Kimm’s “I Make the Milkshakes!” Banana Milkshake

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last night we decided to splurge and have a milkshake.   We had some bananas that were getting to the mushy stage and Kimm makes some awesome banana milkshakes.  I tried to help, but she said, “I make the milkshakes!”  Somehow that phrase induced MUCH laughter during the entire milkshake-making process.  So instead of helping, I documented the process.  Seriously, these milkshakes are so good.  And there are only THREE ingredients.

Kimm’s “I Make the Milkshakes” Banana Milkshake

(Serves TWO–large servings, or FOUR–small servings)

Ingredients:

Two mushy bananas (for extra banana flavor)

Approximately 6 scoops vanilla ice cream (about half of a 1/2 gallon container–I know it’s a lot, but this is an indulgent treat!)

Approximately 1/2 cup whole milk (to taste really, depending on how thin or thick you like your milkshakes–ours was pretty thin, but perfect for us)

To make:

Place the ice cream in a blender.  Add the banana and milk.  Blend together.  Pour out.  ENJOY!

Here’s how Kimm makes a milkshake…

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Make sure you have your ice cream scoop in hand!

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Add a big smile 🙂

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Make sure you are EXTRA cute!

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Wipe eyes of tears when you are laughing too much…due to saying “I make the milkshakes!” MANY times while actually making the milkshakes!

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Add the ice cream–refuse any help from anyone

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The startled look…

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Always be prepared for a photo op!

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Make sure to do a “staged” shot to avoid camera blurs!

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Concentrate!

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Adding the bananas…

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Before blending…

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The blending process…

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Post-blend…

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Be extra careful pouring…

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Final product!

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Close up…

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Cheers!  (Wasn’t that fun…try it for yourself!)

I LOVE these milkshakes.  And the best part is, I don’t have to make them…I can just enjoy them 🙂

Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm  Comments (2)  

Luau Party

Monday, June 29, 2009

Aloha, friends!

Kimm and I were invited to our friend’s boyfriend’s 30th birthday party this last Saturday which had a Hawaiian luau theme.  We had a really good time.

At first I was a little reluctant to go just because we weren’t sure who would all be there and figured it would mostly be family.  Not to mention that I had to go to work that night.  But now, I’m really glad we went.  We DIDN’T know too many people, but guess what…we had a fun time talking with each other and also our friend’s brothers and the one brother’s girlfriend.  It was actually nice to just make small talk.

The birthday boy was VERY surprised.  He said he didn’t even suspect the party.  He had been gone fishing for the day.  I still don’t know how he didn’t know SOMETHING was up when he came home since there were about 15 cars parked along his street!  But he was very happy.

Our friend–his girlfriend– is very good at planning parties.  So I knew this one would be no exception.  Everyone got a lei and a name tag (with the name written in Hawaiian).  There were covered tables with random, fun and interesting facts about Hawaii taped on them (30–for the age of the birthday boy!), as well as noisemakers and loads of glitter.

There were plenty of drinks–a “to die for” Mai Tai, Twisted Tea (my first time tasting and I’m really liking these!), Coronas, and wine.  I did have a few drinks even though I was working that night.  It was pretty early 🙂  The food was so good.  She had pretty good options for us vegetarians!  We had a yummy cream cheese/sour cream based taco dip, grilled Portabella mushrooms, with the fixings–which included grilled pineapple rings!, veggie kabobs (onion, peppers, pineapple, Maraschino cherries), and a great Asian slaw–I need to get this recipe!  There was also stuff for the non-vegetarians–pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, steak, grilled shrimp, a potato salad with bacon.

For dessert we had CAKE!! And I had a macadamia nut chocolate chip cookie.  I wish I could have fit in the pineapple upside down cake, but I was STUFFED!!!! It made going in for work very difficult.  I didn’t eat a thing all night long 🙂

But when I came home the next day I was wicked tired.  I’m not used to partying before work!

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Kimm sporting her shades and a purple lei…

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Me (notice my Hawaiin name!) sporting MY shades and a lovely rainbow lei…

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It’s funny that Kimm’s Hawaiin name is the same as her nickname used to be!

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At the start of the party….

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After a few drinks 🙂 I LOVE Kimm’s smile in this photo

Going to this party made me want to plan for a themed party of some sort.  I think it would be lots of fun, especially with our large backyard.  I’ll have to do some researching!

Aloha, have a wonderful evening!

