Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Chef Symon’s Mom’s Lasagna

Recipe courtesy Michael Symon

1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pork neck bones
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground beef
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, loose or removed from casings
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
2 bay leaves
1 pound dried lasagna noodles
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for final topping
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a three-finger pinch of salt and sweat them until they’re translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the neck bones and let them brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ground veal, beef and sausage, and season with another healthy pinch of salt. Cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the white wine, tomatoes and their juice, and the bay leaves. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, making sure to get all of the browned bits into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt, to taste, and simmer for 2 hours over medium heat. Remove the bay leaves and neck bones and let cool. Skim any fat that rises to the surface.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add enough salt so that it tastes seasoned and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the ricotta, parsley, basil, oregano, eggs, and Parmesan with a pinch of salt.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Ladle about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan. Arrange a layer of noodles followed by a layer of sauce and then some of the ricotta mixture. Top with a layer of mozzarella, smoothing it with a spatula to the edges. Repeat the process until the pan is full. Finish with a final layer of noodles, sauce, the mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest, 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Hash Brown Potato Casserole-Darlene Winter

2 lbs frozen hash brown potatoes
1 chopped onion
1 can cream soup  (chicken or celery, etc.)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups grated cheese (colby or cheddar, or whatever kind you like)
1/2 stick melted margarine
salt to taste
(Meat is optional) 
Bake @ 350 for two hours (approximate).  I usually check to see if the onions and potatoes are tender, and go by that

7 Layer Taco Dip – Debra Howard

  • Brown 1lb ground beef; then simmer with 1 packet of Taco mix and 3/4 cup of water.
  • Mix together 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayo, and 1 packet of Taco mix.
  • Layer:    2 Cans of jalepeno bean dip (or plain bean dip if you prefer mild dip)
  •              Ground beef mixture
  •              Quacamole (I use 8oz prepared zesty)
  •              Sour cream mixture
  •              3 medium tomatos, chopped and seeded
  •              8oz shredded cheddar cheese
  •              2 cans chopped black olives
  •              Chopped green onions

Domino’s pizza, better than home made?

When you are making a pizza at home, you can always choose your products carefully and make sure the end result would be exactly as you intended it to be. Of course, in my case, with my cooking skills, the result could be anywhere from indescribably delicious to somewhat awful. So if you’re like me and you definitely want to eat some good pizza today, it might be a slightly better idea not to cook the pizza yourself and rather turn to the professionals.

And Domino’s Pizza is definitely a professional when it comes to pizza. And on October 1, they actually started a national television campaign promoting their brand new Handmade Pan Pizza.

“We are proud of the way we have continued to expand and reinvent our menu, and it is safe to say Domino’s has not been this excited about a new product since the change to our hand-tossed pizza,” said Patrick Doyle, chief executive officer of Domino’s Pizza. “Similar to that, the creation of our Handmade Pan Pizza has been driven by customers telling us how we can continue to improve and become the best.”

The new handmade pan pizza is with buttery taste and crispy golden crust, with two layers of cheese and toppings to the edge. Available at all of their stores in the U.S..

Before considering making your own, go see how the real pro’s are doing it.

Celebrate Good Deeds and Help Donate 160,000 Meals to Feeding America

Are you fond of some good organic food? I believe most of us are. However, unfortunately not all of us can afford it. There are many struggling families around the world who could use help. Producer of organic, 100 percent juices, is thinking about that, and they have launched Sweet Deed Society. The Sweet Deed Society has been launched to acknowledge the fact that there’s a lot of struggling families around the United States. But it’s also trying to remind us that there are a lot of good people who are already doing everything they can to help others in need.

The Sweet Deeds Society is waiting for good-deed submissions on their facebook page ( If you have witnessed or why not experienced a good deed, please share it. Each submission means that Santa Cruz Organic will donate $5 to Feeding America, the nation’s main hunger-relief charity. Celebrate Good Deeds and make it possible to donate 160 000 meals to Feeding America, without having to make any purchases yourself. Simply share the good deeds.

Santa Cruz Organic is the first juice producer who actually used all organic fruit sourced from growers certified by an independent third-party certification organization. With now more than 80 organic items in their product list, they are trying to produce all products as environmentally friendly as possible. What it means to you, is that they are a green, environmentally friendly, and what’s more, health-conscious company. Their Organic Lemonade Beverages are certified USDA organic products.

If you want to help struggling people and celebrate the good deeds together with Santa Cruz Organic, why not learn some more about the campaign, about the company and also, Feeding America.

Teen Dieting?????

Teen Dieting! What the heck is teen dieting????

Remember when being fit as a child/teen involved something crazy – PLAYING OUTSIDE!

I remember during the summer not seeing my mom and dad all day because I was out playing in the yard or with friends.  We rode our bikes, we went fishing, we… ran and played.  I know that is a weird concept; being outside when you can run and jump in a video game.  SERIOUSLY

Yes we have an obesity problem in America but the more I see people talking about the calorie content of the kids the more I want to scream.  Children lose weight through activity not through drinking slimfast and diet drinks.  I would love to see an article featuring 20 things you kids can do that wont allow them to sit and doesnt require a smartphone, Ipad or computer.

