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I Will Be For Champagne

by Courtney on October 19, 2012

So that dinner I mentioned to you all yesterday afternoon? Amazing.

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I used this recipe from Skinnytaste as a guide, but wound up making a few changes (you can see them below in red):

  • 12 oz uncooked pasta such as ziti
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (I used a small, 14.5 oz can)
  • ~3/4 cup jarred marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp jarred, minced garlic
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed 1/2 bag fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • ~8 Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil 2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella
  • olive oil cooking spray

Since I just made a mess of that ingredient list, be sure to go check out the original recipe for all the details because it was definitely a hit for us last night!

The reason for that big dish ‘o pasta was because we were having our friends Sarah and Jeff over for dinner. We hadn’t seen them in a couple of weeks, but we still had plenty to catch up on. So shortly after they arrived, dinner was served…TV tray style, because that’s just how we do.

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I had a glass of pinot grigio with dinner, which included a generous helping of pasta and some of a fresh garden salad that I put together.

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The salad was good, but it didn’t hold a candle to the cheesy, delicious pasta.

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I also wound up with four leftover meatballs after making the pasta dish, so everyone got their own mini meatball with dinner, too. Winking smile

During dinner, we wound up breaking for a quick champagne toast…why is that you ask??

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Well, do you see the shirt that Jeff is wearing right there? Yes, he is a ginormous Tigers fan, so once the last out of the Tigers/Yankees game was made in last night’s game, he had that champagne popped open like it was nobody’s business.

“Cheers! I’m not really a Tigers fan, but I will be for champagne!”

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A couple of hours later, we also had some dessert, courtesy of Sarah.

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Caramel turtle brownies (an edge piece for me, of course!) and Stewart’s ice cream (Crumbs Along the Mohawk, to be exact – soooo good). Heavenly, I’ll tell ya. Just heavenly.

We eventually said out goodbyes and called it a night, and so now here we are once again for breakfast. Hey, check it out…no waffles!

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That’s actually only because I ran out though, soooo…

I made a batch of Pumpkin Custard Oats but apparently used less liquid than usual because they were pretty sticky. Rather than keep adding it to the oats, I just poured some extra almond milk over the top. I don’t do this often, but I really should.

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I topped my oats with some diced apple and a serving of an old favorite – honey cinnamon peanut butter. I’ve had a jar of PB2 in the cupboard for months now from my last iHerb.com order, so I figured I’d open it up and give it some lovin’.

FYI: iHerb.com (<—affiliate link) has a couple different offers going on right now if you use my coupon code SAZ564

  • First-time customers get $10.00 off an order of $40.00 or more, or $5.00 off orders less than $40.
  • Order $60.00 or more and get an extra 5% off your entire order.

Man, I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are today, but it is just downright dark, dreary, and rainy this morning (aka, perfect weather for wanting to curl up under a blanket and do nothing but watch movies). Ehh…too bad I’ve got work to doooo.

Happy Friday, friends!

Question for the Morning:

Are you a baseball fan? Will you be watching the World Series?

(I stopped paying attention to baseball a while ago – too hard to keep up. If I had to pick a team, I’d be ashamed to say it’s the Mets. You most likely will not catch me watching the World Series this year…unless we’re with Jeff and he has more champagne) Winking smile

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elaine October 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

What a feast!! Everything looks great. And I love SkinnyTaste…she is one of my go-to food bloggers.

I was never a huge baseball fan. However, after moving to DC, I started following the Nats. To say I was heartbroken might be an understatement. Hopefully next year!
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2 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat October 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

I adore baseball, but I’m bitter that my Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t have a second half nearly as good as their first half of the season. Boo.
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3 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

I’m a bit of a baseball fan. My family is split with the Cardinals, White Sox and Cubs, but I have this major draw to the Red Sox so I consider myself a soon-to-be crazy Red Sox fan. ;) But things are definitely exciting in our house with the Cardinals, so I hope we get to watch the World Series. :)
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4 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope October 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

That pasta looks delicious! I definitely want to try making it. Oh and that brownie sounds heavenly! :)

We are Phillies fans in my house so we haven’t been watching much baseball lately.
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5 kristin October 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

Phillies – even though we tend to blow it in the end every year – I still love them. My family is a huge baseball fan –

That dinner looks amazing – i will have to try to make that one night!!!

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6 Khushboo October 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

I clueless about baseball but hey, I’ll drink to it too :)

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7 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

Wowee, that pasta looks fantastic! I’m not much of a baseball person. My dad and brother are huge Diamondbacks fans, and I go to games sometimes when I’m home in AZ but that’s about as intense as I get. Watching it on TV bores me, and watching it live is a lot more fun but it’s still not my favorite sport.
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8 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

I totally agree with you!

