Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wendi's La La Lasagna

Not long after I was married, I bought a Stouffers Lasagna. I popped it in the oven for dinner. It was easy. It was not great. I knew there must be better. Over the years I have made many lasagnas. I have added and changed the ingredients. I never composed a recipe. I also never made another Stouffers. (sorry Mr. Stouffer) This is the recipe I used for dinner tonight and may I say, it was de-de-de-licious!!!

Meat sauce:

2 lbs. Hamburger ( cooked and drained)
1 clove of garlic ( or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Basil
2 Bay Leaves

Other Ingredients:

1 container of Ricotta cheese ( or small curd cottage cheese)
2 lbs. of Mozzarella Cheese
Lasagna Noodles ( NOT cooked)
1/2 C. water

Brown hamburger. Add garlic to the meat while browning. Salt to taste.

Put hamburger back into pot.
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.

Add Oregano, Basil, and bay leaves.

Let simmer. ( for at least 30 mins.)

Get a 9x13 casserole dish. Spray with cooking spray.
Remove bay leaves from sauce. ( they give a wonderful flavor to the sauce, but are not good to eat)

Put a small layer of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Put a layer of lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce.

Spoon the ricotta cheese over the noodles.

Pour a layer of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta.

Continue layering.

Meat sauce, noodles, cheeses.
You will be able to get four layers in a 9x 13.
The topping will be the small amount of meat sauce left in the pot.

Drizzle that over the last layer of cheese.

Take 1/2 cup of water and pour evenly around the outside edge of the lasagna.* This is a suggestion from Paula Deen. I do everything Paula says. It works. Your lasagna will be so moist. I promise you will thank me.

Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Take the lasagna out and let it stand for about 10 minutes.

This will give you time to put the bread in the oven and put the finishing touches on your salad.

Enjoy! I promise your taste buds will thank you!!!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

The Best Carrot Cake EVER!!!

( I am not sure who in my family cleaned the plate with their finger...nice!)

This recipe came from my brother. He was the first to discover this delicious, my-mouth-is-screaming-thank-you, cake. He made it first. He said I could share. So, I shall.

2 C. sugar
¾ C. Buttermilk
¾ C. Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
2 t. Vanilla
2 C. All Purpose Flour
2 t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt
2 t. Ground Cinnamon
2 C. Grated Carrots
1 C. Chopped Nuts (I use Pecans)
1 8 oz. Can crushed Pineapple (drained)
1 C. Coconut

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon, set aside.
Mix sugar, vegetable oil, and butter milk. Beat eggs.
Add flour mix and eggs to the sugar mix, alternately and mix.
Stir in carrots, nuts, pineapple and coconut. Mix in vanilla.
Bake at 350°for 35 to 40 minutes until sides pull from the pan.
Prepare Glaze right before the cake is done baking.

1 C. Sugar
½ C. Buttermilk
½ C. Butter (1 stick)
1 T. Light corn syrup
½ t. Baking soda
1 t. Vanilla

Place first 5 ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes until very light brown. Take off heat and add vanilla. Pour over cake while still in cake pan. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove cake from pan and allow to cool.

1 Stick Butter
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Box Powder Sugar
1 t. Vanilla.
Mix ingredients together until smooth.

(Hint for frosting. It is easier if you freeze the layers separately and then frost while frozen.) ENJOY.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chicken Tostados

4 chicken breast
8 oz. salsa
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. mixed Mexican cheese
1 package tortilla shells
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 oz. salsa
How to:
Cook chicken. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Mix with salsa, sour cream, and cream cheese.

Fill each of the 10 shells.

This is what it looks like to have OCD tendencies.
Each tortilla must have the same amount.
If you are not me, then you may slap the filling in the tortilla, roll it up and put it in the dish.
If you are me, this step will take way too much time, but you will be happy knowing each tortilla has the same amount of filling.

Roll and arrange in a 9x13 glass dish.
Mix 6 oz. of salsa with 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
Pour over shells. Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for @ 45 min.
My family loves this dish and requests it often. I usually cook 5-6 chicken breasts. I just like more chicken with my soup and salsa. I am like that. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

White Chicken Chili

This is such a delicious chili.
One that was made for a cold winter night snuggled up by a fire.
But you can certainly eat it in the summer.
It is good any time.

Here is what you will need:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken (or you can use 2-10oz. cans of chicken)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 med.onion
3 tsp.garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. oregano
2 cans chicken broth
1 can rotel
4 cans northern beans rinsed
1 container or 2 cups sour cream
1 cup whipping cream

In a large pot or skillet brown chicken in oil with onions and garlic powder.
I cut the onion in very large slices just to flavor and then remove at the very end.
It is how I get onion flavoring in my food without the kids knowing.
It is our little secret.
Add all other ingredients except sour cream and whipping cream.
That means the spices,the broth, the rotel, and the beans.
Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream and whipping cream.

This recipe makes quite a bit but freezes well too.
Or you can always 1/2 the recipe.

I serve this with a variety of crackers and Frito scoops.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Karyn's Potato Casserole

1 large bag of Hashbrowns
1 can Cream of Chicken
1 C. sour cream
3/4 stick butter (melted)
1 C. shredded cheese

Melt butter. Mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and butter together. Add thawed hashbrowns. Add 1/2 c. cheese. Mix well.
Cook @ 350 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add 1/2 c. cheese to top the last 5 mins. Enjoy!

Margaret's Taco Dip

2 cans Bean dip ( Frito lay)
1 c. Sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix (NOT Taco Bell)
2 cups Shredded Cheese (mexican)

Spread Bean dip in dish. Mix Sour cream, mayo, and seasoning mix. Spread on top of bean dip. Cover with cheese.

*optional: you may add tomatoes, peppers, and onions, etc.

Oriental Salad

1 medium cabbage, finely chopped ( I use packaged)
4 green onions, chopped
1 C. vegetable oil
4 TBspns. sugar
6 TBsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 pkgs. Chicken flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
4TBsps. toasted sesame seeds
4 TBsps. toasted almond slivers

Combine first 3 ingredients in bowl. Combine next four ingredients and seasoning packets from ramen noodles. Stir well. Add cabbage mixture. Crush ramen noodles and sprinkle over top of salad, tossing well. Top with almonds and sesame seeds before serving. Serves 8.

* For a one dish meal add 4 cups of cooked, diced chicken.

* For best results... pour oil over cabbage and put in refrigerator over night.

Beth's Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

This little number has been toted to many showers and parties. I have never come home with any. I could eat it by the spoonfuls. Really. Last Christmas I even made up a bunch, froze them, and gave them as Christmas gifts with a cute little bowl and spreader. I promise this is as easy as it is good!

1 8 oz. Cream cheese
1/2 c. Butter (1 stick)
3/4 c. Powdered sugar
2 TBS. Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 chocolate chips
3/4 c. pecans (finely chopped)

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add sugars and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips.

Refrigerate @ 2 hours. Roll in Ball. Refrigerate 1 hour. Roll in nuts.
Serve with Graham Crackers.