Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pasta Sausage Bake

I've been asked for this recipe many times in the past...so this time while making it I had my camera with me in the kitchen. Now I don't measure in this recipe, so if you need more then just add what you'd like.

I like to use hot Italian sausage, if it is thawed I will remove the casing and break it apart...I didn't take it out of the freezer so I sliced it while it was still frozen.

Brown the sausage then drain the excess fat.

I like to use whole wheat pasta, for us I put half the box in a casserole dish...I don't cook it first. I've found that if I boil the pasta first I find that it will get a bit mushy.

I put my favourite pasta sauce in...I also had a bit of water to the dish as well (just put about a 1/2 a cup of water and swirl it around the jar to get out the rest of the sauce). This will make up for the amount of sauce that the pasta will absorb while cooking.

I added fresh mushrooms today, sometimes I will add red peppers...or canned mushrooms...whatever I have on hand. No I didn't wash the cutting board between cutting the sausage...but since it all cooks together it is okay.

Mix everything together

Grate some mozzarella cheese...

Put the cheese on top if it all...cover the dish and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes, uncover for 10 minutes

and there you have it...

Add salad and there is dinner!!

Hope you enjoy this, this has always been a great meal for me because you can make it the day before and leave it in the fridge until the next day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Well last week a few of my meals weren't made...all for good reasons! I was either going to someone's house for dinner...or I was going to someone's for a potluck!!

I've wanted to make my goal this year to only shop once a week...I almost made it! Because we had a funeral at our church and a potluck, both on Saturday, I did have to run to the stores on Friday...but for me twice in one week is still pretty good!

My menu for the week is pretty simple...I'm also trying to clean out the cupboards a bit!

Monday - Chicken, potatoes and corn (missed from last week)

Tuesday - Sausage and pasta bake

Wednesday - Pork chops with rice and veggies

Thursday - Beef and snap pea stir fry

Friday - Fish with veggies and dip

Saturday - Homemade pizza

Sunday - Whatever we can find!

Org junkie has hundreds of people posting their menus for the week!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Busy day...and cooking!

Today is a busy day for us...not normal for Saturday. Saturday is usually our do nothing day...maybe get dressed...maybe not!! Today there is a funeral at our church for the mother of a woman who attends, her children also attend the school Michaela goes to...I think it is important for me to go for a show of support of her church family and school family. I'm also making sandwiches for this...it is such a blessing to be able to do it. When Ron passed away my church did everything!! I mean it was completely overwhelming, the love and support shown to me was so evident...my family (which has some nonbelievers) could clearly see it! I feel privileged to have God use me to support someone else as well!
I also have a Christmas potluck for our school staff tonight...yeah we didn't quite get it together in time to do it before Christmas...so here we are! I'm actually quite happy it is now...just a little bit of joy in the normal after Christmas and New Years slump!
So I'm going to post a bunch of pictures of what I've done this morning...wow just after 11am!! I'm amazing myself today!
First I'm making stuffing for the dinner tonight, I do have to say that I make a pretty amazing stuffing (yes it may be boastful...but it is also true)!!
I make my own bread filled with spices and dry it in the oven then break it up.
Now I love sausage in stuffing...I use Johnsonville hot Italian...browned.

Chop some onion, slice some celery and fresh mushrooms.

Saute them on the stove with a bit of butter, using the same pan you browned the sausage in...give it great flavour.
I like to cook it all in a slow cooker...it is just easier. I know you're thinking...there is no way that is going to fit!! Oh silly you...I will make it fit!

Add a little chicken broth...and mix it around...

Now that is all slow cooking away...I will mix it up now and then and check and see if I have to add a bit more broth or not!!
Now that isn't all I did today, will this was going on I decided that Michaela and I should make some butter...yes that's right BUTTER! I've seen on a few blogs how easy it is so I thought it would be fun...yes there are pictures (I've decided that my kitchen is really where my camera should be..that is where all the action is)!! I'll post about that later...I also made some egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches for the lunch today...I even took pictures of that. I was in the zone!! I'll have to do it more often, it is fun and I think makes it all a bit more interesting!
Now it is all cleaned up, I can sit and relax for a bit...until I need to shower and get ready to go!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Patrick Swayze Interview

So tonight I'm watching the Patrick Swayze interview with Barbara Walters...it is so interesting. It really brings me back to two years ago...I really feel where he and his wife are, I know the conversations they must have with each other...I've been there. The questions that have been asked and trying to answer them...it is a tough place to be. I also appreciate that they enjoy laughter and have a sense of humor while fighting such a beast...it really does help.

I think one of the craziest questions to ask is how long to you have to live...there isn't a single person who can answer that. Once conversation Ron and I had was him being afraid, we ended it with know the fact that none of us know how long we have. Some where some one will die...they don't have cancer but they will die. It could be an accident or whatever...the point is we aren't promised tomorrow we are promised right now!! So just because a person has terminal cancer doesn't mean that they know the day they will die, they may live longer than statistics...or like Ron...shorter than them.

As for Patrick Swayze, I pray that he and his family will have strength and peace as they continue to fight such a horrible illness, I pray that he knows Christ as his Saviour and will draw closer to Him!!

I've also found out today that a woman who goes to my church and is in my small group has breast cancer...please remember her in your prayers. I'm not sure what type it is and how advanced, my prayer for her is that she will draw close to the Lord. I also pray for her husband and two sons one who is in his first year of Bible college and her younger son is still in high school.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Well now that the new year is here I can get my schedule back in order...while I really did enjoy the relaxed schedule we had over the holidays it is time to get back at it!!

Monday - Beef stroganoff with broccoli
Tuesday - Taco Salad
Wednesday - Beef and snow peas
Thursday - Clams with tomatoes
Friday - Stuffed manacotti
Saturday - Chicken, potatoes and corn
Sunday - Whatever we can find!
There are a lot of great menu plans at Orgjunkie.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009

Michaela and I had a quiet New Years Eve together...we went out for dinner then put on our jammies and hung out at home. We had a good time together laughing and fooling around...she got to sleep with me and said it should be a new years tradition.

Here are a couple of pictures of our celebration!

This is our self portrait...it was tough because we were laughing so hard.

Michaela enjoying her sparkling apple-pomegranate juice...and giving Buddy a squeeze.

This year there are a few things about my life that I would like to change. I need to be a bit more scheduled, I need to have a cleaning schedule to keep ahead of things instead of playing catch up. I will have one shopping day a week...that way I'm not running to the store too often. I find that when I stroll around Wal Mart I tend to spend a little more than I need to!

I want my life to reflect my relationship with the Lord. I want to make memories with Michaela and continue to raise her to be a caring, loving person.