"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tuscan-Roasted Veggies with Pork Bake

This tasty little recipe we tried to night comes via kraftfoods.com. It called for pork tenderloin pieces, but I just bought simple boneless loin chops and cut them in half and it worked just fine. My kids of course loved the roasted veggies, they were the first to disappear off their plates. It was simple to toss together and the parchment paper made for a snappy clean up. We would eat this one again. I will more than likely add more veggies then called for because the kids love them.

This recipe says it serves four, we stretched it to feed 3 kids and 3 adults. Our visitor M.H. was a bachelor for a few nights while his wife and kids were out of town. Told me that I couldn't tell his wife he ate the veggies. He said he didn't think he had ever eaten a sweet potato--shocker! By the end of the night he said, "You can tell my wife. I don't think she will make this recipe though because she is not a fan of pork. I love pork...." So N.H. if you feel up to trying pork one night, M. will eat this ;-) (It will be our little secret!)

We served this with French bread and a side Toss-salad, followed by a P.B. chocolate chip cookie. Love simple dinner nights like this one!

Tuscan-Roasted Vegetable and Pork Tenderloin Bake

4 cups coarsely chopped sweet potatoes, celery, red onions.
(I used 2 sweet potatoes, 3 ribs celery, and a sweet onion)
1/4 cup Tuscan House Italian Dressing and Marinade
(I didn't have this, but I did have a Good Seasons dry mix that I mixed up and then used)
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
(I left this out--I sure find out all the ingredients I forget to put in when I am blogging the recipes lately! Duh. Good thing is we liked them with the items missing so it works great!)
1 Baking apply, coarsely chopped (I used golden delicious)
1 lb Pork tenderloin, cut into 8 pieces (I used 4 loin chops cut in half.)
1 pkt. Shake N' Bake Extra Crispy seasoned coating mix

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss vegetables with dressing and cheese (or forget it like me;-}); spread onto parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes.

Stir in apples. Coat meat with coating mix as directed on package; add to baking sheet. Bake 20 more minutes until meat is done (160 degrees) and vegetables are tender.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Curry-Family Fun Magazine

I got this recipe from familyfun.com; they provide our family with yet another keeper! Their caption stated, "A great way to introduce kids to international food. This simple, fast curry is made rich and creamy by adding canned unsweetened coconut milk (available in the international section of most supermarkets.)"

Our kids already like the flavor of curry so I thought we'd give it a try seeing that I had all the ingredients on hand minus the fresh spinach which I simply substitute another great "green" broccoli which my kids love. It was a SUPER QUICK throw together kind of meal. Jack really liked it and said it is probably his new favorite out of the curry dishes, "because it is lighter" he tells me. I would have to agree with him. The texture is creamy, the meal light, but filling. The kids weren't crazy about it but still ate it well (maybe snacks were to late today or something!?) We will definitely be trying this recipe again soon.

Chicken Curry (from Family Fun Magazine or .com)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (I use sweet onions they are my fav!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 can (12-14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 ox) diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste (freeze the leftovers in the can for the next time)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups packed fresh baby spinach (we used Broccoli)

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion and the salt. Cook until softened, about 7 minutes, stirring often. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Stir in the coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken, stir well, and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the spinach and cook for 3 minutes or until wilted, stirring occasionally. (Broccoli doesn't take that long to become fork tender either). Season to taste with salt. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings

**We ate this for at least two meals so the serving sizes must be huge! Or they are adult size servings. We always seem to stretch the meals by adding a side salad. This dish really could be eaten by itself because it has the carbs, protein, and veggies all in one.

Oatmeal Pancakes

We made these pancakes this morning and enjoyed them. (No picture coming! A pancake is a pancake! ;-)) I am excited about the added oatmeal; it is what drew me to the recipe. I have hopes that with the added grains and fiber that they will "stay with" the kids a little longer than regular pancakes. I got this recipe from eatbetteramerica.com. I didn't however have all the exact ingredients so you will find what I used in parenthesis. It only makes 6-8 pancakes with 1/4 cup scoop.

Oatmeal Pancakes
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
(Regular Oats placed in a blender until it looked like quick-out texture)
3/4 cup Whole Wheat flour (all-purpose white)
1 cup fat-free milk (1%)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I forgot to put this in! oops)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

In a medium bowl, beat pancake ingredients with wire whisk until blended.

Spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Heat griddle to 375 degrees or skillet over medium heat. Pour 1.4 cup batter onto griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around the edges. Turn; cook other side until golden brown. Serve with topping.

Serving size is 2 pancakes (310 calories, Fat 7 g--don't know what it is if you forget the oil?! ;-) I thought they were fine without it. I didn't realize I had missed it until I went to post it! They were a little on the dryer side, but if you are using a homemade syrup it will soak it up great.)

We just used maple syrup, but eatbetteramerica had a recipe for a topping that if I had the items on hand I may have tried.

1 bag (10 oz) Frozen mixed berries, thawed and drained
3/4 cup real maple syrup

In 2-quart saucepan, cook topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat; set aside.

Refrigerated Salad

This is one of those dishes I made a LONG time ago! (June to be exact.) It was crisp and refreshing during those hot summer months. This is one I don't want to forget. It is a recipe of our family friend Camille Fowler.

Refrigerated Salad
Break up one head of lettuce in a bowl

Then layer the following ingredients on the lettuce:
layer of fresh sliced mushrooms
Bean sprouts (I can't typically leave this out)
Grated Carrots (I use my Julienner; I love it! It makes the perfect little sticks.)
Frozen peas
Water chestnuts [optional] (I leave them out)

Ice with mayonnaise and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and bacon bits.

I typically use: (It is a one to one ratio--example: 1/2 cup mayo. 1/2 T. sugar)
1 cup or less of Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon or less sugar

Stir it together and then spread it on top. I omit the ice part because I don't want to deal with the sogginess that it can make it I don't think the entire salad will be eaten. Simply make what you think would be appropriate for your size of salad. Enjoy!

Rainbow Pasta Salad

I got this recipe from my Taste of Home June/July 2000 (p.51) issue. This is another recipe I made back in June and discovered that I hadn't posted yet. It is a great salad to use up some of the fresh veggies from the garden.

Rainbow Pasta Salad
1 pkg (16 oz) Tricolor spiral pasta
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup cucumber
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 jar (6.5 oz) marinated artichoke hearts (optional! I never have used them-don't typically have them on hand anyway.)
1 bottle (8 oz) Italian Salad dressing

Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a bowl; add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Yields 12-14 servings

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This recipe we have been using this recipe for a few years now. I love that I can buy 6-8 chicken breast and get two or three meals out of them. When I buy the breast and cut them in to 1/4-inch slices I can get two sometimes three roll-ups out of one breast. The smaller portions are perfect for the children and everyone is happy that they have their own special looking meal. This recipe came out of a Taste of Home magazine. It is a great meal to serve on special occasions or "just because". A great part about it for me is that I can do all the prep-work one time and freeze the others for later or to take into a family who might be in need of a meal from time to time.

8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lbs)
(Or Cheat and buy Chicken Cutlets if your store carries them)
8 thin sliced (4 oz) Deli Ham (I loved Virginia Baked Ham)
4-8 slices provolone cheese, halved
2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup milk

Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness (skip this step with cutlets). Place a slice of ham and half a slice of cheese on each piece of chicken. Roll up from a short end side and tuck in ends; secure with a toothpick. In a shallow bowl, combine crumbs, grated cheese and parsley. Pour milk into another bowl. Dip chicken rolls in milk, then roll in crumb mixture.

Wrap and freeze four chicken roll-ups for up to 2 months. Place the remaining roll-ups seam side down, on a greased baking sheet. Spritz chicken with non-stick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove toothpicks.

To use Frozen chicken: Completely thaw in the refrigerator. Unwrap roll-ups place on a greased baking sheet. Spritz with nonstick cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

We like to serve sides of rice pilaf, steamed seasonal veggies, or a salad.
We also like a slice of ciabatta or French Bread with it.

Hearty Potato Soup (Crockpot)

We liked this recipe and I loved that it was so quick to chop up and toss in the crock-pot, and that I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry or food storage all the time. With the exception of half-and-half I never have this on hand. This recipe comes from www.myrecipes.com it listed this soup with a bread bowl recipe "Italian Bread Bowls."

