Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bolognese and WIAW

Despite going to bed early last night, I slept terribly and woke up feeling pretty awful. I woke up to see Terry off to work and then snuggled up on the couch for another hour or so of tossing and turning. I decided to just make it an easy, relaxing day and thanked my lucky stars I didn't have any pressing errands today.

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9:30 am - Breakfast

Overnight oats

I spent the morning in my little spot on the couch, getting some blog work done and writing to a friend. Scout and I played a little, but he was quite content to toss his toy mouse in the air and chase after it. Who needs a playmate?

12:30 pm - Lunch

Leftovers were the name of the game today! Last night, I made a delicious, spicy version of my Mexican Casserole, and there's plenty left to enjoy for the rest of the week's lunches. Terry took a chunk for his lunch, also. I also think this meal would be delicious with an egg on top as a breakfast. Perhaps tomorrow... I also snacked on a cookie from yesterday.

Today's project was one that allowed me to take it easy, so I tackled a big stack of papers on top of our filing cabinet as well as the box we used at our wedding to collect cards. I also cleaned out and reorganized two bookshelves. This household is getting cleaner and cleaner!

I managed to start dinner fairly early today, which was great because I love letting sauces simmer as long as possible. I used Ina Garten's Weeknight Bolognese as inspiration but made a lot of changes.

Bolognese with Gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion*
  • 3 medium carrots, unpeeled*
  • 1 head of celery*
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Italian sausage (optional, but adds tons of flavor) - 3 links, casings removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 2 cups water*
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve 
* = Optional; only use these items if you are completing Step 1. 

Step 1 (optional). Finely chop the onion. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and saute the onion. Meanwhile, grate the carrots and celery, and add them to the pan. Saute the vegetables until browned, about 10 minutes. 

Step 2. Brown the turkey and Italian sausage in a separate pan. Crumble the meat as it cooks, and mince the garlic while you wait.. Once browned (about 10 minutes), add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir, then add just the seasoned meat (leave the fat behind) to the vegetables (if omitting the vegetables, you can drain the fat and continue the rest of the sauce in your meat pan). 

Step 3. Add the wine and tomato paste (and water, if you completed Step 1) to the mixture and simmer for at least 15 minutes (more if you can swing it! You can leave the sauce on the stove for a few hours if you're able, or you can leave it in the fridge overnight and reheat the next day). 

Step 4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your gnocchi according to package directions. Any pasta will work, though, of course.

Serve with a green vegetable of your choice, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

4:15 pm - Afternoon snack

After all that cooking, I was hungry! I ate a peach (every time I eat a peach, I recite the line from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot that says, "Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?"--because I'm a serious English nerd), then settled back in for another hour or so of work before Terry got home.

I may have stopped my work today to scroll through the 50 Cutest Things That Ever Happened. My favorite was 48. Or 31. Or 25. Or just all of them.

We took a nice walk before dinner to catch up on our days and get some fresh air.

7:30 - Dinner

Well, I suppose it's no surprise what we ate for dinner! We paired the Bolognese gnocchi with roasted asparagus and the rest of the bottle of wine used in the sauce (one of many reasons I love cooking with wine!).

9:00 - Dessert
We watched Jeopardy!, worked on a crossword puzzle, and ate two more triple chocolate cookies from yesterday, plus a glass of milk each. Married life rocks.

I forgot to mention that we recently got to see my parents on their way home from Palm Springs and were able to surprise my dad with a birthday gift and a little cupcake celebration.

Brought some candles to the restaurant

Dad with his card, cupcake, and candle

 Okay, to be completely truthful, we all ate our cupcakes before I took a picture. So this one is staged and was promptly returned to its tupperware.

Opening his present

Checkin' it out

The gift is a frame with multiple photos from Terry's and my wedding, including:

Shockingly, he didn't cry. (Dad is gaining a reputation as one quick to become teary-eyed, and, adorably, my big brother is following in Pops' footsteps. They both cry at the drop of a hat. We're all excited for the tear-fest at Chris's upcoming nuptials, this September.)

What is guaranteed to make you cry?
I'll probably always cry anytime I hear "Hallelujah," the song I walked down the aisle to.


  1. Your dinner looks delicious girl. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    I'm sorry you didn't get a good nights rest. I know how hard that can be. Hoping tonights sleep will go better for you :)

  2. that picture of you and your dad is so beautiful! i absolutely love your dress.

  3. Not only are you a wonderful chef, blogger, and baker, you are a wonderful friend! Thanks for always being there for us....the bolognese hit the spot tonight and was so much better than just buying something out. Thanks for sharing your leftovers. I hope you still have plenty for leftovers!!

  4. That sauce looks amazing! I need to make if soon. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I cried like a baby at my nuptials because my dad cried. What a baby :) now my baby girl makes me teary eyed lately!
    <3 Sam