Monday, January 20, 2020

Pioneer Woman Lasagna, Nana B Stuff (Name EVERYTHING), Judith Turns FIVE, RT Becomes a Three Year-Old AND Melia's Gift Card Tea

Good Tuesday morning!

I've been using my Pioneer Woman Cookbooks the last few months, and as usual, it hasn't been hard to find new recipes I like. The following is the best lasagna recipe I've ever tried...

And I don't think I'll be looking any longer.

Pioneer Woman Lasagna

You will need the following:

2 pounds hamburger
1 pound hot breakfast sausage
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces lasagna noodles
1 pound mozzarella
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves (I used 1/8 cup of store-bought basil.)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the hamburger, sausage and garlic until brown. Drain off excess fat. Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir together well. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the olive oil and a dash of salt. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles and lay them flat on a piece of aluminum foil to keep their shape.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Grate the mozzarella cheese and set aside.

5. Cut the basil into a chiffonade by stacking the leaves on top of one another, rolling them tightly and then cutting across. Finely chop the parsley. Add half the herbs to the meat mixture and stir together.

6. In a medium bowl, combine the other half of the herbs, the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and the eggs, and stir together well.

7. Now let's assemble the lasagna! Begin by laying 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom of a deep rectangular baking pan; the noodles should slightly overlap. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture onto the noodles; spread to distribute evenly. Sprinkle half the mozzarella on top of the cottage cheese mixture. Spoon just under half the meat mixture on top of the mozzarella, and spread evenly, being careful not to disrupt the layers below.

8. Now repeat the process, beginning with a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by the cottage cheese mixture, followed by the mozzarella and ending with a thick layer of the meat mixture.

9. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over the top. Bake until the lasagna is hot and bubbly, 35 to 45 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Nana B Stuff


Kids love catchy names for the activities they love.

Nana enjoys them, too.

Here are just a few I use when the Grand-Tots visit.

Windy Walks - Taking walks on particularly blustery days.

Puddle Jumpin' - Wearing old shoes (or no shoes at all) and looking for the biggest puddles after a rain.

Stacking Sticks - Helping Pop out by picking up as many sticks as we can in five minutes, and stacking them neatly for him to see when he gets home.

Reading Chair - The old, overstuffed chair in the corner of the living room with comfy pillows and soft, soft blankets.

Snack Rug - The little rug at the foot of Pop's recliner in the den where the kids enjoy goldfish and juice during a riveting show of PJ Masks.

Midnight Milkshakes - As soon as it gets dark and Nana finishes bathing the kids, Pop offers to take them in their pajamas for a Midnight Milkshake. (Midnight is a relative term since most of the time these milkshakes are purchased somewhere between 7:00 and 7:15 at night in the Winter... and just a tad bit later in the Summer because of Daylight Savings Time.)

Park Hoppin' - Taking the Grand-Tots to a new and different park 15 to 30 minutes away.

Driveway Day - Clearing the driveway of vehicles and pulling out any and everything we have in the garage (bikes, trikes, cars, bouncing horse, wagon, baby pools, bubble machines, bouncing balls, kick balls, etc.).

Dinner on the Deck - Any meal on the deck is more fun than a meal inside. It's a fact.

Splash Pad Picnic - Chick Fil-A nuggets or a Little Ceasar's pizza eaten at the picnic table ON LOCATION at the Splash Pad is always a treat.

Popsicle Picnic - On hot Summer days, laying out two, three or four beach towels and passing out messy popsicles is so much fun. And a quick jump in the baby pools or a squirt from the hose is quick clean-up.

Sucker Bath - If the day has been long and the child has been good, enjoying a sucker in the bathtub before receiving the actual bath is a wonderful thing.

There are more fun names for everyday activities. It just depends on what you and yours enjoy doing while you are together!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Judith Turns FIVE - That's right. Judith is five and Courtney and Josh hosted her birthday party at a gymnastics gym in Hartselle. Two inflatables, mats and other equipment in a giant room...

It was kinda great.

What's a perfect theme for a five year-old chick?


Eden was in attendance and was able to play to her heart's content on the floor with her toys...

And no one ran over her.

I was happy to see Judith knew the correct response to the always perfect Cash Gift.

A party favorite.

The family that flips together, stays together.

I didn't post the video of my routine on the parallel bars...

Didn't want to embarrass Courtney with my superior skills.

RANDOMNESS #2 - RT Becomes a Three Year-Old - That's right! This little blue-eyed boy is now a big ol' three year-old!

On his actual birthday, Melia, Judith and I took him to McWane Center for a fun day.

His actual party was a few days later, but one of the benefits of being three...

Mom adds sprinkles to every food you eat during the day (and I mean EVERY food), and it gives the day that wonderful "birthday party feel."

Oh, to be three again!

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - I'll have some details and pics from RT's party next post.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Melia's Gift Card Tea - Melia had a Gift Card Tea recently, and it was lovely.

She looks really pretty, doesn't she?

This was my favorite decoration. Baby pictures of Austin, Melia, RT...

And even some of the New Chick.

Even though she received many gift cards, some of us brought baby clothes, too.

It was a very cute theme idea.

I hope y'all have a great week. I know not everyone agrees, but I am very happy with the cold weather we're going to have this week. I might even break out my coat!


The Enchanting Belinda

Yesterday I really wanted cookies.
Today I am eating cookies.
Follow your dreams!
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