Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

My grandmother made lasagna from scratch when we were growing up. When I was a kid, I couldn’t really appreciate the significance of that. But now that I am older and I have eaten many frozen lasagnas, I have a greater understanding of the time and effort she put into it. Because we all know that frozen lasagna doesn’t hold a candle a homemade one. I have been in search of a great lasagna recipe for my Garcia Family Cookbook. I have tried several different recipes, but I didn’t fall in love with any of them. Although my sister-in-law turned me onto the Pioneer Woman‘s recipe. It was pretty good, but I prefer ground sausage to ground beef in my Italian food. I think it has more flavor. So since I couldn’t quite find a lasagna recipe that I loved, I decided to create one of my own. And I am in love! So here it is, and you decide. I actually use my spaghetti sauce recipe as the base for my lasagna. Which is perfect, because I can turn one meal into two. And for all of you mothers out there, we all know we love to stretch out our meals as much as possible.

Mama Kerrie’s Lasagna

Ingredients:

FOR SAUCE:

  • 2 lbs Ground Italian Sausage
  • 1 sm. Onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Diced Tomato
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans Tomato Paste
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cups Water
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

FOR LASAGNA:

  • 2 1/2 cups Cottage Cheese
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 4 Teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • 1 pkg. Lasagna Noodles, cooked

For the Sauce: CLICK HERE for spaghetti sauce tutorial

In a large skillet brown Italian sausage, breaking it up into bits as you stir. Add onions and continue to cook until they have become soft. Remove from heat and drain grease from meat. Then set aside.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Mix well. Then add your meat mixture to the pot and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine basil, 2 teaspoons parsley, brown sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Mix well. Then add spices to your pot and combine them well.

Once sauce boils, reduce heat to low setting. Simmer sauce on low stirring frequently for 2 hours. Then remove from heat and set aside.

For Lasagna:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, 4 teaspoons parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Arrange 3 or 4 cooked lasagna noodles across the bottom of a baking pan. Using half of your cottage cheese mixture, spread over the noodles evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over cottage cheese. Spread a layer of prepared meat sauce on top of cheese layer.

Repeat this process two more times, so you have a total of three layers. Next sprinkle your top meat sauce layer with more mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Bake Lasagna for 20 to 30 minutes or until top is bubbly.

Enjoy!

DIY – Ice Pack Cover tutorial

We all know that kids fall down and get hurt.  It is our defining moment as mothers when we come racing in to save the day.  We kiss the boo-boos to make them better, rub the ouchies when they hurt, we blow on the scrapes so they stop burning, and we ice the bumps so they go away.  Personally, I have always hated it when your homemade icepack begins to melt, and it gets you all wet.  So a few years ago, I made a few icepack covers that I keep in the kitchen.  Between you and me, my husband is always coming home with sports injuries.  He doesn’t realize he’s getting older 🙂  So they come in handy when he needs to ice his bumps and bruises.  I thought I would share these with all of you, because they are a fun way to dress up the healing process.

Before we get started, I was hoping that you all could share some of your favorite ways to nurse your children back to health.  I am always looking for creative ideas.  And I am sure that everyone else could use them too!

Icepack Cover Tutorial

Materials:

For a Large Square Ice Pack Cover

-2 (12″x12″) Pieces of Fabric (from your scrap pile)

-2 inexpensive wash clothes or 2 – (12″) squares of terry cloth with finished edges

-thread to match

-11″ piece of velcro

***Ice Pack fits a Gallon sized ziplock bag with ice


Small Rectangle Ice Pack Cover

-1 (12″x12″) Pieces of Fabric (from your scrap pile)

-1 inexpensive wash cloth or one 12″ square of terry cloth with finished edges

-Thread to match

-Approximately 3″ by 3/4″ scrap of hook and loop tape

***Fits a Quart sized ziplock type plastic bags

First we will begin by cutting out our fabric and terrycloth pieces into a 12 x 12″ squares.  You should have a total of two pieces each of fabric and terrycloth.  I have used some old bathroom towels in the name of upcycling.  Don’t be afraid to reuse and old towel, because it doesn’t have to look pretty.  It will be on the inside of our pouch, so no one will see it.

Separate the two sides of your velcro. Pin your pieces of to your terry cloth pieces about 3/4″ below the top edge. Each piece of terry cloth should have a piece of velcro attached to it.


Attach the velcro by using a zigzag stitch. Encase the entire piece of velcro and backstitch at both ends.

Place both pieces of your terrycloth on your work table velcro side up. Place your fabric pieces on top of the terrycloth pieces right sides together. Pin them together.

