Goulash, like the good ol’ days…

I grew up in a little river town, in southeastern Minnesota…at least for the years of my life I remember anyway.  I was born in Iowa and lived there until I was starting Junior High School…

This dish, has all the feels for me…I remember crowding around a little table, in the middle of a tiny kitchen that also served as the back entrance of the home, with my boyfriend (at the time-I think I was in 10th or 11th grade…), and his two other brothers, sometimes their girlfriends, and their ever-patient and wonderful Mom, who made this for all of us.  I remember eating so much of it, and the buttered white bread on the side, along with big glasses of cold milk, until I felt like my stomach was going to burst! Ahh…this was some good stuff!  When I stumbled across this recipe, on one of my favorite food-blogger’s YouTube channel, I thought, “no way, this can’t be the same recipe?!’ and lo and behold, it was! I literally could have eaten the WHOLE POT! 😂 I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Makes enough for “at least” four BIG bowls…
Adapted from THIS recipe…

Olive oil-(just enough to sprinkle in the bottom of your pan)
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 & 1/2-2 pounds ground beef
4 cloves garlic minced
2 generous teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
Cayenne pepper if you want…
2 teaspoons regular paprika
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika (taste at this point, add more if you want)
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs (blend of oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, parley, basil)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth (or you can use plain water)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used the fire-roasted kind!)
1 (24-ounce) jar prepared marinara (I used spaghetti sauce) sauce, rinsed with 1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce (DON’T skip this!)
2 rounded cups elbow macaroni
1 packed cup shredded white cheddar cheese & freshly chopped Italian parsley, as a garnish

Preheat a stock pot on the stove to high…add olive oil and onions. Saute for a minute or two, getting it good and hot. Add in ground beef and using a wooden spoon or similar, chop up the meat as best you can. Continue cooking the meat until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is cooked thru. Add in the garlic and stir to cook. Then add in all your spices, including the salt & pepper, but waiting on the bay leaves. Cook until you really smell all those spices “blooming” in the pan. Then add in your broth or water…diced tomatoes and Marinara sauce. Then add the soy sauce…as Chef John says, don’t be tempted to use Worcestershire sauce…trust me on the soy sauce. Let this mixture bubble away on the stove on medium, for at least 20 minutes if you can.

Add in your macaroni noodles and stir frequently, (or they’ll stick to the bottom of the pan!) until the noodles have cooked and the sauce has thickened. Add in the fresh chopped Parsley and once in your serving bowls, top with shredded cheese & parsley, if desired.

Serve with a loaf of sliced white bread and REAL salted Butter! 😍

Enjoy friends! 💗

 

 

 

Perfect Pumpkin Bars~

Pumpkin Bars

~Pumpkin Bars~

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can of Pumpkin
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder

  • 3 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 (+/-) tablespoon of milk
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional but delicious)
  • (also optional, you can decorate the top of the bars with candy corn!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 16” pan. Mix together all wet ingredients. Slowly add in dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan, bake for at least 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While bars are baking, mix together the cream cheese, butter and sugar. Slowly add the powdered sugar until mixture is the consistency you want! Once bars have cooled good, spread the frosting over and enjoy!

Happy Fall Y’all! 🙂  Shawn

Christmas past….

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What the heck happened to January?  Although, with the craziness happening in my family & the weather issues we’ve had this month, it feels like it was three months long.  I once again fell off the blogging train, not being here since Thanksgiving, and am sorry for that.  As per usual, one of my goals this year is to post more often…we will see how that goes!  This post, is more about fun & memories, than food & recipes…but there is always food in our memories, so I guess it’s all of the above!

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After another crazy busy holiday basket season, we decided that we would take a surprise trip out East, to see my husbands side of the family for Christmas.  We only told one person, everyone else, we just surprised.  It was great, but in hindsight, we should have told a couple more people, just so we could have seen everyone and spent more time with others…

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We had plenty of “coffee talk” time…

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And we were able to help prep for the big feast on Christmas Eve…we are “shrimpin” in the above pic…

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And that big feast…oh there was a little of everything….Shrimps done three ways, Baccala, Scallops & other fish dishes, Minaste, white spaghetti’s & spaghetti with sausages, appetizers & dips, a giant pan of ridiculously awesome potatoes that were perfect with the Prime Rib, which was in the other room…  Over thirty people, eating, drinking, having a perfect Christmas Eve!

We even brought a little snow out for everyone…beautiful isn’t it?

