Lasagna

Layers and layers of of pasta, hearty tomato sauce seasoned perfectly with fresh spices and vegetables, beef, sweet Italian sausage and melted cheeses.

This will be your favorite lasagna. In this blog I am providing you with the recipie for the sauce, if you have extra. Place it in freezer safe zip lock bags or containers to use with future recipies.

Supplies for sauce:

  • Large 8 quart cooking pot with lid
  • 2 fry pans, one for your beef the other sausage
  • Cutting board and knife for vegetables
  • Spoons for stirring meats and vegetables
  • 1 long handled spoon for stirring the sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 3 peppers, 1 green, 1 yellow and 1 red (remove membrane, wash and dice small)
    • 1/2 sweet Vidalia onion peeled and diced small
    • 1 pound of market fresh ground beef (cooked through and chopped small, do not drain)
    • 1 pound of ground sweet Italian sausage (cooked through and chopped small, do not drain)
    • 1 stick of butter
    • 5 stems of fresh oregano remove leaves
    • 4 fresh basil leaves
    • 2 large garlic cloves peeled and sliced
    • 3 large cans of tomato sauce, 28 ounce size cans
    • 1 large can of diced tomatoes do not drain
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    First thing, if you have not done so cook your meats and set aside to not drain. In your pot add your tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano and meats with juices set your burner on low.

    Dice your vegetables including your onions, place in your fry pan that you used to cook your sausage. It holds the most flavor. Add 1 pat of butter. 

    The remainder of your butter, place in your pot with the tomato sauce, stir.

    Slow cook your vegetables on low till tender, stir frequently do not over cook you want them to have a little crunch.

    Add your vegetables to your sauce, stir and cover. Your going to keep your burner on low and cook for about an hour and a half, stir frequently.

    The idea, your flavoring the sauce with the meats, spices and vegetables slowly. Taste your sauce half way through and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for the remainder of the time.

    Its time to make the lasagna.

    Preheat oven to 350°

    Supplies for lasagna:

    • 1 large 8 quart cooking pot to boil your pasta
    • 1 large lasagna pan
    • Large ladel 
    • Tin foil
    • Hot mits

    Ingredients for lasagna:

    • 6 cups of shredded cheese (you may use only mozzarella or a combination of the cheeses listed below) in this recipie I used a combination of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, asiago, fontina and romano cheeses
    • 1 box of pasta (cook till tender) drain from boiling water, add cold water to cool your pasta. You may have to do this serveral times so you can touch the pasta with your hands. Add a little vegetable oil to the cooled water to keep your pasta from sticking together. Gentley stir to coat.

    Set your lasagna pan on the counter in front of you. Have your sauce, pasta and cheese close by.

    Now we’re going to layer, using your ladel, add sauce to the bottom of your pan just enough to cover, this prevents the pasta from sticking. Now layer 1 row of pasta, about 3. Next ladel sauce covering then cover with cheese. Repeat this process till your fill your pan or run out of pasta. Once you have reached the end leave about an 1 inch space from the top, you need room to add lots of cheese and sauce. 

    Now cover completely the top of your dish with sauce then cheese, you will want a heavy layer. Cover with tin foil and place in oven. Bake till cheese is melted about 30 minutes, if you like your cheese a little toasty, remove the tin foil and bake about 10 minutes near the end, bake till cheese reaches your desired look. Remove from oven using hot mitts.

    You do not have to bake your lasagna right away, make this dish the night before, just place in the refrigerator covered till the next day.

    Serves about 12 hearty slices.

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      Raisin Walnut Cookies

      It is getting a little chilly now, most of us are looking to start up the oven to warm the house and look forward to the smell of fresh baked cookies in the oven.

      Its my favorite time of the year, but I’m always making cookies year round. They are quick little bites of heaven that are so easy to make. 

      These little guys are oh my goodness heaven. Plump juicy raisins, walnuts and cinnamon. You will love them so much you will probably not want to share. 


      Supplies:

      • Bowl for mixing and wooden spoon for mixing (Do not use an electric mixer, cookies will not be the right consistency)
      • 2 large baking sheets
      • Small spoon
      • Spatula

      Ingredients:

      • 2 cups of flour
      • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
      • 3/4 cup of sugar
      • 1 egg
      • 3 tablespoons of vanilla
      • 2 sticks of butter soften
      • 1/2 cup of walnuts chopped
      • 3/4 cup of raisins
      • 1 tablespoon of water

      Preheat oven to 350°


      Place your butter in your mixing bowl and mush it around a bit with your spoon. Now add your egg, sugar, vanilla and salt.


