Honk!! Honk!! Came the sound from the mailman's car. Wooohoooo I thought. Oh Yeah the first wave of curriculum must be here. I do get so excited when stuff is coming in the mail. ;) My hubby (who works from home) went out to get the box since we thought it was books and there for heavy. How sweet right??
He came back into the house and put the box down so we could look at it.I must admit that I was pretty giddy with excitement. My husband looked up at me and said “stop you can't look” Errrrrrr?? What!! He said it was not curriculum it was a birthday present from Julie. (oh you sneaky, cheeky monkey you)
The heavy box was from Spice3 or spice cubed. www.spicecubed.com. Spice cubed was on my birthday wish list. Just a little interjection here. I hated having a birthday in August when I was a kid. None of my friends from school could come. I always got school clothes or supplies for presents and it was always to hot to do anything. But, as an adult I am a lot more inventive. ;)
It turns out that Julie had sent off a quick e-mail to my husband to make sure that they did not get the same gift for me. (purdy smrt huh??)
So, now we get to the fun part of the story cus you know I did not bring you on this journey without some sorta suspense. Enter the dilemma. (giggle)
When the package, now established as a birthday gift arrived it was 2 in the afternoon my time. That means it was 4 am the next day in Japan for Julie. She was asleep. Dun... dun...dun.... We were due to have our book club at 8pm my time. Gentle readers do see the excruciating set of circumstances that were happening here?? I would have to wait 6 that right 6 whole hours before I could even ask to if it was ok to open my box!!
By 3pm I had shaken the box gently. I had brought up the website and was pouring over it trying to figure out what was in the box.
4pm- I was very figgity by now. I had placed the box in several prominent places. So we could look at it. I had been offered by each of my family members to take the blame of opening it. After all they reasoned if they opened it and I had not then I could see it without getting into trouble. LOL Not much for patience are they??
5- 7am Julie's time. Now I was sitting with gmail pulled up. I was talking to my computer at this point. “Come on Julie wake up” “I know you are awake Julie since you go jogging in the mornings” “Wake Up!!” (will the hilarity ever stop??)
5:30- 7:30 am Julie's time. Her status on gmail said active. I could hear the angles choir. I sent her an IM and told her that her package had gotten here and please, please, please could I open it. She sent me back a message saying that I could if I wanted to but, she would like to see me open it on the webcam. I totally agree that it would be sooooooooooooooo much more fun to open it over the webcam. So, I had resigned to wait till 8pm. 2.5 hours to go. Julie and I talked for a little bit longer. When she finally got my vulcan mind meld thru the chat. “would you like to sign onto the webcam now??” She asked!! Does a bear poop in the woods?? I replied. Heck yes!!!! “Give me a sec she says” Let me tell you right now that Julie and I talk on the webcam at LEAST 3 times a week. So, this should have taken all of 10 seconds right?? About a minute later I sent her an IM “ummmmm what's up??” Julie- “You will not believe this, gmail will not acknowledge my webcam!!” Me- “Are you kidding me??” Julie - “I am gonna have to reboot”
5:45- Julie's green dot goes gray indicating she is offline. I on the mean time began shouting at her computer from 3,000 miles away. “BOOT YOU INFERNAL MACHINE BOOT!!”
While I waited we opened the outer box to reveal this:

I sat staring at the box. I have to say right here and now I am a sucker for an awesome box. After what seemed like an hour. Julie's gray dot turned green, and the dot changed to a little picture of a camera. Then the sound of the computer initiating a video chat. It rings sorta like a house phone. I answered and we said Hello. I showed her the super cool box. I even took the time to show her how nice the ribbon was. Really company wants people to be happy with their products.
You know when ever I buy something online I always have this feeling like it is a gamble. You know it looks so great on the website but, when you or your loved one gets it, it is well, less then what they hyped it up to be. Not so with this company. I dare say it is cooler than the site advertises.
I really enjoyed being able to show Julie exactly what everything looked like. I would say that if you are someone you know is a foodie or they enjoy good quality ingredients this would make a great gift.
I have tortured you long enough here are the pictures of what was in the box.

Here is me doing my price is right showcase pose. That's right Bob, all the foodies in the audience are swooning. giggle

Here we have one of the spices after I put the magnet on it. These magnets are good and strong.

Here we have a close up of the spices. You can see how full they are. You can also see how brightly colored they are.

Here they all are on my fridge. I just think they look so darn cool.

How cool do these look?? I love the fact that you can put the magnets on the back and hang them on your fridge,freezer, any magnetic surface or even a strip of magnets on your cabinet door.
All these spices made me think that I should leave you with a recipe so here it is...

