Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ravioli Lasagna

I always wanted to be a Mom. Ever since I was a little girl I talked about "When I had my kids". I had decided that I wanted to have 9 by the way. Yes, you heard me, 9 kids! Of course that sounds awesome when you are young and have zero idea what having 1 kid would be like, never mind 9!

Then I had my first, my son. I was 23 and felt very prepared for the whole situation. Ya, ummm not so much. Actually I think I did OK. The fact that he is still breathing is a big clue to that fact eh?

But seriously, he was (and I know soooo many mothers say this) the perfect baby. So sweet and even tempered. Barely cried, I mean ever! He started sleeping through the night when he was just a few months old. I can't tell you how many times I woke up to the sound of him cooing and giggling over the baby monitor. I was seriously blessed.

Then he turned 2.

And became possessed.

No joke people. There were times that I waited for him to levitate and his head to spin around!

It was that mother's curse, I know it was. 

You know the one, I hope that when you grow up, you have kids "Just Like you"!

Then I had my daughter. This time I didn't even get 2 years. She was born screaming and didn't stop, or sleep, until she was about 6 months old. I was a wreck, and wondered how in the heck I was going to make it through their childhood in one piece, or with my sanity in tact.

Well my kids are now 25 and 22. They made it through in one piece, as did I. Although the whole sanity thing? Ya, the jury is still out on that one.

They moved out a year and a half ago. They have their own place, with their significant others, and Kevin and I have our privacy. Just the two of us, able to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it (get your mind out of the gutter), and for the first year I didn't know what to do with myself! It was awful. 

Now there are no dirty dishes in the sink, no laundry piled up, no screaming and yelling. But believe it or not I still miss them.

How do I get through it? I make them come to dinner once a week. I get to cook for them all. Talk and laugh and catch up with them. We hug, we smile, we eat, they still don't do dishes. But that's OK. Now when I see that sink full of dishes I smile, remembering all of those years, those little faces, and realize I am one of the luckiest Mom's in the world!!

Ravioli Lasagna  

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound spicy Italian Sausage
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large (28 ounce) package refrigerated cheese ravioli, defrosted
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut chiffonade (reserve some to garnish)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, red wine, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until slightly reduced.

Meanwhile, in a very large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and mushrooms. Crumbling the sausage with a wooden spoon, cook until no pink remains in the sausage and mushrooms are tender. Stir in the basil and set aside.
Spoon one-fourth of the tomato sauce into a 13 x 9" rectangular baking dish. Arrange half of the ravioli on top. Spoon half of the sausage-mushroom mixture over. Spoon another one-fourth of the sauce over sausage-mushroom mixture in baking dish. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon another one-fourth of the sauce over cheese. Repeat layers with the remaining ravioli, sausage-mushroom mixture, sauce, and cheese.

Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and lasagna is heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining basil.

Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.

Serves 8


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Garlicky Kale with Beans and Bacon

Do you ever go shopping just to cruise the isles and see what you can find? I know that can be a bit dangerous for the ol' pocketbook, but sometimes I just have to do it. 

It is kind of like a big game of hide and seek. Dinner is hiding somewhere in the store, and I have to find it. Unfortunately I can get a little ADD, especially in the produce section.

Ohh look at the pretty fresh berries. Wait, is that asparagus? WOW that corn on the cob looks awesome....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Make Your Meal Planning Quick and Easy with FitsMe

When you are looking for recipes, do you often find yourself wondering if you can eat them because of dietary restrictions? 

Do you flip through pages in a cookbook quickly because dishes that interest you are few and far between? 

Are you looking for quick and easy meals to prepare on those busy weekday nights?

What if you could go to a website and input the foods you like, the foods you could do without, and the foods you must avoid, and be shown a set of recipes that accommodate your immune system, nutritional plan, and taste buds?

Would you use it? 

If yes have I got the just the place for you. 

It is called, Fitsme, and it ROCKS!

They are a food discovery and meal planning app that aims to make the process of finding food that you can, and want, to eat so much easier, and I love it. 

They analyze every ingredient in every recipe and adapt their interface to show only dishes that fit your tastes and dietary needs. All of the dishes show in a "Pintresty" style set up, and you know how much I love Pintrest. 

All you need to do is pop on over to FitsMe and set up your free account. It is quick and easy. 

Once you sign up you can go to your "Food Personality" to set up your likes, likes, dislikes, needs, etc.

Then click browse and just like that, bing bam boom you are looking through tons of drool worthy photos for those perfect recipes that make you want to get into the kitchen immediately and start cooking

I have been loving just cruising through the site and finding new tasty things to make.

And they just launched some brand new features!

If you create a meal plan, you'll notice a new button called "Create shopping list." Which has several key functions available: 
1. Users can choose which days of the week they want to shop for. For example, just Monday and Tuesday, or the entire week. 
2. Users can scale the recipes to make more of less. Cook for 6, but the servings size is only 2? No problem. 
3. Shopping list are broken down into categories such as: Spices & herbs, Vegetables, fruits, dairy, etc to make shopping easier. 
4. If a user recognizes and has the ingredient in his/her pantry, they can check it off and it'll disappear from the list. 
5. Users can email the list to themselves or others, with a message(optional).

All of these fabulous features on one website and the best of all it is FREE!

Why not give FitsMe a try and see for yourself how easy it is?

Make sure to stop back by and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your feedback!

Compensation was provided by FitsMeApp, however the opinions expressed herein are soley those of the author.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things 4/22/14

Howdy gang! Welcome to A Few of My Favorite Things.

When I decided to start this series of posts I thought long and hard about what to call them. I played around with a few ideas. Weekend Wanderings, Web Wanderings, even Satisfying Your Saturdays. But no matter what I tossed around, all I could think of was the song from The Sound of Music. You know, "Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens...."? It just seemed so clear to me that I had to use it.

Now it is going to be stuck in your head.

It has been in mine for days! Good thing I love that song!

Anywho, this is where I will share with you all of the fantabulous things I find whilst poking about the internet.

Between, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and just plain old web searches, I come across so many cool things. I figured, why keep them to myself? I mean, somebody else needs to see this stuff! Right?

So be it food, crafts, blogging, gardening, photography, etc. I will be sharing with you every Saturday.

Sound like fun?

Woohooo let's see what this weeks faves are!!

My Favorite E-Book
How to Monetize Your Food Blog - This e-book is a serious must read for all food bloggers that want to take their blog to the next level. There is also a media kit template available. I was so happy I found this!

My Favorite App/Website
FitsMe - This is a fabulous tool for people that follow a strict diet, such as vegan, paleo, or pescatarian, have food allergies, eat a specific way to attain a physical goal (body building), have little time to find recipes or to plan meals, and more. It really is quite fabulous, with tons of drool worthy recipes and best of all it is FREE!!

My Favorite Food
Cookie Dough Stuffed Whoopie Pies
Free Standing Pallet Herb Garden

My Favorite Giggle

Well that's it for this week my friends. I hope you have enjoyed the goodies that I have shared with you and make sure to come back next Saturday for more!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blackberry Pie Bars

I think I am starting to spoil Kevin a bit.

It seems I have gotten over my aversion to baking. Mostly because I haven't burned anything in quite some time *knock on wood*. 

Seriously though, my baking attempts of the past usually ended up with a burned, overly dry, or gooey mess.

Over the first 2 years of blogging, I think I made maybe 5 desserts.

Don't get me wrong, I could make a mean cookie, but anything else? Ppfffttttt ya right!