Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some Culinary Comfort


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Does it seem to you that October is incredibly busy? I think my Octobers and Aprils are busier than my Decembers, and I’m not really sure why. I guess it has something to do with the kids’ activities exploding, and school being in full swing.

This is why I treasured my escape weekend with my husband and friends at the Isle of Palms last weekend. So relaxing. It was wonderful that no one had to be driven to Scouts, there was no homework to look over, and—I was finished with my revisions for my first Memphis Barbeque book! The title of the book is Delicious and Suspicious—which is a reference to the fictitious restaurant's lip-smackingly good barbeque…which may or may not be poisoned. :)

Another wonderful thing about getting away was the fact that I was not cooking. Sometimes, it’s just nice to have a break from the kitchen.

An excellent remedy for the culinary blues? Some really easy comfort food. With no-cook noodles, even lasagna can be a breeze. My friends had a delicious meal for us and we all had plenty of time to play on the beach.


Easy Lasagna

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2 jars of garlic-flavored tomato sauce (for tasting purposes, my friends used Classico Fire-Roasted Tomato & Garlic)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper
1 diced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 containers of Ricotta cheese
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 T sugar
No-bake lasagna noodles (Barilla is what my friends picked up)

Sauté onions, garlic and bell pepper in olive oil then add the beef and the Italian sausage. Drain fat if necessary. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

Layer the lasagna:
Beef Mixture
No-bake lasagna noodles
Beef Mixture
Ricotta cheese to cover
Beef Mixture
Ricotta cheese to cover

Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for an hour.

And then run out on the beach! :)

Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig
Delicious and Suspicious (May 2010)—Riley Adams


  1. Lasagna is great - easy lasagna is even better!

  2. Jane--And easy is the ONLY way I have the time to make it! :) Thanks so much for popping by.

  3. Sausage. I've never used sausage in lasagna. Sounds like a tasty addition! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh, yum! This looks great. I never make lasagna at home because it's so much work, but I'll bet I could manage this version! Thanks!


  5. Avery--I think I look for excuses to put sausage in just about everything!

    Julie--And you've not had much time at all lately! This one is very easy to pull together.

  6. This is perfect. The dudes all love lasagna and I love easy! A must try for sure.

  7. A big pan of lasagna is always well worth making. It's even better warmed up the second day. No-bake noodles??? I never heard of this. Thank you for the tip. Will check it out!

    Can't wait to read Delicious and Suspicious (great title).

    author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

  8. Jenn--It's a good recipe for dudes!

    Cleo--No-bake noodles are a great thing for cheaters like me! Thanks for liking the title. :)

  9. Isn't it wonderful to get a break? Lasagna sounds like a perfect way to celebrate to me.