Published in: on June 29, 2009 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Best Damn Thing

Sunday, June 28, 2009

No, I am NOT talking about work, ha ha!

What I am referring to is a new (to me at least!) cd that I am really enjoying…Avril Lavigne’s The Best Damn Thing.

As usual, the first time I listened to this cd, there were only a few songs that I really liked, but by the 5th or 6th listen, I found that I liked EVERY song on the cd.  Strange, huh?   Still a few are a bit better than others.  My very favorites include:  Runaway, The Best Damn Thing, When You’re Gone, Contagious, and Keep Holding On.  Go here to have a listen to the tracks.  I’m so behind the times…this cd was released in 2007 and I just got it a few months ago!

The party yesterday was lots of fun and I have some fun pictures that I’ll post tomorrow.  Right now I’m just too tired!  Time for bed.  One more night of work, then two off!  I swear, I LIVE for my days off!

Published in: on June 28, 2009 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

The Sun is Shining!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

For the first time in a good two weeks, we have a full day of sun 🙂

I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  And how happy it makes Kimm.  I have come to the conclusion that Kimm gets very grumpy if there is no sun 🙂

But, looking at the forcast, there’s lots more gray days and rain ahead.  So we’d better enjoy it today.

Slept in late, had our coffee, and now off to a little par-tay before work.  Busy, busy!

Published in: on June 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Holy, moly that’s good!” Guacamole

Friday, June 26, 2009

For a while now, I have been trying to convince Kimm that we should eat mostly non-processed, home-cooked meals.  I would talk, she would listen, but not really agree with what I was saying.  Until now 🙂  Just yesterday, she was saying…”we should really eat more REAL food.”  Meaning, food that you can actually pronounce all the ingredients!

Now of course I know this is not going to happen immediately.  But now, since we are both on board, we can work to incorporate more and more real foods into our diet.  So I figured that I would document this on the blog.  I added a new category on the side of the blog, named, simply…Recipes.  I will post recipes here that I feel are really good.  We are going to try many new recipes I’m sure and not all of them will be to our liking.  But if a recipe gets “two thumbs up” from both Kimm and I, then I will post it.  I hope you enjoy it.  So in a way, my blog will have a healthy eating slant.

So I thought the first recipe that I should post would HAVE to be my guacamole.  I think I have posted this recipe before, but I’m not sure if it has changed at all from the last time I have posted it.  Right now I have it down exactly how we both like it.  Kimm absolutely loves guacamole.  I used to think it was just so-so, but now that I have made it so many times, I have been able to adapt it so that I love it too.  This recipe is for a two person amount (generous servings), or four servings (if you are going to just have a little bit–this RARELY happens with us…smile).

So here is my first “official” recipe for my sidebar!

“Holy, moly that’s good!” guacamole

Ingredients:

1 Haas avocado, slightly soft when pressed

1 tablespoon minced white onion

1 garlic clove, either crushed through a garlic press or finely minced

1 large tomato, diced

the juice of 1/2 a lime

1-2 tablespoons minced cilantro (which is really about a handful of the leaves, rolled up and julliene sliced)

salt to taste (for us that is 4 pinches, after which I still taste test and add more if needed)

To make:

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.  Scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Mash avocado with a fork, so it is still a little chunky.  Add the minced onion, crushed garlic, diced tomato, and minced cilantro.  DO NOT stir yet*.  Squeeze the lime juice over the pile.  DO NOT stir yet*.  Add the salt.  Now, stir mixture gently to incorporate all the ingredients.  DO NOT over stir*.  If you stir too much it will get too creamy and you lose the chunkiness of the avocado.  Do a taste test.  If it is salty enough for you, you are done!  If you feel it needs more salt, add more, and stir gently.

That’s it.

Now eat it with tortilla chips, or use with quesadillas, or on top of a veggie burger, or as a dip for chopped veggies, or just eat it plain…it’s that good 🙂

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* There is a funny story about the guacamole and stirring.  One time when we made this, Kimm was helping me with it and I wasn’t paying attention and she stirred, and stirred, and stirred it all together, and it got really creamy and we both really disliked the taste.  Ever since then, I make sure that I gently stir the guacamole 🙂  Some people may like it really creamy, but we just don’t.

I have made this guacamole MANY times and for several groups of our friends…everyone has loved it!

So, I can’t believe that today is over.  Really, where did the time go?!

