Daily Rebecca - Page 2 of 247 - dishing up a little bit of everything.

Frozen Ravioli & Summer Vegetable “Lasagna”

September 11th, 2014

Yesterday was one of those days without a dinner plan.  My meal plan suggested quesadillas with the leftover Taco Chicken Bowls we had a few days ago, but there wasn’t enough to go around and I wanted to eat the leftovers over rice for lunch this week anyway.

What to do…

Usually on a day like that, I’d pull some meat out of the freezer, marinade it and broil it to serve with sweet potatoes and veggies but we were out of sweet potatoes.

What’s a girl to do?

Last week we loved the Shepherd’s Pie featuring Aunt Becky’s homegrown potatoes, and I remembered I still had some garden loot leftover!  A big bag of summer squash and zucchini was awaiting me :)

I have a few go-to recipes for those veggies (like this one and this one) but I was feeling creative.  I poked around the freezer and pantry and ended up with this Frozen Ravioli and Summer Vegetable “Lasagna”!

Costco has great buys like this Organic Spinach Ravioli:

ravioli
 

It comes in a 2-pack and I used the first one right away by serving it with a simple marinara sauce.  I froze the second pack until I had use for it.

I’m glad I had it tucked away in my freezer because it inspired this dish!

Frozen Ravioli and Summer Vegetable Bake

Frozen Ravioli and Summer Vegetable "Lasagna"
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish/Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 jar Marinara Sauce
  • 1lb package frozen ravioli, thawed or partially thawed so that you can separate the individual pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium to large summer squash, diced
  • 1 medium to large zucchini, diced
  • 1 small to medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 slices of cheese (I used provolone and colby jack but would have used all provolone if I had enough - mozzarella would also be delish)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375*F
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until they are tender. Add minced garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Add diced summer squash and zucchini to the skillet as well as an additional tablespoon olive oil if the mixture looks dry. Sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper over everything and continue to sauté, stirring regularly, until veggies are tender (approx 10-12 minutes).
  3. Into a 13x9 glass baking dish, pour ⅓ jar of marinara sauce and spread to coat the entire surface. Once veggies are tender, pour them over the sauce and spread to create a single layer.
  4. Arrange ravioli in rows to cover the entire surface of the dish in a mostly single layer. Pour remaining ⅔ jar marinara sauce over ravioli and spread to evenly coat.
  5. Lay cheese slices across the surface of the pan, covering as much area as you can (shredded cheese would work well too!).
  6. Shake ½ cup parmesan cheese over the whole dish, focusing on areas not covered by cheese slices.
  7. Bake at 375*F for 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes and serve!

This was a pretty random assortment of items from my kitchen, but it turned out to be very tasty!  Both girls gobbled it up without a single complaint.  That’s a major victory!


Remembering Some Good News

September 10th, 2014

One of my favorite things about the blogging community is getting to know other women.  I love how blogging gives me a glimpse into their thoughts, their hearts, and their day-to-day regular old stuff.

Connecting with people makes me feel alive, and I sometimes feel like I connect more when reading someone’s heart poured onto the page of their blog than I do in person over a cup of coffee where it’s easy to stick to small talk or light-hearted catching up.

I usually want to pour my soul out the minute we have our lattes in hand, but that just isn’t how it usually goes.  We are all fighting our own battles and have our defenses in place.  It feels vulnerable to let our “messy” out and I think we feel like we are “too much” for the other person.

Blogging allows us to sit alone and pluck our hearts out onto the keyboard.  To share things we might feel too awkward to share face to face.  The writing process can even help us figure out what the heck we are feeling.  I bet the great authors felt the same way as they sat by candlelight with quill in hand :)

I love when bloggers take the risk to share from their hearts.  To lay out whatever it is they are dealing with.  In raw terms, without apology.  It encourages my own heart to be more honest.  It makes me feel less alone.

Lately I’ve come across a slew of vague and poetic posts in the blogosphere.  I love beautifully written words as much as the next gal, but sometimes I feel like I’m wading through murky waters.  I hear the pretty sounds of each word carefully crafted, but I cannot decipher the heart of what they are sharing.

Not everything in life is poetic.  Sometimes it’s just messy.

Turning it into a poem doesn’t make it beautiful.  Does it?

Maybe I’m missing something.

But after a hard day with my girls or my husband or my thoughts, I cannot just frame everything in pretty words and call it beautiful.  Sometimes I have to grieve it.  Offer it up to God in crude terms.

Or, if I’m really brave, and it isn’t something sacred that should be kept to myself, I will spill it here.

