Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Life....



Just a quiet family-bonding Saturday night was planned but it ended up being so much more- so funny in so many regards and serious for me at a couple of points. I just want to give you a glimpse into my life...our life (hopefully you can chuckle about a few things at my expense but also understand that I want to help my step mom friends see that it is work...it is much more work than a "traditional nuclear family" and that is OKAY! :)

Kayla was coming over for a dinner so I kicked it up a notch...I made a Rachael Ray recipe... (it is below for your enjoyment)

What I didn't know, though, was that the beautiful glass bowl I put it in...when heated in the oven...would crack.

So 10 minutes before Kayla was there, our dinner exploded and it took two of us to salvage it while the third one (not naming names) took pix from her phone to capture the hilarity of the moment!

Then I was serving dinner, our lovely bulldog Bambi tripped me (common occurrence) and I ended up with a slight sprain/strain of my ankle...good times..though it hurt at the time, I can't help but laugh so hard today when I think about it...this is good sit-com material!

I am used to being the but of many jokes in our family...I mean I so ask for it..I play the role of crazy ste pmom....but I wouldn't trade it for the world. As much as some people try to paint me in a bad light and can't wait for me to "screw up" (because they can't stand the love our family shares- if ya catch my drift), I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be, which is a gift.

After dinner, we enjoyed the finale of Glee (again for me but first time the kiddos and Robby B saw it)

To my stepmom friends out there..hold on to the good moments...know you are making a positive difference...even if you only catch glimmers of it here and there.

With the back and forth of blended families, you may feel like you have to work harder to keep those relationships solid, and steer the kids in the right direction BUT it is so worth it...it is even more worth it when you take a step back and look at the big picture...c'mon...who do you think is doing the right thing?

It all comes back to you as a wise one once said...or as the kids say "Karma is a biznatch!"

One of the stepmom experts, (Wednesday Martin)I turn to for advice, recently posted


"It’s not easy to feel judged and misunderstood

You likely feel, especially if you’re un-partnered, that the deck is stacked against you, that it’s me and your ex against you. From my perspective, I’m perceived as a wicked stepmother and a home-wrecker even when I’m not, no matter how hard I try and how nice I am. Being the fall guy when I’m trying so hard takes a toll on me. And while you might feel shut out, I wrestle with the knowledge that I’m not and never will be “first.” We’re both struggling, you and I."

But enough of the serious stuff...our lesson is done for this week! Our Saturday night was blissful and the dinner that exploded was just delish...enjoy the recipe below :)

Chicken Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta Fake-Bake
Rachael Ray


Ingredients

* 1 pound rigatoni
* Salt
* 1 pound cooked chicken sausages
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
* 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and sliced
* 1 large onion, thinly sliced
* 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
* Ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock, a couple of glugs
* 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, (recommended: San Marzano)
* Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1/2 cup fresh basil, 10 leaves, torn or shredded
* 1 cup ricotta cheese
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table

Directions

Place a pot of water on the stove to boil for pasta. When the water boils, salt it and cook pasta to al dente, with a bite to it.

Prick sausages with a fork. Place chicken sausages in a large skillet and add 1 inch of water. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat a little. Allow all the liquid to cook away then brown and crisp the casings, 5 to 6 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

While pasta and sausage cook, heat a deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. When the sausages are cooked through, slice them on an angle and add them to the peppers and onions. Cook together until peppers and onions are tender and sliced sausages are crisp at edges then deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken stock. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a bubble, reduce heat to low.

Drain rigatoni and return to warm pot. Add ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, parsley and basil and half of the Parmigiano, a couple of handfuls, stir to combine.

To assemble the "fake bake," place half the sausage, peppers, onions and sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with all of the pasta and then the remaining sausage and sauce. Cover the top of the dish with the grated Parmigiano and place until broiler 2 minutes to brown cheese and set pasta.

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