Sunday, February 28, 2010

World's Best Lasagna

via Allrecipes

This lasagna is really delish! I like to double the recipe and freeze extra. This recipe makes one 9x13 and one 9x9.

Pointers: I always seem to run out of ricotta, so I would add a little more- maybe 23oz total. When I'm making this recipe for another night and I don't have 1.5 hours to wait for it to simmer, add only 1/4 cup of water and let it sit in fridge (on a hot pad- you can put directly in fridge after cooking meat and adding in all ingredients) and assemble the next day. I don't even cook the lasagna noodles- I just assemble with dry noodles. It's all about saving time!


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 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
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, 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 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 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.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 427 | Total Fat: 19.9g | Cholesterol: 80mg

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spicy Peach-Glazed Porkchops

This was a really quick and flavorful weeknight meal. This recipe yields 4 servings, but again, we only needed two. But my husband and I both like sauce, so I halved the amount of pork, but kept everything other amount the same.

Adapted From:

1 cup peach preserves
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (we used Thai Chili Paste we had on hand- i'm sure you can find something in the asian aisle of the supermarket - and I used probably a tablespoon or more of chili paste - we LOVE spicy.)
4 boneless pork chops
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup white wine (we actually used a riesling, though I'm sure a drier one works as well)

In a small bowl, mix together the peach preserves, Worcestershire sauce, and chile paste. Rinse pork chops, and pat dry. Sprinkle the chops with ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chops for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
Pour white wine into the pan, and stir to scrape the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peach preserves mixture. Return the chops to the pan, and flip to coat with the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook the pork chops for about 8 minutes on each side, or until done. (I removed the porkchops and then used a cornstarch solution to slightly thicken the mixture to make a good consistency for serving so it wouldn't run all over the plate.)

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 404 Total Fat: 11.5g Cholesterol: 36mg

We served this with cooked sweet potatoes. Just scrub the whole potato, dry with a town, prick the skin several times with a fork and microwave for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of the potato. It should be soft to the touch (but be careful, very hot!) when it's finished. We started with a little butter and brown sugar on the sweet potatoes, but found that the extra sauce we made was actually pretty tasty on the sweet potatoes - so that's what we did for the rest of them.

Honey Soy Chicken Wings


2lbs chicken wings
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespooon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 cloves of minced garlic (I just used 2 tablespoons of minced garlic from the jar)
1/2 a lemon juiced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup honey
sesame seeds

Mix together soy sauce, ginger, cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl. Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Place wings in a gallon sized plastic ziplock bag and pour mixture over the chicken wings. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, its even better if you leave it overnight.

In a BIG saute pan, melt the butter in the olive oil with medium/high heat. Remove the wings from marinade and place in the saute pan, season with salt and pepper. Add the honey on top of the wings and brown the chicken wings on both sides for about 5 minutes. Put some sesame seeds on top, and they're all done and yummy. Most of the time, if I'm making this recipe for 2, I use 1lb. of chicken wings and cut the ingredients in half.

Cilantro Chicken with Tomato/Avocado Salsa

Pickled Tomato and avocado salsa
1 lb medium beefsteak-type tomatoes, quartered, seeds squeezed out
2 serrano Chilies, thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup distilled white vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp. packed light or dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. turmeric
½ cup olive oil
2 firm-ripe avocados, cut into ¾-in. chunks

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts


In a bowl, combine tomatoes, chilies, and green onions. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring vinegar to a boil. Add sugar and salt and cook, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat. Put ginger, garlic, and dry spices in a bowl. In another medium saucepan, heat olive oil, and add ginger mixture and cook, stirring until fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar mixture and pour over tomato mixture. Let salsa cool, then cover and chill for at least an hour, or overnight. About 1 hour before serving stir in avocados.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper. Turn chicken in mixture to coat. Let stand at room temperature turning occasionally for 30 to 45 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. Grill chicken. Serve on rice with salsa on top of chicken.

Indian Curried Chicken

This is exciting! I can't wait to see what kinds of recipes turn up. I tend to be more of a baker than a cook, but I love finding new recipes to try! I'm going to start with dinner recipes because I'll feel less guilty if I share meal ideas before dessert, even though if I had my way, dessert would be dinner :)

So here is a recipe from that I've adapted a little bit for an Indian Chicken Curry. While it isn't restaurant food, it does satisfy my craving for indian food when I don't feel like going out - and it's definitely a healthier alternative because you get to control all the ingredients! The only thing I didn't have in my pantry and I had to go out and buy for this recipe was Tumeric - that's what gives this curry it's classic yellow-orange coloring.

This is the original recipe yielding 4 portions. I halved this recipe when I made it because it's supposed to serve 4 people and I only needed to feed 2. I also added cooked potatoes in with the curry because I love Indian Curried Potatoes. It's a pretty tasty recipe, even though it has a lot of ingredients.

Adapted From:

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon water
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat is ok)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon garam masala (see recipe at the bottom for substitute)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish before serving
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2-3 Small/Medium Yellow (Red or White works fine too) Potatoes, peeled, quartered and boiled.

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons salt.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat; partially cook the chicken in the hot oil in batches until completely browned. Transfer the browned chicken breasts to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-high; add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook and stir until the onion turns translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of water into the onion mixture; allow to heat together for about 1 minute while stirring. Mix the tomatoes, yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 1 teaspoon salt into the mixture. Return the chicken breast to the skillet along with any juices on the plate. Pour 1/2 cup water into the mixture; bring to a boil, turning the chicken to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the garam masala and 1 tablespoon cilantro over the chicken.
Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken breasts are no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Sprinkle with lemon juice and fresh chopped cilantro to serve.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 427 Total Fat: 24.3g Cholesterol: 95mg

Garam Masala Substitute
From: Online Source

2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon, broken up
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)
Put the cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves in a dry heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the spices, stirring occasionally, until they turn several shades darker and give off a sweet smoky aroma, about 10 minutes. Do not raise the heat to quicken the process, or the spices will brown prematurely, leaving the insides undercooked. Cool completely.
Working in batches if necessary, transfer the mixture to a spice mill or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Stir in the nutmeg and saffron. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Garam Masala keeps for 3 months.
Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup

Recipe Exhange Instructions

Hey guys!

Caddie and I have been sharing recipes, and we thought it would be fun/a good idea to start a blog where people can post recipes they have tried and love. When you are posting a new recipe the title of the blog post should be the title of the recipe. Post the ingredients and direction in the post body and at the end of the post body if you have the nutritional information post that too. There is a box at the bottom of each blog post that says “Labels for this post”, in that box enter the type of food, for example: Indian, Mexican, Italian, etc.

I have to add people as “authors” so please let me know if you want to be a part of the exchange and I will add you email address to the authors, this way you can post your own recipes as well.

I am going to play around with the format and gadgets they have on this site and let you guys know if I change anything.

Have fun and ENJOY!