"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,
yet we forget that he is someone today."
Is anyone else concerned about the youth of this generation today?
Is anyone else alarmed?
I came across some nationwide statistics that I had jotted down a few years ago
when I heard Ron Luce from Teen Mania Ministries speak,
and let's just say it is BEYOND troubling.
This is the largest generation of youth that has ever been.
33 million teenagers in America.
Larger than any other generations before them,
and they are struggling, big time.
1,500 of them kill themselves each year.
1 out of 5 have thoughts of suicide. That's staggering.
1,000,000 of them are pregnant.
750,000 of them had abortions last year.
½ of them are no longer virgins.
9 out of 10 have viewed porn online. That is a lot.
8,000 of them get an STD EVERY SINGLE DAY –
that blows my mind.
The most common STD is gonorrhea of the throat
(because teens today don't think that oral sex is really sex)
This generation views 16 to 17 hours of television each week
and sees on average 14,000 sexual scenes
and references each year.
That's more than 38 references every day.
This generation spends 3 hours a day online
and is the first to grow up with the point and click pornography.
90% of them say that they have viewed porn online
while doing homework.
(there is estimated to be at least 300,000 adult websites)
Teenage girls wear "sex beads" that tells boys,
depending on the color of beads they are wearing,
what they will do with them in the bathrooms at break.
Is anyone else troubled by this?
Is anyone else noticing a serious moral decay of a generation?
Friends, a battle is waging for our youth.
The casualties are mounting.
If things are this bad now,
what will it be like when your toddlers are teenagers?
We can't just sit back and not do anything about it.
We have to get involved with our youth of today.
We need to get out there on the battlefield ourselves
and start mentoring these youths.
Get out of our comfort zones and really step it up a notch.
We have to try to make an effort to win back this generation.
These kids are struggling with
purpose and meaning in life....
and many many other things....
We must try and capture their hearts before it's too late......
Don't you think???????????
Invite a youth over, reach out, make a connection,
make them a meal....
make them meatball lasagna...
I mean hey, who doesn't love meat-a-balls?
I make my sauce in so many different ways, it all depends on the mood.
Sometimes I use a mirepoix, other times I use red wine,
other times I use meat...but this time I made a very simple marinara,
and I doubled the batch so there would be enough sauce for the lasagna.
Here is the way I make a single batch:
I start with a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, I add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic,
appx. 2 TBSP worth of fresh basil,
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper,1/4 teaspoon of freshly
cracked black pepper...AND THAT'S IT!
I heated that over low heat for about 15-20 minutes,
stirring occasionally, while I prepared the meatballs.
I also make my meatballs many different ways,
sometimes I use a 3 part meat mixture, sometimes I use cream cheese instead of egg, but this time, I used:
1/4 cup of bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of chopped italian flat leaf parsley, 2 large eggs
lightly beaten, 2 TBSP of whole milk,
1/2 cup of grated parmigano reggiano,
a generous pinch of salt, probably almost 1 tsp worth, and the same amount of freshly ground black pepper.
I mixed all of these ingredients into a medium sized
bowl, and then added 1 lb of ground turkey into the mix, incorporating gently, always
being careful not to over-work the meat.
I rolled them into golf ball sized balls, and
then browned in a skillet with olive oil, appx. 3 minutes each side. Then removed and drained on a paper towel, and set aside.
I took a small container of ricotta cheese,
and mixed in 2 handfuls of freshly chopped basil,
1 clove of minced garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper.
I have never made my own pasta,
one of the things on my bucket list for sure,
so even though I'm a lover of those no cook lasagna sheets,
this time I used regular lasagna sheets, and boiled them
for about 8 minutes, putting them into the pot one at a time,
waiting for it to soften enough to submerge
into the pot. Because I used a smaller pot,
I cooked 6 at a time and made it in two batches.
Once the noodles were ready,
I laid them on a dry towel until I was ready to begin layering,
this helped the excess water drain off, and was easy to grab.
In my 9 x 13 baking dish, I ladled some sauce on the bottom, enough to gently cover the entire surface.
Then I layered three sheets side by side.
I spooned 2 heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mix onto each
noodle, and gently spread until they were covered in a thin layer.
Then I grated more parmigano reggiano
Then I grated more parmigano reggiano
to cover the ricotta entirely.
Then I placed 6 meatballs on each sheet, for a total of 18.
Next, ladle more sauce over to cover the meatballs.
Then, repeat that process one more time: noodles,
ricotta mix, parmigano reggiano, meatballs (18), sauce.
Then, put one more layer of noodles on top,
followed by a very generous layer of sauce, you want to make sure all the noodles are covered otherwise
they will dry out inside the oven.
Finally, I cut up fresh buffalo mozzarella
into little slices and covered the
sheets, you can use shredded mozzarella if you want.
I sprinkled some dried oregano on top and put it
in the oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread and a green salad.