Attach the pieces together with a machine stitch using a 1/4″ seam. Leave a 3″ opening, so you can turn them right side out.

Turn each piece right side out and press flat with an iron.


Now take your two pieces and place them together, leaving the terry cloth sides facing outward. Make sure your velcro pieces match up, so that you’ll be able to close your pouch.

Machine stitch your two pieces together. Begin at the top of the right side of the pouch and stop at the top of the left side of the pouch. Make sure you leave the top edge open. Otherwise you won’t be able to open your pouch.


Turn your pouch right side out, so your print is facing outward. This is what your pouch should look like so far.


Almost finished! Now open your pouch and topstitch along the top edge of the pouch. This will secure the top edge in place. Backstitch at the beginning and the end.


This is what your finished project should look like.You are ready to cover your icepack and ice those boo boos!

Just fill a ziplock bag with ice and place it inside your icepack cover. Seal the velcro and ice all your pain away.

Happy Icing!

Enjoy!!!

Not your mama’s rice krispy treats

We all love rice krispy treats. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of making them with my mom. To this day, I still love mixing up a batch of those delicious gooey treats. They don’t seem to last very long in our house either. If I’m being honest, most desserts don’t. This weekend I wanted to whip up my version of this yummy dessert. I love the traditional ones, but these are my favorite. I have told you all that I think that peanut butter and chocolate can make the world a better place. There is no better combination. My Rice Krispy Treats recipe incorporates my love of this duo. I thought I might share it with you all. Happy Baking.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 pkg. Miniature Marshmallows
1 cup Chocolate Chips or M&Ms
8 cups Rice Krispies

Directions:

  1. Grease a large baking dish and set it aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter and peanut butter over medium heat. Stir occasionally to keep from burning.  When mixture is completely smooth, add all of your marshmallows. Stir marshmallows until they have completely melted.
  3. When mixture is completely smooth, remove pot from heat and add chocolate chips and Rice Krispies. Stir mixture with a spatula until all of the cereal is coated with the marshmallow mixture.
  4. Scoop mixture into the prepared pan, using spatula to press mixture evenly into the pan.
  5. Refrigerate pan for an hour before cutting into squares.

ENJOY!

Mommy Project – menu planner

I feel like I am the most unorganized person out there. Which is incredibly frustrating, because I really do try to be organized. I never used to be this way. I had the greatest memory and I never ever forgot things. Ever since I became a mom, I feel like I am so scatter brained. I am constantly losing things, like my cell phone. Which is probably still somewhere on the 22 freeway, because I left it on the roof of my car one day back in December. I am also constantly forgetting things, like Aaliyah’s doctor appointment last Thursday to get her second flu shot. The worst part is – I didn’t even know that I had forgotten until my mom asked me how her appointment went the next day. If it wasn’t for her mentioning it, I probably still wouldn’t know that I had forgotten about it. But you get the picture.

My newest Mommy Project is intended to help me bring a little more organization to my messy life. I created a Dinnertime Menu Chart for my kitchen. I figured it would be a huge asset for my personal organization. At the end of each week, I will use my board to create a meal menu for the following week. Then I will go through all of the ingredients I will need to complete each of my planned dinners. Once I know everything I will be needing, I can go through my cupboards and refrigerator to see what I have and what I need. At which time, I can create a shopping list for my trip to the store that weekend. Then on Monday I will do all of my mixing and chopping and what not to prepare for the upcoming week. Sounds good in theory, right? We’ll see. If anyone can mess this up, I probably could.

Meal Planning Chart

I created a cute little board out of a picture frame that I write on with a dry eraser marker. And it is really easy to do.

Materials Needed:
11 x 14″ Picture Frame
Glue
Markers
Card stock paper
Scissors
Dry Erase Marker

This is an easy project. One that allows you to get really creative. So have fun with it! I really did.

On the left side of your paper you’ll want to create 7 separate blank rectangles. Each one should be labeled for one day of the week. I recommend starting with the day of the week that you typically do all of your meal prepping. For me, it’s always Monday.

Then on the right side, you’ll want to make one long blank rectangle that will be labeled Ingredients and one small square labeled Grocery List.

Now it’s time to come up with a fun title for your board. And put that at the top. I chose Mom’s Cafe.

Once you have finished creating your meal planning page, put it inside your picture frame and close it. And you are finished.

Now it’s time to find a place in your kitchen to hang it up! Hopefully you’re feeling inspired like I am and are ready to start planning your family’s meals. Hopefully this will help us all get more organized when it’s Dinnertime.

Enjoy!