Stuffed mushrooms

I made it a mid-year resolution (yes you can change them from Jan. 1) to try to make one new thing a week, whether that be a full course meal or just an appetizer. I haven’t been doing well at all as of lately but my delicious “recipe” tag is out of control! After life slows down (God only knows when that is going to happen) I’m getting back on the bandwagon and back in the kitchen!

One of my best dishes (Bryan said it was the best thing I’ve ever made him) are stuffed Portobello mushroom caps with homemade marinara sauce, Last Night Dinner’s sausage and fresh mozzarella. I roast the caps,  fill them with Italian sausage, top then with cheese and they come out so tasty and oozing with red sauce and tangy mozzarella.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

1 lbs. Italian sausage removed from it’s casing (I use a mix of hot and sweet)

1 egg

1 cup of bread crumbs

1 cup of ricotta cheese

Marinara Sauce (I whipped my own up but the jar is fine too)

Fresh mozzarella cheese

4 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned

Olive oil, salt, pepper – to taste

Pre-heat oven to broil. Start by combining de-cased Italian sausage, egg, bread crumbs and ricotta in a bowl, mix well (also see Last Night’s Dinner post). Break up mixture and fry in a non-stick pan until just cooked through.

In the meantime clean mushroom caps and place on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. I throw mine in the oven for a quick five minutes to start the cooking process. Be careful not to over cook because they will go back in later.

Take cooked sausage and fill caps (I pile it in!). Spoon marinara sauce over them and for the finishing touch place a slice of fresh mozzarella on top. Broil in oven until the cheese is hot and melty. Enjoy!




Do you remember that show Sisters from the early ’90’s?

I tweeted about it a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe how many people remembered it! Everyone use to watch it with their mom, cry and were puzzled as to why all the girls had boy names,  Frankie, Alex, Teddy and Georgie.

The Spohn girls don’t cause as much drama as the four of them but we definitely keep Dave and Kath on their toes! Al and Dre just started their junior year at Northwood and after a great summer together (minus Dre finding lizards in her FL apt) I miss them.


Loving the new Carrie Underwood single Cowboy Casanova. Starts off a little like MJ‘s The Way You Make Me Feel with  NKOTB’s “ooh o ooh o’s” The Right Stuff mixed in and is definitely rock/country inspired. Don’t think I’ll get sick of it the way I did with Before He Cheats, thank god.

The girls

We’re heading to Michigan for Labor Day to soak up the last days of summer (even though I’m still on team “Summer never started”). Considering we’ll be on the go from here on out until only God knows when I’m excited to read a book, be on the boat and spend quality time with the family. We love all our family but especially look forward to seeing two very special little ladies, Claire and Nora. I haven’t seen them since Memorial day and they’ve already changed so much in 3 short months. I can’t wait to have a few conversations with Claire (we’ve heard rumors she can say “Aunt Ashley” and “Uncle B” perfectly) and see Nora’s new teeth.


And yes, this picture is like a glimpse into the future, Bryan surrounded by a lot of women.

365 days and counting

In exactly one year from today I’ll be Mrs. Ashley Zak…I’m counting down the seconds


*one of my favorite “first” pictures together at Western

Engagement Pictures

We tried to channel our inner J Crew model but that didn’t happen, I can’t keep a straight face to save my life.

The fabulous Allie offered to take engagement pictures of Bryan and I and we jumped at the offer! She is so amazingly talented and has a great eye for beautiful pictures. I was a terrible subject, laughing when I need to be serious and talking when I was suppose to be silent but in the end we got a bunch of awesome pictures.

Thank you Allie, these are priceless.





The cousins


“The cousins are coming this weekend!”

That is what they use to refer to me and the twins by, “The Cousins,” as if we were their only cousins (they have four others besides us).

Emily turned 16 two weeks ago (I remember when she was born – tear) and Jonathan being the excellent brother he is got her a trip to Chicago! We’ve been dying to have them out so Bry and I are really excited and hope to give them the full Chicago experience. We’re kicking off the weekend with Gioradono’s deep dish then heading to the south side for a Sox game (Cubbies aren’t in town, bummer). Saturday starts with a fun  engagement session with the fabulous Allie then we’re in full tourist mode.  Zoo, Portilos, Boat Tour, Bean, Hugo’s Frog Bar and ending the night at the Blue Man group. Sunday we’re “brunching” then their back on a plane to Westport. I think I’ve planned enough to give them a good first visit to the Windy City!