This week has been another in-between. The U hasn’t begun classes yet but we had a lot of projects going at Hope so I was gone everyday for most of the day but not quite as busy as I will be starting next week (I’ve now received my first assignment…lame). I’m trying to get into good habits while I’m at home so as things get busy Eric and I aren’t eating saltines for dinner…Eric has encouraged me to set goals for the different things I’m doing this semester and it has been really helpful. One of those goals is how to handle dinner/groceries and getting laundry and cleaning done.

This week I managed to make three meals, one of which had enough leftovers to be lunch all week=) I really enjoy cooking. It sort of started last spring–I would take one or two days a week and try to make a real meal for Eric and I and it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. That got me started looking at food blogs and I have attempted a few different things or made up my own based on what’s in the fridge. If you know anything about my great-grandma Lois, you might get nervous to hear me say that I substitute ingredients but I promise I use things that are similar. Eric hasn’t complained=)

So I wanted to share a recipe that I made for dinner on Monday. It’s not from any blog, it’s actually a recipe Taryn, Kendra and I made up one evening when we lived in Maryland. It’s a mix between spaghetti and lasagna. I know, nothing big. But I remember that night and it was so much fun to feel like a chef. None of the measurements are exact: a few dashes of this and that. And I’ve been liking non-real measurements more and more so this was fun!

When we created this dish, we called it our Secret Sauce. Anyone who tastes it would say, “what’s the secret?” so I’m not afraid to reveal it here. I’m not the photographer of the family and I’m not attempting to display anything close to what you see on food blogs, so please keep the picture-mocking to a minimum=)

Start with 3 cans of tomato sauce. I only had two so I made tomato sauce using two small cans of tomato paste (has all the same ingredients, just add water).
So I started heating up the sauce on the stove and added in canned mushrooms (I like them so I used a big can but a small one is plenty if you aren’t as big a fan).

Start cooking the noodles as well. You can use whatever pasta you like. I decided to go with lasagna and I probably broke some golden rule of cooking because I had to break the pasta to fit it in my bowl…I’m an amateur so whatevs=)

I also defrosted 1 lb. of ground beef that I browned and added to the sauce.

Then I diced up part of an onion and added that to the sauce as well. Next was the seasonings…I used garlic salt and a blend of Italian seasonings. I like a lot of flavor.

After the pasta was done and the sauce was heated through, I put it into a 9×13 pyrex pan and sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top.

I stuck it into the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

It was delicious. And an unexpected walk down memory lane while I was cooking, which is a good bonus=)

While I was cooking I was also able to do the laundry and clean up a bit…a good start to the semester I think! It’s weird to make meal plans each week because that’s what my mom always did and it’s still hard to believe I reached a point where that is necessary.

On a completely unrelated note, do you have those moments where you get shaken by the reality of God? It’s so good.

We are off to meet our new niece! Have an awesome weekend.

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