Hearty Potato Soup (myrecipes.com)
6 (2 1/2 lbs) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used 3-3 1/2 lbs)
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced (I used 5--carrots are my kids favorite part)
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (I used 3 celery ribs)
2 ( 14 1/2 oz) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth (I used 4 cans or make the broth or make it with bouillon cubes)
1 teaspoon dried Basil (I used 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Salt (I used about 2 teaspoons by the time I was done)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half (1 cup half and half or what milk I have on hand. If I use milk I add a little more flour to help thicken it.)

(* One note to self: We love the bread bowls but they are so filling. The recipe recommends making 8 bowls out of the recipe. I am going to shoot for 16 next time.)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a 4 1/2 quart slow cooker (If you use my measurements then toss it in a 5 quart crock-pot).

Cook, covered, on High for 3 - 4 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Stir together the flour and half-and-half; stir into soup. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve in Italian Bread Bowls, and garnish with fresh celery leaves, if desired.

Nutter Butter-Banana Pudding Trifle

Wow as I have looked over my past photos of 2009 I realized that I have missed blogging several of our tasty dishes. We tried this dish in October for our Sunday dinner dessert. It was yummy. The only thing I will change is making my mom's homemade Banana Cream pudding because it is so smooth and creamy. (It doesn't use the egg whites or flour which I think makes the texture more smooth.)

Plan ahead it needs 2 HOURS to Chill!

Nutter Butter-Banana Pudding Trifle (Southern Living Magazine 2009 magazine promo-cover)
3 cups milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 medium-sized banana's
1 (1 lb.) package peanut butter sandwich cookies--Nutter Butters
** I couldn't bring myself to use the whole package! I just used what I thought looked good--save a little here and there!
2 cups sweetened whipped topping (We frequently use Cool Whip Free!)

Garnish: peanut butter sandwich cookies, dried banana chips (glad I had in food storage) fresh mint sprigs (glad to be growing my own in my kitchen window). **Garnishing is always a nice touch but there is no way I would go out an buy stuff specific to garnish a dish--just not my style. ;-)

Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.

Fill a large bowl with ice. Place saucepan in ice, and let stand stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly chilled.

Meanwhile, cut bananas into 1/4-inch slices. Break cookies into thirds.

Spoon half a pudding mixture into a 3-qrt. bowl or pitcher. Top with bananas and cookies. Spoon remaining pudding mixture over bananas and cookies. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Cover and chill 2 hours to 24 hours. Garnish if desired.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monster Batch of Monster Cookies

I made these cookies clear back in July and am finally getting them posted. This is a huge batch in and of itself, then when you make a mindless mistake and double the baking powder it becomes a "monster batch!" How does this happen you ask? Well I was talking with my sister Sherri about girls camp and we were brainstorming ideas for her camp. I had all three boys trying to help me in the kitchen making the cookies, chatting away, measuring stuff, keeping the kids fingers out of the sugar (you get the picture) and then next thing I know I have dumped 2 teaspoons baking powder in my mix. There is no easy way to fish baking powder out of flour so throw your hands in the air, smile (Okay a really big SIGH), and make a monster batch what else can you do?! It actually worked out nicely because I had plenty of extra dough to freeze; something everyone in my house loves from time to time is a "frozen cookie ball".

These cookies are great from the oven, frozen after being baked or frozen prior to baking. Here is our version of the "Monster Cookie"

Monster Cookies
1 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder!!!!!!!
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet-chocolate chips
1 cup plain M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

In a very large bowl, cream together the margarine, butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and rolled oats; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in chocolate chips and M&M candy pieces. Drop in desired size teaspoons or tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden. If you like chewy cookies, take them out before they look done.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Harvest Roasted Vegetables

I got this book through a preschool book order and when I ordered it I thought it would be your basic ABC book, but it turned into so much more for me and my boys. We read this as a bedtime story and the boys were so inquisitive about all the foods that they had never tasted before. It was really fun and an eye-opening experience for them. The three boys and I went on a grocery shopping trip and they were on a hunt for "star fruit" much to their disappointment we did not find one, but were were able to see a papaya, Quince, turnips, Ugli fruit, Figs and so much more. They were so excited to buy Brussels sprouts, a mango, and a pomegranate. They love pomegranates and are looking forward to trying the mango when it is ripe.
Okay so that is a long history to tell you why we are posting this recipe. Thanks for baring with me on this one. This recipe is worth the wait I promise. I did a little online searching for ways to cook Brussels sprouts. I adapted this recipe from eatbetteramerica.coms recipe. The recipe said it yields 14 (1/2 cup) servings. My little family of five gobbled it down until we only had three cups for leftovers. (Granted it was the only side I offered with the meal, but the caramelized sugars that the vegetables produced was just to irresistible!)

