Monday, May 19, 2014

"No-time-to-Wait" Lasagna

I'm always surprised to hear from friends and family who have never attempted lasagna.
This recipe is one I seem to make a lot-
for new mothers who have just had babies, company coming by to share a meal with us, or because my family requests it.
And it is really, really quick!
In a few months, I'll have three children, ages five and under {gulp!} and I'm just not in a season of life where I have the luxury of time on my side.
So, if you're looking for a lasagna that requires mincing garlic, browning sausage in addition to beef, and simmering a sauce half the day... this isn't it, folks!
: )
This is "No-time-to-Wait" lasagna!
Start with:
lean ground hamburger beef
one package of no-boil lasagna noodles
a few eggs
a small tub of ricotta cheese
one can of diced tomatoes
a bag of mozzarella cheese
a jar of spaghetti sauce {I like to use one with garlic since I'm not mincing any!}
Italian spice mix and a few spoonfuls of good ol' sugar
Brown your meat and drain off any fat before returning to your pan

Gather two eggs, your ricotta, and the Italian seasoning

Mix it all up in a small bowl
{I don't measure my seasoning- don't worry about it! Just sprinkle some on}

Preheat your oven to 375'
{Yes, I'm making dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon. Nap times are my work times and this recipe can be made and stored in the refrigerator until needed!}

Add your can of diced tomatoes, undrained.
You will need all the juice!

Top with your spaghetti sauce

I like to use this sauce because it already has added garlic and onions.
When you really are in a hurry, it is a huge shortcut!

Add to your sauce some Italian seasoning and sugar to taste.
We really like a bit of sugar to balance the acidity and round out the flavor.

Simmer your sauce for as long as you can- 15 minutes is fine!
If you have more time, go for it!
: )
Toss some sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.

Layer your no-boil noodles.
I use six and just overlap the edges.

Dollop a good portion of your ricotta mixture on top.

And spread it out.
Make sure to cover your noodle edges!
If not well covered, they won't cook.

Top with shredded cheese

and add a bit more meat sauce.

Layer and repeat

At the end {when you run out of noodles!}top with the meat sauce and shredded cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.

It comes out beautifully thick, hearty, and filling!
It tastes like you slaved away all day in the kitchen- but you didn't!

My family doesn't know that though, so don't tell them, mmm k'ay?
: )

{I've added this recipe to my recipe link above in order to find it quickly!}
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

'Round Here

'Round here... things have been been busy.
We've been busy with the day to day stuff, Easter festivities, the progressing pregnancy, and church.
We attended a birthday party for a sweet friend!

One of my best friends, Judith, flew into Colorado with her husband on vacation and met us for dinner. We had a great time catching up!  Some of you may recall that she also flew to Detroit to visit us for a week when we lived there. I'm so blessed to have these deep, abiding friendships!
We taught 5th grade together for many years, and despite being a stay at home mom now, I still love to hear the latest and greatest of what is new in the world of education.

Harbor is growing up.
Sometimes what my eyes see doesn't match the image I have in my heart.
To me, he is still a tiny boy, but I know he is growing and changing.
Being a mommy is painful sometimes, isn't it?
I love seeing him at every stage, but I just adore having "little" kids at home.

This Easter, we stayed here in Colorado.
David is finishing up six hours at the local University and has also recently taken a promotion that includes moving into management and now has several employees that directly report to him, so leaving just wasn't a choice this year.
We had a great time though- we invited friends over for Easter lunch, hunted eggs, and enjoyed an unusually warm day for Colorado this early in the season.
{We've had snow in May still... but most days are warming up!}

We used our tripod/timer and drove to a few scenic spots for family Easter pictures.
In these pictures, I was about 20 weeks pregnant.
This third pregnancy has been flying.
I've just been so consumed with two other small children to really have the time to focus on much else. I guess that is what happens with a growing, busy family, but I certainly am doing my best to document and remember the details.
Thank goodness for good cameras to help document the busy seasons of life!

You may notice in this next picture that I'm sporting a lovely orthopedic shoe.
My foot wrestled with a piece of wrought iron furniture.. and lost.
With a broken foot, the kids and I made the trip home to Arkansas for two weeks for help.
Aaannnndddd.. while there, Henry fell and busted out his front tooth and had to have emergency surgery to have it removed.
It was a really rough week. Poor Henry.
Thankfully, we're both on the mend.
Thank goodness for family!

Despite having a missing front tooth, Henry and his smile delight me!
He is such an entertainer!

He is 15 months old, saying about 14 words, signing for food and drink, taking 1-2 naps a day, and nursing usually once or twice, as well. 

He is such a perfect addition to our family.
Children are a joy!
 I seriously cannot get enough of my boys.
Motherhood isn't always easy {Amen, right?!} but I know my children are my lasting legacy.
Pouring out into them is what gives me the most peace.

Our Awana Cubbies class at church is ending and since I was a director this year, we wanted to make a little gift for all of our helpers. I was inspired by Pinterest to create and design these little tags and Harbor traced his hand for the hand prints.

We celebrated our 13th wedding Anniversary in April.
13 years and a third baby on the way... we sure know how to keep it young, right?
We went out to eat at Old Chicago with the kids in tow and exchanged cards.
: )

We also recently had our ultrasound!
For those of you who don't know me in real life- or have Facebook- big exciting changes are coming!
{Photography by Harbor}

Hope all is well out your way!
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