Fixing Valerie Bertinelli’s Mom’s Lasagna at my Mom’s House

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Fresh Basil, used in Lasagna

We had a very successful trip to Mom’s on Sunday to fix lasagna. But first I must say that George and I went to church beforehand and it was funny to see our pic in the bulletin and also on the big screen. I’m proud of George for taking the first step to suggest this. I wanted to a long time ago but he cannot be pushed. He was the one that suggested it this time and that makes me happy. It’s about time. ;-)

I also texted with my sister some this weekend and that really felt good. She told me about these Dolly Parton cakes and how good they were. I hadn’t heard about them but she mentioned that the banana one and the coconut one were really good. So I will buy a couple to keep on hand and use for either life group desserts, birthdays, or company coming. I’m trying to stay away from sugar but it doesn’t mean I can’t have cake and eat it too sometimes!

After church George and I went to the Lebanon Kroger. That is two weeks in a row for me. I did both my my shopping and hers. George and I each had a buggy. He had Mom’s cart and I had ours. We were supposed to go through the store together side by side, but he took off doing his own shopping and then would circle back around and I’d have to put Mom’s things in his cart. Grocery shopping with two lists and two carts should be easy, but it’s a little harried, lol. We got it done.

I also had a third pile that was mine but would stay with me when George dropped me off at Mom’s. I could keep it separate in the groceries but then when it went through check out they got mixed up again when bagged. I didn’t want to make it super confusing for everyone so when we got to Mom’s we just went through all the bags and grabbed out lasagna ingredients and I was hoping I didn’t miss anything.

Subway is in the same shopping center as Kroger so I ran in and got us three sandwiches. George took his home along with our groceries. I relaxed a while after eating at Mom’s, catching up on blog comments, the news, talking to Mom some and returning texts with friends and family.

Finally I began chopping things for the lasagna and salad – fresh basil, onion, and cutting the little cherry tomatoes in half. I first cooked the sauce – beef and hot Italian sausage, tomato sauce, seasonings. Then you make the ricotta mixture. I used Valerie Bertinelli’s Mom’s recipe. It was very good, but next time I think I will use Valerie’s herself using the bechamel cheese, which she prefers. I noticed that the recipe I used didn’t even include fresh garlic and wondered if that was just a typo miss. I added some garlic powder (that’s what Mom had) because it seemed a pity to fix Italian food and not have garlic. The lasagna was very good, very cheesy. It was a very basic old time Italian recipe (which is a good thing). The no-boil noodles made it so much easier. I DO think it’s a very good basic lasagna recipe and a keeper. And I would use it again in a heart beat. Matter of fact, lasagna is going to become a family favorite I think. It’s great to fix for company too. George says I fixed it before but I don’t remember doing it. But it was fun yesterday and I enjoyed making it.

For the salad, I grabbed some good looking salad greens mix that included carrots, added cherry tomatoes, REAL grated parmesan, and I bought a caesar dressing. Mom however, as bad it sounds to go with Italian, wanted her honey mustard, lol. So we added that to the table for her. But Caesar was the way to go. We also had garlic bread that we didn’t use from Hello Fresh. It was already set with a seasoned garlic butter on it so we fixed that. Mom had fixed iced semi-sweet tea (not much sugar – and that is a good thing) and honestly she and I had been sipping on it earlier with our Subway sandwiches until I switched to coffee briefly while cooking and I knew George was on his way and would want some.

A friend has been helping Mom unpack some and she had some things for us to drop off to Good Will. Her house looked clean and I can tell she has felt better lately after the gout is gone. She had some new decorations out and it looks so good with her decor. The table looked so pretty.

She asked if I was going to video and I said “no”. I had mentioned long ago I might do some cooking shows from her pretty kitchen. I just didn’t want to bring cameras and lightning though. Everything is usually already a bit complicated with logistics and dogs and such. I decided to keep it simple and just blog about it. Truth be known I’ve not really video’d much through the summer. And I’m probably going to be changing the channel up a bit. My first goal is to catch up to life and then next phase is to do some specific intentional pieces that will be helpful to others but it will still include pieces of our life. I want the videos to be more useful and more entertaining as they evolve.

Not sure if I told you but Mom said her valve was ok from her Echo appt. Her heartbeat is slow and is in AFIB but she could not tell it. She said she feels good. That said, she is mainly sedentary though and gets out of breath easily. But she has lost some weight, which is a good thing as that will help her heart.

