Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Catching Up & A Yummy Recipe!

My goodness this summer has flown by! And quitting my job didn't slow it down a bit :( I am not ready for the boys to start school in the fall (BOTH will be in school full time for the first time ever. What will I do?!)

Since quitting my job almost four weeks ago, I have been using the days when I don't have the boys to get settled into the house, to organize a garage sale, to catch up on some things that I haven't been able to get to in a while. I think that this week Thursday, I'll finish checking things off this list then next week, I will be able to start "working" from home. Not 100% sure what this will entail but it will most definitely be a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Aidan has started football, they are gearing up for what I think will be a great season. It's been kind of crazy because he's got practice from 6-8 which is smack dab in the middle of dinner time so I started just feeding the boys early then Dan & I ate later (or not at all). But that meant the boys were hungry again before bed and often left Dan without dinner. So, I had this brilliant idea to make dinner in the crock pot, the boys and I would eat, Dan could eat when he was ready and then put it away. I started it yesterday and it went well. The meal itself was delicious (recipe to follow) and the logistics of it all worked out pretty good. The boys were still hungry before bedtime but I think that's going to be the case no matter what. They are, after all, growing boys.

Here is an adaptation of the recipe I made (the original recipe called for a lot of Tastefully Simple products). Bonus- It's a freezer meal so these are the freezer meal instructions but if you want to just make it, just skip the bagging it up and freezing it steps (that's what I did).

Slow Cooker Lasagna
Brown 1 lb. cooked beef, combine with 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, 6 oz can tomato paste, basil, oregano, and parsley to taste (1 tsp each?) and 1 cup water in gallon Ziploc bag

Combine 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and one clove minced garlic in quart Ziploc bag

Place 8 oz uncooked lasagna noodles in gallon Ziploc bag

Put all three bags in Ziploc bag and seal

Freeze then thaw overnight before cooking

To Cook:
Spoon 1/4 beef mixture in bottom of slow cooker

Layer 1/3 of noodles over beef mixture, breaking as needed

Layer 1/3 of cheese mixture over noodle layer

Repeat noodle & cheese layers twice

Top with remaining ground beef mixture

Cook on low for 3-4 hours, uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes

Clearly, by looking at the picture, you can tell I didn't follow directions very well. I did the small meat layer, noodles, meat, cheese, noodles, meat, cheese. I like my pasta dishes to have a nice cheesy layer on top! I'm sure either way works and the way I did it was absolutely wonderful. It was creamy, rich, and the noodles were well cooked (oh, I actually used extra wide egg noodles), the cheese was just a bit crispy around the edges. Yum!

And the best part- Italian food is one of those that's best the 2nd time around so guess what today is- leftover day! YUM!

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