Mushroom Lasagna

As I mentioned yesterday, on Sunday I was able to spend some time in the kitchen preparing a delicious Sunday supper.  I have had a craving for lasagna for weeks (perhaps months) and I figured this weekend was as good as any to whip up a dish of hearty layers which the weather is still a little chilly.  I reached for one of my cookbooks that I don’t use enough by Rachael Ray and found a recipe for mushroom lasagna that sounded incredible.  Here is a recipe I found on her website for a different mushroom lasagna.


I was really excited about mushroom lasagna because it gave me an excuse to open up one of my favorite wines – Iron Horse Pinot Noir.  With a glass in hand, I began prepping all the layers.  I made a white sauce, sautéed the mushrooms, mixed up the ricotta layer and tossed together the three cheeses.  Then it was time to start layering.  No-boil noodles were used and it’s such a time saver!  The Barilla brand is my (and Rachael’s) favorite.

We strayed a little from the recipe adding spinach to the ricotta mixture and adding in some homemade Italian sausage.  I highly recommend adding in the sausage – it was the perfect compliment to the mushrooms.


I was drooling when this bad boy came out of the oven.  How pretty is that dish of lasagna?

Big Guy and I LOVED this dinner and surprisingly, Big Guy claimed he liked this better than ANY pizza we’ve ever made.  I’m not sure I would go that far but it was a killer dinner.

And everyone knows that the best part of lasagna is the leftovers.


Irish Cream Brownies

Once again, a recipe that is intended for St. Patty’s Day but is totally delicious any day of the year.  Since we used Guinness in the pretzels, I only found it appropriate to use Irish cream in our dessert.  (Sorry, I didn’t use whiskey in anything.)  We happen to have a few bottles of Bailey’s and I’m thinking they’re from early morning tailgates in the fall when spiking your coffee is the only way to drink when it’s freezing outside and 7am on a Saturday.  What’s funny is I ended up making these brownies at 6am on a Saturday because that was the only time I had a free moment to bake.

These brownies are absolutely delicious and I found that they paired beautifully with a piping hot cup of coffee – kind of like spiking your coffee but a little more refined.  Y’all know I love a fudgy brownie and these do not disappoint – so don’t overcook them!  The recipe is insanely simple and much better than any boxed brownie (though I’m not judging if you go that route!).  If you want to make getting the brownies out of the pan even easier, line it with parchment paper so you can just lift the baked and cooled brownies out of the pan.


And almost a week later, I think I’m done recapping our St. Patty’s Day menu.  Now to start thinking about our next holiday – Easter!


Spiced Guinness Pretzels with Irish Cheddar Fondue

It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day for you to enjoy these delicious homemade pretzels.   Don’t get me wrong, it was the perfect way to celebrate on Saturday but I could devour these soft pretzels any weekend.  The pretzels are different from the other pretzels we’ve made at home in that there’s beer in the dough (Guinness) along with cinnamon in a non-sweet kind of way.  The cinnamon pairs perfectly with the Guinness and saltiness.  Don’t be intimidated by making pretzels at home.  The dough rises like any other dough and then you portion it out and form into a pretzel shape – or you could even make little nuggets (which is probably what I would do next time).  The dough is boiled in water with baking soda for 30 seconds and then brushed with an egg wash and baked until beautifully browned.

The pretzels are served alongside a cheese sauce but would be equally delicious with a little spicy mustard on the side.


And for dinner, slow cooker beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.  This “corned” beef is by far the BEST I’ve ever made or tasted and will definitely be a repeat for years to come.  The only change I made to the recipe was roasting the carrots and potatoes instead of boiling them for more texture.

Did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day?  Our celebration was definitely low-key but it was quite delicious.


Detroit-Style Pepperoni Pizza

After a week off, “pizza Sunday” returned yesterday and it did not disappoint.  This may be one of my favorite pizzas EVER.  Bold statement.

The key to Detroit-style pizza is the crispy, cheesy crust that forms as it bakes.  You start with a fairly typical pizza dough – though it’s made in the food processor which I found to be super easy.  The dough rises for 2 hours before being punched down.  Then, instead of kneading and forming into a circle, you press the dough into a dish that’s been prepped with lots of olive oil (to prevent sticking).  Then come the toppings.  A layer of pepperoni.  Then mozzarella that’s been cubed is placed ALL over, especially around the edges.  And finally a little bit of sauce.  Bake in a super hot (like 500 degrees) oven until the edges are browned and crispy, about 15 minutes.


