Friday, September 9, 2011

Most Delicious Lasagna Recipe

With the weekend shortly upon us I figured it was the perfect time for my very first recipe post.  And what better way to celebrate than with one of my most favorite things to make and eat; LASAGNA! Mmm, the cheesy, saucy, noodle-y goodness... I created this recipe by combining various lasagna recipes & making them my own. And if you want to make a vegetarian version, just substitute the meat for either veggie ground or some tasty eggplant. Enjoy! (And then enjoy again because the leftovers taste even better).

My Most Delicious Lasagna

You will need:

1x glass lasagna dish (9"x13")
1x box of lasagna noodles (I used Barilla)
about 1lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
an onion
1x 15oz (425 g.) container of ricotta cheese
a carrot
a zucchini
a broccoli crown
Bag of fresh spinach
2x jars of marinara/spaghetti sauce (whatever kind you like)
Mozzarella cheese (I used a whole 8oz. bag - aka 2 cups)
Some sharp cheddar if you like (I like old fort because it's tastier).

-basil, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil
(a layer of fresh basil would be awesome!)


Heat oven to 350.

Boil a giant pot of salted water and cook lasagna noodles (I used 10), following instructions on box. When done, lay them flat & let cool (I add a bit of olive oil to the strainer so they don't stick).

Chop up broccoli top, carrot & the zucchini (I used half) and sautée in pan with some olive oil until not-so-crunchy. Then turn off heat.

Finely chop half an onion (or use the whole thing if it's not massive - whatever you choose) and throw it in a pan with the ground beef & cook.

In a bowl, dump the whole container of ricotta cheese and add whatever spices you like (I like fresh garlic, some basil & oregano & a little salt & pepper). Then add the cooked veggies (wait until they're not steaming hot if you can) and mix it up.

Once the beef is cooked, add a jar of spaghetti sauce & simmer for about 5 minutes (or longer, doesn't matter).

Spray your glass lasagna pan with some cooking spray/olive oil and then cover the bottom with a thin layer of marinara sauce. Then lay down the first 4 noodles, overlapping the edges slightly. Then spread on a nice layer of the ricotta cheese/veg mixture. Then take your fresh (uncooked) spinach and add a layer (this will cook in the oven). Then add a layer of the beef.

Then layer on 3 more noodles and then layer on whatever you have left (mine ended up being a combination of a sparse layer of cheese mix & rest of beef. I think I also added a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce & a sprinkle of cheese - whatever you like). Then layer 3 more noodles.

On top add a thin layer of marinara sauce & then pile on the grated mozzarella to cover the top. Use however much you like. I also added some grated cheddar for flavor and then sprinkled it all with some pepper and oregano.

Cover with foil (make sure it's not resting on the cheese like mine was) and cook for 35 minutes. Then remove the foil & cook for another 10. Let sit on counter for 10 minutes & enjoy!

P.S. I had wanted to add a layer of fresh basil to the 2nd (sparse) layer but the store was out of it. It was delicious anyway but I think this would make it even more delicious. Mmm!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


So I may get some slack for this post from readers living in cooler climates - and I too would have once felt that the comment I'm about to launch warranted a swift kick in the short shorts - but as much as I enjoy California's ever-sunny disposition I'M READY FOR SUMMER TO BE OVER!  I know, you hate me.

Look, it's not that I don't appreciate the six months of available beach days or the fact that I can currently cook an eggs benedict on my front step - I love summer!  I'm a beach girl at heart.  But variety is the spice of life and this life is ready for a pumpkin spice latte.  Enough is enough, folks.  It's time for a season change up in this county.

Hailing from Canada (there's a pun in there somewhere) I am no stranger to umbrellas and wet socks, so I recognize there may be a part of me that is waxing nostalgic for home.  But native longings aside, let's take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness that is FALL!  Tall boots, cozy tights, scarves, pea coats, those slouchy beret-hats, hot coffee instead of iced coffee, hot bubble baths instead of cold showers, fireplaces instead of air conditioners, colorful leaves, spice-scented candles and piles of fuzzy blankets, and everything smells like cinnamon, pumpkin & nutmeg and sounds like Harry Connick Jr. (okay, that's my house).  Fall is the season of coziness not to mention a segue to some of my most favorite holidays.

For decorating/crafting/baking fanatics like me, the last three months of the year are prime real estate.  Pumpkins, turkeys, fall leaves, cookies, pies, ornaments...  The possibilities are endless!  And with this new blog I plan on sharing all of it with you.  So get ready for recipes, craft projects, and decorating & gift ideas galore.  Can you tell how excited I am?

So there it is.  I may be a beach girl at heart - but I'm definitely a fall girl at hearth.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Welcome to Turquoise & Tea!

Welcome to the first ever 'Turquoise & Tea' blog post!

Why turquoise and why tea? Well, turquoise and I have been having a bit of a love affair over the past few years. It started with a couple throw pillows and has since migrated to my living room, dining room, kitchen, jewelry box, and sometimes my nails. Even though it's technically at the "cool" end of the spectrum it makes me feel warm and happy and beachy and I love it. And as for the tea - the truth is I actually have an undying love for coffee but alliteration is important to me and 'tea' accomplished the same cozy, snuggle-up-in-your-comfiest-spot-and-read-my-blog feeling I was going for.

So grab your morning coffee, lunchtime lemonade, or evening tea/wine/whiskey and read on, dear reader. Cheers!