Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Adventures - Festivals to Cooking with the Family!

OK, two posts later, I am finally getting around to letting you all in on my wonderful fall weekend.  What a weekend!  After a perfect week of dog-sitting for the cutest puppy on the planet ....
I made my way back to the city for the Boston Local Food Fest with fellow blogger & friend Bianca from Confessions of a chocoholic.

What a wonderful festival!  There were a ton of local restaurants, farms, caters and purveyors of local and YUMMY treats! Enjoy the wordless pics of the festival!

Those pictures are making me hungry all over again! After such a great Saturday, how could Sunday compare you ask?  Well mix together a day of cooking w/ Mama Q, a visit from the niece & nephew and enough homemade sauce to last a lifetime 2 months in my family!  To help re-work some of my families recipes and expose the rents' to some healthier alternatives to culinary favorites I went home for a day of cooking.

Throughout the afternoon my mom and I finished up her homemade sauce w/ sausage & meatballs, all 22 Quarts of it!!!
That giant pot of goodness was split into many tupperware containers, some given has "care packages" to myself and my sis but the rest will be frozen for my rents' to pull whenever they their kids/grand-kids come begging for meatballs!
The single reason I will never be a vegetarian! Its soo good!!!

We also made a lentil/wheat berry salad with veggies, feta and a quick lemon and olive oil vinagrette for the week.  I usually eat my salad over a big bed of lettuce, I believe Mama & Papa Q had theirs with grilled chicken and tomato soup!  YUM
For the grand finale, I made a lazy lasagna for us both.  This consisted of whole wheat pasta, ground turkey, Mama's homemade sauce and a cheese mixture.  I twisted the traditional Ricotta cheese recipe around a bit to make it a healthier option for us all.  Instead of a whole pound of full fat Ricotta, I mixed in 8 ounces of low fat Ricotta w/ 1lb of Silken Tofu (don't say ewww!).  To that mixture I added in 1 cup of shredded carrot, almost 2 cups of shredded spinach (yes more spinach in my life!), garlic powder, parsley, 1 egg and a handful of low fat shredded mozzarella cheese.  I mixed the meat sauce, pasta and cheese mixture all together and split the gooey mess between two tins.  Covered with a bit more sauce and shredded cheese.  You could eat it right then, but I highly suggest to plunk that bad boy into the oven at say 350' for 30 minutes (or until bubbly and brown).  I am telling you that you will never know there is tofu or turkey meat in this cheesey ooey gooey casserole!

After we cleaned up, poured the wine and sat back to enjoy the spoils of our day, we decided to watch the future Phil Mickelson perfect his short game!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my dad and his golf prodigy.. my nephew CM!
Look at the face!  Argyle and a golf club, does it get any cuter?!?!  I say nay sir!

Have a great day everyone, I am off to the gym in a bit for day 2 of my training for the Devil's Chase Run in less than a month!  I am very pleased with my 2.25 mile run yesterday after not running for over 3 months.  Hoping for 3 miles today with a mix of running, walking and sprinting.  I will get to 6 miles!!

What family "dish" brings your family together and causes extreme cravings if you go too long without it?