Little Flowers

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Ah, February. In Portland, it's sort of a non-month, in my opinion. Not really winter — at least, I stop pining for snow about now. Not spring, though the daffodils show up at the grocery store. Gray as gray ever gets, and brown on the ground, to boot. It's cold, often windy, frequently drizzling. Dark in the morning, dark in the afternoon. I have absolutely no motivation to leave the house in February. I surrender. My little flowers are all indoors. I watch HGTV like crazy. Andy said, from the kitchen, "The brothers are so funny!" Me [very excitedly]: "The Property Brothers??? I know!" Him: "No, the brothers from Oceans Twelve." Har.

Guess what? We're COOKING SOMETHING this week. Actual food that comes out of an actual pot on the actual stove. WOW. Lasagnas for Valentine's Day. Our longstanding tradition.

Lasagnas Rozale
Our version of these, from Martha Stewart
Serves 2

For the sauce:
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
2 t. olive oil
2 t. butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 oz. lean ground beef
3 oz. ground pork
3 oz. Italian sausage
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. red wine
12 oz. chopped tomatoes (boxed or canned)
2 c. chicken stock
1/4 t. nutmeg

For the bechamel sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. plus 3 tablespoons milk
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg

Other ingredients:
6 lasagna noodles
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan

To make the sauce:
1. In large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and have let off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 3 to 4 more minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in separate skillet, break up and brown all meats over high heat, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper. Drain off fat and add meats to skillet containing vegetables; mix everything together. Add wine and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, stock, and nutmeg. Lower heat to medium low and slowly simmer, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Much of the liquid will evaporate but sauce will remain very moist. It can be made 2 days in advance and stored in refrigerator. You will have extra sauce after lasagnas are assembled to use over pasta, etc., for lunch the next day, too.

To make the bechamel:
1. In a saucepan, melt 2 T. butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring milk and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture until completely incorporated and smooth. Add the nutmeg and reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

To assemble the lasagna:
1. Boil lasagna noodles in large pot of salted water until about a minute before you normally like them to come out. Drain and rinse with cold water, then cut (shorten) to fit two 12-ounce individual ovenproof casserole dishes.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until wilted and tender. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Set aside.
3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 5 T. meat sauce into each of the casserole dishes. Cover with 1 lasagna noodle and spread 5 T. meat sauce evenly over. Spread 2 T. bechamel over the meat sauce and evenly distribute 2 T. chopped spinach over the bechamel. Sprinkle with Parmesan and cover with 1 lasagna noodle. Repeat layering process. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of Parmesan and dot with butter.
4. Bake until tops of lasagnas are golden and juices are bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes. If the tops are not yet brown, increase heat to broil and place lasagnas under broiler until tops are speckled brown. Let stand 10 minutes; serve with red wine, simple salad, crusty bread, fancy deserts, and lots of love. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo


ohhh Amelia is adorable!
I have a baby girl that born just two weeks before your little one... and I'm feel blessing for every moment I can spend with her...

love your blog (I think this is my first comment here) and always enjoy see the beauty in your photos...


I love, love, love Amelia's little baby toes! Love your pictures and thanks for the recipe!
val in kansas

Lynda Catlin says: February 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Amelia is soooo darn cute and I love her little rosebud lips :-) Today I like the mint green and white wallpaper on the right and the tiny one beside it that looks white and red or is it pink...good luck choosing!!!

those lips, that hair, those high-waisted pants...miss amelia you are too cute.

she looks so cozy!!!

Annie Vennerbeck says: February 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Dear A & A,
Oh that little girl- melting my heart! And she is growing so fast.
I would like to vote for the white floral on pale-ish green wallpaper - and its companion (clipped on?)...beautiful choices all around.

As you may know we have almost three feet of snow ~ yikes.
wisht we could mail ya some!
Annie in New Hampshire

Baby Amelia is an absolute sweet heart ♥
Such a beautiful quilt ~ I am working on one for " soon to arrive" grandbaby #2 and hope it looks as lovely as yours when I'm done. And your Avocado pit ... wow ... can you share your secret to getting one to grow? I've tried over and over with no luck (and I eat Avocados a few times a week) :-D
thank you for sharing your lovely photos Alicia.

February.. I start to get some business done after my "down" month of January. We've got seas of Snowdrops in bloom in the farm yard! Amelia is so sweet - Andy looks so happy holding her.
*H*A*P*P*Y* *V*A*L*E*N*T*I*N*E*S* *D*A*Y*
Teresa :-)

What a little pumpkin...what a little pat of butter...I want to scoop up Amelia and kiss those chubby cheeks! Lucky you!!


her little squishy pouty lips and cheeks so crack me up!

Those cheeks are just getting more pinch-able every day. What a cutie. I love how the quilt is looking.

Precious little pudgeball! ♥ Amelia's adorable!

Daffodils are my favorite. They were my bridal bouquet flowers along with Cattails and Pussywillows. :) And we need their bright yellow this month, for sure.

I don't think she can get any cuter...she is just a doll!!

You look to be very the quilt on the bed!!

So sweet to see the happy dad smiling! I continue to be heart-warmed that the three of you all found each other. Lovely and amazing.

Alicia, we are desperately awaiting bunny kits! Can see you have been busy.

HGTV has been on a lot here on the far east side of Portlans as well :-) But I just took some photos of some of our rosy red camellia blossoms I plan to post today. Looking at the bright blossoms out my front window are cheering us up as my 3 and 5 year old grandgirls bounce in and out of my room and my 8 month old grandgirl is carried in and out of here, too. My oldest daughter is sitting here knitting as I type. :-)

Thanks for the lovely photos and yummy sounding recipe.

Happy Valentine's Day, 2.14.2013 Alicia, Andy and Amelia <3<3<3

I love the big, round baby stage. The full moon face. She's a darlin'. I'm sure your Valentine's day will be overflowing with love.

OMG she's enormous! What a big, squishy, delicious baby! Love this.... aw I'm going to go squeeze my baby now.

I rarely ever comment on here, but I come, every day, to visit and enjoy and absorb all the goodness here. My baby girl is just 8 months old. So, I get little moments of deja vu when I see your precious Amelia doing things, smiling a certain way, or just staring at the camera saying "what in the world? Another photo?" Thank you for continuing to stay true you and your beautiful, melodic voice. I treasure it all! And, it's about time I said thank you!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh those cheeks! Ridiculously cute!

You could be describing the South of England right now, exactly. Grey, brown, dark, cold ... ugh. And guess what? In response to all that dreariness today I went out and bought 'Country Living' magazine (so much colour and prettiness on the cover) , a big bar of Dairy Milk chocolate, and a bunch of daffodils! Great minds. x Hannah

Hi Alicia! Amelia is adorable and you've managed to capture so many cute expressions. You seem to be a pro at this already and it's great to see how everyone has settled in so beautifully.

The photo with all the wallpaper above Amelia's head is really cute.

I think my favorite paper is the gray-blue sample with the white flowers.

You'll probably change the room decor here and there as she gets older but I think that blue wallpaper will work all the way until she's a pre-teen (maybe even longer, depending on her teen personality which I'm sure you've heard can be tricky-lol).

You're clearly having a blast and it shows. Keep having fun.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Amelia is so big yet so tiny. Love the sort of sitting up picture. Her cheeks resemble squishy marshmallows.

She is growing so big and her hair is so long now. Your photos are so pretty. Sarah x

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.