Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mommy Zombie family/recipe post! (there is life outside the classroom, after all)

 Happy Sunday everyone! 2012 is going very well so far and I thought I'd take a break from anything related to work and just blog about family life.

Emerging from my sweater in this photo, Alien-style, is our new kitteh Bruce. He looks so much like our old cat Merri that it's uncanny.

Our other cat Toby and our dog Milo welcomed Bruce with open paws. After only a week, Bruce is clearly accepted as a full-fledged member of the family. He uses the litter box regularly, aside from tracking an occasional #2 present around the carpet or wearing it on his back. He eats and drinks as much as Toby. And he has the loudest, most calming purr. Ahhhhh, the life of a kitten. To be so young and free and loved, with no responsibility at all! If there is such a thing as reincarnation, God, you know exactly what animal I want to be in my next life.

In other wonderful news, my closets are finally cleaned/organized! There comes a point half-way through winter when you finally throw your hands up and decide I HAVE TO FIND THE MATES TO ALL THESE MITTENS AND BOOTS!!!! And so I did. The basement walk-in closet is re-stocked with folded sweaters and pants, and all the empty hangers have been clothed with wrinkled garmets. Even still, I did catch the elder cat Toby "hunting" my hubby's sock in the laundry room today. 

My children are napping peacefully as we speak. After an hour running around in fluffy snow and the park, sliding up and down all the ice-coated jungle gym equipment, we found a hoard of pine cones that made their way back to the living room. I am starting to wonder if bringing them into the house was the best idea, as they shed all over the carpet.

In cooking news, I spent a fortune at the grocery store on Saturday. But that money is being put to good use in the form of home-made lasagna for dinner last night, and hopefully less spent on fast food and eating out this week.

In the spirit of math and proportions, here is my easy, teacher/parent-friendly lasagna recipe that requires no hamburger browning or prior knowledge of Italian cooking to make. This recipe fills an 9x9 square baking dish. If you want to feed a crowd, make it into a math challenge and scale the ingredients up to 150%.

-one package pre-cooked pepperoni slices (I did 3 layers of 16 slices)
-one jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu garlic & onion for extra nice breath)
-shredded mozzarella, 2-3 cups
-tub of cottage cheese (the medium sized one, I tossed it before I could check the oz.)
-6 pre-cooked, ready to bake lasagna noodles
-italian spices to season to taste

-Preheat the oven to 350
-Spray the pan with Pam (not sure if this is really needed, but I do it anyway)
-spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan

Do this for each of three layers:
-lay the first pair of noodles down side by side to cover the bottom
-spread a thin layer of cottage cheese on top of the noodles
-arrange 4 pretty rows of 4 pepperoni on top of the cottage cheese
-shake a little Italian seasoning on top of that layer
-pour and spread another thin layer of spaghetti sauce down
-shake and spread a layer of mozzarella on top

-repeat directions for two more layers, making an extra-thick top layer of cheese
-Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes
-Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes
-Turn the broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes and watch carefully to brown top cheese
-let stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken and cool
-enjoy! (I promise it tastes better than it looks in the picture, and makes AWESOME leftovers)

How 'bout that! You didn't know the Zombie could cook, did ya? Boo yeah. And now the children are awake. Time to put their laundry away. Boo.