Sunday, February 10, 2013

Easy Lasagna + Valentine's Dinner for Joe

Happy Valentine's Week! All Joe wanted for Valentine's Day was for me to make him dinner, which I did last night. He is easy to please :) I was also excited because cooking for Valentine's Day gives me the chance to use all of my (and my friend Jennifer's) heart shaped cooking supplies without Joe making fun of me too much.

Joe's favorite thing that I make (or so he tells me) is my lasagna. That is his favorite food overall, and his mom's is the best. I'm glad he at least eats mine and doesn't compare it to his mothers.

The recipe I use is derived off of the first meal that I ever made him; the lasagna rollups. It turned into normal lasagna when I found non-boil lasagna noodles, which makes the whole process so much easier. You can't roll those. Joe liked it better in normal lasagna form, so that's how I always make it now. It is super easy!

Along with the lasagna I made cheese filled rolls and vegetables roasted with rosemary and the roasted garlic grape seed oil I just got. Again, both super easy, and yummy!

I ended the meal with chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, both of which I made from scratch. Before I frosted the cake the layers looked like this.

When I tried to layer and frost the cake, it looked like this.

Looks like frosting a cake is harder than I thought. Joe said it tasted amazing though which is all that matters :)

Here is the recipe for my super easy lasagna. Not only is it easy, it is delicious. If you want, you can pretend like you put more effort into it :)

Adapted from Kraft recipes

1 lb. ground beef (I use 93% lean)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup A1 Steak Sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
8-9 lasagna noodles (no boil are the best. seriously)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
8 x 8 glass baking pan
aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you don't plan on using the no boil noodles, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions at this time. Brown beef in skillet on medium high heat, then drain. Combine the spagetti sauce and the A1. Stir half of that mixture into the browned meat.

Mix the egg, ricotta cheese, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan.

Layer in the pan as follows:

1. a thin layer of spagetti sauce on the bottom
2. layer 2 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, 1/2 of the browned meet, 1 cup of mozzarella, and a thin layer of sauce.
3. 2 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and a thin layer of sauce.
4. layer 2 lasagna noodles, the rest of the cheese mixture, and the rest of the browned meat.
5. 2-3 lasagna noodles, the remaining sauce, and the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover the lasagna with the aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes.

I was originally going to serve dinner on our wedding china, and then quickly realized Joe was really into the Notre Dame/Louisville game, so I let him choose. He preferred eating in the living room while watching the game. Considering this was my present to him, it only seemed right to let him do so.

Best enjoyed with champagne!

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