"Whatever shall we do in that remote spot? Well, we'll write our memoirs. Work is the scythe of time." --Napoleon Bonaparte, on his way into exile.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

What's For Dinner: Spinach Lasagna

We didn't go to Duelists* camp until Saturday afternoon -- Saturday evening before we got down to Pokagon State Park in northern Indiana. I am still feeling suspiciously good. A little heartburn if I'm not paying attention, but I wake up each morning feeling glorious and that is a good GREAT thing. I'll be more reassured if I'm still feel well in about 2 weeks...I think "morning" sickness (read: it lasts all bloody day) snuck up on me more than I am remembering from my first pregnancy. That time, anxiety about being pregnant so soon, not feeling mentally ready for a child, and working 40 hours a week only added to my problem. Those factors are not an issue this time.

ANYWAY, I baked out lasagna before we went (thus saving myself from having to use the camp kitchen, which is built for cafeteria-style cooking) and made an ordinary Greek salad, forgetting that there were plans to make a turkey. Well, the organizers had said they might not do that this year, but they did, so we had a LOT of food.

So, a recipe. Although I'm getting really tired of this one. It's too easy to make, and I've made it once too often in the past year. Or rather, the canned spaghetti sauce is just not a favorite. I've yet to find one I like. However, making sauce to put in this only adds days to its preparation.

So, really, this is TOO easy to make. Dinner in about an hour and a half from start to finish. Which is why I make it in a (frequent) pinch.

Mix together: 16 oz. ricotta cheese, 1 C shredded mozzarella (save another cup for top), 1 egg, 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed & drained (I blast it for about 3 minutes in the microwave, on cook, not defrost), dash each (to taste) of oregano, salt, & pepper.

Layer in 9x13 pan: 1/2 C sauce out of 25 oz. jar, 3 lasagna noodles (UNCOOKED), 1/2 of cheese mixture, 3 noodles, rest of cheese mixture, 3 noodles, rest of spaghetti sauce, rest of mozzarella.

IMPORTANT: Pour 1 C water around layers (this is how you can make it without boiling the noodles ahead of time).

Cover with foil, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour + 15 minutes.

*No fencing actually occurred. Everyone wanted to play Texas Hold 'Em instead. I lasted to the final 4 (out of 8 of us that started) but went all in because I was tired and wanted to go to bed. Not that I would've lasted that long even if I were awake. I had a never-ended streak of bad cards and only played to see what might come up on the flop.

E, BTW, is a wicked, wicked player. Ruthless. I fall for his high bets every time, thinking he might be bluffing (after all, I watch - and listen - to him play on all the time, so I know he likes to scare people off with big bets on NOTHING...although he always plays with "fake" money there, so the stakes are lower, technically). I need to follow my instincts better, because if he KEEPS betting big stuff (in a "real money" game), he's really got something. I can FEEL it, and I witnessed it (to my dismay) at least twice last night.

Which is why he won't ever be tempted to enter the World Poker Tour.

NaNo news: nothing this weekend, shame, shame on me. I'm up to 5,818 words right now, with my last record writing day (Friday) bringing in 2,500+ words. At the moment, according to my Excel NaNo "Report Card," I need to write 1,841 words a day to hit 50,000 by November 30th (god bless Erik Benson, the inventor of that report)!

I might stay up tonight (took a 2-hour nap when we got home tonight), but I'm not in it to "win" it. Just kick-starting a 12 year-old novel idea. And I like what I've come up with. I finally introduced a favorite character, Ariel, based heavily on my friend Kris, with whom I used to haunt (ha!) the streets of Detroit. Ariel and my lead character, Lydia (who is a DUD so far) just went out to breakfast at Denny's, although not late at night/early in the a.m., as Kris and I used to do, after she got off the late shift at Xochimilcho's or Traffic Jam & Snug. Sigh, I do miss those days. Especially the free food, heh.

I'm not the only one who has a city taking center stage. Found a fellow local WriMo who's book sounds very intriguing, set in my other favorite "haunted" city, New Orleans. Cool. And Bob continues to encourage me, even with my low word count (so far). Thanks, buddy! Now I've given you something else easy to cook ;-)

And since y'all lasted through THIS long of an entry, time for your daily dose of unbearable cuteness. You're welcome!

My little mermaid Posted by Hello

She's sticking her tongue out. Mom said, "NOW she looks like you!" Phbbbt!


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