Some may call that narcissistic, but often the struggles aren’t pretty and don’t bring glory to me.  If they can bring glory to God though, I’m game.

At the end of the day, I want to feel deeply known.  I want my soul to bump into someone else’s, resulting in us both feeling cared for.

flower
 

I guess I’m wishing these other writers would just say what they’re thinking.  In plain, messy language.  That a dance party in the living room wouldn’t appear to be the solution to what ails them.  That framing things in beautiful words doesn’t make life easier.

But ultimately, I have to realize the connection I’m so desperately seeking can really only be fulfilled in my relationship with God.  Only He can know me as intimately as I want to be known.  Only He fully understands my heart and dreams and fears.  Only He can make me feel whole.

To put that burden on anyone else just isn’t fair.

No matter how wonderful my husband or BFF is, they just cannot meet the deepest ache of my heart.

Oh how I sometimes wish they could!

Once in a while I get a taste of deep connection, and it’s a delicious reminder that heaven will meet all these needs.  One day I’ll live in perfect relationship with God and everyone else.

And it will last for eternity.

Isn’t that encouraging?!  Our scrambling to know and be known is only temporary.  Talk about a great sense of hope!

Deep connection won’t always feel so elusive.  It won’t always be so difficult.

One day the good will be so good that the bad will seem like a distant shadow chased away by the morning sun.

That’s a line from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  It’s the hope we have in what God says is already finished.  We just need to believe it.  When life seems too hard.  Too dark.  Too messed up.  Too painful.  Hopeless.

We can remember that love wins.  At the end, the work of Jesus on the cross and the goodness of God will win the day.

He knows that.

We need to remember.

It’s not about what happens here.  It’s just not.

Even though that’s all we see.  We think this is our eternity and it’s not.

My wise mentor once told me that this life is a training ground for ruling and reigning in heaven and OHMYGOSH that made it all feel so much more worthwhile!  The seemingly haphazard crap we go through here is molding us into the image of our savior.  It’s smoothing our rough edges and transforming us.  It’s preparing us for heaven.

Eternity starts right now.

That makes me want to get up out of the fog and live like it.  No more waiting, just trusting that God has everything under control.  Submitting my will to Him and cooperating with all that He is doing around me.

It feel so daunting.  I don’t feel equipped or capable.  It makes me want to just forget it and live like this life is all there is.

And then I offer all of that up to Him.  I admit that it is daunting.  I am not equipped or capable.

But He is.

And He won’t leave me hanging.

Talk about Good News!


Classic Shepherd’s Pie

September 5th, 2014

Shepherd’s Pie takes me back to my childhood.

It’s a meal my mom would make when we were growing up, and I always LOVED it.

Rich gravy-soaked meat, carrots, peas & onions all topped with a fluffy layer of mashed potatoes.

Mmmmmm.

The recipe she used was classic 80’s…powdered gravy mix…canned veggies.  It was tasty, but definitely not as wholesome as it could be.  In fact, today my mom would totally scoff at that recipe with all of it’s processed components.  When I got on the healthy food bandwagon and shared everything with her, I created a monster ;) Love you mom!

I’ve made that recipe a few times and I still love it, but when I found this version in an All Recipe’s magazine that my Aunt Becky got for me (thanks AB!), I knew I wanted to try it.

Then, when I saw her recently and she loaded me up with veggies from her garden, including potatoes, I knew this was the perfect time!

Shepherds Pie

Besides all that, fall is quickly approaching and I’m fully on board with comfort foods making up the bulk of our weekly menu.

I modified the original recipe a little (I can’t help myself!) so here’s my version…

Classic Shepherds Pie

5.0 from 1 reviews
Classic Shepherd's Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large baking potatoes (about 2 lbs)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • splash of milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 5 medium to large carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until tender about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain water and mash potatoes with sour cream, milk, and ½ cup cheddar cheese. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring another small pot of water to a boil, add carrots and cook until tender, about 15 minutes also. When soft, drain and mash then set aside.
  4. While potatoes and carrots cook, preheat oven to 375*F
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet, add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until it's no longer pink. Pour off any excess fat (or use a spoon to remove it like I do :) then add flour and stir until fully combined.
  6. Next add ketchup, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and beef broth and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring until the beef is nicely coated and the mixture has thickened a little about 2 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To a large casserole dish (2 quart or so) spread beef mixture in an even layer, top with frozen peas, then mashed carrots and finally mashed potatoes. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup shredded cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!

 

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