      Stir till well combined. 


      Now add your flour and cinnamon. Stir till well combined. If your dough feels a little dry add your water, continue to stir till it is the correct consistency.


      Add your walnuts and gently fold. Next add your raisins and fold in as well.


      On your ungreased baking sheet place about 1 inch balls of dough, try to keep a 1 inch seperation from each. 


      Place in your preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Bake till golden brown. 


      Makes about 36 cookies.

      Pierogis

      In my house, my poobear will eat a ton of these. It is her absolute favorite food on the planet. My child will eat 12 at one sitting. Where she puts it, I’ll never know. 

      I’m sharing my recipie with you with hopes you will enjoy them just as much as she.

      My poobear chose sharp cheddar for the filling in these but your welcome to adjust as needed. The key to a perfect pierogis is an amazing filling and salt. Be creative add onions, bacon, sausage, mushrooms. The ideas are endless.

      Supplies:

      • Rolling pin
      • Mixing bowl for dough
      • Cutting board and knife for vegetables
      • Pot for boiling potatoes
      • Small pot for boiling pierogis if you choose not to cook all of them
      • Knife for peeling potatoes and slicing cheese
      • Large round cookie cutter for cutting circles out of dough (I used my large martini mixer top lol, a drinking glass works just as good)
      • Small fry pan to saute your vegetables
      • Spatula
      • Electric mixer 
      • Small spoon for potato filling

        Ingredients for pierogis:

        • 4 cups of flour
        • 2 eggs
        • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
        • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
        • 1 cup of water
        • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter softened

         Ingredients for saute vegetables:

        • 1/2 green pepper, remove membrane wash and dice small
        • 1/2 of a small sweet Vidalia onion diced small
        • 1 table spoon of butter to saute vegetables

        Ingredients for potato filling:

        • About 8 average size gold potatoes peeled and boiled till soft
        • 1 package of extra sharp cheddar cheese, 8 servings, sliced thin
        • 1 egg
        • 1/2 stick of butter
        • Salt


        Once your potatoes are boiled drained keep them in the pot. Add your butter, sliced cheese and egg.


        Using your electric mixer whip ingredients till smooth. Add salt to taste. This is where your filling should be impressive and the salt will pull the flavors together. Don’t be shy with the salt. Use what ever you need to bring the flavors out. Set aside so they will cool. Do not use filling warm. Room temperature is best.


        This is what your potato filling should look like. If its to dry add a bit of milk to soften.

        Now we’re going to make the pierogis.

        In your mixing bowl combine your butter, eggs, salt, sugar and flour. Pour only half of your water in your dough. Nead your dough using your hands, if the dough appears to dry add more water. If your dough appears to be to wet add more flour. Do not over nead your dough. It must stay soft. 


        Add some flour to your clean counter top and rolling pin. Place dough and roll out as far as you can. Roll your dough till about 1/8 inch thick. 


        Using your cutter begin cutting circles. Place them on a flour dusted counter or cookie sheet. Thickness of circles should not be to thick or thin. They will not cook properly. Below is a picture of average thickness.


        Repeat this process till you run out of dough. I got about 36 pierogis. The quantity really depends on how thick your dough is. Do the best you can, again it’s an average thickness of 1/8 of an inch.


        Now using your spoon place a dallop of potato filling on each. Do not over fill. 


        Fold over your dough and seal by pinching the outer edge. If your having a hard time with edges to make a good seal add a little water. Repeat this process till all of your dough circles are filled.

        Set aside the extras once pinched closed. You can freeze your extra pierogis. I put them in freezer zip lock bags. Do not stack on top of each other, they will stick and not cook correctly.


        To cook, boil in salted water for just a few minutes about 8 to 10 minutes. The pierogis will float when ready.

        To serve, in our house we saute green peppers and onions with butter.


        In a small fry pan add butter, saute your vegetables till tender. 

        Serve on top of pierogis, sometimes we add sour cream on the side for an added flavor. Salt to taste. 


        Serve warm.

        Pork Loin Sandwich

        I made a pork loin the other night and we had some left overs so I decided to make sandwhiches from it. It turned out to be a huge hit in my house. The kids just loved it.

