Recipes

Cooking with my Family

To me, food is very important. But what’s more important, is sharing it with my family and the time it allows us to spend together. Sometimes itโ€™s not always about making the most gourmet Instagram-worthy meal. It is about teaching my children how to take care of themselves and their families one day, bonding over something that will fill our stomachs and souls and just spending time together! Having 5 kids, a husband traveling and career myself, quality time is limited and our home life can get a little chaotic at times. However, it always seems to slow down a bit when I get to put my apron on.. and pour a little glass of wine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Like I said, Lasagna is not a ground breaking recipe. I felt compelled to write this blog to amplify the importance of cooking with my family and show the ways you can involve your kiddos in the kitchen. As you all know, our family comes from a long line of cooks and this recipe is truly special as it has been in our family forever! A good homecooked family tradition lasagna starts with the meat sauce! 

Meat Sauce Recipe

Meat Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 – jar homemade canned tomatoes (busy cook can substitute with store bought)
  • 1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 – celery stalks
  • 1 โ€“ white/yellow onion
  • 1 โ€“ green bell pepper
  • 3 โ€“ garlic cloves
  • 2 lbs 90/10 ground beef 
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 โ€“ tbs oregano
  • 1 โ€“ tbs garlic powder
  • 1 โ€“ tbs garlic salt
  • 2 โ€“ bay leaves (be sure to remove before serving dish)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese 

Meat Sauce Instructions:

  • In a Dutch oven, brown meat (do not drain grease!)
  • Wash and chop veggies
  • Put veggies and garlic into food processor
  • Pour processed veggies into cooked meat
  • Add tomato paste
  • Add tomato sauce
  • Add jar of tomatoes
  • Add seasonings and mix together
  • Cook in dutch oven for 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours

Now itโ€™s time to whip out the cheeses, noodles & start layering! This is a great part to include your kids! I did the first layer and then I let Priscilla take over. As Iโ€™m sure some of you mamas can relate, every kiddo and hubby have a different preference. This is a great recipe to accommodate all those. Jep loves ricotta cheese and I love cottage cheese. You can either include both on different layers, or do what I do and keep the ricotta cheese to one side, and the cottage cheese to another. Itโ€™s so easy to just spread half way and everyone is happy!

Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Bring a large pot water to a boil with two tablespoons of olive oil so the noodles don’t stick. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water until aldente.  Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. 
  • Time to layer: at the bottom of baking dish, put a thin layer of meat sauce. Then layer lasagna noodles horizontal on top of meat sauce. 
  • Then spread a layer of cheeses as you desire. Again, I spread ricotta on one side and then cottage cheese on another. 
  • Layer the meat sauce again 
  • Sprinkle your shredded cheeses on top of meat sauce.
  • Then repeat the layer of noodles, meat sauce and cheeses until your dish is almost full to the top.
  • Make sure the top layer consists of your meat sauce and a lot of sprinkled shredded cheeses to get that crispy desired top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

While the lasagna cooks, mama and dad get to enjoy a glass of wine. This is a great time to have your children set the table. It doesnโ€™t have to be anything fancy just for the family. Pricilla has been attending cotillion and actually teaching me a thing or two about setting a table!

 Now it is time to enjoy! Pull the lasagna out of the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes, it will be hot hot! Serve to your family and enjoy each otherโ€™s company. 

I cannot stress enough that although the food and nutrition is very important to us, the family time is what I will cherish forever. I also believe it instills good family values in your children. They learn by example and I hope these nights make them feel loved and comforted on the inside. So, get your kiddos and hubby involved and just enjoy an inexpensive family/ date night while you nurture your family. I know dinner time can feel mundane when our everyday lives get busy, but try changing your perspective on the matter. There will be days you wish your children still lived at home with you. Open a glass of wine, turn on some music and enjoy the family you are fortunate to have!

Genuinely,

Jess

——————————————————

Meat Sauce Recipe

Meat Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 – jar homemade canned tomatoes (busy cook can substitute with store bought)
  • 1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 – celery stalks
  • 1 โ€“ white/yellow onion
  • 1 โ€“ green bell pepper
  • 3 โ€“ garlic cloves
  • 2 lbs 90/10 ground beef 
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 โ€“ tbs oregano
  • 1 โ€“ tbs garlic powder
  • 1 โ€“ tbs garlic salt
  • 2 โ€“ bay leaves (be sure to remove before serving dish)

Meat Sauce Instructions:

  • In a Dutch oven, brown meat (do not drain grease!)
  • Wash and chop veggies
  • Put veggies and garlic into food processor
  • Pour processed veggies into cooked meat
  • Add tomato paste
  • Add tomato sauce
  • Add jar of tomatoes
  • Add seasonings and mix all together
  • Cook in dutch oven for 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours.

Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna Ingredients:

  • Lasagna Noodles
  • Meat Sauce
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese 

Lasagna Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil with two tablespoons of olive oil so the noodles don’t stick. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water until al dente.  Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water 
  • Time to layer: at the bottom of baking dish, put a thin layer of meat sauce. Then layer lasagna noodles horizontal on top of meat sauce
  • Then spread a layer of cheeses as you desire. Again, I spread ricotta on one side and then cottage cheese on another
  • Layer the meat sauce again 
  • Sprinkle your shredded cheeses on top of meat sauce
  • Then repeat the layer of noodles, meat sauce and cheeses until your dish is almost full to the top
  • Make sure the top layer consists of your meat sauce and a lot of sprinkled shredded cheeses to get that crispy desired top
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before serving

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