Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yummy Cheese Ravioli

Hello groovy people!  Well I survived Mardi Gras and now it's time for Lent.  Do you and your family give up meat on Fridays?  While most people who do usually eat seafood during Lent, to my husband's dismay my son and I don't care for it.  Yes, I know we are odd.  Yes, my parents love seafood and had it all the time when I was growing up (probably because I peeled the shrimp for everyone since I didn't eat it...). Yes, it's true my daddy offered me  $50 one time to eat an oyster and I said "no thank you, I don't eat anything that looks like a booger."  Thankfully this does NOT look like a booger!

I thought I'd share this dish with you guys 'cause while it isn't the most nutritious meal, it is quick and easy, and it's pretty yummy.  It's also my son's favorite meal during Lent.  In fact, my son loves Lent because I rarely cook pasta for dinner except during Lent and he absolutely loves pasta!  

I apologize because I don't measure, but I think it'll be okay with this dish.  So, you're gonna start with these ingredients:

You will boil the raviolis according to the directions on the package.  Drain them and pour them into a casserole dish.  Then pour the entire jar of sauce on them.  I like Classico, not only is the sauce good, but when you're done you soak the jar for a bit and the label will come right off, then you have a nice mason jar to use for something crafty!  After the sauce I throw in a couple of big handfuls of spinach.  Next I add some Parmesan cheese - if I had to guess I'd say maybe a quarter to half a cup.

Then you stir it all up!

Now I know it's not lookin' real pretty right now, but you're gonna throw on some grated mozzarella cheese and BAM! that dish is rockin' now!

Not sure how much mozzarella that it is, I just cover the top.  Then I stick it in the oven for about 25 minutes or so on 350, just til the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.  

Throw some bread sticks in the oven while it's cooking and you've got yourself a meal.  

Easy Peasy and oh so yummy!

I will say that I normally serve a salad along with it, but on this particular night Mr. Flower Child wasn't home and Flower Bud says salad makes him nauseous (he's a teenage boy, go figure?! Hence the spinach I added above-ha!). 

Hope y'all were able to follow along.  Just send me a message if something didn't make sense.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Soaring with Eagles

I don't write about my family often, heck, we all know I don't write much about anything very often - haha!  I did want to share some good news about my son, Alex, whom I lovingly refer to as Flower Bud in my blog posts (which he just loves - NOT!).  As most of my local followers already know he recently obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. Mr. Flower Child and I are so very proud of him!  (and I'm pretty sure Mr. Flower Child doesn't like being called Mr. Flower Child either...)

In the photo below he had not yet received his Eagle badge or pin.  The flag in the background is the Flag of Honor, which lists the names of the victims of 9/11/01 in its stripes. Our son passed his Board of Review on September 11, 2014 so we thought it fitting to use this flag to commemorate the significance of the date. 

Believe it or not, it all started with this:

Yep, a fire starter kit.  One day in first grade he came home and begged his dad to take him to the "Round Up" because every boy who attended would receive a free fire starter kit.  Well they go, and of course they sign up.  My husband comes home and jokingly says "well let's just see how long this lasts!"  Sadly, I must admit that we had pretty low expectations and were always surprised every year when it was time to renew that he wanted to keep doing it.  Then one day as a young cub scout he says "I'm gonna be an Eagle Scout."  And here we are.  From Tiger Cub to Eagle Scout in the blink of an eye!  I tell everyone that fire starter kit started more than a fire!  

For those not familiar with scouting, this is the highest rank a scout can receive and only about 4% of youth who join scouting actually achieve this rank.  I can understand why because it takes a lot of work to get there.  I'm not sure which is harder, the actual project or all of the paperwork that goes along with it!  

The ceremony bestowing the Eagle rank upon him was held a few weeks ago and I thought I would share some photos, although I have to apologize because they are not as detailed as the ones I normally take.  I was so busy I never had time to do my usual "photo shoot" so another scout mom took them while the ceremony was being held.  