        This recipie is for the pork loin and the glaze for the sandwiches. The loin was made in the crockpot. 

        Suppies: 

        • 1 large crockpot with lid
        • Knife and cutting board for cooked pork
        • Knife and cutting board for vegetables
        • Spoon
        • Measuring cup
        • Tea spoons
        • Sauce pan for glaze
        • Fry pan and spatula for buns

        Ingredients for pork loin:

        • 1 – 2 pound pork loin average
        • 1 package of maple bacon (Hormel Black Label is our favorite)
        • 1/4 of a vidilia sweet onion chopped
        • 1 large garlic clove peeled and sliced thin
        • 1/4 cup of water
        • Ground pepper
        • Oregano

        Ingredients for glaze:

        • 1/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray bbq sauce
        • 3 table spoons of honey Dijon mustard
        • 1/4 cup of ketchup
        • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
        • 3 table spoons of soy sauce
        • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

        Butter toasted garlic buns:

        • 1 jar of minced garlic
        • 1 stick of butter

        Place your loin in your crock pot and pour your water inside. Generously cover your loin with pepper. Now wrap the entire loin with bacon.

        On top of your bacon, cover with your onions and garlic. Sprinkle oregano on top. Cover and set crock pot on medium for about 4 hours. Pork loin should be at 145° or slice through center you should see no pink.

        Now we are going to work on our sauce. In your sauce pan combine all ingredients for the glaze. Set your burner on medium low and stir till brown sugar is melted. Continuously stirring so you don’t burn your glaze.

        If haven’t done so already remove your loin from the crockpot and disguard all of the fat from the bacon and loin. Save the drippings and leave in the crockpot. Cut the remaining cooked loin, bacon and onions in bite size pieces and place back in your crockpot. Now add your glaze and stir till coverd. Set your crockpot on low and cover. Keep on low and stir occasionally till your loin is warm and flavored through, about an hour. 

        You will have to add as much glaze as you like depending on how much loin you have left over. 

        I serve the sandwiches on butter toasted garlic buns. It’s easy to do, set your burner on medium low, in the small fry pan add 2 pats of butter and 1 spoon full of minced garlic. Open bun and face down on your pan. Toast till golden. Give the bun a little spin to grab all the garlic and butter. Repeat as necessary for more sandwhiches.

        Place your pork on your toasted buns and serve.

        Serve warm. 

        Bacon and Egg Breakfast Wrap

        This is a very hearty wrap, guarantee to keep you filled till lunch. 

        Wrapped in a soft flour tortilla shell you have crisp bacon, shredded cheese, sweet vidalia onions, egg and hash browns. Perfect mix in one easy wrap.

        This recipie is for 1, if making more adjust as needed.


        Supplies:

        • 2 fry pans, 1 large for bacon and 1 small for eggs and hash browns
        • Cutting board and knife for onions
        • Tongs for bacon
        • Spatula for eggs and hash browns
        • Serving plate

        Ingredients:

        • 2 eggs
        • 4 slices of cooked bacon (cook till crisp, drain)
        • 2 table spoons of sweet vidalia onion chopped
        • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
        • 1 large soft flour tortilla shell
        • 1 pre cooked hash brown (I used the frozen one, defrost in microwave. If you cook it in vegetable oil your wrap will be to greasy)
        • Garlic salt
        • Salt and pepper
        • 2 table spoons of butter


        On your serving plate place your bacon on your tortilla.


        Sprinkle your cheese. Set aside.


        Now in your small fry pan, using 1 table spoon of butter cook your egg on medium heat, add your diced onions, pepper and garlic salt to taste. Break your yolks so the egg cooks through.

        Place your cooked egg on top of your bacon and cheese.


        In the same fry pan using 1 table spoon of butter add your hash brown, add salt to taste, cook on medium heat and break apart till warm. 


        Add your hash brown on top of your eggs. Fold in each ends and enjoy. Serve warm.

        Recipie makes 1 wrap

        Spicy ‘N’ Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole

        This is a layered casserole using sweet Italian sausage, red crushed pepper, cheese, sweet Vidalia onions, potatoes. So very good, definitely a comfort food. One dish meal, makes clean up easy. 

