The food pics are on my phone.
(That's how this blog started today, but BETH came to the rescue and reminded me (laughing!) that she had taken pics and sent them to me... three days ago...)
This is not a senior moment. This is a Ruthy is working hard on a new series proposal for a beloved editor and I want it to shine, and I may or may not have forgotten that Beth said she'd do the pictures.
So you will see pics below that weren't there at midnight, the wonders of modern technology, a class i fail regularly!!!)
The phone is dead. It's a ridiculous instrument, and refuses to cooperate, so you have to use your imaginations, but really, you've all made pasta and mixed cheese.... but maybe I'll cheat and find some old pics that might help us out!
But first, a little spring fun on the farm, but the front of the farm known to most people as their "yard"...
I'm restoring a little pond that fell on hard times a few years ago, but it was enrobed in English ivy and thwarted my attempts to free it... but me and Round Up and Dave's big tiller have made ivy hash... and now it's time to fix the pond.... With some cute help! Side shot of now empty old pond with waterfall slope...
From the front.... The new waterfall pump and tubing just arrived today! I'm so excited! But it was 50° and stormy today, so the pond was put on hold while I worked on a Christmas novella!!!
And my sweet helper MacKenzie... We were filling pots that are still waiting for flowers. This weekend, maybe???? I love little helping hands!
And once the new liner is installed and the rocks laid and the new pump in, I'm going to transplant some of these pretties:
I love Dutch Iris. Such a glorious flower, and weeks of blooms!!! I'm so happy to have flowers again! Happy dancing! But I digress, we must get back to FOOD!!!!
I love Rigatoni pasta.
I love the kind with the little grooves. The straight stuff just looks like ziti that needs to go on a diet. I need to go on a diet, too, but I don't want my pasta to look like that. I want it to be happy-looking! And rigatoni with grooves is just crazy happy looking!
So we had a crowd for dinner, and I had cheese and sauce and Lacey ran by Sam's Club and bought me a monster-sized package of ground beef....
(and no camera because I left it out on the outside table and two thunderstorms later.... sigh.)
But no lasagna noodles.
So I thought why not?
Now I am not a baked ziti fan. My experiences with baked ziti are as follows:
3. Tasteless sauce
So to do this with rigatoni was risky. What if I ruined my love for my favorite pasta??? How would I ever look a box of Barilla pasta in the eye again?
And did I dare use Mary's trick of using uncooked noodles??? I decided not to because rigatoni noodles take longer to cook... so I cooked them shy of al dente, a touch tough.
I had a monster-sized tub of ricotta... because who doesn't keep a monster-sized tub of ricotta in their fridge, right?
So I mixed the cheeses like this:
2 lb. ricotta
1 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry parsley
2 large eggs
Mix those together......
Brown about 2 lbs. of ground beef..... With chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper..... When cooked, drain off fat and set aside.
Cook about 1 1/2 lb. Rigatoni just north of Al Dente.... so a little tough.
I had leftover sauce, but if you have jarred sauce, open two jars, and add a jar of water to thin sauce. It will thicken back up as the pasta absorbs the water.
Spread thin layer of sauce over bottom of 15" x 11" baking pan.
Spread half of rigatoni over sauce.
Spread all of cheese over rigatoni.
Another layer of sauce.
Spread all of meat over that sauce....
last layer of rigatoni goes on top, then the balance of sauce poured over it. Sprinkle heavily with Parmesan cheese.. Cover and bake about 35 minutes.
Remove foil and spread mozzarella cheese over top.
Return to oven about 10 minutes, just to melt cheesey goodness over the top.
Take out of oven, let stand about ten minutes, and serve.
AND THE CROWD WENT WILD!!!!!
They loved it with the rigatoni pasta! The kids loved it. The men ate far too much. The women loved it. And we even gave a little to Jasper the Cat because he looks like Garfield... and yes! You guessed it! He loved it!
Here is Finn's first taste:
Lena has never had lasagna before, but she thought that sharing with Grammy was a great thing to do. Grammy thought so, too!
Happy Baby Alert!!!
And to finish it all, we have a precious, pale blossom....
And one last iris.... these start as a pale blue, the picture doesn't do it justice.... and then deepen to a soft purple.... and just today a deep, dark purple velvet one appeared... that I did not plant, it's a blend of these pale purples and the big gold-and-burgundy ones..... A throwback!
We're hoping for a gentler Thursday, with some time to go buy flowers.
Because when you live up here, you learn to celebrate flower season as much as you can!
Ruthy "The Yank" loves God, cooking, baking, writing, hanging with cute kids and talking.... She's got a great family and lives on a small farm in upstate New York where she's always getting her hands dirty doing something! Visit her on facebook as Ruth Logan Herne or at her website ruthloganherne.com or over at our sister blog "Seekerville"! www.seekerville.blogspot.com