Friday, June 10, 2011

home cooked meal

When Ryan gets back from traveling for work, he usually asks for 2 things:
1) a home cooked meal
2) quality time with Honey (and possibly me)

We're both big Italian food fans so I decided to make lasagna last night for dinner since he was flying back from Oklahoma.  I used my lunch break to have everything prepped and ready for the oven to save time after work.

garlic knots, my favorite part of any meal

right out of the oven

my plate: lasagna, garlic knots, salad
I cooked up some sweet Italian sausage and mixed in chopped mushrooms for a healthy boost to the meat sauce.  I then added a jar of Trader Joe's marinara sauce to the meat/mushroom pan and let the ingredients warm through.  The cheese layer was a mix of ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, some milk, and a little shredded mozzarella, seasoned with salt, pepper, parsley, and a touch of nutmeg.  I then layered everything in a 8x8" pan, starting with the cheese mixture, and then topping that with 2 no-boil lasagna noodles (best time saver EVER).  The next layer was the meat sauce mixture, sprinkled with some more Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  I continued layering until I was out of cheese and meat sauce.  The almost finished lasagna stayed in the fridge while I was at work and then was baked in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

The garlic knots were super easy to make.  I used one of the small cans of Pillsbury Crescent rolls.  I tore each triangle in half and knotted the dough.  I then baked the tray of 8 small knots in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Once they were out of the oven I tossed the knots in a bowl with some garlic butter (3 cloves minced garlic, about 1.5 tablespoons melted  butter, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of red chili flakes for a little heat). 

The salad was easy to make too.  I chopped some fresh spinach and quartered a handful of grape tomatoes and tossed those in a bowl.  I then chopped some kalamata olives and added those to the salad bowl.  I thinly sliced a couple of sweet bell peppers and added those as well.  The final piece of the salad was a drizzling of red wine vinegar and olive oil as the dressing, plus a little seasoning of freshly ground salt and pepper.

The best part of last night's dinner was leftovers for today! 

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