We didn’t get to bed last night until about 2 am!  And we had set our alarm for 9 am to get ready for Peter (our real estate agent) who was coming to visit.  We dragged ourselves out of bed when the alarm went off and did a quick pick up, took showers, and then brewed some coffee.

It was SO nice to visit with Peter.  I’m just so glad that we have a nice relationship with our realtor.  He’s been so good to us.  We showed him everything we’ve done with the house, and talked to him about what’s been going on and told him we needed some good referrals for a plumber, a landscaper, and someone to do the heat in the upstairs.  The hour flew by!  We are thinking we will need to get together with him again soon, maybe for a glass of wine.  Speaking of wine, Peter brought us this for a house warming gift…

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Can’t wait to try this…

The rest of the day we spent at the mall.  We got a few things…a large candle from Yankee Candle for only $12 (normally $25!), some earrings (mine broke in the shower), a new ice cream scoop and pizza cutter, some more wasp spray, a new beach umbrella holder (ours broke last year at the beach…the new one is metal instead of plastic), and some WWI and WWII posters that we will frame for the living room.

Kimm watched the 1st round draft picks for hockey and I caught up on my blogs.

And that’s where the day went.

Tomorrow we have a Hawaiian themed birthday party for the boyfriend of one of our friends.  Even though I have to work, we’re going to stop in for a few hours.  So tomorrow will be busy.  Good thing I only have to work for two days.

Guess what, it’s STILL raining!  Just thought I’d let you know in case you forgot!

Published in: on June 27, 2009 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  

Where were you when…Michael Jackson died?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Even though I was not a huge Michael Jackson fan, it is still strange to know that he is dead.

Lots of people called him the “King of Pop” and an iconic legend.

For me, I just remember him as being the most popular music singer when I was in grade school.  In fact, when I was in 5th grade I can remember my little brother playing his tape with the songs “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” CONSTANTLY 🙂  I think he even in fact wore out one tape and had to get another one!

I know there was lots of controversy with how Michael Jackson lived his life…the color of his skin (how did he get so white?), his interactions with kids (abuse?), his fairy-tale house (roller coasters and rooms filled with toys?).  I didn’t really follow all of that.  All I know is that when you mention Michael Jackson, there probably aren’t many people who don’t have some kind of opinion on him and his music.  In my mind, that does make him notorious.

Now, when people say things like…”Where were you when John Kennedy was shot?” or “Where were you when Princess Diana was killed in the car accident?,” I can chime in with, “Where were you when you heard that Michael Jackson died?”

So…where were you?

I was sitting on my couch in the living room.  My iphone was on the coffee table.  All of a sudden it buzzed, signaling a text message.  It was a message from one of my co-workers stating, “It’s true Michael Jackson is dead.”  I immediately googled Michael Jackson since I was on my computer and sure enough…there were already lots of stories.  Then Kimm and I turned on the TV and it was non-stop information.

The only thing that REALLY sucks, is that Farrah Fawcett also died the same day as Michael Jackson.  Her death was not unexpected, but unfortunately, now all the attention is on Michael.  Maybe Farrah’s family will prefer it that way, so they can mourn in private.  But I do think that it’s kind of sad that we rate the importance of different peoples deaths.  I mean, really, we are all people.

By the way, I did find out from Michael’s death what the difference was between cardiac arrest and a heart attack! Pretty sad when you are a nurse and you didn’t really know that one 🙂

Also, I just want to say…WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES.  My night at work yesterday was 100% different (read, BETTER) than the frustrating one I had the night before.  That’s one of the good/bad things about nursing.  You never know what your night will be like.  It can be easy and rewarding, or tough and frustrating.  I was just glad that my second night was better–I needed that.

Almost time for bed.  I made a wonderful smelling banana bread tonight because our real estate agent Peter is coming over tomorrow to see the house!  We’re both so excited!  We haven’t seen him since he did a little treat (free movie night) back in winter for all the people that he’s helped buy houses.   And since we’ve been in the house for almost 6 months (!!!) he hasn’t seen any of the improvements we’ve made.  So he’s coming tomorrow to see us, the place, and have some coffee.  So I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a little treat to go with it!  And since I had about 6 bananas getting very ripe, I thought of the banana bread.  I won’t post the recipe unless I like how it tastes after baking…but if the batter is any indication, it’s going to be awesome!

Hope everyone has a wonderful night.

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Work Frustration…

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I should have known that after having FIVE LOVELY days off, that I was due for a whopper.

