Today is Thatniece's 13th birthday. 13! I remember the day she was born. Thatboy and I had just started dating. He didn't have a computer so he asked if he could borrow mine to look at pictures of his new niece. I remember her little pink cheeks and her dark head of hair.
In the Jewish religion, 13 is a pretty big birthday. I know it's not as big a deal for Catholics, but I still wanted to get Thatniece something REALLY special for her 13th birthday. Something to mark her transition from child to young woman. Something that she would have for years to come, the way I still have some special gifts from my 13th birthday.
So on Saturday, Thatboy and I went and picked her up her very first designer purse! Something every woman should have.
Even though I'm a bit of a Kate Spade addict, we went with a classic Coach purse. In leather, since I still have some leather coach purses from when I was young, and Thatmom still has leather coach purses from when she was young. So I know they'll stand the test of time.
We also swung by Banana Republic to pick up some more polos for Thatboy who wears them on casual Fridays in his office. And while there, I couldn't resist picking up some summer bottoms for me. After all - they were on sale.
Like a pair of bright pink shorts for $5.99.
And linen sailor pants for $8.99. I love linen pants in the summer.
These cropped pants were a little more expensive at $24.99, but I live in these during the summer. I think I get a new pair every year because I wear them so much.
And in celebration of Thatniece's birthday, a truly celebratory dish - lasagna! This is one of those labor intensive types of lasagna - maybe more than I'm used to, but it is totally worth it. I rarely make lasagna with bechamel, even though I think it's the more traditional route, but every time I do I'm reminded how much I love it. I went with Val's suggestion to include spinach, which is a brilliant idea. I love the extra green and it always helps to get some extra veggies in. I made this with the chicken meat sauce I had, but any bolognese should work.
Bolognese Lasagna (From A Canadian Foodie)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
2 cups cream
salt and pepper
Fresh pasta sheets
3 cups Bolognese
1 bunch of spinach, sliced
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350. Add the flour and butter to a sauce pan on medium high heat; stir to combine, and keep stirring until it becomes paste-like and bubbly.
- Slowly add in portions of the milk, stirring constantly while adding and between adding liquid
- Once all milk has been added, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Cover the bottom of a casserole pan with a thin layer of olive oil
- Cover the bottom of the pan with pasta sheets.
- Arrange 1/2 cup of the bolognese over the pasta; repeat until there are 4 layers of pasta and 3 layers of the bolognese
- Place the spinach on top of the last pasta layer and top with 1/2 cup of the bechamel sauce.
- Continue layering the pasta and bolognese for another 3 layers of pasta and 2 layers of bolognese.
- Top with remaining béchamel sauce, cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes.
- Uncover and sprinkle top with the shredded mozzarella. Return to oven and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.