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Party Animals

September 23, 2011

This week seemed longer than usual, and more stressful to boot.

Nothing crazy or out of the ordinary happened, but things definitely piled up (134 papers to grade, started my two grad classes and remembered how much it sucks to be taking two classes and working full time), and by the time today rolled around, I just felt beat. On Friday nights like this one, I don’t want to dress up, or go out, or (to be completely honest with you) even socialize with people.

What I do want?

A quick shopping trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up dinner staples.

And if a little Fig Butter sneaks in there, then so be it.

I also want entertainment.


Mad Men Season 4? Tuesday night’s episode of Glee (that I still have yet to watch)? Yes, please.

Finally, I need dinner. Preferably something warm and comforting. And preferably prepared by someone other than myself.

Done and done.

Nick’s Famous Baked Pasta

Serves 4


  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta (we used rotini because it was all I had on hand!)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 large bag of spinach
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 jar fire roasted peppers (we used the TJ’s brand)
  • 1 bottle tomato sauce (or you can make your own)
  • about 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Prepare pasta according to directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, brown turkey in a skillet over medium heat. When turkey is browned, add sauce to the pan and mix to combine.
  • In a separate skillet, saute spinach in EVOO until wilted.
  • In a 9×13 pan, layer ingredients in the following order: pasta, sauce mixture, spinach, peppers, cheese and repeat.
  • Top casserole with extra sauce if desired.
  • Cover dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

This dinner was absolutely fabulous, and not just because Nick took control of everything (and I mean everything. He even did the dishes afterwards, which is usually our trade off). The boy knows his way around the kitchen, and for this, I am thankful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, we have an entire batch of Mama Pea’s Cookie Dough Balls and several episodes of Mad Men to devour.

TGIF, indeed.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. survivingcandyland permalink
    September 23, 2011 8:09 pm

    I love mad men so much. I actually just started watching it. I’m only on season 2, but I can’t wait to catch up and for them to start season 5! I haven’t watched this weeks Glee either, but I heard it was pretty good. I’m glad they are going back to basics.

  2. September 23, 2011 8:29 pm

    Dough balls + Mad Men = heaven. At least that’s what I want waiting for me on the other side.

    • September 24, 2011 8:12 am

      If Don Draper greets me with a plate of these at the pearly gates, I’ll know I did well for myself.

  3. Kristin L. permalink
    September 23, 2011 10:29 pm

    Mama Peas Cookie Dough Ball ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ And the baked ziti also looks amazing… I haven't made it in a long time!

    • September 24, 2011 8:12 am

      Nick knocked it out of the park. It was fantastic! And the dough balls speak for themselves, obviously.

  4. September 26, 2011 12:31 pm

    Sounds exactly like how i feel on Fridays, now if only I would think ahead to make dough balls and dinner….yum! Sounds like the perfect Friday night!

  5. September 27, 2011 2:46 pm

    oh i love it when my bf cooks! it’s seriously the best knowing that i’m not always the one responsible for thinking of a creative, healthy meal. and paired with Made Men, everything is just classy 😉 We just got hooked on streaming it from Netflix! And i just recently bought the “mango butter” from Trader Joe’s that I cannot wait to try maybe with oatmeal, or muffins? I’ll have to get the fig one next!

    • September 27, 2011 5:18 pm

      When Nick cooks, I fall even more in love with him. It is the quickest and easiest way to my heart!

      And I need to get some of that mango butter! Sounds incredible.

  6. September 28, 2011 7:15 am

    Love that he cooks for you…you’ve got a keeper there (but you don’t need me to tell you that)!

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