Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Healthier version of traditional lasagna- with Turkey Meat and Spinach.

I was craving lasagna but really am trying to eat healthier. I googled a bunch of recipes trying to find one that sounded good, but none looked good. So i took a few recipes that looked decent and took away what I liked from them and made up my own recipe. We really, really like it! And I felt good knowing it was made with lean ground turkey, organic tomatoes, fat free cottage cheese and low fat ricotta. The only think I didn't go lean on this time was the shredded cheese- which you can. But I love real cheese. I may just do less next time I make this. Also, if I can find whole grain, no bake noodles I may try those next time as well.


*1 T extra virgin olive oil
*2 garlic cloves- minced
*1 tsp sea salt
*Italian seasonings (to taste)
*1.25 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
*Can Diced Tomatoes with oregano and basil
*1 jar spaghetti sauce (I like Prego traditional)
*8 oz fat free cottage cheese
*8 oz low fat ricotta
*1 egg
*1 box- no bake noodles (I used 9 noodles in my pan)
*1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
*1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
*5-10 oz chopped spinach (I used frozen and chopped it. I also only used 5 oz since my husband isn't a big    spinach fan)

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a skillet, heat up the olive oil and garlic. Add turkey and cook till done. Add sea salt, italian seasoning (1-2 tsp?), can of tomatoes and chopped spinach. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 10 mins. Drain any excess liquid.
3. In medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1 egg and about 1 tsp of italian seasoning. Mix well.
 4. Pour a little spaghetti sauce to coat bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Add 3 noodles. Spoon a little sauce on top of each noodle. Add half of meat mixture evenly. Then layer by adding 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. spoon some sauce over. Add 3 more noodles and repeat layers adding the rest of the meat, cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Add final 3 noodles. Pour the rest of the spaghetti sauce over the top and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over top. Cover with foil and bake for 40 mins. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

I serve with fresh, warm bread and vino! :)

Simmered Turkey, tomato and chopped spinach with seasonings

Mixture of Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, Egg and Italian Seasonings

Start by coating bottom of pan with sauce and start with your first 3 noodles

Ready to bake...

Done and ready to enjoy!!

This pan is on my wishlist... I hate soaking and scrubbing a pan... especially after lasagna... baked on cheese is the worst. This line is amazingly easy to clean! I love Mario Batali's Dutch oven as well!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baked French Toast Casserole By Paula Deen

I have made this twice now and everyone loves it. It's dangerously good! I got it right from the food network website and copied and pasted it here. I will also give the link. I don't take any credit for this recipe what so ever. Just wanted to share a delicious breakfast/brunch recipe that I plan on making for every Easter brunch! I also took pictures of my own I will attach...

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
8 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
40 min
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup


Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French ToastCasserole.
Bread in Egg/Milk mixture after sitting overnight

Mixing the topping

Spread on topping

Baked and ready to cut and serve

DELISH!! Serve with warm syrup!