Saturday, May 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I have said this one hundred times, but the slow cooker is my best friend during the school year.  The hubs (he's the best, I know!) tosses in the ingredients in the morning, it cooks all day, and it is ready to eat when we come home.  You just can't beat that.

This recipe is a little labor intensive for our work morning routine.  However, this is a great one to keep on hand for a busy weekend day or even just a day you feel too lazy to really cook.  As far as lasagna goes, my mom's is the best.  I'm sure everyone says that, but I mean it!  This one tasted almost as good as hers.  The recipe I replicated is from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  

You will need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (24 oz.) jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 C. water
1 (15 oz.) container of ricotta cheese
2 C. mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp. Italian seasonings
6 uncooked lasagna noodles

Using a large skillet cook ground beef and onion.  Add the garlic, cook for about a minuted, then drain. Return beef, onion, and garlic back to skillet and add the spaghetti sauce and water.  Simmer together for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and seasonings.

In the slow cooker, put about 1 cup of the meat mixture on the bottom.  Add 3 lasagna noodles.  They will not fit exactly, I had to break them up to fit.  Next add about half of the cheese mixture.  Add almost all of the rest of the meat mixture, followed by the rest of the noodles.  Top it off with the last of the meat mixture.  Cook on low for about 4 hours or until the noodles are cooked.  Top with some Parmesan cheese.


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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sweater Refashion

I am unstoppable and at it again with the sewing machine!  This one may have just changed my life.  I was poking around in my craft room and found Heat-n-bond adhesive.  I immediately thought of the tutorials here and here as well as an old sweater.  10 minutes later (seriously), I have a "new" cardigan to rock at work!  This gives thrift stores a whole new meaning for me!

On a sad note, I tried to make a second one.  The sweater was a lovely lavender Loft sweater with roses made from sweater material on the shoulder.  There was an unfortunate scissor accident.  I am blaming it on the adrenaline rush I had from making this first one.  I should have used the tailor's chalk like they had in the tutorial.  Fortunately, I think the adorable sweater flowers are salvageable.  Maybe for a wreath?  Any other ideas?

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Monday, April 22, 2013

On My Bookshelf

I just finished reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  It was so, so good!  You know you just read a good book when you continue to think about the characters and the story well after you have finished it.  The story is set in (mostly) 1959, when a southern missionary family heads out into the Belgian Congo.  The story is told through the mother and four daughters as the narrators.  It follows the mothers fight for independence from her husband alongside the Congo's fight for independence from the Belgians.  I really enjoyed the coming-of-age narrations from the daughters.  I think seeing Africa through the eyes of the oldest daughter, Rachel, was my favorite.  She was a bit of a diva and I loved how Kingsolver wrote Rachel's sections.  Rachel wasn't the "brains" of the family and would often use a word incorrectly to describe something else.  

There is a family tragedy and a nation's tragedy in this story.  This tragedy becomes the hurdle that each sister and the mother must face throughout the rest of their lives.  I enjoyed that the story didn't end until the 1980s.  After reading their adventures on their mission trip, I liked seeing how they grew up and aged taking with them the lessons they had learned.  This one should be on your to read list if you already haven't!!

Next up, I am headed to Lake Wobegon!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Button Earrings

I have been making button earrings for a few years now.  They are so easy to make and also really fun.   When I first started making them, I would hand sew them and stuff them with poly-fil.  It is much easier (trust me) to just use button covers.  Here are some new ones I made recently.  (I dug into the vintage fabric stash again!)

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Zesty Honey Chicken

Need a new idea to jazz up plain old chicken breasts?  Here is a good one!  It was raining today, so I couldn't grill it outside.  I used the grill pan inside.  Can't wait to try it outdoors, it always tests better that way to me!  It tasted great, so I imagine it will be AMAZING from the grill!

All you need to make the sauce is one bottle of Heinz sauce and 1/4 cup honey.  Mix them together and then brush on chicken as it cooks.  Easy as pie!


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