La la la Lasagna

June 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


So, lasagna was on my list of “things I would like to learn how to make from scratch”.

I am pretty darn sure that I can cross it off now!

I had to look up the cheese filling ratio – glad I did, I didn’t know I needed an egg! The rest is based off of what I remember from the last time I made lasagna – from a children’s cookbook that I cannot locate, in I think middle school. ^^.; Go me, this came out REALLY tasty!

You will need: enough lasagna noodles to cover your pan 3 times. For me, this was 12 noodles. (Your pan may vary depending on size.) This was 4 across, with a little wiggle room at the edges of the pan. I decided that I was OK with that, and wasn’t going to OCD-fill EVERY POSSIBLE SPOT with pasta. Seriously. That was difficult for me!!!!

Sauce Ingredients:
1/3lb mild italian sausage (de-cased. For me, this was one sausage at the meat counter. If you dislike sausage, you may consider substituting an 80/20 ground beef. Personally, I enjoyed the sausage!).
3/4lb lean ground beef (the leanest I could get was sirloin. Mmmmm).
1/4 onion, diced.
1/5 green pepper, minced.
4 white mushrooms (these were on the large side), diced.
3lg cloves of garlic, minced.
1/6 whole carrot, minced.
1 can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a splash of Cranberry-Pomegranate juice
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
Ground Sage
Ground Ginger
Basil
Paprika
Oregano
(spices are to taste. Seriously, I can make this sauce by smell, although I do taste after it’s all together and simmered happily. Sorry.)

Cheese Filling Ingredients:
3/4c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4c grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
16oz cottage cheese (I just don’t like ricotta)
1 tsp parsley (which means “Katie grabbed a hefty pinch and chucked it on top”)

Cheese Topping:
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese

Alrighty. So, I boiled a pot of water, laid my lasagna noodles in the baking dish to see how many I’d need, then realized “oh…hey…oops…my pot isn’t tall enough for this”… so I boiled the water and just poured it over the noodles in the baking dish. (I’d seen this while looking up cheese filling! Yay internets!) I think I left them there about 20 minutes while I made the sauce. I wasn’t timing, just poking them with tongs to check, they weren’t fully cooked or anything when I took them from the water, but cooked enough to go limp if I picked them up. I’ll just say 20 minutes. =\

So, onto the sauce. First, I did all of my veggie chopping and dicing and mincing, putting them all into the glass bowl that I seem to use for veggie corralling while I do knifework. (I LOVE MY SHUN KNIVES!!!!!!!!!!) Then, while I heated the pan with a little olive oil in it, I de-cased the sausage.  Was fun, yet kinda gross. I wound up slicing the ends of the casing and squeezing from the middle out both ends. Next time, I’ll be smarter and cut a line down it and just peeling it…

Since the pan was nice and warm, I added the veggies and some kosher salt, got them started, then added the sausage and ground sirloin. Once those were starting to brown as I broke them all up with my utensil, I added the cranberry-pomegranate juice (I use this to replace red wines. It works really well!!).

At this point, I also added the spices.

After the meat was all happily browned up and the veggies cooked, I added the tomato sauce, mixed it in. Then, I added the tomato paste and mixed that in.

After it simmered for a bit, I wound up adding more basic, garlic powder, garlic salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, paprika, and oregano. I always seem to add more of those lol. But I’d rather be safe than sorry! 😀

While the sauce simmered, I mixed up the ingredients for the cheese filling.

Once everything was done – noodles, sauce, cheese mixed, I took the noodles out of the pan, dumped out the water, dried the pan.

Then in this order:
Sauce
first layer of noodles
half of the cheese filling
sauce
second layer of noodles
half of the cheese filling
sauce
third layer of noodles
sauce
Then I added mozzarella cheese (No, I didn’t measure, sorry. Just made it so it would melt nicely everywhere lol), and grated parmesan over it. Again, no measuring lol.

Then I baked it at 350F for what was set for 50 minutes, but turned out to be 40.

Remove from oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Then serve and enjoy! (This was really tasty! I am quite pleased!!!!!)

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Capellini Pomodoro with Shrimp

April 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , )


My mom’s favorite pasta seems to be capellini pomodoro – if she can order it, she usually will.

And so, I have set out to recreate it, and it’s pretty tasty, even if I DO keep picking out the tomato chunks. (I don’t like the texture.)

Ingredients:
8 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2inch pieces. I just used roma tomatoes. Worked fine 🙂
About 6tbs olive oil… not that I measured
3 cloves of garlic
basil (no idea how much. Until it smelled right)
salt and pepper to taste
shrimp (optional – but be kind to your eaters and de-tail them!)

First, boil water.

While it boils, do your knifework. For me, this takes a while, since I am perpetually chasing a hopeful cat out of the kitchen.

When I put the pasta into the water, I added everything else to a large pan and heated it through.

Once the pasta was done, I drained it and added it to the pan, mixing it in and tossing it.

Then I served it into bowls, garnished with some parsley (parmesan cheese optional!), and a delicous piece of garlic bread! 🙂

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Chicken Parm

November 17, 2010 at 12:54 am (cooking) (, , , , , , )


Tonight was a great night for dinner!!

I made chicken parm with spaghetti & marinara sauce, and broccoli. :)

Broccoli was merely cooked, then tossed with margarine and garlic salt, very quick and easy, as I used the steam-in-bag microwave variety. :)

Chicken Ingredients:
chicken breasts – i kept them about the same thickness, these were pretty thin
italian bread crumbs
provolone cheese

I started up a pan with some oil and set the oven to 350. After tossing the chicken breasts in the bread crumbs, I cooked them in oil until they were done. Then, due to waiting on my sister arrive, they sat for about 10 minutes on paper towels (I blotted off extra oil gently), then I covered them with provolone cheese before baking them for another 10 minutes (to melt the cheese and warm through again). They were juicy and delicious!!!

