December 19, 2010


 It's high time we wrote this recipe down.  This is the most delicious lasagna ever! Pay careful attention to the layering portion - I think it's key :)

1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
10 small cloves of garlic,(pressed through garlic press)
3 T butter
3 T white sugar
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
2 (14.5oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 T dried oregano
1 t garlic powder
3-4 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t Italian seasoning
1 3/4 C cottage cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan-reggiano cheese
3 eggs
18 lasagna noodles
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the beef and sausage until brown. In another skillet over medium heat cook the onion, garlic, and sugar, and butter until onion is translucent.  Combine beef and onion mixture in a large saucepan with tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
While sauce is simmering, blend cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg until smooth.  Set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Layer in a 9x13 pan (deeper the better) as follows:
Meat mixture, 6 noodles, meat mixture, cottage cheese mixture, layer of mozzarella cheese, 6 noodles, meat mixture, cottage cheese mixture, layer of mozzarella cheese, 6 noodles, meat mixture, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese.
Spray tin foil with Pam (so it doesn't stick to the cheese) and cover.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.

December 3, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

OK so the picture was taken when there was only a bit left in the pan......sorry! Next time I make this (or anyone!) post a different picture. I liked this recipe because it isn't your typical cream of mushroom and canned bean casserole! Much better this way!

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup onion, diced small
1 cup sour cream
2-3 lbs fresh green beans (can use fresh-frozen if needed-no canned beans!)
1/2 can French's fried onions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package Ritz crackers, crushed
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and prepare green beans. Steam for about 5 min. until soft but crunchy still.

In a large skillet/sauce pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Stir in the salt, sugar, and onions, cooking for a couple mins. Add sour cream and cook til mixed and smooth.

Add green beans to sour cream mixture and stir to coat.

Transfer green bean mixture to 9x13 baking dish. Spread cheese over top.

Mix the crushed crackers with the butter and sprinkle over the top of the cheese. Finish by topping French's fried onions over casserole.

Bake for 30 min, until it is bubbly and golden! Enjoy!

Yummy Chocolate Cake

This cake is so moist and chocolaty and just all around delicious! My kids love it on their birthdays. Excuse the picture- it will have to do for now. :) If anyone out there makes this and takes a better pic send it our way. I don't have another birthday for a few more months :)

1 (18.25oz) package devils chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 Cup hot water
1 Cup sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (up to 1 1/2 C)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, hot water, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and allow to cool. Frost with a buttercream frosting and enjoy!

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios

I know - Brussels Sprouts, ewe, right? WRONG! These are SO yummy and surprising well liked (or loved!!)

4 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup butter
2 red onions cut into strips
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T white sugar (feel free to be a little more "generous" if needed :)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2+ cup coarsely chopped pistachios

Place Brussels sprouts in a steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 8-10 minutes until tender, yet crisp. Melt the butter in a deep skillet and add the onions and 3 tablespoons of the vinegar. Cook until the onions brown. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and add them to the onions. Add the sugar and remaining vinegar. Saute over medium heat until the Brussels sprouts are lightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with pistachios. YUMMY!!

Rachael Ray's Super Sloppy Joes

School lunch from our childhood has really tarnished this poor sandwiches' image :). These sloppy joes are SO yummy and major comfort food for us here. Got this one from Rachel Ray years ago. Enjoy!

1 lb ground beef
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper chopped
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T worcestershire sauce
2 C tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered
Sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish: sliced ripe tomatoes, pickles

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Put meat into pan. Spread the meat around pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When meat has browned, add onion to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer. Pile sloppy joe mix onto bun with a slice of cheese and sliced pickles. MmmmMmm good!!

Carrot Cake

A little time consuming - but according to any carrot-cake lovers (and some who are not!) it's super delicious!! :) Recipe is from Mortons Steakhouse

Cake Ingredients:
2 T butter
2 Cups flour plus more for dusting the pan
2 t baking soda
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
4 large eggs
2 C sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil
3/4 C buttermilk
2 t vanilla extract
1/3 C fresh pineapple, crushed (canned works too)
2 C carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 1/3 C loosely packed shredded, sweetened coconut
2 C finely chopped walnuts

Glaze Ingredients:
1 C sugar
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C butter
1 T light corn syrup
1/2 t baking soda
1 T pure vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
1 1/2 C butter softened
12 oz cream cheese softened
3 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 t fresh orange juice
1 1/2 t grated orange zest
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter two 9-inch round pans. Dust each cake pan with flour and tap out excess. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and thoroughly incorporate. Add the pineapple, carrots, coconut and 1 cup of the walnuts and mix well. then add the flour mixture and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake on center rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
GLAZE- While the cake is baking, in a small saucepan mix together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda until well blended. Set the anover medium heat and bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes stirring until heated through and sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
Remove the cakes from the oven and put them, still in the pans, on wire racks sitting on baking sheets. Using a toothpick, poke holes in the top crust of each cake layer. Do not poke holes deeper than halfway through the cakes. Whisk the glaze and pour it evenly over the cake layers. Let the cakes cool completely and then cover them, still in the pans, with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
FROSTING- In the bowl, using an electric mixer or a hand held mixer on medium speed beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix slowly to avoid sugar flying out of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed and beat for about 1 minute or until smooth.
Remove cakes from refrigerator and layer as so. Put layer 1 on a platter, glazed side down. Put about a third of the frosting on the center of the cake layer and spread evenly. Put the other layer on top of the cake, glazed side down and frost the top with about a third of the frosting. With remaining frosting frost the sides of the cake. with the tip of the spatula press lightly on the top layer of cake and pull it up to form spikes. Lightly sprinkle cake with chopped walnuts and press them onto the sides.
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