Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Be Generous!! Eat Lasagna!!

Hello blogging world!  How is everyone enjoying their Tuesday??  I started my morning off with MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers).  It is always such a fun time, we have breakfast, hear from a speaker, do a craft and get to hang with other moms all while our kids are being smothered with love and having a BLAST.  Win Win in my book :)

Today our speaker spoke on teaching our kids to be generous.  WOW!  I was beyond moved.  I try to be generous in my day to day life, but I could do MORE and can definitely encourage my children to have a more generous spirit.  She really focused on 3 points: learn the way God has gifted your children to be generous, give them opportunities and encourage them to be generous and be an example of a generous person.  Honestly I never really thought about the fact that I need to teach generosity.  Of course,  I have taught them to share (which they do sometimes!), to love others, to pray for those less fortunate, etc...but I can't say that I have consciously taught them to be generous.  A lot of what she talked about was using their God-given gifts and letting them explore being generous through what God gave them.

I am inspired and motivated to put this into practice.  One way in which I am able to show generosity is through cooking.  I LOVE people, especially moms and what a better way to serve them than by making a meal for a family in need, or right after the birth of a baby, or just because life is hectic and a meal would bless their day!  One of my favorite meals to make for families is lasagna! 

What you need:
1 box lasagna noodles (the kind you HAVE to boil)
2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce (or homemade if you have on hand!)
32 oz container ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
handful of basil, finely chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Start by boiling a big pot of salted water! 

When boiling add in the lasagna noodles and cook according to the directions on the box.  In a small pan saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Put ricotta in a bowl and add in eggs, basil, onion/garlic combo and salt and pepper and combine.  When noodles are done drain and get your assembly line in order :) 

Then just layer your lasagna!  Start with a little bit of sauce on the bottom of a deep 13x9 baker, then lay out the noodles, next spoon a layer of ricotta over noodles, pour sauce over ricotta and then a layer of mozzarella.  Then noodles again and continue this process until your baking dish is full!  I do at least 4 layers.  Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.

Cover with foil and put into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 mins (it needs to be heated thoroughly because of the egg).  Take off the foil and let the top get golden brown and bubbly for the last 3 mins.  IMPORTANT STEP!!  Once the lasagna is out of the oven let it sit for 10-15 minutes before you cut it!!  (oops.  apparently we were hungry and I didn't take a picture of the final product!)

**The above recipe will create a 13x9 lasagna, as well as an 8x8 or 9x9 lasagna.  Keep one for your family and be generous with the other :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful...and pumpkin french toast!

Let me just start by saying I am soooo glad Halloween is over!!  I am so not a fan of ghosts, witches, skeletons, zombies and other ewey, scary stuff!  I feel like as soon as October (or even sooner!) starts I, as a mom, have to be on the look-out.  When we walk in to a party store, craft store, Target, etc there are images that my kids are scared of and things I just don't want in their little minds.  I'm constantly avoiding certain places or telling my kids to cover their eyes as we walk through.  Then, don't get me started on kid TV!  My "safe" shows for my kids are no longer safe and my kids don't understand why I won't let them watch certain things.

 Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE dressing my kids up!  This year they were all superheroes: Captain America, Batman, Spiderman and Superman.  So cute, so fun!  THAT is what Halloween is about for me and my family, just a fun time to dress up and let my kids (and me) eat lots of candy!

Then, what happens November 1st?  It's like Fall is over.  Pumpkin patches are closed, pumpkins go on sale and stores move all their Fall stuff out in order to make room for Christmas!  Again, I am so excited for Christmas.  BUT, what about THANKSGIVING!?!?!?! 

I LOVE Thanksgiving, it is a time to reflect about how blessed I truly am.  I saw some others doing #novemberthankful on Instagram and decided to join in!  Every day during the month of November you post a picture of something you are thankful for.  It can be a full night of sleep, coffee, a picture showing God's grace, or anything in between.  What a great idea!  As much as I am looking forward to Christmas and the birth of my Savior I am going to take this time to be thankful every day and to remember that all of my blessings come from my Lord and Savior.  So, join me in keeping Fall alive a little longer and make my delicious pumpkin french toast below!

Pumpkin French Toast
1 loaf white bread (I used french toast bread)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
Maple syrup and powdered sugar for serving

In a shallow bowl (I use a pie plate) whisk all ingredients besides the bread.  When combined well, put bread in mixture to soak it up, make sure you turn so both sides are coated.  Heat a non-stick pan or griddle and lightly coat with butter or cooking spray.  Put pumpkin coated bread in pan and turn the heat to low/med-low.  Cook until nicely browned and then flip.  Cook until both sides are browned and serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar :)  This is super yummy and a great way to enjoy FALL!

Friday, November 2, 2012

How I'm feeling today.

Today is a different kind of day...I am feeling really melancholy and I'm feeling this strong desire to open up, be honest and share my soul with whoever will listen (or read).  I want my blog to be a little different than how it was in the past.  It will still have lots of recipes, but I want it to be about my life, kind of a memory book for my family.  I got that idea from reading my friend Ashlee's blog (you can read it here)!  She is a friend from high school, we recently reconnected and I LOVE reading about her family and her heart :)

So, these are the things on my heart today:

i wish i had a magic fairy that would do my dishes every day
true friendship is so precious
being the wife of a chef is lonely
my children bring me great joy
God is so FAITHFUL
being a mom is hard work
i wish Halloween candy counted as negative calories
i can't wait for sunday date night
God has a plan for my life that is different and better than what i could plan for myself

How are you feeling today??  Is your heart heavy??  Can you relate to my thoughts and feelings??  I would love to hear your thoughts! 

and for those of you hoping for a recipe...here is a super simple and yummy TREAT to pair with your favorite fruit...I did not create this recipe...I am stealing it from my mama...I hope she doesn't mind!

1 jar marshmallow cream
1 block cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tblsp. lemon zest

Whip all ingredients together and enjoy!  Seriously so good!