Something about back-to-school and fall always gets me in the mood to start stockpiling food.  
Making my Mom’s tomato soup, creating a bunch of freezer meals to have ready for those evenings you have to run out the door to something or another…


I hate cooking.

It takes forever to do, it’s gone in a fraction of the time it took you to make it and I almost always have an accident.

Baking I can handle – but cooking is not at all my strength.

Today I thought I’d try a new recipe from for lasagna.

I’ve never made lasagna before, but this recipe had almost 8,400 positive reviews – so I figured I shouldn’t be able to mess it up too badly.

World’s Best Lasagna – courtesy of

You will need:

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds


1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 I followed the recipe – boiled the noodles:

lasagna noodles in water

Browned the beef and sausage and let it simmer in the tomato sauces.

tomato sauce simmering in saucepan
Layered; meat, pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and repeat.
layering the lasagna noodles with the cheese layer

 But right about here I got ambitious and decided I’d get working on some shepherd’s pies as well.

Out came (my nemesis) the mandolin slicer – and while I was thinly slicing the potatoes (so they’d cook faster) I cut myself not once, but twice.

fingers bleeding

I mentioned before that I can’t stand the sight of my own blood, so the girls went running outside to get Daddy to save me.

He finished layering and we put down 4 lasagnas and sent one over to Nana’s house.

freezer packaged and labelled lasagnas

Okay, we only put three in the freezer because we had to taste-test one of them.

baked lasagna with slice taken out

Yes, it does taste as good as it looks. Don’t worry, there are no finger bits in any of the lasagna’s…

I’m not so sure about the shepherds’ pies though?

Hint:  you have to sacrifice yourself sometimes to show the world (spouse) that life is better when you’re OUT of the kitchen.  It’s a technique I’ve mastered and keeps me off of meal duty.
Now if I could just screw up bathroom cleaning enough to be taken off of that chore I’d be laughing!

Have a great one!

Linked to:

Tatertots & Jello
Between Naps on the Porch