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I scratched that itch

November 14, 2009

Happy Saturday, blog friends.

I’m sitting in front of the Oklahoma / A&M game (which we’re winning), with a cat curled up in my lap and a bag of chocolate chips and a glass of wine to snack on.   Perfect Saturday night?  Yep.

I mentioned last week that I was getting the organization itch.  When we lived in Oklahoma, we were constantly, constantly re-organizing the house.  I got that “itch” all the time.  Since we moved into this house last October, we haven’t really done much re-organizing at all.  We did do a good job of thinking through where to put things when we unpacked so that we wouldn’t have to reorganize right away.  But we fully expected to re-do some of the things at some point and that hasn’t happened until now.  Part of it is that the house is a lot bigger so there are more places to store things.  And part of it is that we’ve had an incredibly busy year that has left little time for anything other than the basics.

But today was the day to do something productive.

5 hours of blood, sweat, and tears later, I am now the proud owner of a newly organized closet, bedroom, and master bath.  I also did the normal weekend cleaning – mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, vacuum, laundry, etc.  Next week, I need to attack upstairs, although it’s somewhat low on the priority list since we don’t spend any time up there and it isn’t all that bad.  I do really love having a clean house.  One day, I’ll win the lottery and hire a full-time housekeeper.  (One can dream…)

For dinner, I wanted to make something a little heartier than the usual stuff I’ve been throwing together.  Pasta sounded good (when doesn’t pasta sound good?), so we made a pasta bake of sorts with a meat sauce.



Served on baby spinach with some vino.  (I had seconds, of about the same size)

Here’s what we came up with.  Very simple.

  • olive oil
  • small onion, diced
  • ~2 t. minced garlic
  • red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (I use 93/7)
  • 3 28 oz. cans tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, or whole tomatoes, food processed (I prefer a chunkier pasta sauce but the husband won’t eat it if there are chunks of tomato, so I either food process crushed or whole tomatoes, or I use plain canned tomato sauce – they’re interchangeable, so use what you have or prefer)
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • s+p, Prudhomme’s Pasta Magic seasoning, Tony C’s, crushed red pepper, basil, and oregano
  • splash of red wine
  • 1 package Tinkyada brown rice spirals
  • mozzarella cheese

Drizzle oil into a stockpot and heat.  Add onion, garlic, and red pepper and cook until onions are translucent.  Add ground beef and turn heat up to high and cook until beef is no longer pink.  Drain grease and add tomato sauce, paste, wine, and seasonings.  Simmer on low for at least an hour.

Cook pasta until just al dente (12 min for us), drain, and rinse with cold water.  Divide cooked pasta evenly among 2 13×9 pans and add sauce, mix, and top with cheese.  Bake at 350* for 30 min.


Off to watch the rest of the game.  58 to 10?  I’ll take it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2009 6:40 AM

    Can you come do my house next? 🙂

    That baked pasta looks awesome. Do you find that the rice pasta gets too gummy if you cook it for so long like that?

  2. November 15, 2009 1:29 PM

    Nice work on the cleaning and organizing!!! I always feel better when the house is cleaned (I cleaned this morning). I dream of a live in maid too, haha. That pasta dish looks fabulous. Oh and YES, you must test that pumpkin pie dish first. Otherwise…I could totally be lying and it could be nasty…don’t want to bring something nasty to thanksgiving 😉 The nutritional stats on it are actually fabulous too! GF, guilt free crustless is what it should be called!

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