Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Old World" Lasagna

Franco Cupini back in the day!

I was watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives the other night and saw this little old man from Rome make a lasagna that I knew I had to make! I watched and re-watched the episode until I got it figured out as they don't really give it all away...
The restaurant is Cupini's from Kansas city, MS. To learn more about the man, Franco Cupini, and his family owned restaurant go to: www.cupinis.com

Knowing I would probably never get there, I had to try to make this lasagna.
It is NOT the sweet cheesy creamy type of lasagna that most people eat or make. This one is rustic and hearty, just the basics, NO ricotta, but it is soooooooo good!

We had an Italian restaurant we use to eat at in California, called Sal's. I don't think it exists any longer. Their lasagna was just like this recipe I am going to share, it was heaven in a dish!! I loved it but have never found another lasagna that has tasted that way since, and I have tried, believe me, 13 years of trying...all the ones I have found are the sweet cheesy too much ricotta, goopy, thick ones, they are good, but this is way better!

So here is my version of Cupini's "Old World" Lasagna: (I am calling it old world because the little old man that made it was from Rome)
OK here we go:
This makes a small dish 6x10, perfect size for me and hubby for dinner only, if you want a 9x13 dish please double this recipe! I will make a large dish from now on, we loved it! Hubby took the small bit of leftovers to work to have for lunch and I really want some for breakfast but it is all gone!!

You need:
1 pound ground sirloin
3/4 cup of shredded carrots chopped fine
1/2 small white onion chopped fine
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 stalks celery chopped in big pieces (they will be removed later)
5 bay leafs (they will be removed later)
5 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt

1 jar of a good marinara sauce or homemade, I used Gina Rispoli, made with real Italian tomatoes!
1 1/2 cups béchamel sauce or cream, I did not feel like making béchamel so I used cream, worked great!

1 box flat lasagna noodles, you don't want big thick pasta for this, you want the thin sheets!
I would have made homemade but I do not have the 300.00 pasta attachment for my kitchen aide mixer yet, someday, someday...
I really need to win a big bingo jackpot as my "wish list" is getting long!

3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Romano

Time to get cooking!
Put the olive oil in a large skillet or pot turn heat to medium, add celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, garlic, sirloin and salt, stir and mix until meat is brown and crumbly, let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove the leaves and celery, the meat mix should be nice and crumbly and small.
Time to layer!
First put some sauce in the bottom of baking dish, remember if you are making a 9x13 dish you need to double the recipe!!
Next add one layer of pasta sheets, next is more sauce and cream and smear it around a bit to mix, add some meat, just sprinkle the meat around, then some Mozzarella, then some Romano, more pasta, sauces, meat, cheeses, keep going like this until you fill the dish, you want to end with sauces, meat, cheeses on top - not pasta!
Now cover with foil and bake at 375* for 30 minutes, remove the foil and put under broiler to get top bubbly and browned slightly! Just a few minutes!
And now you serve with some toasted Italian bread and butter!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend update!

Just been busy over here...
I am working on an online certificate for travel and tourism, on my last leg, will take my TAP exam in March for my certificate! Wish me luck!

I am doing online courses because I have to be available to work for my husband if our business of vehicle appraisal gets busy and he needs me.
But if I get this certificate I may be able to work for a little extra money at a travel agent office or a AAA office or American express office. I just need a little extra to pay for all the trips I want to take and to help out with the house bills.

One of my goals is to become Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar.... there are 4 courses to earn this, and it takes about 6 years to complete the training!! But there is a lot of cruising to be done!! Wheeeee!!!

In a side note I cleaned and organized my craft room, had to add a bookcase to hold all my travel books and info...
I now have a section for each subject: Travel, Jewelry, Stamping, Scrapbooking. I have a sign above the door that says ESCAPE..which it truly is a place to escape too....I love my room!!
The new bookcase! The guitar belonged to my mom, I am teaching myself to play, have been working on learning to tune it on you tube, look for me to be playing some tunes in the next year!! Gotta keep working on that bucket list!!

