Thursday, September 14, 2017

Korean Beef with Quinoa




Ingredients:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp oil
6 cloves garlic
2 lb beef
4 green onions
2 cups dry quinoa

Directions:
1.  In a small bowl mix brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ground ginger.
2.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat and cook garlic for 1-2 minutes.
3.  Add beef to skillet and cook until brown.  Drain fat.
4.  Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions and simmer for 2 minutes.
5.  Cook quinoa according to package directions and serve with beef.




Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chicken and Dressing



I'm from the south where we are pretty particular about our dressing being "dressing" and not "stuffing."  If you've tasted both, you know that there is a big difference and I do not care for the stuffing version.  This recipe has a few steps but it is worth the effort.  Now that it is almost September I am offering more fall type dishes for my Tastes Like Home business.  I plan to pair this dish with sweet potato casserole and homemade apple pie.  There is sage is this recipe, which I personally prefer in my dressing.  This dish comes with chicken mixed in, but you could leave that out if you want to make this for a side dish to go with your turkey or ham for the holidays.


Ingredients:
4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
canola oil
crumbled cornbread (see recipe below)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2-1 Tbsp ground sage
Cornbread:
2 cups cornmeal
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp sugar

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine all cornbread ingredients and pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.  Saute onions and celery in oil until tender.
4. In a large bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, crumbled cornbread, broth, soup, eggs, salt, pepper, and sage.  Mix well.
5.  Stir in chicken.
6.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Strawberry Cake



Everyone loves strawberry cake, right!?!  This recipe comes from Southern Living and the only tricky thing about making this cake is the icing getting runny.  You really need to make sure the cakes have cooled completely before icing and I suggest freezing for about 20 minutes in between icing each layer.  The icing tends to get runny and makes some of the layers shift so I like to keep it refrigerated until about 30 minutes prior to serving.  Also, if you are making this on a really humid day, you probably want to add more powdered sugar to the icing to firm it up even more.  I made this cake for my daughter Camille's first birthday, and my daughter Alivia's 9th birthday.  My daughter Alivia requested I cover her cake in skittles (her favorite candy) in a rainbow design.  You can see in the picture that it had been sitting out a couple of hours at a skating party and was beginning to shift, but she still loved it!





Ingredients:
1 box white cake mix
3 oz box strawberry jello
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
32 oz powdered sugar
1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Prepare 3 - 9 inch cake pans with Crisco and flour.
3.  In a large bowl, mix all cake ingredients with electric mixer on medium for 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
4.  Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5.  Cool cake in pans for about 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans to cool completely.  Put wax paper between layers to cool.
6.  To make frosting, beat the butter for about a minute.
7.  Add powdered sugar and strawberries and beat at low speed until combined and creamy. Set in refrigerator to firm up while cakes are cooling.
8.  Spread frosting on first layer, refrigerate for about 10 minutes.  Frost second layer and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.  Frost third layer and sides and refrigerate until about 30 minutes prior to serving.

Add caption

If you want to skip the skittle decor, but make it a little fancy, you can add cut up strawberries in a flower design on top.



Chicken Cobb Salad



Ingredients:
Chopped romaine lettuce
Tyson frozen crispy chicken strips
boiled eggs, cut up
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped tomatoes
cooked and crumbled bacon
choice of salad dressing

Directions:
Microwave your chicken strips and cut them up.  Layer the lettuce, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, bacon, and chicken.  Top with your favorite salad dressing.  It's that easy!



Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches



I've been on a quest to find the most delicious chicken salad recipe for a while now.  I like most chicken salad recipes whether they include grapes and nuts or boiled eggs and pickle relish, but I still felt something was missing.  When I came across this recipe recently it sounded so good!  And let me tell you, it is the best chicken salad I have ever tasted.  I was eating it like candy and just couldn't stop!  My favorite way to eat chicken salad is on a croissant, but it is good on crackers or most any type of bread.




Ingredients:
1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 medium red delicious apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mayonnaise
12 croissants




Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients until well combined.  Put about 2 Tbsp on each croissant.

Serve immediately.  Refrigerate leftovers.







Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake




It tastes as good as it looks!  Cheesecake is my favorite!  My all time favorite cheesecake has been Caramel Brownie Cheesecake for years, but this recipe now ties for first place.  It is very rich, so a small sliver will do, and I think cheesecake tastes better with coffee.  May be it's the bitter taste of the coffee that rounds out the rich sweetness of the cheesecake.  Don't be turned off by the amount of work it takes to make this recipe.  It is worth all the effort.  First, you make the oreo crust from scratch and set it in the refrigerator to chill.  Then, you make the eggless cookie dough from scratch, scoop out balls of dough onto a plate, and let them sit in the freezer while you mix up the cheesecake.  After you mix the cheesecake ingredients, you fold in the cookie dough and some more chocolate chips and pour into your crust.  It has to bake for an hour, sit in the hot oven with the door cracked for an hour, cool to room temperature on a wire rack for about an hour, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  So don't plan on making this the day you want to eat it.  Cheesecake keeps in the refrigerator for a week, and I think the taste gets better every day.

Ingredients:
For the crust:
24 Oreo cookies (whole cookie, including the filling) crushed
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cheesecake:
32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips




Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease a 9 in springform pan with Crisco and flour.
3.  Mix butter and Oreos for crust and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan.  Set in refrigerator.
4.  To make cookie dough, cream together the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5.  Add the milk and vanilla, and mix until blended.
6.  Blend in the flour and salt just until combined.
7.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.
8.  Scoop teaspoon size portions of the dough and place on a large plate in the freezer.
9.  To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt with an electric mixer until creamy and no more lumps of cheesecake remain, about 3 minutes.
10.  Add the heavy cream and vanilla, and beat to combine.
11. Beat in the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating for about 15 seconds before adding the next.  Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and evenly incorporate.
12.  Fold in the balls of cookie dough and the mini chocolate chips.
13.  Pour the filling into the chilled crust and spread into an even layer.
14.  Place the pan on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake 45-60 minutes.  The outer couple of inches should look puffed and the center still jiggly.
15.  Turn off the oven, crack the door, and leave the cheesecake inside for an hour.
16.  Place cheesecake on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, and run a knife around the edge of the cake
17.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

*Leftover cheesecake can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.










Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake




My mom made this cake all the time when I was a kid.  She sprinkled powdered sugar on top, so I may do that next time I make it.  It tastes great fresh, but even better the next day.  Be sure not to over bake so that it will be a little gooey.

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
8 oz cream cheese
2 sticks butter, melted, divided
3 eggs, divided
1 tsp vanilla
 16 oz powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Combine cake mix, 1 stick butter, and 1 egg with blender.
3.  Pat the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
4.  Beat the cream cheese with blender.
5.  Add the vanilla, 1 stick butter, and 2 eggs, blend.
6.  Blend in the powdered sugar.
7.  Spread over the cake batter and bake 40-50 minutes.



Chicken Manicotti with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce



This is a Southern Living recipe that requires a few steps to make but is worth it!  We usually add salad and garlic bread on the side and the kids eat this dish really well.


Ingredients:
8 oz package manicotti shells
4 cups cooked chopped chicken
16 oz chive and onion cream cheese
10 package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper

ROASTED RED BELL PEPPER SAUCE
14 oz jar roasted red bell peppers, drained (these are found by the pickles)
16 oz jar Alfredo sauce
3 oz shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
3.  Stir together chicken and next 6 ingredients.
4.  Cut pasta shells lengthwise on one side.
5.  Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each shell, gently press cut sides together.
6.  Place cut side down in lightly greased baking dish.
7.  To make sauce, process all 3 ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.  8.  Pour sauce evenly over shells.
9.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Quinoa with Corn and Green Onions



Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked quinoa
2 - 15 oz can corn, drained
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBSP honey
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
4 green onions, chopped

Directions:
1.  Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2.  In a bowl, mix butter, pepper, honey, lemon juice, and salt.
3.  Add quinoa, corn, and green onions to bowl and toss to coat with dressing.






Homemade Macaroni and Cheese




Ingredients:
8 oz elbow macaroni
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, plus 2 TBSP
2 TBSP flour
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
pinch of paprika 

Directions:
1.  Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
2.  Melt butter on stovetop.  Add flour and stir.
3.  Add milk stirring constantly.
4.  Stir in cheeses and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and sauce is slightly thickened.
5.  Put macaroni in 9x13 baking dish.
6.  Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and stir until well mixed.
7.  Melt 2 TBSP butter over medium heat.  Add bread crumbs and brown.
8.  Spread bread crumbs over macaroni and sprinkle with paprika.
9.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.











