It is rainy here, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Last Monday, preschool was cancelled and so were my evening plans, and thus, the world was my oyster! Time moves slower on rainy days, which works better the less plans that you have. Also, rainy days are such a relief to me because they are the only days in the month that I can shed ALL my guilt over not cleaning my car 😀 We are all equal in the rain! Anyways, I wanted to share my lazy day for two reasons: an excuse to share an easy lasagna recipe 🙂 and I feel like there is enough darkness in the world that every inch of happiness that I experience is a slice of Heaven that I want to share and share alike. You’re welcome.
So, I realized some of my chief joys of the day begin with L. I will make it my theme. If you have met my Dad, you will understand my magnetism to acronyms, alliterations, etc. On to L #1.
Lattes. I spent 2 hours at Wal-Mart, simply because I could- and because they just got a Seattle’s Best coffee cart with Pumpkin Spice in full swing. The kids were AMAZING. Leli kept saying that we had to hide from the dragon and I played along, until I realized she really saw a giant blowup dragon in the Halloween aisle (I wonder how many other things she tells me that actually DO have a basis in reality). I was surprised at how good they were and how much energy I had, especially when I had to run with both children to get a loaf of bread before the lady finished checking out my items. Then I remembered the latte.
Little Women and Librivox. I am currently in the middle of the unabridged Little Women, which is an entirely different story than the movie! I am amazed at the strong Christian theme throughout the book- I had no idea! Well, as a mom with only nap time to myself, reading is a difficult thing to make time for. Enter Librivox. I know I have raved about the Libby app, but so many things are on hold for so long, it is hard to listen to any audiobooks. Librivox isn’t an app (that I know of), but online you can listen to older works read aloud for free! Wahoo! This and some decaf tea make laundry less daunting.
Lewis. I am cheating here with my L game, but reading C.S. Lewis is bliss to me! I am reading The Weight of Glory, and it is extra great because reading Lewis always brings revelation with great feelings of nostalgia. This is ironic since he talks about nostalgia in the book. He writes that it and all feelings of beauty are nods to the land yet to come; we are built with a desire that can only be described in such terms as beauty but cannot be truly possessed this side of eternity. As waves of nostalgia washed over me yesterday, I could not help but agree.
Love and Laziness itself. In the end, the highlight of the day was having no obligations but love itself. Isn’t that what Paul talked about- having no debt but love? Most of my obligations are in my mind- the good mom/good wife/good person checklist, but the rainy day somehow washed them away. I was free to chat with Leli, cuddle Benaiah, and play Duplo with both of them. Rainy days aren’t always so great, but I am glad this one was.
And finally, the Lazy Lasagna.
This recipe started from somewhere online and is really nothing spectacular, but I get compliments and requests for it often. It has kind of become my go-to, and I thought I’d share. It is not really lazy…but really simple if I can do it! P.S. the pic is my very first one- so that is Leli I am holding, not Benaiah.
1 package dry lasagna noodles (any kind)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I prefer anything tomato and garlic)
1 package shredded mozarella (normal, not XL)
1 tub ricotta (I often go low fat, normal size but you can do large size if you want)
1 lb. ground beef (optional, but get it as lean as you can without going broke)
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. shredded parmesan (optional)
1/2 c. fresh spinach (optional)
Preheat oven to 400° (Farenheit, Aussies). In a medium mixing bowl, mix ricotta, egg, about a tsp. of garlic powder, and 1/4 c. parmesan (if you want). Set aside and start cooking the ground beef in a large frying pan. Drain the fat if meat is not very lean. Once cooked through, add the jar of sauce. If not using meat, just heat sauce.
Pull out a large casserole dish or one of those disposable lasagna pans. I use a 9×13, and it is actually a tad too large, but it’s functional. With ladel, make a thin layer of sauce mixture in pan. Then, make a layer of lasagna noodles longwise. My pan fits three side by side and a half noodle going the other way at the end. I alternate which end with each layer 😉 With a flexible spatula (the baking, clean the bowl kind- not flip the pancake kind), lay ricotta mixture across the noodles. There can be gaps, but try to cover noodles. If you are using spinach, lay it on after each ricotta layer. Repeat the sauce/noodle/ricotta layers 2 more times, until you have 3 noodle layers.
Once sauce and ricotta have run out, cover with mozzarella. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Take 3/4 c. water and pour slowly all along sides of pan. Put in the oven on middle rack uncovered. I used to cover it and broil for 2 minutes on high to get the light brown top layer, but cooking uncovered does the same thing. Either way, check it at 35 minutes. If a fork goes through noodles fairly easily, it is done. If the top is not crispy enough for you, broil on high until it is. Set a 2 minute timer, though, because broiling is crazy and works super quickly.
Let cool and serve! It makes great leftovers too! P.S. If this is not lazy enough for you, Stouffers makes a great frozen lasagna, and it is pretty great too! 😉