Super easy lasagna
1pkg oven ready lasagna noodles
6-8 cups of tomato sauce (canned, jar,or home made all work just fine with this recipe)
1 pound of Italian sausage
1 16oz container of Ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten
4 cups of cheese for thrifty version and 6 cups for any other time
1 TBS each of parsley, oregano, basil, garlic,onion powder
1 tsp each of paprika and red pepper flakes (optional)
½ cup of parm cheese
1 large casserole dish long enough to fit the noodles in
1 sheet of plastic wrap large enough to cover the top of the dish
1 sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the top of the dish

Step one:
Remove the sausage from the casing and fry in the pan till no more pink is showing. Add a ½ cup of water. Now add your pre-made sauce. Stir till all the sausage and the sauce are well combined. Turn the burner down low. Remember the sauce will splatter if you let it boil.

Step two:
Put your egg in a bowl and whisk it. Now add all of the ricotta cheese. Put in one cup of the mozzarella cheese. All of the spices parsley, oregano,basil, garlic, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes go in now. Mix all these ingredients together and set aside.

Step three:
Assembly, my kids love this part the best. ;) In your large casserole dish place a layer of sauce. Now layer your noodles no over lapping. Make sure you gently push your noodles into the sauce. On top of the noodles put ½ of the ricotta mixture and spread it around evenly. You can put a light layer or cheese on top of the ricotta, if not then a layer of sauce goes on now. Your first layer is done easy peasy lemon squeezy. Giggle.
The next layer is noodles (remember to press them down) the rest of the ricotta, cheese if you using, and sauce. For the last layer it is noodles, then sauce, then mozzarella cheese.
Now is the part that most people do not do. Tightly cover your pan with the plastic wrap. Yes plastic wrap. Lastly cover the top again this time with the aluminum foil. This will ensure that you will not get that nasty metal taste in your lasagna.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hour. Then remove the plastic wrap and foil and let the cheese on top get all golden and melty.
One of the reasons people get soupy lasagna is they do not let it rest for a few mins. 20 mins should do just fine. I usually make my salad and garlic bread while I wait.

I thought y'all might like a photo. At least that is what Julie has requested. She says that she would like to see pics of the dishes when I write up the recipe.

I love all the layers. Some times I make veggie lasagna and that makes some very cool layers.
I hope you all enjoy. We are making peach cobbler tonight.

Comments (10)

On August 13, 2009 at 11:53 PM , Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



On August 14, 2009 at 6:17 AM , Shawntele said...

There is no such thing as 'thrifty' when it comes to cheese!!!!

On August 14, 2009 at 6:19 AM , Shawntele said...

BTW~I thoroughly enjoyed your story. :)

On August 16, 2009 at 7:04 AM , Haley said...

Hello Saoirse,
Welcome and thank your for posting a comment. I look forward to seeing more comments from you.
Shawntele, I love cheese too. Normally I am not thrifty with the cheese either. ;)

On August 18, 2009 at 7:41 AM , christine said...

i.need.those.adorable.magnets o' deliciousness. i'm wondering if i couldn't find some sort of container at the local craft store and make my own!? that is a terrific idea!

On August 18, 2009 at 1:27 PM , Haley said...

Oh My Goodness "magnets o' deliciousness"!! I almost peed myself laughing. I love it!! I bet you could make your own but the price of these tins is really good just replace your spices one at a time or they even sell the little boxes all by their lonesome. You are a very creative woman I am excited to see what you come up with. ;)

On August 18, 2009 at 3:11 PM , ~ Judy ~ said...

Okay...this TOO hysterical. I was JUST about to leave a comment saying "OH HALEY!!! You MUST tell me where to get those adorable things because they are soooooo "Christine" and I just MUST get them for her!!!"....when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a comment that shows that Christine BEAT ME HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well...at least I can go over to her house and help her make them if she finds the containers she wants, ha ha!!!
THANKS for the GREAT STORIES!!! Christine gets on webcam for me sometimes....that thing scares the bajeebies out of me!!!!!!!!

On August 18, 2009 at 3:13 PM , ~ Judy ~ said...

I almost forgot....
Your "price is right" pose was "to die for"!!!
Look out blond lady that must be a billion years old by now and is still doing price is right...Haley is after your job!!!!!!!!!!!!

On August 18, 2009 at 5:07 PM , christine said...

Dear Sir or [presumably]Madam,
I must inform you that I am most certainly not a billion years old. I cannot help that I am a STAR and have managed to have one of the longest running TV appearances in the history of the world ( watch out, Joan Rivers, you loud, tacky fake!) and have managed to make megazillions off of wheel spinning, vowel selling excitement. Please refrain from disparaging me further. And also, I am a NATURAL blond. ::sticks out tongue::

Vanna White.


On August 20, 2009 at 10:41 PM , Whoz Your Doula said...

love the magnets.