Y’all, I’m obsessed.  It was the perfect crust for Big Guy and me – a little crispy (my favorite) on the edges yet soft and not too crispy in the middle.

We are looking forward to switching up the toppings on this pizza…Big Guy suggested a white pizza.  And this recipe was so good, I’d be willing to give it another go this coming Sunday…

Almond-Coconut Chicken Satay

Over the past six weeks I haven’t been cooking as much, especially during the week.  But on the weekends I’ve been trying to cook when possible because I truly love being in the kitchen.  The key these days is meals that I can prep in advance during a nap and then are easily thrown together once the little one is down for the night.

Last Friday we thoroughly enjoyed almond-coconut chicken satay with a glass of wine before tucking ourselves into bed before 9pm.  Throughout the day I prepped here and there – cutting the chicken into chunks, slicing the veggies, and mixing together the marinade.  I marinated the chicken a little longer than the recipe instructed – probably a few hours – and I highly recommend doing that, if possible.  The marinade is where all the flavor is:  almond butter, coconut milk, lime juice and red curry paste (a current obsession of mine).  Some of the marinade is reserved for serving with the grilled chicken.

The one thing I didn’t do until the last minute was dress the cucumber salad because I didn’t want it to become soggy.  I like crisp cucumbers.  The cucumbers and bell peppers are dressed with lime juice, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

Once the chicken is grilled, serve along side the cucumbers and bell peppers and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.


And while I miss being in the kitchen during the week, I wouldn’t trade baby snuggles for anything in the world because I know one day she won’t want to snuggle with me.


Family-Style Meatball “Fondue”

Is anyone else dragging this AM?  I’m not sure if the time change is to blame or having a 6-week baby…  Either way, I’m ready for bed and it’s not even lunch time.  Despite the sleepy eyes over here, I’m determined to have a great week.

But rewind – how was your weekend?  Ours didn’t go quite as we anticipated but we had a wonderful weekend as a family of three.  We had a low-key evening in on Friday night and then on Saturday we had a family day-date!  Tacos and an adult beverage for the win.  I think BG is starting to change her schedule on me but I’m okay with it if that means more sleep at night.  I’m trying not to stress myself out over a “schedule” but it’s hard because I thrive on schedules.  And on Sunday we had the laziest of days and instead of pizza we switched it up with family-style meatball “fondue.”  I keep wanting to type “fundue” – which is appropriate because it was a FUN way to eat.

The meatballs are made with lean ground beef (the recipe called for turkey but we switched it up), grated zucchini, chopped onion, oregano, salt, pepper and an egg.  There’s no breadcrumbs so it will seem a little “loose” but I promise they firm up in the oven.  The meatballs are baked until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking, it’s time to make the sauce.  Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil and then add in marinara (Newman’s Own is my favorite) and a little water.  Simmer about 5 minutes and then add in the meatballs once they are done cooking.  Gently mix to coat the meatballs and then top with mozzarella.

Finally, broil the whole skillet to melt the cheese and serve with toasted baguette on the side.


Such a delicious dinner.  And while I missed our tradition of pizza (we’re already planning this Sunday’s pizza) I can’t say I didn’t love these saucy meatballs.  And the mushrooms were fantastic on a piece of baguette.

I hope you all have a great week!


Asparagus-Prosciutto Spears

These days the television stays on from about 7am until 7pm for background noise.  The house can get way too quiet when you’re home with a little baby (except for those crying spells).  And while I don’t really pay attention to much of what’s on, I do enjoy The Rachael Ray Show.  Last week I happened to be catch a quick and easy recipe that I thought was a perfect addition to a cheese board:  Asparagus-Bacon Spears.  

I knew that I wanted to make bacon wrapped dates so swapped the bacon for prosciutto. The recipe is SO simple and requires only a handful of ingredients.  Simply trim your asparagus (where they snap naturally when bent) and then wrap with prosciutto.  Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and then flip, baking for a few more minutes.


The asparagus added a little bit of healthiness to this fantastic spread and I loved dipping the spears in our favorite mustard (which I need more of).

Confession:  we loved this appetizer so much that I made another batch on Sunday.