Our Favorite Lasagna

Cooking is not my favorite thing. I often find myself procrastinating starting dinner so it takes me much longer than it should to make a meal. I get tired of the same meals, yet I have little time to scour the internet or cookbooks.

Lasagna is a meal I rarely make because in my mind it takes way too long to prepare and far too many ingredients. However, several nights ago I found myself craving lasagna and decided to simply go for it without a recipe, combining what I’ve used in various recipes we’ve enjoyed.

Pioneer Woman and Joanna Gaines make amazing lasagna recipes, which I’ve used for the last several years. But when I made lasagna recently my family requested that I never make any other lasagna than this one.

When I realized how much they enjoyed it, I quickly wrote down a recipe because I knew I’d never remember what I did.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

1 TBS Italian seasoning

1 TBS garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp pepper

4-5 garlic cloves minced

3 cans Italian diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 block cream cheese

8 oz cottage cheese

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

Fresh mozzerella cut into small pieces

lasagna noodles

Brown meat, add spices, garlic, tomatoes.

In a large bowl mix cream cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, and 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.

In a cast iron dutch oven (I’m convinced this makes the best lasagna) layer meat, noodles, cheese mixture, fresh mozzarella cheese. Repeat for 3 layers. Top with 2 cups shredded cheese.

Cover and bake 350 for 1 and 1/2 hours. Uncover 10-15 minutes until browned. Let sit to firm up at least 30 minutes.

Even better as leftovers. Cast iron is the only way to cook. And did you know you don’t need to boil lasagna noodles? Simply throw those babies in and they will cook up perfectly!! I wish I had known this the last 20 years I’ve made lasagna. You don’t even need to buy “no bake” noodles.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I thought it would be fun to share a recipe with you today. It’s different than my normal posts, but I slightly miss the days when I blogged some randomness now and then.

Also, I’m on a bit of a cooking streak. When it hits, it hits. Andrew commented, “I love it when you are in a cooking phase. We all benefit from it.”

My kids requested my homemade pumpkin chocolate chip muffins this week. It’s a modified version of a recipe a woman gave me when I was pregnant with Andrew. While I’ve tried many versions, this remains a family favorite.

Side note: I tried to take some shortcuts this week and buy some healthy box muffins and healthy box energy bites, assuming they would be enjoyed more than my homemade versions. All family members requested I not do that again. Box is never better than made from scratch.

Double side note: I had a lot of words I wanted to write in this post, but what drives me bonkers about food bloggers is how long it takes me to get to the actual recipe. If you feel me, I hope you appreciate today’s post. Hugs!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wet ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 can pumpkin

Dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup honey (or sugar) (original recipe uses 2 cups, but I think that’s crazy)
  • 3 TBS cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup choc chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine wet and dry. Grease muffin tins, fill muffin cups. Bake 350 for 15-16 minutes.