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Posts from ‘December, 2011’

Egyptian Lasagna


picture of Served E Lasagna

If you are tired of Christmas turkey or ham, I would recommend that you try this recipe. I found it on a delightful blog written by a woman and her daughters. The casserole is similar to lasagna, but easier to put together, in my opinion. I have made it a couple of times and we have really enjoyed it.

I have changed the recipe just slightly, so I will post my version here. Do go read Leila's original post to find out why she calls it Egyptian Lasagna.

Egyptian Lasagna

6 oz. medium egg noodles
2 cups cottage cheese
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
dash of garlic powder
dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. ground beef

Cook noodles, drain, and place in greased 2 quart casserole dish. Brown and then drain ground beef. In food processor process cottage cheese, cornstarch, and about 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spread the cottage cheese mixture on the noodles. Add a layer of meat and the spaghetti sauce, seasonings and then top with the remaining cheddar.Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Let rest for 10-15 minutes and then serve. Can make ahead and refrigerate or freeze. Can add cooked spinach. This amount serves 5-6.

Here are a couple of pictures of the process:

Spreading the cheese mixture on the cooked noodles:

picture of Cheesing E Lasagna

Adding the sauce:

picture of Saucing E Lasagna

Becka


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Post Christmas Update


We spent the week before Christmas up in Michigan with Megan, Jim, and Drew. On the way up we visited with my Aunt Nana for a couple of hours. She gave me this little wooden doll cradle which I remember playing with at my Grandma's house when I was a little girl. I'm hoping to make a little quilt for it after I finish sewing a few things for the new little girl who is due to arrive in February.

After visiting with Aunt Nana we drove on to Bowling Green, Ohio and visited with Rob's mom for a few hours and then drove on up to Michigan. We drove back down for a day during the week and were able to spend time with Rob's mom, sister Deb, and brother-in-law Dan. While we were at the nursing home we even got to see Rob's mom's pastor when he popped in for a visit.

On Sunday we went to Meg and Jim's church and were able to hear the new pastor for the first time. Their church has been without a pastor for quite some time so it was a blessing to see how the Lord has provided a new man who seems to have a great heart for the people there. The morning we visited they presented a cantata. The story was about a man who was sick in the hospital and his life was described by different people who visited and told how he had showed God's love throughout his life. The main characters in the play were George and Ethel and were portrayed by Dave and Joyce W. We thought it was very fitting because this couple is extremely kind and gracious and have been a great blessing to many people, including us.

We had a very good time with Meg, Jim, and Drew. Megan spent the last six weeks as a long-term sub teaching 4th grade. I went to school with her the last day of school (just a half day) and helped with the Christmas party and helped her clean up her room for the teacher who will begin teaching full-time after the new year. Here's a picture of her playing a game with the children:

In the morning while we were in school and Jim was at work, Rob and Drew hung out and went to Tim Hortons for a mid-morning snack, McDonald's for lunch, and the park to play. After a quick lunch, I got to accompany Megan to her doctor for an ultra-sound and got to see pictures of baby girl. Her doctor has scheduled her for a C-section on Valentine's Day if all continues to go well. Rob took Drew to the golf course where Jim works and then went to a nearby town to the funeral home to visit with a family who recently lost a grandmother. He taught the grand-daughter this past semester and had previously taught both of her parents when they were in high school. While at the funeral home, he was able to see a number of friends we had known years ago when we lived in the area.

Tuesday evening we were all invited to the home of some friends for supper and an evening of good conversation and games. Here we were playing a new game called Bezzerwizzer, which was a lot of fun.

For two of the days while we were up there Rob was very busy painting the nursery a lovely shade of pale green. Nora and Topher are up there this week and she is going to do some decorative painting on one of the walls. I'm sure Megan will blog about it in the future and I will try to remember to post a link at that time. I think it is going to be very cute.

