After all the worrying about what and how we would make Drew’s Halloween costume this year, we came up with an idea and a plan. Dave got the paint and the trash bin. I cut and pasted and created the logo. Drew dug out his old morph suit and we have a costume!
He is so excited for tomorrow now. Thank you Pinterest and all of those creative people out there! He found his idea on there.
His goal is to win a prize in the town parade. He has never won in the costume parade and although, I am not sure how original it is, or how it can compare to the much more creative people out there, I am so glad to see him so confident and excited about something we made together.
It was fun to work on this as a family. Fun to see him still want help from mom and dad. Sometimes it seems like my boys are growing up so quickly! All of my friends have younger children and I miss those days. As DJ is busy with his own social life and applying to colleges, and Drew is auditioning for the middle school play and involved in lots of after-school activities, I sometimes feel like I never see them. This was a great way to find some time to spend together. Even if he doesn’t win a prize, it was a win for me!
One of my favorite things to do is to cook. NOT bake! Baking is way too precise. I don’t like following a recipe step by step. I need to make my own additions and changes to make it my own! Making dinner, altering new recipe that I find on Pinterest or allrecipes.com is always fun to try, but my favorite thing to do is make one up. Figuring out what foods go together and compliment each other is a fun challenge! There has been more than one time that I have made a recipe that failed. Dave likes to cook too so we have an agreement that either of us make a “fail,” we HAVE to tell each other so we don’t make it again. Feelings are spared!
After work today, I ran to Trader Joe’s and meandered around the aisles trying to come up with an idea. I decided to go to the meat aisle first so that I could have the base. Several of my standby recipes uses their chicken sausage so I decided to start there. As I walked to the meat case, I passed the most perfectly shaped eggplants. That made me change my original plan. I have never cooked eggplant other than chopping it up with other veggies and serveing it over pasta. I decided to attempt an eggplant parmigiana! I decided to keep the chicken sausage and make a bolognese sauce along with it to bake with the eggplant.
As often as possible, I try to alter a recipe to make it healthier…this one was not!! I try to buy low fat ricotta and mozzarella cheese whenever possible, but they only had the regular version of both. I got home and made up the recipe as I went along. I dug the mandolin out of the back of a closet and sliced up the eggplants. I breaded them in egg and breadcrumbs and cooked them on a skillet. When they were browned, I baked them in the oven for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, I had already chopped up the sausage in the food processor and it was simmering in a pot with plum tomatoes and some spices.
After that was all ready, I layered it like a lasagne baked it in the oven for an hour and waited to see what happened. It was smelling pretty good and I realized I was making way more than we needed so I called my dad and brother and they joined us for dinner – letting them know ahead of time, it was an experimental dinner!
The results, it was a success! A make again meal. There is enough enough for me to bring to work for lunch tomorrow for me AND my coworkers. Not bad for a throw together meal! Those are often the best ones.
If only I had remembered to write down the recipe as I went along. 😉
Since my brother Tim got married, he and his wife Francine hosted a Superbowl party. Francine always went all out. She cooked for days leading up to the game and loved doing it. Tim always went into the city the morning of the game to get a Manganaros sandwich . He used to go for the big one…the six footer, but with all the food Francine made, and the food that all the guests brought along, it got smaller each year. I think this year he opted for a three footer.
After Francine died in April, we weren’t sure if Tim would want to do it anymore. We were all wrong. He decided to go on with it as they always did and honor Francine’s memory with all of her favorites. He took my boys into the city with him to pick up the sandwich this morning. He will go back home to make and prepare all the traditional foods she used to make. All of the same people were invited.
I am trying a new recipe this year. I found it on Pinterest, “Cornbread Hot Wing Cupcakes.” They sound like a perfect party food, mini corn muffins stuffed with blue cheese, topped with blue cheese mashed potatoes and drizzled with hot sauce…my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Hope they turn out well, but with those ingredients, how could they not?
Having the Superbowl played in New Jersey this year has brought an excitement to the area even though none of our local teams are playing. They media hype has been fun to watch. I absolutely love to watch football, but this year, I don’t really have a big interest in who wins so I am just hoping for a good game. The commercials are always something to look forward to as well.
I keep thinking back to last year. Mom always sat in the same place, not caring about the game but just happy to be with everyone. Francine wouldn’t sit for a minute, always too busy to sit down and relax for a minute just making sure everything was perfect. It will be different, there will be an emptiness but I am glad that Tim decided to go ahead with the party and that all of his friends and family who came in the past are coming again to be with him. Some holidays are harder than others and although this is not an “official” holiday, it was huge for them and I am sure that having us all together remembering her is important to him.