Alright folks, it’s time to tackle one of my all time favorite recipes.
I, much like Garfield, LOVE lasagna. A good, traditional, lasagna: noodles, ricotta, a thick ‘n’ hearty HOMEMADE meat sauce, parmesan cheese and of course, plenty of ooey, gooey melty, mozzarella.
Layer upon layer of melted cheese comfort food heaven….this is mine.
I’ve been making this particular lasagna for almost 20 years. The ingredient list may seem daunting, but don’t let it scare you off- if you keep an semi- well stocked pantry and spice cupboard, you will probably have 98% of these ingredients on hand- minus fresh items, but, maybe even those.
The amount of time required is just a part of it. Of course, there are short cuts, but this is not one of those times to use ’em.
Wait for a chill, lazy Sunday, grab yourself a nice glass of wine ( or two), throw on some tunes in the background and get to work, your taste buds, and dinner guests will thank you!
A good ole’ fashion’ lasagna. Warm, melty, cheesy goodness- serve with a nice salad and some bread hot from the oven….oh. my. goodness….. comfort food heaven!
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz can Whole Peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 12–16 oz tomato passata
- 1 c red wine
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 16 lasagna noodles
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 c grated fresh parmesan cheese, divided
Lets make our sauce first:
- Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Season meat mixture with salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder *. Cook and stir occasionally until meat is well browned and the fat has mostly cooked off.
- Add wine. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add whole San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, passata, brown sugar, the rest of the herbs and spices listed, SAVING 1/2 the fresh parsley for ricotta mixture.
- Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 -2 hours, stirring and breaking up tomatoes occasionally.
- Ricotta Mixture: In a medium size bowl, beat egg lightly. Add ricotta cheese, remaining parsley, 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot a lightly salted water to boil. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- To Assemble lasagna, spread about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Lay 4 noodles over sauce. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, then 1/4 remaining sauce, and 1/4 of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers 2 more times.
- With the final layer layer of noodles- cover with last bit of sauce and the last of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Spray foil with baking spray and cover lasagna.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, bake an additional 25 minutes.
- Cool 15 minutes prior to cutting and serving.
This is another one of those iconic foods that has shown up on every holiday table that I can remember.
I don’t know when deviled eggs became popular, but it has been in at least the last 40 years…ahem…
These are simple, homestyle deviled eggs. You want hipster, crazy, ‘next level’ deviled eggs??, this is NOT this post.
I grew up with these deviled eggs. Pantry staples, paprika to be ‘fancy’ and maybe a little fresh parsley if you’re really feeling over the TOP, and you will be transported back to you’re early 80’s ( once again, ahem…) childhood. Delicious!
Classic and simple deviled eggs. Enjoy at your next holiday dinner, or any time you have a few extra eggs!
- 12 large eggs, hard boiled
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Miracle Whip
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika and parsley to sprinkle for garnish if wabted
Do you have one of those side dishes that shows up at EVERY. SINGLE. FAMILY. DINNER?
yea, me too.
I call it Creamsicle Salad….the rest of my family just calls it that ‘mandarin orange salad stuff’. I think Creamsicle makes it far more appetizing….whatever you call it, it is absolutely delicious. It’s not a “salad” per se…ya know greens, veggies…that kinda stuff….it’s more along the lines of dessert.
A jell-o salad….(gasp..shock..grasp pearls…) that is ACTUALLY good. I promise. This salad has shown up at every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinner since introduced to us by S.
S was my SB’s 1st wife. She brought this to us with her first shared holiday. We kept the salad…we did not keep S….Print
A delicious and fluffy mandarin orange based Jell-O salad. Creamy and delicious, this will soon be a regular on your holiday family table.
- 1 3.25 oz package INSTANT Tapioca Pudding
- 1 3.5 oz package INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
- 1 3 oz package orange flavored Jell-O
- 2 1/4 c cold water
- 1 8oz container Cool Whip
- 2 11oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
- In medium saucepan, combine all three mixes with the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mix comes to a full rolling boil.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely
- Fold in Cool-Whip and drained mandarin oranges.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Doubles and even TRIPLES just fine!!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side Dishes, Salads, Holidays
After our ‘trip’ to Ireland, it was my paramour’s turn to pick our next destination. Off to the number generator we went, he put his parameters in and up came Germany.
