Friday, April 30, 2010

Mom's Lasagne

My mom is a GREAT cook. She's made it her mission in life to fatten us all up one meal at a time, and she's good at it. One of her favorite meals that I've integrated into my own family menu is lasagne. I haven't fiddled with the recipe much at all because it is so good as is. Other than adding a few more spices and using only Italian sausage this is Mom's recipe and it's so yummy. I often make it in 2's so that I can either freeze one or take it to a neighbor for dinner. Even when you get distracted and let the cheese crisp too much it's still awesome. Eat until you are sick awesome.

Mom's Lasagne

1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes or 1 quart if you are lucky enough to have bottled from your garden
handful dried minced onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 1/2 T basil
1 1/2 T oregano
1 T parsley flakes
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 carton cottage cheese
2 tsp parsley
1 egg
parmesan cheese
Mozarella cheese
8 lasagne noodles cooked

Brown meat with onion. Drain off grease. Add spices. Simmer, uncovered 40-50 min or until sauce is fairly thick.

Mix cottage cheese, egg and 2 tsp parsley together. Assemble in the following order.

Small amount meat sauce
1/2 Meat sauce
Cottage cheese misture
Parmesan cheese
Mozarella cheese
Remaining sauce

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 min. Remove foil and continue baking another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. If you prefer the cheese browned skip the foil.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sugar Cookie Bars

My mom and my sister make the best sugar cookies in the world. They have figured out just how thick to roll them out and how long to bake them so that they aren't mushy or too crunchy. In all my 42 years I haven't been able to master sugar cookies. Maybe my mom taught Julie during a super secret class one day while I was sitting in my room for being mouthy.... At any rate, due to my missing that day during cookie class I can honestly say that I can count on one hand the number of times I have made sugar cookies since I got married. Then, I discovered Granny B's and Lofthouse. Why would I keep trying to make my own mediocre cookies when I could buy them and they are so good??

Jeff invited some of his friends for dinner yesterday and because I was so focused on getting the ribs etc ready I completely forgot something for dessert. Enter the sugar cookie bar...all the goodness of a sugar cookie with NONE of the hassle! Woohoo!

The texture of this cookie is very similar to a Granny B's Pink Cookie. Very rich and yummy. I didn't have any cream cheese in the fridge so the frosting is just regular frosting but it was a good balance of frosting to cookie. I ate way more than my share. *sigh* So.Good.

Sugar Cookie Bars
Servings: 32

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff)
5 c. flour
1 tsp salt (slightly less if using salted butter)
1/2 tsp baking soda

In mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt and soda. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet. (I sprayed my hands with PAM and pressed it out with my fingers)

Bake at 375 15-20 min or until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frost with your favorite frosting!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Asian Noodles

It's no secret that I love all food Chinese, even bad Chinese. So it's pretty frequent that we eat pseudo Chinese for dinner. This was an Asian noodle stir fry that had a little zip to the sauce. The night that I made this I didn't have any fresh veggies hanging out in the fridge but I really think it would be awesome with some celery, carrots and peppers in it. Next time that is what I'm going to do assuming I plan farther ahead than 3 minutes. :)

The original recipe that I saw used ground turkey but I had some chicken breasts already thawed out and honestly I don't think that the ground turkey can even compete.

Asian Noodles
Serves 4-6

12 oz thin spaghetti
1 T oil
1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste (I found it at Target)
8 oz button mushrooms, finely chopped
Sesame oil

1 T. oyster sauce
4 T. soy sauce
4 T. water
4 T. rice vinegar
3 T. sugar

In a small bowl, whish all of the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until desired tenderness. Drain and set aside.

While the noodles are boiling, in a large skillet over medium heat heat the oil. Brown the chicken and set aside. Add the mushrooms and curry paste and cook stirring frequently until the mushrooms are browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken back in and cook until it's cooked through.

Add the cooked noodles and with a pair of tongs lift and separate the noodles and incorporate them with the other ingredients. Pour the sauce over the noodle mixture and again, mix everything together with the tongs. Cook stirring frequently, until the noodles have absorbed all the flavors and all the ingredients are heated through.

Drizzle a TINY amount of sesame oil to finish. (It's really strong so don't get carried away.)

Serve immediately.