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Two of my kids took an incredible Art Mentorship course at Studio Leilani, and near the completion of the sessions, the class was invited to be a part of Artosphere (Arkansas’ Arts and Nature Festival) and to bring the Marionettes they had created to the Frisco Trail to participate in a parade, stopping at specific locations where musicians were playing, to move and dance with the marionettes.

Max with his Marionette

Max with his Marionette

Following our afternoon out on the trail, we gathered around the family dinner table to savor a Zucchini Noodle Lasagne that I had prepared earlier in the day.


zucchini noodle lasagne

2 pounds zucchini

1 1/4 pound ground beef

2 cups chopped fresh portobello mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat broiler. Trim ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (I used my handy-dandy mandolin). Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.

Reduce oven temperature to 375F. In a large skillet cook beef, mushrooms and garlic until meat is browned. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta sauce, tomato sauce, basil, oregano and fennel seeds.

In a bowl, combine egg and ricotta cheese.

Spread one cup of meat sauce in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Top with zucchini slices to cover. Spoon half of ricotta mixture on zucchini, use back of spoon to lightly spread over zucchini. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the mozzarella. Top with half the remaining sauce. Repeat layers, ending with sauce.

Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.