Friday, July 24, 2009

Ladies Night In

At least once a month, my best friend Jen and I try to schedule a mandatory “Girls Night.” Lately, it’s been getting a bit more difficult to make these a routine occurrence. Between her two beautiful babies, our husband’s work schedules, and our own crazy calendars, a monthly night for just the two of us is sometimes a wishful idea rather than an actual event.

Well, last night, we finally got to enjoy a true gals night in. Brian (Jen’s hubby) offered to stay home with the kiddos so that Jen could get out of the house babyfree! Toly had plans with friends, so it was just the two of us.

These are the times when Jen and I really enjoy the opportunity to make an avant-garde yet exceptional meal that our husbands would absolutely despise, open a bottle of wine, and spend hours just talking.

For the meal, I couldn’t decide between a few things, so I ended up incorporating all of my ideas into one big pan and it turned out beautifully. First I was thinking roasted veggies, and then I was thinking soup, but then I saw Erin’s zucchini casserole and that looked way to good too.

What’s a girl to do?

Why make them all of course!

So I’m not really sure what to call this dish….

It started off with a sauté of onion, zucchini, tomatoes, kale, garlic and fresh herbs.

Then I added chicken broth and some Pacific Brand Carrot Ginger soup to make it soupy.

I toasted a few slices of pumpernickel bread and layered them on the bottle of a casserole dish. Next, I topped the bread with the veggie mix and then a layer of shredded parm cheese.

Repeated the layers once more…..

And a handful of ww panko bread crumbs.

Into the oven at 350* for 30 min

So this Zucchini stew/casserole/strata turned out delicious!

I also whipped up a quick Roasted Red Pepper Aioli by combining garlic, roasted red peppers, and greek yogurt in my food processor.

And a wonderful salad with everything left over in my fridge. (Asparagus, blueberries, grapefruit, cucumber, red cabbage and radish)

This was such a “Jen/Lauren” kind of meal!

For dessert, I had Jen try the Raw Banana Soft Serve “ice-cream” and of course she loved it!

We had such a wonderful, relaxing evening together. The cozy rainfall just made it even more inviting.

We do our hubbies and those beyond adorable little kidd-o’s, but sometimes, a real girl’s night is much needed and deserved! :)

What are some of your favorite things to do with your girl friends? Do you guys plan “girls nights” with your friends?

Thank goodness the weekend is here! It’s been a long week and I am much looking forward to a nice tranquil weekend. How about you?


  1. How fun! Your casserole looks fantastic. I love going out to coffee with my friends, or hanging out and watching movies, or doing something fun like ice skating :)

    This weekend is gonna be super busy and stressful--hopefully a little less than the past 2 days? But I've still got all this apartment stuff to do, and we need to find a car and stuff. Lots of running around!

  2. You are so creative!! That dinner looks so yummy and fullfilling :) Glad you got to spend some time with your friend! My friend and I used to go out to eat every Wenesday night, but that changed when she got married, haha.

    Have fun with your weekend!

  3. That looks like a wonderful time and a delicious meal : )

    I agree, it's very hard to find "girl time" these days!

  4. We do plan girls nights and they are a necessity in life, right?? hehe

    I love to go see a movie, go to a fitness class, go get frozen yogurt, go for a walk for my dog--all of that is fun with one or a few of your gals. :)

  5. Awww that zuch casserole looks amazing. Glad you two had so much fun. I like to go to coffee with my girls- we can all just relax and chat for hours on end!

  6. What a fun girl's night! Gotta love the banana soft serve, and your dinner looks great as well. Going out for dinner is always fun, but I think it's even more fun to have friends over to cook together!

  7. I love to dress up and go out to dinner. Or just staying in and snacking, making mixed drinks and watching Sex and the City till we pass out.

    Looks like a verrry yummy dinner :D Love ya!