Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Before you start anything...turn on your favorite playlist! That was the only thing I forgot today but would make the process WAaAy more fun!

 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
 8 nice sized mushrooms
 1 chopped green bell pepper
 1 chopped red bell pepper
 1 chopped yellow pepper
 1 small onion chopped
 2 carrots grated
 Fresh cut and washed spinach - enough to cover a layer - gotta eats   
 me spinach - anything to get extra veg in to our teen.
 3 or more cloves of garlic - we love garlic so we choose 'more!'
 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
 2 jars pasta sauce - we like 'Napa Valley Bistro' brand  - low(er) in 
 sodium and contains no soya bean oil which is bAAD!
 2 tsp or more Italian seasoning
 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
 2 eggs
 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese - I use a blend of 3 cheese already 
 pre grated!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F  

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, and carrots. Stir in pasta sauce(I saved 1/4 or so from the jar to cover the bottom of my dish which worked very well) and Italian seasoning. Let simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove from burner and let sit.

Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and eggs.

Cook the lasagna noodles(or use the 'no cook' type which means you need to cook the lasagna right away...DO NOT let your lasagna sit on the counter to cook for later or the noodles will curl and your meal will look like a roller coaster...TRUST ME) in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or desired texture. (I like 'just' done. Rinse with cold water, and drain.

Spread the saved sauce into the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer:  lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta mix, spinach, noodles, sauce, the rest of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. 

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.  Or you can cook the day before, refrigerate, and then heat when needed which is awesome because the flavours have time to work their magic!

Most likely, I will serve this for 2 nights so I can get out of cooking or freeze half to get out of cooking another week.  Whatever you feel!  It would also be great to serve to company as well, since you can make it the day before.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Flying the coop

  Graduation is just around the corner and my little baby bird is not such a baby anymore!  The nest appears to be too small for the three of us.  In less than six months, he has plans to fly.

  I'm supposed to give myself, as a parent, a big pat on the back and be happy for this next stage of life...for him...for us.  Don't get me wrong, I am more than glad we all made it through these last few years of high school without too many speed bumps along the way!  I very much look forward to hearing all about Teuvo's college adventures; his new friends, dorm life, what he's learning, and all about the musical side but...

  My pot is boiling over with mixed emotions; excitement, sadness, happiness, loneliness, relief, emptiness, worry, and on.

  Questions constantly flood my mind: what happens if he gets sick and I'm not there to help?  What if he goes 'wild' because mom and dad are not around to enforce rules? What happens if he meets kids that will cause trouble? What if he's the one causing the trouble?  What about food...will he make good food choices so he can be healthy? What about that girl he's going to meet who we don't know?  What am I going to do now?  What can I do now?  What do I want to be when I grow up?  What is our marriage going to be like? What will we talk about?

  I can hardly believe 'college' is knocking on our door.  Time has gone by so fast; it seems like just yesterday Teuvo rolled over off his blanket for the first time and I was telling Bill about it after work.

  'Freedom,' I'm told is just around the corner but...my resume is pretty much blank after being a 'stay at home' parent for seventeen years.  College is expensive!  I don't want to work evenings or weekends although extra cash and a pension plan for the future would be a bonus.

  A book I recently read on this subject (thanks Susan) reassured me that I am not alone and that many parents feel as I do.  It suggested that talking with others and reaching out for support helps with the process.  

I'm a little nervous, and scared but at the same time, I am excited... for him, for us, and for me as we prepare for this next leg of the journey.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Strawberries never tasted so good...

Just before jumping in to bed the other night, this recipe popped in to my mind out of no where!  All night long I was creating and eating, creating and eating, so I just had to try it!

Strawberries cut in half and sort of 'hauled' out a wee bit, fill with softened goat cheese, top... using walnuts or pecans, drizzle with honey, and garnish with (home-grown) mint.  Refrigerate until about 5 minutes before serving. 
These tiny morsels combined with a hint of mint burst with amazing flavour. They were so fantastic and fresh, and delicious!