The Eye Of The Storm

7 Jan

Hi friends! It’s late Sunday night and I’m coming to you from the comforts of bed. Today was largely uneventful for everyone, which was actually incredibly pleasant. I spent most of the day snoozing, lounging in bed and doing an occasional chore around my house. Abha did the same thing at their house and Mark scuttered about doing various chores and hanging around the house. Last night was especially rough on Abha, although I’m not sure she was lucid enough to realize/remember it. We, along with the doctors, are still figuring out the balance of painkillers to anti-nasuea to “dailies” to anti-anxiety pills and yesterday proved we haven’t got it down quite yet. Yesterday evening she was super dopey and kept getting out of bed and wandering around asking the cat why he had so many pockets and telling the dogs she would pop their balloons. It was humorous but verged on scary as she was so out of it she was totally in her own world and dozed in and out of sleep/consciousness for hours. I went back to my house later that night but my dad said it continued through the night and at one point or another, while still dopey, she was feeling short of breath and uncomfortable. So, back to my original point -Today felt like the eye of the storm, calm and seemingly still, with a lucid Abha living in the same reality as the rest of us.

So that’s the update on the family and the Big C. Now, onto today’s Pinspired creation! Decided to go with food again because *here’s a teaser for tomorrow project* Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays. Dinner, to be more precise. What’s on the menu you ask? Meat spaghetti pulled from this pin, garlic knots discovered on this pin, and my own personal spinach salad. As per usual, I adjusted the recipes slightly to our liking and everything turned out pretty bomb-diggity! OH – it is important to note that I halved the spaghetti recipe and it still yielded a ridiculous amount of food!


Fire-roasted tomato and red pepper meat spaghetti:

1 lb (roughly) ground beef *at least 85% lean!

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 red pepper, coarsely chopped

5 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press – yum!

1 8 oz. can tomato paste/puree

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 14 oz. can Italian-style diced tomatoes

1 28 oz. can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

1/2 carton fresh mushrooms

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar



Chop all of your veggies and press your garlic first and just leave them on the cutting board for when you are ready to use them.



Go ahead and put the chopped red pepper along with half of the chopped onions in the food processor and blend until smooth.


Heat olive oil over medium  high heat. Add the rest of the onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute. Break up beef and add to pan, cook until no red is showing. Drain most of the grease from the beef. Add the red pepper/onion puree to the beef mixture and stir until combined. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper and all of the spices, stir until combined and cook for a minute or two. Add both cans of diced and crushed tomatoes, the brown sugar and mushrooms and stir until everything is combined. Add the bay leaves, bring sauce to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer with a lid for one hour, stirring occasionally. Fifteen minutes before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar.


Ta da!

Now, onto the garlic knots. I looked at a couple of different recipes and ended up doing this:


1 tube Pillsbury Grand buttermilk flaky biscuits (8 count) – although next time I may not use the flaky kind.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press

1 teaspoon italian seasoning

1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add the garlic and italian seasoning to the olive oil and stir until blended. Break up the biscuits and roll them into 12-inch tubes. I put a little bit of the oil mixture on my hands to keep the dough from sticking and keep it easy to work with. Tie the tubes into a knot and tuck the ends under. Place the knots on a greased cooking pan about 2 inches apart. Spoon oil mixture over the knots and use a brush to spread over entire knot. Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes. Melt butter in small dish and brush over knots directly after pulling them out of the oven.


Spinach Salad:


2 handfulls fresh washed organic baby spinach

2 small tomatoes (fresh from the garden)

1 slice from a white onion, quartered

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced

as much fresh grated parmesan on top as you’d like!


Add all of the ingredients together, toss, and add dressing of your choice! I use raspberry vinaigrette and think it pairs nicely with everything in the salad.

So, here you have our recreation of the Pinterest-inspired dinner we had tonight. And the critics agree, it was delicious! And better still – we have so much left over, it will make a quick easy-to-make meal for future lunch and dinners.


I’ll be in touch tomorrow, friends! Goodnight.

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