Party planning and a fun new recipe

I’m writing this post on the day I was supposed to be at a good friend’s baby shower, my sweet nephew’s 3rd birthday party, and game night at the Dempsey’s, but we’re all sick here at the Clemens Casa. I am so sad that we have to miss out on all of our fun plans, but no one wants to be around us, that’s for sure. 

I can’t believe it, but Chloe’s 3rd birthday is right around the corner. I cannot believe I’ll be the mom of a three year old. That just sounds crazy! We are having a princess party, of course, and I have found some fun stuff from other blogs and can’t wait to put it all together! Here are a couple of princess parties to drool over:

Picture from this website. It’s Brooke Shield’s daughter’s party.

This party found here.

Really? These are amazing! I definitely don’t have the skillz or funds to do something this great, but I will definitely be using them for inspiration! Let the party planning begin!

I tried a new recipe this week that you must make if you like Italian sausage. I adapted it from Rachael Ray’s Sausage and Spinach Pastry Squares from her 365:No Repeats cookbook. Which, by the way, is probably for sure my favorite collection of recipes ever. I have found a handful of yummy dishes that have hit the Clemens’ table a number of times. If you don’t have that book, you need it! You can find it here for $12.95! Totally worth it.

So, here is the recipe for my take on her Sausage Pastry Squares. I’m calling it “Fancy Sloppy Joes” because the finished product looks a little like a sloppy joe, but fancy!

Fancy Sloppy Joes

  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 of small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 10 oz box of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Parmesan Asiago blend- yum), plus more for topping
  • fresh loaf of Ciabatta bread, heated, then cut to make sandwiches

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with the 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add the sausage, breaking up the large chunks with a flat wooden turner (like this one if you don’t have one you need one- makes cooking ground meat so much easier). Add the onions, sage, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is browned and the onions are clear, around 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain the excess fat. Return the sausage mixture to the pan, and with the burner on low, add the spinach, the zest of one lemon, and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix all to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated through.

Put a large spoonful of sausage mixture on each Ciabatta sandwich. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and serve. I served it with a side of roasted yellow squash. Seriously Yumm-O!


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