What’s for dinner? Episode 1

WFD 1I hate that question. Hate it. Every day these people want dinner?!? Whhhat? Regardless… I’ve been working for ways to solve our dinner/nutritional/budget/health issues. Figured maybe I’d start documenting them.

Note: We believe in eating organic, growing your own or eating local, chemical free everything, clean eating- meaning we read the ingredients on everything and don’t buy it unless we know what every ingredient listed actually is and preferably it has less than 5 ingredients. I love baking as much as we can from scratch too! We’re not perfect- but those are generally our goals. Also, we have 8 people in this house. 8. Mom & Dad in the 30’ish area, 2 Uncle’s in their mid-20’s, a pre-teen boy, two always on the move little girls and Grandma. Food is a big deal here. πŸ˜†

Tonight for dinner- Carb Mania! Rolled Lasagna & Homemade Bread Rolls

This Lasagna is my brother’s favorite. Like I can’t wait for him to be married and have to tell his lovely bride… “Well, it was good… it just isn’t like my sister’s.” One day… 😹

Starting- the easy bread rolls! Don’t be intimidated! Want to spoil your family and be Wonder Woman? Bake bread. Often. Everyone will love you!

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

1 cup of warm water (like bath water, not too hot to the touch)

1/2 cup oil (I usually use sunflower or similar- learn more about cooking oils HERE)

2 tbl yeast

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt (usually use Himalayan Pink Salt)

1 egg

2 tbl honey

3 1/2 cups flour (usually use unbleached white or a whole grain wheat or even 1/2 & 1/2)

Butter (NOT margarine) to grease the pan

Bread ALWAYS comes out best when cooked in stoneware! I have a Pampered Chef casserole dish type that I use for rolls.

Step 1:

Gather all ingredients. Turn on music- Indie Folk Revival on Pandora. Or you know, something else. Pour a glass of wine. Some Chardonnay maybe? Mmmm… Make it a habit- every night when it’s time to begin dinner, do this! The kids love dancing while listening to Frank Sinatra croon, the soft music is a welcomed atmosphere while you prepare a healthy feast for your loved ones. And wine. Always wine.

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Step 2:

Pour the warm water, oil and yeast into a large bowl. Let sit for 15ish minutes. Sip wine. Dance. Sing. You should start to see the yeast coming alive– my 5 year old LOVES this part!

Step 3:

Add in the rest! Sugar, salt, egg, honey, Mix. Add the flour (Remember- take a smaller measuring cup and pour the flour into the measuring cup you’re using. You want it light and fluffy not packed in- then take a butter knife and scrape it level with the flat side. See HERE. Mix everything between cups of flour.

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Step 4:

Sprinkle some flour onto the counter and flop the ball of dough onto it. Knead it out a little bit, sprinkling flour on your hands/dough as needed. It shouldn’t be wet/sticky anymore. Start to work it into a rectangular shape. Not perfect, don’t stress it too much. Take a big ol’ knife and cut up your rolls. I usually do two cuts horizontally and then how ever many I end up with across. We have a big household- so I’d prefer to have a higher quantity over having bigger rolls.

Step 5:

Grab each square and roll around into a ball shape. Doesn’t have to be perfect- kids LOVE this part! (Although they constantly sneak bites of dough! πŸ˜‹) Place each ball into the already buttered dish… assuming you already did that. If not, set down the wine for a minute and butter your stoneware pan. sides and bottom. I guess glass will work too… stone is just better.

Step 6:

Place the pan off to the side, let the rolls rise for a bit while we work on the lasagna. ALWAYS clean up your station between items– keeps the kitchen tidy, sets a good example for the kiddos (clean up your mess before you start something new!) and there’s you know… health benefits. I usually like to load the dishwasher as I go, makes it easy peasy!

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Larkin Approved Lasagna Rolls

I LOVE these, and I’ve never been a big lasagna person. But they’re sooo good- and even better the next day for lunch! Yummmm! This here made about 18 rolls.

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

1 pound grass fed beef

2 jars of Newman’s marinara sauce (Love Newman’s!)

Some seasonings- salt, pepper, Italian herbs, garlic – your call

Small jar of ricotta (need to learn to make my own- one day!)

1 egg

1 block mozzarella cheese

Italian blend cheese (either buy a couple blocks of cheese you like- or cheat and buy a pre-shredded baggie- I try not to do the latter option very often)

18 lasagna noodles

Olive Oil

Step 1:

Gather all ingredients. Refill wine if needed, make sure music is still going, welcome kids to help as you can, bread should still be rising in a warm-ish spot.

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Save on organic grass fed beef– stalk your local grocery store for beef that’s coming up on it’s ‘sell by’ date! 1/2 price- I use some right away and freeze the rest! Score!

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Step 2:

Boil a pot of water- I add a splash of olive oil, some salt and some parsley/basil to it. Once boiling cook your noodles per package instructions. Brown the beef- I add a mix of seasonings here. Some salt, pepper, minced garlic & dried onion, some parsley/basil/oregano… whatever I’m feeling. Once browned, add 1 jar of the marinara sauce and simmer.Feel free to drizzle some honey over your rising rolls. Mmmmm… honey!

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Step 3:

In a bowl- mix the ricotta, egg and half of each cheese. You can also turn the oven on to 400Β° and add the rolls once it warms up. I bake them for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know when they’re done when something smells REALLY yummy. And the tops should be golden.

Step 4:

Once pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Take your baking dish and coat the sides and bottom with butter. Then take the 2nd jar of sauce, pour some in, and spread around the pan.

Take a cookie sheet/wax paper/etc… and lay it out on the counter. Lay out the noodles and put a line of the cheese mix down the center- not too thick. Then add a spoonful of the meat/sauce mix on top. Then roll them up like a fruit roll up and place in the buttered/sauced pan.

Step 5:

From the 2nd jar of sauce, add a spoonful of sauce to the top of each roll. And then the extra cheese- sprinkle all over! Mmmm… cheese….

Step 6:

Bread should be good, take that out. Now pop in the lasagna. It only needs enough time to warm up so cook until the cheese is melted. 10-20 minutes is usually perfect.

Step 7:

Dish up the carb mania!

Step 8:

Enjoy your dinner!

Step 9:

Summon help for kitchen clean up! Push through, resist the urge to plop on the couch and get the kitchen back to sparkly clean! (You’ll thank me in the morning)

And yes, that’s a watermelon in my dish rack which we keep in the right side of the sink. My girls like to mess with stuff- seemed like the safest place.

P.S.

You should probably watch your carb intake for a few days. πŸ˜„ If all went well- it was worth it at least!

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