The Christmas concert was fantasic as always – nothing like 25+ Christmas songs to get you in the spirit of Christmas!

Here’s Hannah before the concert:


Mom came over after church so it was just in time for lunch!  I made Pasta Alla Vodka with Grilled Italian sausage.  My plate:


Served with Wisconsin garlic bread.  I call it that because it reminds me of garlic bread Tony gets at a restaurant in Wisconsin that people say has the BEST garlic bread.  Um, its white Wonder bread with butter and garlic salt!   Not exactly gourmet!

Pasta Alla Vodka

  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vokda
  • 1 can (I used 28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (left this out, but added to my own!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound penne pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter.  When butter is melted, add in garlic (and if you’re crazy, y0u can add chopped onions!) and cook for two minutes.  Pour in vodka.  Stir and cook for three minutes.  Add in tomato puree and stir.

Reduce heat to low and stir in cream.  Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat.  I say this because I accidentally put the burner on high and I had an explosion of tomato sauce!  Stir in salt and pepper.

Reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case the sauce is too thick.  You could garnish with Parmesan cheese, but I was out, so I didn’t.

Great grocery shop today!  Check out my savings!

It's not the clearest picture, but I saved $42.67 so I spent $65.47!
It's not the clearest picture, but I saved $42.67 so I spent $65.47!

That’s a combo of coupons and store sales – sweet!  And the best part is I got a lot of meat!  Here are some menus for this week:

  • Meatloaf
  • Taco Fiesta
  • Honey, Garlic & Sage Pork Roast with Broccoli Au Gratin
  • Chicken Parmesan with Whole Wheat Pasta and salad
  • Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
  • Cheeseburgers with Oven Fries and Cucumbers

Nice!  And I am on the first two hour rest with the Panettone.  I ended up adding an additional cup of flour to the dough during the 8 minute knead.  Then its placed into a bowl with olive oil for 2 hours.  Then I punch it down, and rest for 2 more hours in my bundt pan.  Then its time to bake for 1 hour!  While this is a long process, the hands on time is pretty minimal.

first rest!  I decided on simple - just chocolate chips!
first rest! I decided on simple - just chocolate chips!

Right now the meatloaf is in the oven for Tony and Hannah and I are having tacos – we’ve been craving them lately!

See you after dinner!