Skillet Fun

I found this recipe while going through the latest Williams Sonoma catalog and drooling over the things I can't have. I'm not quite sure I'll make it again as it was just "eh" but it was filling and made tons! I want to add a few things and remove a few things the next time I make it to hopefully get it to be perfect. Perhaps a little more seasoning would do this recipe good! I might just try it in a skillet next time too... I used my dutch oven because I didn't have a skillet big enough :)

Source: Williams Sonoma

Skillet Lasagna

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh sage
  • 9 dried lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
  • 3 lb. butternut squash, neck portion only, peeled and
  • sliced into wide, thin sheets
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.

In the fry pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain the sausage on paper towels, then add to the onion mixture.

In the fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese, the 1/4 cup parsley, the sage, salt and pepper.

To assemble the lasagna, spread 1/3 cup sauce on the bottom of the fry pan and top with a single layer of 3 noodles. Top with 1/3 cup sauce, 1/3 cup sausage and a layer of squash slices. Repeat the layering of sauce, sausage and squash 5 more times, replacing the squash layer with a layer of noodles after every 2 layers of squash. Top with the remaining sauce and the 1/4 cup cheese.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the lasagna is browned and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the 1 Tbs. parsley. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 8 to 10.

Cinnamon Goodness

I recently co-hosted a baby shower for my friend Amanda (pictured above... isn't she such a cute pregnant woman!?) and needed a good breakfast/brunch recipe to try out. I started looking through my google reader and a few people were making Alton Brown's overnight cinnamon rolls. They looked sooo yummy so I decided to give them a try.

This is definitely a recipe I will use again. It was so simple and you can either bake the rolls in the morning or freeze them and bake them when you want them! The first batch (I made two seperate pans, one for the party and one for Joseph and I for Sunday morning) was a bit over baked so I suggest not going by a timer and checking them about 5 minutes earlier than the recipe says. The second batch was to die for! And the icing... oh, I'm using this for other things too. Not too cream cheesy, light and perfect!

I haven't ever really been afraid of yeast and love how things turn out when you use it so if you haven't delved into using yeast when baking I highly suggest this recipe. BTW... it says to let the dough rise for 2 1/2 hours but I let it rise for 5 (took the baby shopping) and I think they turned out even better. I read some of the comments on Alton's page and others also found that letting it rise longer yields better results.

Source: Alton Brown

Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray

  • 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

  • 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Ethan watching the KA do its thing

A great idea for baby shower decorations is to use what you have around the house. I took some rope and some clothes pins and pinned up these onesies for decorations. And the mommy-to-be can take them home and use them for her little one!

I also love the diaper cake idea as a centerpiece for any baby shower. And it's functional! All the newborn diapers a mom needs in one little cake!

Fried Rice Goodness

Another great dish made with left overs!

I've always wanted to make fried rice like my mom did with the left over rice I always end up with. But I've never had the time and always just took the white rice in with my other left overs for lunch. Well I finally had the time and am glad I did this! The fried rice made a great breakfast! Anything with bacon and eggs is considered breakfast, right?

Fried Rice
  • left over rice (about 2 cups)
  • soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut up into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen carrots & peas (I didn't have this in the freezer this time)
Heat up pan and add bacon. Cook bacon until almost done. Leave fat in the pan with the bacon. Add and saute garlic. Add rice & vegetables and stir together.

Add eggs one at a time and stir well to get the egg to coat the rice and cook thoroughly. Add a swirl or two of soy sauce. Toss a bit to get everything mixed well. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Leftovers

Joseph's starting to get really good at dinners :) He, again, successfully made dinner last night. I had some left over chicken breast from the other night (already seasoned) and he went and found a recipe that included the left overs and the noodles he wanted to use (egg noodles). He wanted something creamy like a tuna cassarole but we didn't have Cream of Celery soup... only Cream of Mushroom so he found a Chicken and Noodle Casserole from Campbell's website that used Cream of Mushroom. It was great. Very filling and the cheesy goodness on top was perfect :)

Going back and looking at the website I am surprised that Joseph got the recipe right. Read the directions on the website... too funny! I might not have gotten cheddar on top if Joseph didn't read all the way through. Oh, and I love how Campbell's gives the nutritional information and the cost per serving. Very helpful!

Source: Campbell's Kitchen

Hearty Chicken & Noodle Casserole
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/4 of a 12 ounce package medium egg noodles (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Stir the soup, milk, black pepper, vegetables, chicken, noodles and Parmesan cheese in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish.

Top with the Cheddar cheese.

Bake at 400°F. for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.


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