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.

Foodie Friday ~ Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmealcookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup raisins

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Make sure you get some, because they don’t last long!

Foodie Friday ~ Sweet Potato Burritos

SweetPotatoBurr

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups canned kidney beans, drained

2 cups water

3 tablespoons chili powder

4 teaspoons prepared mustard

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

3 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed

8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a medium skillet and saute onion and garlic until soft. Mash beans into the onion mixture. Gradually stir in water; heat until warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the soy sauce, chili powder, mustard, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the tortillas; top with cheese. Fold tortillas burrito-style around the fillings and place on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until warmed through, about 12 minutes

Tuesday Tots ~ Wholesome Ham and Cheese Muffins

Ham&CheeseMuf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup ham, chopped fine

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, oil and maple syrup and stir to combine.

4. Add the buttermilk to the egg mixture and stir.

5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just combined.

6. Fold in the cheese and ham.

7. Scoop the batter 2/3 of the way up into greased muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes (15 minutes if using mini muffin cups instead).

8. Cool and serve.

Foodie Friday ~ Swiss Chicken Casserole

swisschickcasserolemeal

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

6 slices Swiss cheese

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup milk

2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix

1/4 cup butter

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange chicken in a greased 12 x 8 x 2 baking dish. Top with Swiss cheese slices.

Combine soup and milk and stir well. Spoon mixture over chicken and sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter or margarine over crumbs.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Enjoy!

Foodie Friday ~ Blueberry & Lemon Crumb Bars

blueberrycrumb

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING:

2 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 cup white sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

CRUMB TOPPING:

5 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

Start by making the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together the 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons white sugar, lemon zest and salt. Cut in the 1/2 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg and vanilla together; stir into the crumb mixture until a dough forms. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Sprinkle blueberries over the crust. Combine the 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg; sprinkle over the blueberries. Make the topping: In a medium bowl, cream together the 5 tablespoons butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the flour, so that the mixture is crumbly like streusel. Sprinkle over the blueberry layer.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until browned. Cool and then dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into bars.