Last night I did NOT have a good night.  It was just full of frustrating happenings, nothing big that I can particularly say made the evening horrible, but lots of little, annoying things that added up to a night where I wanted to pull my hair out by the time I left (which was an hour late, I might add).

Let’s just say…

I HATE it when doctors don’t call back right away (what’s the sense of having a doctor on site when it takes over a half hour to call back!)

I HATE it when the emergency room keeps a patient for 12 hours and then wants to send them up to you, but you are waiting for the doctor to call back on another patient, so can’t leave the floor, but they keep calling and calling, “when are you coming…,” “this patient is ready…,” etc., etc.

And then I HATE that when that patient finally comes to the floor, even though she’s been in the ER for 12 hours, she has pain and nausea, even though the last time she was medicated for this was like 9 hours prior!

And then I also hate to find out that a patient that you are covering for the LPN has a heartrate close to 160 (!!) and that she is comfort measures, and that later, even though you medicated her and tried to make her comfortable, you didn’t really and then later she passes (which is probably for the best since her quality of life is gone) but it still sucks to see a patient die, especially one that you were in the room less than an hour ago…

And I really HATE when the ER sees that a patient has a low H and H (blood levels) and needs to get a blood transfusion, but they only put in a # 22, when they KNOW that that patient will need a #20 to get blood–so then you have to try to start an IV but of course you are so frustrated that the needle practically jumps away from the vein!

And I also HATE it when patients are jumping out of bed and there is not enough staff around to make sure that everyone is safe

And I especially HATE it when a patient is young and could cooperate, but won’t and when you ask them to take their medication, they stick their tongue out at you and cover their head with the blanket

And I HATE it when a patient is incontinent of stool all over the bathroom floor

And I HATE dealing with rectal tubes…never fun…they leak and they smell!

And I HATE going non-stop for 13 hours with only time to gulp down a cup of coffee

And I HATE having to stay late to finish everything up and not get paid for it because your hospital is CHEAP

And one more thing I HATE is when you try to vent to another nurse and instead of just listening, they tell you how horrible THEIR night is!

Okay, now I think you have just an INKLING of an understanding of how my night was.  And there was more stuff that I hated, believe me.  But I’m so tired right now that all I want to do is climb into bed.

I know I shouldn’t complain, because I only work three days a week, but seriously, hospitals are supposed to be where you feel you are making a difference in people’s lives when they are sick and where you should have lots of support for doing that…and often that doesn’t happen at all.  If this country gave a damn, then there would be more nurses so that the patient load would not be as high and you could actually provide quality care.

So I guess the thing that I HATE THE MOST is that I don’t feel like I have the time to give all the care that I WANT to give to the patients I have.  And that is really frustrating.  Because most nurses want to be the best they can, but they are just too damn worn out and tired.  And that’s just not right.

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 9:29 am  Comments (1)  

Comfort Food…

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I have to go to work today…boo, hoo!

Oh well, I should be grateful for having all those days off in a row, for HAVING a job when so many people struggle to find a job, and to have a job where I have to go in only three days a week, and where I get paid fairly well, and have wonderful co-workers.  There!  I gave myself a pretty good pep talk 🙂

It’s still not so nice out.  So for lunch I decided on a good comfort food meal…grilled cheese and tomato soup!

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Very.Good.

Now I am off to try to take a nap before work since I didn’t sleep very well last night.  I don’t feel like I was very productive today but I did manage to do a load of laundry and also all the dishes that I ignored yesterday!

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yep, today we did a B & N run and treated ourselves to a little treat.  I have been thinking of this drink since the last time we went to Barnes and Noble and Kimm ordered it.  It was wonderful from first sip–incredibly rich and refreshing.

I purchased this bad boy tonight.

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Only $14.95 and then 20% off…so only $11.96 for over 200 recipes!

I want to broaden our basic recipe selection and this book contained a lot of recipes that I thought we would actually eat.  Often I find that when I look through vegetarian cookbooks there are a lot of meals with ingredients that we would not eat.  But this cookbook had many pasta meals, Mexican based meals, and different soups.  I’m excited to experiment with new meal ideas.