He decided to have his ceremony in our youth group building at church since this is where his project took place.  For his project our youth minister asked him to turn our theater section into a "drama room" which meant the walls and the acoustical ceiling had to be painted black, and black curtains needed to be hung.  You can see this room in the photos below.

The photo above is the part of the ceremony where they call all of the Eagle Scouts in the room up on the stage and each one tells the date and place they received their Eagle rank.  I have had the pleasure of attending many Eagle ceremonies and I always find it fascinating that they always remember the date, even the ones that go as far back as like 1945.  I've always wondered how many can't remember their wedding anniversary, but they can remember the date they received their Eagle rank.  I've never had the nerve to ask tho. (for those who know me personally I know you are shocked at that last statement *wink*wink*).  

Don't worry, I won't bore you all with lots of photos of the whole process, but I did want to share this as it was my favorite part and the part that touched my heart the most.  As part of the ceremony the Eagle gives out "mentor" pins. Alex requested two and it took all of my control not to ask him who he planned to give them to. We were surprised when he gave one to his dad. Out of all of the ceremonies I've been to I've never seen one given to a parent.  I think everyone teared up.  If I wasn't proud of him before then let me just say my heart was just about to burst with pride at this point!

I guess I will share this, although its not a great picture because the podium blocks the view of Alex.  This is the part of the ceremony where the mother puts the Eagle Neckerchief on her son.  Well, if you don't know me personally then you probably don't know that I'm a little on the short side and my son towers over me.  Everyone laughed when he knelt down so that I could reach him.  I then told the audience that this had been a common occurrence since 4th grade. Yes, he outgrew me when he was in 4th grade.

Now for the fun part - the decorations!!  Like I said, they aren't my usual photos, but I am grateful that someone took the time to take these for me or I wouldn't have any.

This was the stage set up.  I don't have a close up, but hopefully you can see the three plaques on the right.  They contain the names of every Eagle from Troop 47.  Troop 47 is the oldest continuously chartered troop in the State of Alabama, having been formed in 1928, and has produced well over 125 Eagle Scouts.  And now my son's name is on there!  yaaaayyy!! 

I didn't get a close up of the two big arrangements I made.  You probably can't tell, but there's an eagle statue inside the glass portion.

By the way, I know its kinda hard to see, but that black stage in the background of the picture below is another Eagle project done by another scout from Troop 47.

Luckily another scout mom got a close up of one of the little centerpieces.  I made 12 of them and each one had a different word from the Scout Law:

A scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, 
Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean, Reverent

Alex really wanted club sandwiches and these were the best!!  Big thanks to my friend Daneen at Buck's Diner!!

Everyone loved my Mexican layer dip that I made to look like a flag.  Don't worry, I plan to do a post telling you how I did it (and I promise it will happen this year!  haha!)

This was another large arrangement that I didn't get a close-up. There is another eagle statue and a flag inside the glass portion.  I hate I didn't get a photo of the other side.  It turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself!  

You can only use these plates and napkins at an Eagle ceremony.  If you have any left over they go in a big box for the next person to use.  

See that cross, my father-in-law made it.  He passed away a few years ago so it was kinda nice to have it there.

Of course we can't forget the cake!  Alex wanted something different and chose a double layer square cake as opposed to a regular sheet cake.  This came from the Little Cake Shop.  If you are local and haven't used them I highly recommend them!  Not only are they delicious, but they are always works of art!  I also thought it was kinda neat since they had also done the cake we had at his christening, at the same church.  

This is his memorabilia table.  Once again, wish I had some close ups.

These are patches he collected while attending the National Jamboree a couple of summers ago.  Each troop has their own patches and then they trade, some of them are worth quite a bit of money.  

It was such a special day and I thank y'all for letting me brag a little bit and share it all with you.  Who knew that little fire starter kit would ignite such a wonderful flame...