Lasagna Soup (Meatless) (or not!)

Making this for our meatless supper tomorrow night…if you wanna make it too you’ll need to get the ingredients today!!!

Print Recipe Card Here Recipe-Card-Meatless Lasagna Soup

Easy Lasagna Soup

During Lent (Ash Wednesday until Easter each year) my family doesn’t eat meat on Fridays. We do all the usuals like fish, pancake dinner, baked potato bar, and there’s some Fridays we do soup nights. There’s tomato soup and grilled cheese, and vegetable, but I love to mix it up and try something new….this recipe is FABULOUS! And once Lent is over we will make the version with meatballs! I made this with the slow cooker!

 

First here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

Soup

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

6 cups vegetable broth

1 yellow onion, diced or chopped, your preference

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

2 zucchinis, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 Tablespoon dried basil

β…› teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces lasagna noodles

4 cups fresh spinach leaves

 

Cheese topping

1 8 ounce container ricotta cheese

Β½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

ΒΌ cup parsley, chopped

ΒΌ cup basil leaves, chopped

Pinch (or 2) of kosher salt

Here’s what you’ll do next!

In the slow cooker put your tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, then the onions.

Add chopped onion

Next the sliced mushrooms:

Add sliced mushrooms

Next the garlic…

Add minced garlic

And then the sliced zucchini (YUM)

Add sliced zucchini

Bay leaves and spices next!

Add spices

Next either put on high for about 4 hours or low for about 6-6.5 if you won’t be home

4 Hours on High

Noodle time!

Go ahead and break the noodles into smaller (but not too small) pieces and boil according to directions minus about 2-3 minutes. (Ive seen recipes that put the noodles in at the beginning but its too risky for me. Ive had them not soften)

Noodle time

Drain when soft and add them into the slow cooker and stir

Add them to the soup

Almost done!

Next wash and destem your fresh spinach leaves and add them to the mixture and let them wilt

Wash and destem your fresh spinachAdd and wilt

CHEEEEESEEEEE!!!!

Next mix together the ricotta and mozarella cheese, add the parsley and basil and  pinchish of salt

Cheese Topping

Now….on the cheese…a little dab will do ya…so a dollop about a tablespoon is all you need per bowl, give or take on your taste!

Ladel into your bowl and dollop with cheese topping and enjoy the yummy goodness!!!

Enjoy!

I made 2 slow cookers full for the soup supper at church last night and it was a HIT!!!!

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

Can you believe it’s Mardi Gras time already? Wasn’t Christmas just last week? Well it’s here! And since we all can’t run off to New Orleans (well we could but…SIGH) we can still bring a little bit of Mardi Gras to our tables! The King’s Cake is a fun and easy Mardi Gras tradition and now its even simpler with this cheat recipe! Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Filling:

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup chopped Pecans

3 Tbsp Flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Cake:

Yellow Cake Mix

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

1/3 Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

2/3 Cup Water

For the Icing:

3 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 tsp Almond Extract

3-4 Tbsp Milk

Green, Purple and Yellow Colored Sugar

 

Let’s Get Started

Preheat the oven to 350

Grease a Bundt Pan (alot…no seriously, spray it on heavy so it doesn’t stick!)

I always get the mixer and each ingredient set out before I start…makes it easier and you don’t start then figure out you’re missing something πŸ˜‰

Lets Make A Cheat Cake

Mix The Filling

In a smaller bowl mix the filling…

Brown sugar, Flour and Chopped Pecans

Use a small whisk and just blend them all together

Mixing The Filling

Cake Batter Time

Next mix the Cake Mix, Eggs, Sour Cream, Vegetable Oil, and Water on low for about 30 seconds then scrape the sides of the bowl…then mix on high for a minute or so

Ready To Mix

Pour HALF the mixture into the Bundt pan

Add the filling mixture around evenly

Add The Filling

NOW…place a plastic baby, or some people use a jellybean or even a kidney bean…somewhere atop that mixture (not too close to the sides, make sure its in the middle)

Pour the remaining half of the cake batter over that and we are ready to pop in the oven!

Pop In The Oven

Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean!

Out of the Oven

Cool That Cake

Cool for 15-20 minutes then invert onto cake plate and cool completely before icing

After Baking

Ice It!

