Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lasagna Recipe

I made lasagna for lunch at Church and had 2 requests for the recipe so I thought someone else might enjoy it too!

Easy Lasagna-

1#ground beef
3 1/2c (32oz jar) thick spaghetti sauce
1 1/2c water
2c (15-16oz) ricotta or small curd cottage cheese
2c (8oz) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2c grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4c chopped parley ( I use dried)
1 tsp salt
1/4tsp pepper
8 oz lasagna noodles uncooked

Brown beef in a 3qt sauce pan; drain off excess fat. Add sauce and water; simmer about 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients, except lasagna noodles, for filling. Pour about 1c sauce in a 9x13x2 dish. Layer 3 pieces of uncooked lasagna over sauce; cover with about 1 1/2c sauce. Spread 1/2 of cheese filling over sauce; repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese filling. top with layer of lasagna and remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Remove foil bake about 10 minutes longer. Allow to stand about 10 minutes before cutting for easier handling. 8-10 servings.
The lasagna will expand to fill empty spaces.

This freezes and reheats very nicely !!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Snowing! Nope it's cotton picking time in the South

This time of year the cotton fields are ready to be harvested. I like to refer to the cotton as " Southern Snow". When it is harvested little bits of cotton fly around in the wind and get scattered along the roadways much like snow flurries up North.

The cotton boll(pronounced bowl) is a pretty sight but although I have never picked cotton I have been assured it is not a pleasant task. The bolls have very sharp thorns or edges.

Picking cotton now is all by machine. There is the harvester, and when it gets full it dumps its load into what I call a tamper( I don't know what it really is called) which tamps the cotton down real hard. When the 'tamper' is full it raises up and leaves a 'brick' of tamped cotton behind.

The farmers cover the cotton to keep it dry until a special truck comes by to carry it off to the cotton gin. At the cotton gin the cotton seeds are removed.

Cotton seeds have many uses- they are pressed for cotton seed oil, ground into meal for use as a soil amendment and of course some are saved for next years crop. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Turkey Stock

Every 1st Sunday our Church eats together after morning services. Last week the ladies were trying to decide what we would have and it was suggested that we would do a "Thanksgiving Meal". It was that and so much more! I volunteered to bake the bird. I bought a 24# bird! No pictures, well you all have seen what a cooked turkey looks like right.
Anyway, I brought home the leftover meat for pot pies and sandwiches and the bones to make turkey stock.

This is how to make turkey stock: Put all the bones in a large crock pot and cover with water and add 1/4 c vinegar( that's so you get calcium from the bones), and cook on low all night. Or you could use whatever pot you have that the bones will fit in cover with water, cover and simmer on low - med low for about 4 hours, watch the water level and add more water if the bones are not covered.  

This is my 8.5 qt crock pot full of the bones and water

In the morning let cool slightly and strain, pick out any good meat. You can then put the stock in the refrig and when it gets cold the fat will be on the top and you can remove it. Heat the stock to boiling and then pour the hot  broth into quart canning jars and pressure can at 10# for 25min, if you want to can in pints just pressure can at 10# for 20minutes. I've canned ham, chicken and beef stock the same way, always better than store bought.
This stock can also be frozen.

Canned Stock