For weeks, Thatmom has been saying that she really wanted some furniture for outside so she could have her coffee and breakfast outside, or we could all eat outside. So most of this weekend we went from store to store looking at patio furniture before deciding on that set you see above - which required us to venture allll to all the stores in Orange County to pick up the various pieces since each store only had 2-3 chairs and we needed 5. 2 days of chair picking up! And I wish I had taken a picture of my little mommy squeezed in sideways in the back of the car with all those chairs and table. We laughed as we discussed what Thatdad would have said about the whole venture. How he never would have agreed to buying the above set, nor would he have let Thatmom risk her life scrunched into the back.
Things we ate this weekend?
A couple weeks back I had brought Thatmom up some Halloumi to try since it was a new cheese for her. The package sat unopened in her fridge and finally I decided I would do something about it. I fried it up, since Halloumi is one of those amazing cheeses that melts on the inside, but not on the outside, to create a gooey treat. Topped with a simple vinaigrette (lemon juice, garlic, and oil) it was a hit with the whole family, but Thatboy in particular is a fan of squeaky cheese.
Thatmom also had some ground turkey to use up and requested I make her favorite turkey burgers. "The one with the greek sauce." We've been eating turkey burgers about once a week, but I knew Thatmom was referring to Cooking Light's Grilled Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread.
And now it's time for Thatgirl's handy dandy guide to baked pasta. My quickest easiest throw together meal. This makes enough for a family of five with enough left over to last Thatmom allll week. She loved it so much, she even cut up a few little pieces for TMD, who loved it just as much as Thatmom.
- Cook your pasta. You're going to use a full box of pasta here. You can use any pasta you like. Thatmom likes penne. I like Rigatoni. Pretty much anything is going to be good here, but I like shapes that are round so all the goodness can get inside each piece of pasta.
- Preheat your oven to 375. Mix pasta with a tub of ricotta, an egg, and seasonings of your choice. When making it for us we go heavy on the garlic. When making it for Thatmom we go super light on garlic. We add basil and oregano, but again you add what you like.
- Get yourself a big baking pan. 9x13 at least and spray the crap out of it with baking spray. Pour about 2 cups of your favorite sauce into the pan (you want to cover the bottom). You can use marinara, meat sauce, alfredo, whatever!
- Now take half of that pasta mixture you created and pour it over the sauce. Now comes the time to play! Pick your favorite pizza topping and put a layer of that on top. Sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, broccoli, spinach, eggplant - the world is your oyster.
- Top the topping layer with cheese. I put about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella here. SO bad for you, but honestly, this is not one of my "healthy dishes." Just skip dessert. It's worth it.
- Now you're going to pour about 2 more cups of sauce over all this goodness. Then layer the rest of the pasta mixture, another layer of toppings, and some more shredded mozzarella.
- Finish with a sprinkling of shredded parmesean before covering and baking for 30 minutes.
- Remove the covering and bake for another 15 minutes - this gets the top of the pasta all yummy and brown.