Next mix the Powdered Sugar, Almond Extract, and Milk. It’s going to be thick…and thats ok for this cake, it keeps it from all running off. Once its iced, sprinkle with the Green, Purple and Yellow Sugar

Mardi Gras Cheat Cake Complete!

Now your little piece of Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras is complete!

Mardi Gras Cheat King Cake

And remember, whoever gets the baby (bean, or whatever you used) has to make the King Cake next year for your Mardi Gras Party! ENJOY!!!

 

 

Yummy lactose free Hot Cocoa recipe

lactose free cocoa recipe

You know we’ve used those packets for years but they just don’t compare to homemade cocoa. Here’s a cocoa recipe that I borrowed from my high school friend Lisa. I just made it and it was so yummy and easy! Even better I made it lactose free…which is the reason I can’t drink those packets of cocoa.

1 large coffee mug full of lactose free milk put in microwave for 1.5 minutes (you can use regular milk) I used 2% lactose free milk
1 large overflowing teaspoon (looked more like 2 tsp) of nutella
1 tsp of cocoa (estimated since I used what was left in the Hershey’s can)

OMGoodness it was too die for! So glad I have a cocoa recipe I can make for me and my lactose intolerant son. Yay for cocoa!

5 Tips to Freezing homemade baby food

how to freeze homemade baby food

how to freeze homemade baby food

5 tips to freezing homemade baby food

If you want to make homemade baby food. But you aren’t quite sure how to properly store it, you will need to know the basics before even making the food. You don’t want the food to spoil after it has been made, so check out the tips to properly storing the food you have whipped up for your little one.

Ice Cube Tray – Freezer Bag Method

With the ice cube or freezer bag method of freezing baby food you will need:

Ice cube trays
Freezer bags
Plastic wrap

TIPS:

Thoroughly wash the trays before use

Advantages:

Each cube is approximately 1ounce, which allows you to easily measure your child’s food.
Ice cube trays are cheap.
Since you only use a cube or two of food at a time, waste is minimal.
You can make several trays of food at once.

Directions:

Spoon pureed foods into the cubes and freeze. When frozen, pop the food cubes as needed. If you made large batches, pop out the food and store them in freezer bags. Be sure to label the bags with the type of food and the date the foods were frozen. Most foods can keep for a month in this manner.

Storing Homemade Baby Food in the Refrigerator

With this method, you will need:

Individual serving containers with lids

TIPS:

Never feed your baby directly from a container and then re-store that container.
Food only keeps for three days in this method.

Advantages:

It’s the easiest method for storing, but the hardest in that you have to make food often.

Directions:

Mash and mix the food as you would, then portion it in containers. Label with the food type, date and time, and place toward the back of the refrigerator.

Reheating food:

Allow frozen food to thaw in the refrigerator.
You should try not to microwave the baby food as this will cause pockets of hot food that can burn baby’s mouth.
If you must microwave the food, stir it thoroughly and let stand at least one minute before feeding it to baby. Test with your finger to make sure it isn’t too warm.
For best reheating, allow to sit the refrigerator for at least two hours (if frozen) then place in a sauce pan of hot water for three minutes. Stir and serve.

Other tips to remember:

Never freeze anything in glass jars. The glass can and will crack, contaminating food. This even goes for store bought baby food.
You can reuse some plastic containers and freeze them, as well.
Do not reheat food in plastic containers, as this can melt the containers.
Do not re-freeze completely thawed food.

Nini’s Best Chicken Salad Recipe EVER!!!

Nini’s Best Chicken Salad Recipe EVER!!!

Whenever we have a finger food event and sometimes just to have on hand at home, my chicken salad recipe is ALWAYS a huge request! Now I’m gonna share it with you….but only this once πŸ˜‰ so pay attention!! πŸ™‚

Chicken Salad 2

 

Shopping list:

1.5-2 lb Chicken Breast 

Chicken Bullion Cubes

Onion

Celery

Seedless Red Grapes

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Salt

Pepper

Miracle Whip

Mayo

Now let’s whip up some chicken salad!

Chicken Salad 1

First boil the chicken breast in water with 3 bullion cubes for about 15 minutes. I cut the breasts in half or thirds and stab little holes in them so they cook faster and absorb the flavor and moisture while they cook!

