Our favorite lasagna

December 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh lasagna.  I think it is probably one of most expensive foods I make, and since we aren’t very good about eating leftovers, I can only justify making it every once in awhile.  I don’t stick firmly to a recipe, but it always seems to come out pretty tasty, so here is my most recent batch for your viewing consumption.

You’ll need:

  • one box of lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 28-ounce jars of tomato sauce
  • 32 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan

Brown your ground beef and sausage with the minced garlic.  Add the jarred sauce, and bring your sauce to a simmer.  Spread roughly 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan.

Layer with three cooked lasagna noodles.

Combine the ricotta, eggs, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning.  Spread about half of this mixture on top of your noodles.

Cover with another cup of sauce.

Cover with a few handfuls of mozzarella.

Now repeat, starting with more noodles.

The last layer will be noodles, a little more sauce (just to keep the noodles from drying out), mozzarella, and the shredded Parmesan.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before you serve it up!

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Crock Pot Roast

December 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I had been craving pot roast, and when I saw this recipe, it sounded really interesting – and it was awesome.  I made a few modifications, and it will now become part of our regular rotation!  Now you can add it to yours.

You need:

  • 1 3 lb. roast (any type works, I used a bottom roast)
  • 2 packages dry brown gravy mix
  • 2 packages dried Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water

Place beef roast in crock pot.  Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.

Pour the water and wine around the roast, and cook on low for 8 hours.  Come home to this.

It just shreds apart – so cut it up a little, let it soak up a little gravy, and serve!

Beer Cheese Soup

December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you have heard me talk about any of my dining loves, you have heard me talk about Mad Fox Brewing Company, IMHO the best restaurant around here and one of the best restaurants ever.  And I don’t even drink beer – so I’m saying that based on the food alone, and I hear the beer is just another great contribution.

We typically get the pizza every time we go (it’s great), but one night I branched out and ordered this fabulous grilled peach and watermelon salad, which was served over frisée with some strange but equally fabulous combination of balsamic and raspberry vinaigrettes.   But I digress.  Because that, as fabulous as it was, was not the best thing I had that night.  I ordered a cup of their beer cheese soup.

Oh man.  It was out-of-this-world good.  I had to recreate it.

Full disclosure – mine didn’t come close to matching that creamy alcohol-laced perfection.   But it was pretty yummy.  I made a big change from the recipe I used – I used a food processor to grind up all the veggies, and it made the texture a bit strange.  But the flavor was good.  Now you can make it too – but better yet, call Mad Fox and see if they have beer cheese soup on the menu.  You will love it!

You need:

  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beer
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk or half and half
  • 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • popped popcorn, for garnish

In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together carrots, onion, celery, and garlic.  Stir in hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat.  (After this step, I pureed the veggies – I recommend you skip that.)

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Gradually stir in milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened.  Remove from heat, and gradually stir in cheese.  Keep warm.

Stir beer mixture into cheese mixture.  Stir in Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.  Adjust for hot pepper sauce.  Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.

Serve topped with the popcorn (as above) or with soft pretzels – they were even better than the popcorn!

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