Green Bean Casserole




Ingredients:
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
4 can cut green beans, drained
2 1/2 cups French fried onions

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Stir all ingredients together (except 1 cup fried onions) and place in 9x13 baking dish.
3.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
4.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining fried onions.
5.  Bake another 5 minutes.





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Peanut Butter Protein Balls


These protein balls are a great energy snack.  They taste like a dessert and are filling so we usually eat them mid afternoon to hold us over until dinner.


Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
1.  Stir all ingredients together.
2.  Use a small scoop and roll into balls.
3.  Store in air tight container in refrigerator for up to a week.


*This recipe makes about 12 balls.




Beef and Bean Taco Bake




My family loves taco night and all of the children eat this dish really well.  It can be prepared and refrigerated until ready to bake.  I'm in a season of life right now when two of my children are in school and the two children still at home take afternoon naps.  I've been using nap time to make dinner so that I can spend time with my older kids when they get home from school.  Then I can put dinner in the oven when we are ready to eat.  It makes our afternoons a lot smoother and dinnertime is a lot less stressful for me since I'm not cooking while four children are wanting my attention.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
16 oz refried beans
16 oz thick and chunky salsa
1 package taco seasoning mix
2 1/2 cups broken tortilla chips
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 green onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  cook and crumble beef over medium high heat; drain.  
3.  Stir in beans, salsa, and taco seasoning.  Heat to boiling stirring occasionally.
4.  Place 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips in bottom of 9x13 baking dish.  Cover chips with beef mixture.
5.  Sprinkle with bell peppers, onions, cheese, and 1 tomato.
6.  Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly.
7.  Remove from oven and top with lettuce, 1 tomato, and 1/2 cup chips.












Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hershey Bar Cake



You want a piece of that cake right now, don't you!?!  This is one of those recipes I made when I was first married and kind of forgot about.  I don't know why, because it is so good!  My youngest child turned two last week and this is the cake I made for his party.  The cake is yummy and the icing is the perfect mix of sweetness and lightness with chunks of Hershey Bar throughout.


Sweet Sawyer was excited about his cake and party!




Ingredients:
1 box Swiss chocolate cake mix
3 large eggs
1 cup oil
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
1 small vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Icing:
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz powdered sugar
12 oz cool whip
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 Hershey Bars, chopped

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease three round cake pans with Crisco.  Cover Crisco lightly with flour.  Shake excess flour off.
3.  Mix all cake ingredients together and divide evenly between three cake pans.
4.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Icing:
1.  Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar together.
2.  Fold in Cool Whip, vanilla, and Hershey Bars.

Assembling the cake:
1.  Allow cake to cool.
2.  Place one round cake on serving dish.
3.  Spread generous amount of icing on surface of cake.
4.  Add second layer of cake on top of icing.
5.  Spread generous amount of icing on top of second layer.
6.  Place last layer of cake on top of icing.
7.  Spread the rest of the icing on top and sides of cake.
8.  Garnish with grated Hershey Bar shavings.

*Store in refrigerator.



I even like this cake better the second or third day after making it.







Sunday, March 26, 2017

Smothered Green Beans




We eat a lot of green beans at our house!  For Valentine's Day one year we were having steak, twice baked potatoes, rolls, and green beans, and I wanted to make the green beans more special without making green bean casserole.  I found this recipe and everyone in the family loved it!  With brown sugar and bacon, what's not to like?


Ingredients:
5 cans (75 oz.) green beans, drained (We like Del Monte fancy cut)
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup soy sauce
1.5 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Put green beans in 9x13 baking dish.
3.  Sprinkle the cooked and chopped bacon on top of beans.
4.  Mix brown sugar, butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder and pour over bacon and beans.
5.  Bake for 40 minutes.





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole




I recently started a home based business called Tastes Like Home where I cook for people every Tuesday.  I post my menu for the upcoming week every Friday on my business Facebook page, and people can comment what they want to order and pick up the following Tuesday.  Yesterday was my fourth week and I made this casserole.  I had orders for five larges (9x13) and nine smalls (8x8) which made for a full day's work.  This recipe is made in a 9x13 dish for 8-10 servings or you can half the recipe to make it in a 8x8 dish for 4-5 servings.  I have been making this casserole since I got married 12 years ago.  I always liked the idea of having the meat and two vegetables in one dish, but felt like the flavor was lacking.  Then I found this recipe at Gonna Want Seconds, and it added a lot of flavor.  I don't add salt to the filling and I use less bread crumbs and a lot less thyme for the topping.  I also cook fresh broccoli before stirring it in to take away the toughness.  I don't like using frozen broccoli because all the brands I used ended up being mostly stems, which I cut off of the crowns before cooking and adding to my casserole.  I've started adding 1/2 cup water to the filling also, because it seemed too dry without it, and it helps keep the filling moist if you want to freeze it to eat later.  Jasmine Rice is my favorite, so that's the kind of rice I use for this.  I add 1 tsp salt to the rice while waiting for the water to boil and add 1 Tbsp butter after rice has been cooked.


