Friday, June 17, 2011

Crock Pot Lasagna Casserole

I am not one for BAKING as my mom tells me.  It drives her mad, when she asks to help me with food prep and I don't have exact measurements. I am a dump and pour kind of girl. (Mom says that I cook not bake) I love to make things that I think will be easy and simple.  My kids love when they see meal on Tv and there I am trying to make my own home version.
 Alot of it is simple and not genius trust me!  I find when I cook at home my kids actually prefer it, sure fast food here and there happens but on a budget it doesn't happen alot.   So ANY WAY here is my way of making Lasagna, because I don't like the whole way it is normally just takes to long in my world and the egg in the cheese mixture creeps me alot!
My ingredients are Lasagna noodles, Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, your choice of sauce, and cream cheese with garlic flavor (this is something new I just started adding).

First thing I do is mix the ricotta (only one container-sorry I pictured 2, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese (little more than half bag) and stir together.  
I like to use Italian sausage if you want to use ground beef that is totally cool. My trick that I do (and I think I saw Rachel Ray do this to, is to use a potato masher it makes the meat ground up a bit more,  do this after most of the meat is cooked)
Next I break up the noodles into bite pieces, makes it more casserole style.  I cook them till the are well done, I don't like a lasagna noodle that is still raw or uncooked (another reason I am not a fan of regular lasagna never seemed cooked)

Then let the layering begin.  I do sauce, noodles and then cheese mixture.  When I have reached my layers that I want I top with some of the left over mozzarella cheese.  I also add a bit of water around the edges, this also helps if the noodles didn't get cooked enough.  In a crock pot I try to let it go for at least 2 hours on high.  If you were wanting an all day approach cook on low for 4-5hours. You could also cook this in an oven if you wanted, 400 degrees till bubbly.  
There you have it Crock Pot Lasagna Casserole !  If you try this let me know how it worked for you and if you tweaked it let me know that too!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

She DID IT!!!

May 26, 2011, Emalee Marie had her 8th grade promotion.  
Just a tiny back ground about my Emalee.  (I will probably tell this story again later in life like when it is high school graduation time for her) When Nathan started school Emalee was so upset that she couldn't go.  She didn't think it was fair.  So I remember telling her it was ok cause she could go to head-start the very next year.  Well come to find out they changed some law and we ended up making to much money.   (go figure)  After Nathan finished kindergarten, we decided to put him in a charter school that many of the other kids in our ward were attending.  When we got there a friend of mine asked how old was  Emalee I said she will be 5 in September.  She said you know our cut off is December 31 so she could start kindergarten this year instead of waiting another year.  THAT EVERYONE WAS MUSIC TO MY EARS!!!  Emalee has always been my into everything, find a way around things girl!  They told us that she may be a bit behind since she was at the younger end but she tested ok to start kindergarten and may be reading by christmas.  So there my little 5 year old was off to kindergarten.  It was nice cause her and Nathan are so close that being just behind him in school was good.  Then it happened I heard Emalee reading on her own and it was just before Thanksgiving!  It was like a whole new world opened up to her!  She never looked back.  Always getting A's in school and pushing herself to do better.  When we moved out to Queen Creek she was told that she would have homework every night.  She was so happy to hear this!  (I know, RIGHT) There are times I would even catch her doing her brothers homework not for him but along with him like it was her work too. Her 8th grade year she attended the high school so she even took a couple classes that were for 9th grade.  This year she has been amazing! All A's in all her classes, GPA of 4.0, was in an awesome Marching Band. She was told if she wanted she could possibly graduate a year early (which would actually be 2 years early) We joke about it cause that means technically she would graduate before her brother (E comes before N)  lol.
I love her so much!  I know this was a bit over board on the PROUD MOMMA post but hey I am allowed.