Monthly Archives: May 2014

Taco Lasagna

I love Mexican food and I also love lasagna so this seemed like a no-brainer when I saw the pin on Pinterest. Plus it seemed alarmingly easy.

Adapted from a recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • Packet of taco seasoning
  • 8oz shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 15oz ricotta
  • 24oz jar of salsa
  • No-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of taco sauce
  • 1/3 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, drain the fat and add taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of water, mix well.
  2. In a greased 9×13 pan place your first layer of noodles (I put a little bit of the salsa in first so the noodles wouldn’t stick, but cooking spray would’ve been better.)
  3. Mix your ricotta and the egg together and spread half of it on the first layer of noodles.
  4. Sprinkle a third of the beef and a 1/3 of the salsa and top with 1/2 a cup of the shredded cheddar and the next row of noodles.
  5. Mix the refried beans and the taco sauce and use half the mixture on the next row of noodles.
  6. Top with 1/3 of the beef and 1/3 of the salsa and 1/2 cup of cheese. Then place the next row of noodles.
  7. Place the rest of the ricotta, beans, meat, salsa and cheese.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on 400 for 1 hour.

Verdict: Fail

So, I had such high hopes for this meal and I just didn’t care for it. This wasn’t a fail for everyone in the family, one of us quite liked it. For me personally, I just didn’t like the ricotta in my Mexican dish. I thought it would be great but it didn’t work for me. If I made it again, I would omit the ricotta and keep the beans. If you love ricotta this recipe might work for you and it really is pretty easy.

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Super Easy Breakfast Scramble

So, my family loves breakfast. I occasionally like to make breakfast for dinner, but I don’t do it often because it can be so much work and I like things as easy and quick as possible.

I threw this scramble together because I happened to have two ham steaks I got for 50 cents each thanks to coupons. It wasn’t enough for the whole family, so I figured I would dice it up and throw it in with eggs and cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ham steak, diced
  • 4 slices of American cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs

Directions:

  1. Pour your scrambled eggs into a skillet and add diced ham and cheese.

Super easy! I served it with hashbrowns, biscuits and bacon (because breakfast without bacon is kind of sad.)

Verdict: Win

This was a great way to use the ham steak. It wasn’t enough to be the main dish of any other meal, so mixing it in with the eggs worked out perfectly. Plus, it ended up being a really cheap meal which is always a bonus for me.

 

Oven Baked Pork Chops

So, raw meat has long been an issue for me, but with the help of cooking gloves I felt ready to tackle this spice rub. In the original recipe the pork chops are cooked in a skillet, but since the unfortunate schnitzel incident I’ve been a bit leery of that, so I decided to try it in the oven.

Adapted from a recipe at The Recipe Critic

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 boneless pork chops
  • 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix the brown sugar and spices in a bowl.
  2. Rub each pork chop generously with the rub (both sides) and place on a pan. (I sprayed the pan with cooking spray first.)
  3. Bake at 400 for 1 hour or until pork chops are done.

Verdict: Win!

These pork chops came out great! They were nice and juicy and the spice rub gave them some sweetness, but not too much. Really delicious. I will definitely make them again.

 

 

 

Tortellini Crockpot Soup

This recipe sounded really good in theory, but didn’t go so hot when I actually made it. I thought it would be something different to try since I have never used tortellini before.

Adapted from a recipe on Chef Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of ground beef
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 20oz package of tortellini (I used frozen, but I thawed it overnight in the fridge.)
  • 8oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 32oz of chicken broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the ones with basil, oregano and garlic.)

Directions:

  1. Cook ground beef in a skillet with the Italian seasoning, drain the fat.
  2. Add beef and tortellini to the crockpot.
  3. Pour diced tomatoes and chicken broth in and mix.
  4. Add cream cheese in chunks and then stir again.
  5. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  6. Take off lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Verdict: Fail

While the flavor of this wasn’t bad, I did not care for the beef in it at all. The original recipe called for sausage, but I’m not crazy about sausage either, so I think I might’ve done better by leaving the meat out completely. In the original recipe the thirty minutes with the lid off was supposed to help it thicken up, but mine never did. So instead of a pasta with sauce I got soup. I won’t make this one again.

Easy Meatball Lasagna

It didn’t really come out looking like lasagna, but it was pretty yummy!

So, this was my first attempt at making a lasagna (which is the reason my noodle to everything else ratio was less than perfect) but I found a recipe I really wanted to try. Unfortunately for me the original recipe was really complicated for someone that has cooking anxiety and limited skills in the kitchen. SO, I simplified it.

Adapted from a recipe at A Nut in a Nutshell

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of frozen meatballs, thawed. (The package I bought had 26 and that was plenty.)
  • 8oz bag of shredded mozzarella
  • 30oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 package of no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2- 24oz jars of pasta sauce

Directions:

  1. Cut all the meatballs in half.
  2. Then in a greased 9×13 pan, pour enough sauce to cover the bottom.
  3. Place your first layer of noodles.
  4. Cover lightly with sauce, then spread half of the ricotta cheese on top.
  5. Add your next layer of noodles and cover lightly with sauce.
  6. Place the meatball halves on the noodles and then top them with 1 cup of mozarella.
  7. Add your next layer of noodles and cover lightly with sauce.
  8. Spread the rest of the ricotta, cover with noodles and then top with the rest of the sauce and mozzarella.
  9. Bake covered at 400 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Verdict: Tasty, but A Learning Experience

Okay, so this came out quite yummy, but I learned a few things after making it that will hopefully make it even better next time. First off, I needed more noodles. I was not sure how close together I should put them and if I should try to break them to make it work better (next time I WILL) so I feel like I didn’t have a good noodle to sauce ration. I also think it would’ve held together better. Other than that, I’m calling it a win.