Tag Archives: Homemade Lasagna

‘Tis the Season

This year’s holiday season is looking very different from last year. This time last year, I had just left my job at Bromley and didn’t know what to do next. I spent the holidays resting while trying to figure out what kind of job I felt I was right for, and also feeling a little guilty that at 25, I had left my job without a plan as to what would happen next. This year, I’m in a job that has been such a good change for me. I’ve now been at the Southwest School of Art as their Executive Assistant for a little over six months. I work with some really amazing people and am inspired by the creativity of this place. I may not be done with our Christmas shopping or have our Christmas cards out in the mail like I did by this point last year, but I am so grateful for all that has happened in the last 12 months.

December has been a whirlwind and I find myself needing to take time to savor this season and remind myself of the huge purpose of Christmas: the birth of our Savior. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas (hello, previous paragraph and my uncompleted Christmas shopping), which feels so cliche. I am thankful that Christ frees me from these petty worries and struggles and that we have had some really sweet moments this month celebrating the Christmas season. Last weekend was my favorite weekend of the year that started with the Trinity Christmas concert on Friday, and ended with the Redeemer Christmas party on Sunday. It was all extra special this year since my parents were in town to join us on these traditions for the first time. Yes, it was fun getting to sit in Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium together and listening to great music, but it was so special getting to serve alongside my parents at Redeemer Christmas boxes the next morning, sharing our traditional lasagna dinner as we decorated our tree in the evening, and having them come as our guests to the Redeemer Christmas party Sunday evening.

At the Trinity Christmas Concert

At the Trinity Christmas Concert

Trinity Christmas Concert

Trinity Christmas Concert

Trinity Christmas Concert

Trinity Christmas Concert

With a few of the Youthies at Christmas boxes on Saturday morning

With a few of the Youthies at Christmas boxes on Saturday morning

Lunch after Christmas boxes at the Pearl. Chip and my dad unintentionally twinning.

Lunch after Christmas boxes at the Pearl, Chip and my dad unintentionally twinning.

Molly and Wrigley helping us pick a Christmas tree at Home Depot

Molly and Wrigley helping us pick a Christmas tree at Home Depot

Ready for dinner on Saturday

Ready for dinner on Saturday

Our tradiitional dinner while decorating the Christmas tree: homemade lasagna

Our traditional dinner while decorating the Christmas tree: homemade lasagna

One of my favorite meals of the year

One of my favorite meals of the year

Our new ornament of the year from our trip to Napa in August

Our new ornament of the year from our trip to Napa in August

The ornament we received our first year as a married couple

The ornament we received our first year as a married couple

The first ornament Chip got for me back when we were dating

The first ornament Chip got for me back when we were dating

Our failed family photo

Our failed family photo

There we go

There we go

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Redeemer Christmas Party

Redeemer Christmas Party

Redeemer Christmas Party

Redeemer Christmas Party

I hope you are all getting time to enjoy this Advent season. It sometimes means consciously ignoring the to-do list and muting all of the holiday commercials on TV, but it is so good for the soul.

Homemade Lasagna

Up until a few years ago, the only lasagna I ever had was Stouffer’s. As good as that stuff is, for some reason I thought it would be fun to learn to actually make our own lasagna. However, as I looked at different recipes, I realized that this would take a bit more work than our average dinner so we decided to wait on giving this a shot (we weren’t going to put over an hour into a regular weeknight meal, let’s just be honest). With the holiday season approaching three years ago, we thought a homemade lasagna would be perfect for our evening decorating our first Christmas tree. We were looking to create new traditions together and we thought a special meal while putting the tree up would be a lot of fun and something we could always do together. Now, it did take us a while to make the lasagna our first year and by the time it was finally ready it was late in the evening and we were starving. Thankfully we have mastered the recipe now and enjoy this time in the kitchen together as we get ready to decorate the tree and celebrate the holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 package (19 1/2 ounces) Italian turkey sausage (link or whole sausage)
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. When finished, drain noodles and rinse in cold water.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the sausage, beef, and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, basil, fennel, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • In a small bowl, combine the egg, ricotta cheese, parsley, and salt.
  • Spread 1 cup meat sauce into a 13×9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles, 2 cups meat sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta cheese mixture, 2/3 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat layers twice.

  • Cover and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover, bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting (this is what the original recipe recommended… we usually just eat it right away!).
First time making homemade lasagna - December 2011

First time making homemade lasagna – December 2011