Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Road

It was dark, and the road was unfamiliar to me.  The road was winding and dangerous, a yellow guard rail the only thing separating us from the vast sheer drop into the valley thousands of feet below.

We were all giggling about something, when I suddenly realized that she was driving too fast. Cheryl, slow down.  This next turn is really tight.  Oh my God, she isn't gonna make the turn.
Why were the words screaming in my head, and yet not coming out of my mouth.
It was too late. We crashed through the guard rail, flying out over the valley below.  A small plane came into view ahead of me through the windshield.  And then, I was suddenly very aware of the ground thousands of feet below.  It began approaching faster as the car plummeted.

This is it.  We are going to die.  I began thinking of my son, too young to live without his mom.  Of Mike, and my dad.  Oh God.  I wanted to close my eyes and simply let go.  The interior of the car was eerily quiet.

In an instant, I was gasping, nearly choking.

I sat up.  Damn!  I was in my bed.  
Deep breaths, calm the F*** down. Jesus.  
If you die in your dreams, you die for real, right??

I had wanted to sleep in this morning, but, having successfully woken myself up from this horrific nightmare, I refused to go back to bed now.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Delicious Lasagna - #LaRomanella Style!! ♥

I have an amazing lasagna recipe, and I have "morphed" it a little so than I could include some of the awesome products from La Romanella - items anyone would want to include in their Mediterranean-inspired dish.  You can find all of the ingredients for this recipe at your local Smart & Final.

Here's what you will need for my lasagna:

For the sauce:
1 lb. La Romanella Sweet (Mild) Italian Sausage
One 25 oz. jar La Romanella Tomato Basil pasta sauce
One 28 oz can La Romanella Tomato Strips with Basil
2 tsps. minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
1 1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp salt

For the cheese filling:
24 oz. La Romanella Ricotta cheese
4 oz. La Romanella Parmesan cheese
2 tbspns. parsley flakes
3 eggs

You will also need:
1 lb.  First Street Mozzarella cheese
One 16 oz box First Street lasagna noodles

Prep time 30 mins.
Lasagna baking time 30 mins.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.  I usually cook about twelve noodles, and only use about 8 to ten.  I have a few extra in case they break apart while cooking.

While they are cooking, you can make the sauce.
If you have sausage links, like I used, remove the sausage from the casings and crumble it in a deep saucepan or large pot at medium to high heat until browned.
Add the pasta sauce, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat and simmer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Rinse lasagna noodles in cool water, then set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, parsley and eggs.
Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a 9" x 13" ungreased pan, place a layer of lasagna noodles (about four) overlapping across the bottom of the pan.  On top of this, spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture.  Place half of the mozzerella slices evenly over the to of that.

So far, so good.  Now spoon half of the sauce and sausage on top of the cheese layers.
Repeat layers again, starting with another layer of noodles and finishing with the sauce on top.

Place in center of oven and bake for 30 mins.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to ten mins before slicing.

Enjoy with garlic bread! Abbondanza!!

As part of the La Romanella promotion, 
Smart & Final is giving one winner a trip to 
Sonoma's wine country!  Just go to  
Smart & Final's Facebook Page and 
"Like" the page to enter (winner must live within a 20 mile radius of a Smart & Final
*During this 2-week promotion, there's also a great deal going on - when customers
purchase a Redwood Creek Wine at Smart & Final, 
they will get a FREE 16oz La Romanella pasta!

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for  #CollectiveBias. All opinions are my own
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