Tag Archives: Everyday

Zucchini Lasagna

This week’s new-to-us recipe was zucchini lasagna, and it was delicious! Instead of lasagna noodles, I used thinly sliced zucchini and couldn’t even tell the difference! It was so good, we ate leftovers of it twice.  Here’s what I did, for your dining pleasure…

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What You Need:

  • 1/2 lb Italian seasoned ground turkey (or Italian sausage)
  • Zucchini—3 small ones or 1 big one
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 t dried basil
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb chopped mushrooms (approximately)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

What You Do:

Brown and crumble the turkey in a skillet.

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Thinly slice your zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin or a very steady hand and sharp knife.

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Combine the ricotta (and think of Giada de Laurentiis pronouncing it) and parmesan cheeses, herbs, and salt/pepper in a medium bowl.

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Lay one layer of zucchini slices in a Pamed pan.

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Spread half of the cheese mixture over the zucchini. This isn’t a smooth spread, and your fingers will get messy trying to keep the zucchini in place.

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Sprinkle on some sliced mushrooms.

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Sprinkle on half of the turkey.

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Pour on and spread around half of your jar of spaghetti sauce. Note: Don’t buy the huge bottle of Ragu that has the built in “handle”, buy the next size down or don’t use the entire bottle if you do buy the giant one.

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Repeat this process—yes, I know its messy—until you have two layers of everything.

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Top with lots of shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is all melty.

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Serve it up! We enjoyed our with steamed broccoli (use the frozen steam-in-bag kind and save yourself a step the dirty dishes) and Caesar salad. Boyfriend also had cheesy garlic bread with his.

Obviously, I used entirely too much sauce, as the first night we had a goopy (but delicious!) mess.

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Leftovers were much better looking, since the sauce was thicker.

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Try this one for yourself and let me know what you think by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 

Amber

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Cupcakes and Leftovers

Good Saturday morning! How did your week turn out?  Mine was, again, busy and exhausting!

On Tuesday, we decided to have Chris’s birthday party on Wednesday. I came home from work and spent from 5:30pm to 9:30pm in the kitchen baking, filling, and decorating 4 dozen of these cupcakes. I also managed to fix dinner in there somewhere (I think that’s the night we had tacos in a pan?).

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Half of the cupcakes were taken to work Thursday for a bake sale auction to raise money for MDA, and the other half were either eaten Wednesday night or sent home with our families.

Wednesday night, of course, we had my parents and Boyfriend’s parents over to celebrate his birthday. We kept it simple by grilling burgers, my mom brought her famous macaroni salad, and Chris’s mom brought her famous baked beans, and we had chips/dip and fresh veggies.

Thursday I decided that I wasn’t doing ANYTHING when I got home from work. I heated up leftovers for each of us for dinner, took a shower, and then chilled on the couch the rest of the night.

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Don’t get me wrong: I love cooking, I love baking, and I love having family over, but coming home from work every night and not getting to relax and re-energize for the next day wears me out!

Last night was pretty much a repeat of Thursday night, but with different leftovers and TV shows!


Today I’m off to the farmer’s market to see what goodies I can find.  I also need to make a stop at the natural food store to pick up some nutritional yeast—I want to give kale chips a try. Then I’m going to Michael’s to see what I can find to spend my 40% off coupon on!! Smile  I’m pretty sure I have more things than that on my To-Do List for today, but those are the two that stand out in my mind right now.

Have a happy Saturday!

 

Amber

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We Made A Baby

… a baby tomato that is!! (Gotcha!)

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Isn’t he the cutest little thing??

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I was talking about the tomato….

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We grew this tiny little guy on our Big Boy (I think that’s what the tag said) plant that we bought, which was supposed to produce tomatoes between one and two pounds. I really don’t want a two pound tomato, but one the size of an iPod shuffle is a little runt-ish small.

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Sure is a cutie though!! Smile 

Tonight Chris’s mom and step-dad are coming over for dinner, so that should be fun! Tomorrow is a bridal shower for one of my besties, and I’m so excited!!

Hope you all have had a great week, and a good weekend!!

 

Amber

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Where DID We Put The Hide-a-Key?!

Yeah, we really had to ask ourselves that last night! Here’s how it all went down…

For dinner, we decided BBQ chicken on the grill sounded good. I started the grilling while Chris showered, and when he was done he joined me outside. When the chicken was done and it was time to head back in he went to the door… And the handle wouldn’t move!  We both looked at each other in a panic–what do we do now?! 

All the screens on our windows are the type that can only be removed from the inside, plus even if we did get the screens off, we keep all our windows locked unless they are open. The garage door is electric and can only be opened manually from the inside.  My idea was for Boyfriend to wiggle through the doggy door–until we remembered there’s a cover on it since we don’t have a dog to use it, which can also only be removed from the inside.

