December 18, 2012

Weeknight Lasagna and the Decorations Just Keep Coming

Never hold me to it.....I said less is more when decorating the dining room, but then the mood strikes and I cannot contain myself....I get a burst of energy and decide to continue to go through the boxes of comes the deer family!

They have always been one of my favorite decorations and I have not put them out on display for a number of years. Now I ask you, are they not just beautiful? They are probably twenty years old and still just in beautiful condition. They are simply majestic and I thought what a beautiful addition they would make to the centerpiece in the formal dining room...wonderful memories of when the children were younger.

I keep asking myself how I did all the holiday decorating and cooking before retirement? Seems impossible now since I just have the luxury of doing it in small increments, but hopefully the end result will be something everyone will delight in.

So far we have Grandmother Grace's lace tablecloth, Grandmother Estelle's Christmas figurines, my Twelve Days of Christmas Valarie Par Hill china, my parent's wedding silverware and the Grandeur Noel family's coming together.....evolving slowly but surely.

The Waterford crystal goblets, along with the
red and green water stemmed glasses will be used this year!
The napkins are called
"Bountiful" from Mary-Lake Thompson.

Mae Mo is napping in a sunbeam which is the only reason she is not pictured on the dining table!  Now is the perfect time for an easy weeknight skillet lasagna! Ssshhhhh...kitty sleeping!

Skillet Lasagna
3 (14.5 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
 salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
3/4 t. dried Italian seasoning
1 lb ground sirloin
10 (curly-edged) lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese 
3 T. chopped fresh basil

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 12 pulses.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring often and using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, about 3 to 5 minutes, or until it's no longer pink.

Scatter the pasta in the skillet, then pour the tomatoes over the top. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high, and cover. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 20 minutes (if you don't stir it, the pasta will clump together and stick to the bottom and sides of the skillet).

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.

Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in half the mozzarella and Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the ricotta. Dot the remaining ricotta over the noodles in tablespoons, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Transfer to the oven and broil until the cheese melts and is starting to brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil, and serve.


  1. The deer are beautiful! My decorating style has changed over the years...I'm now tending to put out less.
    Jane x

  2. Looks yummy, perfect meal for our very cool weather we are having. Thanks. I have all the ingredients!

  3. I made this recipe yesterday for dinner and it was very good. It is mild compared to our usual recipe for lasagna but I really think grandkids or anyone that enjoys a mild tasting lasagna would like it.


I so love receiving your thoughts and comments. I also hope you found something that made you smile.