Friday, April 26, 2013

Sallee B's Pantry Style Lasagna

Updated July 20, 2017

Why buy frozen lasagna when you can make your own tasty, budget friendly lasagna?
Pantry Style Lasagna starts with a package of lasagna noodles, a quick and easy meat sauce and cheese filling.

Zucchini noodles will lower your carb count. 
For carb counters and calorie watchers, you can slice 1/8 inch thick,  length-wise strips of zucchini in place of the lasagna noodles. My choice is a 9-10 ounce zucchini sliced into wide noodles with a mandolin. 

This recipe will yield 4-6 servings.

  •      8 inch skillet
  •      6 quart sauce pan or stock pot
  •     6 inch x 10 inch glass baking dish (1.5 quart)
  •     one quart bowl
  •      Colander
  •      Spatula
  •      Measuring spoon set, 1/8 tsp. to 1 Tbsp.
  •      Knife for slicing, chopping

Noodles First

  • Follow package directions and  cook six lasagna noodles. 
  • Stir gently a few times to make sure the noodles do not stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  • While the noodles are simmering, start cooking your meat sauce.
  • Drain the hot water from the noodles into the colander. 
  • When the noodles are cool, place them on a plate, or bowl until you need them.

Ingredients for Meat Sauce

  • 8 ounces ground chuck
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 small onion, chopped about 1/4 of a cup
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder, or 1 tsp. dried onions
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 level Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar Use cane sugar, granulated sugar, agave, or stevia. The sugar is to balance out the acid from the tomatoes.
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper My choice is ground black pepper, or a ground peppercorn blend. 
Meat Sauce Directions
  • Crumble ground chuck into a skillet and sprinkle 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning over it. 
  • Add the small, chopped onion.
  • Cook over medium heat and stir with a spatula until the meat is no longer showing any pink; drain grease from meat mixture and set aside.
  • Using the pan that the noodles were in, combine the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp. parsley, sugar, basil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. onion powder, or dried onions.
  • Add ground chuck and stir until blended well. 
  • Set aside on back burner of stove.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and combine the cheese filling ingredients while the oven preheats.
Ingredients for Cheese Filling
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 large egg  The egg helps to bind the cheese filling together during baking. However, it can be left out. The only difference will be a less firm cheese filling after baking. 
Cheese Filling Directions
  • Combine all of the cheese filling ingredients in a one quart bowl.
  • Stir just until the mixture is well blended.
  • You are ready to assemble your lasagna
Assembling Your Lasagna
  1. Lightly oil or spray your baking dish with pan coat. 
  2. Cover bottom of baking dish with noodles. 
  3. Trim the noodles to fit and set small pieces aside to use on top of lasagna 
  4. Spoon about 1/3 of your meat sauce over the noodles. 
  5. Using a Tablespoon, place six slightly rounded, spoonfuls of cheese mixture over sauce and gently spread it out slightly.
  6. place a second layer of noodles, meat sauce, and cheese filling and a third layer. On the third layer, use the trimmed pieces of noodles. 
 Make sure you have enough sauce to completely cover the top of your lasagna.
  1. Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of Parmesan Romano cheese over the top of the lasagna.
  2. Cook uncovered in your preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. 
  3. Place lasagna on your stove top and let it sit at least 30 minutes before you cut it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Multi Month Spring Bulletin Board

Multi Month Spring Bulletin Board

After searching for a spring bulletin board that would last from March to May, I decided to combine two different ideas, bees and a word garden, to create my own spring bulletin board. The monthly ideas for taking the bulletin board from March to May are listed below. Add your decorations to the open areas and you will have your own multi month bulletin board.

·         March - green shamrocks

·         April - Easter eggs and/or daffodils

·         May -  Larger word flowers with larger leaves

Materials for Basic Bulletin Board

  •  brown and blue paper for the background - I used three extra large sheets of construction paper in each color.
  • 3" AccuCut flower die
  • Construction paper in desired colors for flowers.
  • Fine point black marker
  • 6 craft sticks
  • bulletin board trim in desired pattern
  • tape
  • stapler
  • scissors, adult size
  • Precut black letters or use AccuCut dies and construction paper

Bulletin Board Title

Our Un"bee"lievable Word Garden was made using purchased, precut black letters and AccuCut yellow construction paper for the "bee" letters. I did not use a pattern for the wings or bees. I drew the wing shape onto black construction paper with a pencil and then cut them out with scissors. I made the bumble bees by folding a square of yellow paper in half and cutting out a small circle, then a larger oval. The bumble bee stripes, letter stripes, and bee faces were drawn with a fine point black marker.The antennae are drawn on after placing the bumble bees and letters on the bulletin board.


 Word Garden Signs

The signs are constructed of orange squares and slightly smaller yellow squares that matched the border. I made tape rolls and taped the yellow squares to the orange squares. Then I lettered the signs, Creeping Phonograms, Blooming Affixes, and Math Patch. I used a stapler to staple the craft sticks onto the finished signs and then onto the bulletin board.

Flower Construction

I used an AccuCut die for most of the flowers.  I did not use a pattern for the leaves, instead I took a standard size sheet of colored copy paper and folded it in half twice. Using scissors, I cut out a leaf shape. The quarter folded sheet of paper yielded 4 leaves and I made three leaf shapes.

The Math Patch thin, yellow flower petals were cut out around the math words that I printed onto yellow paper first.
    Various types of flowers with math vocabulary and the prefixes mono, bi, tri, and quad. 
    The phonograms were chosen from The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists 

Monday, April 15, 2013

5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants | Eartheasy Blog

5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants | Eartheasy Blog

Spring is here and its time to think about outdoor entertainment. Wouldn't it be nice to have plants that look great and repel mosquitos at the same time?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Recycled Bake Sale Labels

Recycling Greeting Cards into Bake Sale Labels

This morning I was packaging cocoa crispy treats and oatmeal no bake cookies into sandwich bags for a fundraiser. After placing all the goodies were sealed into the bags, I wanted to make them more attractive. My hunt for labels, stickers, or colored paper was unsuccessful. Then I happened to see the box of leftover greeting cards laying the drawer of my desk. They looked to be about the same width as the sandwich bags so I took them with me back into the kitchen. Happily, the cards were exactly the same width as the sandwich bags. Listed below are the steps I took to change my greeting cards into bake sale labels.

1.       Take leftover greeting cards and cut them along the fold line.        
     2.       Fold the front cover in half, white side out.

     3.       Trim the bottom edge with craft scissors.

4.       Write the name of your goodies and the price on your label.

5.       Place the label over the top of your sealed, sandwich size goodie bag and staple the label into place.

You now have attractively packaged bake sale goodies and you have successfully recycled left over greeting cards.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Five Things I Have Learned About Online Shopping

Online Purchases

  • Make sure your making a secure transaction. You should see https in the left side of the address bar of your web browser and see a closed lock symbol in the right side of the address bar.
  • Use a credit card with a low maximum amount for online shopping.
  • Use a refillable credit card, but you will pay a fee for this service
  • Open a second checking account that is only for online checking and only deposit or transfer $50 or so into it every month. Then, if someone breaks into your account they will only get a small amount of money and not your complete paycheck for the month.
  • You can connect a PayPal account to your second checking account and use PayPal to pay for many items. This will add another layer of security to your online shopping experience.