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9 Danica @ It's Progression October 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

My favorite sport to watch has always been baseball but the team I love hasn’t done well the past 2 years, which is definitely disappointing! I’d root for the Tigers for champagne though too :)
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10 Jen October 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

St. Louis Cardinals!!! 12 in 12!!! I will be toasting their win of the NLCS tonight!
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11 Suzanne @ Fit MInded Mom October 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

Big baseball fan but sadly my Texas Rangers screwed it up pretty badly there at the end of the season. Oh well, there is always next year!! As far as watching the World Series, I probably will but don’t care too much about who wins it.
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12 Ashley @ LibertyBelles October 19, 2012 at 9:48 am

I would say I’m a Phillies fan, but the bf is a Nationals fan. He was at the game where they were up by 6 in the first 3 innings and then came back to lose. Soooo tragic. There’s always next year, right?
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13 Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction October 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I’m good for at least one red sox game a year. I am definitely more of an action sports type girl!

That past looks great…I could have used that last week for my carbo-loading pre-race meal! Yum
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14 Emily N October 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am a HUGE Tigers fan. In fact, (this is my Tigers fan claim to fame) I attended 50+ games in the early 2000s when they lost 100 games in one season. No fair weather stuff for this girl!
So yes, I will be watching. But my champagne toast is on hold until Sunday after I run a marathon!
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15 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

Good luck on your marathon!!!!

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16 Tori @ Get a Word in Veg Wise October 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

Yay! Another Tigers fan! I’m originally from Michigan, and you better believe that every time I go back to the D, I hit up Comerica for a game.

Are you running the Freep marathon? Good luck :)

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17 Heather October 19, 2012 at 9:57 am

I’ll be watching the Cardinals win it again this year! If you hear screaming, it’s just the Missouri girl yelling from Clifton Park!

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18 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hahaha, that’s hilarious! I’ll keep my ears open ;)

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19 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

Looks like a delicious night! Pasta + Brownies = Alright in my book! :)
I do like baseball a lot.. My family are Reds fans though, so once they got knocked out, I lost my viewing momentum. I am sure I will be watching the world series though if my husband has anything to do with it! :)
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20 Katie @ KatieEnPursuit October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

So fun to do a champagne toast mid-meal, I would drink to that! I’m in STL so a Cardinal’s fan & love when it gets to be Fall & the playoff’s are on! Hopefully we’ll have something to toast to soon. Happy Friday!
Katie @ KatieEnPursuit recently posted..I Moved Back to STL for a Few Days…

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21 Beks October 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

I love baseball (the game), but I’m not a fan of any team in particular (well, maybe the Cards because I lived in Missouri so long, but I never follow MLB). Favorite sports movie is now and always will be “A League of Their Own.” Amazing!

It freaking freezing and rainy and wet here in Iowa/Nebraska (Live in Iowa, work in Nebraska). It was perfect for staying in bed watching movies, like you said. And last night marked the reappearing of the comfy, fuzzy Cupcake pajamas. Love them so much. I was still freezing, though. :-(
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22 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

That is definitely a great, great movie!
“There’s no crying in baseball?!?!” ;)

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23 Karleen October 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

My fam and I are HUGE cardinal fans!! My dads mom is from St. Louis so need less to say, my dad is stoked for the playoff series. Repeat of last year?!? Lets hope so!!

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24 Andrea @ Vegvacious October 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

All of your meals look fabulous up there!!

My husband is a huge baseball fan (me, not so much :D). Normally, he cheers for the Toronto Blue Jays, but since they’re out, he’s rooting for the Tigers…..I think he would have been happy with anyone that swept the Yankees!!
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25 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

I’m not really a baseball fan (I blame being Canadian), but I would be for some of that pasta ;) It looks amazing, and even more so since it’s been pretty dark and dreary here lately too.
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26 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes October 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

When the Yankees lost last night, the World Series were actually canceled. Weird, huh? ;) (Big-time Yankees fan here! The entire series was so disappointing.) However, I’m totally ready for some college basketball–any Syracuse fans out there? :)
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27 Cassandra October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

A friend taught me a trick to mix a dollop of flavored greek yogurt into my cooked oatmeal. Give it a try next time your oats are too sticky instead of almond milk. So delicious! I love cooking my oatmeal w/ raspberries and then mixing in a little Chobani vanilla chocolate chunk. Nom nom nom!

