My Mom’s Lasagna

Ingredients   1/3 cup olive oil 4 onions, minced 6 (16 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes 8 cloves garlic, minced 12 ounces tomato paste salt and pepper to taste 10 leaves fresh basil leaves, torn 2 (16 ounce) packages lasagna noodles 1 cup red wine 4 pounds ricotta cheese 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese   Directions   In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft and slightly clear. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in the tomato paste, salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium, just hot enough to keep lightly bubbling. Add basil leaves and cook, stirring occasionally for an hour. Add salt and pepper and red wine and allow to simmer another hour or until desired consistency. Remove from heat and let it cool. If you have time, let it sit in the refrigerator over night. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until al dente; drain, using your Gypsy’s Kitchen Strainer and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). You’ll need two 9×13 inch baking trays. Put a layer of sauce in the bottom of the tray, then a layer of slightly overlapping lasagna noodles. Spread a layer of ricotta over the noodles and a light sprinkling of mozzarella. Repeat until you fill the tray, making sure that you end up with lasagna noodles on top. Spread a layer of sauce over the noodles and...

Spinach Quiche

Ingredients   1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (white parts only) 4 eggs, beaten 1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup crushed croutons   Directions   Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie or quiche pan. Place spinach in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft. Drain off any remaining liquid. Stir in green onions, eggs, cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crushed croutons. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until eggs are set. Enjoy!    ...

Choosing the Perfect Potato

  Do you know the perfect variety of potato to use for making mashed potatoes? What about the right one for baked? Does it make a difference which type of potato you use when preparing a specific recipe or are all potatoes created equally?   You may be surprised to find out that it really DOES make a difference in what type of potato you choose when you cook. Using the right potato for the recipe can result in a dish that is comforting and delicious. The wrong type of potato, however, may result in a dish that is edible but definitely not as good as you know it can be or it could turn out all wrong and not enjoyable at all.   Which type of potato do you use when choosing different methods of cooking? Here are some hints to help you choose the perfect potato for the dish you are preparing:   Mashed potatoes have been a comfort food for hundreds of years. Choosing the right potato will result in smooth, creamy potatoes with just the right amount of lumps. For mashed potatoes, the best type of potato to choose is one that is waxy. Yukon gold, white rose and red rose potatoes are your best bet when making mashed potatoes because they aren’t as starchy as other potatoes. Stay away from russet or Idaho potatoes as they are too starchy and result in mashed potatoes that are mealy rather than smooth.  Please – if you are mashing potatoes, don’t waste hours of your life, peeling potatoes and hurting your elbow, just go buy a potato ricer,...

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Pasta

  Serves: 4 Time: 20 minutes   Ingredients: 12 ounces of linguine pasta 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 1 pound of zucchini Kosher salt to taste Black pepper to taste 1 clove chopped garlic 5 ounces of fresh goat cheese 2 teaspoons of lemon zest   Instructions: Wash and slice the zucchini in half. Slice each half into small half-moon slices, fairly thin. Crumble the goat cheese into a small bowl and set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the water. Return the pasta to the cooking pot and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the zucchini and some salt and pepper. I would add just a little for now because you’ll be adding more later. Cook the zucchini over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until any liquid evaporates. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for another minute or so to blend the flavors. Keeping back 2 tablespoons, add the goat cheese to the pasta and stir in the cup of reserved water. Add a little more salt and pepper and stir until creamy. Taste to see if you would like more salt or pepper. Serve the pasta topped with the zucchini, lemon zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons of goat cheese along with some fresh bread and a light dessert for a healthy and filling meal!...

Meatloaf With Apples

I love meatloaf but I get tired of cooking the same thing every time!  The apples in this delicious loaf add a surprising and welcome change. It serves 8 to 10 so there may be leftovers for sandwiches or NOT! Ingredients: 1 large onion, chopped 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter 1 and ½ cups of oatmeal (or breadcrumbs) 2 cups of finely chopped apple (peeled & cored) 3 eggs, beaten 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley ½ teaspoon of black pepper 1 and ½ teaspoons of salt ¼ teaspoon of allspice ¼ teaspoon of dried mustard (or 1 Tablespoon of prepared mustard) ¼ cup of ketchup Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except onion. Sauté the onion in butter until soft and add to the other ingredients. Mix well and form into a loaf. If it’s a little soft, add more oatmeal or breadcrumbs. Place your loaf into a large, greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes and then serve....

