ye olde veggie lasagna

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In the past I have suggested that I only select recipes from ye olde Betty Crocker cookbook that include mayonnaise on the ingredient list, but not this one. This never-ending pan of veggie lasagna with whole wheat pasta was as usual not really pretty, but it tasted really good.  I tended to eat one piece and then go back for another, ugh!

The thing with making lasagna is all the steps… make pesto, make bechamel, make cheese stuff, boil noodles. It uses lots and lots of dishes.  Now I do have to admit that the recipe suggest things like using pre-made pesto which would make it all a little easier but what would be the fun in that?  I can’t find the recipe anywhere online so here it is:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F

12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles (it did not specify whole wheat but that is what I had)

  • cook and drain

3 cups of broccoli florets (it called for thawed, frozen…yeah right! ha!)
2 cups of coarsely shredded carrots
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 red pepper chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped (it called for a whole one but that is just too much in my opinion)
3/4 cup pesto (I made my own)
1/4 tsp salt

  • mix together

15 oz container of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 egg

  • mix together

3 tablespoons of butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups milk

  • make sauce: melt the butter over medium heat, cook garlic to golden (2 min-ish), stir in flour. Cook, stirring until smooth and bubbly, remove from heat, stir in milk. Return to heat and to a boil, stirring for 1 minute.

3 cups of shredded mozzarella

  • layers in 13x9x2 pan:
    • 3 noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture
    • 3 more noodles, half veggies, 1 cup of mozzarella
    • 3 more noodles, rest of the ricotta cheese mixture
    • 3 more noodles, rest of veggies
    • pour over sauce, rest of the mozzarella
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

1 brick and a brown plastic tarp please

panini brickI wanted to make panini but did not want to buy a panini press or some small electric appliance to try to fit into my apt’s limited cabinet space. Aside: I will make space for the waffle maker I got for xmas! With limited space you must have priorities.

Anyway…The recipe actually suggested a foil covered brick and although I was not sure about this I decided I could make make the 95 cent investment to try it out.  I headed to Home Depot and while I was there I wanted to buy something to cover up my outdoor furniture for the winter so I purchased a brown plastic tarp. I did feel a little odd buying one brick and tarp. I felt it necessary to explain to cashier why. I don’t think she cared though.

Anyway, I picked kind of a square brick and used my cast iron grill pan and it workedpanini fabulously. Cheap and effective. I highly recommend it. My foil was a little wimpy so I suggest using heavier duty foil. I just washed it off when I was done and put it away, foil and all. I don’t think the same foil will last forever but at least for one or two more sandwiches.

The recipe calls for you to thinly slice some cucumber and red onion and do a quick pickling with vinegar, sugar and salt. You can leave them in the pickling mixture for an hour or 24. I liked it. A fresher crunchier version of pickles on your sandwich.  I just made my own honey mustard, as I already have both ingredients: honey and mustard. I made my own thousand island dressing also. That required a few more steps. I just had to boil an egg and very finely chop some olives and onions…and yes, thousand island contains mayonnaise and the recipe came from my Betty Crocker cookbook.

Betty Crocker = mayonnaise

chef's saladIt feels like every recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook calls for mayonnaise. I’m sure this is not the case. It just feels that way. Perhaps this is my own bias.  I feel like Betty Crocker equals mayonnaise, so therefore when I pull the cookbook out it is because I am looking for recipe that calls for mayonnaise. It is like going to the grocery store for carrot sticks and coming home with cookies..face it you went to the store for cookies. Or saying you want one sort of man but you always end up with a different sort, similar to the last one of the same sort that you decided was the wrong sort but because that is the sort you are actually looking for…you end up with another one of that same sort…don’t deny it, we all do it.  mayonnaise

So regular old chef salad…and what is all of this about mayonnaise, you ask? It is in the dressing of course!  A Betty Crocker fan of a blogger put the recipe online for you.  I tried getting it on the Betty Crocker web site but all that came up was chef salad pie…ewww.

Ugly Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolatecupcakesI didn’t want to leave my house last night but I wanted to cook something…because it relaxes me. So I made chocolate cupcakes. This is kind of dumb because I don’t really like cake. I only made half a batch and I did eat a couple but now I still have 10 of them and I don’t want them. Also because I’m a lousy baker, they are kind of ugly.  I still only have dark chocolate cocoa so they look like they could be licorice cupcakes…yuck.

This may actually be the first time I’ve made chocolate cake. I’ve made other types of cake but not kind of standard chocolate. I also have made icing in the past but not frosting although as you can see from the photo that it did not work so well.