Ingredients:

Filling:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
3 cups broccoli crowns, stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces, and steamed for 10 min
3 cups cooked rice (about 1 cup uncooked) 

Topping:
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup butter (5+Tbsp), melted
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp dried Thyme

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Spray 9x13 dish with nonstick spray.
3.  In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients until evenly combined.
4.  Add the chicken, broccoli, and rice and stir until evenly combined.
5.  Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
6.  In a small bowl, mix melted butter and bread crumbs.
7.  Stir thyme into butter and bread crumb mixture and spoon evenly over cheese.
8.  Bake 30-35 minutes.





I usually make a fresh fruit salad to eat with our casserole.  This salad includes strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, raisins, and mandarin oranges.










Monday, March 13, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie



One thing I have experienced from cooking a lot of food for the past 12 years is having tried a lot of different recipes.  I have made chicken pot pie using a recipe that calls for chopping fresh vegetables and making biscuits from scratch that you place on top.  Although it looked really nice and homemade it was lacking in taste.  When I came across this recipe I thought it was way too easy to taste fresh and homemade, but it's the best!  I didn't even like chicken pot pie before eating this version.  It's a great meal to take to someone who's just had a baby or is sick.


Ingredients:
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cans cream of potato soup
15 oz. can mixed vegetables OR 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
5 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
9 oz. frozen pie crust (deep dish)
1 refrigerated pie crust


Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Combine first 6 ingredients and spoon into frozen pie crust.
3.  Cover with refrigerated pie crust and crimp edges.
4.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

*Makes 6+ servings













Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marriage Post For Missional Motherhood Blog

I shared some things I've learned from being married 12 years at the Missional Motherhood blog recently.  You can check it out here:

16 Ways To Prioritize Your Marriage



None Like Him Book Review

Throughout scripture we are reminded that “there is no one like the Lord our God” (Ex. 8:10, 9:14, Deut. 4:35, 39).  Elaborating on this truth, Jen Wilkin has written a book on ten incommunicable (not shared with us) attributes of God.   Her book, which was published in 2016, is entitled appropriately None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (and why that’s a good thing).  

A group of women at my church recently went through Wilkin’s book together discussing each chapter which focuses on a different attribute of God.  From the title, we came in to the study knowing we were going to learn about God and why it’s good that we are not like Him in many ways.  A practice Wilkin incorporated throughout her book was thinking through practical ways we strive to achieve these unachievable qualities of God.  There are a few “questions for reflection” at the end of each chapter, which makes this a helpful resource for women discussing its contents.  
Wilkin begins her book by crediting authors such as Sproul and Tozer with writing at length on the character of God.   She shares how her desire for this book is to take knowledge gained from their works and ask the question

How should the knowledge that God is __________ change the way I live?”  

The first chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book by stating,

“Human beings created to bear the image of God instead aspire to become like God.”

And we are reminded throughout each chapter that, try though we might, we are not self-sufficient, omnipresent, sovereign, etc…  The main take away I got from this book was to humbly acknowledge my human limits and be in awe of the One greater than I. 

“By all means, employ the gifts he has entrusted to you to create a home for your family, a career path, a ministry, but know that you do so as a steward.  By all means, speak and act in a manner that points those around you toward the beauty of the gospel, but know that only God can create righteousness in the heart of another person.  Find freedom in knowing that your human creativity is an echo intended to inspire worship of your Creator.”

Perhaps one of the biggest draws for women when they hear or read Wilkin’s work is her depth of knowledge rooted in the scriptures with a wit and humor that draws out practical application without being irreverent. Jen is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. I for one am thankful for women like Jen who are producing theologically driven studies for women.  In a world focused on self awareness and esteem, women would benefit greatly from this study which highlights the attributes of God that set him above us.  Truly, there is no one like our God!



