Archive for January, 2010

5 Cheese Lasagne

Posted by: Frances

January 12th, 2010 >> Cooking

5 Cheese Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 11/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano, thyme and parsley)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) package lasagne noodles (which contains approximately 16 to 20 noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped plus about 12 small sprigs to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (about 2 or 3 sprigs stripped from stems)
  • 1/2 pound sliced provolone
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 8 ounces)

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the lasagne noodles.

To make the sauce: Cook ground turkey meat with a little bit of olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepot. Then add garlic and onions. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, checking periodically to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn.

Boil the lasagne noodles until al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together. Let cool.

This lasagne will have 4 layers but 2 different types of cheese layers. One cheese layer will consist of mascarpone, ricotta, Parmesan and egg to bind. Combine these 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside briefly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Layer 4 to 5 lasagne noodles lengthwise side by side in an ovenproof lasagne dish with edges overlapping. Top with half of the mascarpone/ricotta cheese mixture. (It is easiest to drop evenly spaced spoonfuls of this over the noodles, and then spread it out.) Distribute half of the fresh basil and half of the fresh oregano over the cheese, then layer another 4 or 5 lasagne noodles over the cheese in the same fashion as the first layer of noodles.

The second layer of cheese will consist of provolone and mozzarella. Spread half of the provolone cheese slices over the second layer of noodles and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Repeat the process with the noodles, remaining mascarpone/ricotta and noodles for the third layer. For the last layer, spread out the remaining noodles, top with remaining provolone, but then ladle the tomato sauce over and finish with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, remove and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs.

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Oh my gosh this was soo delicious!  It was actually quite an easy recipe.  I had some garlic bread to go with it that just topped it off.  This is a definite must try!


Crush It by Gary Vanyerchuk

Posted by: Frances

January 9th, 2010 >> Educational

So today I was home sick from my lovely drinking Hydrogen Peroxide episode the other day and I decided to read my boyfriends book Crush It by Gary Vanyerchuk.  I thought it was very inspiring and motivational.  It is about making a living doing what you are passionate about and how to use the internet to guide you in your success.  I am currently on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.  After reading this book I did not realize how many other social networks there are available to all of us.  Overall, this was a short read with good usable information.  It kept my attention enough that I started and finished it in one day.  I highly recommend EVERYONE to read it if you are in any way unhappy with your job.  You will find yourself in a world of ideas when you finish reading it.

Spring Semester at Widener University University College

Posted by: Frances

January 9th, 2010 >> Educational

Well last semester I took three classes and made THREE A‘s!!! Go me!  So this semester at Widener University University College and I am taking 4 classes.  I am kind of nervous about going to school full time and working full time, but I know I can do it.  Here goes nothing… school starts Monday.

My semester is:

Values Seminar

Social Psychology

Intro to Criminal Justice

Issues in Allied Health Care

Sunshine Cleaning

Posted by: Frances

January 7th, 2010 >> Movie Mania

Before the UT Longhorn game came on, I watched Sunshine Cleaning.  I really enjoyed the movie.  I thought it was about real people and real life situations.  It gave me inspiration to never give up.  The grandfather was my favorite.  Him and his quirky jobs made me laugh.  Many good life lessons in this movie for children and adults and very heartfelt.  Interesting choice of jobs though, crime scene clean-up, but pretty realistic.

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Cream Cheese Chicken

Posted by: Frances

January 6th, 2010 >> Cooking

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Cream Cheese Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into strips or chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 – 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 2 c of chicken broth (or 14-oz can), seperated
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp flour

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat, add the chicken to the pan.  Brown chicken on both sides.  Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom.  Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and chicken broth is reduced.  Remove chicken and set aside, keep warm.  Mix flour with remaining broth and add to pan; mix.  Add cream cheese, mix until thick and bubbly.  Add small amounts of  heavy cream and cook on low heat until it is at the desired thickness.  Return chicken to the pan and coat with sauce.  Serve with pasta and vegetables if desired.
I really enjoyed this meal.  I thought the sauce could have been a bit less thick.  Definitely recommend trying this!

P90X

Posted by: Frances

January 5th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Workout

Day 1: Back and Biceps

Day 2: Plyometrics

Here we go again for a second start of the P90X workout series! My knee and hips hurt after the Plyometric workout!  I need to get back in shape so that I will be ready for more Hang Gliding Lessons!

Well the rest of this week was about me being sick from the Hydrogen Peroxide I accidentally drank.  It has made me so sick!

Christmas & New Years Eve Party 2009-2010

Posted by: Frances

January 4th, 2010 >> Cooking, Holidays

Matt and I drove to Austin, TX to celebrate Christmas with my family on New Years Day and to celebrate New Years Eve with LC Rocks and my friends.  We also took my two dogs with us.  New Years Eve was a blast!  We went to the Double Tree to see LC Rocks and The NewsBoyz perform. Sherry from LC Rocks was making Purple Margaritas for all of us.  After the show was over, we all went upstairs to the suite for the after party.

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The girls dancing on stage to Girls Girls Girls.

CHRISTMAS on NEW YEARS DAY

We went over to my sisters house and she her house was gorgeous.  She had Christmas stuff everywhere.  We opened gifts and we all got exactly what we wanted and more.  Then, we had an Italian style dinner.  She made this Spinach Artichoke Dip that was to die for.  It is definitely in my top 5 favorite foods!  The recipe is below.

christmas-on-new-years-jackie-tree-2 Her tree was massive and so awesome!  We had some good times and some laughs we won’t forget.

Matt and I also went to see Avatar at the Tineltown in Pflugerville in the IMAX 3D theater.  It was so intriguing.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip By Jackie

  • 2 (10 oz) boxes frozen chopped spinach – thawed
  • ¼ c real butter
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs minced onion
  • ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ c chicken stock
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 2/3 c grated Romano cheese
  • 2/3 c grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ c sour cream
  • 1 c shredded white cheddar – set aside 1/3 c for top of dip
  • 12 oz jar artichoke hearts – drained and coarsely chopped

Strain spinach. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible using cheesecloth, papertowels, dish rag. Chop it and set aside.

In saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic and onions in butter until golden, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk in cream and stock and continue cooking until boiling.

Once boiling, stir in lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and cheeses (minus the 1/3 c set aside). Stir until cheese has melted.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in sour cream, then fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts. Transfer to serving dish.

Sprinkle 1/3 c cheddar over top.

Microwave to melt cheese topping and serve.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips and bread for dipping.