Monthly Archives: August 2010

Lasagna is a Weekend Food!

Last Thursday I was done with work relatively early.  Early enough in fact, that I thought it would be the perfect time to try out Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Lasagna recipe.  A recipe that my mom endorsed.  Given that her lasagna is to-die-for, I thought I’d give it a try.  Don’t let the ‘Easy’ difficulty level fool you though — this dish is no joke. 

So, at 5:30pm I began with the sauce — which had quite a long list of ingredients, mostly herbs.  These herbs were supposed to be processed but since I don’t have a food processor, I chopped them as finely as I could with my trusty Wusthof chef’s knife.  (Note to self: Register for food processor!)  I browned the meat, added the veggies, herbs, and tomatoes and let it simmer for a little bit.  Then I mixed up the filling ingredients.  Finally, after all that, I put big pot of water on the stove to boil.  I’m not sure exactly how, but by the time I did this, it was already 8pm and M was starting to parade around the kitchen with his hunger face.  At the rate I was going, the lasagna wasn’t going to be finished until at least 9:30.  So, as much as I hated to do so, I made an executive decision and ordered a pizza pie.  As much as I wanted to conquer lasagna, I didn’t want to starve my fiance in the process.  I decided I’d finish the lasagna but then freeze it until sometime this week.  So, while it came out exceptional-looking, I still haven’t tasted it.  Although, if it tastes how it smells, it will definitely be worth the wait.

So, what’s the lesson learned here folks? Lasagna is a ‘weekend food.’  Only make it when you have several hours to burn — and even then, only when you have a food processor because mincing veggies and herbs by hand is quite time consuming.  I think M & I are eating it tomorrow night.  I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Update:  After all of that work, I hate to report that I was ‘eh’ about the lasagna.  I suppose I should have read the reviews on the recipe site and left out the cinnamon – it was really overwhelming.  And even aside from that, the sauce wasn’t all that tasty (next time, I’m definitely sticking to my parents’ meat sauce recipe.)  I should also mention that the measurements in Tyler’s recipe are not precise at all.  All you really need is one box of lasagna noodles — I had to throw away an entire second box because I followed the recipe.  So unfortunately, I have to declare this recipe a failure.  (Sorry Tyler, I usually love your work.)

At some point in the future, I’ll try to make lasagna again.  Hopefully, the next time, it will be a success. 

If you’re still interested, here is Tyler’s Ultimate Lasagna Recipe:

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: —
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min <– lie
Level: Easy <– lie
Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pound dried lasagna noodles <– 1 box is plenty
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon <– skip it!
  • 2 quarts ricotta cheese, (2 containers)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Grated Parmesan and mozzarella, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the lasagna noodles in plenty of boiling salted water until pliable and barely tender, about 10 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Drain the noodles thoroughly and coat with olive oil to keep them moist and easy to work with.
  3. Coat a large skillet with olive oil, add beef and sausage and brown until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a food processor, combine the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, parsley, an oregano. Process until pureed, add to the pan with the ground meat and stir to combine. Stir in the flour. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes and add the heavy cream and the cinnamon.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta and the parmesan. Stir in the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble the lasagna: Coat the bottom of a deep 13 by 9-inch pan with olive oil. Arrange 4 noodles lengthwise in a slightly overlapping layer on the sauce. Then, line each end of the pan with a lasagna noodle. This forms a collar that holds in the corners. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the pasta, spread to the edges with a spatula. Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture over the ricotta. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on top of the ricotta. Top with a ladle full of sauce, spread evenly. Repeat with the next layer of noodles, ricotta, sauce, and cheeses. Top last layer with noodles, sauce, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Tap the pan to force out air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Let lasagna rest for 30 minutes so the noodles will settle and cut easily. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

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My Daily Outfit – August 31, 2010

Where: Work
(Left worn on 7/08/10, Right – Today’s Outfit)

From Closet:

Dress: DVF Vintage. Exact dress no longer available, but click here for a similar one on sale.
Shoes: Kate Spade – click here to purchase

A simple change of shoes can turn an outfit from Summer to transition into Fall.

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My Daily Outfits – August 30, 2010

Where: Work

From Closet:
Top: Banana Republic
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Paolo

I feel like a Tiffany gift 🙂

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My Daily Outfits – August 29, 2010

Where: Brunch with Frank /Parent’s for dinner

From Closet:
Top : Loft
Shorts: Banana Republic
Shoes: Banana Republic

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My Daily Outfits – August 28, 2010

Where: Just Saturday

From Closet:
Dress :
Shopmamie.com
Shoes: Seychelles – No longer available

I was feeling a little patriotic 🙂

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Fall Must Have – Leopard

Leopard is HUGE this Fall.  I’m not much of a loud dresser so I’m going to keep my leopard on my feet.  I just purchased the Betsey Johnson shoes below.  Pick your favorite, throw them on with a simple outfit and let the shoes do the talking! 

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My Daily Outfits – August 27, 2010

Where: AC to see Chelsea Handler

From Closet
Dress:
French Connection. I got it a long time ago, but surprisingly it’s still available. Click here to purchase
Shoes: Dolce Vita

These are my “Brian Atwood” look-for-less. I love how these shoes make my legs look a mile long! You can’t really see it, but they have tiny studs all over. Very edgy! I got those shoes about 6 months ago, and wearing them now for the first time. Pretty common theme around here. They are no longer available, but the style is. Click here to purchase

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My Daily Outfits – August 26, 2010

Where: Work

From My closet
Top : DVF

New:
Shoes: Kate Spade (had to replace the pumps that broke….these are WAY cutter. My friend that works at zappos hooked me up with a 20% discount coupon)
Skirt: Banana Republic (their pencil skirts have an amazing perfect fit and their petite fit has just the perfect lenght…for me. I stock up during sales….I got this one for 25% off)

I’ve had this shirt for about two years and wore it just once. I have a short torso so it’s a little longer than I would like. I thought, why not tuck it in my high-waisted skirt…and voila! a new outfit was born 🙂

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Fall Must Have – Cargo Pants



As I told you all, I’m started to draft my fall shopping list.  Item number one is a pair of cargo pants, no not the baggy cargo pant with a tie string.  I won’t even wear those to sleep!  This fall’s cargo pant has taken a sexy twist.  Throw them on with a pair of rugged boots or sexy heels.  They are the MUST have of the season.  
Here are some options  (top) Arden B $68, (bottom left) Level 99 at http://www.revolveclothing.com $87, (bottom right) JBrand at http://www.shopbop.com $231.

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My Daily Outfits – August 24, 2010

Where: Work
Top: Ann Taylor
Pants: Express – Editor Pant
Shoes: Tory Burch

I just realized I haven’t worn pants to work in 2 months! So imagine my surprise this morning when I put these on and they still fit!!! I know one of these days my metabolism will totally give up and my clothes won’t fit me from season to season….till then I rejoice 🙂

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