Monday, May 30, 2011

Great Weekend!

I did "whatever" Saturday. Had the day to myself. Changed sheets on the bed. Did some laundry. Ironed (gag me!) a few clothes. Cut off a pair of flood pants and made them more of a capri...only they are probably an inch or so short now. eyeroll I think they are all tacky looking to start with anyway, but if I'm going to wear them I'm not wearing a pair that looks as if I outgrew them last year.

I also made a shopping bag...from an empty bird seed bag.
Is this "repurposing" to the ultimate? LOL Such a shame to not be doing much sewing now-a-days...but I cut off a pair of flood pants almost too short and make a tote out of a plastic bag. hahaha And I have a computerized sewing machine for this! eyeroll

I also made marinara sauce...spaghetti sauce...or as some Italian-American families call it - gravy. This is a double batch.
I make it in the slow cooker so I don't have to stand and stir. The double recipe fills three one-quart freezer containers. I only froze one container for spaghetti later. The other two went into this: Instead of making it all in one big lasagna pan, I make it in three Pyrex pans...two lined with foil. I bake one and freeze the other two. Sunday morning, I loaded the two frozen lasagnas into the soft-sided cooler. Sam and I picked up John, Erin, and Colt then drove to visit Brook, Cody, and Isabel. Brook cooked lunch for us. Sam and I played. :-)

"Hey, Isabel. Let's go play."
"Not right now, Colt.  Pawpaw is holding me."

This is called having your arms AND your heart full.

"Hey, Colt! Let's go play!"
"Not right now, Isabel. Pawpaw is holding us!"

''Hmmm...Pawpaw acts like he's done this before!"

Playing with your cousin can sure tire you out!

I love bananas!

Blech...this tastes like butternut squash! Where's the bananas?

Sam and I spent Sunday night at Colt's. Sometime during the night I woke to hear Colt crying. I knew his mama would take care of him and semi-dozed off. When his crying reached me again, I thought with a jolt, "Colt's falling off the bed!" I reached around and grabbed for him. Silly me. On the way home today, I told Sam. He laughed and said, "So that's why you hit me." LOL

Deane's Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cocoa

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Pour into slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for four hours.

Remember...I doubled this so that I could have some to freeze.
Oh! Almost forgot. The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of sugar. But I do not use it.


1 pound of lasagna noodles
about 2 quarts of marinara sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
salt and pepper to taste
1 - 1 1/2 pounds cottage cheese
1 - 2 eggs slightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 pound grated mozzarella
grated parmesan to taste

Bring water to a boil and cook noodles about 8 minutes. When they are done, rinse until cool and separate or they will stick together.

While noodles are cooking, season and brown the ground beef and sausage. Stir into the marinara sauce.

Combine cottage cheese with egg and parsley.

In bottom of lasagna pan or 9 x 12 baking pan, spoon a small amount of sauce. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread with 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Another layer of noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, and cheese. Another layer of noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, and cheese. Top with noodles. Another layer of mozzarella cheese. and the parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes covered with foil. Remove foil and cook another 10 - 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let it rest a bit before serving.

Cottage cheese? COTTAGE CHEESE??!! you ask - politely. Here in my rural corner of Texas, ricotta was not available so my mother used cottage cheese in her lasagna. That's what I grew up eating. When I became an adult and knew better and could finally purchase ricotta in the local grocery store. Well...of course I was going to cook authentic lasagna. And...I did. Something was missing. It's not that I didn't like the ricotta. I missed the flavor of lasagna with cottage cheese. I once kinda sorta apologized to sister-in-law Carol when I had invited her and Elton to eat with us only to find out that she prefers cottage cheese in her lasagna too! :-)


Florida Farm Girl said...

Glad you got to spend some quality time with the young'uns!!

We never had lasagna growing up. My first exposure to it was my first MIL who was first generation Italian. She used ricotta and that what I prefer now. 'Course, I can't remember the last time I made lasagna either. DH isn't eating cheese too much these days.

Holee said...

Coming from an Italian neighborhood in Philadelphia, they would not approve of cottage, in fact, they were divided into north & south Italy, gravy or sauce, crushed garlic or fried garlic, sugar to cut the tomatoes or not. The only thing they did agree on was that sauce/gravy had to cook all day. Yours looks yummy anyway!

Kar said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend with the wee ones. Too funny about 'hitting' Sam. Sounds like something I would do. :)

We use cottage cheese also in our lasagna. It's just what you grew up with.

I saw an idea that may help with the capri's. Sew a cuff on it out of a pretty piece of material that you may have. It will add length back to them. :)

Have fun at work this week.