Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Cook Lasagna Penne Pasta Casserole Recipe, easy recipe

How to Cook Lasagna Penne Pasta Casserole Recipe, easy recipe.

Hungry? So were we last night when we made this delicious casserole. I have been wanting to post this for awhile, but I make it from scratch with no measuring, so tonight I took the time to measure it out for you, so you could enjoy the recipe too. Also, this makes THREE casseroles. I love that because I can freeze two of them right away and bake the other one. If you’re looking for a good freezer cooking recipe, this one is awesome.

If you only want to make one, you will probably need to adjust the recipe, but I highly recommend making all three, even if you’re not a freezer cooker, because in a week or two when you’re stressing about dinner and you can pull one out of the freezer

Lasagna Casserole

Easy Lasagna Penne Pasta Casserole Recipe

What you need:

3 boxes of penne style pasta
1.5 lbs. ground beef
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. chopped onion (to your taste)
3 c. cottage cheese
3 jars (15 1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce (honestly, we use tomato sauce, it’s cheaper & I season it with my own herbs & spices)
3 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 c. water
1 c. Parmesan cheese
seasonings, to taste (see recipe)

Cook pasta al dente (almost done but not super soft); drain. Using a large skillet, brown the ground beef and the onion. Season with garlic powder, Italian seasonings, salt & pepper to taste.

Either in a separate pot, or if your skillet is big/deep enough, stir the spaghetti sauce in with the ground beef. Add the cottage cheese and the the almost cooked pasta.

Using three 9×13 baking dishes, divide the mixture into the three dishes. Add 1/3 c. water to each casserole. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over each casserole. Top two of the casseroles with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese each. Cover these two casseroles with a freezer proof lid (they make baking dishes for this). Pop into the freezer.

Take your last casserole with no cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Remove from the oven, top with the Mozzarella cheese and return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt and brown the cheese. Yum!

Freezer Cooked Casserole: Remove from the freezer and remove the lid while you wait for the oven to preheat. When you’re ready to cook it, cover the dish with tin foil, and place the casserole in your preheated 375 degree oven for about 45-55 minutes. Pull it out and check it. Remove tinfoil and continue cooking about 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Enjoy!

Serve with a salad, garlic bread, Italian style veggies, etc.

List of 10 calories snacks that are delicious

List of 10 calories snacks that are delicious.

Need a quick snack? The best part of these individual snacks is that they are only 10 calories per item. What this means, is you can mix and match several to make a 50 calorie snack, or even combine 20 of them to build a 200 calorie meal. Some of them are a bit strange, since there are half a nut, etc. But obviously it gives you a good idea of what the calorie intake is of what you eat. Love this idea and it’s all about mixing and matching. Plus, it’s a great way to satisfy a sweet or salty craving.

Oh, and yes, I did the research on every single one of these and verified them. Obviously I am sure there are dozens more and if you know of any, share in the comments, please. It will help all of us.

Fruit & Veggie Treats (Clean Eating Choices)

  • 2 large strawberries
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
  • 1/4 of a Kiwi
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower
  • 12 & 1/2 blueberries
  • 1 apple slice
  • 3 green grapes
  • 2 melon balls
  • 10 raspberries
  • 1 8″ celery stick
  • 3 & 1/2 1″ watermelon cubes or balls
  • 2 & 1/2 baby carrots
  • 1 orange segment
  • 3 red grapes
  • 1 3″ pickle
  • 11 pieces shelled edamame (soybeans)
  • 1 1″ square pineapple

Nut & Seed Treats (Clean Eating Choices)

  • 18 roasted & salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cashew half
  • 2 & 1/2 pistachios
  • 1 & 1/2 almonds
  • 1 pecan half
  • 20 roasted & salted soy nuts

Crackers, Cereals & Chip Snacks

  • 1 Sunchip
  • 4 goldfish crackers
  • 1 animal cracker
  • 2 Teddy Grahams
  • 1 mini vanilla wafer
  • 1 reduce fat Pringle chip
  • 1 Tostitos Chip
  • 42 Cheerios (that’s AWESOME!)
  • 2 baked Cheetos
  • 1/3 cup of air popped popcorn (not microwaveable)
  • 1 Wheat Cracker (Wheatables)
  • 10 Wehat Chex
  • 2 Fritos
  • 1 large cheeze-it cracker
  • 1 shoestring french fry
  • 1 Snyder’s of Hanover pretzel nibbler

Candy & Dessert Food Snacks (Consume in Moderation!)

