Monday, June 20, 2011

A Father's Day Letter to the Love of My Life

As I sat around yesterday and enjoyed the laughter of our children, I realized that these children are who they are because of the father that you have been to them.  You have a firm hand that comes with a soft heart. You know when to discipline, but you also know when to love.  You have a witty sense of humor that comes with many words of affirmation.  You have shown our boys what it is to be a man that isn't afraid to love.  You have shown our daughter what a husband and father should be.  That doesn't mean you are always right, but you surely know how to say "I'm sorry."  What is the best gift that a dad can give to his children?  To love their mother unconditionally, and you have done just that since the moment  we became one standing in my parent's backyard saying our wedding vows. How could I ever ask for anything more?

In all ways,
For always,
i love you

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Everyday Happenings

Finally, I am in the flower business.  My zinnias are blooming as well as my sunflowers.  I have fresh cut flowers in my house, and all seems right with the world once again!  Just ignore the fact that I have dirty dishes in my sink and my laundry hamper is overflowing.  On the up side of things, my kitchen table doesn't have folded clothes on it because I haven't done any laundry! 

With the encouragement of my fresh cut sunflowers and zinnias, I am heading downstairs to make chicken and dumplings, sweet potato casserole, and fried zucchini for supper.  Don't even bother to tell me that fried zucchini doesn't really go with that menu.  I already know that.  However, I did promise a certain 7 year old that we would eat it this evening for supper, and he has been literally watching the zucchini grow.  I can't disappoint him by not honoring my word. 

grace and peace,

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Brotherly Love

Growing up in a home full of boys can be hard, but it does come with some rewards.  Here Hope is enjoying her oldest brother's hugs.  Shhh...don't tell anybody, but she really misses him living here at home.

grace and peace,

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Ravioli Casserole

Do you happen to have a lot of lettuce growing in your garden?  We sure do, and it seems that I plan my meals around salad these days.  I also have a nice herb garden complete with fresh basil so I decided that I wanted to make an Italian dish for supper.  My family loves Italian meals, but the problem is that most of those meals are time consuming.  It doesn't bother me to simmer a pot of sauce for hours if I am going to be at home.  On occasion, I have used the crock pot to cook my sauce.  However, I have been on the lookout for a good Italian meal that is quicker than the average homemade Italian dishes that I usually serve my family.  I found that dish in the new Taste of Homes Church Supper magazine. The recipe was submitted by Margie Williams and it was wonderful.  ALL of my kids enjoyed it, which is amazing because it doesn't contain any meat!  Hope you enjoy!!!

1 package (25 oz) frozen cheese ravioli
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 1/2 cups Marinara ( I used a Prego brand for convenience, but it would be fantastic with a homemade one)

Cook ravioli according to package directions.  Drain.  In a large saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour and salt.  Continue to stir until smooth.  Gradually add milk and wine.  (I used chicken broth because my husband said I couldn't open the special wine just for cooking).  Bring  to a boil;  cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in fresh basil, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Toss drained ravioli with white sauce mixture.  Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish.  Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.  Sprinkle remaining cheeses on top.

Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a fresh garden salad and homemade bread sticks!  If your men fuss about the lack of meat, you could cook up some fresh Italian Sausage and add it with the marinara sauce.  I am sure it would be fantastic!

grace and peace,