Posted by: Lauren | November 7, 2010

joe & mom’s birthday

I never did a post about Joe and Mom’s birthday party at my parents’ house in September. I can’t even tell you how much I love these two and love celebrating their lives both within a few days of each other (Mom’s 25th, Joe’s 29th).









My parents planted every tree in their yard, and there are literally hundreds…it’s absolutely beautiful. 





Some apps, including mini corndogs for the birthday boy. 🙂

IMG_4590 IMG_4568 IMG_4569 IMG_4585


Madelyn worked up an appetite.

IMG_4591 IMG_4594

IMG_4588   Made a big salad with mixed greens, roasted beets, apples, veg, craisins, and Angela’s Better-than-Bottled-Balsamic.

IMG_4601 IMG_4595 IMG_4596 IMG_4598 IMG_4599 IMG_4600 Dinner was baked pasta, meatballs, Gma & Gpa’s Italian sausage and stuffed artichokes, and Katie made a taffy apple salad and fruit skewers.

Baked Pasta (this gets RAVE reviews!) recipe from Denise, the awesome mom I nanny for. 🙂

  • 1 lb campanelle pasta (great texture and shape for this-I use Barilla brand)
  • 2 jars pasta sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parm or romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg

Cook pasta until just at al dente then drain and rinse with cold water. While pasta is cooking, combine ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper, and egg. In a 13×9 glass dish, layer sauce, pasta, then top with spoonfuls of cheese mixture around the pasta (I’ll do maybe 6 spoonfuls per layer). Top with more sauce, pasta, cheese, etc. The final layer on top should be the remainder of sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes (unless refrigerated, then it will need longer baking time).

I’ve also made this pasta by adding cooked organic ground beef seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper.


These cutie pies liked it. 🙂



Someone forgot to bring birthday candles for the birthday cake. Oops. So, yes, I did stick a pumpkin candle in the middle of the bundt cake. It works!


I made this Super Moist Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake. Recipe can be found here. You really should make it. Thanksgiving, yes? My mother-in-law also made these amazing brownies that are part brownie, part oatmeal walnut cookie. They are so good! I think I had a picture of them in my last post..


Joe and Mom, you are two of the greatest gifts from God. I love you both so much!

“Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:2





  1. What a wonderful time! Birthdays are so special. Fun eats all around. Makes me miss my family. Your parents property looks amazing!

  2. Wow, awesome pics! What a wonderful celebration of your Mom and Joe! The nature pics are extraordinary (kudos, Laur) and that 4 piece, blue vase connected thingy is so cool. Is that your Mom’s? Me LIKEY!!! That Pumpkin cake looks so good…great idea re: the candle. Everyone looks wonderful and happy! Sights for sore eyes. Love you tons!

    • Hi Sharon! Yes, the blue vase is Mom’s from Joe’s parents when we went to these gardens in British Columbia. 🙂 So pretty, huh? Try making the cake! It was an easy one and really good! Love and miss you so much!

      • Wow, British Columbia…….very cool and how sweet that Joe’s parents gave that to your parents! Will make that Pumpkin cake (w/ Buttermilk for Gma and Gpa at Thanksgiving). May use the Sunflower pan. So pretty… you tons!

  3. Lauren,
    Thanks so much for the cake recipe – i tried it today and it was a huge hit! So delicious and moist!

    • Yay Nichole!! That’s awesome! I love when I find a “keeper” recipe! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  4. How gorgeous are these pics!!

    I love seeing happy families celebrating happy times 🙂 reminds me so much of my family!


    • Thanks Kris! Seriously, families are a HUGE blessing that is for sure!

  5. What fun! I love your pictures of family, food and fun. Your bake pasta sounds deliscious and it’s meatless, yes! Not that I’m vegetarian or anything but sometimes, it’s just plain good:)

  6. Our family eats so much pasta, we’re always looking for new recipes so we don’t get bored of the old ones. This looks great! And cute pictures!

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