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Double Post

Posted Apr 15 2010 5:15am

Good morning, blog friends! :mrgreen:

Sorry for the lack of posting last night. Something not-so-great happened yesterday, so I wasn’t in the mood to blog. Basically, I put my heart and soul into a project and things didn’t turn out as planned. I was really bummed, so I took the night off. I’m sure you guys understand, right?

Anyway, I woke up feeling quite a bit better this morning. Sometimes, a good night’s sleep is exactly what you need! Let’s just say, when it comes to blogging (and life, in general), I’ve learned that you need to have a thick skin and be resilient if you want to succeed.

For breakfast this morning, I made a big batch of banana oats for Mal and me.

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In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup spelt flakes
  • 1/4 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Almonds
  • Shredded coconut

Makes 2 servings

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This morning’s batch was really dessert-like with sweet brown sugar and shredded coconut mixed in. We’re totally out of nut butter ( 8-O ), so I loaded up on the other goodies this morning. ;-)

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I also enjoyed some iced coffee with breakfast.

(Here’s info about my homemade iced coffee and where I got my stainless steal straws .)

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Last night, Mal and I hosted “Family Dinner Night” at our house. Bertolli sent me a Pasta Party Gift Package to create an Italian meal in my own kitchen, so we invited our friends, Dave and Marie, over to enjoy it with us.

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Bertolli sent me two coupons for their frozen meals, so I chose a couple of usual crowd pleasers: Chicken Parmigiana Penne and Meat Lasagna Rustica .

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Marie and I went to Body Pump last night, so Mal was in charge of cooking dinner. He didn’t realize that the lasagna would take so long to cook (~45 minutes in the oven), so we started with the Chicken Parmigiana Penne dish first.

The Chicken Parmigiana Penne was actually pretty good. Frozen meals with meat sort of bug me out, so I avoided the chicken. (Everyone else seemed to like it.) I really liked the penne, sauce, and cheese though. The cheese, in particular, was excellent– it had a nice, strong flavor. (You know me and cheese! ;-) )

Unfortunately, these Bertolli Frozen Meals are sort of expensive ($7-8 dollars) and only serve 2 people. They’d be great for a special dinner, but as an everyday meal, they’re just too pricey for my budget.

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With dinner, we also had Roasted Broccoli and Garlic Green Beans (olive oil + minced garlic).

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While we waited for the lasagna to finish cooking, we dug into the rest of the meal. I started with penne, broccoli, and green beans. A little while later, I ended up eating another small serving of the penne– the cheese was so good!

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The four of us started chatting away over dinner, so we totally forgot about the lasagna in the oven! When we finally remembered, it was a tad burned on top. :oops: Even still, our “Lasagna-Brulée” tasted alright.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Meat Lasagna Rustica. Again, I loved the cheese (especially since it was a little burnt! ;-) ), but the lasagna itself was just so-so. Basically, it tasted like a frozen meal– sort of mushy and a little bland. The guys, however, really enjoyed it, especially the meat sauce. I guess it just wasn’t for me.

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For dessert, the four of us shared a bag of International Chocolate that I received from Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg at their Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + “The X Factor” session . It was really nice dark chocolate. Mmm!

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To help promote the new release of the next Into the Heart of Italy webisode, Bertolli is giving away the same Pasta Party Gift Package that I received to one lucky CNC reader! :mrgreen:

In the next webisode, “The Secrets of the Pollaio,” Rocco, Marisa, and Dan track down Italy’s “Egg Man” and learn to cook a traditional rustic dinner. You can also see exclusive photos from the episode here .

The Pasta Party Gift Package (valued at $125) includes:

  • Imperia Pasta Machine
  • Emile Henry 12.5 Quart Lasagna Baker
  • A coupon for a free Bertolli Frozen Meal

All entries for the giveaway must be located in the US. Sorry international readers!

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I love the lasagna dish ! The color is so fun!

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Mal was really excited the pasta machine! Who knew that he was dying to make pasta?! He’s so weird.

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To enter: Leave a comment about your favorite pasta dish on this post. I will randomly pick a winner tomorrow afternoon.

Good luck!!! :-D

P.S. If you bring a reusable travel mug into your local Starbucks today, you can get a free brewed coffee!

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