Sunday eatsThursday, September 18, 2014
I spent Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, running back and forth to the den to watch the New England-Minnesota game, which constitutes a pretty ideal fall afternoon for me. Football and good eats: there's nothing better. Capping off a solid weekend with a delicious family dinner is perfection, and I love that we're starting to make it a routine in our home.
We haven't used our slow cooker all summer, since most meals that come out of it tend to be heartier, more filling fare than we usually choose during the hotter months. No one wants to sit down to a bowl of steaming chilli when it's 30 degrees outside with 90% humidity - not this bear, at least. We've been eating a lot of barbecued burgers and steaks, potatoes and corn on the grill, and salads. But come fall, it's game on for soups, casseroles, roasts, and stews, and the slow cooker gets a workout.
This weekend I tried a slow cooker veggie lasagna recipe I found on Pinterest. I modified it somewhat. Instead of kale, I used baby spinach and mushrooms, since those were the veggies I had on hand. I also subbed in arrabbiata sauce in place of tomato sauce since I can't read freaky deaky Italian, two jars were like $6 at Costco, and it was nestled in amongst other tomato-y products. Long story short, this lasagna was a whole lot spicier than I would have made otherwise, but we loved it. In the future I might mix a little arrabbiata into the tomato sauce or even go 50/50 just to give it some kick.
(Did you guys know arrabbiata is Italian for 'angry'? As in, the chili peppers used in this sauce are so hot they're angry? Also as in, you will be 'angry' when you realized you didn't buy actual tomato sauce but then happy when your lasagna turns out delicious? RIGHT.)
The lasagna turned out amazing and will become a fall and winter staple in our house, for sure. It made nine generous portions (three of which were eaten by Pete at dinner, not judging, just saying). It's so easy to pull together. Bear in mind you don't need to cook the noodles before putting them in the slow cooker, which is the worst part of making lasagna, let's be honest. This was easy peasy.
For dessert I made apple pie with a crumbly cheese topping, originally spotted on Hillary's blog. I didn't balk at the idea of a cheese topping on apple pie. My dad always used to cut a big hunk of cheddar to eat with his Thanksgiving dessert, so I know the two go together well. Peter couldn't get past the idea that cheese doesn't belong on desserts (helloooooo cheesecake wtf) so he ate a tiny sliver, but Eli and I loved it and have been polishing off the rest of the pie this week.
Great food, favourite boys, and a big Patriots win: nothing but good on a sunny Sunday.