Today our new TV stand finally arrived as well.  We put it together after Kimm mowed the lawn.  She was extremely lucky to be able to mow today.  There was a 50% chance of rain, but she was DETERMINED to get the lawn mowed since we have nothing but rain in the forcast for the next week or so.  The result: she did it!  She went as fast as she could and got the entire lawn mowed in record time.  And wouldn’t you know that it started to rain about 1/2 hour after she finished!  I think we were the only people in the neighborhood mowing today.  But then again, now we are the only ones with a nice looking lawn.  I love that she puts these nice little stripes in the lawn–it looks so professional.  I felt so bad–her face was so red when she came in!  But thankfully after a shower, she cooled down a bit.

But, back to the TV stand.  I figured it would take about an hour to put together, but based on all of the problems we’ve been having with everything else in the house, I doubled the time, and said, TWO hours.  Well, we did get it put together in record time: 50 minutes!  But then we ran into trouble as we were trying to put all of the electrical equipment in it–turns out that the cd player and stereo did not fit.  So as for now they are still in their same place.  We will have to figure out what to do with them since we were hoping to put more storage next to the TV stand.  But we will just think on it and determine what to do eventually.

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The Stand–Espresso finish, with glass fronts

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Close up…

For a snack tonight I had yogurt with granola and raisins and a bit of honey.  Very tasty.

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I love this combination…reminds me of Michfest every time

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I love maple flavored things…

Madeline was being cute tonight–

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She likes sitting on the back of the new couch…especially when we are eating (I guess that picture was pretty dark…but still so adorable)

I’m so sad that my five day mini-va-ca is O.V.E.R.  😦 I still have tomorrow during the day, but that’s it.  Where did the time go?  I swear, the older I get, the faster every day goes.

Before I sign off for tonight I want to wish a VERY HAPPY birthday to my mom!  She turns 65 today!  She and my dad were supposed to be camping in Shawno but the camper broke so they are at home.  So since my brother had Eric this whole week, they came over for a grill-out and some cake and ice cream.  I wish I was there for that 🙂  Mom, I hope you have a wonderful year!  I love you so much!

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Ravioli Lasagna

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy 1st OFFICIAL day of summer!  I wish I could say that it means sunny weather in my part of the world, but nope, New England is still being tormented (at least in my eyes!) with rain and more rain 😦

And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!  I already called my dad this morning and wished him a wonderful day.  He and my family back in WI are going out to one of his favorite places for lunch, the Century Buffet (basically a Chinese food buffet–kind of nice, where you can try all the different kinds of Chinese food, without ordering one single item–I wouldn’t care for it much now simply because I find they don’t offer too many vegetarian main dish options).  Enjoy your meal Dad!  I love you so much!

Today has been a pretty relaxing day thus far.  I wish I could have slept in later, but the humidity and the fact that Charlie knocked something off of Kimm’s nightstand, made me wake up at about 7 ish and I COULD NOT get back to sleep!  So I got up and had my decaf coffee and caught up on my emails and read a little New Moon (I really like this one!).

After lunch, I was able to get a little siesta in 🙂  Which is good, because we are going to Kimm’s this afternoon for a Father’s Day bbq!  There should be lots of yummy food if I know her mom 🙂

So yesterday for our dinner Kimm and I whipped up an old favorite of ours–Ravioli Lasagna.  It’s super simple (only 4 ingredients!) and super delicious.  I got this recipe from someone at a former job I believe–she said she always made it for potlucks because it was easier than traditional lasagna!

Ravioli Lasagna

1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli, the small round ones (approximately 80 per package)

1 jar spaghetti sauce, any kind you like, we used a simple marinara sauce

1 package white button mushrooms, sliced

1 2 cup package shredded mozzarella

To make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Then get out an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.  Now start making the layers.

First a thin layer of sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.

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Then 1/2 the bag of the frozen ravioli.

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Then 1/2 the remaining jarred spaghetti sauce.

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Then 1/2 of the sliced mushrooms.

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Then 1/2 the bag of the shredded cheese

The rest of the ravioli…

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The rest of the sauce…

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The rest of the mushrooms…

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And the rest of the cheese…

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Then place on a pan with tin foil underneath (in case in boils over, easier to clean!) and also cover the top with tinfoil.

Cook for 45 minutes covered.  Then uncover and cook for 15 minutes more, until cheese is browned.  Take out of oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

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Then, the BEST part, enjoy!

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This lasagna makes six good sized servings.  For us it lasts three meals.  We pair it with a nice side salad and a slice of garlic bread.  REALLY GOOD!  The best thing is you could change this up to include any kind of veggie you like!

Hope you enjoy.

Also, don’t forget to check out Kimm’s new blog, Rants.

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL day!

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment