Sunday, March 20, 2011

Awesome Lasagna

Wow it has been awhile since I have been on my blog. These last 2 weeks seem to have been so busy for me and now that I think about it I really couldn't tell you why, but I feel like I have been going non-stop.
Maybe it has something to do with all this crazy weather! It's been rainy, windy, and thunder stormy  (is that even a word?). Tree's are falling down all around us and last night it looked like all the tree leaves in the entire city were strewn all over our street.
So as I'm sitting here writing I am eating Oreo's with my son. He hands me an Oreo without the top because as he says he doesn't like the tops only the milk part with the bottoms. So I really need to figure out which is the top and which is the bottom.....otherwise we might be in trouble.

Now on the the real reason you are probably reading my blog......

I really need to take food photography classes. I promise this recipe is much better than it looks, of course Lasagna isn't the prettiest food.The ingredient list does seem daunting but it's actually a easy recipe but a little time consuming. I usually tend to make this when we have company or for a group and it gets rave reviews every time.

Here's the recipe....


Serves 12


• 1 Lb. sausage (spicy)

• 1 Lb. lean ground turkey

• 1 lg. minced onion

• ½ Lb. mushrooms thinly sliced

• 8 cloves garlic, crushed

• 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

• 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste

• 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

• 2 Tbl. white sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped basil

• 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

• 2 tsp. Italian seasoning

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

• 4 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley

• 12 lasagna noodles

• 16 oz. ricotta cheese

• 1 egg

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 3/4 Lb. mozzarella cheese shredded or sliced

• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cook sausage, ground turkey, onion, mushrooms, and garlic over medium heat until meat is fully cooked. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 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

4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 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. 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.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving

Adapted from: Allrecipes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Loaded Potatoes

When I first saw these I was hesitant to make them I wondered how good could they really be, what really sets them apart from mashed potatoes? Well once I made them I realized the real difference. These were so good much better than they look., chunky yet cream and oh so delicious. Try them I know you won't be disappointed. Next time I'm going to try some sour cream and chives on the top I think that would make them perfect.

Loaded Potatoes

Serves 8


• 8 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed

• 8 strips bacon

• 3 shallots, finely chopped

• 3/4 cups milk

• 3 Tbsp. butter

• 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley, optional

• 2 scallions, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the potato skins all over with a fork. Bake in the oven for about 45–50 minutes, until tender.

2. Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until fully cooked. Dice bacon. Add the shallots and cook until they soften, about 1 minute more.

3. Slice off the top third of each potato, horizontally. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Reserve the hollowed-out skins and place in a lightly oiled baking dish.

4. Mash the potato with a potato masher. Add the milk and butter, and beat until smooth. Stir in the cheddar, bacon and shallots and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and golden on top. Serve hot with extra chopped parsley, cheddar or scallions sprinkled on top, if desired.

Adapted From: The Comfort of Cooking


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cinnamon Roasted almonds

Sorry it's been a few days since I have posted a new recipe on here. So to make up I am posting a very yummy, fast and easy recipe.

Ever since I went to New York and had the warm and toasty cinnamon almonds from the little carts outside I have been wanting to make them at home. I was worried they would be too much work or just too hard to do. Boy was I wrong and I don't know what took me so long to work up the courage to make them.
Fair warning these are addicting you will want more! They are so good when they are still warm but cool enough to not burn yourself. It's been a few days since I made these and now I'm craving them again. Time to go to the store and get more almonds. But first here's your recipe....

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds


• 1 lb. of unsalted almonds

• 1 egg white

• 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

• 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 1/3 cup white sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt


1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Spray baking sheet (preferably with sides) with oil.

2. Place the egg white and vanilla into a bowl then beat with a whisk until nice and foamy. Add the almonds to the foam and toss to coat evenly.

3. Add the cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar, and salt together in another bowl and mix until well combined. Pour the sugar mixture onto the almonds and gently toss to coat evenly.

4. Pour onto the baking sheet and place into the oven. Roast for 25 minutes then flip the almonds over with a spatula then continue roasting for another 25 minutes. Let them cool before eating.

Adapted from: For the love of cooking


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roasted Garlic Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Disclaimer: This is not a low fat meal so if you are looking for low fat step away from the computer step far away.

Now that we got that out of the way we can begin. If you are looking for a very scrumptious meal with loads of butter and roasted garlic then you have come to the right place my friend.