“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.”  Psalm 145:3

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie





This pie is as delicious and rich as it looks!  I was given this recipe by my cousin when I got married.  There is a yummy seafood restaurant in Gulf Shores, AL that serves this pie and I'm not sure how she got the recipe from them, but I'm glad she did!  I like to keep it in the freezer and cut off a small sliver when I have a sweet tooth.  It keeps in the refrigerator or freezer a long time and tastes just as fresh as the day you made it.  Make sure the cream cheese is softened or it can be quite a workout stirring together, unless you have a stand mixer that can do the work for you.  You can use a chocolate pie crust if an oreo pie crust is hard to come by, but the oreo crust makes it a little better.




Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Oreo pie crust (or chocolate works just fine)

Directions:
1.  Blend first three ingredients.
2.  Fold in next two ingredients.
3.  Put in pie shell and refrigerate for several hours.










Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lasagne



Lasagne is one of my favorite meals.  I've always been a big fan of Italian food, and lasagne is one of those meals I typically like best homemade.  There's a lot of different versions of lasagne out there, and I've tried several over the years, but this one is the best I have found.  When it comes to homemade lasagne, it's best to make the meat sauce from scratch instead of using the premade jars of marinara.  If you're short on time the premade versions comes in handy, but you can taste the difference!  You can make your sauce the day before you put your lasagne together to help cut down on the time it takes to make your lasagne on baking day.  Here is how I make lasagne for our family.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground sausage
1 lb lean ground chuck
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
12 oz tomato paste
13 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
12 oven ready lasagne noodles
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  In a large pot over med-high heat cook sausage and beef until brown.
2.  Pour off grease and add onion and garlic.  Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes.
3.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water and stir.
4.  Add sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp parsley and stir.
5.  Simmer, covered, for at least an hour stirring occasionally.
6.  After meat sauce is ready, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp parsley in bowl.
7.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
8.  To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups meat sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 dish and cover with a single layer of 4 noodles.
9.  Cover noodles with half of ricotta cheese mixture.  Top with 4 oz of mozzarella cheese.
10.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella and cover with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
11.  Add another single layer of 4 noodles and then spread the rest of the ricotta cheese mixture on top.
12.  Cover with 4 oz mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, another single layer of 4 noodles, the rest of the meat sauce, 4 oz mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
13.  Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
14.  Remove foil and bake another 25 minutes.
15.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.




We like to eat ours with a side of Ceasar salad and garlic bread.



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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Meal Plan: 1-29-17 - 2-4-17

Sunday - Yummy Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable meal at church

Monday - Cheeseburger Pie, Fruit Salad

Tuesday - Salmon, Angel Hair Pasta with Sauce, Ceasar Salad

Wednesday - Grilled Chicken salad at Zaxby's (church night)

Thursday - Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli 

Friday - Deer Roast in crockpot with Red Potatoes and Carrots, Green Beans

Saturday - Chicken, Quinoa, and Kale Soup


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sausage Meatball and Spinach Soup



Because of Pinterest I haven't subscribed to any magazines since 2010.  I decided this year to subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens and Traditional Home magazines because looking through them makes me happy.  I'm one of those that likes to buy the old-fashioned type books in paper and ink form instead of the digital version.  I still like Pinterest, but there's something about having the magazine to flip through, enjoy, and earmark pages to return to.  Last week, while flipping through the February 2017 edition of BHG I found a recipe for Pork Meatball and Escarole Soup.  I had all of the ingredients on hand except for the escarole, which to be honest, I have never heard of.  In the picture it looked like spinach and I had some of that, so that's what I went with.  My family thought it was tasty and the kids liked the fact that we were having grilled cheese for dinner with our soup.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 slice loaf bread, broken up into small pieces
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp parsley, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
fresh spinach leaves
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.  Whisk together egg, bread crumbs, milk, nutmeg, 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper in bowl.
2.  Stir in pork, Parmesan, and 1 Tbsp parsley.
3.  In a 5-6 qt pot heat oil over med-high heat.  Add celery and onion and cook about 5 minutes or until tender.
4.  Add spinach, chicken broth, 2 cups water, and 1 tsp parsley and bring to boil.  
5.  Reduce heat to simmer and drop rounded Tablespoons of meatballs into broth.
6.  Press meatballs under broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

*  This article suggested making these meatballs another night by placing them on a foil lined cookie sheet and baking for 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Serve over pasta with marinara.