Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mini Lasagna Cups




This recipe appeared in The Hinton Voice as my April Column also called "Cooking With Jax".

[The concept for these came one day when I was trying to brainstorm some quick and easy dinner ideas that would freeze well so I could make them ahead of time.  Most can agree that there’s really nothing better than coming home from a long day of work to having a meal already pre-cooked for you.  With my husband and I both working long hours this month, being able to pop something out of the freezer and into the oven after a hard day of work is pretty much essential.  It’s so easy to fall into the same routine, making the same recipes week after week.  Even though this recipe is a common favourite, mixing up the delivery every once in awhile is surefire way to spice things up in the kitchen.

The idea was to make individual lasagna portions that would be easy to freeze using as little packaging as possible. I knew right away I wanted to use a muffin tin to bake them, though I wasn’t really sure what to use as the noodle.  I debated using actual lasagna noodles at first, but didn’t think they would hold up very well in a muffin tin so I decided to go with wonton wrappers instead.  Not only do the wrappers contour to the shape of the muffin tins really easily, they also taste an awful lot like actual lasagna noodles once they are cooked.]

Recipes makes 12 lasagna cups

Ingredients
- 24 wonton wrappers
-  1 lb hamburger
-  ½ medium onion
-  2 cloves of garlic
-  ½ tsp each oregano and basil
-  1 jar of your favourite tomato sauce
-  ¾ cup ricotta cheese
-  1/3 cup finely chopped spinach
-  1 cup shredded mozzarella


Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly oil a 12 cup muffin pan and place a wonton wrapper in each, being sure to press down the sides.

Pre-heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Fry hamburger with chopped onions, garlic, and herbs until hamburger is cooked through.  Drain access fat.

Add tomato sauce to hamburger meat, continuing to cook for 2-3 minutes to reduce sauce slightly.

Combine Ricotta cheese with salt and pepper and divide evenly amongst the wontons.

Divide ½ the meat mixture on top of the ricotta, and then top with finely chopped spinach, and a light sprinkle of mozzarella (be sure to retain most of the cheese for the final topping).

Top with another wonton, again being sure to seal the sides.  Top with remaining meat sauce, and then sprinkle on remaining cheese.


Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese is nicely browned and bubbly and the wontons are crisp.

Top with fresh basil or oregano (optional).

If freezing, let cool completely, then transfer entire muffin tin to freezer.  Once the lasagna cups are frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag for easy storage.  Take 1 or two out; then re-heat in either the microwave or oven. 


Calories - 175   Fat - 7    Carbs – 14     Protein - 15   Fibre – 3

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friends & Family Series: Kate's Homemade Perogies


Hi Guys! I'm on vacation right now so I've asked my friends and family to step in while I'm away!  Each day that I am gone, I will be sharing a recipe from one of my friends or family members.  I started this project with no clear goals, I was just hoping to fill a few of the recipe gaps while I was away.  I received an overwhelming response from everyone, and I am truly honoured and excited to be able to share with you so many great recipes made by so many of my favourite people!  Please enjoy their recipes and be sure to leave them comments at the end of their posts! 

Meet my friend Kate.  She is one of the funniest ladies I know and I seriously laugh my face off every single time we hang out! She has an equally hilarious husband and 4 children who are all a lot of fun to be around! We try to get together for coffee every couple of weeks and we always end up making something together (in fact, we're working on a puff pastry recipe right now!). Her youngest daughter Grace loves hanging out with us while bake up yummy treats (she especially loves the part where we get to sample the goods - she is an excellent official taste tester).   Kate knows how to make perogies, so we decided to have a perogie making day a couple of weeks back during one of our coffee dates.   She was gracious enough to agree to share her recipe on the blog as part of this friends and family post!  
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Friends & Family Series: Tina's Homemade Hamburger Helper

Hi guys!  I'm on vacation right now so I've asked my friend's and family to step in while I'm away!  Each day that I am gone, I will be sharing a recipe from one of my friends or family members.  I started this project with no clear goals, I was just hoping to fill a few of the recipe gaps while I was away.  I received an overwhelming response from everyone, and I am truly honoured and excited to be able to share with you so many great recipes made by so many of my favourite people!  Please enjoy their recipes and be sure to leave them comments at the end of their posts!  

Tina is my Sister-in-Law and Mom to our three beautiful and adorable nieces!  She's one of my favourite people and has an extremely hilarious sense of humour!  Every single time something funny happens I immediately have to tell her about it!  We've shared many giggles over the years, and I'm really excited to be sharing one of her recipe with you all today! She's one of the first people I asked cooking advice when I first married my husband, and to this day some of the recipes she shared with me during those early years of marriage are still our favourites!  This recipe is great because a) all of my nieces love it (and you know how picky kids can be, let alone 3 of them at once!) and b) because it's something easy that you can make with ingredients you probably already have!  You can mix it up to suit your preferences (or to use up whatever you already have in the house). I hope you enjoy her recipe as much as I do! 

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I make my own hamburger helper and the kids love it (in fact, they even asked for seconds!). 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friends & Family Series: Cynthia's Homemade Mac 'n' Cheese (with Bacon & Chorizo)

Hi guys!  I'm on vacation right now so I've asked my friend's and family to step in while I'm away!  Each day that I am gone, I will be sharing a recipe from one of my friends or family members.  I started this project with no clear goals, I was just hoping to fill a few of the recipe gaps while I was away.  I received an overwhelming response from everyone, and I am truly honoured and excited to be able to share with you so many great recipes made by so many of my favourite people!  Please enjoy their recipes and be sure to leave them comments at the end of their posts!  

Cynthia is a friend of mine that I met at the Farmer's Market a couple of years ago! Not only is she an amazing cook, she is also pretty handy with crafts! Cynthia's husband Jayden and I went to high school together and we were both bit by the drama bug - we acted in a couple of high school plays together and he was always a lot of fun to have on the set! They have two incredibly adorable little boys (seriously, the cutest kids ever and oh so smart too - their toddler can already play the drums!).  Cynthia blogs over at "Following my Dreams" - be sure to check out her wonderful blog, as well as her post about this recipe (it includes even more delicious pictures!).  

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