Italian potato casserole.

Two more beautiful weddings this weekend. Each one so unique and special. Pictures from Friday’s wedding:

The bride made these. Very cute.


Cute groom’s cake. It’s an air boat.

They are really even so much prettier in person. Oh how I wish for a good camera;)

I must have been high on wedding bliss, because I came home and got to cooking. First up, homemade chocolate chip cookies for my loves: Evan and Grace. Can’t wait to give them chocolate kis-ses tomorrow!

Then, for my masterpiece. I had 5 boiled red potatoes sitting in my fridge and a craving for pasta sauce. My creativity kicked in and came up with Italian Potato Casserole. Here’s the breakdown:

First, take 5 carrots for a spin in the food processor, as well as 2 cloves of garlic, and half a red onion. Brown lean ground turkey in some olive oil with fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Remove from pan. Add a little more olive oil, carrot,onion and garlic mixture, cook for about 10 minutes.

Add turkey back in and a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Simmer for a while, then add a couple handfuls of spinach:

As things are cooking, spray a baking dish with some nonstick, and start thinly slicing those leftover red potatoes. Place a single layer on bottom:

Then add half of meat sauce (if you’re a vegetarian, just leave the meat out and add more veggies, or cooked bulgur, that would rock).

Next layer, cheese;

I used sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and a 3 cheese Italian blend. Use whatever you want, I even thought about adding some goat cheese, but I didn’t.

Next layer, more potato slices:

Next layer, the rest of the sauce,

Finally, top with more cheese.

Bake at 350 for about a half hour. Who needs noodles?

I have two tips to share with you today.

1. If you love the taste of Italian sausage but hate the unhealthyness of it like me, you can achieve the same flavors by adding fennel seed and red pepper flakes to lean ground meat

2. Has nothing to do with cooking, but very handy. If you need to remove a sticky label or price tag and don’t have any Goo Be Gone (because who stocks that stuff, really?), but everyone has hand sanitizer, right? Use a little of that and it works better than that other stuff anyway?

Small Things

Just finished up wedding #3 of the weekend yesterday, and today I’m knee deep in the 4 upcoming weddings this weekend. Yikes!!! It’s very exciting, and I’m actually thriving on the busi-ness. This is my 3rd wedding season at Cross Creek Ranch. We pretty much have 2 seasons: Spring and Fall, since it is an outdoor venue. Then I get a break in the summer, and a bit of a break in the winter. I’m starting to feel like I’m really getting the hang of this. I think it takes a good year or more to really get to know a new job. What do you think?

Pictures of Sunday’s wedding:

Today’s eats:

Breakfast: Hard boiled egg and banana. Unpictured.

Lunch: This Healthy Choice frozen meal:

It was tasty, but not filling enough, only 240 calories. And I don’t think it’s very healthy either. The ingredient list is a mile line, and pretty high in sodium.

Dinner was healthy and homemade:

Salmon on the George Foreman (takes only a little over 5 minutes to cook), pan-fried red potatoes, and stir fried veggies. Three secrets to fool the eye and the stomach. First, this plate is small, everyone knows that trick, but it works! Second, cut things small and it feels like you are eating more. Those potatoes were about 2 and 1/2 small red potatoes. I could easily eat 5 or 6 whole ones, but sliced so thin, they looked like a whole lot more. Third, take small bites. The best part of eating is the taste,right? So take mini bites and enjoy the flavor each time, and you get more flavor experiences each meal.

And yes, that is a pile of tartar sauce dalloped on there. I make it with olive oil mayo, sweet relish and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Dessert was one lonely Girl Scout samoa. I think he needs some company in my belly.