Monday, August 27, 2012

Dinner and a Movie


Good day folks! The more I talk about August, it seems the crazier it gets. I had the great pleasure of suffering from Strep and a Sinus Infection simultaneously. Lucky me! I'm better...sinuses still acting up but I think that is due to the weather changing (finally). I hope we actually have a Winter in South Carolina this year!

By now everyone should have had a chance to go and see Sparkle right?! I was lucky enough to score free passes...which in this day and age, are always welcome. The price of going to the movies is ridiculous and I often find myself getting up at the butt crack of dawn on Saturdays to make it to a $5 showing. I ain't playing y'all.

So I got to check it out the Wednesday before it actually opened. I still have yet to see the original, but I have requested it at my local library. Anywho, I love Whitney Houston and I thought she was phenomenal in this remake! She looked so healthy and strong. It still saddens me that she is gone. What did I think of the movie, you ask? I loved it. There were certain parts (like the bad lip syncing and the terrible fight scene) that made me raise a brow, but overall I thought it was great! I wish there was a little more singing though. I am a fan of musicals. For this to have been Jordin Sparks' first acting gig, she did fabulously! And how amazing does she look?! 

I definitely recommend going to see the movie if you haven't already done so. If you have seen it, what did you think? I would love to hear your comments!

And now for the dinner portion of this post...

Let me start off by saying I have never successfully made a lasagna. Never. Even with all the "talent" people think that I have, some stuff I can't get right. Even if I follow a recipe. Thank goodness that was NOT the case this time!!! 

I was determined to make a lasagna that I loved. I spent a full day looking up recipes until I came across one that I thought would work for me. And this one is definitely a keeper! Simple, yummy and comforting!

I forgot to add the noodles to the ingredients picture...and apparently the parmesan too!

I switched it up a bit from the original recipe, using ground turkey (instead of beef) and whole grain noodles. I was skeptical because the recipe seemed way too easy and the ingredients too simple. But trust me you want to try this!

The smells that this sauce give off...will seriously have you wanting to drink it out the pan. Steaming hot. I usually leave the lasagna making to other people (my eldest sister and my best friend's uncle) but usually they use ground beef and me and beef just do not get along too well.

With the exception of switching the meat and noodles, I followed the rest of the recipe exactly (using shredded cheese instead of sliced). I even had the assembly line. And I cooked too many noodles LOL. This is probably why my lasagnas have failed in the past. Because I think I can do my own thing without consulting the laws of lasagna! Not to worry though, I think this recipe will be with me for a very long time.

Doesn't this sauce look amazing?! That's because it is!! I'll quit teasing you and give you the recipe now!
This recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman circa 2007. She now has a show on the Food Network (awesomeness). I must say to Ree, thank you! You got me out of my lasagna purgatory! The recipe is appropriately named The Best Lasagna. Ever. And indeed it is!

Recipe: The Best Lasagna Ever

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  • 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles
  • (add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)

Preparation Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.
In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Cook lasagna until “al dente” (not overly cooked).
To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.
Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.
To anyone that is lasagna-ly challenged...yes I just made that up...give this recipe a try and I promise you will love it or your money back...and since it's free, well...ha! 

Love you guys and thanks for reading!!!


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