Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: Iowa Blogger Meet-up at The Red Avocado

Monday, April 26, 2010

Iowa Blogger Meet-up at The Red Avocado

Before I chat about my lunch date yesterday, thanks to everyone for the helpful hints on planting a successful garden! If you read my post yesterday, I talked about my deck garden that I am starting this spring/summer. Let's hope it grows...

So yesterday afternoon I meet 3 other Iowa bloggers at The Red Avocado for lunch. A very hip, and trendy vegan restaurant. My first! If you can imagine there aren't too many vegan restaurants here in Iowa. After all, we are the land of beef and pork (and corn).
(Me, Erin, Kate & Christina)

My good friend Erin drove in from Des Moines, and Christina and Kate lived right in Iowa City. It was such fun! Neat to here their stories, what foods they like/dislike, what other food blogs they read, etc. Life long friends I'm sure (even though I was the oldest one there by seven years...)

Here are some pics of our food. I had the veggie burger with home fries and of course homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. It was my first veggie burger (I know...) and it was pretty good. I will admit, I would have loved for a big juicy tomato and pickle, and maybe more of their "sauce" to accompany it, but overall pretty good!


Great afternoon with the "girls".

Last week I had promised my Brown Bottle Lasagna recipe. Not sure why I am saying "my" recipe, because I got it from my good friend Lori. I would like to think she snuck into their kitchen late at night and stole it, but if we all know Lori, that would NEVER happen. She doesn't break rules.

I am officially naming this my new lasagna. Out with the old recipe, and in with the new. It's a keeper! And I plan on using this sauce for my spaghetti as well, it's really good!

Meat sauce: 1 lb. hamburger, 2 cloves garlic, 1 T. parsley, 1 T. basil, 1 t. salt, 28 oz. can tomato sauce, 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste, 1/4 lb. thinly slice ham, 1/4 c. diced carrots

Cheese Mixture: 12 oz. cottage cheese, 2 beaten eggs, 1 t. salt, 1/2 T. parsley, 1/2 c. parmesan cheese, 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown hamburger meat, add all other sauce ingredients, simmer at least 45 minutes. Layer meat sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, etc. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 min.


Helpful hint: I made two small pans (one loaf, one 8x8) out of this recipe. Stick one in the freezer and you have an instant meal for one of those nights to crazy for dinner prep.

19 comments:

  1. Glad you enjoyed The Red Avocado!! Veggie burgers can be quite delish ;-)

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  2. How fun to meet other bloggers!!

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  3. aw, yay for blogger meet ups :). meeting people with similar interests in your area is such a great perk to blogging!

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  4. Yeah for blogger meet and greet! That's so fun to do.

    Love the dinner idea as well, and cooking an extra one to freeze is also a great idea!

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  5. Blogger meet ups are super fun! Glad you guys enjoyed your lunch- the restaurant sounds really cool. Great job on the lasagna. Love big italian bakes...makes dinners throughout the week so much easier!!

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  6. thanks for stopping by my blog :) adding yours to my reader now! glad you had a fun meet up too!

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  7. I've always wanted to meet other bloggers! That looks like so much fun... I'm confused about the brown bottle lasagna... Where does the brown bottle come in?

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  8. Looks like you girls had a blast!! I love veggie burgers!

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  9. Wow, what a great thing...being able to meet with the other bloggers :-)

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  10. Thanks for the recipe! I love the lasagna from The Brown Bottle!! SO GOOD!! I can't wait to try this!

    I love freezing extras! The fact that I can reach into the freezer and pull dinner out is so nice sometimes!!

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  11. It's so fun to meet other bloggers - sounds like a good time! That lasagna sounds super yummy and I like the loaf pan idea!

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  12. How fun Ally! I wish I could have made that! Once I get back from Spain I would love to set something up in Des Moines. I would really enjoy meeting you! Have a great week!

    diana

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  13. It's so fun to meet other bloggers - sounds like a good time! That lasagna sounds super yummy and I like the loaf pan idea!

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  14. Thanks for the recipe! I love the lasagna from The Brown Bottle!! SO GOOD!! I can't wait to try this!

    I love freezing extras! The fact that I can reach into the freezer and pull dinner out is so nice sometimes!!

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  15. Looks like you girls had a blast!! I love veggie burgers!

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  16. I've always wanted to meet other bloggers! That looks like so much fun... I'm confused about the brown bottle lasagna... Where does the brown bottle come in?

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  17. aw, yay for blogger meet ups :). meeting people with similar interests in your area is such a great perk to blogging!

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