While that’s cooking chop about 1/2-3/4 of the onion (depending on how much your bunch likes onion!) and 1-2 celery stalks. I chop mine very small because mine like the flavor of them but they aren’t much on the texture! You can sit this aside or put it in the bottom of your big mixing bowl…just be sure if you do you mix good from the bottom once its all together!

While you’r waiting you can also 4th or 6th your grapes….I don’t chop them because they get a little too mushy and they do better crisp in the salad. 

Once your chicken is finished drain and shred the chicken (these small pieces make this much easier than if you had left them in huge pieces, you’re welcome) I just use 2 forks and shred away. Add them to the big mixing bowl and before you put anything else in mix the onions, celery and grapes with the shredded chicken. 

Next add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. I use 1+ tsp of these. Maybe I use a little more, but we LOVE some garlic and onion powder around here πŸ˜‰ Now mix all this good again!

Last but not least add the miracle whip and mayo. I use about 2 Tbsp of Miracle Whip and 3 Tbsp of Mayo mixed in and then just add by the spoonful until I feel like its enough. Mix very well. 

Now I like to pack mine in an airtight container and let it all mesh together a few hours or overnight before serving. 

I serve on croissants but its great on regular bread or rolls as well!!!

 

Enjoy!!

Chicken Salad 3

Print the recipe card here:

Ninis Best Chicken Salad Ever

Delicious Buffalo Chicken Casserole!!!

Want to wow the fam for dinner? Need a casserole to take to a potluck? Try this easy Buffalo Chicken Casserole!!

This is a great meal and it serves well leftover so I ALWAYS try and make some extra. Usually the extra disappears pretty quickly too though!!

Let’s go to the grocery:

1.5 lb chicken (either breast or breast tenderloins, 1 inch cubed, I’ve used both)

1/3 cup hot sauce

5 1/2 cups shredded frozen potatoes

1 can condensed chicken soup

1 cup ranch dressing

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Panko bread crumbs

Now let’s get cookin!!

Preheat oven to 375

Spray 13×9 (or 2 8×8) pans

Cube your chicken and put in a large bowl buffalo1

Add 1/3 cup hot sauce and toss chicken in itbuffalo 2

Spread into bottom of pan

buffalo 3

In the same bowl add potatoes, chicken soup, ranch, and cheese and mix them all up (I also add a few dashes of hot sauce back into this mixture)

buffalo 4

Spread over the chicken

buffalo 5

Now sprinkle Panko bread crumbs over the top 

 

Cover with foil

buffalo 6

Bake 30 minutes then remove foil and bake another 25 minutes. (I low broil for about 4 minutes at the end too just to get a good color on top!)

 

Take out and let sit 15-20 minutes before serving! 

buffalo 7

Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!!

buffalo plate

I’d love to say refigerate leftovers and take them for your lunch but unless you do what I do and double or triple the recipe your unlikely to be so lucky!!!

 

Heres the recipe without the pics!

recipe-card-template_4x6

 

Cool and Creamy Cucumber Salad~ A Summer Fave!!!

Summer is all about good food….

Cool side dishes to go with whatever you are grillin are a must!!!  As the garden starts producing cucumbers start coming in by the bucket fulls!!! This summer salad is a delicious dish for any meat or even to sit around and snack on!

Run to the store:

1 Cup Mayo

1/4 Cup White Sugar

1/2 tsp dried dill weed

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

3-4 medium cucumbers

Peel the cukes and slice em up real nice

Cucumber 1

Mix the mayo, sugar, vinegar, dill, seasoned salt in a large bowl

Cuke 4

Cucumber 3

Add your cucumber slices then refrigerate and serve. 

Cucumber 4

Enjoy!

 

Puffed Oven Pancakes

Wanna try something new for breakfast?

I gotcha covered! All breakfast is good…fabulous even…but now and then its fun to try a new recipe. This quickly became a request for birthday mornings and special occasions. And sometimes just because. Long weekends are especially popular for this! 

 

First lets shop: (most of this you’ll already have!)

