Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crop, Eat - Repeat!

I LOVE planning my All-Day Crops.  So much fun to always try to raise the bar and keep the girls happy!!  Last Saturday we cropped all day in Deerfield Beach --just wanted to share my optional make and take art as well as some well requested recipes...

This was the optional make & take layout the ladies got a chance to make.  I designed it using paper from the Mischief and Bliss paper collections.  Added some grey flannel cardstock to the black and colonial white and stamped dimensionals and backround with my favorite stamp set, Love Life

The flowers and medallion as well as bracket shapes were all cut using our Art Philosophy cartridge for Cricut!  I am soooo loving this!  Hmm and love that ribbon too -it is our striped grograin ribbon.  Pearls and designer rhinestone brads round out the layout.

Ok, now on to recipes.  Below are the recipes for my Unstuffed Pepper Casserole and Butternut Squash Lasagna.  Enjoy!

Unstuffed Pepper Casserole
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of cooked brown or white rice
  • 24 oz marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian style cheese
Saute onions, peppers and garlic in a bit of olive oil until caramelized in a large skillet.  Add the meat and garlic and cook until brown.  Make sure you season well with kosher salt and pepper.  Drain any extra fat from your skillet.  Add the rice, marinara and 3/4 cups of cheese.  Adjust your seasoning as necessary.  Spoon into 2 quart casserole and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 until heated through and cheese has melted.

Butternut Squash Lasagna
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 amaretti cookies, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then mash the squash, leaving just a few lumps. Add the amaretti cookies. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender. Add the basil.  Very important that you only fill blender halfway and that you do not completely seal blender.  Hold cover with clean kitchen towel instead to prevent an explosion!!! Blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the rest of the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch lasagna pan. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Hmmm...wonder what I will be cooking for our next crop on JANUARY 14???? You will not want to miss it!!!

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