Sunday, January 13, 2019

Supper in a Flash: Ravioli Lasagna from Elizabeth Craig/Riley Adams + #Bookgiveaway!

I have long admired Elizabeth Craig. She's a talented author of multiple bestselling mystery series, a busy mother of two, and a dedicated blogger who has offered online fellowship to the writing community for years. (Her Twitter feed is a marvel.) 

Elizabeth is also a beloved alumna of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and we're delighted that she's here for a visit. Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth back to the Kitchen! 

~ Cleo 

Hi everyone and Happy New Year! It’s good to be visiting at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen today. As I’m visiting, I’m taking the opportunity to get some much-needed new ideas for suppertime in the Craig household.

2018 was a little crazy for me. I have a daughter who will be graduating from high school in a few months and last year was all about college visits and decision-making. There were also a lot of family visits, various events, a new book series for me, and a lot of other stuff going on. I seemed . . . I don’t know . . . distracted sometimes. And I just couldn’t figure out why.  I’ve pledged that 2019 will be less-distracting, but so far, it’s been just as hard to focus, somehow.

When I was selecting a recipe for today, I envisioned myself choosing one that was photogenic and something on the elaborate side. Then, after blinking at my recipe files on Evernote, I slowly realized, "I have been cooking fast and easy stuff.  Wow. I wonder why?"

With my attention completely shot, some of you might be wondering when I find the time to write (especially two books simultaneously, which I’ve been doing for a little while).  Maybe you have important things to do, too, and wonder how you can find the time to squeeze it in. It may not work for everyone, but I’ve found that getting up an hour before anyone else really helps. 

The key is: don’t check your email or social media! The second we do this is the moment our day belongs to someone else. Instead, I’ve tried to follow Mark Twain’s example: eat the frog first

Don’t worry—there are no frogs harmed in the Craig house at 5 a.m. (or any other time, yuck)! But I do tackle my most challenging task first thing in the day. Because otherwise, I somehow find myself getting derailed. 

Now for that recipe...

Quick and Easy Ravioli Lasagna 

(Not photogenic. But clean-your-plate tasty!!) 


A pound of lean ground beef
Garlic salt to taste
Pepper to taste
24 oz. spaghetti sauce
1.5 pounds of frozen cheese ravioli
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup shredded Parmesan
(If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with basil or parsley, optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While oven is warming, cook meat (I’ve also used ground turkey and you could even use sausage) with pepper and garlic salt over medium-high heat. Drain. 
In an 8x8 dish, add a quarter of a cup of the spaghetti sauce to the bottom of the dish. Then add a third of the frozen ravioli, the ground beef, sauce, and mozzarella cheese.  Repeat the layers twice more.

Spray some aluminum foil and cover the dish and bake for an hour. Remove foil, add Parmesan on the top, and put back in the oven without the foil for another 10 minutes. 

Garnish with basil or parsley, if desired.  If garnish not desired, go back to whatever it was you were doing.  If you can remember what that was.

Thanks to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen for hosting me today!  

Do you have any special challenges that knock you off track sometimes? Do you have easy recipes as fallbacks? What are your resolutions this year? Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a print or eBook copy of Elizabeth’s latest release in the Southern Quilting Mysteries!

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth is the author of the Southern Quilting mysteries, the Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries, the upcoming Village Library Mysteries, and Memphis Barbeque mysteries for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She lives in Matthews, North Carolina with her husband and is the mother of two. More about her books here, including her upcoming Village Library series!

Some new residents don’t deserve welcome baskets.

Small towns can be notoriously cliquey. Dappled Hills, however, wasn’t usually such a town. The residents ordinarily welcomed newcomers with open arms.  But when Annabelle Tremont moved to town, the usual cheery greetings became angry whispers. Annabelle could be difficult and it wasn’t a big surprise to anyone when she turned up dead.

Beatrice was surprised when Annabelle moved from Atlanta to Dappled Hills … but she wasn’t surprised when she made enemies. That’s because Beatrice knew Annabelle from her days as a museum curator. Now Beatrice must find the killer … and clear her own name.

Be sure to include an email address in your
comment to enter Elizabeth's giveaway.

This giveaway is now over. 

Congrats to the winner:




  1. I do my best to do easy recipes especially now for chicken mainly, my challenge is multitudes of health problems, I do my best to move forward to keep going. I signed up for more activities to do at my library for this year.

    1. The library is my favorite place! I love that you're looking to it as a place to stay involved and active. Hope that 2019 is a good year for you and that your health problems improve!

  2. That looks delicious and easy. It has been so long since I've had either ravioli or lasagna. I think it's time to fix that. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

    1. This one is so easy that it stays on my rotation! Life gets so busy sometimes. And it's easy to double it when I have guests, which is great!

  3. I love making casseroles. They are simple and fast, yet can be healthy!
    My big promise/resolution this year is to make sure that every book I read I review! I slacked on that last year and I am not doing that again!
    I love your books!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Deb! We eat a lot of casseroles at our house. And you'll be a writer favorite for sure if you review everything you read! That's an awesome resolution!

  4. I love easy to make dishes as I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. I especially love using my crockpot. I can throw some stuff in there before work, and when I get home, dinner is done! Thanks for the chance to win your novel. JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

    1. I used my crockpot last night! I made one of author Kaye Barley's favorite recipes...taco soup. It stayed in the crockpot all day on low and made us all feel warm despite the yucky NC weather we have right now!

  5. That recipe sounds delicious! Now that it’s cooled off here in San Diego, I’ll give it a try. I luurve your corgis :)

    1. Thanks! Corgis are awesome pets, but they can be distracting, ha! Hope you'll enjoy the recipe and your cooler temps!

  6. I always keep either a frozen lasagna or eggplant palm in the freezer that I can just pull out. I also have a 20 minute chili recipe from Rachel Ray that’s easy.

    1. Those all sound like easy solutions for busy nights (and for cold ones this winter!)

  7. I love ravioli and lasagna, and your recipe sounds so simple and delicious and hearty! Thanks for coming to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and sharing it with us ~

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Celia! Hope you have a happy week!

  8. Sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Always happy for new easy recipes! I try to do a lot of cooking prep on the weekends to make weeknights after a busy day easy.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. That's a great tip for making the rest of the week easier!

  10. Forgot to leave my email!

  11. What a great recipe, I can't wait to try it! I am going to make Meatball Soup in my Instant Pot today, but plan to try this soon. Thank you for sharing it with us. ioncookbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

  12. I retired about a year ago but I still hate to cook. I'm always looking for new, tasty and easy recipes to make. I hope to do more knitting this year and work on some embroidery kits that were given to me when I retired. My special challenges the past several months has been having to do it all, as my husband fell and broke his shoulder, resulting in shoulder replacement surgery. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net