Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What's Up Wednesday



So excited to be linking up today for What's Up Wednesday!

What We're Eating This Week
This week we've been eating leftover baked ziti and a LOT of zucchini bread.  I made a big batch over the weekend and it is delicious!  I've passed a couple of loaves on and have more zucchini, pumpkin and banana on the books for this week!

What I'm Reminiscing About
My post about Fall on Monday has me all kinds of sentimental about the time that Dave and I (and Mason in my belly) headed off to The Homestead for some relaxation and Fall color ;) I mean!









What I'm Loving
NEW Matilda Jane!!! The second release of the Fall collection came out today and it couldn't be more PRECIOUS!  You can check out the full line HERE and can send your wishlists to katkempson@matildajaneclothing.com 

Kat took Griffin this weekend and grabbed a few pictures of her in the new items and I am so in love!!!







Shoot Kat an email if you'd like more information on ordering!  katkempson@matildajaneclothing.com

What We've Been Up To
School and all the getting up early, homework, etc. that goes along with it.  Which lead to this yesterday afternoon...



What I'm Dreading

I'm not really dreading anything... BUT I am having major struggles figuring out what to do with this weird corner in our bedroom.  HELP!

It's the weird vacuum corner currently.  Thoughts???


My current thoughts include a gallery wall or something???  Ideally I would love a huge double chest, but that's not high on my priority list right now.  I'm loving these frames, but do I do both walls?  Just the one to the left?  Just the one behind the TV?  My one other idea is a big leaning mirror like this one

HELP!



What I'm Working On

Tons and tons of school stuff including lots of handwritten notes for my kiddos!



What I'm Excited About

All things FESTIVE including the cutest pumpkin shirt EVER! I ordered this shirt and am obsessed with the sparkly glasses.  She has tons of cute options (for boys, too!) and her shirts are always so unique and well made!




What I'm Watching/Reading

A friend of Dave's loaned us all of the Star Wars movies and we just started watching from the beginning.  The boys have been obsessed with Lego Star Wars for a while now and they are SO EXCITED to get to watch all the movies!  





What I'm Listening To

This has been on repeat and I have no clue why, but I can't stop listening to it. 



What I'm Wearing

Growing up my mom would always tell us, "remember who you are and whose you are" and it's something that stuck with me.  I had it put on a Farmgirl Paints cuff and have been wearing it all the time lately.


I've also been wearing this polish on repeat.  Ignore my crappy polish job.  I hadn't had a chance to fix it up before I snapped the pic ;)



What I'm Doing This Weekend

Dance, soccer, family time and celebrating our nephew's first birthday!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Mason's first soccer game!  We're so excited to see him and his buddies out on the field!  We're also looking forward to Bingo night at school and settling into our routine a little bit more.


What Else Is New

This isn't really new, but it cracked me up :)  Prince Charming status.



What's my Favorite fall transitional piece in my closet?

My favorite transitional pieces are dresses like these.  Pieces that I can wear with wedges when it's warm and tights and boots when it cools off. (click on the pictures for more info)

 

I also love a great twill jacket that you can wear in the cool mornings and take off when it's warm in the afternoon.  The perfect light layer.

This one is under $50!


Happy Wednesday, Friends!!!

PS - This post contained affiliate links which means that if you clicked on a link and made a purchase I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Baked Ziti

This past weekend my crew was craving pasta and I was looking for a recipe that was delicious and would make enough for a couple of meals and leftovers for lunches this week.  I had this Pioneer Woman recipe bookmarked and it was the perfect time to try it out.  I tweaked it a teeny bit, but nothing major.  You need to make this ASAP, trust me!

I gathered the ingredients (minus the can of tomatoes that I forgot to include in the pic - ooops!) and got to work.


Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 whole large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 pounds meat (I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb sausage)
- 1 large can whole tomatoes (28 oz - don't drain them!)
- 2 cans marinara sauce (the original recipe called for 14.5 oz jars, I used regular 24 oz size)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 16 oz pasta (I used ziti)
- 1 15 oz container whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 cups of shredded mozzarella
- 2 eggs
- fresh parsley

Step 1 - Chop the onion and mince the garlic...


... or use the cheater garlic like me :)


Step 2 - Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the onions and garlic.  Cook on medium until they're translucent and soft.





Step 3 - Add in the meat, cook and drain.


Step 4 - Add the two jars of sauce (I used a whole jar and a little more than half of the others), the whole tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper to the cooked meat.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.




Step 5 - Clean up your mess (maybe that's just me - hahaha), bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta about a minute short of being al dente.  It's going to bake for a bit, so if you cook it too much it will cook too much.  My pasta called for 10-12 mins and I did 9.


My boys were in and out of the kitchen ALL afternoon.  Stirring, smelling, sampling.  ;)


Step 6 - When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.


Step 7 - Take about 4 cups of the sauce out of the pot and let it cool (mine didn't cool completely and it was fine).


Step 8 - While the sauce is cooling, mix together the Ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Parmesan and some parsley.  Don't over mix it... just stir it a bit.



Step 9 - Mix the cooked pasta in with the cheese mixture.  Don't worry about mixing it a bunch.  Just kind of toss it.  Lumps are totally fine.



Step 10 - Mix the 4 cool cups of sauce in with the pasta/cheese.



Step 11 - Put half of the pasta into a lasagna (or other large baking) dish. 


Step 12 - Cover with half the sauce and some mozzarella.


Step 13 - Top with more pasta, sauce and cheese.




Step 14 - Pop it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly and melty.

While it's baking, this may happen.  He made a rocket ship ;) 


And it's done!!!  Throw some more fresh parsley on top and call it a day!


The house will smell AMAZING at this point!  AH-MAZING!


Yes ma'am.


If you're planning on feeding a big group this would make PLENTY!  We all ate it for 2 dinners in a row, I sent some home with my dad and we still have probably a third of it left.  All my kids gobbled it up and it went on our "keeper list" ;)



Enjoy, friends!!!

In case you want the recipe in an easy to screenshot format ;) 

Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 whole large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 pounds meat (I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb sausage)
- 1 large can whole tomatoes (28 oz - don't drain them!)
- 2 cans marinara sauce (the original recipe called for 14.5 oz jars, I used regular 24 oz size)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 16 oz pasta (I used ziti)
- 1 15 oz container whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 cups of shredded mozzarella
- 2 eggs
- fresh parsley


Directions
Step 1 - Chop the onion and mince the garlic.

Step 2 - Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the onions and garlic.  Cook on medium until they're translucent and soft.

Step 3 - Add in the meat, cook and drain.

Step 4 - Add the two jars of sauce (I used a whole jar and a little more than half of the others), the whole tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper to the cooked meat.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

Step 5 - Clean up your mess (maybe that's just me - hahaha), bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta about a minute short of being al dente.  It's going to bake for a bit, so if you cook it too much it will cook too much.  My pasta called for 10-12 mins and I did 9.

Step 6 - When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.

Step 7 - Take about 4 cups of the sauce out of the pot and let it cool (mine didn't cool completely and it was fine).

Step 8 - While the sauce is cooling, mix together the Ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Parmesan and some parsley.  Don't over mix it... just stir it a bit.

Step 9 - Mix the cooked pasta in with the cheese mixture.  Don't worry about mixing it a bunch.  Just kind of toss it.  Lumps are totally fine.

Step 10 - Mix the 4 cool cups of sauce in with the pasta/cheese.

Step 11 - Put half of the pasta into a lasagna (or other large baking) dish. 

Step 12 - Cover with half the sauce and some mozzarella.

Step 13 - Top with more pasta, sauce and cheese.

Step 14 - Pop it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly and melty.  Top with parsley and serve hot.