Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Quiet Christmas

Christmas this year was simple, just the way I wanted it. I did not travel for the holidays and while part of me was sad that I wasn’t with immediate family members, it was time for me to take a break from holiday travel and enjoy just being in Green Bay.

We kicked off the holiday on Sunday at the Packers vs. Titans football game. My good friends Mary and Brian from Washington, DC were back in Wisconsin to celebrate the holidays with their family. I am so happy that they met Pete, we caught up after several months of not seeing each other, and most importantly, that we celebrated a Packer’s win!

I spent my Christmas holiday with Pete, Sam (four years old) and Maggie (two years old). We celebrated the holiday with Sam and Maggie on Christmas Eve morning since their mom had them on Christmas Day. It was so much fun watching two little girls open gifts, as well as how different their personalities are in a task as simple as opening gifts! Sam was the first one awake and she couldn’t wait for Maggie to get out of bed so that they could start unwrapping gifts. Pete finally realized Sam wouldn’t stop asking to get Maggie out of bed, so they ran upstairs to tell Maggie that Santa left lots of gifts!

Poor little sleepy head. Maggie looked so tired when daddy carried her down the stairs, but when she sat on the couch, her eyes lit up as she saw the five foot brown teddy bear leaning against the television stand. She jumped off the couch and started inspecting all the presents with her sister. Sam couldn’t wait to open her next present while Maggie wanted to open and play with everything she unwrapped right at that moment. The girls were blessed with gifts from Santa and their family members far away. Daddy made a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and turkey bacon before they began all of their other family celebrations. Sam asked when Christmas is coming again…a question that I’m sure will be asked for several years! :)

While eating breakfast the girls surprised me with a beautiful and very colorful cat that they painted at a pottery shop. Kitty now lives on my desk at work.

Pete and I had a wonderful and very quiet Christmas. We enjoyed The Hobbit on Christmas Eve followed by a lasagna dinner and evening of opening gifts at his house. Christmas morning we enjoyed sleeping in, a late breakfast, and we saw the movie This is 40 at the theatre. Since we rarely get time alone together during a weekend or weekday, we decided to take advantage and enjoy a couple of movies at the theatre.

Christmas dinner was my favorite salt, garlic, and rosemary encrusted roast beef with cooked carrots and a spinach and mushroom salad for dinner. It was a great Christmas!

Lindsay’s Crockpot Lasagna
Layer the lasagna in the Crockpot, just as you would a baking dish. It really doesn’t matter what order you layer this lasagna, just make sure the noodles have sauce over the top of them.

Do not cook this for more than five hours as the noodles will become mushy.

- 1 lb. Mild Italian Sausage
- 24 oz jar of Spaghetti Sauce
- 15 oz tub of Ricotta Cheese
- 1.5 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
- 1.5 cups of Parmesan Cheese
- 2 TBS minced garlic
- Uncooked Lasagna Noodles
- Salt, Pepper to taste (be careful on the amount of salt as spaghetti sauce and cheeses can be salty)
- Oregano and Parsley (I use dried, but you could use fresh if you have it)
- ½ cup water

Brown the Mild Italian Sausage in a skillet on the stove top. Meanwhile, mix together all the cheeses and garlic in a bowl.

In the bottom of the Crockpot, mix 1/3 of spaghetti sauce with ½ cup of water. Place uncooked lasagna noodles over the sauce, breaking lasagna noodles as needed to fill in the gaps. Top with half of the Italian Sausage and 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the top of the cheese mixture with salt, pepper, and a little bit of oregano and parsley.

Second layer: Place noodles on top of the cheese mixture, top with 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce, the remainder of the meat, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and sprinkle the top of the cheese mixture with a little bit of oregano and parsley.

Final layer: Place noodles on top of the cheese mixture, top with remaining spaghetti sauce covering all the noodles, the remainder of the cheese mixture, and sprinkle the top of the cheese mixture with a little bit of salt, pepper, oregano and parsley.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Do not cook on high and do not cook for more than five hours.

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