We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Lasagna Recipe

    Just so you know, this posting is actually part four of a 'probably' four part series, out of which came three different meals. Two of the recipes are my own, which I had made up years ago and everybody still loves. The other two, were items I found via Pinterst and wanted to try. They were H-U-G-E hits! :-D

    Wednesday's posting was about one of my own recipes, 'Spaghetti Sauce'. Another one of the reasons that I had made such a big batch of it, was so that I could use it to make up a couple of pans of my lasagna.

     As you would expect from me, I was making more than just a single 9x13 sized batch. This time, I had done *three times the recipe, put into two 15 x 12(?) pans. I knew a single batch would not be sufficient for our Sunday dinner that week! Just wanted you to keep that in mind when you are looking at the pictures. :->

     Your first step then to make this recipe, is to make my recipe for Spaghetti Sauce. Mine had sat in the fridge for a week and a half before I made the lasagna. Man was it good! All of those flavors had blended together into such yumminess! The other bonus to making the sauce way ahead of time, is that it means that half of the work for making is this dish is already done. Nice!
     The second step is to put the water on to boil for your lasagna noodles.
     (what looks like 'film' floating on the water, is a good squirt of pan coating spray. Very useful in helping the noodles not stick together!)

     The third step is to make your cheese mixture. Do this while your waiting for the water to boil. Two things about this. First, the amounts of the cottage cheese and ricotta cheese pictured, are not what I usually use. There should have been tow more of those containers of ricotta cheese, for the *size of batch I was making. But my grocery list had not been clear enough to my shopper. Not pointing fingers! Just making sure your aware.  Secondly, I have found that getting all of the ingredients out to take a picture of them for blogging purposes, has been very beneficial. As I use a product, I put it away. (that started for workability room). Now I don't need to triple make sure I added everything I was suppose to. If it's no longer sitting out, I used it! :->

     I only needed about 1/3 of that size carton of cottage cheese. This is how I figured out where to dig down to.

     In a large greased bowl (yes, I sprayed it first, it makes scrapping everything out a breeze (<-- BONUS TIP there), dump in your cottage cheese,

    The ricotta cheese,

   The shredded cheddar,
    The Parmesan cheese,

    The shredded mozzarella,

    And the dried parsley flakes and Italian Seasoning.

     Blend it all together very thourally.

     Fourth Step - put a solid layer of the Spaghetti Sauce in the bottom of your well sprayed baking pan(s).
    Fifth step - once the water has reached a full rolling boil, put the noodles in and cook them. Once done (Pull one most of the way out of the water. If it's rather easy to pinch through it with your thumb and pointer finger, it's done. ( <-- BONUS TIP there), dump them into a strainer sitting inside your sink. Rinse with cold water. Rinse again. (I would also advise that you then mix them with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. I forgot to. They stuck together during the cooling process. Drats!)

    Sixth step - lay some of the noodles out over the spaghetti sauce in the pan.

      The piece going across the end of the pan might be longer than it needs to be. Use a paring knife to cut it to size.

      Seventh step - top the noodles with a solid layer of the cheese mixture. This is not an easily spreadable task. Thus I drop spoonfuls of it all over the place and then GENTLY spread them together.

    Eighth step - add another layer of the spaghetti sauce.
    Ninth step - another layer of the lasagna noodles, then the cheese sauce, then the spaghetti sauce.

    Tenth step - add a third layer of the noodles.

     Top that with some (but not a heavy layer) spaghetti sauce

     Sprinkle heavily with plain Parmesan cheese.
     On top of that, heavily sprinkle on grated mozzarella
        (yes, your layers now stick up higher than your pan)

     Cover your pan(s) with good quality plastic wrap (GFS brand or some such). Then a layer of foil, sealing the edges goo both times!)

   Line the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil, "just in case"  
   Bake at 375o for 35 minutes.
   Then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
   (Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting to serve! )

   Do you remember in the posting about the Pull-Apart Garlic Parmesan Bread, how I had written, "I'll tell you about the second time I made this recipe and adding a third layer, in an upcoming posting."  W-e-l-l, due to how well received the bread had been, I made it again with the lasagna meal. This time I had put in three layers of the dough balls.  This is what we found when we opened the oven to pull out the finished lasagna.

    Kayla dubbed it "pop over bread". ;-p. Most of it was still wonderful tasting. I re-read the original posting which I had pinned for the bread. She had made her balls about the size of the scoop part of a serving spoon. Yup, that would make a difference. But when I voiced that to the family, they said to keep making the balls the same size and stick to only putting two layers in a pan. "O-kay".

    Albeit blurry (sorry!) this is what a slice of the lasagna looks like.

     We had had some 'guest' over for this meal. I forgot to ask permission to post their pictures. I shall do so and hopefully post them soon, cuz they were so cute!.... (Analyse playing with her second cousin who's only a couple of months different in age).

           And now for the actual recipe -
                   recipe made up by Cheryl B.

       Meat Sauce -
         Use my recipe for Spaghetti Sauce

      Cheese Mixture -
         (for single (9x13 pan) sized recipe)
       8 oz. small curd Cottage Cheese
       15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
       4 oz. finely shredded Cheddar Cheese
       1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (  + some for the top)
       4 oz. shredded Mozzarella Cheese ( + some for the top)
       1 Tablespoon dried Parsley flakes
       1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning

      Lasagna Noodles

     Cook noodles in six quarts of boiling water with a good squirt of pan coating spray for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse.
     In greased 9x13 pan, layer meat sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, repeating until there are two (or threee, depending on the depth of your pan) complete layers. On top of last layer of meat sauce, heavily sprinkle Parmesan cheese and then mozzarella cheese.
    Cover and bake at 375o for 35 min., then uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.
    Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting to serve!
~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;->
You might also enjoy these postings:

  ~ My Spaghetti Sauce

 ~ Pasta Pie

 ~ Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

  ~ "Creative Monday's", are hosted by Clair Justine, at 'Clairejustineoxox' (http://clairejustineoxox.blogspot.com/), and Judy, at 'Judy-H-JS Thoughts' (http://judyh-jsthoughts.blogspot.com/)
  ~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven'  (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'  (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
  ~  "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes'  (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/). 
 ~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies / Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
 ~ "Totally Tasty Tuesdays", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace'  (http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/).
 ~ "Foodie Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Bibi, at 'Daily Organized Chaos' (http://www.dailyorganizedchaos.com/). 
   ~ "These Chicks Cooked Link Party",
hosted by Katie L, at 'This Chick Cooks' (http://thischickcooks.blogspot.com)
  ~ "What's Cooking Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Cristi, at 'The King's Court IV' (http://www.thekingscourt4.blogspot.com/), and by  Diane, at 'Turning The Clock Back' ("one eco friendly step at a time") (http://turning-the-clock-back.blogspot.com/)).
  ~ "Full Plate Thursday('s)", are hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/).     
  ~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)   
  ~ "Simply Delish Sunday('s)", are hosted by KB and Whitesnakes, at 'KB and Whitesnakes Home' (http://kbandwhitesnakeshome.blogspot.com)

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