Here are just a few suggestions

  1. Walk to the library get a book to read
  2. Ride your bike
  3. Play frisbee at the park

What suggestions do you have?


Simple Food is not bad food

Sometimes I think we get caught up in the popularity of food shows on TV. Often we find ourselves searching for something new and exciting.  My question is what ever happened to simple to make basic food.  Think about some of your favorite things when you were a kid – Mac and cheese – Peanut Butter and Jelly – or even Grilled Cheese.

Often the foods that are best for us or taste the best to us are not things we spend all day but the simple easy to make food we have always known and loved.  A couple of pieces of bread, a slice of cheese, warm it up for a few minutes and you have a delicious meal in minutes.  Throw some campbells soup with it and; well… YUM!!!

No before the nutrition police ban me from the internet LOL – let me suggest one other possiblity.  How about a good old fashioned roast.  If you buy baby carrots there is not carrot peeling so all you need to to is cut up and onion, peel some potatos and put the potatos, carrots and onions in with a nice roast along with even something as simple as a bullion cube and some water.  Stick all of that in the crock pot and just let it turn the whole house yummy and have a great dinner

What are some easy, simple food you love?

Easy summer eating

I love to grill and when I grill I have found that it is just as easy to make a lot of meat as it is to make just one or two burgers.  As this summer has started I have found a way to make meal planning quick and easy and allow us to enjoy bbq anytime we want.  I dont know about you but I find that bbq’d meat is good (maybe even better) no matter what you are having the meat in.  And this is so simple.  Rather then making one or two steaks or chicken breasts – FILL THE GRILL!  Now there is one key – you can’t eat too much and end up with no food LOL

Now you have meat for the week.  divide it up, cut it into strips for anything from stroganoff to fajita or stir fry.  When it comes time for the next meal a quick warm up in a pan or the microwave; add some veggies and you have a very well balanced meal in less then 15 minutes the rest of the week.  Now you can come home from work and have dinner ready in minutes without compromising having food you really love

Try it and let us know what you think

Leftover memories of my grandmother

I think all of us have memories of leftover night growing up.  For most houses this is the night we all dread.  Sometimes leftovers are ok because it is more of the food you were eating yesterday that you wanted more of but just couldnt eat anymore.  However sometimes when you go to the fridge what you find is all the things no one wanted to eat when it was made and no one is very excited about now either.  At times like these I am always reminded of my grandmothers house.  Leftovers at her house could be not only scary but intimidating.

My grandmother had seemingly a million small plastic (margarine style) containers.  Nothing that was made was ever thrown away every last bite in a serving dish was saved.  Now on the one hand I admire how frugal she was and I know that money was limited and there was nothing extra to waste.  So the saving of the food was wise and necessary I understand that completely.  However the scary part came at the next meal.  It wasnt that she didnt cook another meal it was just that no matter what meal it was or what we were having the leftovers were going to be a part of it.

So it could start off fun.  Think of Thanksgiving lunch.  A wonderful meal with all of the trimmings.  And when dinner comes what you want is a turkey sandwich and some other things you wanted more of but couldnt fit in your stomach a couple of hours ago but NOW!!!  So this meal is easy and delicious.  But then you get up the next morning and what is on the table.  Sausage, eggs and oh ya – cranberry sauce and stuffing and mashed potatos.  Ok alot of that doesnt get eaten and breakfast and to be fair maybe she didnt do it at breakfast but you KNOW what lunch was going to be!

Ok so it isnt too bad for a while because there is alot of the things that you REALLY like and want more of anyway but eventually it ends up the same couple of items (and only one or two bites of them sometimes) showing up on the table until eventually we would all draw straws to see who got what and try to down it as quickly as possible just to not have to see it again.

What did your family do with leftovers?

Your Family Veggie Challenge

Have you seen or heard about the Veggie Challenge? No I am not talking about that time at dinner when you spend an hour trying to get your 2 year old to eat their brussel sprouts LOL.  What I am talking about is a fun new way to get your whole family involved in eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.  Here is how it work

  1. Make a chart with each family members name.
  2. Each day, keep a tally of the number of fruit/vegetable servings each member eats beside their name.
  3. Each day add a “Daily Challenge” to encourage family members to try something new or do something they don’t always do. The Daily Challenge can be the same for all members or each member can have a unique one.  Some examples you can use:
    • Try a new vegetable
    • Eat a certain vegetable raw, cooked, etc.
    • Have a fruit with breakfast
    • Have 3 different vegetables with dinner
  4. At the end of the week, reward yourselves for good performance. Have a special outing or anything else the family agrees upon as the reward if everyone completes the challenge.

Here is some helpful information

1 serving of fruits or vegetables:

  • ½ cup chopped fruit or vegetables
  • 1 cup leafy greens
  • 1 medium apple, orange, tomato, etc.


Try this for a week and if it works then try it for a month.  Who knows maybe this can help \solve the challenge of getting enough Fruits and Veggies for your Family

Drop us a note and let us know what you do to make eating right successful at your house.