It was finally a cold and rainy day! I decided I could finally turn on the stove and oven again, and what better meal to make than lasagna! The best part about lasagna is the leftovers! Though I did cheat and buy sauce from the store instead of making it from scratch!
RECIPE: Classic Lasagna
Makes 8 Servings
Oven heated to 350
Hot italian Sausage
Mushroom Tomato Sauce
1) Remove the meat from inside of the sausage casings and begin browning the meat in a pan.
2) In a bowl, begin mixing the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and two eggs. Sprinkle in oregano and basil.
In a mixer, kneed two eggs, a pinch of salt, and just enough flour to make a pasta dough.
Let the dough rest for a few minutes, while you pour the sauce over the meat and shred the mozzarella cheese.
Split the pasta into three pieces. Run each piece through the pasta roller two to three times to make it nice and long and thin.
In a baking dish, spoon down a thin layer of tomato sauce across the bottom of the pan.
Lay down noodles cut to the length of the pan.
8) Pour 1/3 of the sausage and tomato sauce mixture over the noodles. Spoon over a third of the ricotta mixture and then top with a third of mozzarella.
9) Lay down another layer of pasta and repeat until you use up all the material.
10) Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the top is browned around the edges.
11) Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
It is to hot outside to bake meatballs and then make the sauce to simmer them in, and then construct the sub sandwiches. The next best thing is a deconstructed meatball sub, which is a meatball sub in a sloppy Joe format.
RECIPE: Deconstructed Meatball Sub
Makes 3 Servings
Cast iron pan
Oven set to broil
1) Begin browning the beef in the cast iron pan.
2) While the beef cooks, chop up the garlic, onion, mozzarella, and basil.
3) Stir in onion and garlic.
4) Add tomato paste and make sure it’s thoroughly stirred.
5) Season with basil and oregano.
6) Lay the buns out on a baking sheet.
8) Scoop the meat mixture onto the bun, and then topped with mozzarella cheese.
9) Slide the tray under the broiler until the cheese melts and the top bun toasts.
This sandwich met my craving for meatball subs without making me sweat it out in the kitchen!
The best part of pavlova is that it bakes at a relatively low temperature. That means on a summer day, when its storming outside, it is bearable to turn the oven to 300 degrees. The nice thing about pavlova is that is is light and fruity, and hits the spot perfectly when craving something sweet.
RECIPE: Strawberry Pavlova
Makes 8 Servings
Oven heated to 300
4 Egg Whites
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
2 teaspoon Cornstarch
Pint of Heavy Cream
Quart of Strawberries
1) Split the four eggs, with the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another.
2) Begin beating the egg whites until soft caps.
3) Add a pinch of salt and while continuing to beat the egg whites slowly add the sugar just a teaspoon at a time.
4) Use a spatula to gently fold in the cornstarch.
5) On a silicon lined baking sheet, spread the meringue into a circle or disk.
6) Bake the pavlova for about 45 minutes to one hour.
7) When the pavlova is dry on the outside and the edges beginning to crack, remove from the oven and let cool.
8) While it cools, add the pint of vanilla, two spoon fulls of powdered sugar, and a dash of vanilla to the mixer. Beat on high until whip cream is formed.
9) Core and slice each strawberry into fourths.
10) Place the pavlova on a plate, spread on the whip cream leaving a bit of the edge cleared, sort of like sauce on a pizza.
11) Layer the strawberries across the entire pavlova.
12) Chill until its time to serve!
Peaches and Cream Pie was an off the cuff experiment. In fact, I had no idea if it would turn out at all. I was surprised with how tasty this concoction ended up being! The only bad thing is that I can’t give exact measurements since I ‘winged’ it so much. There are plenty of pictures to help you make the recipe as well!
RECIPE: Peaches and Cream Pie
Makes 1 Pie
Oven set to 375
1 stick butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 cup or more Oatmeal
1/4 cup Flour
1) In a bowl, combine the stick of butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal, and a heavy grating of nutmeg.
2) Use yours to combine and mix everything until a dough is formed that is soft but not sticky. If the mixture is overly buttery, add more oatmeal until it looks right.
3) Press the mixture into a pie pan with your fingers.
4) Bake in the heated oven for 15 minutes or until the edges brown slightly.
5) In a bowl, combine shortening and powdered sugar on a 1:4 ratio with a flash of vanilla.
6) Use the hand mixer to cream and fluff the shortening and sugar combination till the mixture somewhat reminds you of oreo cream filling.
7) When the crust is cool, use a spoon to smooth the cream filling over the crust.
8) Use a fork to lay the half peach pieces on top of the cream.
9) Chill before serving.
Normally, hush puppies are a corn meal based dough that is fried. However, I am trying my hardest to cut down on how much frying we do around here. So I decided I would bake our hush puppies, and throw in some good old fashion vegetables to make them even healthier!
RECIPE: Hush Puppies
Makes 11 Hush Puppies
Oven heated to 375
1 Cup Corn Meal
1 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Milk
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
3 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
1 Cup Zucchini
1) In a mixing bowl, stir together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt, onion powder, chili powder, and onion powder.
2) Grease the muffin tin with crisco or the oil of your choice.
3) Chop up a cup of zucchini, and then use the leftover with mushrooms for sauced up vegetables.
4) Add the eggs, milk, and oil to the center of the dried ingredients in the mixing bowl.
5) Stir until everything is well combined, but not over stirred. The batter should be on the thick side. 6) Add the chopped zucchini and stir until its evenly dispersed throughout the batter.
7) Scoop the batter into the greased muffin tins and put into the hot oven.
Bake until the tops are golden, slightly puffed, and all done!
