July 2, 2012

A Week In Review

Last week was busy but also a lot of fun!  The week was kicked off by a Valley Cats game (Houston Astro's rookie league team) vs. the Lowell Spinners (Boston Red Sox affiliate), the night was awesome and the game was pretty good!  
Valley Cats
We had pretty good seats - second row on the first base side dugout.
Mr. Kirkman
That day I was also surprised with tickets to the Brandi Carlile concert on August 1st at The Egg.  Brandi Carlile is awesome and I really wanted to go to the show but the tickets were somewhat pricey and I had just been putting off purchasing them - well someone was listening and I am so excited for the show!

Friday I closed out my old apartment.  I have been moved out for about a month but I had been putting off doing the final cleaning and clearing out the few things that remained.  So Friday I went over, finished cleaning and turned in my keys - but not before enjoying the pool for one last time (with my kick butt new bathing suit)!
 And since I was surprised with those awesome Brandi Carlile tickets I was agreeable to making a requested dinner - lasagna, but not just any lasagna - meaty and what I like to call an 'epically epic lasagna' and boy was it good!  The recipe inspiration came from The Pioneer Woman which is an awesome website for food and beyond.  

Here's how it went down:
 1 pound Ground Beef 
1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage (Jimmy Dean) 
2 cloves Garlic, Minced 
1 Onion
1 Green Pepper
2 cans (14.5 Ounce each) Diced Tomatoes 
2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste 
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley 
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil 
1 teaspoon Salt 
2 cups Cottage Cheese
2 cups Ricotta Cheese 
2 Eggs 
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 
1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 
1 package Lasagna Noodles

Cook the lasagna noodles - combine and cook the ground beef, sausage, onion, garlic cloves and green pepper - once the meet is cooked all the way through add the two cans of diced tomatoes, two cans of tomato paste and various spices (you can mix it up a bit - I think I added some garlic salt as well) and allow to cook - while the 'sauce' is cooking combine the cottage, ricotta and parmesan cheese as well as the two beaten eggs - once the sauce and cheese mixtures are ready begin combining - I like to place some sauce on the bottom of the pan initially to prevent any sticking, after that layer lasagna noodles, ricotta/cottage/parmesan cheese mixture, slices of mozzarella cheese and meat sauce - after the initial layer repeat two more times ending with meat sauce on the top and then top with the two cups of shredded mozzarella.

It turned out amazing!  I think the key is to make your own sauce, combine two different types of meat and use mozzarella cheese slices instead of shredded cheese for the 'inside' layers - this makes it extra cheesey!  I'd definitely say that it turned out 'epically epic'!
Meat and veggie combo
I also made some homemade garlic bread
This past week I also experimented with making homemade granola bars and man were they good, and filling!  

No Bake Energy Bars (Chewy Granola Bars)
1 cup old fashion rolled oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup wheat germ (or ground flaxseed)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup craisins
1 tsp. vanilla 

Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly - once mixed you can either roll them into balls or I placed them in a cupcake pan - let chill in the fridge for about half an hour - after being chilled I placed them in zip-lock bags and returned them to the fridge for a quick grab and go breakfast or snack.  You can also substitute the chocolate chips and craisins for any other variety of dried fruit or sweets and even add more!
Homemade granola bars!
Saturday was lovely with trip to the Delmar Farmer's Market and relaxing in Henry Hudson Park which is sits along the Hudson River.

And lastly, Sunday I attended the baptism of my good friend Tim at Terra Nova Church in Troy, NY.  It was a very interesting yet enjoyable experience, lots of good praise music - who knows, maybe I'll be going back!

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