He is extremely excited about this destination. He spent a bit of time in Germany for work several years back, so now…he’s afficionado…..no, just kidding! BUT, he is really excited to try some of those delicious German dishes he recalls having while there, and I’m excited to give my hand a go at making an authentic German meal.
Strap on your boots, pack your bags….lets go to Germany!
- Population: 83.24 million
- Capital: Berlin
- Official Language: German
- Monetary Unit: Euro
Fun Facts about Germany:
- Actor Peter Dinklage, most notably known for playing the character Tyrion Lannister in the medieval fantasy TV show ‘Game of Thrones’, is actually related to nobility in Germany. The Westphalian noble family “von Dincklage.”
- Germany has a program targeted at pedophiles, who have yet to commit crimes. The goal is to help them find treatment, because many don’t want to harm others
- Engineers building a bridge between Germany and Switzerland found that when the two halves met their elevations differed by 54 cm. Germany bases sea level on the North Sea, and Switzerland by the Mediterranean; someone messed up the correction, doubling it instead of cancelling it out.
- The population of Germany is in decline. It has fallen by 2 million in the last decade
- Germany doesn’t recognize Scientology as a religion.
- There is a building project in Berlin where they want to build a Christian church, a mosque and a synagogue all in one
- First aid training is required to get a driver’s license in Germany, in order to ensure that in the event of an accident other drivers will be able to help.
- Regensburg Sausage Kitchen is a sausage restaurant in Regensburg, Germany which has been in business for 900 years. This means they were selling sausages well before the Inca Empire existed and are still serving 6,000 sausages a day.
- In Germany your baby’s name must be the one on a pre-approved list
- In 1561, there was a celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg. There was a reported incidence of a great space battle over Germany in the middle ages. It is said that there was even a crash landing outside the town
- Bars in the Veltins-Arena, a major football ground in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, are interconnected by a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) long beer pipeline
- Hosting the 2006 World Cup caused Germany to experience baby boom. Nine months after the football competition, birthrate in Germany was up to 30% higher compared with the same period in the year before.
- In Germany, there are fake bus stops outside many nursing homes to prevent confused senior citizens from wandering off.
- In Germany, the city weighs your garbage and charges you $4 per kilogram. As a result, people recycle and compost almost everything. You need a permit to throw out furniture (once per year, max
- In 2013, unknown perpetrators stole the gilded cookie hanging in front of the Bahlsen Company in Hannover, Germany. The thieves demanded the company to send 52,000 cookies to 52 charities, but only “the ones with milk chocolate.” Bahlsen agreed to the terms and the cookie was retrieved
- In 2009, archaeologists unearthed the oldest musical instruments ever found, flutes that inhabitants of southwestern Germany laboriously carved from bone and ivory at least 35,000 years ago.
- Germany is the only country in which the McRib is available all year round
- In Germany, Father’s Day is celebrated by group of men going hiking with one or more smaller wagons filled with wine or beer and traditional regional food. Many use this day to get drunk, and alcohol-related traffic accidents multiply by three on this day.
- There is a water park in Germany that has banned women from using an extreme water slide because it has caused genital injury to 6 women.
- Cocktail: Dark German beer
- Appetizer: Authentic Old World German Style Pretzels served with Spicy Bavarian Beer Mustard
Dessert: German Bienenstich – Bee Sting Cake
This German cake is absolutely delicious. Layers people..lets talk layers….
First this has 2 layers of cake. Not your typical cake, it is a yeast based cake. Soo good! Then it is filled with a layer of creamy, thick, silky vanilla pastry cream. AND THEN, as if that wasn’t enough, it is topped with a layer of sweet and crunch honey-almond topping.
Umm…yea, if you’re still here and haven’t rushed off to make this puppy yet….I’ll walk you through it! 🙂
I got this recipe from internationaldessertsblog.com 🙂
A traditional German cake. It has 2 layers of yeast cake, filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with crunch honey-almond topping.
