La La Lasagna

I know what you’re thinking. What is this, a food blog? Well, I guess it is sometimes. This blog is for a little bit of everything, and I’ll get back to school stuff soon. I’m so excited about this lasagna recipe, I just can’t hide it. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want to….oh wait. That’s a song. Sorry, I’ll try to focus. I want to share with you all a recipe I found that Vitamin D. declared “the best he’s ever had.” And trust me, compliments like that don’t get doled out willy-nilly around here.

Neither Vitamin D. nor I enjoy ricotta cheese. He doesn’t like cottage cheese either, so finding a lasagna recipe that we both like is difficult. So difficult, in fact, that I haven’t even tried to make lasagna for him because I knew he wouldn’t like it.

Until now.

I looked around for a good ricotta/cottage cheese-free recipe and happened upon this one. And for once I didn’t get it from Pinterest! This is a recipe that this woman’s grandmother used to make. It is so simple. Just 1 lb. ground beef (I used turkey), 32 oz. pasta sauce, 1/4 cup water, 9 or 10 uncooked lasagna noodles, and 3 cups mozzarella cheese. I used slices of fresh mozzarella instead of the shredded cheese it called for. Brown the meat then add the sauce and water. Layer it up (1/2 the meat mixture, 9 noodles, half the cheese, repeat), cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. It was actually so easy I was done with it before I could remember to take a picture, and we were so hungry (and it was SO GOOD) that we had eaten an entire row before I could take a picture. But here are the remains of the lasagna:

Lasagna without ricotta cheese

And, as I’ve mentioned before, I always need a good base recipe before I can go “off book.” This is a good place to start. D. suggested adding veggies next time, I thought I could use more ground turkey, too. And it will be great on those cold fall nights that are coming up.



I may be sleep-typing. I’m not sure. I am exhausted right now. I’ve been getting to bed early this week, but I must be earning my keep at work because each day I come home more tired than the next. This week has been particularly busy, and tomorrow won’t be any better since I’m selling tickets at my high school’s football game and won’t be home until late. I was SO looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday, I could practically feel my pillow under my head. But Vitamin D just informed me he has a 9 a.m. soccer game on Saturday. We need to leave the house by 7:30 at the latest.

So much for sleeping in.

But in honor of the poetry unit I’ve been forming in my head AND my exhaustion, I have this to share:

Can I get an AMEN?!

It’s almost 8:30 pm. Sounds like bed time to me :

PS- I want NEED to know how you get out of bed and through the day when you are running on empty! Please share!

If your life were a book…

Holy cow. I’m exhausted. I slept for 10 hours last night and it. was. GLORIOUS. For you teachers out there, you know that first-week-is-over exhaustion. And since I’m brilliant (or not), I volunteered to help sell tickets at my high school’s first Friday night home football game (while school is in session). I didn’t really think that one over before signing up. Or maybe I just figured I’d feel all refreshed and invigorated at the end of the first week of school. Click here. Right.

But now that I actually do feel better after sleeping so well for so long (finally!) I can write again. All is well with my students and my classes. I haven’t jumped into the actual content in my classes yet, but I’m glad for that. We are working on developing personal mission statements and other beginning-of-school stuff, and it is helping me get to know my kids on a personal level and is opening my eyes to the levels they are on.

So you know a while ago how I told you about my totes brill plan about the TedTalk video clip of Amy Purdy (the woman who lost her legs to meningitis and THEN became a professional snowboarder)? Well, I did that…with some modification, of course. I showed the video, and then- because I wanted a sample of their writing that would tie into mission statements and goal setting but wasn’t strictly academic writing- I gave them the quote that she starts out with and told them to answer that question.

If your life were a book, and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?

You guys. I got some FANTASTIC stuff from them! Especially my 11th graders! Some of them struggled, so I rephrased it and asked them that if they were writing their autobiography in 50 years, what would they want to be able to write about? It was so telling. And in 12 years, I don’t think I’ve ever found out so much about my students in one single activity. I learned about one student’s history with mental health issues, one student’s history with abuse and how he now wants to become a reverend to help kids like him and give them hope. I learned that one student’s ultimate dream is to open up his own mechanic shop. And these answers were coming from students who haven’t said a word so far, or students I have had in the past and, as it turns out, I hadn’t known them as well as I thought I did. Now, on the flip side, I also learned that one student’s greatest fears in life include getting wrinkles and having split ends. She was completely serious. But hey, they are teenagers, after all.

But then I thought about that topic. If I had to write my autobiography about my life so far, would I be able to write what I would have wanted to write? Would it be boring? Inspirational? Poignant? Lackluster? Exciting? Super lame? And what can I do to make sure my life would be worth writing about? Can/do people say about me what I would want them to say about me? Am I living my life with purpose and meaning, or simply existing? I have been reflecting on this all week.

So I pose this question to you: If your life were a book, and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?

PS- I’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on this? Would you be happy with your autobiography?