Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recipes: Lasagna Rolls

A couple years ago, I was having some friends over for dinner and one of them (Kayla!) is a vegetarian. I wanted to make something everyone would like, and that would be easy and fast (you can make this recipe the night before if you like, and just throw it in the oven the next day) so I wouldn't be in the kitchen while everyone else was hanging out. I found a recipe for lasagna rolls, and thought the idea was so cool (and who doesn't love lasagna?). So much easier to serve! It's now a staple recipe at our house, and Danica's favorite as well (she even cleaned my oven once to get me to make them!).

Although I borrowed the rolling idea from that recipe, I deviated from the rest of it. I always make it vegetarian but you can add meat to the sauce if you like.

For tomato-basil sauce:
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can plain tomato sauce
bunch of basil
minced garlic
italian seasoning

For rosé sauce:
1 can diced tomatoes
1 container whipping cream
asiago cheese

For filling:
1 pckg ricotta cheese
1 pckg frozen spinach (thawed)
1 large egg
minced garlic
mozzarella or asiago (reserve some for topping)

10 (whole wheat) lasagna noodles

We love basil in this house.

While you're making the sauce, cook the lasagna noodles according to package (who actually does that? I don't know why I'm even typing it haha).

To make the tomato-basil sauce:

Put the crushed tomatoes in the blender or food processor (jealous of you if you have one), add a bunch of basil and blend. 

My blender isn't the greatest; have to do a little at a time.

Once the tomatoes and basil are blended, add the plain tomato sauce, some garlic and the italian seasoning. Set it aside.

To make the rosé sauce:

All you need to do is strain the diced tomatoes, throw them into a pot with the cream, and let it simmer covered on low heat until it's thick. Add the asiago and salt just before serving. Personally I usually like this sauce for lasagna rolls more than the tomato-basil, but I needed to get my basil used today.

To make the filling:

Strain the thawed spinach. Put in a bowl and add the ricotta, mozzarella or asiago, egg, garlic, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

To put it all together:

Spread some sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread ricotta mixture over the lasagna noodles.

Roll the noodles up, and place seam side down in the baking dish.


Add sauce, and extra asiago or mozzarella.

Post-sauce :)

Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes to an hour. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Vary this recipe up as much as you like! I change it all the time, adding different things to the sauce or using different cheeses. You can't go wrong, it always rocks.

Love, Jamie

Friday, March 23, 2012

Blue Spring

A couple posts ago, I mentioned my kitchen was looking very crappy. I was not into it at all. So, in an attempt to brighten it up for spring, I bought some new kitchen items courtesy of the dollar store. They are very spring-esque; a lot of blue, green and white (have I mentioned that those are usually my fail-safe colors?). And everything came to about $25 bucks! Can't complain about that! Here we go:

Dollar Store; $6

An adorable new glass pitcher. It comes with a plastic lid as well, which was a big selling point for me. I love glass pitchers but hate the idea of putting them in the fridge uncovered. Last thing I want is to pour a glass of iced tea and have it tasting like onion or garlic. I used to have my grandma's old one which was vintage and GORGEOUS. Sadly, while Tristan and I were hanging a mirror at our old place, we were dumb and didn't think to take a shelf off the wall before hammering. Down went my crystal candlesticks (they have since been replaced), crashing into the jug which was holding some flowers at the time. That could not be replaced. You can only imagine how crazy I went. 

No pitcher will ever replace the old one but atleast my iced tea can look stylish in this one!

In case you wanted to see the tablecloth in full:

This was a purchase at Superstore a couple of summers ago. Love it in spring and summer :)

I was in the market for a new gravy boat, I only had my grandma's old Royal Doulton (Countess edition), which is pretty small and doesn't hold a lot of gravy. I'm also always worried about breaking it. Don't need to worry anymore, this one was only $5! Well, if it did break I'd be pretty sad because it was the last one left, and was EXACTLY what I wanted.

Some bright new utensils (and yes, Tristan has already stated he will not be using these haha).

Also, here's the kitchen shelf looking spring-esque, holding all my favorite spring/summer serving dishes:

How cute is that coffee can holding the peonies?

That wall definitely needs a little picture or something!

I've said it before, but I LOVE these plates!

Feeling the spring?

Love, Jamie

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dining room details :)

Let's start with this:

Table setting isn't looking particularly interesting these days, but it gets the job done. Now, just so everyone gets a good look..

So much love.
I'm obsessed. It looks just as awesome in the daytime as it does at night.

The mirror on the dining room wall is looking a little fancy, I'm especially loving this combination of colors:


And while we're looking around the dining room, let's throw in a little something I love in the kitchen:

The rest of the kitchen is looking kinda crappy, but I'm very much enjoying these new tea towels. Christmas gift from my grandma :)

I still haven't been able to figure out how to make it easier to comment, so here's another reminder that if you want to comment, you have to click this actual post and scroll down! But it's cool if you don't, you still show up in my stats ;)

Love, Jamie

Monday, March 19, 2012

Recent Additions to the Living Room

Today I thought I would share some living room pictures with the new 'extras' I've acquired over the past few months :)

Before Christmas Danielle moved in with her boyfriend, and she and her roommate were previously given this gorgeous coffee table that neither of them would have room for anymore. That means Tristan and I got to upgrade our destroyed little white Ikea table to this:

Only problem is, it's IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean. I'm not even talking about fingerprints; this thing is a dust magnet! And it also has some nail polish remover stains but I can live with that. It feels strange receiving such a nice hand-me-down from my baby sister though!