What are we supposed to do!? Panic began to set it…

Then I remembered we hid a key–but where?? We searched and searched all the places we apparently discussed putting it, but obviously didn’t. We spent a good 5-10 minutes looking for than darned key!! Crawling around on our hands and knees searching through spider webs under the deck, in the weight bench, on the grill… I’m so glad our neighbors weren’t outside to see us! About the time I was on the verge of freaking out, Chris apparently decided he would risk breaking the handle off the door to get in, and gave it a good yank–and it opened!!! 

Was it locked? No.

The handle just refused to move! Why? We have no clue!

I do know that the first thing on my agenda for today is going to have a couple of spare keys made… Which is where I’m off to right now!

Hope you all have a great Saturday morning!

Did you do anything fun or exciting last night? This was the most excitement we’ve had on a Friday night in a while, haha! Tell me about it below…

 

Amber

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A Tasty Turkey

Hi there!

Today we went on another quest to find work shirts, and finally had success! The shirt I found fit me like it was made specially for my body, and was comfy even though it’s a button down dress shirt. I bought it in two colors, and I’ll be on the lookout for more shirts from that brand since they fit so well!

When we stopped to get gas before the prices jumped 15 cents here like they did in Springfield, we went inside to get drinks. I love Gold Peak Sweet Tea, but when I checked the label it said there are 190 calories in the whole bottle!

 

I’ve never given any consideration to calories in my tea, but  now I’m paying attention to everything. Chris saw that they had a Diet option, so I decided to try that… Boyfriend is my hero!! 🙂

The diet version tastes just like the sweetened version, for zero calories! Chris even tried a drink of it, because he usually thinks that sugar-free versions of drinks taste funny, and he agrees it tastes just like the bottle he was drinking. I think we’ll both be buying Diet from now on!

This - 190 = This! 🙂

 

For lunch, we had Q’doba. I got the Chicken Taco Salad, minus pretty much everything, haha! Basically I had romaine lettuce, fat-free picante ranch, grilled chicken, and fresh pico. It was so spicy and so fresh! They are really good about only chopping up the super green part of the romaine, so there isn’t any of the tasteless white part of the lettuce.

Once home, Boyfriend decided that today (the hottest day so far this summer, under a heat advisory) would be a good day to powerwash the deck and back of the house.

I decided to workout. I opted for an old DVD I’ve had for about 7 years, Crunch Pick Your Spot Pilates.

It has three separate 10 minute workouts that target either your belly, butt, or thighs–I did all three. There is also a 10 minute total body workout option.  Afterward I was sweaty and burning, which felt good!

 

For dinner I decided to pretend it was Thanksgiving and roasted a turkey! To keep things simple, I bought a boneless turkey (you can also buy breast only, but Boyfriend likes dark and light meat) which is about three pounds and only takes about 1 1/2 hours in the oven.  It’s the perfect size for the two of us and leaves enough for leftovers.

Here’s how simple it really was:

Preheat your oven to 375, and line your roasting pan with aluminum foil. This makes clean up sooo much easier, because all the stuck on parts stick to that and not your pan!

Rinse your turkey and pat it dry, and lay it out on your lined baking sheet. Use your hands to rub all the surfaces down with a few tablespoons of butter (I use Country Crock Light) and about one tablespoon of olive oil, then salt and pepper it.

Stack all the parts back up: breast, then dark, and finally the skin.

Pop it in the oven for about an hour, and then take a peak at it. If the skin is golden and crispy, make a foil tent to cover it with to prevent over-browning. Let it roast for about another 2o minutes, checking it with a meat thermometer to make sure its 160 before you take it out.

When its done, take it out of the oven but leave the tent on it and let it rest at least 10 minutes before you slice into it. This lets the juices redistribute and makes it super moist. (Not to brag too much, but I’ve always been told I make the best turkeys that are super moist! Right, mom?)

When you’re ready, slice it up, plate it up, and enjoy!

We had ours with “fried” green beans, sliced whole grain bread, and Chris had mashed potatoes with gravy.

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This was a delicious dinner, if I do say so myself! 😉

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And cleaning the roasting pan was as easy as throwing this in the trash!

Now its time to prep lunch for tomorrow and relax, tomorrow is orientation for my new job!!

 

Amber

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Fun in the Sun

Today started like this:

And then there was a lot of this:

And when we had so much sun we didn’t even feel like fixing our own dinner, there was this:

(Sorry its a little dark, but the pic with flash was way worse.)

That salad was at least one full head of romaine, possibly more. It was loaded with tons of fresh veggies and grilled chicken. I barely made it through half of it, and my stomach looked like I swallowed a head of iceberg whole! haha

If you want more food than you could ever possibly eat, go to Lambert’s. If you don’t leave stuffed, something is wrong with you! They give you giant portions of whatever entrée you choose, plus two sides, “pass arounds” which are MORE sides, and fresh made hot rolls… And if that’s not enough, it’s all you can eat so just ask for more (I doubt you will)!

It’s America’s Got Talent pass out on the couch time over here, have a great night!

What’s your favorite restaurant for a tasty salad that fills you up? 

Amber

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