Tuesday, January 31, 2012

make ahead lasagne

sometimes when you have friends over
you want to forget about the cooking all together and just enjoy their company.
here is one of my favorite make-ahead recipes.

i prep and put it in the fridge thursday night.
get home after work on friday night, pop it in the oven
and am enjoying wine with friends 2 minutes later. perfection.

thank you BHG!

12oz italian or pork sausage or ground beef
(i am always generous with the meat, the more the better!
especially if you're feeding boys!)
1 large onion, chopped
2 clovesg garlic, minced
14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pkg lasagna noodles
1 beaten egg
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
6oz shredded mozzarella cheese

1. in a large saucepan cook sausage, onion, and garlic until meat is brown. drain.

2. stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and black pepper into meat mixture. bring to boiling; reduce heat. simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. meanwhile, cook noodles for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender but still firm.
drain noodles; rinse with cold water. drain well; set aside.

4. for filling, combine egg, ricotta, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. set aside.

5. spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
layer half of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the dish,
trimming or overlapping as necessary to fit.
spread with half of the filling.
top with half of the remaining meat sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese.
repeat layers. if desired, sprinkle additional parmesan cheese over top.

if you're cooking right away:

6a. place baking dish on a baking sheet.
bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through.
let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

if you're cooking it later:

6b. cover unbaked lasagna; chill for up to 24 hours.
bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.
uncover; bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through.
let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

very popular. i think four of us ate this entire dish!


Monday, January 30, 2012

banana bread

when life gives you rotton bananas, make banana bread :)

(recipe by all recipes)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan

2. in a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt

3. in a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar
stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended

4. stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten

5. pour batter into prepared loaf pan

6. bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes,
until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean

party pinwheels

cute party inspiration...
homemade pinwheels!

here's what you'll need:
cute paper
(double sided works great!)
pixie sticks
push pin fasteners (with back)
small cute stickers (optional)


1. measure and cut paper into 5" x 5" squares

2. cut 3.25" slits diagonally towards center

3. push the pin through the first corner of the paper
(be sure to leave enough room so it doesn't rip through the edge)

4. continue poking the push pin through each opposite corner
until every other corner is gathered into the middle

5. poke push pin through the very center of the back of the pinwheel

6. press through the top of a pixie stick
(careful not to create a hole where the candy will spill!)
secure back

7. place sticker on the middle of the silver pushpin if your heart desires

8. have fun!
i made valentine versions and moustache versions :)


Sunday, January 29, 2012

i love lace!

i don't know if it's the time of year...
but i've been dreaming of lace!

i have great memories of homemade valentines with
doilys and glitter and pink puffy paint.

these are a more grown-up version...

love how classy, girly and delicate these are.
i think lace is the new black :)

good morning quiche!

have i mentioned that i love the weekend?
i mean, who doesn't really?

i love sleeping in and taking my sweet time...

this saturday morning, i woke up and made quiche.

(my inspiration was the amazing quiche i had at cafe campagne last weekend)
thank you to all recipes for helping me create a perfect morning!

this quiche was very hearty.
it really was more 'stuff' than it was eggs,
but i loved it!



1/4 pound thick sliced bacon
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 (8 ounce) container sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (i used my fave crust recipe)
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, finely diced
1 cups finely diced smoked ham
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
5 eggs
3/4 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. make pie crust

3. place bacon in a large, deep skillet.
cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. drain, crumble, and set aside.

4. cook spinach according to package instructions. allow to cool, then squeeze dry.
5. use same skillet and saute onions over medium heat until soft and translucent.
stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft.
stir in ham and cooked bacon. remove from heat.

6. in a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper. spread into pie crusts.
layer with bacon mixture.

7. mix together monterey jack, cheddar and parmesan, and sprinkle over pies.

8. whisk together eggs, half-and-half and parsley. season with salt and pepper, and pour over pies.

9. place pie on baking sheet, and bake on middle shelf in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
the top will be puffed and golden brown. remove from oven, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

10. ENJOY!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

make a statement.

dreaming of amazing bold statement necklaces right now.
i want twelve.


Friday, January 27, 2012

top ten beauty faves

i wouldn't call myself cheap,
i just like to spend my money in very particular ways.
example: i love spending money on experiences (football games, concerts, trips, etc)
but don't regularly splurge on designer jeans, jewelry or shoes.

with that said, here are my favorite beauty products...
some are cheap and some are spendy (but worth every penny!)

happy friday! :)

1. bumble and bumble creme de coco.
first of all, love this brand. every one of their products is delightful.
their creme do coco shampoo & conditioner make any shower sesh an escape to heaven.
try some. it will brighten your day in an instant.

2. a shower cap.
yep. one of my favorite beauty products!!!
it's no secret that 'they' say you shouldn't wash your hair everyday.
like i said here, i love easy beauty,
and i love washing my hair every other day or so.
shower caps make this is a cinch!

3. light pink nail polish.
you can't go wrong! it's girly and goes with every outfit!
i love OPI. some fave colors include:
pinking of you, passion, i think in pink
heart throb, bubble bath

4. benefit bene-tint & posie-tint.
once you use liquid blush, you'll never go back to powder again!
this benefit blush works for cheeks and lips, and gives you instant glow!
they even make minis that are perfect for any purse!

5. great primer.
every face needs a primer. (we're not perfect!)
i love the smashbox line. they have one for every type of face.
i use 'blend'.

6. too-faced bronzer.
pretty sure rachel introduced me to this amazing bronzer in college.
it's perfection on your face.
(you especially need this if you live in seattle!)

7. vaseline!
um, i swear i just keep finding more uses for this stuff!
i use it every morning and night to remove eye make-up.
it's a staple for every bathroom.

8. keratase treatment.
if you color, blow-dry, straiten and/or curl your hair ever, it needs some tlc.
i love working a dollop of this into my hair, knowing it's going to be
shinier, healthier and stronger. pretty sure it's a no brainer.

9. body butter.
i've lived in seattle for 8 years.
when the sunshine doesn't show up, you just open this little jar
and it feels like you're laying on the beach in maui.
with that sticky, sandy, sunny, beach bum smell.

10. fake eyelashes.
now, before you judge, let me just say...
i realize this is a little kim kardashian of me.
but after wearing them a few times,
i honestly would wear them everyday if i could.
more on this later! try some.


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