homemade

Double Pallet Platform Bed

For the past few months I have been on the hunt for a platform bed for my oldest son.  I have searched the internet, looked at countless furniture stores and researched plenty of DIY sites. 

BED03

Finally I found plans for a platform bed that my son liked and my brother who is awesome with woodworking agreed to build it.  In the plans the original builder noted that this bed would have to be built inside the room it would be placed in and that all bolts would need to be removed to move the bed.  Since we’ll be moving in a few weeks my brother agreed to build it at our new house.  However, the more I thought about it the less committal I felt.

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Lemonade… Lemonade

In San Diego terms this week has been a HOT one.  We’ve hovered around 100 degrees and while that is manageable in most parts of the country and sounds refreshing to other countries, we do not have air conditioning in our home in San Diego therefore 100 IS HOT.  In an effort to cool off a bit & partake in some sweet afternoon hydration I made homemade Lemonade.

abIMG_1169This refreshing Lemonade is not too tart nor too sweet.  Our family of four gives it eight thumbs up!
It is the perfect blend of Lemonade.

Ingredients:
3 Lemons
1 Orange
1 Cup Splenda Sugar Blend
2 Cups Water
1 Quart Ice

Directions:
Squeeze the Lemons and Orange then strain seeds and large pulp.  Bring Splenda Sugar & Water to a boil and stir until Sugar dissolves then remove from heat.  Pour Lemon & Orange Juice into Sugar Water, stir.  Add ice to two quart pitcher, add Lemonade Mixture, and serve over ice.  (160 Calories per Serving.)

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Along with the record breaking temperatures and strong Santa Ana winds San Diego has been overwhelmed with wildfires this week.  There have been thousands of acres burned in several areas of Southern California including our neighborhood, many evacuations, homes lost, businesses burned, animals misplaced, and a life lost.  California Governor, Jerry Brown, declared San Diego County a State of Emergency on Wednesday (5/14/14).  Please pray for the residents of San Diego County and the Fire Fighters who continue to work around the clock to get these fires contained.  And if you are able, please consider giving to the San Diego Salvation Army for Fire Relief or the San Diego Red Cross.
Thank you.
– T

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Million Dollar Spaghetti

IMG_1125My favorite meal as a child was Spaghetti.  And I did not discriminate when it came to meat sauce or meatballs as long as it included red sauce that would stain my face I was ready to partake.  Spaghetti has always been my ultimate “comfort food”.
<< That’s me over there sharing a Spaghetti Dinner with my Granddad at age nine months.

For those of my readers who have their family’s secret red sauce recipe for traditional Spaghetti & Meatballs this post might be a hard one to swallow.  Just stick with me because as a girl who has loved Spaghetti since birth I kind of feel like I’ve earned the “expert” taster status when it comes to Spaghetti.  This baked Spaghetti dish that is filled with creamy goodness is called Million Dollar Spaghetti and it is worth every penny.  In fact, it would likely be worth a lot more if you omit my suggested cans of Spaghetti Sauce and replace them with that secret family red sauce recipe!

Ingredients:
1 lb of Ground Turkey (or Ground Beef or 2 cups Chopped Zucchini for a Vegetarian dish)
1 Box of Spaghetti Noodles (I use Whole Grain)
2 Cans of Spaghetti Sauce (24oz each)
1 Package of Cream Cheese (8oz)
1/4 Cup of Sour Cream
1 Cup of Cottage Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Ground Garlic
1 Stick of Butter or Margarine (sliced into 8-10 pieces)
1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese

IMG_0399Directions:
Preheat Oven to 350*.

Start browning your meat and boiling your noodles and while the magic happens on the stove top begin mixing your creamy goodness.

Mix the Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, and Ground Garlic with a Mixer until it is well blended.  I do not have a Kitchen-Aid however my “Toddler-Aid” works just as well and is way cuter than those Kitchen-Aid mixers.

IMG_0446Once the meat has browned add the two cans of Spaghetti Sauce to the pan and let simmer while you drain the noodles – you do not want your noodles to cook more than 8 minutes on the stove; they will continue to cook in the oven.

After you drain your noodles, spray a 9×12 baking pan with Cooking Spray.  Take half of the slices of butter/margarine and put them in the bottom of your pan.  Then layer half of your Spaghetti noodles on top of the butter pieces.  Spread your creamy goodness on top of that layer of Spaghetti noodles.  Add the other half of noodles, the rest of the butter/margIMG_0462arines slices, then pour the red sauce with meat on top!
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the pan from the oven and layer the Cheddar and Parmesan Cheeses on top, return the dish to the oven to continue to bake 15 more minutes.

Let your dish sit for ten minutes before serving.

 

Million Dollar Spaghetti makes a great freezer meal and tastes just as good as leftovers.  The recipe above can also be split and made into two 9×9 pans if you have a smaller family or one that does not favor leftovers.

Enjoy!
– T

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