Pasta With Zucchini & Goat Cheese

  Ingredients: 12 ounces of linguine pasta 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 1 pound of zucchini Kosher salt to taste Black pepper to taste 1 clove chopped garlic 5 ounces of fresh goat cheese 2 teaspoons of lemon zest   Instructions: Wash and slice the zucchini in half. Slice each half into small half-moon slices, fairly thin. Crumble the goat cheese into a small bowl and set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the water. Return the pasta to the cooking pot and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the zucchini and some salt and pepper. (I would add just a little for now because you’ll be adding more later). Cook the zucchini over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until any liquid evaporates. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for another minute or so to blend the flavors. Keeping back 2 Tablespoons, add the goat cheese to the pasta and stir in the cup of reserved water. Add a little more salt and pepper and stir until creamy. Taste to see if you would like more salt or pepper. Serve the pasta topped with the zucchini, lemon zest and the remaining 2 Tablespoons of goat cheese along with some fresh bread and a light dessert for a healthy and filling meal! Enjoy!...

Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas

  Ingredients 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked linguini pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon chili oil 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 pound sugar snap pea pods 2 large cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups dry white wine 1/4 cup reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil Directions Bring a pot of  water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Heat olive oil and chili oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, pea pods, and garlic. Cook and stir until shrimp are almost opaque. Remove from heat, and set aside. Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce by 1/3. Add shrimp, peas, and garlic to the wok, and add the reserved water. Continue to cook and stir until shrimp are opaque. Remove  from heat, and mix in the butter, lemon juice, and basil. Drain your pasta and toss it in with the shrimp and ingredients. You can also do away with the pasta and just eat the shrimp and peas....

Asian Turkey Meatballs

  Asian Turkey Meatballs Serves 6 Ingredients: 1 pound of turkey breast, ground ½ cup of white onion, finely chopped ½ bell pepper, finely chopped ¼ cup of bread crumbs 2 eggs ¾ teaspoon of garlic powder ½ teaspoon of salt ¼ teaspoon of black pepper Tablespoons of olive oil ½ cup of heated plum sauce 2 scallions, finely sliced 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds Directions: Place the turkey, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, knead all the ingredients until well blended. If the mixture doesn’t hold together, add a bit more bread crumbs. Make 18 meatballs approximately the same size. Heat the olive oil to a medium temperature in a large skillet. I like to use my cast iron skillet but any will do. Add the meatballs and stir to brown on all sides. Cover and allow them to simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Place the meatballs on a platter and top with the plum sauce, scallions and sesame seeds. Serve at once with noodles or brown rice. Enjoy!...

Cold Food Ideas

What do you do when you’re sick of plain sandwiches or green salads during the summer months? What else can you make? Consider some of the following cold food ideas when you need to prepare a nutritious and delicious meal for your family. Get your inspiration from south of the border. Flour tortillas can be used for so many different types of cuisines. Spread a savory cream cheese spread over the tortilla, add fresh from the garden vegetables, a slice of cheese or two and you have a wonderful cold roll-up the family will love. Fresh fruit salads are another option to consider. Go to the local farmer’s market or fruit stand to purchase fruits in season. These will be juicy and full of flavor. Slice the fruit, place it in a large bowl and refrigerate until time to enjoy it. Three-bean salad is something you may want to prepare. If you’ve never prepared a three-bean salad, youíll be surprised at just how easy it is to make: Drain and rinse one 15 ounce can of green beans, one 15 ounce can of kidney beans, and one pound of wax beans. Mix these together with one sliced onion, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed. Once the salad is thoroughly combined, allow it to set in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. That’s it! Serve and enjoy. If your family enjoys macaroni and cheese during the colder months, theyíll likely enjoy cold pasta salads during the spring and summer. There...

Roasted Potatoes With Dill

  A great roasted potato is the perfect compliment to just about any meal. This recipe includes dill and green onions and is very easy to make. This makes about 4 nice sized side dishes.   Ingredients:   8 medium yellow potatoes, cut in half 2 chopped green onions 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill Salt and pepper   How to Make It:   Preheat your oven to 350 F.   In a large mixing bowl, add the green onions, olive oil and dill. Add the potatoes and toss to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.   Bake for about 50-60 minutes and toss every 15 minutes or so, so they brown evenly on all sides.   Variations:   Use this method to make any kind of flavor combination you’d like. Vary the type of potatoes, herbs and more.  ...