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 c milk
- 1/2 c unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 3/4 sliced almonds
- 2 c heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp vanilla instant pudding powder
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- Mix flour, sugar, yeast and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butter, egg and milk. Mix with spatula or wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour, until it no longer sticks to your fingers,
- Knead the dough a few times it a soft ball forms. Cover with a towel and allow to rest 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Make topping by melting butter, honey, sugar and vanilla sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the cream and then mix until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in sliced almonds. Keep topping warm until ready to use it.
- Line 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Press dough into pan and prick several times with a fork. Pour the topping onto the dough and spread evenly. Bake for a bout 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and set.
- Let the cake in pan for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Let cake cool for 10-20 minutes.
- Use a long serrated knife to cut the cake into two thin layers.
- Transfer the top layer to a cutting board, and gently cut into 9 serving pieces. Allow top and bottom to cool.
- Prepare filling by pouring heavy cream into medium bowl. Add pudding powder and vanilla sugar. Beat to stiff peaks.
- Place bottom layer of cake on platter. Top with cream filling. Gently place top pieces back on top of filling. Wrap with plastic wrap and allow to chill for an hour to 2.
- Allow cake to come to temp for about 5 minutes prior to slicing back through top and through the bottom layer for serving.
- This cake doesn’t keep well. So eat it ALL the day you make it!
A traditional German accompaniment, rounding out the ‘veggie side’ of an Authentic German dinner of Beef Rouladen and German Potato and Dumplings.
You can loosely compare this to an American coleslaw, without a mayo based dressing, and cooking the cabbage..really loosely I guess.. 😉
This is another one from Kimberly over at Daringgourmet.com. Once again, as Germany is her native country, I trust this to be authentic. Enjoy.
Traditional side dish to your favorite German meals. Serve this with Beef Rouladen, and German Potato Dumplings for a complete authentic German Date Night meal!
- 1.5 lbs red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 c butter
- 2 tbsp red currant jam or cherry preserves
- 2–3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 c vegatable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 juniper berries
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp water
- Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 7-10 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Add cabbage, cook for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT flour and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally- add more broth if needed.
- Combine flour and water until flour is dissolved. Stir into pot. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Add more salt, vinegar and sugar to taste.
A traditional accompaniment to many German meals, these are AMAZING served along side Beef Rouladen, where you sop up all that delicious gravy with these soft and fluffy dumplings.
I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, by Chef John. He doesn’t state they’re authentic, but when compared to other recipes online, that DID claim to be authentic, these weren’t far off.
Soft and fluffy German potato dumplings. Comfort food German style!! Try this with beef rouladen and you will be sure glad you did!
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1/2 c unsalted butter
- 2 c fresh bread cubes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp snipped, fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.. Roast potatoes 30 minutes, flip and roast another 30 minutes, until fork tender. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes, cook and stirring for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown, crunchy, and so delicious smelling! Remove from skillet with slotted spoon, reserved leftover butter.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the peels and cut into quarters. Place in large bowl. Mash, allowing all the steam to come off- this you give you a nice dry potato. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Stir in eggs and mash until combined and smooth.
- Add flour, stir with a spatula or wooden spoon just until flour disappears- do not overmix. Them ore you mix, the tougher your dumplings become!
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer.
- Dampen your hands with just a little bit of water. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a ball of dough into your hand, shape into a ball, make a small indentation in the center, and place 1-2 croutons inside- I like to mostly smash them into large crumbs. Roll dough into a tight, smooth ball around croutons
- Lower dumplings into simmering water. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until they float to the top. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until firm and set, turning dumplings over halfway, for about 20 minutes.
- Remove dumpling and place on serving tray. Drizzle with reserved browned butter, extra croutons, chives and a bit of crumbled bacon if you wish.
- Let dumplings firm up for about 15 minutes prior to serving
This TRADITIONAL and AUTHENTIC recipe comes from DaringGourmet.com- Kimberly is German and has been so kind as to share her recipes for some of her homeland’s most beloved dishes- this is one.
WHAT is rouladen? Well, basically it is steak pounded thin, smeared with mustard and topped with a big, fat, juicy……DILL PICKLE!! oh yea….as ‘weird’ as it may sound to us here in the US of A, it is a popular dish in Germany for a reason.