Hugh blowing on the hot veggies--he couldn't wait one second longer to indulge in this colorful and healthy dish! He kept picking at it until I had everything on the table and ready to go.

Harvest Roasted Vegetables
1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peel, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
4 unpeeled small red potatoes, quartered
1 medium sweet onion, cut into thin slices
2 cups small fresh Brussels sprouts (about 8-12 oz)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Kosher Salt (sprinkle on after roasting to taste)

Heat oven to 425. Spray a large cookie sheet/jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix all vegetables together. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in pan.

Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring and turning vegetables several times, until vegetables are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

I have been trying to limit my sweet intake to family dinners on Sunday and for special occasions. Tonight was neither category, but I had fresh strawberries that need to be used, so rightfully I caved and gave into making this for dessert. The cream in this recipe is OH SO GOOD! The orange zest in it I L-O-V-E-D! I am excited to make this cream for our next family waffles and cream fest. Who knows when that will be, but I will be ready!
This dessert is light in texture; not in flavor or calories I am sure, but when you are indulging do you really care?!;-) I think this would be so fun to make for a Valentines dessert if strawberries happen to be at a fair price.

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

Cream Puff Base:

5 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

2/3 cup flour

3 eggs

Cream Cheese Mixture:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar

For the cream puff layer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the butter, water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture is shiny with a satiny sheen. Don't over beat. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan (or in a pinch, you could use a 9-inch circle cake pan). Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture on the bottom and one inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and prick pastry with a toothpick 10-12 times. Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown but not over baked (you can insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out with sticky dough, it still needs longer in the oven).Cool completely.

For the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar (if you want to ensure there are no lumps, sift the powdered sugar into the cream cheese) and beat with the cream cheese until mixture is smooth and light. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cooled cream puff shell.

Top with fresh sliced strawberries (I mixed 2 cups of strawberries with 1 teaspoon sugar and let them hang out in the fridge while I was prepping the cake) or you can use a 16-ounce bag of frozen strawberries that have been thawed. Mix the thawed strawberries and juice with 1-2 teaspoons sugar and bring to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook until slightly thickened. Cool completely and use as topping for the cake.

Recipe Source: from My Kitchen Cafe (www.mykitchencafe.blogspot.com)/originally from Aunt Marilyn

IHOP French Toast and Coconut Syrup!

This french toast is great. I didn't get a picture because it disappeared so quickly. Cameron had been requesting french toast for breakfast for a while, so I thought I would give this recipe a try. The boys were so excited and had to help make the syrup. I didn't have any great french bread to use at the time I tried this one so we used our regular sandwich bread and it turn out fine. I am sure the french toast would make it over the top, but my boys didn't seem to care and loved it anyway. This would be fun to serve for those special and extra special occasions.

IHOP French Toast by Erin sisterscafe.blogspot.com
2 eggs
½ c. milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 T. flour
6 slices of thick sliced French bread
First beat eggs, then add remaining ingredients with electric mixer. Dip both sides of bread and place in hot buttered pan. Flip over when browned. Serve with Coconut Syrup.
*This recipe reminds me of "The Best cookbooks" French Toast.

Coconut Syrup
This syrup is so tasty! Have you checked out the ingredients how can it not be anything but "Toolicious!". The flavor is wonderful and reminds me a lot of a liquid coconut cream pie. This is a new favorite at our house. Serve it with hot breakfasts, whether it be waffles, pancakes, crepes or french toast. You won't be sorry.

7-8 T. butter
¾ c. buttermilk (I didn't have buttermilk. I used 1% milk + lemon juice substitute in the Better Homes and Gardens)
1 c. sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp coconut extract **

Place butter, buttermilk and sugar in a pot. Then turn stove on medium and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Remove from heat and add soda and flavoring. It will bubble up; just continue to stir and give it a few minutes for the 'fizz' to reduce before serving.

