worth it.  I promise!  I've been working hard, catching up and I even enlisted some help from this fabulously talented designer.  Thanks for all the love so far and I'm looking forward to giving this blog a proper (and permanent) launch later this summer.   In the meantime, please check out the archives or catch up with my crazy life on my personal blog, So I Married A Triathlete!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quote: Kindness

Ran across this quote early last week - love it!

Baked Pasta (aka Mock Lasagna)

This recipe is a loose adaptation of this one for Baked Ziti and is what I served Friday night to the girls!




I improvised.  I didn't want to grate provolone... Or use that much sour cream.  Or cook the meat with onions.  And there was not ONE box of Ziti in all of the grocery store.  Oh and I was starving, with company, so I didn't get a picture of how yummy mine looked!  So here's the recipe for my somewhat healthier version:


Ingredients:

2 boxes of penne regata pasta (about 1 pound of dry pasta, go for something round, big and with grooves so it will pick up the sauce!)
1 bunch green onions
1 pound lean ground beef (I used 97/3, only 3% fat!)
2 twenty-six ounce jars of spaghetti sauce
2 bags shredded cheese (I used a mozarella and provolone mix)
1/2 cup sour cream (approximate)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Boil water and chop green onions, then set aside.  When water boils, add pasta and cook according to instructions (mine had a cook time of 12 minutes).  When pasta is added to water, start cooking ground beef.  Once beef is browned, add spaghetti sauce and seasonings to taste to make the sauce mixture.  I used Italian Seasoning -- no salt.  In fact, we never really add salt to much of anything.  I'm not a huge fan, but this is where you would add it if you want it!  Heat the sauce mixture while pasta finishes cooking.  I left the heat high so that the sauce would heat more quickly.

Get a pan ready -- I used the biggest pan I have available, at least a 13x17 will be needed.  Butter it lightly to prevent the baked pasta from sticking to the edges.  Drain the pasta, turn off the sauce mixture.

Put half the pasta in the pan and pour about half the sauce over the pasta.  Stir it.  Sprinkle a handful of cheese over it, along with half the chopped green onions.  Now put the rest of the noodles in, add the rest of the sauce, spreading it over the noodles with the back of your spoon.  Then sprinkle the rest of the green onions over the top.

Now, take the sour cream, and take two large spoonfuls (about one-third of a 16 oz container) and spread them over the top with the back of your spoon.  Cover the top in cheese, lots of it!  I used one full bag plus one handful of shredded cheese total on this recipe.  You will have about a half a bag leftover.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Change oven settings to broil and brown the cheese for about 3-5 minutes.  Watch it carefully so you don't burn it!

It's delicious.  Definitely the easy way to do a "lasagna" without all the hassle!  Everyone loved it and went back for seconds and now Brian and I are enjoying eating the leftovers!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Today I am...

....enjoying the weekend I've been dreaming of for months.  Lazy. Quiet. Peaceful. And, most importantly, at home.

Brian is in the garage:


building us a new entertainment center for here:

I cannot wait for the first piece to be finished!

Speaking of finished... the laundry room is almost finished....

Just waiting on choosing a counter top, raising the center cabinet, finishing the trim for the shelf above the washer/dryer and hanging stuff back up on the walls!

Brian's wildflowers:

Are growing in now:

And I love them.

And I cannot wait for these to ripen...

I have a little mess to clean up from a fun little party last night:

We played bingo, ate a great new pasta dish I cooked up and had fun hanging out.

Now I get to go play with the crafty stuff all weekend....


Or maybe the fabric?

Or maybe I'll just take a nap with this one....

Or this one...

Or hope for more text message pics like these of my cute niece Abby and her big brother, my favorite nephew CT...




♥ & miss those cute kiddos! :)

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