Easy Triple-Cheese Lasagna

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This is a very good lasagna.  What we found interesting was the day we made it, it was just in the “okay/good” pile.  The next day, after a night in the fridge, it morphed into something you would taste at a fancy, exotic Italian restaurant.  It got 100x better!  It had more depth of flavor and didn’t taste bland at all.  **We used 85% ground beef, ricotta, and shredded Italian cheese.  For the ricotta, don’t use fat free ricotta, at least use the medium fat one like we did – I think the ricotta was 6g fat a serving.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 6 uncooked dried lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Italian cheese blend or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 2 T. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Set oven at 350 degrees and preheat.
  2. Spray 2 qt. rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Spoon 1 cup crushed tomatoes into baking dish.
  4. Cook meat in large skillet, drain.
  5. Stir in remaining undrained tomatoes, bring to boil.
  6. Place 2 uncooked noodles in dish, top with 1/3 of the meat/sauce mixture and 1/3 of the Italian cheese.
  7. Repeat layers.
  8. Top with cottage cheese (preferably ricotta!),  then remaining noodles, meat mixture, and Italian cheese.
  9. When in doubt, if that’s confusing, JUST KEEP LAYERING! LOL
  10. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350 for 1 hour.  Put a jelly roll pan under the baking dish to collect any spillage.
  11. Let stand 15 minutes to cool (or you’ll burn your mouth!)
  12. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Honey-Mustard Chicken Wings

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This is a slow cooker recipe, but I adapted it (see option 2) to make it in the oven when I ran out of time one evening.  It really was great!  We don’t like spicy brown mustard (or many mustards) so we just quartered the mustard ingredient and the flavor still came through and worked well.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 T. spicy brown mustard (we reduced it to 1/2 T.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3-4 thin lemon slices (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat broiler.  Cut off wing tips, discard.  Cut each wing at joint to make 2 pieces.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place on broiler pan.  Broil 4-5 inches from heat about 5 minutes per side.

SLOW COOKER OPTION 1)

  • Transfer wings to slow cooker.
  • Combine honey, BBQ sauce, mustard, and garlic in small bowl.  Mix well.  Pour sauce over chicken wings.  Top with lemon slices, optional.  Cover, cook on LOW 4-5 hours.
  • Before serving, remove and discard lemon slices.
  • Serve wings with sauce.

OR QUICK OPTION 2)

  • Transfer wings to large baking dish that has sides.
  • Combine honey, BBQ sauce, mustard, and garlic in small bowl.  Mix well.  Pour sauce over chicken wings.  Top with lemon slices, optional.  Cover, cook at about 375 degrees for about an hour, or until thermometer reads safe.
  • Before serving, remove and discard lemon slices.
  • Serve wings with sauce.

 

“Pizza” Shepherd’s Pie

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ABOVE: With half the cheese on, to show how it’s layered.

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What I love about AllRecipes Magazine is that I see recipes I would not have known to seek out.  This was one of them.  The idea of a meaty/cheesy pie interested me and I especially loved that it was comprised of only five ingredients!  I was expecting it to turn out “just okay”, but it stunned us.  It tasted like a Chicagoan deep dish pizza!  We will assuredly make this at least once a month.  I made it with a homemade “quick” pizza dough.  Please give this a try!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with garlic and basil (or Italian seasonings), well drained.
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (next time I’d double that to be more pizza-y!)
  • 3/4 lb. frozen pizza fough, thawed – or homemade.

DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Cook and stir beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain beef and return to skillet.
    3. Add tomatoes and black pepper to beef; bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
    4. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
    5. Scatter mozzarella cheese over the top. Stretch pizza dough over top with your hands, pressing it onto the edge of the pie plate.
    6. Bake in the preheated oven until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
    7. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Campfired Up Sloppy Joes

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This is a cool recipe I found in my CrockPot slow cooker book that I love.  It takes your classic sloppy joe ingredients and adds flavorful, easy add-ins like baked beans, bell pepper, and BBQ sauce.  It’s really better than I thought it’d be and very yummy!  It’s extremely simple – look at the directions!  This is one you could throw together in the morning in about 10-15 minutes and have a scrumptious meal come dinner time.  We’ll definitely make this again!

Makes 4-6 servings.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (or use powder)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed (or use powder)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 can (8 oz.) baked beans
  • 6 kaiser rolls, split and warmed
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional, but great!)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Brown ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic 6-8 minutes in large skillet, stirring to break up meat.  Drain and discard excess fat.  Transfer beef mixture to slow cooker.
  2. Combine ketchup, BBQ sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and chili powder in small bowl.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add baked beans.  Stir well to combine.  Cover, cook on HIGH 3 hours.  (I did low and it was fine).
  4. To serve, fill split rolls with 1/2 cup sloppy joe mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, before topping sandwich with roll lid.