My sweet littles

My sweet littles

Cy and Lila

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Monday, March 28, 2011

Busy Momma Recipe: World's Best Lasagna

I don't know who deemed this lasagna "World's Best", but this recipe is pretty darn good & certainly ranks among the best in my culinary arsenal. It definitely has a restaurant quality about it...yummy!

World's Best Lasagna

1 lb sweet Italian Sausage
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 c minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 oz) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 c water
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 Tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, & garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, & water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper & 2 Tbsp parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hrs, stirring occasionally.

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8-10 min. Drain noodles, rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 c meat sauce in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Arrange noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with 1/2 of ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 c. meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 c Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella & Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 min. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 min. Cool for 15 min before serving.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Week in Pictures...

Enjoying some lovin' from Gramps & Mimi...

Having fun with Papa's birthday balloons...

...and a few more kisses.

Monday, March 21, 2011

4 Months Old!!!

4 months with our sweet Lila Grace, and she has brought more joy to our family than our hearts can hold!!! I've said it so many times, but she is such a happy baby giving us lots of smiles and giggles throughout each day. She LOVES her big brother, who holds her attention the majority of the time. It's so fun to watch them interact more and more as she gets older. Here's what our big girl is up to at 4 months old...

~Drinking 6-8 oz per feeding (8am, 11am, 2-3pm & 6pm)
~Sleeps 12-13 hrs at night. Usually wakes around 8am and goes to bed between 7 & 8pm.
~Takes 3 naps. Her morning & afternoon naps last between 1-1.5 hrs, then she takes a 30-45 minute cat nap in the late afternoon.
~Loves her baths, kicking & splashing about, & smiling all the while :)
~Has started giggling & makes a high-pitched squeal when she needs to get your attention.
~Rolls from tummy to back
~Can raise herself up straight armed & keeps her feet raised off the floor while on her tummy.
~Grasps rattles & hanging toys
~Can bear weight on both legs
~Is getting really good at sitting up while just slightly supported & playing with toys
~Wearing size 1-2 Swaddlers & size 3-6 month clothes
~Her eyes still water quite a bit & it looks like she may have more allergies than Cy, but nonetheless, we take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous Spring weather.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Charms...

Busy Momma Recipe: Traditional Shrimp Etouffee

Travis turns 32 tomorrow!!! So in honor of my amazing husband's big day, I thought I would post one of his favorite meals- Shrimp Etouffee. This recipe comes from Southern Living and will not disappoint. Happy Birthday, Baby!!!

Traditional Shrimp Etouffee

1 c. uncooked long-grain rice
10 Tbsp butter, divided
1 lb. frozen, cooked, peeled, thawed & drained shrimp (can also use crawfish)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 3/4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. chopped green onions
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. salt-free Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add crawfish, and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove shrimp, and keep warm.

Add onion, bell pepper, & celery to Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until tender. add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Remove vegetables, and keep warm.

Melt remaining 6 Tbsp. butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly 10-15 minutes or until caramel colored. Reduce heat to low, and gradually stir in chicken broth & next 5 ingredients. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in vegetables and shrimp; cook 5 minutes more. Serve with rice. Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Papa's Little Helper...

Travis completed several "honey-do" projects this weekend. Lucky for him, Cy was happy to provide some much needed assistance. :)

Lila and I supervised...

Grateful Heart!

Thank you so much to everyone who has called, text or emailed to leave messages of concern, and most importantly, prayed for my family this past week! Your love and support mean more than you could possibly know. For those of you who don't know, my sweet Daddy had a heart attack on Tuesday. Thankfully, he received treatment quickly! He had 3 stents placed on Tuesday and 3 more Thursday. Daddy is now home and doing really well. There is nothing like almost losing someone you can't bare to imagine life without to give renewed perspective. Even writing this now, I'm fighting back tears...I am such a Daddy's girl! Please, PLEASE never miss an opportunity to tell those you love just how much they mean to you. Thank you, Lord, for granting healing so that you may be glorified!!!

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7
We have so many reasons to be joyful...Happy Spring, Everyone!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Digs!

Yes, the Eppersons are moving...for sure this time! Travis and I both had the moving bug following our last venture and were able to find a wonderful house that we both feel will be the perfect fit for our family for many years to come. We close at the end of this month! Needless to say, we are super excited & Dave Ramsey would be a little less disappointed in us! Here are a few photos of our new home. :)

Living Room

Kitchen (clearly!)

Informal Dining/Breakfast Nook

Dining Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Cy Wesley's the wall color!

Cy's Bathroom

Soon-to-be Lila's Room...

Lila's Bathroom

Will be our Office...& the only room that we plan to paint. :)


Basement/Play Room

Back set is staying :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bathing Beauty...

How about another fun comparison- Cy Wesley rub-a-dub-dubbin' at 3 months...

And back to our sweet girl...

Very interested in her hands...