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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Best Meal Ever (Guest Post)

Our first guest post from Mainly Braids She does great meal plans as well!
This meal looks delicious hope you enjoy and make sure to visit her site and show her some love!

Have you ever had a meal that was so delicious that you just wanted to fix a plate for everyone you know and share it with them? I had just that meal last night. I’ve been in a funk lately and we’ve been eating out more than our usual and that’s not cool! I also felt bad for snapping on my poor ol husband so I decided I’d make a special dinner last night to surprise him. He loooooves lasagna but I never let him fix it because he goes crazy and buys like $70 worth of cheese… umm NO THANK YOU! Lol I’ve never made a lasagna before and was a lil timid but I set out to finding some good recipes. Eventually I settled on one, but of course, I couldn’t follow the recipe exact but still, it came out soooooooooooooo good!

Seriously the best lasagna EVER.

 1 pound Ground Beef
  1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage (jimmy dean)
  4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  1 teaspoon Salt (for meat mix)
  3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  2 whole Beaten Eggs
  1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
  2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  1 teaspoon Salt (for egg/cheese mix)
  2 cups Italian blend cheese
  1 package (10 Ounce) oven ready Lasagna Noodles

Preparation Instructions

-In a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain about half of the fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.

-In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside.

To assemble:
Arrange 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.

Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly. (you can also freeze this)

adapted from the pioneer woman

I also served this meal with garlic parmesan pull apart bread.

Garlic parm pull apart bread
Yields 1 loaf
2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
1 1/3 cups barely warm water 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons salt 
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour 
1/4 cup butter, melted 
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. 

*note, I do not have a bundt pan but this recipe still works. I did find during a google search that you can just use a round cake pan and put a tin can or a ramekin in the center. Also, next time I probably won’t add cheese to the top until it’s almost completely done. The cheese was a little too hard for my liking, but still good none the less.*

For veggies I added a simple side salad which consisted of spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, scallions, almonds and topped with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

This meal was sooooooo dang good. So good in fact that nobody spoke during dinner, not even my kids which is rare! Also so good that the hubs called his friend to ask if he wanted some for lunch today! If you’ve had a fight with your spouse/significant other, fix this. If you want your significant other to pop the question, fix this. If you want your spouse to take you on a romantic vacation, fix this. If you want your friends and family to think you are a super genius master chef, fix this. If all else fails, fix this! Just… go fix this! Lol. It was super easy to fix, I was able to have everything prepped and ready to bake in an hour. After we picked the hubs up from worked I popped it in the oven for 30 minutes and we were ready to eat. 

looks delicious right? it was!

it wasn't overly expensive to make either, i spent a total of $30 for everything. i have enough noodles left to make another one. i also had to buy eggs and yeast. i have 10 eggs left and a whole jar of yeast left so that makes me happy. this made enough for all of us to have a nice sized serving, enough for lunch for my husband and his friend AND enough for dinner tonight. it is very filling!

I'm def trying this thank you Mainly Braids For these great looking recipes, hope to have more post from you!