The 'shelf-that-holds-everything' is looking a little spring-y, with white peonies and lots of white touches. That little stuffed pug peeking out from the far right basket is the only stuffed animal that is allowed to be visible in this house. And that is only because Tristan won him for me at Playland last summer. So cliche, I know, but it was adorable.

A close up of the wall decal above the mirror. It was in my stocking and it was a perfect replacement for the 'noel' plaque that hung there over Christmas. 

The armchair that everyone tells me is hideous is serving as a cute little reading corner by the window these days. 

This lantern has one of those 'flameless' candles in it, it was on sale at Homesense (of course) for $14, and I was instantly digging it. Not sure if I'm digging the fake candle but that can easily be removed. This was another of my 'attempting to be rustic so everything isn't crystal' purchases.

This canvas picture was also on sale at Homesense for $16. I'm pretty sure it was for a reason as no one except me likes it. People really love to harsh my creativity don't they? Hahaha, it's definitely not my usual taste but for some reason I was really attracted to it. Atleast I won't have to worry about anyone stealing it!

That concludes the living room tour for today. I'm thinking tomorrow will be dining room?

Love, Jamie

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Belated Birthday Post!

My birthday was on Friday, and it was a fabulous birthday! I had a wonderful birthday suprise - Danica rented a car and drove here for one night, just to be here for me! Now that's an amazing friend.

This was an extra special birthday, as Sue and I share the same day, and this was the first time in years we were able to celebrate together (living in Vancouver and all). We had a huge group of friends and family for dinner at Kelly O'Bryan's (free birthday dinner after all!). It was great, but as usual I wished I'd ordered what Sue did. That's what always happens when I go to restaurants with her! And this year I even tried to avoid that by ordering what she did the last time we had a birthday dinner there! Next time, I am definitely ordering the Celtic Chicken.

Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera out with me but Danica will be sending me the photos she took. So actual photos of my birthday will be here in the future! In the meantime, I thought I would share some photos of the aftermath around my place (if you're expecting empties and mess, you're out of luck - I'm a neat freak, those were cleaned up by 3am):

The lovely Danielle came over Thursday night to set up and brought me a balloon bouquet! Three mylar balloons (how loved am I?) and three white balloons (they are sadly deflated). She's classy. She also brought a pack of regular balloons:

And because she is hilarious she accidentally grabbed anniversary balloons instead of birthday balloons. She loved the colors so much she didn't notice the words! To be honest I loved the colors too and probably would have done the exact same thing.

Blue, pink, white, silver, and a lovely orange-gold. Girl knows me too well.

 We also started stringing up crepe paper, but after just doing this one window:

We quit and decided to watch movies instead. Atleast this single window looked good!

Birthday cards from my lovely friends and family - this isn't all of them, I left half of them at the restaurant by mistake! Luckily Sue grabbed them for me so I'll get them when she gets back from her birthday vacation. She's gone to Mexico with some girlfriends by the way, lucky lady!

Before we went out for dinner, Danielle's friend Britt came over to get ready with us, and she thoughtfully brought me these:

So sweet of her, I love them.

Hopefully in the next few posts I'll be able to supply some actual party pictures! We had a pre-party complete with N64 at my house, then we went clubbing where Danielle works (she even had the DJ wish me a happy birthday!). Of course the night ended with pizza at DunnEnzies, where Danielle was really feeling the effects of her drinks and HIGHLY entertained us (as well as the rest of the crowded pizza shop). Well, the night also ended with me discovering the mardi gras necklace Danielle bought for all of us to wear had stained my neck, chest and shirt bright pink! Rather than just go to bed I of course showered and got out the spray 'n wash. Missed some though, and now my expensive white quilted pillowcase is taking a spray 'n wash bath. Still worth it!
It was an amazing birthday, and I want to thank everyone who made my day/night so awesome!

Love, Jamie

Friday, March 09, 2012

New Dining Room Lamp

From what I've gathered, every apartment in the 4 building complex that we live in has the same tacky dining room 'chandelier'. Here it is:

We probably weren't allowed to take it down, but Tristan did anyway. He gets major props for this project!

Terribly fuzzy/gross picture. Oops. Sorry about that! It gets the point across though (and I'm not about to rehang it for a better shot!). When we first moved in, I thought it was kind of charming. Clearly my tastes were questionable then, because it wasn't even a month later before it was driving me crazy! I ignored it until a a couple weeks ago, when I found myself continuously being mysteriously drawn to the hanging lamp aisles in home stores.. and, a few days ago, I found the perfect lamp at Homesense:


Well, almost perfect; it needed some tweaking. I had a vision of what I wanted, and this was pretty much the skeleton of it. I'm not sure if you can see the crystals hanging inside, so:

If I were single, maybe I would have left it as is, but I live with a boy, so they had to go (I kind of thought they cheapened it anyway). He says he doesn't mind whatever I do to the living room/dining room, but I really don't want this place to scream "single female in her twenties lives here!". Well to be fair it probably does already, but I'm trying to introduce more masculine influences into the space! Hence, the burlap-type fabric shade that replaced the crystals. I rigged it to hang inside (Tristan's hands of steel and some wire-cutters were a big help), and:

Perfection. What do you think?

Love, Jamie