As the summer season comes to a close, we bid farewell to the light-filled days and slower pace, and say hello to full calendars, school supplies and the juggling that comes with fall. Weekend getaways are a great idea any time of year! Oregon’s unspoiled stretches of beach, natural treasures, trails and fresh air are always just a car ride away.
This edition of Home Away From Home brought publisher Courtney Kutzman, her family and friends to Meredith Lodging’s “Hope Floats” home in Rockaway Beach. The woodland setting, brick back patio with a large fire pit, luxurious upgrades, and charming coastal decor made gathering together and living in the moment effortless.
Hope Floats‚ Rockaway Beach
A two-minute walk from “Hope Floats” finds you on the peaceful sandy path to Nedonna Beach surrounded by beach grass, stunning views of the jetty and the soothing sounds of ocean waves. The uncrowded, shell-filled beach was pristine and peaceful. We were the only beachgoers in sight on more than one occasion. Day trip: Delight the kids with a trip on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad steam train from Garibaldi to Rockaway.
- Sleeps 9
- Three bedrooms (comfy beds!)
- 2.5 bathrooms
- Large brick patio for entertaining
- Fire pit (bring on the s’mores!)
- Well-appointed chef’s kitchen
1. Grill and chill. Many of the Meredith Lodging homes have a grill waiting for you! Maximize time with friends by bringing dishes that can be quickly prepared on the grill.
2. Cruise the 101. The most incredible views and most adorable towns are just a gorgeous drive away. Take a drive on the 101 and explore the coastal gems right around the corner.
3. Radio Fly ‘em. Do yourself a favor and pile the kids, beverages, snacks, beach blankets and sand toys into a wagon. The kids love it, and what parent doesn’t love making it to the destination in one trip?
4. Scavenger hunt. Every trip we take, we search for shells or rocks to take home as a memento. (They usually find their way into our house plants when we get home.) Kids love to gather beach trinkets.
5. Hot dog! Fun fact: The Pronto Pup was invented in Rockaway Beach. Take the kids to the restaurant and ride the on-site mechanical corn dog ride.
6. Enjoy the show. Many Meredith Lodging rentals feature in-home movie selections. Hunker down, lose the phones, snuggle as a family and enjoy a classic. The beachy choice this time around? Hook!
Sara’s Beach Weekend Lasagna
Chef’s note: This is a great dish to make ahead of time, so all you need to do on vacation is pop it in the oven!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 thin carrots, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage
- 8 oz diced prosciutto
- Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 (28 oz) cans Italia plum San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 (16 oz) can tomato puree
- 10 sprigs fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ricotta cheese mixture:
- 2 cups ricotta
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb lasagna noodles (cook per instructions on box)
- 4 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
STEP 1: SAUCE
Use a Dutch oven or large sauce pot and coat with olive oil. Add onions, celery and carrots, and saute until soft. Once vegetables start sweating, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Add ground beef, Italian sausage and prosciutto, and heat until meat is fully cooked. Mix in Italian seasoning to taste. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce and tomato puree, and mix well until fully incorporated. Add fresh basil and half and half, and simmer on low until sauce is thick and creamy (1 to 2 hours).
STEP 2: RICOTTA
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for lasagna preparation.
STEP 3: LASAGNA
Preheat oven to 375 ° F. In the bottom of a 9 by 13” deep-dish baking dish, add a couple ladles full of sauce and spread out evenly. Place a layer of lasagna noodles over to completely cover the sauce. Spread ricotta mixture over the pasta, then ladle sauce over ricotta mixture, followed by handfuls of mozzarella cheese to cover the sauce completely. Repeat this step 3 to 4 times until you have layers of pasta, ricotta, meat sauce and cheese to the rim of the dish. Put a light layer of sauce on top and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake until lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Let Meredith Lodging help find your perfect home away from home.
1-855-318-0921 | MeredithLodging.com | #homeawaywithmeredith