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(photo above courtesy of Visit Philadelphia)

There are certain requirements food-wise, for us when we visit our family out East.  Dunkin’ Donuts (but did you hear, they are coming to Minnesota!) & Wawa… but number one of the list; Cheesesteaks & Hoagies…from Ice House in Pottstown.  One year we went out East and did a little taste test between the two most famous Cheesesteak places in Philly, Pat’s & Geno’s.  We had a favorite between those two, but hands down, Ice House, is the place to go for a great Cheesesteaks & Hoagies.  Like em’ on Facebook here to see all the deliciousness that happens in their joint.

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Second food requirement on our list; Tomato Pie.  People, this is the stuff.  Served at room temperature, it’s not pizza, but a soft crust, topped with a tomato (paste almost consistency) sauce and Romano cheese…It’s addictive and so delicious.  The only place to get them is Corropolese (we went to the location in Douglassville).  They have them stacked up, ready to go, and they go.  We went in to get bread for the big feast and the lines were incredible!  I chatted with some of the other people in line and they come from counties around for the bread & Tomato pie.  It’s that good!

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They make other versions too, and this time we tried a Sweet Pepper Pie as well.  It was really good, but my heart lies with Tomato Pie.  Now, if I could just figure out how to make it at home….

Wine for Dummies

There were so many other great memories that week, that this post would be twenty pages long if I went on about them all.  Of course we visited the local wine shop when we first got in…and this wine caught my eye.  Have you seen this anywhere?  I tell you what, just about anybody can make wine nowadays, can’t they….and no, I didn’t buy any.  🙂

This last day of January, is also the Chinese New Year, year of the Horse.  There are some pretty interesting predictions for the year…read them here if you are curious!

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I made these beautiful cookies last year for the Chinese New Year and kicked myself last night when I realized it was today…hmmm…maybe I have everything to make at least one of the recipes…

Are you watching the ‘big game‘ this weekend?  We are, but not really rooting for either team…but the kids want to eat like we are having a party, so we’ll try a few things like this recipe for Chicken Ranch Nachos, um yes!  And my son would love this Pizza Nachos recipe.  Or this recipe for Artichoke & Asiago Poppers …or maybe even these adorable individual Seven-Layer Dips….I love these kid friendly Mini Corn Dogs and my kids would love these Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips with creamy Honey-Mango dipping sauce.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

What are you making?

Thanks for reading along, stay warm my Minnesota friends and have a great weekend!

Cheers, Shawn

A family recipe, Hunkie Ribs…

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Greetings food-lovin’ friends!

Yes, I know I’ve been away awhile…I have been busy with family & work… the kind that pays the bills, so sadly my food blogging has taken a back seat this past month.  I have also been getting ready for a couple great blog post series for the Summer, that I hope you’ll join me on!

Pulled Pork Salad

First, a “Summer of Salads” sharing all things entree salads with you.  I’ll talk a little about the different types of salad greens, how to make some (mostly) light & healthy dressings and then share some of my favorite entree salads!  Be sure to bookmark the hashtag #summerofsalads on Twitter so you can follow along!

And second, “Summer Sippers” a cocktail blog post series.  I haven’t really done the cocktail thing in the past, but have started to really enjoy a good cocktail instead of wine some nights.  Especially in the Summer!  Again, bookmark #summersippers and I hope you’ll join me on both Summer series!

Summer Sippers

So let’s talk about Hunkie Ribs.  I know, the name is strange.  The dish is a bit as well.  My husbands (partly Hungarian) father makes this dish and ever since I’ve been with my husband, he’s been making this for me.  It’s mostly a winter dish, because it can be pretty heavy if you choose to eat it with mashed potatoes.  I haven’t ever tried it on the grill (using my dutch oven or something similar) but might give that a go this summer.  And you have to like sauerkraut to like the dish!  Did you know, sauerkraut can be enjoyed on things other than hotdogs & brats?!  Actually, you wouldn’t even have to eat much of the sauerkraut to enjoy the dish, as you’ll see, the ribs cook on top of the sauerkraut, soaking in all that deliciousness from the kraut!  But come on, give it a try!  I LOVE the sauerkraut mixed into my potatoes! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

Hunkie Ribs:

Pork Spare Ribs

Frank’s Kraut

Paprika (use any type, but we like both regular & smoked)

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Garlic, granulated

Seasoned Salt, we use Lawry’s

Grab a big baking dish, glass or metal is fine.  We like to use Frank’s Kraut when using sauerkraut.  We’ve tried other kinds, but Frank’s is crunchy & has the best flavor.  Open the bag of kraut and place in the bottom of the pan.  On a seperate cutting board, cut down the ribs into 2-3 bone sections.  Place those on top of the kraut.