Hush puppies are always good with BBQ. To keep this meal healthy and vegetarian friendly, we chopped up mushrooms and zucchini and cooked them in a southern style BBQ sauce. The result was pretty darn good, and an excellent paring with the zucchini hush puppies.
This pizza was absolutely amazing, like hands down would eat it all the time. Smoked mozzarella on a pizza is the best idea that any one ever had. Mix that delicious cheese with a super light and fresh tomato sauce, and the result is out of this world! Don’t believe me? Make it yourself!
RECIPE: Chard and Smoked Pizza
Makes Dinner for 3 (or Dinner for 2 and lunch for me!)
2 Cast Iron Pans
Oven heated to 425
Sourdough Pizza Dough
1) Make sourdough Pizza Dough based on the recipe here.
2) Cut up the tomato into smallish chunks and add them to a warm cast iron pan.
3) Dice up several cloves of garlic and cut up two or so small spring onions.
4) Add the garlic and the onion to the tomatoes and stir, letting it cook together over a low simmer.
5) Roughly slice up the chard into long strips, and chop up the basil.
6) Press dough into a a cast iron pan and then stir the basil into the sauce.
7) Top the dough with the fresh tomato sauce.
8) Slice up the smoked mozzarella, and lay it evenly over the sauce.
9) Sprinkle the chard over the top of the pizza so that there is even coverage.
10) Bake in a hot oven until the crust is brown and the cheese melts.
Sushi is probably my husband’s favorite meal. On those rare occasions that we go out to dinner, he almost always wants sushi. Though there isn’t anyplace to buy sushi grade fish around here, there is no reason we couldn’t make vegetable sushi. This sushi really hit the spot, and made my husband very happy.
RECIPE: Vegetable Sushi
Makes Dinner for 2
Rice Wine Vinegar
1) Begin cooking the rice in a pot of water, using a fork to occasionally stir.
2) Slice the vegetables into long thin pieces.
3) Place the carrots in a pot and pour the pickle juice over them. Bring it to a simmer. This will soften the carrots and give them a quick “pickling”.
4) Scramble the eggs in a bit of sesame oil, but then let them cook omelet style so you get thin large pieces of egg that hold together.
5) When the rice is almost done, stir in some rice wine vinegar and then let it finish cooking into some nice sticky rice. Set it aside to cool.
6) We weren’t planning on eating a ton, so I laid the fillings into the bowl with the rice.
7) Mix the dry mustard with a bit of water and rice wine vinegar. Serve the ginger and wasabi on the side as well.
8) Lay the nori on the rolling mat, and spread a layer of rice thinly over it.
9) On the far side, layout the fillings of your choice.
10) Begin rolling the sushi towards you making sure to keep the roll tight and not letting any of the filling spread or fall out.
11) Place the roll down and use a very sharp knife to cut it into pieces.
12) Serve immediately and enjoy with your choice of dips or add-ons!
Mushrooms are amazing. They are absolutely delicious in everything. I was craving pasta, but also really wanted the pasta covered in mushrooms. The result was this wonderful filling sauce that I can’t wait to make again.
RECIPE: Mushroom Sauce Pasta
Makes 3 Servings
1) Cook the pasta as directed on the box.
2) Snip the ends of the beans and drop into a preheated pan. Season with a touch of black pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Keep stirring as needed.
3) Chop up the mushrooms and drop into another pan.
4) Chop up spring onions and add them into the mushrooms.
5) Finely chop a few cloves of garlic and add to the mushrooms and onion.
6) Pour diced tomatoes over the entire mixture and let simmer while you season with a bit of rosemary.
7) Serve the pasta with the mushroom sauce on top with a touch of Parmesan cheese. The beans should be served on the side.
I don’t know about you, but there are days where I crave vegetables. Honestly, its probably more than a craving, its a need! Here is a recipe for those days when you just want vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables!
RECIPE: All the Vegetables Quesadilla
Makes 2 Servings
2 Small Tomatoes
Ear of Corn
2 Ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1) Peel the ear of corn and place it in a pot of boiling water.
2) Dice the green pepper and divide it into two piles.
3) Chop up each tomato.
4) When the corn is done, remove it from the water and cut it off the cob. Divide it into two piles.
5) Heat up a cast iron pan.
6) Place a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, and top it with half a pepper, a tomato, and half the corn from the cob.
7) Grate an ounce of cheddar cheese over the pile of vegetables, and then top with another tortilla.
8) When the bottom is toasted, flip, and let the other side cook. The cheese will melt over the vegetables and hold them together.
9) Remove it from the pan and place on a plate. Repeat steps 6 through now.
10) Serve with hot sauce or salsa if desired.
I apologize for the shorter posts this week. My computer is acting up and part of that is that the track pad isn’t working anymore. In fact, I have a mouse wired to my laptop to make it work, and that means I can’t write in my favorite position of curled up on the couch with my puppy. Once I find a new comfy place to work with my mouse, or figure out how to fix my laptop, the posts will go back to being their usual fun selves.
RECIPE: Nutella Smore’s
Makes 6 Servings
Oven set to Broil
Cast iron pan
6 Graham Crackers
1) Break the graham crackers in half and lather one half with nutella.
2) Lay the nutella halves into a cast iron pan (nutella side up).
3) Place a handful of mini marshmallows over the nutella graham crackers.
4) Put the cast iron pan in the oven under the broiler, and watch it until the marshmallows become golden brown and melted.
5) Set the cast iron pan on the stove and place the other graham cracker on top, pressing down slightly.
6) Use fingers or spatula to remove the smores from the pan to enjoy!
Best way to eat smores when you don’t have access to a fire pit or campfire.