Lasagna!

Hello!!

Wow it is getting hot around here, and I love it! First I’ll start off by telling you what I’ve been up to. So I started working full-time for the summer, at Starbucks. I used to work there just over two years ago, and it’s really interesting going back. But I also feel old…haha. It feels like a lot has changed with me since I was last in that environment, because frankly, it’s true. I’m very glad to say that almost all of the changes are positive, hooray for growth! The one thing that isn’t is that things were much more relaxed and easygoing, which is the kind of change that one would expect. But slow down, I don’t mean to say I’m uptight and unhappy now, no way! I simply think that back then there wasn’t as much to think about, yet now occasionally both my husband and I have to remind ourselves to unwind and appreciate our lives, and being together.

This brings me to another thing I’ve been up to: on Saturday one of my cousins had his wedding and my husband and I did the photography for it. It was lovely. What I love the most about weddings, I think (not that I’ve been to many aside from my own) is the way that it really is one of the only occasions that loved ones come together to celebrate these two people. They’re celebrated as individuals, and all their qwerks and beautiful qualities are highlighted. They are also, of course, celebrated as a couple; sometimes by mutual friends, and often, by family and friends that may only really know one of the individuals well, and yet wholeheartedly embrace that individual who is marrying their loved one. It’s a beautiful thing, how marriage not only unites the two individuals, but it also unites those who love and support those two individuals. The friends and family accept that this new person will forever be a part of their relationship with their loved one, and they lovingly cherish that. My own wedding truly opened my eyes up to this fact, I was amazed at how my husbands friends and family welcomed me with open arms, and embraced and welcomed me into their lives. I genuinely feel that his family is my own family, which is why I previously referred to my husbands cousin (the one who got married on Saturday as my own.

As my husband and I were signing the guest book we asked ourselves what the best piece of marital/life advice we had ever received was. We both immediately knew. At our wedding we put a bunch of cards on a table and asked our loved ones to write us advice, something that helped them have a stronger marriage or more full life. This one piece of advice has helped us cherish our lives over the past two years so much more than we would have if we hadn’t been given it. I think a few people shared similar advice, what it basically is, is: Take time to slow down together, to appreciate the beauties life and appreciate being together. It sounds obvious, but it isn’t. It’s so easy to get caught up in life, to get overwhelmed by things that need to get done, or just life to live, and you forget to slow down and take it all in. There have been times over the past two years that I’ve realized I’d forgotten this advice, and had basically been treating my husband like a roommate or a sibling, rather than the wonderful, thoughtful, and compassionate man that I love. This simple piece of advice has helped us through hard times, and made every day much more beautiful, and has especially helped our love for one another grow stronger every day. So, if you plan to get married, or even are throwing a special birthday for yourself, I suggest asking for this advice from your loved ones. Everyone has a different approach to life, and I believe that sharing gives an opportunity for knowledge to be passed around. Lastly, most people see elders as old, thoughtless cute people, but they are not that. They have lived this life already, and you have not. They have come to an understanding about what it means to live a good life, and what might happen afterwards. They are the ones on this earth closest to death, and often, they have come to terms with it as they’ve aged. I urge you to share in their wisdom, and inquire about their beliefs. When my grandmother (on my husbands side) was ill in the hospital, she told us that she was prepared to die. She said, very peacefully, if it is my time to go, then I will go, I am ready to go. Thankfully, it was not her time to go, and she is still with us. Nonetheless, this small glimpse is what I was trying to say before, human beings cannot escape death, and once your age leads you closer to death, you must find out how to accept and come to terms with it. Of course, some people avoid the subject their whole lives, and die in terror of what will come. The ones that I personally, hope to find wisdom from, are those who die content, believing that they have lived a valuable life. If someone is content with death, then I want to learn from them.

I’m sorry if this isn’t what you expected, I tend to come upon these topics quite often. If you’re looking for a blog that’s entirely lighthearted, that’s not what you’ll find here. I’m genuine, I’m honest, and I talk about what matters to me. Sometimes that’s the excitement of gooey chocolate chip cookies, and sometimes it’s a heavy topic like death. But that’s me, take it or leave it my friends. Either way thanks for joining me! I’d love if you left a comment below, sharing your thoughts, or perhaps even your own life advice. 🙂

Alright, now I’ll share a recipe, which, perhaps, is all some of you came for. Which is totally fine, thank you so much for checking out my recipes! This is a simple lasagna, made with ingredients that I almost always have around the house. If you don’t have or don’t want cheddar, simply use mozzarella. Or, if you want it even more simple, skip the white sauce. Without further adieu, I give you, Ooey Gooey Lasagna!

Ooey Gooey Lasagna

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 package oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 onion (chopped)
1tsp salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1-1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

For The White Sauce:
1tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1tsp salt
1/8th tsp black pepper

Directions

Step One: Brown the chopped onion and ground beef in the bottom of a medium sized pot/saucepan on medium/high heat. When browned drain out the excess grease. Turn the heat down to medium/medium-low, and add the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and water to the pot.  While heating, prepare the white sauce.

Step Two: Combine the butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper, in a a small saucepan on low, medium-low heat. Use a spatula to stir, making sure the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Avoid allowing the milk to boil or it will curdle and look chunky and unappetizing. When the sauce has thickened remove it from heat.

Step Three:  When your red sauce has gotten hot, pour a cup of it into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Place one layer of noodles on the sauce, then top with ⅓ of the sauce, and top with ⅓ of your cheese. Repeat this process two more times, until you are out of ingredients.

Step Four: Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. If you find that the lasagna looks to watery when you have about 10 minutes left, remove the foil and continue baking until the end of the baking time. Then, remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes, and enjoy heaping cheesy slices!

 

 

 

 

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