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California Bound & a Veggie Bake Recipe

Posted Dec 27 2010 2:23pm
Looks like I picked the perfect time for a vacation! While my neighbors were busy preparing for the first major snowstorm of the winter, I was on a plane to California. Not that my travel plans weren't without some drama. My original flight was to take off at 4:30 pm on Sunday but was canceled the night before due to the impending weather. After about 6 hours on hold with Continental to try to change my flight, I went to sleep late Saturday night convinced that my vacation just wasn't in the cards. Luckily, I have some of the greatest friends in the world. Rachel and Robbie, my would-be hosts in California, launched their own "Save Erica's Vacation" effort and were able to get in touch with Continental. At 4am, I received a wake up call that went something like this.
Rachel: "Wake up. You're  on the 8:45am flight. You can sleep when you get to California"
Me: "Hu?"
Rachel: "Wake up. Ok, I'll give you a minute to wake up so you can understand what I'm saying"
Me: "Hu... um... I'm so confused. Ok. I'm up. Sh*t! I haven't even packed yet!"
Rachel: "Get out of bed & pack. Jump in a cab at 6:30. We'll see you in a few hours... we're going to sleep"

Following Rachel's commands, I quickly jumped up, packed, got into a cab by 6:33 and arrived at Newark airport at 6:53am. My cab driver drove like a bat out of hell but for once, I didn't  mind. The airport was INSANITY!!! Note to self: ALWAYS check in online. ALWAYS. But I got on the flight and just a few hours later, I arrived in California to plenty of sunshine, smiles and a cute little golden doodle named Lokshen.

Of course I took some pictures from the plane...
tahoeview of Salt Lake City from my seat
bridgesApproaching the SF Airport. The Bay & Golden Gate Bridges!
lokshenLokshen. Isn't she fabulous?!?
veggiesA quick & easy dinner we threw together: Veggie Bake
After a long day of travel, hanging out with awesome friends and a glass or two of red wine by the fireplace, we sat down to a delicious dinner that included this Veggie Bake. It's a throw-it-all together kind of recipe; just some veggies, tomato sauce and cheese in a pan. Throw it all together, bake for an hour, and enjoy!

Veggie Bake Recipe
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
1. Thinly slice assorted vegetables lengthwise (we used Eggplant, Squash, & Zucchini. Mushrooms, Onions, and Peppers are also great options).
2. Spread a thin layer of your favorite tomato sauce in the bottom of a large pan or casserole dish.
3. Add a layer of the first vegetable.
4. Follow with another thin layer of tomato sauce
5. And a light sprinkling of cheese (we used goat cheese but use whatever floats your boat. Vegan options work just fine too.)
6. And then veggies.
7. And then sauce
8. And then cheese..
Ok.. get the point? It's sort of like a veggie lasagna minus the lasagna. You'll want to create tight layers so feel free to press everything together with your fingers from time to time. Once your layers are in place, put in the oven to bake for about an hour or until the veggies are cooked thru. Let cool slightly since all the juices will be bubbling & yummy. Slice and enjoy! And don't worry if it all falls apart on your plate; it's just as delicious :)

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