Mama Mia, Papa Pia

Sometimes Jim (my life partner) and I cook together. Just about once a week, usually on a weekend. I love it when we do. He acts as  my sous chef and we pretend we are being filmed for a cooking show. This Sunday we wanted pizza but didn’t want pizza so we made pizza pasta and bread sticks instead. I so enjoy the taste of the sauce that comes in the Chef Boyardee Pizza kits – it tastes like the Friday nights of my childhood. Ever since we have tried to make better choices I have begun to read all labels.  I found out why I love the sauce, it’s filled with high fructose corn syrup. Since we would be ingesting such “bad for you sauce” (ya, I bought it anyway) I thought I would try this new pasta, Heartland Hidden Vegetable. There is a whole serving of vege’s in a 4oz portion (the recommended serving). We also packed the dish with other vegetables like shredded carrots, red/green/yellow and orange peppers, green onion and mushrooms. In addition we threw in some sliced pepperoni, black olives, crushed garlic and red pepper flakes.


This dish is so easy to make and taste like a big warm bowl of love. Aside from buying the pizza kit, we purchased 3 extra cans of sauce (8oz each).


Jim made the dough into bread sticks which we also dipped into the sauce (we all had orange mustaches). He mixed the dough according to directions, let it rise, added garlic powder, parsley and italian seasoning, needed and beat it, attempted to throw it into the air like in the movies and finally…put it the oven – baked it and cut it into strips.


It’s not funny or a coincidence how God works. A while ago I had heard such rave reviews from other parents about the Jesus Storybook Bible. I wanted to get it but only found it on-line for about $25-$30. This afternoon while I was shopping for tonight’s supper, walking up and down the grocery isle, I see it. Sitting there on top of a display of Kraft mac and cheese. The book I couldn’t find and for only $15 bucks, I was so excited.

My oldest had the opportunity to attend a christian school from preschool to 3rd grade, that coupled with Sunday school and some discussion at home had given her a really good inventory of Bible stories from which to draw from. My other 2 however are borderline atheists. We found a church home here finally, after 8 months of searching and haven’t made it to Sunday school regularly. Plus they go to “PUBLIC” school, which we all know is the devil’s workshop. Plus they aren’t the “first born” so we don’t “work at teaching them anything” (kind of kidding). I knew this book would be a great bed time story for them and I knew that God put it right in my path.


After dinner (which was the bomb by the way) was eaten and the dishes were done and baths were given and teeth were brushed and threats were made, I nestled down in between the girls in their bed and began to read.

The girl’s attention was fixed on my every word and the expression on their face explained the emotion they were feeling. As I read the familiar stories, starting at the beginning they seemed new to me. A whole new way to hear and understand them. Yes, I know – why mess with a good thing? Why does everything have to be made new? The old way is just fine.  But having your mind wrap around this love/adventure story where “every story whispers his name” is a gift you give yourself.

Tonight we only read to chapter, The Girl That No One Wanted, the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel from Genesis 29 & 30. which was into page 70 of the book. The girls begged me to go on but alas it was past their bed time and they had school the next day. It’s always sad when a great weekend comes to an end.

I took the book into my room and read a bit more. There is a quote inside the book that really answers the question about whether there is or isn’t a God, a question that some have grappled with for their lifetime;

“I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there IS a story-teller.” – G K Chesterton

There are so many excerpts from this book that I would love to write here but if I did, I fear I would just copy the entire book and get sued…

Ok, 2 more;

And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God’s children: “God doesn’t love me.”

This Prince would love God’s people. They wouldn’t need to be beautiful for him to love them. He would love them with all of his heart. And they would be beautiful because he loved them

Both quotes were from the Adam and Eve story. I’m telling you, good stuff, just for you!

Below is the recipes, which all seem really frivolous now but hey, fish gotta swim, we gotta eat.

Honestly, Amy


  1. boil water, add salt, cook pasta to direction.
  2. in separate pot, add oil and cook everything for 4 to 5 minutes until slightly soft and bright in color.  Add pasta sauce and remove from heat.
  3. Spray casserole dish with non stick cooking spray and layer pasta and vege mix.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 (at 15 mins in add the sprinkle cheese to the top and return to oven.


  • Hidden Harvest Penne
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, parm cheese, Italian seasoning
  • All the vege’s listed above
  • Chef Boyardee mix and extra sauce or premade pizza crust and whatever sauce you love.
  • Olive oil, butter, cooking spray

I also made some homemade Italian salad dressing and poured in over romaine.


Vinegar, water, olive oil and an Italian dressing seasoning packitalian dressing

(plus 2 tsp of sugar and more red pepper flakes).

3 thoughts on “Mama Mia, Papa Pia

  1. Enjoyed this one. I want to read the book! Sorry about the high fructose syrup on the pizza sauce when you were little. That’s about the only pizza we had then except for Monical’s when you were a bit older! Love you, Lady!

  2. Pingback: Spicy tuna on greens | thesisterslice

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