We left the lasagna for her which would give her 4 meals meals to freeze for later. I told her she could NOW be proud and compare me to the guy that fixes meals for his father so he doesn’t have to cook. Note: I can’t do that. The only reason I did this was it was a holiday weekend and I had 4 days off. That said, it would be easy to come over and fix dinner some time there and fix a big batch and leave her the recipes from time to time. Especially if we have to eat anyway.

So, the dogs did great. Fancy (Mom’s dog) still doesn’t want to be messed with but was a little more settled having Dexter around. Dexter was a lot more settled and Mom even noticed it. He minded pretty good. We put him on the leash when we were eating. George took him for a walk while it was Fancy’s turn to eat. George had brought Dexter a new bone at the Pet Store and a cookie treat so that would keep him busy so he sat and was a good boy. He took over Fancy’s bed for a time and Fancy stayed in Mom’s lap as she often does. It was a really good day.

We left as the sun was saying it’s final goodbyes. The rain never came that was supposed to set off flood warnings. The sky was beautiful and the Lord’s artwork never fails.

More houses continue to be built near Mom across the landscape. More neighbors to meet!
These villas built since Mom moved in.

So George snapped the pic below at a red light going home. I’m tired and hair frizzled out, and not looking by best, needing to lose a few lbs. But yet here we are Dexter and I. I have my lap dog and I am happy – see the smile on my face. He’s a 39 and a half lb lap dog! And he is pretty good in the car. Usually we have him in the back seat but we were in the old RAV4 since Mom had Good Will items so we didn’t have to have that in our car all week til we could get there. George will probably run them over next Saturday or so. The back seat was lying down so Dexter sat in my lap.

Looking at the pic makes me realize how I need to do something different with my hair again. lol. It’s just a mess. But I’m sharing the raw footage because I like the fact that I am smiling and holding my dog and headed home after a successful day. I am choosing to love myself anyway despite the raw overweight look and frizzy hair. And I’ve been too busy fixing everyone and everything else to fix me. I take a lot of work to fix I think. And I will still try. Til then, embrace what is and move forward.

Anyway, I’m happy to sneak a post in this morning. Surprised myself.

Here’s what is on the To Do List Today.

It won’t all get done today but here is what is on it. It’s pretty much in order of how I want to do it.

  • Clean the kitchen
  • Dust
  • Vaccuum
  • Put out Fall Decor
  • Send cards to two people
  • Clean my ring
  • Change purses
  • Kitchen work: boil eggs, make iced tea
  • Take BP meds and supplements
  • Sign into my old email account so I don’t lose my old blogs
  • Update my iPad Software
  • List gifts bought in my Christmas Book
  • Work on video and finish it for upload/schedule
  • Start ordering some Christmas things that I know I’m getting
  • Order pics of Dexter and River – 4×6 for frames
  • Make sure Little Bit is fed his afternoon meal/water
  • Change my phone case (I ordered a fall one and it should arrive today)
  • Take the rest of my vitamins – I take some in the morning and some in the evening so as not to overwhelm my body
  • Check on Mom
  • Photo dump/file create
  • Learn Tube Buddy
  • YouTube Channel Learning Curve
  • Sunroom Clean
  • Blog SEO Check list
  • Learn to take a Selfie with the Canon Camera Connect app
  • Jewelry project
  • Magazine Article project
  • Pick something from my LMHC learning list
  • Clean Windows
  • Basement clean and organize

See, I moved all these projects to Labor Day weekend thinking I’d have more time. I did but most of these will be moved forward into the future. I love the Reminder app and how it works for me so I can just reschedule what I can’t get to. Each day I drag the to do items around to prioritize them as that is an easy feature I love. And THAT, for example is one of the things I would like to do in my videos – is show you apps that make my life easier. These just have to be a little thought out and planned, but I will enjoy doing that type of video/vlog. It’s still all part of the Southern Lifestyle of Less Hustle More Coffee. ;-) In other words, true to me and us and how we do things around here – right or not! ha. But will have more meaning that JUST video clips and photos. But I’ll still include some of those too. If I switch though to intentional blogging they won’t LOOK time dated like the are now. If I am behind hopefully one won’t know, by doing it that way.

And with that I’ll leave you. I’ll let you know later what all I accomplished. Mainly I just need to get the fall decor going, and some house cleaned so we can move on to getting our Christmas shopping done and all the things that fall brings. I’m excited for the season, but quarter end comes in October, along with Dexter’s Snip and Chip, lol. And then November brings our trip to Texas but we’ll still have a Thanksgiving meal with Mom. ;-) And we need to plan that too. Busy – Busier – Times ahead. Oh if we could have 4 day weekends every weekend! Got to get going!


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