The steak rolls are first seared and then braised in delicious tomato gravy. Serve it up traditional with some dumpling and you are in German HEAVEN!
Authentic recipe for one of Germany’s most beloved dishes- beef rouladen. Steak, bacon, mustard and pickle, served up in a delicious tomato gravy. This is the perfect dish to introduce yourself to German cuisine and make for your own German Date night.
- 8 pieces top round beef, 4×6 inches, pounded to 1/4 in thickness
- 1/3 c yellow German mustard
- 8 slices bacon
- 8 medium German pickles, halved lengthwise
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small leek, chopped and rinsed and drained
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 1 c dry red wine
- 2 c strong beef broth
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 tbsp chilled butter
- 1–2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2-3 tbsp cold water
- Lay out a slice of beef, and spread with 2 tsp of mustard. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Next, put a piece of raw bacon down the center of the beef, then the pickle and chopped onions. Repeat with all pieces of beef.
- Roll up beef rolls, tucking in sides to close the rolls as best you can. Tie with kitchen twine to secure.
- In a large, oven safe pot, melt butter and cooking oil. Brown the rouladen on all sides and remove to a plate.
- Add a little more butter or oil to the pot if needed and add chopped onions. Cook for five minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add leeks, carrot and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the red wine, bringing to boil and scraping up all brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook down at a rapid boil for one minute, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, beef broth, bay leaf, sugar and salt ‘n’ pepper to pot. Stir to mix well
- Put rouladen and its juices back in pot, turning to coat in gravy.
- Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 90 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Remove rouladen to plate and strain out the vegetables. You can discard them, eat them on the side, or puree them and add them back to the gravy. Bring to a simmer and add cornstarch slurry. Stir, whisking constantly, until thickened.
- Add chilled butter, whisking to incorporate, add salt, pepper and mustard to taste.
- Remove twine from rouladen and return to gravy to heat through.
I originally saw this recipe in Cook’s Country magazine. At first glance, I passed right over it- it had a few ingredients I don’t care for and never thought much more about it. Then the dreaded last minute dinner party popped up….I grabbed that particular issue and took another look. After a glance in my pantry, I tossed this one together, it suits our taste and uses ingredients we always have.
This tangy potato ‘salad’ is not your typical summer BBQ fare. Fingerling potatoes, herb roasted and then tossed in the most delicious sun-dried tomato, garlic and lemon ‘dressing’ while still warm. The creamy potatoes soak up the dressing and make a wonderful side dish to just about any meal.
Roasted fingerling potatoes tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. Easy and picnic stable, since there is no mayo, add these to your dinner rotation!
- 2 lbs fingerling potatoes, all same size, halved
- 1/4 c Olive Oil, divided
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry oregano
- 1/4 tsp dry thyme
- 1/4 tsp dry rosemary
- 1/8 tsp dry majoram
- 1/4 c flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, minced finely
- 1 large lemon, zested and then juiced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, toss cut potatoes with 2 tbsp oil, the herbs, salt and pepper.
- Arrange potatoes, cut side down, in single layer. Roast for 20 minutes.
- While potatoes are roasting, combine tomatoes, parsley, shallot, lemon juice and zest, garlic, pepper flakes and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in large bowl, whisking to combine.
- When potatoes are cooked through and golden, toss immediately into tomato and oil mixture. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: potatoes, side dishes, vegetable side dishes
- Cuisine: Side Dishes
This easy restaurant-style salsa is so delicious. It comes together in a matter of minutes and is LEVELS above anything you purchase at your grocery store. It is easily customized to your favorite flavors and it keeps in the fridge for up to a week- not that it will ever last that long.Print
Mexican restaurant-style salsa made in a matter of minutes with your blended. this is so simple and so delicious, that you will never get store bought salsa again.
- 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can petitie diced tomatoes
- 1 small white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed*
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves*
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Add all ingredients to blender or food processor.
- Pulse to your desired chunkiness.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Add another jalapeno or TWO, if you like it REALLY spicy.
My paramour HATES cilantro- so I completely omit it, feel free to add as little or much as you like
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Salsa, Mexican Food, Appetizers, Dips
- Cuisine: Appetizers, Salsa, Mexican Food