Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna

We are trying to cut back on our carbs, but hopefully not some of our favorite meals. One of those happen to be lasagna. After skimming through some alternatives, I came across a recipe that used zucchini instead of noodles. I loved the idea but didn't care for the recipe, so I tweaked it a little bit. The end result was this.

It wasn't perfectly pretty, but I have a few changes the next time I make it. Instead of lasagna noodles soaking up the extra water in the sauce, the zucchini actually produced water. So while it was runnier than what we are used to, it was still completely delish.  Next time I will make a thicker sauce with less water and I may even try to pull some of the moisture out of the zucchini with a salt bath.

Here is the recipe as I made it last night.


1 26.5 oz of your favorite spaghetti sauce or make your own (I made my own for this)
1 egg
1 16 oz ball of mozzarella, grated
2  Large Zucchini
1/2 lb sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 cup grated cheddar
salt and pepper

Brown sausage and ground beef. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add whisked egg to spaghetti sauce (this prevents the lasagna from collapsing when you pull a slice out.)

Slice zucchini on a mandolin, about 1/4 inch thick.

In a 9x9 pan add a few small spoons of sauce. Place a single of zucchini, cutting when necessary to lay flat. Add 1/3 of the meat, then a 1/3 of sauce, topping with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat two more times. Then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Cut a piece of foil big enough to totally cover your pan. Spray with nonstick spray and lay (spray side down) on top of lasagna, bending the edges over. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove foil then bake another 8-10 minutes until cheese is gold and bubbly. Remove from over and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the sauce to set.

So delicious! You couldn't even tell there were no noddles. For as long as I baked it, the noodles were still a little crisp but not undone. It was a welcomed texture change. I will make this again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Home Made Playdough

This morning I wanted to do a fun project with Keegan.  I thought it would be fun to make Keegan a batch of playdough. But with two active boys, it can be hard to stand at the stove waiting for it to cook. After a short search online, I found a great no cook recipe. It took less than 5 minutes to make the playdough and for it to cool enough to play with. I was done before Keegan finished his corn dog.  I ended up cutting the recipe in half and still came up with a good chunk of playdough. And my stash of cookie cutters for cake decorating came in very hand too.


3 cups boiling water
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
1 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
3 tsp cream of tartar


Mix all ingredients except for the flour in a large bowl. Once well mixed, add flour. Stir continuously until the dough mix leaves the sides of the bowl. Once well blended, remove from bowl and knead on floured board. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

I put it together in my kitchenaid with the dough hook. Keegan was playing with it as soon as it hit the table. I gave him two cutting boards. One to work the dough on and the other to put his cut outs. He's still having a great time.
This half batch of dough just fits in a 3 cup container.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our fun Saturday

Last weekend, Chad had three days off in a row. YAY! So we decided to spend the day out with the kids. Our plans were to drive to Shell Beach, see the Monarch Butterflies, picnic on the beach, then back to Avila to see the aquarium. Wonderful day!

The Monarch Butterflies travel to Shell Beach every year. It's the largest area of California that they flock to. So beautiful.

After seeing the butterflies, there is a path down to the beach. 

We had a picnic lunch, then packed up and walked the boys down to the beach.

The boys ended up completly soaked at the beach. Our intentions were to just let them walk in the sand. Yea right, try holding my little boys back from the water. Within 10 minutes they were both soaked and having a BLAST. Thank goodness I thought to bring a totally change of clothes for both boys. It was low tide so there was tons of beach with 1/2 an inch of water for the boys to splash around. We had so much fun playing with them.

After everyone was cleaned up and back in the car, we headed to Avila to see the aquarium. It's alot smaller than I thought it was but the boys still had fun looking at the fish.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trying a garden again

That time is rolling around where I am itching to clean out the flower bed of weeds and muck. Plant some beautiful vegggies and herbs and enjoy the "fruits" of my labors. There is only one problem. I suck at growing stuff. I've tried it before and always, ALWAYS end up killing them. So here I am ready to try again. I have to find a way to solve one problem before I get going though. The last time I planted something ate then. Leaves, veggies, even my cute little strawberries. How do I avoid this? Do I need to build a small enclosure? A small border fence didn't seem to help. I get frustrated enough when I kill everything myself but downright irritated when some critter does it for me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The holiday season

This year was the first year Keegan really understood what Christmas was about. Santa, fun family activities, presents, christmas trees and christmas movies.

Pole Train (AKA Polar Express) remains the favorite movie. He is always asking to watch it and knows most of the words to it.

Having a child who gets so excited about the holidays truly makes it even better for the parents. We had such a wonderful time watching Christmas through his prespective. I cannot wait until next year.

Helping Daddy cut down the tree

He wanted you to see how huge his tree was!

He even wrapped his present to Daddy all by himself. I swear all I did was hand him tape!

We made footsteps in baby powder from the fireplace to the mound of presents. The green ones are from Santa!

When Keegan woke up and saw the footprints he was speechless.

The boys opening their stockings

I didn't get to take many pictures of them opening presents. I was having way too much fun just watching them enjoy themselves.

One of my favorite Christmas decorations, our front door. I had already taken the wreath down by the time I remember to take pics of the outside though.

We had such a wonderful time from begining to end. How many days til Christmas '11?!?!