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Take your Lea & Perrins and sprinkle over the ribs, generously.  (you’ll want the ribs fully coated with it, so don’t be shy about it!)

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Grab the granulated Garlic and sprinkle the ribs with it, not too much, but enough so each of the ribs have some on it.  Then sprinkle the ribs with the Lawry’s seasoned salt.  Again, about as much as with the Garlic.

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Next step, is the Paprika.  Now, we’ve used all kinds of Paprika over the years.  Our favorite spice store, Penzey’s, carries four different kinds.  You can use sweet, which is the most traditional, but add in Hungarian and/or smoked for an extra kick!  You’ll want to thoroughly coat the ribs with the Paprika.  See the picture above, the coating will be THICK.  Trust me on this…you’ll love it when it comes eatin’ time!

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Once you’ve completed the Paprika step, wrap the pan in plastic wrap.  Then cover the plastic wrap with foil.  You want an air-tight seal on the ribs.  The foil helps the plastic wrap from melting during baking.  Place the ribs in the oven, set to 275 degrees for 2 & 1/2-3 hours.  Low & slow baby.

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When the ribs are done, the pan will look like this when you pull away the foil.  Be careful when pulling back the plastic wrap, that steam is gonna be HOT.  The meat should fall off the bone almost immediately. Serve this deliciousness over a bed of mashed potatoes or if you want to be healthier, next to a crisp salad!

Hunkie Ribs!

I am already working on my next post, more or less a wrap-up of the past month, food-wise.  So hopefully you’ll see that in the next couple of days.  I am hoping to begin the #summerofsalads series this week, with a great picnic salad for Memorial Day weekend!

Until then,  I want to know….how do you like to eat sauerkraut?

Cheers, Shawn

Curried Chicken & Couscous…and the winter that won’t end!

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Sorry I’ve been away for awhile…priorities have gotten in the way of fun…work…taxes…family…cats…you know, LIFE!  🙂  I feel like we are drowning in snow, here in Minnesota.  We’ve had 6+ inches of snow this past week (to add to the two+ feet on the ground) and today we are under a Winter Storm Warning currently with another 3-5 inches of snow today…AND temperatures are diving back into the single digits. Hello January.

Oh & Wednesday, it’s the first day of Spring.  Yeah, so there’s that.

Anyhoo, today I bring you my version of Sautéed Chicken Breast with Apple Curry Sauce, via Caprial’s Cafe Favorites written by Caprial Pence.  One of the things I love about this dish, is that it’s super quick & easy, perfect on a busy weeknight!  I have had this cookbook forever…and oddly enough, only ever made two things out of it!  She’s got plenty of great looking recipes…I will have to give some of the others a chance.  You know you love a recipe, when you grab the cookbook to refresh your memory and the book falls open to that exact page because the binding has worn itself open there!  Not to much the splatter marks of dinners past.  This dish definitely ignited my love of curry, many years ago.

I thought we could first talk about curry, because for some of you, it might be a new spice to your cabinet!  I buy most of my spices from Penzey’s but found another great online source call The Spice House.

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On the page where they show their curry powders they say this:  Curry powder is a blend of many spices, and comes in almost infinite varieties.  Each curry powder can have different component spices, in differing amounts–making each curry blend unique.  In recent years, Ras El Hanout has become increasingly popular as a Mediterranean style curry. Garam Masala is a Northern Indian style sweet curry blend useful for many vegetarian Indian dishes, and is available in whole or ground forms. And try our newest curry blend, the French-influenced vadouvan curry, a mild yellow curry with grated shallots.  Maharajah curry powder, a sweet yellow with cardamom and whole threads of saffron in the blend–it’s curry fit for a king!  We also offer a Thai red curry, which is hotter with lemongrass and galangal.”  I definitely want to try the Thai red curry!

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The two most common versions of curry powder is yellow sweet (mild) or hot.  I have used both the sweet (mild) curry in this dish but this time, used Penzey’s Maharajah curry powder, with those little flecks of saffron, it really took this dish to new heights!

