Five of my favorite words. Chicken. Bacon. Ranch. Macaroni. Cheese. Okay, chicken and ranch are much lower on the list than pizza and chocolate but still.
So dinner was supposed to be Taco Soup but I had wicked heartburn all day. Thanks McDonalds, I love you too. So after a couple of doses of Pepto I decided that Taco Soup was a bad idea. A very large twinkie.
So I checked the menu for a meal that would be a bit easier on my stomach and that I would be able to swap easily. Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese to the rescue. I found the recipe at Southern Bite and it was a hit, even with my hubbie who doesn’t like chicken in any dish.
Okay, it doesn’t look like much but it was quite tasty and easy. I had four of cups of cooked, shredded chicken in the freezer. All I had to do is boil up the pasta, cook up some bacon and then mix all the ingredients together and bake for half an hour. If you don’t have the chicken just pick up a rotisserie one on your way home.
If you want a flavorful, juicy chicken breast just marinade it in Grill Mates wonderful Garlic, Herb & Wine marinade.
My family loves this recipe. We usually make it with chicken cutlets so that it grills quickly on my Pampered Chef grill pan. This recipe is totally not mine. I got it at Plain Chicken which is an awesome website with great food.
Marinade the chicken for about 1/2 an hour using the instructions on the packet. Start grilling and boil water for your pasta. When the pasta gets put in the salted water then you can start the sauce. I double the original recipe. So it is 1 lb of pasta, 16 oz canned alfredo sauce, 16 oz tomato sauce, 1 tbl of Italian seasoning, and like 5 cloves of garlic (my family does not believe that there is such a thing as too much garlic).
Slice up the chicken into strips, mix the sauce and the pasta together and serve with chicken strips on top.
It is a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will enjoy.
So I haven’t posted in a while but I am going to try to do better. Starting with posting this week’s menu so you know what to look forward to.
This is the last full week that T3 will be at home. He is leaving next Sunday for camp where he will be working in the kitchen for 7 weeks. I love that he gets to go to camp for several weeks for many reasons. It is a really good growth experience for him, he is learning new skills, he has a job all summer and I save a lot of money because I don’t have to feed him.
T3 loooooovvvvvveeeeeesssss pasta. He says “Pasta is life” whenever we have it. So when I was putting together the menu I decided to make it pasta heavy.
Monday – Grilled Chicken over Tomato Alfredo Pasta
Tuesday – Parmesan Garlic Noodles with Ranch Chicken
Wednesday – Best Ever Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Caprese Pasta Salad
Thursday – Daddy Burgers with Baked Beans
Friday – Pot Luck (need to figure out what to bring)
Saturday – Pork Chops with Bacon Cheddar Risotto
Sunday – Chicken Tender Wraps with Mexican Corn Salad
Today is Father’s day and my Humbly wanted to smoke some big meat but yesterday he spent all morning pouring concrete with the kids (for my outdoor pizza oven) and he took his father to the car races about an hour away from home. All of this means he was not going to be up to cooking.
Also, we had a new addition at our church and several of us decided to feed the new parents this week. All this together means I was making lasagna and the only difference between making one lasagna and making two is the cost of ingredients. It is no more work.
I have mentioned in the past that I get vegetables delivered to my work and that it is helping me to expand my vegetable repertoire. Last week we got Sugar Snap Peas in the bag. I made an awesome Beef with Pea Pods dish that I will have to show you some other time but it was way yummy.
That being said, I have made sugar snap peas three times this week. Today I took 1 1/2 cups of peas and fried it in about a tablespoon of bacon grease for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and in the last minute add minced garlic being very careful not to burn it.
I have been making this lasagna for nearly 30 years and I have perfected it. Everyone who has eaten this has proclaimed it as the best lasagna that they have ever eaten. It is NOT good for you. There are 3 lbs or more of cheese in it but I do not boil the noodles so it is pretty easy to make.
I brown a pound of ground beef and then pour in 48 oz of spaghetti sauce. Put just a little of the meat sauce at the bottom of your pan. Then layer with uncooked lasagna noodles. Instead of ricotta I use cottage cheese, so put that on top of the noodles. Then mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Then put just a little sauce on top, barely any. Repeat layers ending with noodles on top.
You should have a lot of sauce left, pour it over the lasagna making absolutely sure that all of the noodles are covered with sauce. You will have hard noodles if they aren’t covered. Top with mozzarella.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and here is something that I have just learned. Spray the aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray. This prevents the cheese from sticking to the foil when you take it off.
Bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees (or put in fridge overnight or freezer for up to 3 months), increase baking time by 20 minutes if you are cooking it directly from the fridge and if you freeze it make sure you defrost it completely before cooking.
You know it is ready when you start smelling it and the cheese in the center has melted.
Take it out of the oven and start your garlic bread. The lasagna should rest for at least 15 minutes or you will never get it cut. It will just be a saucy mess. A delicious one but still a mess.
Cathy’s No-Boil Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
48 oz spaghetti sauce
lasagna noodles (doesn’t need to be no-boil noodles)
16+ oz cottage cheese
16+ oz mozzarella cheese
8+ oz sharp cheddar cheese
8+ oz mild or medium cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground beef then add spaghetti sauce. Put a couple of tablespoons of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9″ x 11″ pan. Put a layer of uncooked noodles over the sauce. Put a thin layer of cottage cheese on the noodles (about 1 heaping tbl per noodle). Sprinkle with cheeses. Put a thin layer of sauce over the noodles (maybe another tbl per noodle).
Repeat layers ending with noodles. Pour the rest of the sauce over the noodles making sure that all noodles are covered. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for an hour.
Let lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.