Lasagna One Pot

Lasagna One Pot

A one pot meal to simplify dinner time. Free yourself from the everyday, and make the evening special.

Why wait all day for Lasagna and all that work when you can do it in one pot. Need a fancier version for last minute company? Add a cup of white wine or vodka for sweetness. Everyone wants to know what do with the glut of tomatoes from the garden. This is what I do.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces pasta (broken lasagna noodles)
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) whole Italian tomatoes with liquid crushed (You can use fresh if you like as well)
  • 1 large sweet onion large dice
  • 1 # Lbs ground beef or turkey well browned and drained
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes a must
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 large sprigs basil, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or seafood broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces Dry curd cottage cheese or ricotta
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions

  1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
  2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add cheeses evenly over top and cover for five minutes to melt. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

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Buttermilk White Bread

Tender buttermilk white bread with the delicate flavor of honey. The stronger the honey the better the flavor so use pure raw honey, buckwheat or other strong flavor. A good homesteader bread, I use a stand mixer for the first part and by hand for the rest.

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm filtered water
  • pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast)
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk about 90°F
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 cups white bread flour or unbleached

 

Instructions

  1. Mix the ginger, sugar,yeast, and water and set aside for five minutes.
  2. Mix buttermilk, honey, salt, baking soda in with the yeast mixture.
  3. Add three cups of flour and mix until smooth. On an electric mixer it is about 5 minutes on low speed or by hand.
  4. Mix in butter until it is totally incorporated into batter.
  5. Now, begin to add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
  6. When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth.
  7. Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and grease tops.
  9. Cover, and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they brown too fast.
  11. Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter.
  12. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  13. Turn out and cool completely on a rack. Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.

Makes 2 loaves

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Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is a great figure friendly light summer cake. It has no fat, i.e no butter , no yolks, no oil- not even a drop. It is made from the simplest of ingredients: egg whites, all purpose flour, sugar and salt. Compare these four ingredients to the 18 found in a Boxed angel food cake mix,”Sugar, Wheat Flour Bleached, Egg White, Corn Starch, Leavening (Baking Soda, Citric Acid), Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Calcium Chloride, Corn, Modified Soy Protein, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean or Cottonseed Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavor, Dextrose, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (A Whipping Aid), Color (Yellow 5 & 6, Red 40, Blue 1), Nonfat Milk.”

When you think about it, an angel food cake is really just a souffle. Souffles are single serve all the time right? Make a little cake all for your self with fresh fruits and a good book, you are all set for a long hot afternoon.

Make your own angel food cake mix:Mix together thoroughly Cake flour 1 CUP, Confectioners sugar 1 CUP and salt 1 TSP in a zip lock bag and keep in a dry cool place like the refrigerator. Makes 8 single serves.

To bake a single serve: Whenever you want to make a single serve, take 1/4rth cup of the dry mixture. Turn on oven to 350 F to preheat. Beat 1 extra large egg white with 1 tbsp of sugar and a drop of lemon juice, until stiff . Fold the flour into the egg white gently. Spray one ramekin ( approximately 2 X 2 x 2 inches) with Pam. Then put in a couple of tablespoons of sugar and rotate the ramekin until he walls of the ramekin are evenly coated with sugar. Tap out any excess. Fill 3/4rth of the ramekin with the folded mixture. Bake at 350F for around 20 minutes. Makes one single serve with approximately 150 calories and no calories from fat.

Cool Down Usually you must invert the angel food cake pan on top of a bottle or something similar to cool down for around two to three hours. The ramekins are very difficult to turn upside down, especially when hot. So turn them on their sides, that way the angel food cake will get a chance to cool down and stabilize. Otherwise you will find that your cake collapses!

Very important: You must do the sugar on the ramekin walls or else the angel food cake will not rise. Traditionally , angel food cakes are baked in a tubular cake pan and no butter or flour is applied to the walls so that it can cling to the walls of the pan and rise.

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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

An easy crowd pleasing weekday meal in the crock-pot. Served with jasmine rice and french fried onions on top for a filling tribute to the 1950’s. Simple, easy, and kid friendly with a bright display of color.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Bottle Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 Large green pepper diced in 1 inch chunks
  • 1 large onion diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained
  • 1 can whole water chestnuts

Directions:

  1. Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup!
  2. Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce.
  3. Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top.
  4. Add onion and green pepper.
  5. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.
  6. Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce and add water chestnuts,.
  7. Serve over rice.                        Where can I find these curved jars?

