Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So last night I made Lasagna for the first time. And I have to tell you it turned out really good and my husband and daughter loved it. Which is saying something because she has been so picky lately. Again I got this recipe from The Essential Mormon Cookbook.


1/2 lb lasagna noodles (9 noodles)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (1-pound, 12-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (3 ounce) package spaghetti sauce mix
2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package. Pour off water. Place each noodle carefully on waxed paper to prevent sticking together. Brown ground beef. Add minced garlic and pepper to ground beef. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce mix. Simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside 1 cup meat sauce and 1/2 cup grated mozzarella for later use.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. Layer one cup meat sauce mixture on bottom of pan. Layer 3 noodles over meat sauce mixture to cover. Layer 1/2 cup cottage cheese, followed by 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese, over that. Repeat layers a total of three times, ending with the reserved 1 cup meat sauce and 1/2 cup reserved grated mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

My tips
I would have been more generous with the meat sauce, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese. It still turned out good but next time I'll be adding a little more of everything so nothing dries out.


I also made these for the same baby shower as I did the meltaway cookies. The cupcakes tins I used were even smaller so the recipe went even further. They turned out really good and went pretty fast at the shower. I also got this from The Essential Mormon Cookbook.


2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice (optional)
18 vanilla wafers
1 can cherry pie filling or rasberry pie filling/topping

In a large bowl beat together cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and lemon juice. Put 18 paper baking cups into muffin tins. Place 1 vanilla wafer in bottom of each cup. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. When cool, top with pie filling of your choice. Makes 18 mini-cheesecakes.

My tips
For the really mini-cheesecakes I used mini vanilla wafers.

Meltaway Cookies

I made these for baby shower. They were perfect because they were so cute and small. The colors for the shower were pink and green so we decorated the tops of them with pink and green frosting. They are really rich but so good and they do kind of melt in your mouth. I got this recipe from the cookbook called The Essential Mormon Cookbook.

Meltaway Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

In a medium bowl cream butter until fluffy. Add cornstarch and sugar and blend well. Beat in flour until thoroughly mixed. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet and flatten out with the bottom of a glass. (Dip glass in powdered sugar to prevent sticking). Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (3oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Color with food coloring if desired.

My tips
I melted the butter a little because it makes it so much easier to blend with the other ingredients.
I just used my hands to make teaspoon size balls and put those on the baking sheet.
I liked mine a little softer so I cooked them for about 9-10 minutes.
These cookies are pretty fragile.
I used a different cream cheese recipe. This one makes ALOT. I made three or four batches of cookies and still had leftover frosting.

My cream cheese frosting recipe (from my aunt Denise):

Cream Cheese Frosting
1- 8 oz. cream cheese;softened 1 cube margarine 1 tsp. vanilla approx. 1 lb. powdered sugar

Mix altogether.

Overnight Broccoli & Ham Strata

This recipe is a family tradition on Michael's side of the family. They have it on Christmas morning. When Michael described it to me it sounded interesting but good. It seemed more of a casserole than a breakfast. But I wanted to make it for him because he was away from his family for Christmas and I thought this would bring back a lot of memories. Well I'm so glad I did. It was sooo good. Michael enjoyed it so much and it lasted several days because it makes so much and is so filling. That is of course with only two people and a 14 month old. Thanks Mom Pfeil for the recipe!

Overnight Broccoli & Ham Strata

Ingredients 12 slices (firm textured ) white bread 1 bag (1 lb) frozen chopped broccoli – defrosted 1 lb (sharp or mild) cheddar cheese – shredded 2 cups (abt 12 oz) diced cooked ham 6 eggs 3 ½ cups milk 1 tsp. Dry mustard 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbs. Instant minced onion ½ tsp garlic powder 1/8 tsp. Pepper

Directions Using a 3 inch doughnut cutter, cut a ring from each bread slice, set aside. Cut the trimmings into cubes. Spread out the broccoli on paper towels to drain thoroughly. In a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, arrange in layers the bread cubes, ¾ of cheese, the broccoli, ham and bread rounds. Top with remaining cheese. Beat together eggs, milk, mustard, worchestershire, minced onion, garlic powder and pepper until well blended. Pour evenly over casserole making sure all bread round s are saturated. Cover and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight. Bake casserole uncovered in 350 degree oven about 1 hr or until center appear set. Cool at least 15 min before cutting into squares to serve. Serves 12.

Classic Apple Pie

For Michael's Christmas pie he chose apple. I had never made it before but it was pretty easy. Of course I took the easy way out and bought apple pie filling. But it's what I recommend if you don't have a ton of time and it's really good.

Classic Apple Pie

Double crust for a 9'' pie (homemade or purchased)
2 cans (21 0z) Apple Pie Filling or Topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 9'' pie pan with pie crust. Pour apple filling evenly into crust. Place vented or lattice crust over filling or create decorative top crust using cookie cutters to make shapes. Lay directly on fruit filling. Crimp edges to seal. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serves 6 to 8.

My tips
I made slits on the top crust because mine did not come with it. It worked great.

Egg Nog Pumpkin Pie

I found this recipe I think in the summer of 2009. I was watching Emeril and he had a Military Contest. It's actually called Stacey's "I don't have any evaporated milk!" Pumpkin Pie. She was a chef for the military and didn't have any evaporated milk so instead she used egg nog. I love pumpkin pie but this is one of the best recipes I've tasted. It's so moist and has such an amazing flavor. I made this for Thanskgiving and also for Christmas. Michael's mom growing up had all the kids choose a pie to have on Christmas. I thought this was a great tradition and so this is the pie I chose. I can't get enough of pumpkin pie and apparently neither could my husband or daughter. :).

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

-1 pre-made pie crust
-1 small can pumpkin puree
-1 1/2 cups egg nog, storebought or homemade
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pumpkin, egg nog, eggs, and both sugars into a mixing bowl and mix on low until incorporated. Add salt, vanilla and cinnamon until just incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pie shell and bake in preheated over for 45 minutes.

My tips:
I had to cook mine for about an hour. When it gets a brown spot on the top is when I knew it was done.
I recommend getting a deep dish pie crust because there is a lot of filling.
Stick a knife in middle, when it comes out clean it's ready.

it's been a while

I really don't know who looks at this blog. Especially since I have been so bad at updating it. If you do look at it I'm sorry for being absent for a while. While I make no promises I will try to be better at posting my new recipes. I've started up the eating plan on the eat to live diet again. I do plan on doing better this time around. But I still enjoy trying new recipes and I love to see my husband's face when he tries it and loves it. My daughter is also in the very picky stage so hopefully she'll benefit from these new recipes as well. So my goal is to try 2-3 new recipes a month. I'm hoping to do better than that but I figure if I put the goal low than I won't be disappointed. Anyway. Have a great day!