Love my map, I have pins to show where I have lived and pins in it to show where I have travelled to.

the far left bookcase is jewelry making stuff, the armoire is scrapbooking and the right bookcase is scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking paper and stamping stuff.

stamps, cutters and the printer!
 I made another item off pinterest to show you, I made this for my sister, I punched out hearts from an atlas showing all the places she/us has travelled to, plus LA and Boston, where she and her husband are from! Hope she does not read my blog before I get this sent out this week!!
Has heart maps of Spain, Hawaii, Italy, Los Angeles, Boston. Too fun!! All in an 8x8 frame!

Well Hope you had a productive weekend! See you soon, I am hoping to make a new recipe this weekend will post in a day or two!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Oh Joy, more pinterest fun!

I have been having fun in the evenings looking at Pinterest and finding fun things to make and do. I know I should be studying for my TAP exam, but I do my best school work in the early mornings, so night time is for fun stuff. Hubby is on the couch watching 10 million episodes in a row of Wicked Tuna, yeah, watch guys catch a big fish and sell it for thousands of dollars, at least now I know why my Ahi Tuna dinner costs me a fortune at the cheesecake factory. Anyway here are a couple items I made the other night:
Heidi Swapp cord bracelet, I loved the anchor themed one!
Had all the supplies to make my own! Love it!

Saw this video and decided, wow, that would make a cute birthday gift for people, I was headed to Walmart so I picked up some candy and made a version for my hubby, just to try it out, it is awesome. Here is the video:
My version!

He loves chocolate, I bought the mini candy bars because he just gets a little chocolate fix!
Ok, that is my pinterest fun for the week!! Hope you all get the chance to try new things and get inspired by pinterest!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Grow your blog WINNER!!

I had 45 new comments/followers total! Every name went into the bucket.....

 DRUM ROLL PLEASE.................
I will email you to let you know you won! Thank you to all who have stopped by and to all who have decided to stay and follow and read about my crazy little life here in the Las Vegas!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pinterest Win!

I saw this on pinterest and knew I had to try it!
The recipe is from www.betterrecipes.com it is quite easy!
Just take 2 pounds hamburger (get the good stuff, sirloin or angus), mix with some breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, push/flatten into a 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 400* for 30 minutes. Top with cheese slices and let melt for a minute back in oven.
Cut into squares that fit on Hawaiian rolls. Add your favorite burger toppings and eat!!
These were fabulous!!!
Here are mine!

Love the Hawaiian rolls as buns, I may never eat a hamburger any other way! And no greasy messy frying pan!! Love that! Thanks pinterest for another winning recipe!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend report!

The weekend was pretty full.
Friday:  Hubby and I tried a new restaurant. The Seafood Shack in the TI (Treasure Island). Food was fabulous! Charlie had the cajun chicken pasta, loved it! I had an ahi tuna salad and basket of calimari! Loved it too!!

 If you enjoy seafood try the place out, the chef knows what he is doing, the calimari was tender, not rubbery like some places over do it.
Saturday: My friend, Tanya, called and said she had tickets to The Smith Center for a banjo player who was going to play with a string quartet, hmm, sounds interesting. We left early so we could peruse the antique mall nearby, then we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner, The shrimp Portofino was excellent! She had the Spaghetti and meatballs.
The Smith center, we sat second level up on the right!
Brooklyn Rider
Bela Fleck
We left dinner and got to the Smith center where we sat and had drinks, headed to our box seats, nice but the chairs were uncomfortable, I prefer chairs and tables in a box. the show started and I must say banjo is nice but it is not a classical instrument, play it like it should be played. I loved the string quartet though, beautiful music there!!
They went go karting, and the movies!
Sunday: Charlie had spent the saturday with Ethan so he stayed the night, they made waffles and played kick ball, after that he went home and charlie and I went to dinner, a mexican place we like called Viva Zapata's.
And that ended a fun filled weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jessica Bassett

So this girl is trying out for American idol, they use her song for a montage, then show her auditioning the song and then the judges tell her no, sorry....Well, me, my sister and I am sure a lot of other people including Ellen D. thought that was bogus!! So Ellen put her on her show!! The interview is short and then she sings the full song, it is amazing!!! Enjoy, and Keith, Harry and Jlo, you messed this one up!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Vintage Trouble

As soon as I saw this commercial, I loved it...I love his voice and I love the song..
Not sure why people make such dumb comments on the you tube site for this video. It is just a commerical folks, calm down. The band is Vintage Trouble, going to check out more music by them...by the way, I drive a Toyota but I still like the song!