Thursday, April 23, 2009


Lasagna- the Megan way

1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
9 lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp Parsley Flakes
1 egg
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozarella

Cook ground beef with onions until browned. Pour in spaghetti sauce and simmer for ten minutes. Cook Lasagna noodles as directed on the box. Mix ricotta cheese and egg and parsley and parmesan cheese together. (You can use cottage cheese but Josh specifically asked for ricotta this time). Butter 9 X 13 pan. Place 1/2 cup of meat mixture in pan. Then layer noodles, egg and ricotta cheese mixture, mozarella cheese and meat mixture. Repeat two more times. For the top, finish with meat mixture and some mozarella cheese. Cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes, let sit 10 minutes before serving and Enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I've noticed that we haven't done much with dessert on this blog yet. Which is strange because it is my favorite part of any meal. Plus, I don't really think of baking as too different than cooking.

Something about pudding and cool whip really make me think of spring. This one is from a Kraft Food and Family magazine.

Old-Fashioned Ice Box Dessert
graham crackers broken into squares - it could also be good with a graham cracker crust
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cups milk
1 pkg (4 servings) instant pudding - it calls for vanilla but I think any flavor could be good
1 tub cool whip - be sure to defrost it or it's not as firm
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup chopped kiwis
1/2 cup toasted coconut

Arrange graham crackers in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add milk, mixing until well bended after each addition. Add dry pudding mix and beat 1 minute. Gently stir in half of the cool whip. Spread over the crackers in the pan. Cover with remaining cool whip and top with fruit. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Sprinkle with coconut just before serving. Also good without the fruit or coconut.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Dinner with a Twist

This year for Easter dinner, we had a pretty traditional meal. I made a couple of little changes that spruced it up a bit.

I didn't do anything to the ham. I know there are all kinds of yummy glazes and the such but we went with a plain ham this year. As a note to people cooking for a small group, this year I decided to just get a ham steak. Usually, I get all into the big hams and we end up eating ham for weeks with it getting pretty old. So this year, I thought ahead (go me) and realized we don't need 10 pounds of ham, we just need about 2 (and still had leftovers). I cooked it in the broiler and it was yummy and quick (the thick cut was done in less than 15 minutes).

For the vegetable, I went with asparagus (I cuss, you cuss we all cuss for asparagus). I wanted to try my hand at a hollondaise sauce but had already boiled all of our eggs for dying. Oops. Instead, I made a little mustard sauce that was simply dijon mustard thinned out with milk. I thought it might have needed something else and tried adding some lemon juice but the mustard was so strong that I couldn't taste the lemon. Once it was the right consistency, I microwaved it a bit to warm it up. The sauce also went well with the ham.

Finally, the potatoes. This is just the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook but rather than cheddar, I used gruyere cheese.
Au Gratin Potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion - I used two good sized green onions
clove garlic, minced
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 1/4 cup milk
3 medium potatoes, sliced

Melt butter and saute onion and garlic. Add flour, slat and pepper and let it soak up the butter. Add milk all at once. Cook until thick and bubbly. Stir in cheese and cook until melted. Place potatoes in a greased 7x11 baking dish and pour sauce on top. Bake, covered, in a 350 oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 - 20 minutes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Here are two Indian dishes that use mangoes. I didn't really get to like mangoes until after we went to India so they remind me of there. The first one is from and the second one is from an Indian cookbook I got for Christmas called Indian in 6 (Indian dishes with 6 ingredients or less).

Chicken and Mango Curry
2 mangoes peeled, chopped and divided
can coconut milk
1 T vegetable oil
1 T curry paste - the spiciness of the dish will depend on the curry paste, if you can find Indian curry paste it would be more authentic and you can always add more if it needs more spice
14 oz chicken, cut into cubes - to make this vegetarian, I used paneer instead
4 medium shallots, sliced
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped

Blend half of the mangoes with the coconut milk in a blender until smooth. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in the curry paste and cook about a minute (until fragrant). Add the chicken and shallot and cook until chicken is cooked and shallot is soft. If not using chicken, just cook the shallots. Pour in the mango puree and cook until warmed through. Add the rest of the mangoes, the cucumber and paneer, if using, just before serving. Serve over rice.

Monsoon Salad
1 large mango, diced
4 thick rings fresh pineapple cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or use canned rings)
2 bananas sliced
1 T lemon juice
2 in piece very fresh ginger root
1 T brown sugar

Combine the mango, pineapple and banana in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and add the lemon juice. Shred the ginger root finely and squeeze to collect the juice. Add to the bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar and mix lightly. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I realize these are more wintery recipes and as it is getting to be spring we should be looking forward to the fun springy recipes but oh well.

I was talking to a friend the other day and we were talking about how healthy beans are (particularly lima beans). So then I made this bean casserole as a way to eat lima beans without them tasting like the horrible lima beans I remember from my childhood. I thought it turned out pretty good and Anna liked it so much I worried about how her little intestines would handle so many beans.

Fruity Baked Bean Casserole
1/2 pound bacon
3 medium onions chopped
can lima beans, drained
can kidney beans, drained
can baked beans
can cannelloni beans, drained (I think that's what they were, they were big and white and I had an extra can. The recipe calls for two cans of the baked beans)
can pineapple chunks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T mustard (I used dijon)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 green pepper, chopped

Cook bacon in skillet and place in crock pot. Pour off most of the grease and cook the onions in the bacon grease until soft. Add to crock pot along with all of the beans. In a separate bowl (I used a 2 cup measuring cup) combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir into crock pot. Cover. Cook on high 2-3 hours.

I served this with cornbread. The pineapple is what interested me in this and I thought it added a nice sweet and tangy element.

This other bean recipe is one that I have been making for a while. I recommend halving the recipe if making it for a small group or you will have leftovers forever (believe me).

Ban Casserole
1/2 pound hamburger
1/2 pound bacon
1 onion
1 large can pork and beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cans BBQ beans (I use the Bush's baked beans)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 T vinegar
2 T molasses

Brown hamburger, bacon and onion. Pour off the grease. Drain beans. All all ingredients. Mix well and cook until heated through. Also goes well with cornbread.