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28 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

Oooo, good idea! Thanks for the tip :)

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29 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance October 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

I will always be a Cub’s fan . . . just wish they played better than they have been! There’s always next year!
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30 Natalie @ Free Range Human October 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

I will not be watching the World Series since my beloved Rangers are out :(
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31 Rachel Wilkerson October 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

That pasta looks amazing!
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32 Laurie @ Love, Laugh, Laurie October 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

Love that you broke out the champagne for the Tigers win! Sports are serious business!
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33 Katie @ running4cupcakes October 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

Yeah for friends who are good enough friends to eat dinner on tv trays in front of the game!!!!
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34 Carol T. October 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

that meal looked amazing. How do you stay in shape with eating pasta, brownies and ice cream? I would gain 5 lbs just by looking at it….

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35 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Haha, well, I have gained weight…but that’s because I was trying to ;)
But I always say everything in moderation!

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36 Rachel October 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

I’m actually not a sports fan lol I’ll be watching Diners Drive ins and Dives tonight though :p
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37 Shannon October 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I do watch, I root for the Yankees. I won’t be watching the World Series this year.

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38 Marielle October 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

That dinner looks amazing! I’m going to try that recipe out. :)
As for baseball, I’m more a football person so I actually have no idea what’s going on in baseball right now. Lol.
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39 emily October 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

I am not a huge sports fan, but hubby is and we are from Detroit so naturally things are pretty exciting over here!! He was able to go to all the games this week in Detroit. Its always fun to see your home town do well!! Go TIGERS!!

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40 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

That’s so cool!

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41 Em @ Yep. I Ate That. October 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

My team – the Nationals – are out, so no celebrating over on my end. Folks over here in nyc are mightily disappointed today, though! The cheesy pasta and those caramel turtle brownies look delicious — did you make those?
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42 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Nope, my friend Sarah did

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43 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian October 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

I love Gina’s recipes – so delicious and healthy! I will definitely be trying that recipe out soon! There’s always a reason to have champagne in my opinion ;)
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44 Hollywood Healthy October 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Not a huge baseball fan, but I do play softball!
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45 Eva @ Committed2Nutrition October 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I LOVE baked ziti.. my italian mama makes it so good. Skinny taste is also a great site.

I love your breakfast, I use pumpkin every single morning as of late! waiting for the day I get sick of it ha.. and iherb is also great – I ordered 6 freakin bottles of liquid stevia yesterday of various flavors – am I crazy or what?

I am a huge yankees fan – boo :( but looks like ya’ll had a good time celebrating! happy weekend!
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46 Courtney October 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hahaha, I’m the same way…when I find something I love, just one is never enough! ;)

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47 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions October 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I made that pasta dish a few weeks ago! Obviously mine didn’t have all your alterations, but WOWZA. Bomb dot com for sure. It’s definitely one of my favorite meals!

I’m not a *huge* baseball fan, but I do love the Tigers! I’m so excited for the World Series!!
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48 Jentry Nielsen October 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Oh my goodness that dish looks so amazing! I am going to have to try that one out some time! That was pretty exciting the Tigers swept the Yankees, definitely worth champagne!
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49 heidi kokborg October 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Gosh! The food look sooo delicious!! :) Someone please make that dinner for me :)
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50 Sarah October 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

That pasta dish looks amazing! I might have to try it out with my xc team next week before conferences! I love that it’s healthy- a lot of times cheesy pasta scares me due to the high calorie and fat content. But brownies and ice cream always win me over, no matter what :)
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51 Kerry @ Totes My Oats October 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I need to make that recipe ASAP! It’s right up my carb/cheese lovin’ alley :)
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52 kristina October 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

yea im a Mets fan! david wright is my future husband…

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53 Michelle@Peachy Palate October 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Love iHerb! Got myself a code too. PB2 is amazing, you should get the chocolate one, so much better! Your mac dish looks fantastic!
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54 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake October 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I am a HUGE Phillies fan, but sadly, we didn’t make it to the playoffs this year! Baseball is actually the only sport I’m relatively interested in.

I definitely want to try that baked ziti recipe!
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55 Bek @ Crave October 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Dinner and dessert looks fantastic, but why a corner piece? They are the worse pieces! I’m a middle piece gal through and through ;)
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56 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl October 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I am a big fan of the Chicago White Sox…but I’ll pretty much root for anyone who is NOT the Cubs! ;) haha
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57 Katy October 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

I am a Red Sox fan so once they are out of the running, I pretend baseball doesn’t exist. True Irish mentality. :-)
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58 Emilie October 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Mannn I really want to try those pumpkin oats they look so good.

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