 

curved jars of pineapple

 

State of Bratwurst

Brat

As old as Wisconsin and as different as the next county can be the quintessential Brat Fry. There are several ways to prep and cook brats in Wisconsin, where eating bratwurst is exactly a way of life. Cooks generally simmer (not boil) brats in a fragrant mixture of beer and onion before grilling them. So by the time the brats hit the flames, they’re basically done. At that point, you just need to grill them for several minutes to brown them (and char them lightly, if that’s your inclination as it is mine) to create the crispy “skin”. If you’re grilling bratwurst for a crowd, you may want to cook your brats ahead of time. In that case, you’ll hold them on a low simmer in a “batter” (that is what we call it in Wisconsin) of beer, onion, and often butter. This holding can be done by warm setting in a crock-pot or 180°F in a nesco roaster.

Brats tend to be larger than hot dogs, so many people say you should serve them on brat rolls; which are like hot-dog buns, only bigger. In Sheboygan (home of high-church bratwurst consumption), people often serve brats on “hard rolls.” Despite the name, these rolls actually are soft, hamburger bun types and are large enough to hold two brats side by side (they have a convenient split down the center of the crown that makes it easier to cut the bun in half if you want to serve brats one at a time rather than in pairs).

buns

If you can find actual bratwurst rolls, they’re worth buying. Otherwise, your market may offer deli rolls that look like oversized hot-dog buns. Don’t sweat it if you can find only standard hot-dog buns. I lived in Wisconsin for most of my life, and most of the brats I have been served there were on hot-dog like buns. KwikTrip a gas store chain, sells a light rye brat bun decorated with sesame seeds of an excellent quality. Authenticity can be good, but never let it interfere with good eating. New England style hotdog rolls are closer to a brat bun in length and denser texture. There are whole wheat Milwaukee style brat buns with sesame seeds for Milwaukee style brats. There is a chewy poppy seed topped Italian brat bun most notably used for Italian brats.

Condiments are usually Hot sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard, caramelized onions in butter, fresh diced onions, grilled bell peppers, and pickled banana pepper rings. Notice pickle spears, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and potato chips are the usual suspects for side dish garnishes. Grilled corn on the cob is usually found at a brat fry too dripping with butter. Wisconsin brat fries serve ketchup, pickle relish, minced onion for hotdogs only but never for brats. Every church group, Boy Scout, 4H club, police and firemen fundraisers usually do at least one brat fry. It is a social function and how a community marks their calendar. Woven into every county fair, church picnic, and reunion brats are a state of being. A Wisconsin Fourth of July staple, grilled brats are the barbecued chicken of the north.

Braising liquid is a medium to dark Oktoberfest bock with sauteed garlic and onion in butter enough beer to cover the brats fully and floated with a bay leaf. This elixir of the gods is brought to a simmer and kept there for 20 to 30 minutes. Brats are then taken out of the braise and left to cool slightly and dry the skins for 5 to ten minutes. The braise is then reduced to a cup while the brats are ‘frying’ on the grill. Add a stick of butter to the reduced braise and melt, this is your batter. The skin is well caramelized on the grill with a pan underneath to catch the drippings to prevent flare ups. Serve on rye brat buns with hot sauerkraut and dots of mustard. Smells of Miller Park, Wisconsin State fair, and La Cross’s Oktoberfest envelope you with a perfumed sweet and savory aroma. A Midwest secret of life on a bun and a sign post of the road that connects us to each other. Tis was the brat of times and the wurst of times. A twelve pack of beer, 3 #lbs of brats, 2 packages of buns, create the weekend grill out. Have a Wisconsin Labor Day!

Crockpot french dip sandwiches

Crockpot french dip sandwiches

  • 1 can french onion soup (10.5 oz)
  • 1 can beef consume’ broth (10.5 oz)
  • 1 can or bottle of dark beer (12 oz)
  • 1-3 lbs of pork tenderloin or some kind of beef roast
  • French rolls or something similar
  • Swiss or provolone cheese slices
  1. Pour beef broth, french onion soup, and beer into crockpot.
  2. Put tenderloin or roast in crockpot as a whole.
  3. Cook on low for 7 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before time is up, shred the meat with a fork.
  5. Re cover and continue cooking for the remaining 30 minutes.
  6. Slice open bread and put swiss cheese slices inside.
  7. Put in oven at 250°F degrees for 10-15 minutes or until toasty.
  8. Remove from oven and fill em up with meat.

french dip on a bun