The Little Things Thursdays: Installment #24

It’s one of my favorite days of the week- Thursday!  Why?  Because we take the time to reflect upon the little things that brought joy to our week as we link up with Rebecca at A Beautiful Ruckus.

1. When the babies were born, they each received dog pillow pals and monogrammed blankets.  Due to the risk of SIDS, we’ve kept these items in their closets unused.  I’m still not ready to add any blankets or plush to their cribs, but I thought it would be a good idea to begin “practicing” with blankets during Baby Einstein movies.  A few nights ago, I spread each pillow pal on the den floor, laid each baby in his or hers and covered them with the blanket.  Sydney and Mason snuggled right in for the movie and stayed put the entire movie.  Rylin and Harper, zipped off as soon as their heads hit the pillow, however.

Look who snuggled up right by Sydney...Lily of course!

Look who snuggled up right by Sydney…Lily of course!

2. Earlier in the week, I posted about the mammoth zucchini found in our garden and shared our beloved zucchini bread recipe.  I also asked you to share yours.  Two readers submitted recipes, which both looked great!  (I also LOVE interaction with readers because it reaffirms why I write).  I took stock of our pantry and had the majority of the ingredients for a reader submitted recipe, Zucchini Perini.  It was fantastic!  It was reminiscent of lasagne without noodles so it would be ideal for anyone on a low carbohydrate diet.  This recipe is definitely going into my repertoire.

Not only was this recipe delicious, it was relatively quick and simple to prepare.  And, I was able to pulse it in the blender for the babies to eat.

Not only was this recipe delicious, it was relatively quick and simple to prepare. And, I was able to pulse it in the blender for the babies to eat.

I know you’ll want to try this recipe so I’m sharing it.  I crossed out where I made tweaks so you could make it as I did, or follow it as the original.  I know my version was divine, but I’m sure the original is too.

 This recipe originated from Chef Tom Perini of the Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas.

•           1/2  1 lb ground beef

•           1/2 lb hot Italian sausage

•           1 large onion, diced 3/4 c. diced, frozen onions

•           1 dash salt

•           1 dash ground black pepper

•           1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, mashed and drained petite diced tomatoes

•           6 ounces tomato paste

•           1/4 cup tomato sauce 1 14 oz can tomato sauce

•           2 teaspoons oregano

•           1 dash garlic powder

•           2 lbs zucchini, sliced 1/4 thick 2 medium zucchini sliced

•           1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350º.  In an oven-safe pan a skillet, brown the ground beef, sausage and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the whole tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Add the oregano and garlic powder and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, mix thoroughly then sprinkle with cheese.  Pour into greased 11 x 13″ casserole pan.  Bake at 350º until cheese melts and starts to brown, about 10 25 minutes.

Note: If you omit  the cheese, this recipe is dairy free and would work for those on a Whole 30 or Paleo diet.  It is also gluten free.

I didn’t have everything needed for the stuffed zucchini recipe, but do plan to try it as well.

3. George has a fascination with archaeology and geology.  Over the years, he’s collected specimens from hunting and camping trips and from when our neighborhood was under construction.  One particular specimen was rather unusual and he’s mentioned having it identified, but never got around to it.  This week we finally took it to Texas Christian University’s Monnig Meteorite Museum.  There, we met a kind hearted geologist with a wealth of knowledge.  Upon seeing the specimen he seemed perplexed as he scratched his head.  He immediately indicated it was not a meteorite, but he wasn’t quite sure of the composition.  As we meandered through the museum, he took it for further examination and to consult with his colleges.  After a few short minutes, he returned and proclaimed George had something they’d never seen before and called it a “DFR”.  Hmmm….sounds interesting right?  DFR is a geologist’s acronym for “Damn Funny Rock”.  As it turned out, George had a piece of limestone encased in chert.  Interesting, but sadly has no monetary value.  Rats!  I was secretly hoping we could start a college fund with this “rock”.

Here's the DFR in it's glory.

Here’s the DFR in it’s glory.

4. The babies are at a really fun age as they explore and learn something new daily.  Seeing the world through their eyes always warms my heart.

Rylin discovered how to get onto the motorcycle independently, and Mason decided he'd give her a push.  So cute!

Rylin discovered how to get onto the motorcycle independently, and Mason decided he’d give her a push. So cute!

4. Here in Texas, we’re always looking for a new spin on Tex-Mex.  Taco and burrito joints are all the rage these days.  George and I tried a new one, Torchy’s Tacos, this week and loved it!

We shared street corn and each chose our own tacos.  I got fried avocado in corn tortillas, yum-o!

We shared street corn and each chose our own tacos. I got fried avocado in corn tortillas, yum-o!

What little things brought joy to your heart this week?



19 thoughts on “The Little Things Thursdays: Installment #24

  1. Amber, I’m so glad you like the Zucchini Perini recipe. I tweek it when I make it as well. I think it’s one of those recipes that you can customize and still get a great dish. Karen forwards your post to me each week and although I’ve never met you, I feel like we’re old friends. I love your posts. Keep them coming, they are the highlight of my Thursday!


    • Thank you so much for sharing that recipe. I agree, it can easily be adjusted based on what you have and to your taste buds. So simple and yummy! I love hearing from readers and knowing when we brighten a day. Hugs! Amber


  2. Hi Amber, once again another great journal. I had messaged you on FB to see when we could come and see the babies, my friend Eileen from CA is here and REALLY wants to meet you and the babies. Even if its just for a 1/2 hour one morning before nap time.She will be here until the 29th and I know you’re getting ready for the BIG Day so possibly one day next week, E-mail me and let me know, OK? Thank you and have a great time Saturday!!!!


    • I saw that you sent a message, but it was cut off so I didn’t understand it. I called Terri to work something out. Will let you know ASAP!


  3. I am so trying the zucchini recipe. Paul and I have been doing the metabolism miracle diet for the last two months which has meant no carbs. I will have to try this but will do a little less tomato sauce and will add some cottage cheese. Thanks for sharing. I love new recipes. My twin fb group just did a recipe exchange and I am so excited to try some new ones.


    • This recipe is perfect for a no carb diet! You don’t even notice there are no carbs either. It is easy to adjust. I actually thought of doing cottage or ricotta cheese too. New easy recipes are always great!


  4. Love the picture of the kids on the riding toy! We have video of the twins doing the same thing at the same age–too, too cute!


  5. We went to a carnival behind our apartment today. My 2 1/2 year old loved going on the rides and we loved watching him. It’s amazing how fast they grow and how independent they are at such a young age. Definitely warmed my heart.


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