We drove home on Friday (Christmas Eve eve) and after a good night's rest we got ready for the local families to visit on Christmas Eve. Mark and Katie were the first to arrive and they brought this little Santa with them. He had just woken from a nap and wasn't his usual cheery self. He later cheered up and thoroughly enjoyed playing with the boxes and wrapping paper.

Nora and Topher came and brought their two dogs who spent most of the evening in their crate watching the festivities. We are keeping one of the dogs while they are up in MI this week. Sorry for the blurry photo.

Christmas day it was just the two of us and the pets. ๐Ÿ™‚ We had just one service at church in the morning. It was kind of nice to have all the festivities over with and just to have a quiet day to contemplate Christ's coming to earth.

I have one other update that has nothing to do with Christmas. I finally tried the home made sauerkraut a couple of weeks ago. I had made approximately two quarts of it and used half of it to make this recipe. I am happy to report that it tasted like sauerkraut! It really wasn't difficult to make--probably the hardest thing in my small kitchen was to find a place to let it ferment at the correct temperature. We had a pretty warm fall and it was too warm in the garage and we don't have a basement so I just let it sit out on the counter.

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and will enjoy the final days of 2011.

Becka


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Crockpot Candy


We have been keeping busy visiting with family and friends for the past week and have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I'll try to post a few details from this week after Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe you are all ready for Christmas, but just in case you still need an idea for an easy treat this recipe might be a good one for you to try. These peanut clusters are delicious and are easy to prepare. I got this recipe from a student many years ago.

Crockpot Peanut Clusters

16 oz. dry roasted peanuts
1 lb. white almond bark
1 bar of German Sweet Chocolate
2 cups of chocolate chips

Coarsely chop the almond bark and German chocolate bar and place in a crockpot with the chocolate chips. Turn on low and heat for 50-60 mins. After this time elapses stir the chocolate to combine and be sure it is thoroughly melted. Stir in the peanuts. (I like to put them in a sieve and shake out all the nut dust before adding them.) Drop the candy by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheets or trays. Refrigerate each tray briefly until the candies harden.

These candies are delicious and are one of our favorite Christmas treats.

I hope you will all have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and look forward to the coming new year.

Becka


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Family Update


I wanted to post a few more pictures from our recent time with family while they are still current.

We thought it was quite funny that Drew brought three Curious Georges with him on his recent visit to our house. We kept finding them all over the house. I even got to sleep with one of them one night. Here they are on the couch reading with Jim:

Nora and Topher have added a new puppy to their home. This is Amos who promises to become a very large boy in the future. Drew loves him and has even bought him a Christmas present.

Over Thanksgiving vacation while Ryan was visiting with his other grandparents he got his first two teeth. Since then he has also developed another skill--he can now clap and seems to delight doing so. This can be somewhat of a problem while his grandma is trying to feed him.

picture of Ryan Clapping

He is still not quite crawling. He pulls himself along on his stomach and spends quite a bit of time on all fours doing yoga poses. Here he's dusting our entry way.

Becka


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Fudge Puddles


I signed up to make some cookies for our Women's Missionary meeting at church this month and decided to make these Fudge Puddles. It's an old recipe we found in Southern Living several years ago. These cookies are a bit easier than some filled cookies because you just make small balls of the cookie dough and place in mini muffin tins. After they are baked the cookies "fall" in the center making a perfect little indention for the delicious chocolate filling. If you are looking for a new Christmas cookie recipe to try this might be a good one.

picture of Fudge Puddles

Fudge Puddles

Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Chocolate Filling
2 cups chocolate chips
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and peanut butter. Add sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Blend well. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Roll into 48 1 inch balls and place in mini muffin tins. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 mins. Cool in pans for 10 mins. and then remove to racks to cool.

When cookies are cool make filling: Combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until chips melt. Spoon into a gallon size ziploc bag. Seal the bag and then clip off one of the corners. Pipe filling into cookies. Can garnish with chopped peanuts if desired. Cool. These freeze well. Leftover chocolate filling is delicious warmed and served over ice cream or pound cake.

Becka


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