**Erin from the sisters cafe blog said she also likes to use vanilla extract to change up the syrups from time to time.

Peanut Butter and Honey Syrup

During our honey harvesting this year a friend of mine told me of this Honey cookbook she got for her wedding (12 yrs ago) from our local honey store the Queen Bee Gardens. She said her kids love it. We gave it a whirl because I had some extra honey sitting around from filling jars at Christmas time for gifts. My kids liked it to. We love it on waffles with banana's on top. I also think it would be the perfect mixture for our tortilla peanut butter, honey, and banana roll-up snacks, but have yet to try it. It makes a quite a bit so I will probably half the recipe next time.
Thank your Christina R. for sharing this tasty option to mix up our breakfast routine.

Peanut Butter and Honey Syrup
2 cups honey
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup butter

Heat over low heat until well blended, but DO NOT BOIL!

(**Again I would half this recipe. I got to pint jars + push a small squeeze bottle [like a restaurant ketchup bottle] out of this recipe. I put it in the jars and refrigerated it. We warm up the syrup as we need it.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O

Isn't this Jell-O almost to beautiful to eat?! My mother-in-law Ruth made this for our Christmas Eve dinner. It was so tasty and boy it was so fun! Be prepared to spend some time on this Jell-O because of all the layers. It is a fun one to make when you are already tending to other dishes in the kitchen.

Rainbow Jello
9x13 pan
1 small pkg of each Jell-O Flavor listed below
blue- peach w/blue food coloring or blueberry
purple-grape or blackberry

Mix an individual box/color with 1 cup hot water, then divide in color in half.
To one half add 3 Tablespoons water.
To the other half and 1/3 cup sour cream.
Pour first half (Jell-O+ Water) in pan, let set, then pour second half (Jell-O + Sour Cream) in pan, let set.
Repeat each color

When set, cut into squares and serve. Sit back and watch your company Ooo! and Awe! Thank you Ruth for a fun and good eat! And a BIG THANK YOU for sharing your recipe.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Caramelized Butternut Squash

This recipe comes by way of Food Networks, Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. If you love squash in any shape and form you are bound to enjoy this recipe. There's nothing like roasted vegetables! This was a hit at hour house kids of all (ages 2+). We will definitely be making this over and over!

Caramelized Butternut Squash

2 medium butternut squash or 1 large pkg already cut-up squash
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel squash, remove seeds and cut into chunks. Place chunks on a baking sheet. Add the rest of the ingredients to squash on the the sheet and toss together. (I mixed mine in a large bowl because I think it is more convenient to evenly coat squash.) Make sure squash is in a single layer on the sheet.
Roast for 45-55 minutes or until the squash is tender and it begins to caramelize; turn a few times so that it caramelizes evenly. (I let it roast 45 minutes and then stirred them. Then I placed them under the broiler for 5-8 minutes to help caramelize it a little more.)
Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings (We served this to 4 adults and 6 children as a side dish.)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our Homemade Lasagna

I got this recipe from my friend Lisa F. in Lake George, NY. She is allergic to eggs so this lasagna is made without them (lower-fat content a plus). We have made our own modifications to the recipe as well so here it is:

1 lb pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil, or 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped when you have it
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes or stewed. (If you use the stewed chop up the tomatoes a little)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
12 dry lasagna noodles
Cheese Filling:
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese (cottage cheese small curd works too)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb Mozzarella cheese, shredded (I don't know if I have ever used the full lb. Maybe more like 3 cups)
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese

In a skillet brown ground beef, onion and garlic; drain off fat. Mix in basil, oregano, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until al dente (best to follow package instructions here); drain. Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry.

In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and parsley and 1 teaspoon salt.
(* Sometimes I just through the mozzarella cheese in with this mixture. It takes out one step of layering in the assembly process. **IF you want to ADD EGGS add 2 eggs, beaten to this mixture-we never have and it is wonderful lasagna)
Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover noodles with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

* This recipe easily feeds 4 Adults and 3 children at least twice. I can't say that I have ever frozen it because I usually make it when I have a crowd. I don't see why you couldn't put it in 2- 8x8 dishes and freeze one for later.