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This is a great dish to enjoy in late fall, as the apple orchards are humming with gorgeous apples & cider.  Or, in my case, in the throws of a winter that will never end…

I have always served this with couscous.  I feel like it’s just the perfect texture to absorb this sweet & savory sauce!  The original recipe calls for a boneless chicken breasts, but I used two bone-in chicken breasts. Caprial also mentioned this sauce would be just as delicious on pork or fish!  Chicken thighs would also be a wonderful option to try!  So let’s get cooking!

Curried Chicken & Couscous:

~ two bone-in (or boneless) chicken breasts

~1/2 cup heavy cream

~ 1/2 cup apple cider

~ 1/2 cup white wine

~ one granny smith apple, peeled & diced

~ 1 tablespoon (or more) curry powder (your choice)

~ two shallots (or 1/4 onion), chopped

~ two cloves of garlic, chopped

~ two teaspoons of fresh ginger, chopped

~ butter & olive oil

Can I just say a word here about chopped garlic & chopped ginger?  We always have three varieties of garlic in our house.  Granulated (powdered), fresh (jarred) chopped and fresh whole garlic.  We use the granulated for dry rubs or in the kids pasta (they don’t like the bite of actual garlic), the fresh whole, for roasting and recipes where I want the “bite” of garlic, and the fresh chopped for everything else.  People, don’t be afraid to buy the little jars of garlic & USE IT.  It’s quick & easy to add into just about anything.  We’ve always had granulated ginger on hand, for this recipe or that, but recently I bought a jar of the fresh chopped and boy, I am glad I did!  I LOVE ginger and now have been using it much more because of that cute little jar, just hanging out in my fridge, waiting for it’s next moment to liven up a dish!  Now, if I could just find shallots this way…

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Start by getting all ingredients gathered & prepped.  Take the chicken and drizzle a bit of olive oil on to them and then season with salt & pepper.  In a large sauté pan, on medium-high heat, brown off the chicken breasts on both sides.  Remove from pan and place into a baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pop the chicken in.

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In the same sauté pan, turn medium-low heat, add the shallots (or onion) and ginger.  Then add the diced apple & garlic.  After a couple of minutes, add the wine & cider, deglazing the pan and reduce this to about half it’s original. While that is working, in another small sauté pan, add the curry over low-medium heat and dry sauté.  Do this until the aroma is given off, being careful not to burn it.  Add the curry powder to the apple mixture.  Then add the cream to this mixture and continue to cook until sauce thickens.  Set aside, keeping warm until the chicken & couscous has finished cooking.

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Cook your couscous according to package directions, but be sure to use stock instead of plain water.  It just makes it taste LOTS better.  (see mine even had bits of veggies in it!)

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Your chicken breasts will be done, when the internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees, most likely after being in the oven for 35-45 minutes.  (do you have a meat thermometer?  You should if not…)  Be sure to let them rest before slicing into them, just like any other meat.

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I’ve been thinking about the ingredients in this dish.  I bet, it would be ridiculous with coconut milk instead of heavy cream…and can you imagine using the Thai red curry powder?!?!  Oh…and how about coconut rice instead of couscous?!?!  That might have to be another blog post!  🙂

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And last, I don’t ever do this, but that night, when we settled in to eat this dish, we drank this wine with it…….it was REALLY great with this dish!  It’s a relatively inexpensive Hogue Cabernet Sauvignon you can find at most liquor stores.  Nothing fancy, but it was a great pairing if I do say so myself!

Until next time friends…here’s hoping we finally get out from under all this SNOW!

Cheers!

Shawn

The day my life changed, 13 years ago…

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I became the mother of a teenager this week.  Wow, that truly boggles my mind.  I remember waiting for her arrival, just 13 short years ago.  She was late…not surprising, she likes to take her sweet time with most everything!  I remember feeling like she’d never get here and then after waiting what seemed like forever, I didn’t even realize I had gone into labor!  (because by that point, I really didn’t think she was ever coming out!) After a trip to the hospital the night before…being sent home, then to find out, when I was really ready to go back, they were full…we ended up at another hospital…laboring for another 12 hours (I pushed for 2 & a half of those) she was finally here!  I remember her looking up at me, all quiet and beautiful.  What a day that was!

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I never knew that motherhood would feel this way.  You are so much in love with your child, you actually physically ache.  Tears well up almost hourly during those first few days together.  The first time you change her diaper, with your hands shaking you almost needed 10 minutes to get the darn thing on.  And the first time you strap her in the car seat…and then pull out of the parking lot, practically holding your breath all the way home.  And the first terrifying bath…fearing she’d slip right out of your hands.  Seems like just yesterday.  And today, she dresses & bathes herself…made the honor roll twice this year…plays the violin & piano better than I ever could and soon, I expect,  will be coming home to say she’s got a boyfriend and then asking to start taking drivers ed classes.

