Sunday, June 5, 2011

What's for Dinner Tonight at the Zoo? Crockpot Lasagna, Take 2

So, the other day (a few weeks ago), I made this with the firm conclusion to make it again, because if you remember, that first time was a bit disappointing.  And so I did.  These are the changes I made:

1.  I used Italian Sausage instead of Ground Turkey.  Thank you Jimmy Dean.
2.  I seasoned the sausage like I would if I were making normal lasagna or spaghetti.  In other words, in addition to the onion, I used more garlic (which I actually remembered!  Big difference, Gentle Reader. Big.), Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt, and a can of mushrooms.
3.  I used Ragu Extra Chunky Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce, because we love it in all it's high fructose corn syrup goodness and clearly cannot have enough mushrooms.  Further, while I can't remember what size I used, I do know it was more than the recipe called for.  Yep.  We are a sauce-y group.
4.  I used a 6 Quart Crockpot (which I did last time), but I ended up using 8 noodles vs 6, and I added about a cup~ish of water to my sauce instead of the recommended amount (I don't know for certain how much because I put the water in the Ragu jar to swirl to get the last bit of sauce out.  You do that, too, right?).  I only cooked it for about 3.5 hours (vs. 4 or 5) and tossed on the cheese at the end as recommended and then let the whole thing sit until dinner was totally ready, which was probably more like 20~ish minutes (it's hard to get everything done at the same time, especially when Super J is giving Proper Watermelon Balling Techniques to Misses A & E, and they are meticulous learners).
5.  Speaking of cheese, I used freshly grated mozzarella cheese (though I made Super J grate it for me.  Hooray!  Was there a difference?  Not sure) and some deli sliced provolone (which needed to be used asap), and used probably 3 cups vs. 2.  Oh!  I also used ricotta (as recommended in the original recipe) verses cottage cheese (which is what I used last time).  Was there a difference?  Not sure.
6.  I made and served homemade bread sticks (which recipe I will post one day soon and was/is DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself) and steamed broccoli and fresh watermelon (that was, delightfully, in season).

The result:


I was so happy!!!!!  Hooray!  AND...brace yourself:  even Miss O ate some.  I KNOW!  Shocker. 

Upon further reflection, I don't know that this is really that much easier to cook than a regular lasagna, but whatevs.  It SEEMS easier to cook.  It does make less, which means less leftovers, which is not terrible in the house, and I threw it together before Super J and my Sunday naps (we were soooo tired.  Would someone please tell me when children stop waking up during the middle of the night, cause our 8 year old has NOT gotten the message, and for those who actually DO sleep during the night, why oh why during the summer do they want to wake up at 6:00????  I KID YOU NOT!  That is an unnatural hour...though it did help us get to church on time today and sit in the comfy pews, so I guess that's the silver lining blessing of it.  But still) and it was ready to eat at a normal time. Score! 

Will I make it again?  Yep.  No doubt about it.  And the next time, I might try the recipe recommended hamburger, because that's the kind of life on the edge that I like to lead.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

It sounds so good! I love crockpots. I used mine yesterday, too, but for a very yummy chicken recipe. Thanks for sharing your successes!