Thursday, March 25, 2010

Old Friend's + Good Food = Great Times

After spending a long weekend at my Grandpa's, we road-tripped down to Southern, IL, my mom and dad's old stomping grounds. It was only a few short hours away and we got to catch up with old friends of my parents. When we had called to share with them our plans for a Great American Road Trip, they had graciously invited us to be one of their stops along the way and we, never refusing an invitation, gladly accepted.

When we arrived, it was spring time weather and we got to sit out on the back porch and listen to the cows next door and watch the sun set on the horizon. As the dinner hour approached, I went inside to help our gracious hostess cook dinner. While preparing easy Spaghetti Bolognese - Easy Style. We all wanted to create an easy meal that could be prepared in no time so that we could enjoy each other's company since we don't get together that often anymore. Life seems to have a way with getting in the way and making us all extremely busy. Our friends have several grandkids that are too cute for words and they each have careers and duties that keep them busy as we all do.

Our dear hostess and I created this easy Spaghetti Bolognese along with a Garden Fresh Salad and garlic bread in no time flat. We called everyone to this dinner table and over a warm Italian meal we laughed, talked about what we have been up to since the last time we were all together and reminisced about the good times shared.

Spaghetti Bolognese - Easy Style

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 white onion; diced
2 jars of your favorite organic tomato sauce
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Italian seasonings
1 box spaghetti noodles

Saute the ground beef and onions in a large skillet until browned and onions are transluscent. Add the seasonings and tomato sauce and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

To serve, swirl the cooks spaghetti on a plate and add the thick and chunky tomato sauce over the top. Serve with parmesean cheese on the table for the ultimate comfort food that is easy and delicious to serve to your family or a crowd!

Garden Fresh Salad

1 package fresh spinach; washed
2 cups carrots; peeled and sliced
2 cups cucumbers; peeled and sliced
2 cups strawberries; sliced

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a beautiful bowl and serve with a Vidalia Onion dressing or a Poppyseed dressing. You don't have to make it yourself, although you could. Our favorite store brands are Anne's Organic varieties!

We also used the store bought garlic bread and heated it in the oven for just a few minutes at 475 degrees. My favorite tip for garlic bread is to sprinkle fresh basil and oregano over the top and a little sprinkle of parmesean cheese. It doesn't take that much effort, but makes for an enhanced and delicious flavors.

Mental Health Benefit: I love to make things from scratch, but some times I am just too much of a Hot Mess to make it happen. There is nothing wrong with conveniece foods as long as you add fresh ingredients to them to make them your own and add more nutrition. Sometimes life it too short to spend slaving in the kitchen. Use this meal as a quick go to when you have friends or family over that are too important for you to miss out on!

Here's to celebrating friends in their kitchen or yours!

~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes on the road

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