Thursday, April 22, 2010

Revised *CrAzY* Crock-pot Lasagna

I really did used to make this several years ago.  But the last time I attempted it,it was really salty.  We're having it for dinner again tonight, and of course I felt obligated to switch it up a bit.  It's "crazy" because I used egg noodles instead of lasagna noodles.  I just like them better.  I'm writing down what I did here, and then I'll just report back if it was any good or not. I'm optimistic!

CrAzY Crock-pot Lasagna

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 small diced onion
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 26 1/2  oz can spaghetti sauce
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 layers of egg noodles
2 eggs
16 oz carton ricotta or cottage cheese (we use cottage cheese- Bryson prefers it)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
spices to taste

Earlier this morning I browned the ground beef with the chopped onion and minced garlic.  Obviously you may do that when you're fixing to start assembling it, ahead of time, whatever suits you.  If it wasn't ground round, be sure to drain it.

Mix the cottage or ricotta cheese with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and the 2 eggs.  I also add oregano here, but I LURVE me some oregano- I have a huge jar of it from Sam's Club.  

Mix the diced tomatoes with the spaghetti sauce and the 1/2 cup of water.  Now you're ready to start layering!

I use crock-pot liners- I love them.  So I lined my pot, then sprayed the inside with olive oil.  I don't like when stuff sticks!  Then I covered the bottom with a layer of raw (unboiled) egg noodles.  On top of that I put half of the meat mixture.  Then a little more than a third of the sauce.  And a little more then half the cottage cheese mixture. I also hit it with some Parmesan here as well.

Next another layer of egg noodles, the rest of the meat, another third of the sauce, and the rest of the cottage cheese mixture.  hit it with another light layer of Parmesan for good measure.

I finished up with the rest of the sauce, and the half a cup of reserved mozzarella cheese.  I put it on high at 4pm, and I'm hoping it's done in an hour or two.

*** After 1 hour on high, the noodles appear to be cooked through!  Now it's ready to eat when Bryson gets home from work =) 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Mama'sTaco Casserole" (not *my* Mama's, but apparently someone's)

I saw this recipe at Southern Plate... and I'm a little leery to try it.  It is Taco/Movie Night here, so I *could* technically try it tonight... Only the BBQ sauce makes it sound awful to me?? I'm a little scared to try it mostly, but I'm posting it here in case I get to thinking I might can handle it after all....

Mama’s Taco Casserole

  • 1/4 C Margarine
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 15 ounce can refried beans
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups instant mashed potato flakes
Melt margarine in saucepan. Add milk and 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix. Remove from heat and stir in potato flakes. Press mixture into bottom and slightly up the sides of an 8×8 inch baking dish. In skillet, place ground beef, re-fried beans, bbq sauce, water, and remaining taco mix. Cook and stir until bubbly. Turn into prepared crust. Bake uncovered at 350 for thirty to thirty five minutes.
Serve with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream – whatever cranks yer tractor.

My heavens it sounds awful to me still, just reading over it.  I'm going to really have to think about this for the next hour or two. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Cake

I found this recipe online, and was really anxious to try it. It takes a little bit of effort, but GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT (and make the effort) especially in this case! The batter was to DIE FOR- wanted to just eat it with a spoon. Convinced myself to fill the pans though. =) Turns out I no longer have any 8-9" round baking pans (where did they go?) so I used my smallest spring form pan, plus 3 mini bundt cake pans. They smell fab-O- but we're not frosting them til tomorrow. We're going to frost the small ones, give one to the Wheelers, probably eat one ourselves, then save our "big one" for Easter dinner. We all want to eat one now....

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
5 egg whites
2 teaspoon strawberry extract
2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter-softened
1 8oz package cream cheese-softened
1/4 cup pureed fresh strawberries
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
6 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9" cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add strawberry extract, pureed strawberries, and sour cream. Beat until combined.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add pureed strawberries and strawberry extract beating until combined. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.

Frost & EAT!