Monday, September 27, 2010

Dinner

Well, today I spent 3 hours trying to decide what to cook for dinner. I ended up with bacon cheeseburger Hamburger Helper and frozen peas. Not my favorite, or anyone else's. I really need to get back in the swing of meal planning--cooking some of dinner at lunchtime and not waiting for something to sound good. Meanwhile--here are two GREAT and VERY delicious recipes that I've tried lately.

Chocolate Cake from my neighbor, Julie Mackliet
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons (heaping) unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or soured milk (2 T. vinegar + milk to make 1 c.)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water

Sift dry ingredients together into bowl and add eggs, milk and oil. Mix until smooth and then add hot water. Mix thoroughly until mixture is smooth again. Pour into greased and floured pan and bake in 350° oven until cake tests done (40 to 45 minutes for 9x13).

These made DELICIOUS cupcakes. Especially with a creamy peanut butter frosting. Sorry, no picture. Didn't mean to blog about it.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/4 c. margarine or butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 c. powdered sugar, maybe a little more
milk until smooth

Authentic Lasagna from Amy Horlacher
Meat sauce: (Ragu Bolognese)
1 c. grated carrots 1 onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef Salt and pepper 1 lb Italian sausage
4 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes Dried basil, oregano, parsley
Saute carrots, onion, and garlic in 2-3 T. olive oil. Add ground beef; salt and pepper well before adding sausage. Add sausage. When meat is half cooked, add tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil, covered, to make sure meat cooks. Boil about 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings, and simmer 2-3 hours (necessary).
B├ęchamel Sauce: (Besciamella)
¼ c. butter ¼ c. flour 1 pint heavy cream or half & half nutmeg
Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add cream while whisking. Simmer over very low heat 5-10 minutes until thickened. Season with salt, fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg.
Assembling:
1 pkg Barilla flat lasagna pasta sheets fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (regular mozzarella and Parmesan work)
Ladle a thin layer of meat sauce over 9 x 13 pan. Then layer pasta sheets, meat sauce, b├ęchamel sauce, and cheeses. Repeat until dish is full. To finish, put a layer of pasta and then generous layer of sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 375 20-40 minutes, the lesser amount if sauce is warm, longer if sauce was cold, until bubbly and cheese layer is lightly browned.

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