American Lasagna

Making this lasagna a day ahead and refridgerating overnight allows the spices to meld, and gives it exceptional flavour.  Prep Time: approximately 30 minutes.  Cook Time: approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.  Original recipe makes 8 servings.  Recipe has been scaled to make 8 servings.

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (29 ounces) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste12 dry lasagna noodles
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions (good luck)
1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion and garlic; drain fat.  Mix basil, oregano, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente; drain.  Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt.

4. Layer 1/3 of the lasanga noodles in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.  Cover noodles with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the sauce.  Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.  Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over the top.

5.  Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Caesar Salad
Best when refridgerated for 24 hours so as to enhance the garlic flavour.

1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard OR 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 egg
2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend above ingredients 1 minute or less to liquefy.

 Wash romaine lettuce, dry and tear into bite-sized pieces.  Consider those little mouths that you may want to feed!  Chill.  Just before serving, add only enough dressing to coat.  Toss well.  Sprinkle with finely chopped crisp bacon and parmesan cheese.  Toss again.  Mmm....Toss croutons until just mixed.

Garlic Croutons

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Spread bread thinly with butter on both sides.  Cut into cubes.  Sprinkle with garlic powder.  Toast in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet.
 Enjoy!  Invite me over for dinner once everything is finished!

Golden Chicken Dippers
Boneless chicken breast meat
This one is one of my very favourites.

1/2 cup of fine dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. of basil
1/4 tsp. of oregano
1/4 of paprika
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of ground pepper
1/4 cup of melted butter

1. Trim chicken breats.  Then cut into little triangular nugguts.
2.  Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, oregaon, paprika, salt and pepper in a pie plate.
3.  Dip chicken in melted butter and roll in crumbs until well coated.
4.  Arrange on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet.  Bake in 400 F oven for 10 minutes or until no longer pink inside.

At this point you should be starving and can no longer wait to sink you teeth into this.
Please note that you should immediately clean all surfaces that contact raw chicken.
Serve with warm honey, barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce or plum sauce.
I personally love it with plum sauce.  It goes great wih Mashed Potatoes.  Very creamy Mashed potatoes...with lots of milk and butter, and parmesan cheese.  Don't forget to add a tad of garlic powder and a bit of pepper.  Okay..i'm getting hungry now.
In addition, corn niblets and or string beans.
A very simple and easy meal to prepare.

My top choices for a fun and fantastic meal!
Amy's Baby Spinach Salmon Salad
Amy's Baby Spinach Salmon Salad
Okay. You need:
1 head of baby spinach, 
1 fresh mango, peeled pitted and diced
1 bunch of green onions, 
1/4 cup of balsamic vinigarette (Optional)
1 tablespoon of rosemary, 
1 teaspoon of dill 
2 ablespoons of olive oil. 
1/2  a Fillet of Salmon. 

Okay: set oven to 375, coat shallow caserol dish with olive oil. Lay salmon fillet, skin side down. Brush top of salmon fillet with olive oil.  Sprinkle green onions on top of salmon fillet, along with rosemary and dill. Lay one half of diced mangos on top of onions. Cover dish with lid and put in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until fillet is slightly brown.  Wash and remove stems from baby spinach. Put into salad bowl. Use remaining mango cubes to sprinkle on top spinach.  Once fillet is lighly brown, remove from oven and cut salmon into long strips.  Gently place salmon on top of spinach and mango mix.  Pour on dressing and enjoy!!!

This goes nicely with a great guy or a great girl.  Depending on your preferance.  In addition, this will also go nicely with a bottle of white Chardonnay.  I think only one will suffice, depending on how your date goes. It is always a good idea to have another bottle if he/she is talking too much. 

Right.  This one was good. I had this last night.  I sat on the kitchen counter and watched it come together, while sipping on white wine and eating garlic coated green olives. 

10 Tomatoes (Those really red ones)
Pasta (The spirally ones)
Olive Oil
Feta Cheese
French Bread
Hot Peppers
White Wine

Okay, first thing you need to do is to chop up the garlic, and crush it into a frying pan.  Mix in a bit of olive oil.  Cut up the tomatoes into thin slices, and mix into the pan with the garlic.  You want to break apart the tomatoes as much as you can to make it into a sauce.  Once the tomatoes are looking saucy, mix in your feta cheese.  You can cheat and buy the already grated cheese, or you can jolly-well grate it yourself.
Mix this altogether in the pan. 

While this is going on, throw in a few garlic cloves into tinfoil with a bit of butter, and cook it in the oven for 15 minutes or so.  Then spread this onto your french break with butter...mmm.

Grab another pan, with oil, and throw in the shrimp, and fry it until both sides are getting pinkish...once this has happened, mix the shrimp in with the sauce, and stir it around for awhile.  Toss is some hot peppers, and some of that wine you were drinking...white wine of course. This seemed to take a fair bit of time, because I must have had 3 glasses of wine by this point. Plus a lot of those stinky garlic Olives were eaten up by yours truly. need to put the pasta on.  This may take a bit of time, so you can do this while your shrimps are mixing it up with the sauce. Throw in a CD (maybe some Guns and Roses, Lounge style....or not.)

Once the pasta is finished, mix everything altogether in a big pot, and viola. You have a really nice meal.  Don't forget to have your garlic bread with it too.   Yum!!