I feel like just yesterday I was 13.  Sometimes I hear that (obnoxious) 13 year old screaming in my head.  I had just moved to a new city when I turned 13.  I was just starting Junior High when I turned 13. (that alone is crazy traumatic for a kid) I had my first real boyfriend at 13.  I also was blessed with that monthly sign of womanhood at 13.  So many changes that year.  I look at my daughter and hope that life is easier on her, than it was me.  I am thankful for my hardships, as I believe it has made me the wife, mother & woman I am today.  But, if I could prevent it, I would keep some of those “character builders” away from her.  I know I shouldn’t, as it will just make her stronger.  She’s already smarter than I ever was.  Just this morning she said she figured out why adults are always forgetting things.  “It’s because when you were a kid, you were expected to remember so many things that your brain has just worn out from it all.”  Yep, that’s what I am going with.

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So I got the morning of this awesome occasion and made my new teenager an Omelette.  She loves them, and I put it on a heart plate and in her strawberries I put a candle and poured her some juice in a special champagne flute.  I do feel a little bad that we aren’t making more of a big deal of this birthday.  But, she’s somewhat like her father in that she says “it’s just another year Mom”.  My husband’s birthday was last week and I finally made him the pie he’s been asking for; Coconut Custard.  I can’t take credit for the recipe, that one goes to Andrew Zimmern.  You can find it here.  But just look at that pie!  Oh my, how I love pie….. 🙂

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And for dinner I fed her Lasagna, her favorite meal.  And I begrudgingly got her a DQ Ice Cream Cake, that she also requested.  I love/hate those things.  Have you ever made your own?  They are delicious, but we never eat the whole thing right away, so for the next few nights, it will tempt me…taunting me with it’s deliciousness…like that pie still is.  I think it would be fun to make Ice Cream Cupcakes!  Maybe that’s a summer recipe experiment…

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Anyway, I am excited about this Lasagna; it’s a family recipe and I did it a little different this time around, so I thought it would be fun to share it with you!  This would be a good Sunday afternoon thing to make.  You’ll want to be relaxed & have enough time to put it all together.  Here’s what you’ll need…

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Italian Sausage Lasagna:

Sauce ~ let me say a bit about this.  I make my own sauce throughout the year, but you can always use whatever bottled sauce you use for making spaghetti, combined with some extra tomato sauce/paste if you like.  I believe that I used around 48 oz. (or more) of sauce.  We love a little extra to put on once you’ve plated up the Lasagna.

Lasagna noodles ~ 12 oz. box, this time I used a “no-boil” version & it worked great!  (and saved time & mess)  I didn’t follow the box directions though, because I had enough sauce on it.

Italian Sausage ~ sweet, six or so links, (the kind that is the size of Brats) or about a pound-ish of ground sausage/beef.

Ricotta Cheese ~ I like to use whole milk, and usually buy the 16 oz. container (so there’s leftovers for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes of course!)

Mozzarella Cheese ~  don’t be grossed out, but I used almost a pound & a half of Mozzarella…

Parmesan Cheese ~  I would say about 8 oz. +/- grated.

Eggs ~ to add to the ricotta mixture, one or two is all you need.

Basil or Pesto ~ every summer I make Pesto and then freeze it in 2-3 tablespoon sized portions, you don’t have to include this, but it’s incredible when you do!  I used two portions.

Oregano ~ fresh is always best, but this time of year dried is better than nothing!  You can use 2 + tablespoons, chopped.

Mushrooms ~ I used a whole pint of white button mushrooms, but you can omit or use as much or little as you want!  Slice them up to the size you’d like best.

Onion ~  I used a medium sized sweet onion & chopped it as small as possible. (unless you like it chunky)

Carrots ~  this seems like a strange thing to put in Lasagna, but just do it.  Chop as small as possible.  It helps to add a little sweetness to the dish you can’t get from anything else!

Garlic ~ chopped or whole crushed, your choice!

~salt, pepper, olive oil~

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Start by adding a bit of olive oil to a large stock/soup pan on medium-high heat (this pan needs to be big enough to simmer the sausage & sauce in, so something you might make soup in).  Throw in the whole sausage links (or ground sausage). Turning every so often to caramelize each side of the link.  Cook almost completely through.