  • 4 & 1/2 mini marshmallows
  • 1 entire container of Jell-O sugar-free gelatin snack
  • 4 semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine multiple items to create a Trail mix to take a long with you on the go.

How to cook Frozen Pistachio Mousse, easy recipe

How to cook Frozen Pistachio Mousse, easy recipe.

One of my favorite flavors is pistachio. I just love it and could quite possibly consume large amounts of anything flavored like a pistachio, well forever.

I recently went on a hunt for a good pistachio cupcake recipe and wound up making my own.

So in honor of my beloved flavor, I am sharing an amazing, delicious – super easy dessert with you.

Frozen Pistachio Mousse Recipe

3 rolls Ritz crackers
1 (20 oz.) container of whipped topping
1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
2 boxes of instant pistachio pudding mix
1/2 c. butter
optional: crushed pistachios, cherry, whipped cream

Directions: Finely crush all of the Ritz crackers. Melt your butter and mix it in with the crackers (see the notes below to see what else we have used instead of the Ritz crackers). Using a muffin pan, or a fancy mini cake pan, etc. layer the crushed crackers (or cookies) into the bottom of each cup. (these can also be made in dixie cups). In a bowl, mix the ice cream and the pistachio instant pudding really well. Then fold in the whipped cream.

Spoon the ice cream into the cups on top of the crackers. Freeze everything for about an hour or so. So refreshing on a hot day. (not to mention they are super pretty and look like you spent hours on them). Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry on top. You can also sprinkle crushed pistachios on top.

Note: I thought I would point out that we often crush oreo cookies for the “crust”. We scrape off the icing and mash up the oreo’s. We’ve also used graham crackers, etc. Whatever I happen to have on hand.

11 Easy useful tips to Save Money with Coupons

11 Easy useful tips to Save Money with Coupons

Don’t leave home without them! Coupons save many consumers $100′s and sometimes even $1000′s of dollars a year! Need some tips on how to go about using them?

Do you have any coupon tips you can share?

coupon savings
  1. Double & Triple: Shop at stores (if available) that will double (and sometimes even triple) your coupons. Pay attention too, because sometimes its only one day per week and often only up to a certain amount.
  2. Weekly Fliers: Every week in the mail and in newspapers, the grocery stores have weekly fliers printed up that show off their best sales and deals for that week. Take advantage of these things to stock up. Don’t forget the coupons!
  3. Sales: Save your coupons for sales. When your store is offering a 10 for $10 deal or something similar, that’s the perfect time to whip out those coupons and utilize them on top of the stores sales.
  4. Check your coupons: Before you go to the store, check your coupons for expirations. Most coupons expire at the beginning or the end of the month, so make sure you use them in time.
  5. Don’t Toss: If you do let a coupon expire, don’t immediately toss it. A lot of grocers will still accept them, and all you have to do is ask. Don’t be afraid to ask, because there are a lot of stores that will accept them but don’t make that widely known.
  6. Track Prices: I keep a small notebook with me when I shop. I write down the items that I most frequently buy, yes sometimes multiple brands per items. I know how much each frequently purchased item costs at each of the stores near my house that I shop at. This way, when I have the choice to use a coupon, I can decide if its worth it, or if I should save the coupon or utilize the sale instead. (or stack, because thats also an option at some stores).
  7. Check receipts: Most stores make their computer screens available to customers to view as things are ringing up. Watch these so that A) your items scan correctly and B) that the coupons are utilized.
  8. Shop Store Brands: I have a family member that worked for a well known company that creates a specific name brand product. They also sold to the stores under store brand names. So don’t automatically reach for name brands, most store brands are often equal to or better in quality. Obviously we all have our favorite name brands, so those are the things you should try to obtain coupons for and then shop store brands for everything else.
  9. Competition is Key: Let me just tell you, the best stores to shop at, are the ones that accept competitors coupons. And many of them do. All you have to do is ask, so don’t be afraid to. The reason this is a good thing – it means less driving around to different stores, and can save you more money that it would have if you tried to do all your shopping at one store that doesn’t accept competitors coupons or at several different stores.
  10. Trial Size It: If the coupon doesn’t tell you what size you have to buy, go ahead and use it on a trial size or the smallest size. Often, this garners the product free or almost free.
  11. Print Coupons: Visit,, and – you can print coupons from there, picking and choosing which you want. Make sure and visit more than one, because often they have coupons the other might not offer.

