Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Homemade Lollipops

It is so ridiculously easy to make your own candy that you should never buy any again.

You need a candy thermometer, a lollipop mold, flavoring, and hard candy coloring (different than regular food coloring). And then you're good to go!

2 C sugar
3/4 C water
2/3 C light corn syrup
1 t flavoring
1/2 t coloring

Mix together and cook, over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved (about four minutes). Increase heat to high and boil until it reaches 300 degrees (about eight minutes). Add the flavoring and coloring. Pour into the molds (I like to put mine in the fridge for 15-20 minutes beforehand), add lollipop sticks, and let set (30-45 minutes).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade Lasagna

This is going to look like a lot. It's not. Especially if you make sauce and meatballs and freeze them both. It's worth every second of extra time it takes to make it this way.

Lasagna Noodles
1/2 t salt
3 C flour
2 eggs
3 T water
1 t olive oil

You can either make them the traditional way by combining the dry ingredients, making a well, pouring in the wet ingredients and kneading into a ball. OR you can combine everything in your food processor, with the paddle attachment, and voila!

Once the dough is made, cut off pieces and run through your pasta maker. I set it on the highest setting and run it through. Then the lowest setting to get it as thin as it needs to be. Continue until you are finished with the entire ball of dough.

Bring a salted pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles. It takes less than two minutes so watch them carefully. Set aside.

I use Big Mama's recipe and freeze it. It's better after it's been frozen and thawed. So take a container out of the freezer and thaw it.

White Sauce
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
3 1/2 C milk (do yourself a favor and use whole milk)

Melt butter. Whisk in flour. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium until it thickens.

Cheese Mixture
1 container ricotta cheese
1 C parmesan cheese
1 egg

Combine cheeses and egg together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I always have meatballs in my freezer so I just cook them and then crumble into the pan. Or you can make fresh and just cook rather than rolling into balls.

2 lbs ground beef
1 lb sausage (spicy, if you like it)
2/3 C breadcrumbs
3 T minced garlic
1/2 finely chopped red onion
1 t dried basil
2 eggs
2 T water
1/4 C gorgonzola

Mix together everything but gorgonzola. Add cheese at the end and give it a quick mix. Either shape into meatballs (and then freeze) and cook or just cook the mixture for the lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Spread some sugo across the bottom of the pan. Layer on noodles. Top with the cheese mixture. Top that with the meat. Then top with the white sauce. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Repeat (it'll take three layers) - sugo, noodles, cheese mixture, meat, white sauce, mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 15 minutes.

I leave the meat out for me and the other vegetarians in my life.

And there you have it! Super delicious homemade lasagna that will beat every other kind you try from here on out.