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World’s Best Lasagna

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worlds best lasagna

As far as comfort food goes, there’s nothing better than a freshly cooked lasagna. Making one is pretty easy for some people but not every recipe would taste as good as your first ever slice. Do you remember that time? I do because my Mom fed me the world’s best lasagna. You see, she was always a good cook – the best one I’ve known.

Her stories while in the kitchen were great and they always made me hungry. She made me lick off cookie dough from a spoon or finish off a carton of milk she’s used on her dishes. Everything I know now is because of her. So, since she’s coming over to visit, it’s my turn to impress her by making my own version of her lasagna.

Yes, this is the first lasagna I’ve made that my mother would taste. And I am scared she wouldn’t like it. Hers was the like the gold standard of lasagna (only because I’m the daughter and I’m pretty biased). There’s a bit of pressure for me to perform as well as she does. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I accept the fact that I might not be able to make the world’s best. With my Mom’s taste, I could only try. So I would never expect for her to love my version. A proper nod would be enough to make me do summersaults. In case you’d want to follow in on my footsteps, make the time because this lasagna will take everything you’ve got. I promise it’ll be worth it in the end.

Ingredients

  • 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 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
  • World’s Best Lasagna

Directions

  1. Begin by combining sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until well browned. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water. Finish this off by seasoning with sugar, basil, fennel seeds and Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons parsley.
  2. Next, simmer for about an hour and a half, covered but stir constantly.
  3. Lightly salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in for about 8-10 minutes.
  4. When noodles are done, drain and rinse with cold water. In a separate mixing bowl, combine ricotta with the eggs, remaining parsley and half a teaspoon salt.
  5. Then preheat the oven to 375°F or about 190°C.
  6. Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna. Spread 1 and a half cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Lay down the noodles lengthwise over the meat sauce and spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Take 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese slices.
  7. Next, spoon 1 and ½ cups meat sauce over mozzarella and then sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat this layer after layer and then finish off with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  8. When done, cover this with foil but not without spraying with cooking spray to make sure the foil doesn’t touch the cheese.
  9. Take this to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil after that and then bake for another 25 minutes longer. When done, let it cool for 15 minutes before serving. Best served warm.

My Best Banana Bread

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Banana Bread

Sometimes our kids can be the best sources of information. We were discussing quite a lot on the subject of bananas and how healthy they are. Apparently, my youngest learned it from school and so she naturally told me everything about it. She talked a lot from the ride going to school and then again on the bus home. She caused her sister quite the craving for banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

As I was making them, I suddenly realized that I bought home a bunch of bananas for a reason. My daughter had also subconsciously made me want to eat bananas and all things I can bake using it as the main ingredient. Probably it’s why I chose to bake banana muffins the other day too.

Today, I went ahead and made some banana bread. I was planning to serve this with vanilla ice cream on top but the family normally just enjoys it as is. Whatever the case, I was determined to put the banana discussion to rest by asking my daughter to stop talking about it and give her these as peace offering.

I think the smile on her face told me I was already forgiven the moment I took it out of the oven. It should work the same way for your family. Nothing puts an issue to rest than a hot plate of forgiveness served with a piece of bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Description

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F or about 175°C and grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Do it lightly.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Next, take the butter and brown sugar and mix them together on a separate bowl as well.
  3. Add the egg and mashed bananas and mix until well blended. Pour this into the flour mixture just to moisten. When they’re all evenly combined, pour this over into the loaf pan.
  4. Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 60 to 65 minutes. Or insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf and if it comes out clean, the bread is ready.
  5. Take it out of the oven and let it cool off for 10 minutes. Then turn this out into a wire rack. Cut them into pieces right before you serve.
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