Foodie Friday ~ Easy Lasagna

lasagdinner

1 pound lean ground beef

1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

32 ounces cottage cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons dried parsley

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

9 lasagna noodles

1/2 cup water

 

In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, half of the grated Parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and ground black pepper.

To assemble, in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish evenly spread 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 cup water to the edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday Tots ~ Toddler Tortilla Pizza Bites

tortillapizz

One 7-inch flour tortilla

2 generous tablespoons tomato sauce

1/3 cup grated Cheddar or mozzarella

 

topping menu (use as you wish):

2 or 3 pitted black olives, cut into rings

1 cherry or grape tomato, cut into rings

fresh basil leaves

2 cubes drained canned pineapple, cut into small dice

1 tablespoon diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon drained canned corn

1 scallion, sliced

2 mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in a little oil

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put the tortilla on a baking sheet and spread with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the cheese. You can also add any toppings that your child may like. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the base is crisp. Cut into triangles and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Monday Moments ~ Teaching Children Their ABC’s

learnabc

Most children know the ABC song by the time they’re 3 or 4. However, many children don’t learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet by name until they start school.

Here are some helpful tips as to how and when to teach your child their alphabet.

Remember: Every child is different, thus they develop and learn differently then their peers.

  • Be patient. Some kids learn faster than others. Just remember that they all eventually do learn.
  • Line up the foam letters, or magnetic letters on a refrigerator, and sing the ABC song. Next, remove a few of the letters and sing the song again. Whenever there is a missing letter, clap instead of singing the letter. This is a fun way to have the child focus on the letters she is singing.
  • From time to time mix in some of the letters your child has already learned. If you don’t review, he or she may likely forget them.
  • You can teach your child the sound associated with each letter by simply making the sound whenever you pick up or play with the letter. For example, if you’re playing with the letter s, whenever you move it through the water say, “Here comes the S…!”
  • Try to associate every letter of the alphabet with a word. That way, if your child forgets the letter, he or she may still remember the word. For example, the word for A could be apple because apple starts with an A.
  • Reinforce what your child has learned by pointing out the letters whenever you see them (in books, on billboards, on signs, everywhere).
  • Try not to have too many letters in the tub at once. It may confuse your child.
  • Don’t feel that you have to introduce the letters in order–you don’t.
  • Follow up with a slow, simple ABC song that allows the child to point to letters while singing.
  • You may want to use a calendar as a way to plan or record the letters you introduce each week. Or if you want to keep it simple, get two bins–one for letters to be introduced and the other for those that have been introduced already.