Second, I had this burger at Rodeo Goat on Thursday and it was so amazing, I actually removed the beef patty after the first bite and never looked back. Which maybe means it wasn't even a burger anymore, but whatever, it was DELICIOUS. It was like a twice baked potato, smooshed flat and fried, in bun with a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and patty. For the first time ever I ate my burger before touching my fries and then didn't even finish the fries. This has never ever happened and is a testament to the glories of the Spudnik burger. If you live in Fort Worth, go get one.
Third, James competed in a swim meet today in Dallas (he won all of his events because he is a stud muffin) so it was just me and the kiddos and a babysitter making our day work between my barre class, taking Landon to a birthday party and then to his Zoo Nature Club meeting and back again. But my favorite part was post-barre and pre-Landon-pickup, when it was just the girls and me. Landon is an amazing big brother and loves the girls so much, there is almost never a time he isn't in the middle of any playing they're doing. So with him away, I got to see the girls alone and it was so adorable. At one point they were both wearing tiny backpacks and wandering all over the house. Then Claire set up shop right next to my feet to do "work" on her laptop just like I was (and by "work," I mean I was buying an adorable top online at Banana and researching chaise lounges to order for our by the pool). Cora sat right down next to her and was then happy to just chill, sitting with her sister, waiting to see what they'd do next. Love it.
Once we were all reunited around 5 we decided to order pizza and a movie since we made the kids miss the movie night at their school on Friday because it didn't start until 7:30 and we always have the kids in bed at 7:45 because James and I really enjoy not parenting after 8 p.m. and see no reason to change it. So tonight we watched the 1993 classic "Blank Check" and the kids LOVED it, even if they were very concerned in the beginning that the bad guys would catch the kid before he could spend his million dollars. They didn't quite seem to realize the whole premise of the movie required that to not happen 7 minutes in.
(I adore that Claire still has her backpack on and Cora holds her unicorn by its horn. Landon also always hugs his pillow pet instead of ever opening it and using it as a pillow.)
Fourth (fifth?), I got to "meet" a whole group of the far flung "Moms in Law School" bloggers I've been reading and emailing and commenting with for NINE YEARS without ever meeting in person. They had a mini reunion in Denver and I couldn't make it up, but I got to Skype (by first creating a Skype profile; I've entered the 21st century you guys) and see them and chat with them and it was so great! Faces with fake bloggy names, I now have them.
And finally, if you are still feeling chatty after all our talk about retinol and botox, I would love more dinner recipes to add to my rotation. Except its not a rotation because I rarely make the same recipes twice even if I like them and I don't know why. It's actually kind of like the skincare- I'll try something, like it, and then turn back to google to find more things to like because maybe there's something out there I can make that's even better? That and I just get bored of everything I make kind of immediately. But I'm trying to rekindle some old favorites and keep my brand new recipe adventures limited to two meals a week. That said, I'll totally break that new rule if you recommend some good ones for me!
To start, here's last week and this upcoming week's menus for your own dinner idea enjoyment. The veggie lasagna is a recipe I got from my sister after we visited because it was by far the best veggie lasagna I'd ever had. Too often they rely on mushrooms (ew, no, never) or just way too much cheese and this one did neither. Everyone in my house loved it and we did not have the leftovers I felt certain we'd have. I typed out the recipe at the bottom.
Monday: Vegetable Lasagna with Elemental Tomato Sauce (recipes below), garlic bread
Tuesday: pesto chicken salad sandwiches, chips, fruit
Wednesday: jambalaya, cheddar biscuits
Thursday: out for margaritas (and other foods, since the kids can't drink margaritas)
Friday: pasta with tomato cream sauce, salad, garlic bread
Saturday: takeout pizza for family movie night
Sunday: something grilled (whatever looks good at the store tomorrow), veggies, bread, maybe a rice or quinoa of some kind
Monday: bbq brisket enchiladas (I make this up as I go each time, but basically shredded bbq chicken, often from Trader Joe's or leftover if I have it homemade, mexican cheese blend, rolled into tortillas and covered in sour cream and a little more cheese; bake at 350 for about 20 minutes), black beans, mexican rice, avocado
Tuesday: chicken pot pie soup, bread
Wednesday: tamales, scrambled eggs, refried black beans, avocado
Thursday: Greek salad, pita, tzatziki
Friday: James and I are going out to celebrate his 3rd anniversary of the swim school; the kids will have something terrible from a box or can and consider it the best meal they had all week
Elemental Tomato Sauce
(base for pasta, pizza, lasagna)
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
6 Garlic cloves, pressed
3 (28 oz.) cans of Tomatoes, diced or crushed
1/2 c. White wine
Basil, Oregano, Salt, to taste
1. Drain tomatoes in fine colander in sink until most of the liquid is gone. Place in food processor and pulse until smooth texture with some rough chunks.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute garlic for about a minute, until it begins to brown. Stir in white wine and tomatoes. Add oregano, basil, and salt. Partially cover to allow steam to escape, cook approximately 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.
9 Lasagna noodles
4 c. Elemental Tomato Sauce
1 c. Onion, chopped
2 Zucchini, chopped
1 large bag Spinach
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
4 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Prepare Elemental Tomato Sauce and set aside. Saute the onions and zucchini, then add and wilt the spinach. Stir in the tomato sauce and keep warm on a low burner.
2. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain. (I skipped this and used no boil noodles.)
3. Mix together the ricotta, egg, and Parmesan cheese. Place the mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut off one corner. Set aside. (I just left it in the bowl and spooned it out, but I think the Ziploc would be great.)
4. Spread a very thin layer of the vegetable filling in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place 3 noodles over it, then use the bag to spread 1/3 of the ricotta mix over the noodles. Add a layer of 1/3 of the vegetable filling, then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Firmly press down on the cheese with a spatula to compact the layer before the next.
5. Repeat the layers twice more in that order: noodles, ricotta, vegetable filling, mozzarella.
6. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.