Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lasagna - Testosterone Style

Mad Hungry; Feeding Men & Boys
Lucinda Scala Quinn
*Modified slightly.

  • 1lb lasagna noodles (I use the oven ready kind EVERY time so I am skipping the steps to boil, drain, etc that is in the original recipe)

  • 5 links sweet Italian sausage, or a mixture of hot and sweet, pierced with a fork

  • 1 large egg

  • 1lb ricotta (prefer the whole milk ricotta)

  • 3/4c freshly grated parmesan (recipe says you can use pecorino romano but we prefer parm)

  • 5 cups fave tomato sauce(I use my Mom's sauce recipe which I make on the weekend, cook with throughout the week, and freeze the extra. Lasagna will be best with a thick sauce.)

  • 1lb fresh mozarella, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices

  • olive oil for drizzling

*Again, I am skipping instructions if you don't use oven ready lasagna and love to boil your own noodles, you're on your own.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fry the sausage links over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Then cut links into disks and to continue to fry until crispy over low heat, about 20 minutes (I only cooked mine for a total of 20 and it was great). Drain off fat.

In medium bowl combine egg, ricotta, and 1/2c parmesan.

TO ASSEMBLE (make yourself a little station assembly line for easy assembly and clean up), grease bottom of glass 9x13 pan. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of dish, overlap one third of noodles atop the sauce to cover the pan bottom. Spread all the sausage over the noodles and spoon over another cup of sauce. Lay down second third of noodles and dollop all of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Flatten with spoon to make an even layer. Top with remaining noodles to completely cover the cheese. Pour over 2 cups sauce to cover. Evenly lay all mozarella slices on top. Sprinkle remaining parm and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake uncovered for 60 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbling all over and lightly golden (original recipe said 40 minutes but no way was that what was happening in my oven). LET REST for 15 minutes before slicing. This was the first time in my lasagna making life I waited and it set up and came out so PERFECTLY! The patience paid off, thanks Lucinda! You can serve with extra cheese and sauce if desired.

I called it Lasagna-Testosterone Style because it came out so hearty and wonderful. All the boys at the table gobbled it up, young and young-ish. May have found my new go to lasagna recipe. If you make your sauce ahead, this is a snap to assemble in the morning or during nap time, then bake that evening. Heavenly smells abound and tummies will be growling! Ciao bella!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Spoiled Wife

It's not so much a recipe as a position I have. Or that I take. Either way. I have mentioned on more than one occasion how wonderful my husband is. As a father, as a friend, as well, everything. I often feel I am the short-end of the stick member of our team because the man literally NEVER complains about anything. He is the hardest working person I know, that many know, and is always going the extra mile.

So many times, it is I who receive the weekends away, the special presents, or extra TLC. And I have to ask myself, while I am in a fact a "spoiled wife", how do I make sure that he is a "spoiled husband"? Approaching our ninth wedding anniversary this February, I think I am much better at marriage now versus then. In my opinion, every successful team or partnership must have people who play their position well but also have overlap to avoid any shortcomings. My position has changed over the years as we have had our boys and I have become the "domestic engineer" (Thanks "Benny & Joon"). So has his. But one thing we both try to do is make the other's life easier.

That's where this position of mine comes in. For me to spoil him it's pretty easy, men are simple. It's the basic three which make him run at his optimum levels: clean house, good food, and some lovin. Now don't go getting crazy on me you gender equality proponents. You would be hard pressed to find ANY person, male or female, who wouldn't like to come home from work (outside the home) to a clean house/laundry, a satisfying meal, and some smooches. It's not about being husband & wife or bacon-earner & bacon-spender, it's about playing our positions. I am (95% of the time) happy to do what needs to be done with our children and our home because my husband is (99% of the time) engaged and thoughtful when he is home with us. That's our team.

So if spoiling your partner means fried chicken once a week and college football on Saturday afternoons then by all means take care of it. Let's put a little less "me time" in our marriage equations and little more "team effort" and see if we all don't come out on top? wink.wink.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oil Change Extraordinaire

Kwik Kar Willow Bend

I'm a franchise girl. Not gonna lie. I'm a big believer that the franchise car dealers have the latest and greatest service technology. For both warranty and non-warranty work, the manufacturer dealer is the place to go.

However, for a quick oil change, I am happy to visit the convenient and trustworthy local shop. What a find I have for you today! If you live in far North Dallas or Plano, you should know about KWIK KAR WILLOW BEND. Located conveniently on Midway just North of Park, the folks at Kwik Kar Willow Bend were impressive from beginning to end. I dropped my two year old off for his Monday morning MDO and needed to accomplish quite a lot in three hours. My usual oil change stop was just not within the realm of efficiency today. I found Kwik Kar online and also printed a $5 coupon directly from their website.

I arrived around 9:10am and was greeted in my vehicle right away outside of the service bay area. The gentleman said he could get me right in and it would take TEN MINUTES!!! Sold! I went inside their clean and welcoming waiting area and was able to see my Expedition while it was serviced. Not only were they fast, but they went above and beyond by cleaning the inside of the vehicle, topping off the fluids, cleaning the windows, and more! With my coupon I paid $45 and will be going back, no questions.

The next time you need an oil change, stop by KWIK KAR WILLOW BEND!