Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Toddler Mittens and Crock Pot Lasagna

Remember this baby?

Here, let me remind you. This is my niece, Riley, and I seriously feel like this was yesterday (it was April 2008).

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Well, she's still hamming it up for the camera, but suddenly she's not so little anymore! (They grow up so fast! Man oh man...)

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And remember this little sweater I made for her a while back?

Well, she looks just darling in it. (This is her concert pianist outfit -- Pops is starting her good and early on the keys.)

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And here are the proud parents. I find it painfully cute that Riley looks right at the camera like she's done this a thousand times before. She's a total pro.

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Its such an interesting thing to watch my younger brother as a parent. At times, I look at him and think Wow, he's so grown up, and I barely even recognize him. And then at other times, he looks just like that little five-year-old that I used to dress up in my Rainbow Brite nightgowns.

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Right. Sorry about that, Jon. :)

Given the tumult of moving into our house, I set aside my plans for the next cutie-pie sweater in the queue, and whipped up a pair of toddler mittens for Riley's Christmas present. I think they were way too big, but they'll fit eventually.

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Pattern: Toddler Mittens
Available at: PSSO Blog
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Heavyweight Socks that Rock, in Coral

And just to make this post a total jumble of information, here's a quickie recipe for the dinner we had tonight. I didn't take pictures because I was so famished that I barely avoided ingesting the flatware and bowl right along with the meal. I had stopped at home after court (in DC on the week before inauguration, no less -- there are no words that could possibly describe what the traffic is like up here right now, so I won't even try. Suffice to say, the military is plotting out responses to riot scenarios, and its a good thing because the traffic is, indeed, riot-worthy...).

When I got home from court around noonish, I threw this recipe together as fast as I could, then went to grab a sandwich to take with me back to work. And oh hello, nope, I won't be having a sandwich for lunch today because the loaf of bread is blue. (Why does my sandwich bread get moldy so fast? Argh.) So I had the world's fastest bowl of cereal and zoomed back to work.

When I got home tonight, I was crazy amounts of hungry. (Steven apparently was too -- he even called me in the car on the way home and asked if he could go ahead and eat, because he was So. Absolutely. Starving.) It was a good day for a crock pot dinner. If I had to cook something after I got home, we would have been eating McDonalds for sure. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

Slow Cooker Lasagna
Adapted from BettyCrocker.com

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans tomato sauce, 15 oz each (I totally cheated here and used spaghetti sauce)
2 tsp dried basil leaves (or your choice of italian spices) (Note: I didn't use any spices -- no time! I was seriously tripping over myself to get this in the Crock Pot and get back out the door to work. Also, the spaghetti sauce had some spices, so I figured, you know, whatever...)
2 cups italian blend shredded cheese
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 box uncooked lasagna noodles

Cook ground beef and onion in skillet until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in tomato sauce and spices. In separate bowl, mix ricotta and shredded cheese together. Spoon 1/4 of meat sauce into Crock Pot; top with 5 uncooked noodles, breaking them in half to fit inside the Crock Pot. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and 1/4 of the meat sauce. Top with 5 more uncooked noodles. Spread remaining cheese mixture and 1/4 of the meat sauce. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining meat sauce. Make sure all the noodles are covered with sauce.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 4-6 hours. Rush in the door and wolf down a huge piece. Makes about 4-6 servings.

1 comment:

Marci said...

Thank you for surfing the cookbooks so I don't have to take the time to do it!

Don't know if your family has told you, but we're in the midst of a 5 day arctic blast down here . . . send us some mittens!!