“World’s Best Lasagna”

December 1, 2008 at 1:08 am | Posted in Cheese, pasta, sauce, slow cooker, Turkey | 2 Comments

Italian food is my absolute favorite.  I could eat it every single day.  I probably wouldn’t be a size 4 if I did that though huh?  There are definitely times when I splurge on something that sounds amazing and I don’t care how many calories are in it.  I have seen this recipe on allrecipes.com for “World’s Best Lasagna” for awhile now but I never got around to making it.  I always just kind of throw a bunch of stuff together normally when I make lasagna and it is always good but I wanted to try something new.  Last weekend we decorated the Christmas tree and I wanted something yummy and comfort food like for the cold evening so I decided to make this finally. 

Ingredients (Don’t be scared off by the long list…)

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (I omitted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven (I used my crock pot as I don’t have a dutch oven…hoping for one for Christmas!!), cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Pig Rating:  The Pig liked this but he said it was almost too sweet for him.  He said he likes the other lasagna that I make better.  He ate leftovers many times though so it must not have been TOO bad…  🙂

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I thought this was excellent!  I loved the sauce – it absolutely made the dish.  This is something that I will definitely make again – would be especially good for a carry in dinner!

Little Pig’s Rating:  Sheridan loved this!  She kept saying how good it was and she had seconds.  YAY for her finally starting to try new things!!!  Will liked it as well.  His favorite thing of mine is baked ziti though so he still likes that better.  🙂

My first pot roast

October 1, 2007 at 11:41 pm | Posted in Beef, slow cooker | 1 Comment

As I’ve mentioned, I am not a big “meat eater” by any means. But today I made my first pot roast. It was awesome coming home and smelling it when I opened the door. YUM! We both thought it was really good and it goes in the “will have again” list. : ) This is a good easy recipe for a nice home cooked meal.
Ingredients
2/3 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon water
1-3/4 pounds pot roast

Directions
In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.
(Recipe from www.allrecipes.com, picture from my kitchen! Meat does not photograph well…HA!)
Makes 4 servings.

Southern Style Green Beans

September 27, 2007 at 10:45 pm | Posted in side dishes, slow cooker, Yummy Veggies | Leave a comment

Tonight I am trying out a tradtional style dinner for my husband and I – baked ham (complete with pineapple slices!), mashed potatoes, and southern style slow cooker green beans. To us, this is the only way to cook green beans so it was only fitting that I find a good recipe to try them out. : ) It isn’t time for dinner yet but I have had a taste of the green beans and they are pretty good! Love the smell of food in a slow cooker when I get home from work….mmm….

Ingredients
4 cups water
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 ham hock
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Directions
Place the water in a large pot, and mix in the green beans, ham hock, onion, garlic, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, and simmer 4 hours. Remove the ham hock, and slice the meat into small pieces. Return meat to the beans, and serve.
NOTE: I followed the recipe except that instead of cooking stovetop, I put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. YUM! Also, I did NOT use a ham hock. Instead, I used some slices of ham from a ham that I baked and let that simmer in the crock pot all day. Much healthier than a ham hock. : )
Recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com/. Picture from my kitchen 🙂

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

September 27, 2007 at 12:25 am | Posted in slow cooker | Leave a comment

I am going to try to have a closer relationship with my slow cooker than I currently do. We are in the beginning stages of our relationship with one another and I hope it progresses into something beautiful. For someone as busy as me, a slow cooker is a wonderful thing. I love coming home from work and the house smelling like someone has been cooking all day – only they haven’t really been! It’s great!

I tried this as my first slow cooker recipe a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I both liked it so I will likely make it again soon.
Recipe and photo from http://www.allrecipes.com/

Ingredients
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
1/8 cup margarine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
Pasta/noodles of your choice (I used linguine noodles)

*I added a couple of tablespoons of light sour cream when adding the cream cheese, but that is optional.

Directions

Put chicken, margarine and dressing mix in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. (I cooked this for about 7 hours on low and it was fine).
Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

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