February 24, 2014

Crock Pot Lasagna

Lasagna is a favorite meal that many families enjoy, including my own. But, when I tried to make it at home, it just never measured up to the ones I had ordered from restaurants. The frozen lasagna's, while convenient, were always soupy and thin, with little to no leftovers since they don't fill you up. Not to mention the fact that the ingredients in the frozen lasagnas leave much to the imagination.  I had made lasagna in a pan before from scratch, but with all the steps and not ever having it turn out how I thought it would, I just didn't think that making my favorite Italian food at home was going to work for me.

Then I discovered making lasagna in my Crock Pot. So easy to make, and it is thick, tasty and there is always plenty for everyone to eat. Plus it is cheaper that buying a frozen one from the store!
Crock Pot
Italian Sausage (1 lb.)
Spaghetti Sauce (one jar)
Italian Seasoning
Mozzarella Cheese (8-10 oz)
Ricotta Cheese (15 oz)
Lasagna Noodles (uncooked)
Average Cost = $11.00

Step 1: Cook the Italian Sausage, and drain any excess grease.  Add in the spaghetti sauce, and mix.

Step 2: Combine the mozzarella and ricotta cheeses in a separate bowl. Once mixed, add in the Italian seasoning.

Step 3: Now you are going to start layering into your Crock Pot. Start by lightly spraying the pot, and then add in and spread out the sauce and meat mixture. Next place in a layer of the noodles. Remember that they do NOT need to be cooked. On top of the noddles spread a layer of the cheeses. Continue to layer: sauce, noodles and then cheese until you reach the end.

Step 4: Make sure that your top layer of noodles are completely covered with the cheese and sauce so they cook all the way through.  Sprinkle some extra Mozzarella cheese of the top, and place the lid on the pot.

Step 5: Cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW (time may be different depending on your slow cooker, so make sure that you check as it is cooking) If it appears to be done, turn the hear down to 'keep warm,' until you are ready to eat.

Hope you and your family enjoy this meal as much as I know mine does!

February 07, 2014

Toddler Days & Baby Dreams

Our family of three is soon to grow into a family of FOUR...hard for me to wrap my head around when I really stop and think about it. But, then when I think back two years ago, Jason and I didn't know the amazing gift we were being blessed with before we met Blake. Amazing to think that once again a tiny blessing is going to change our lives; change it for the better.

Blake Denver - 19 Months and Counting
Our little baby is no longer that, he is officially a TODDLER. We are so thankful for the sweet little boy that we get the privilege to be parents to.  Currently Blake is learning new things ALL the time. He is to the point that sometimes he hears a word once and can say it. He is a master of walking, and now has moved onto running. I am in love with his silly personality, and how he enjoys sharing it with everyone around him... "Hi," being his favorite thing to say still.

Some of his newest accomplishments and loves include:

  • Favorite Toys: ANYTHING with wheels, stuffed animals and bath toys.
  • Favorite Foods: Chicken dipped in ketchup, waffles (his first word almost every morning), "cooookie," grapes and more...he is a GOOD little eater.
  • Words he has mastered recently : bubbles (anything with water), help, pop, ho-ho, baby and yeah!
  • He call pick-up trucks "papa"...since both his drive them.
  • Animals he can make the sounds of: dog, monkey and horse
  • When you ask Blake where his baby is, he might point to either his tummy or mommy's. :)
  • Eating on his own! He loves using a fork, and is starting to use a spoon better too.
  • He loves swim lessons. He know kicks, "jumps" off the side and blows bubbles. 
  • He can point out people's: eyes, nose, mouth, hair, tummy, toes and fingers.

Baby Bernard #2 - 18 Weeks
Oh to be pregnant again...in some ways it's like I never forgot what it felt like, and then in other ways I feel like I am once again totally new at this.  It has been crazy to watch this time around how fast my body "remembered" what to do, and how FAST my baby bump started growing. This pregnancy has been so much easier from a physical standpoint. I kept waiting for the morning sickness I endured with Blake to set in, but each morning I woke up intensely hungry, but not sick! That was a BLESSING considering I am now also running around after a very active 'big' boy.
We were able to keep our new little bundle a surprise until Christmas morning...something we had hoped to do with Blake, but it appears second time is the charm. We had our ultrasound wrapped in a frame for the grandparents to open...I think my parents faces sum it up perfectly. :) This new little baby is coming into such a wonderful family, and I know I am not the only one that cannot wait to meet this little guy or girl.
Grandpa and Grandma's surprised faces when they found out about Baby #2
Speaking of gender...we are having our ultrasound in a few weeks, and the following evening we are having a 'Gender Reveal Party.' This one will be a little different than Blake's, because this time Jason and I are going to find out right along with everyone else. :) Either way though, I am so thankful for this little one that is growing inside me, and am thankful for the baby brother or sister that Blake will soon have.