Friday, September 11, 2015

Cooking for the Empty Nest (sniff sniff)

Missy, here. Feeling sorry for myself because the youngest went off to college a couple of weeks ago. So I decided to try to find some reason to celebrate the absence of kids, and the only thing I could come up with was that I can now add mushrooms to my spaghetti sauce. :) Yeah, that's not exactly making lemonade yet, but you have to allow me to wallow for just a little while longer.


In the end, I decided to make the mushrooms as a side dish. I cooked the sliced baby portobellos in a couple of tablespoons of butter, then added some red wine and let it cook down. They were amazing!

For my sauce, I decided to do a play on Mary Connealy's lasagna recipe. I had about ¾ of a jar of spaghetti sauce left. I put it in the pan to heat. Then added about ½-¾ of a cup of ricotta cheese and stirred it into the tomato sauce.

It made a nice creamy spaghetti sauce (no meat) over spaghetti noodles, reminding me a little of vodka sauce.

Later, my daughter sent me this screen shot (below). She had Face-timed with my grand-dog!! I thought it was so cute. Then it hit me that she chose to chat with the dog instead of her mom!! LOL

Oh, well. I'll just go drown my sorrows in more mushrooms. And maybe I'll even slip some in the sauce next time she's home. ;)

I hope you'll drop by Seekerville today to read Ruthy's beautiful blessing for us all on 9/11.


  1. Hi Missy,

    I hear you on the empty nest. ((((hugs))))

    I always add ricotta cheese to my spaghetti sauce. I love it that way. I did something similar last night. A few weeks ago I had lunch out with some friends. We ordered a huge veggie pizza that was so delicious. I was the only one headed home afterwards, so I got the leftovers. On a whim, I scraped all the veggies (mushrooms included!) into a pan, mixed in some ricotta, heated and served over a whole grain pasta.
    So much deliciousness!!!!

    For dinner last night (after a long hot day at school), I went back to that restaurant and ordered a slice to take home and repeat. It was a cheap, fast, delicious meal.

  2. What a great idea, Mary! You should save the crust and top with cheese to have a slice of cheese pizza later for another meal. :)

  3. BTW, I LOVE veggie pizza. It's what I usually order.

  4. Oh my stars, I'm so desperately trying not to laugh at you! Okay, Okay, maybe it's because even when my youngest went off, there were so many of them stopping back and forth, that the nest wasn't really empty with a capital E. So the situation was different... but the plus side was I could start to have some fun with BEDROOMS! Turning the older ones' rooms into guest rooms. AN OFFICE FOR ME!!!! Oh my stars, clean closets, anyone???? Less laundry??? BONUS!


    And knowing we launched them all successfully, knowing they were all getting or had gotten a great education which I almost instantly reminded them was far too liberal and left wing for a good life... because that's my job to be smarter than the teacher, right? Hey, that started in kindergarten, bucking that trend that teacher-knows-everything. Why wreck a good roll?

    Missy, the more you write, the better you feel.

    Come on, you know I'll never lie to you!

    Hugging you while laughing in upstate!

    1. LOL Ruthy. Yeah, with six I'm sure you always had someone coming through the door. :)

      I'm actually a happy mom right now. Got to see two of them this evening. :)

  5. Empty nest...empty nest... What is this thing you're speaking of?

    Ruthy's right - they come and go. And come. And sometimes stay. And then go. Or not.


    I know it's our fault for offering room and board to our full time students for as long as they need it (and are in school!). And offering reduced rent to our older ones who wouldn't have been able to afford to move north with us unless they had a bit of help.

    And someday, they'll all be out on their own for good.

    Probably about the time hubby and I build our little house in the Hills. :)

    1. I almost forgot! You shared a recipe, too! LOL!

      I've never added ricotta to my spaghetti sauce, but I'm going to next time! Thanks for the tip!

    2. Jan, it sounds like you have a revolving door like Ruthy. :)

      You definitely need to add the ricotta sometime. I think you'll love it!

  6. Yeah -- I'm all in with trying ricotta in spaghetti sauce. And buttered mushrooms are delish any time of the day or night!!!! Sorry you have the empty next blues but I think it's kind of cute your daughter was facetiming with grandpuppy. Are you in charge of grandpuppy? If so, they it's not a complete empty next, right?

    1. Kav, I only get to dog sit on occasion. I wish he lived closer! :)