Now this recipe is per 9 inch pie plate…and depending on your crowd you’ll need a few

Sticks of butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

Powdered sugar

Lemon juice (fresh lemons or bottled, your choice)

Now lets make em:

Preheat oven to 400

While its preheating put 2 TBSP butter in each dish then place in oven to melt while its preheating

Butter Pie Plates

Next, in your mixing bowl,  slightly beat your 2 eggs. Add flour, salt, and milk. Mix just until combined, your batter will be lumpy…if you mix to much they will not puff! And pour over the sizzling hot butter in your pie plates!

 

Poured into the butter

Bake for 25-30 minutes

While its baking you’ll wanna get your table set with powdered sugar, lemon juice, and plates!

Out of the oven

 

Cut into slices and top with lemon juice then the powdered sugar! If you like you can use fruit and I have a kid who still uses syrup. Really there’s no wrong way to dress it!

 

Serve

 

Broccoli Salad with….thats right BACON in it!

Need something quick and easy to make for that 4th of July get together?

I have it right here for ya!

This cool summer broccoli salad is the perfect pairing to any backyard bbq! Whether you’re grilling beef, chicken, or pork it compliments it fabulously and is SOOOO easy to make and go!

Here’s whatcha need:

3 broccoli heads, cut the tips off

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup raisins

1 cup almonds or sunflower seeds

1/2-3/4 lb bacon, fried and crumbled

1 cup mayo 

1/2 cup sugar

2 TBSP white wine vinegar

Now here’s whatcha do!

In a huge bowl mix the broccoli, onion, raisins, almonds, and bacon together real mixed up good!

Mix All

In a separate bowl mix the mayo, sugar, and white wine vinegar and whisk together well.

Mix to pour over

Pour it over the bowl and mix it up!

Ready fro fridge

Refrigerate in the fridge till you’re ready to eat or take it to go!!!

 

Serve it up and enjoy!!!

Served

 

Mama Georgie’s Old Fashioned Banana Pudding!

MOUTH WATERING….better than that favorite restaurant!

My grandmother always made the BEST Nanner Puddin and I would stand and watch and help her stir and layer and whip and bake! And for the very first time…I’m going to share the recipe with you! 

First lets shop:

6-7 Ripe Bananas

1 Box Nilla Wafers (don’t skimp on the cheap brand for this part)

1 1/2 cups sugar, then 6 Tbsp sugar

1/3 cup flour 

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups milk (whole milk is best but 2% does ok too)

4 eggs, separated, you’ll need the yolks first then set the whites in the fridge till the end

1 tsp vanilla

Now let’s get this started…can you almost taste it?!?!

Preheat your oven to 425*

In the top of a double boiler start with the 1 1/2 cups sugar, flour and salt and whisk together then add the milk and mix up good. Separate your eggs and slightly beat the yolks and stir in. Put the egg whites in the fridge while we do the rest. Now you will stir this until it is custard like. This WILL TAKE A FEW! Don’t get discouraged it will thicken. This kind of yummy love takes a little time!

NP double boiler

 

While this thickens, line your dish with a single layer of the Nilla wafers…now…I break up a few to fill in the cracks between the round cookies πŸ™‚ Then slice up 3-4 of the ripened bananas atop these. 

NP CookiesNP Banana layer 1

Once the pudding thickens, remove from heat and add your vanilla extract and stir in about a minute. Pour HALF the mixture into your dish over the banana and cookies you’ve layered. 

NP Add half pudding

Now another layer of cookies and bananas then the other half of the pudding…

Np 2nd layer cookie

Np more nanners

Np other half of puddin

Now remember we preheated the oven….hopefully its beeped and up to temp because we are almost there….but first…

Get those egg whites out o the fridge and get your mixer ready because its MERINGUE TIME!

Beat the eggs on HIGH and add 6TBSP, 1 TBSP at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. (God bless my grandmother and those who made meringue before we had electric mixers! SHEESH!)

Np meringue

 

Now spoon this over the top sealing in the pudding, it should look like this (OMG we are alost done…I smell it…I do!)

Np ready for oven

Bake at 425 about 5-6 minutes until the top gets golden brown. CHECK ON IT OFTEN because ovens vary…but with meringue it REALLY varies. Once its done, take out and let it sit to room temperature before you put it in the fridge. Chill for 2 hours before serving for best results. 

ENJOY!!!

Np enjoy!

 

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