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Pasta Salad

Last night I wanted something light and from the garden so we made this pasta. I didn’t add the onions but it was great without!


4 cups uncooked penne
8 ounces fresh mozzarella (see note), broken into bite-size pieces
1/4 medium red onion (about 3 tbsp), chopped
Handful grape tomatoes, halved
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
Large handful fresh basil, torn
Fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste

Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients.
When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it under cold water. Ensure it’s properly drained again before adding it to a large bowl.
Add the mozzarella, onion, tomatoes, vinegar, oil, basil, parsley, and salt & pepper to the bowl. Gently toss it. Adjust vinegar, oil, and seasonings as needed depending on how much dressing you like. Chill for an hour or serve immediately.


Last year Austin and I went vegetarian for a month. After the month he continued and I went back. Thinking of starting it again. Last night I made this. It was awesome. Used fresh basil from our garden but had to buy the rest as our tomatoes are not producing yet. I added red peppers to it as well. The garlic crust is something that I will do in every pizza from now on!


1/2 recipe homemade pizza crust
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup your favorite pizza or tomato sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
2 plum tomatoes, sliced (or any tomato you like)
handful of fresh basil
fresh ground pepper, to taste


Prepare the pizza dough through step 11, including preheating the oven to 475F as described in step 8.
Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic together in a small dish. After waiting 15 minutes as described in step 11, spread olive oil/garlic mixture on top of crust. Top with pizza sauce, then the mozzarella cheese slices, then the tomato slices.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. For the last minute, I move the oven rack to the top rack to really brown the edges. That’s optional.
Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and pepper. Slice pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices may be frozen up to 1 month.

I cheated and bought the whole wheat dough from Trader Joes (my all time fave dough- dirt cheap and so worth saving the effort) You still have to cook it so I added the garlic and oil and cooked it first and then after the dough was cooked added the rest. So yummy!!!

Spinach Lasagna Pinwheels

I was so happy that I stopped by Whole Foods after my allergy shots this morning and grabbed the stuff to throw this together. We ended up spending the rest of the day at the zoo and didn’t get in until after 4.

Austin rolls in from volunteering at the hospital STARVING so this was so great to throw together.

Add fresh bread and a caesar salad and there you go!

I’m pretty sure I have pinned and made this recipe before but I guess I never saved it. Found it here.

I used organic basil sauce from Whole Foods instead of making the sauce.

Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 and ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
⅔ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 large egg
12 lasagna noodles


Tomato Sauce:
Heat the olive oil over medium-heat in a medium sauce pan, add in the diced onions and saute until the onions are translucent. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Cover with a lid and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 20 minutes over low-to-medium heat.
While the tomato sauce is simmering, prepare your lasagna noodles according on the directions on the back of the package. Once they are done, drain the water and allow the noodles to cool to touch. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare your filling by mixing together the spinach, ricotta cheese, 1 and ½ cups mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg. Set aside.
Once the noodles have cooled to touch, lay the noodles down on parchment or wax paper on a smooth surface. See photos below.
Spread ¼ cup of the cheese filling evenly along length of the noodles. Roll the noodles to the opposite end. Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the lasagna roll-ups into the baking dish, add remaining tomato sauce on top of each roll-up. Place the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

First Day of Summer

And it’s rainy and dreary.

Austin is down on campus taking a midterm (he is taking one class this summer because he can’t sit still- although he did tell me this morning that he was going to take one day this weekend and sit and read all day).

Blake is still in bed at 1pm being lazy.

Cole has been up since normal time. Playing video games.

Eva, also up at normal time playing dance songs on her iPad.

Andy got up at 5 for bootcamp and that woke Oakley up and so woke me up. Now I am spending the day catching up on printing pics and Project Life. I have been a total slacker with it lately. I belong to Ali Edwards monthly story kit and they are just stacking up unopened. It was so much easier over the winter.


I am so behind in posting pics so let’s go back to a day that actually felt like summer last month.

Eva got a bunch of water balloons so of course Cole and Hudson were all over that!

They had so much fun with them.185A6116copy185A6119copy185A6121copy185A6125copy185A6126copy185A6127copy

WordPress is still making my images blurry and it’s making me crazy.185A6132copy185A6138copy185A6143copy

But I’d rather have them up and blurry than not up at all. Ready for some sunshine and nice long weekend!