Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring...Family Favorites...and a GIVEAWAY!

Spring is here! It is in the trees, the flowers, the fields. Now, I am not trying to get too far ahead of myself here, due to the fact the temperatures are planning to drop later this week, but I am fully committed to Spring. Check out these beautiful apricot just a few months, these trees will be loaded with delicious apricots and my blog will be loaded with apricot recipes.
And the green grass....I love it so much more than the mud. The dog can actually play Frisbee with the kids and I don't have to bathe her before she can come in the house.....
Thank you spring....

and the dog thanks you too!
Ok, I am getting totally distracted....spring does that to me. know I often say I dislike leftovers. I never really enjoy re-heated foods. I am usually the very last person to take food home from a restaurant...'cause I just won't eat it. But there are a few leftover worthy meals....that actually make me crave left overs. Lasagna just happens to be one of them. It also happens to be yet another of my favorite family comfort meals. The deal is... it is a bit more time consuming than a typical lasagna recipe, as it is from scratch...but who can eat it two nights in a row...with my blessings.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, or sausage if you like it spicy
2 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 28 oz. can pureed tomatoes
4 tsp. garlic
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup olives, sliced
1 cup zucchini, sliced or diced
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 bunch spinach, washed and De-stemmed
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 package lasagna pasta, cooked cording to instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a heavy saucepan, brown the onion and beef together. Add the garlic, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini and seasonings and simmer for ten minutes. in the meantime, cook and rinse the pasta. Spay a lasagna pan with cooking spray and spoon enough sauce in the pan to cover the bottom. Place your first layer of pasta on the bottom of the pan. Next, spoon a third of the ricotta onto the pasta and spread it evenly. Place the spinach over the ricotta in a single layer and then cover with 1/3 of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Repeat the process two more times. Finally, spoon the cottage cheese over the top and run a knife through it so it is swirled with the sauce.
Place the lasagna in the oven uncovered and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top and return to the oven for 8 more minutes, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before cutting into this yummy dish!

look at those amazing layers of yumminess. My mouth is watering just looking at it! And look at all those vegetables hidden within...genius I say...Genius!!
So, now that I am done with the business of the day, how about a giveaway??(Hey, did you notice that rhymed?) In the last few posts, have been focusing on family favorites. My question to you, is what is your family favorite? What dish brings your family to the table and pleases all? If you are willing to share your favorite, please e-mail it to me. I will make the recipe that tempts my tummy the most and post it! But of course, that is not the giveaway. The giveaway is this cute little set of stationary that includes a magnetized shopping list, notebook, stickers, and cute little note cards.
So how do you win these? It's easy. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite dish. If you want a few more chances to win, pass my blog onto a friend or two and have them leave a comment. Make sure they leave both your name and their own so that you both get a chance. Make sense..I hope so, I am new at this. The giveaway will end Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. MST. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Whoa! You make me jealous with your pictures of spring - short sleeves!!! No way, it has been snowing in my place in the weekend and now its only +2. Thats how much of spring I get....

As for the family favorite, that is something simple is just pasta with sauce made of cream, curry paste, pieces of fried chorizo, green peas, marinated garlic and basil - it's one of those super foods - amazingly fast yet everyone loves it :)

GReetings from amazingly cold Finland

Chef Dennis Littley said...

now that is great looking lasagna!!
I love the pictures....its so nice to be outside again.

Sara said...

Helooooo...anyone there? My first Giveaway, and only 2 responses? "sniff"

bonnie said...

Ahh I missed the giveaway...darn my schoolwork..haha--well I love your spring pics..we are enjoying spring also- be still my heart lasagna oh I will eat leftover lasagna wout complaining..great recipe as always..our family fav-enchiladas, tacos and chalupas..