Monday, December 17, 2012


I really do not make a lot of pasta dishes, but every once in awhile, especially on cold winter days, a yummy pan of lasagna, some crusty french bread and a good salad is just what the doctor ordered.  I've tried many lasagna recipes in my life, but this is my families favorite.  Give it a try.  It really is a good tried and true recipe.
I have found lasagna to freeze really well, so you might as well make two if you are making one and freeze one for another night.  
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 heaping tsp. of minced garlic, more if you desire
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
3-4 cups cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Mozzarella Cheese, to taste
10-12 lasagna noodles (or more if you like a third layer)

Brown ground beef, Italian sausage, onion and garlic.  Add salt and next 5 ingredients; stirring until well mixed.  Simmer at least 1 hour.  Cook your lasagna noodles (or if you are like me, I prefer Barilla oven ready lasagna noodles) according to package directions; drain and set aside.  Spray a 13 x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, 2 tablespoons parsley, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese; In a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture; repeat.

Bake at 375F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese mixture is melted.  This freezes well, so make 2!  If frozen, bake on lower heat (275 for the first hour) and then turn up to 350 until it is melted and hot.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mint Chocolate Cake

I made this Cake for our Christmas party last night and thought it was pretty Heavenly.  The chocolate ganache over the peppermint icing is the perfect blend of mint and chocolate.  I’m not even a cake lover and I loved this cake.  Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Cake
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped Andes Mint chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 8 inch cake pans with wax paper and spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray. Bring some water to a boil and keep it simmering while you mix the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat with mixer until combined.

Add 3/4 cup of the boiling water and carefully stir until it is mixed in. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes with mixer. Carefully stir in the andes mints in the batter (distribute as evenly as possible as you pour into pan).  Bake for 20 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).  NOTE:  Batter will be thin

Mint Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
  • Around 3/4 Cup Milk
Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, peppermint and food coloring on low speed in large mixing bowl. Gradually add milk until you reach the desired consistency. Keep covered.

    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Place the chocolate chips and cream in a microwavable bowl. Heat in short increments (30 seconds) until blended and smooth.  Stir in between each increment.  Pour carefully over the top of cake and let it slowly drizzle down the sides. Store cake in refrigerator