IMG_6034Pull out the sausage and set aside.  Keeping the pan at a medium heat, and if needed, add a bit more olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions & carrots together for a couple of minutes.  Add the mushrooms & chopped garlic.  Season a bit with salt & pepper.  Once they have started to get a nice caramelized color going (being very careful not to burn the garlic) add in all of your sauce.

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This will deglaze the pan and help pick up all those amazing bits from browning the sausage.  Now taste your sauce.  If you feel it need something, add more salt, or pepper, or garlic, or even some of the Basil and/or Oregano.  It’s gonna simmer a bit, so the flavors will intensify eventually.

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Next, take the sausage links that have been resting and slice them lengthwise about 3-4 times each link.  Carefully place them back into the simmering sauce.  The thing about making Lasagna, is you really want it to be saucy.  The Lasagna while it’s baking, absorbs lots of the moisture, especially if you are using a no-boil noodle.  The worst thing to have is a dry Lasagna after almost an hour & a half of baking.  So it’s always best to have more sauce than you think you’ll need.  You can always freeze it off if you have a bunch leftover.

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Okay, so let’s talk filling next.  Grab a medium-ish sized bowl and add the ricotta, basil/oregano, and I like to add about half of the Parmesan cheese.  Mix these all together.  Now, in the past, I have added an egg to this mixture.  This is totally up to you.  It will help give a bit more body to this mixture and hold it together inside of the Lasagna.  It’s not a make or break, so don’t sweat over it.

Remove the sausage from the sauce mixture so that when you handle it, it’s not super hot.

So at this point, you are ready to start putting it all together.  You can either use a large rectangular baking pan or split it between two pans, so you can bake one and freeze one.  I love to give this Lasagna to friends who’ve just had a baby, or a family healing from sickness or loss of a loved one.

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Begin by putting a swath of sauce in the bottom of your pan(s).  Grab one of your noodles and using a spoon, spread a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture.  This is very easy if you are using the no-boil noodles.  Another bonus of using those!  Continue until you have your first layer of noodles in the bottom of the pan.  It’s also best to slightly overlap the noodles, to help hold in the filling on each level.

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Next, add a layer of sausage, I like to follow the direction of the noodles with the sausage.  After the sausage, carefully spread a layer of sauce over that layer and then a layer of Mozzarella cheese.  Continue this process until you’ve either gotten it as tall as you want, or you’ve run out of something.  (leave the leftover sauce on the stove and re-heat a bit just before serving to top each piece)  Another little thing I do, is once I’ve finished layering it all, I take a piece of wax paper (so I don’t pull up anything onto my hands) and lay it over the Lasagna and gently push down, helping to condense it and remove any air bubbles in between the layers.

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Pop this in your oven, around 350 degrees +/- for an hour.  At that time, pull it out and look at it.  Is the cheese layer on the top starting to get too brown?  Either cover it or lower your oven temp a bit. We like the crunchy brown bits around the outside of the Lasagna, so some of that is good!  It should need another half hour or so, but you can judge for yourself if it’s done but sliding a butter knife into the middle and checking to see how hot it is once you remove it.

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Once it’s done cooking, I like to sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese over the Lasagna and let it rest a bit because it’s gonna be really hot.  Top with sauce & you’ve done it!  I hope you enjoy this amazing Lasagna.  It’s perfect cozy food, to get us Minnesotan’s through the longest months of the year…

Until next time ~ Cheers!

Shawn

Happy Valentines Day!

Just a quick post, to say Happy Valentine’s Day to all my “sweet” followers!  If you still have time to make something to show your love today, check out the links below to some of my favorites.  I wanted to post the card I made for my husband here, so it will live forever in this “house” I am building for my children.  I think of my blog as both a scrapbook & a family cookbook, in hopes that someday my children & then their children will be able to use it to re-live the memories we have made over the years.

V Day card

Here are some lovely ideas for Valentine’s sweets for your sweet!

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies, via Ambitious Kitchen

Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting, via Life’s Simple Measures

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies, via Joy the Baker

Nut Goodies Bars, via Kowalski’s Markets (yes, I’ve made these and they are so much like the real thing!)

Chai Sugar Cookies, via McCormick Gourmet Collection

And a few that I have “pinned” and want to make…

Hot Cocoa Cookies, via Pip & Ebby

Oreo Doodles, via gimme some oven

Brownie Bites with Strawberry Fluff Frosting, via a Farmgirl’s Dabbles

I could go on & on……….Enjoy my sweet Valentines!

❤ Shawn