Do you have any coupon tips you can share?

Peruvian Recipes. How to Cook Picarones

Peruvian Recipes. How to Cook Picarones


Ingredients :

  • 1lb (½ k) sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1lb (½ k) squash, peeled
  • 1lb (½ k) flour
  • 3 tablespoons fresh yeast
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons aniseed
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • Oil, necessary amount for frying


  • 2 cups dark sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 allspice
  • Peel of 1 orange, cut into thick large strips
  • 4 cups water

Fill water in a large pan with cinnamon, clove and aniseed. Boil for 10 minutes, approximately and strain reserving water. Cook sweet potatoes and squash in the reserved water until tender. Remove from pan and force through a strainer. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid. Allow to cool.

In a small size bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and reserved cooking liquid. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Place strained sweet potatoes and squash in a large bowl. Add salt, yeast mixture and eggs. Stir vigorously until combined. Fold in flour and continue stirring until a soft and smooth and elastic dough is formed. Dough will not stick to fingers. Cover with a damp cloth and leave dough to rise for 1 hour or until mixture doubles its volume.

Heat oil in a large skillet until hot. Take a small quantity of dough and form a ring. Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides. Repeat the procedure until all dough is used. Wet hands in salted water frequently to make dough rings more manageable.

Remove picarones from hot oil and drain in kitchen paper.

Serve immediately with syrup, (3 per serving).

Combine sugar, clove, cinnamon, orange peel, allspice and water in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat until mixture thickens to a syrup (200 °F – 110 °C). This process will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve picarones with this syrup.

8 – 10 servings

Peruvian Recipes. Coconut Alfajor

Peruvian Recipes. Coconut Alfajor


Ingredients :

  • 1 large fresh coconut, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup coconut juice
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 12 oz (350 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup port wine or semi sec wine
  • 1 tablespoon ground toasted sesame seed
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed, to brush on top
  • Milk Caramel
  • Apricot jelly
  • Confectioner´s sugar


Place egg whites, 1 cup coconut juice, shredded coconut in a large saucepan and mix. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and the bottom of the saucepan can be seen. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile beat egg yolks until they reach a light lemon color, add wine and mix.
Stir into egg white mixture with the ground sesame. Return saucepan to the heat and cook until mixture thickens again.

Stir in butter. Pour mixture in two 9 in (23 cm) greased round cake pans (optional: line bottom of pans with greased parchment paper). Brush top layers with egg yolk.

Bake in preheated oven to 350°F (180°C) until they have a golden color.

Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes and invert on a rack to cool completely.

Place one cake on a serving dish and spread a layer of manjarblanco or dulce de leche and a layer or apricot jelly on top.
Cover with the remaining cake and dust with confectioner´s sugar.

6 – 8 servings

Free Shipping Store

Free Shipping Store
More than 10'000 products to choose

Special Offer for Readers