I Will Be For Champagne

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


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.


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.


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


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??


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!”


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


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!


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.


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


  1. says

    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!
    Elaine recently posted..Snickersnaps

  2. says

    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. :)
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Fitness Friday

  3. kristin says

    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!!!

  4. says

    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!
    Emily N recently posted..3 Days Out, And NO BEER

  5. says

    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! :)
    Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..Daily Routine

  6. says

    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. :-(
    Beks recently posted..Oh, how wrong I was…

  7. Karleen says

    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!!

  8. says

    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!!
    Andrea @ Vegvacious recently posted..we are beautiful

  9. Cassandra says

    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!

  10. Carol T. says

    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….

    • Courtney says

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

  11. Shannon says

    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.

  12. Marielle says

    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.
    Marielle recently posted..Use Your Core!

  13. emily says

    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!!

  14. says

    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!
    Eva @ Committed2Nutrition recently posted..Overdue Update and Klutch Box Review

  15. says

    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!!
    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions recently posted..Thursday Things

  16. says

    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 :)
    Sarah recently posted..Friday Favorites


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