In our house we tend to eat a lot of chicken probably even too much, I have been trying to make an effort to make more seafood and pork dishes. I also try to keep things budget friendly, so when I found this great deal on shrimp yesterday I couldn't pass it up. Once I started cooking them I realized why they were a great price, they were small. Not really what I envisioned when I thought of making this, I was thinking more of thick juicy prawns. Don't get me wrong I read the package but ugh talk about let down! I would suggest getting large shrimp if possible but then again the small and medium ones taste just as good and tend to be cheaper :).

I have found a new admiration for roasted garlic it just makes the flavor pop! If you haven't tried it yet you really need to I promise you will be happy you did.

How I roast garlic:
Well I am no expert so I will tell you how I did it. I chopped (more like minced) about 5 cloves of garlic. Put onto greased cookie sheet, probably best to line the cookie sheet with foil and then spray that with cooking spray so you don't get hints of garlic in your next cookie batch well unless you want that... which of course I wouldn't recommend.
Preheat oven to 375˚F  Place garlic on your lined cookie sheet and into a preheated oven. Cook for about 10-15 minutes watching carefully not to burn. You want the garlic to be lightly brown.

Oh and I found a great way to get Parmesan cheese "curls", well I'm probably not the first person to figure this out but anyways. I don't have a cheese cutter just a grater so when I bought a wedge of Parmesan I was trying to think of how I was going to get the cheese off without grating it or getting huge chunks. Then it came to me......vegetable peeler hello why haven't I thought of this before. Anyways works great and since I have a small kitchen it's even better because that is one less gadget I need, oh and budget friendly!

Well what am I waiting for? Here's the recipe already....

Roasted Garlic Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Serves 5


• 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped

• 1 cube of unsalted butter

• 1 ½ lbs. peeled uncooked shrimp

• 1 tsp. Salt

• 1 tsp. Pepper

• Parmesan cheese for garnish

• 1 Tablespoon of olive oil

• ¾ box of spaghetti noodles (or whatever noodle you prefer)


1. Roast the garlic. Directions above.

2. Prepare the noodles according to the directions.

3. When noodles are almost fully cooked sauté shrimp in olive oil just until fully cooked, pink throughout.

4. To make sauce melt butter in a sauce pan add garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Drain noodles add sauce and shrimp toss to combine. Garnish with Parmesan curls.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

When I was growing up meatloaf was made out of ground beef, but since we don't eat too much red meat I tend to replace ground beef with ground turkey. If you are wondering yes I do know that beef tastes better but, since I rarely eat it I don't really know the difference. If beef is your preference by all means just replace the turkey with beef I won't mind :)

Meatloaf is so good served with mashed potatoes and green beans......

See doesn't that look yummy together, it's just a suggestion of course.

I haven't actually made meatloaf in a while until tonight and I got to say I don't know why because it was absolutely delicious. I made a 2 pound meatloaf and it was enough for 4-5 people.

Here's the recipe.....

Turkey Meatloaf

Serves 6


• 2 lbs. ground turkey

• 1 egg

• 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

• 1 tsp. garlic powder

• 2 tsp. onion powder

• ½ tsp. ground thyme

• ½ tsp. ground oregano

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. pepper

• 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce


1. Preheat oven to 365°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

2. Mix ground turkey, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper until mixed well.

3. Place turkey mixture into prepared 9x13 pan. Form into a loaf; this is the part that can be fun. You can make the loaf anyway you see fit, just remember to leave room on all sides. Cover with foil and cook for 25-35 minutes until almost fully cooked.

4. Take out of oven and remove foil. Pour tomato sauce over the top and place back in oven without foil. Cook for another 5-10 minutes ensuring it is fully cooked before serving.


Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4-5


• 2 lbs potatoes peeled and diced

• 1/2 stick butter (unsalted)

• 1/4-1/2 cup of milk

• Salt and pepper to taste


1. Boil potatoes until softened. Just until a fork can easily mash one. Strain

2. Mash the potatoes with butter, 1/4 cup of milk, salt, and pepper. If not creamy enough add more milk until desired consistency. At this point you can also change it up a bit by adding garlic if you want.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

So the picture below does this bread no justice. I really need to work on picture taking skills, well it could also be my camera is still broken (insert sad face here). Anyways enough about my camera already, well at least until the next post.....

Any time I make anything with chocolate chips my little guy tries to eat all the chocolate chips. He tries to sneak them when I turn my back but I have to admit it is the cutest thing ever.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas about 5 med bananas

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 Cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 in loaf pan or bundt pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended, add chocolate chips. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.