Setting The Example

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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Baked Ziti

Posted by fsumeg1884 on June 13, 2013

My current living situation is slighty odd, very unique, yet I enjoy it greatly. Back in February I moved in with my boyfriend in the house he rents near Emory University. With that move also came his roommate Rob who along with Nathan will try just about anything I make for dinner. Since moving in I try to cook a meal for all of us to eat together as a “family” at least once a week. With busy schedules and weekend getaways those nights are harder to come by right now.

Last night was a lucky one where we were all home for dinner plus we had a house guest staying with us for a few days. Perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe. On my short but HOT HOT 3 mile run earlier in the day I came up with dinner plans of trying The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti. I and the boys ran some errands later in the afternoon then headed to Publix to gather up the supplies. Note to self, never go to the grocery store with 2 hungry 20-something year old boys=expensive bill.

Later that evening I started to organize my supplies and before I knew it the house was smelling fabulous. Here are the only 2 prep pictures I remembered to take =(

Baked ZitiBaked Ziti 3

My 9×13 dish ended up being to small and I couldn’t fit it all into one pan so next time I am going to use a bigger pan.

baked ziti 6

On the side I served Ree’s grilled zucchini but added squash to the mix for some variety.

baked ziti 5

I think they liked it =)

Baked Ziti-courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 pound Ground Beef
1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
Salt And Pepper, to taste
16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1-½ pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 whole Egg
Fresh Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

(Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!)


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Christmas Spirit

Posted by fsumeg1884 on December 23, 2012

Happy Sunday everyone! I slept amazingly last night. Of course, I would hope that I did since my bedtime the night before was 2:30am. Whoops!

Lexie is a notoriously fast eater. I will put her food down in some tupperware and by the time I turn around back to her, she has already whoofed it food down. The other day Nate (Nathan) bought a new bowl that is designed to slow down a dogs eating session.

Lexie food

Above is from the first attempt this morning. At first she was a little unsure of the bowl since it’s made of metal. Because of course, all metal bowls are super dangerous, scary, and out to get you…….Like I said, she is a special kind of dog. She eventually started eating her food and while it did slow her down there wasn’t a huge dramatic change. Even so, I have decided to keep using it.

After breakfast I headed to the gym for some much needed cross-training time. I did 60 minutes of moderate effort on the elliptical while skimming a Redbook magazine my mom gave me. Once I finished there I headed downstairs to do some resistance training. After the gym I was craving something cold so I whipped up a protein smoothie.

smoothies 2

As with most of my smoothies, it contained the usual suspects. I have tried many different protein powders and I always keep coming back to Jay Robb. Since this is usually the time of year I get sick, I have been rotating the Amazing Grass powder into my diet more in hopes for some immune boosting. So far so good!

After lunch and shower I proceeding to begin my biggest task of the day, Operation Shredding. I am very guilty of keeping receipts and past bill notices for was too long. I have a box I throw them into but eventually the pile gets too high and I am forced to shred it all. I really didn’t think there were that many papers but after I got THREE garbage bags full of shredded paper I realized that maybe I should do this more often than not…….

Nate and I are not going home for Christmas this year (tears shedding) because we both have to work at our respective hospitals. I decided to have quick baking session this afternoon to put myself into the Christmas spirits. I gathered all my ingredients and put Pandora’s Christmas station on and got to work.

Yes they are from a box

Yes they are from a box

I decided to make 2 different batches of brownies for a taste test. The contenders shown above are 2 of my favorite dessert flavors. Give me either of them and I am yours forever =) Obviously they were very simple to make and in about 60 minutes I had 2 batches of brownies for Nate and I to take to work on Christmas.

Fresh and Hot

Fresh and Hot

Above is the first batch I made, the peanut butter, which I have a feeling is going to be my favorite. Once the second batch, the health bar, is cooled I am going to dig into these babies. Hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday with family and safe travels!

Merry Christmas Everyone!




Posted in amazing grass, Baking, Jay Robb whey protein, Lexie, Smoothies | Leave a Comment »