        Supplies:

        • Large lasagna pan
        • 1 cutting board and knife for vegetables and another cutting board and knife for sausage
        • Tin foil
        • Hot mitts
        • Serving spoon

        Ingredients:

        • 4 sweet Italian sausage links sliced
        • 1/4 of a large sweet Vidalia onion sliced
        • 1 – 28 oz bag of honey gold potatoes sliced in half
        • Red crushed pepper
        • Dried oregano and parsley flakes
        • 2 garlic cloves peeled and sliced thin
        • 3 cups of Mexican style blend shredded cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, queso blanco and asadero cheese)
        • 1/2 stick of butter sliced
        • Spray butter (pam)

        Preheat your oven to 350°, spray your lasagna pan with spray butter

        This is an easy layering dish. First thing your potatoes.

        Sprinkle your oregano and parsley. Next red crushed pepper, this spice is very hot, if you do not like very spicy food, do not use a lot. Your lips will be burning and probably clean out your sinuses as well 🙂 .

        Next your onions and garlic. Don’t be shy, cover all of the potatoes.

        Now add your sweet Italian sausage. Divide evenly.

        Now add your butter dividing evenly then sprinkle more oregano and parsley.

        Cover with tin foil and bake till potatoes are soft. About and hour.

        Remove casserole from oven and tin foil. Sprinkle your cheese over the top covering the entire dish. Place back in the oven till cheese is melted, do not place tin foil back on.

        Once cheese is melted, remove from oven using your hot mitts.

        Serve warm, serves about 6

        Hearty Maple Bacon Cheese Burgers

        Well in my house it’s epic burger night. It really is. If I could invite you over just for this one night, you would be amazed.

        It is one of the best nights we get together stop, relax and share our day and eat as a family. 

        Everyone enjoys a great burger and this by far is up there in the scales

        Maple bacon, Colby Jack cheese perfectly melted, garlic, dippy egg, Dukes mayo, fresh tomato, onion and sweet romaine lettuce all on a toasted garlic bun. It just doesn’t get any better than that.


        Supplies:

        • 2 fry pans, 1 large with lid to cook bacon then burgers, 1 small to toast butter garlic buns
        • 2 spatulas, 1 for burgers the other for butter garlic buns and egg
        • Tongs for bacon
        • Spoon for minced garlic
        • 1 cutting board and knife for vegetables
        • Serving plates

        Ingredients:

        • 4 market fresh ground beef patties about 5 to 6 ounce in each patty, if you prefer thin 3 ounces (you can get fresh ground beef from your grocer, just ask the meat department for some)
        • 4 slices of Colby Jack Cheese
        • 1 package of maple flavored bacon, fully cooked to desired crisp (my favorite to use, Hormel Black Label Maple) do not drain bacon grease, keep in your fry pan, set bacon aside to drain
        • 4 fresh hamburger buns
        • 3 – 1/4 inch slices of Vidalia sweet onion
        • 4 – 1/4 inch slices of crisp red tomato
        • Romaine lettuce
        • Minced garlic
        • 1 stick of butter
        •  Ketchup, mayo, mustard (Dukes mayo is our household favorite)
        • Salt and pepper
        • Garlic salt for egg (optional)


          First thing, prepare your vegetables, lettuce and cheese. Have your condiments ready. Set to the side along with your cooked bacon.


          I pepper my bacon for some added flavor. Once your bacon is cooked do not drain.


          Set your patties in your pan with the bacon grease. Salt and pepper your patties one side only. Cook till well done, ground beef should be cooked to 160f. Place your sliced cheese on top of your burgers, cover and turn off burner. 

          Next were going to toast those buns.


          In your small fry pan add 2 pats of butter and 1 spoonful of minced garlic. Set your burner on medium low, melt your butter slowly do not burn.


          Place your bun open on your pan with the butter and garlic. Toast till golden. I give the bun a little spin around the pan, still faced down so it will grab all the butter and garlic. Do not over toast. Repeat this process for each bun.


          Once your buns are toasty, start the process, on your serving plate place bun then burger with cheese first, bacon, onion, tomato, lettuce. Set aside.


          Using the same pan for your buns, fry yourself an egg with 1 table spoon of butter. We add a little garlic salt in my house. My kids are dippy egg people, I prefer a fried egg. Place your egg on top of your toppings. For the top of the bun add your mayo, mustard and ketchup.


          The reason for the egg on top is so it doesn’t break when you add your toppings. If your using a fried egg, it can be added anytime. Serve warm.

          Serves 4