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
olive oil
a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice
1 can tomato sauce
1 can petite diced tomatoes
8 medium white mushrooms, chopped
a small handful of baby carrots, minced
1/4 large onion, choppped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
garlic powder
kosher salt
black pepper
garlic & herb mrs. dash
sage
oregano
parsley

After preparing all of my veggies, I put some oil in the bottom of a pot (needed my skillet for the chicken!). When it was warm, I tossed in all of my veggies, along with two healthy pinches of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. (3 or 4, wasn’t really counting, sorry, it’s how I cook!)

When the onions just started to become translucent, I added a splash of the cranberry-pomegranate juice. It’s my substitute for wine lol. It has the nice sweetness and a good crisp bite to it as well.

Once that cooked down, I added the cans of tomato-y goodness, and added spices to taste.(Usually ends up being three doses of G&H mrs. dash and oregano, one of parsley, two of sage and garlic powder… by “dose” I mean “sprinkled happily on top of the bubbling red stuff”).

Then I let it simmer while I cooked the chicken, broccoli, and spaghetti. :)

It was so delicious, and my sister has leftovers for two days! Yaaaaaay!!! 😀

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Chicken Noodle Soup!

August 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm (cooking) (, , , , )


The 0nly time that I have made soup…well, it was stew, not soup… making THIS is my first soup!!!

My mom is feeling under the weather, so I thought that I would make her soup to make her feel better. 🙂

Once again, it is a mishmosh of “what’s in the cupboard?”

So I present to you.. my Chicken Noodle Soup!!

Chicken Noodle Soup
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 onion, diced
handful of baby carrots, diced
1/2 container chicken broth
2c water
1/2 juicebox (apple, about 2oz)
little bit of olive oil
thyme
sage
regular Mrs. Dash
2 taps ginger
1 tap cumin
2 taps cinnamon
black pepper (if you desire, I need to leave it out next time for my mom’s tastes.)
kosher salt
7 taps Garlic Salt
approx. 2c noodles (I used bowtie)
7 taps dill weed
13 drops of worchestershire sauce
4 taps lemon pepper

First, I did all of my dicing and chopping while I heated up the big pot with a little bit of oil in it.  Then I cooked the chicken, onion, and carrot together with a sprinkling of kosher salt and the pepper.*

*I need to leave out the pepper in future cookings, as it was too spicy for mom.

Once it was cooked, I added the chicken broth, 2cups of water, and messed with spices until I liked the taste. The only thing I didn’t measure was the thyme and sage, sorry!

After I was happy with the taste, I added the noodles, and cooked the soup until the noodles were done.

It was delicious, if a bit spicy. Made 3 large servings.
Photo of leftovers:

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HMT – Hamburger, Macaroni, and Tomato

August 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , )


(reposted with photos!)

While, admittedly, this is a fairly easy dish, it’s darn tasty. Instead of being just “spaghetti sauce on the wrong noodles”, you’ll find that the texture is different. It’s warm a nice starchy chewy, tasty, with a little zing!

Make spaghetti sauce – for this, I used leftovers from https://dragoon811.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/spaghetti-sauce-again/
Start the water for noodles, and preheat the oven to 350.

Cook the noodles, I prefer just past al dente.

Drain the macaroni noodles, and mix the sauce into them.

Now you have two options:

A. pour into 4 – 8 little baking dishes and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
B. pour into one large casserole dish (not a deep round one) and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Serve, top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Makes 4-8 servings, depending on how much sauce/noodles you have, as well as serving size. 🙂

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Spaghetti Sauce – again! :)

July 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm (cooking) (, , , )


There’s nothing quite like a plate of spaghetti… and let’s face it, spaghetti’s pretty darn tasty. Not to mention the uses for leftover sauce! (Spaghetti, baked ziti, french bread pizza…)

Long story short, last night I made spaghetti, which, in my book, means homemade sauce.

Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients:

1lb ground beef
1/4 onion, diced (or a half a shallot)
2 baby carrots, minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
cranberry-pomegranate juice
2 large mushrooms, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
garlic & herb mrs. dash
garlic powder
sage
oregano
1 can tomato sauce
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato paste (roll the other half in saran wrap and keep it in the freezer!)


First up, do all of your mincing and dicing.

Put a little olive oil in your saucepan (I’m using a large nonstick pan with high sides), and let it warm a bit. Add in the mushrooms, onion, carrots, and garlic, along with a some salt and pepper. I added 14 grinds of pepper, since it’s early in the cooking and I intended it to be a large batch. :)

When they’ve started to turn colors, add in the beef. As the beef starts to brown, add in some cranberry-pomegranate juice. Not alot, I used maybe one fourth of a cup. Also add in some oregano and sage. Just until you can smell it. I don’t usually measure spices lol.

Once the beef has browed, add in the tomatoes and tomato sauce, then stir to combine. Add in some garlic & herb mrs. dash, garlic powder, and maybe some more oregano (to taste!).

After it’s combined, add in the half of a small can of tomato paste. This will definitely help thicken the sauce!!

Simmer merrily until done, stirring occasionally and, of course, taking opportunity to taste by dipping crusts of that “oops, extra slice…” from the loaf of french bread you’re using for garlic bread.

Picture above is the extra sauce to be put in the fridge – sorry I didn’t get one over pasta, we were hungry!! :)

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