Little by little I am getting my life under my control. That’s really what all this “getting fit” stuff is about: control. I want to walk into my married life a full-fledged adult who has left childhood insecurities and habits behind me along with my maiden name. it’s hard. The problem with taking control is that you try to take control of everything at once, including the things you’ve left to their own devices that they are so way out in left field you’re going to have to work to bring them back. Well, I’m taking the baby steps and finding that gradual gratification feels better than instant gratification. I have a savings account now, and not that it’s a substantial amount, but it’s more than what I would have before I turned over my new little leaf. I’ve also dropped 8 lbs in the last week and a half, and although I fell off the bandwagon pretty bad this past weekend, I’m ready and raring to go this week.
School will be coming to an end here very, very soon. The end of April marks the last of my semesters as a full time college student. Starting this fall and until I graduate next spring I’ll only be taking five more classes before I can call myself a professional. That’s pretty awesome. I’m also thinking after the wedding I’m going to start looking for an entry level position type job and leave my current job. My current job is really just making me…depressed. I can’t really take it much more, which sounds so dramatic, but it’s true. Customer service would be my own personal Hell if that’s where I’m heading. I really think I would take the fire and brimstone over people complaining for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Anyway, that’s enough of that. I have a new recipe to share, Skillet Lasagna. I got the idea for this recipe on Kraftfoods.com. Here’s my play-by-play.
Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef, 1 green pepper, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 can (about 16 oz) spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning to taste, and about 12 ready-to-bake lasagna noodles broken up in 4ths.

Directions: Brown the meat in the biggest skillet you have (really, believe me on this) and when the meat is fully cooked, add the chopped garlic and peppers. Saute until the garlic smells fabulous 😉 The next step is to add the water, dressing, and pasta sauce and bring to a boil. This part is messy, if you have a splatter screen I would highly suggest using it now. Don’t panic that it looks more like chunky tomato soup than anything resembling lasagna, this is where the over-ready noodles come in. I should mention than I made this using normal noodles, and it came out just fine, although if I do that again I’ll probably boil the noodles for a little bit first, just to soften them up and give them a head start, but like I said, not too detrimental to the whole recipe. Here’s a better picture of what you should be looking at by now. A big soupy mess! I promise it gets better though. I broke up the big noodles into about 4 pieces, and as you can see, there’s a reason I said use your biggest pan! Once you add the noodles lower the heat on the sauce mixture to about med-low. On my stove it was still bubbling, so I figured any more than that and I’d have a huge mess to clean up. Leave this to simmer, stirring every couple minutes. you’ll see it start to thicken up after about 20 minutes or so. be careful about the noodles sticking to the bottom of the skillet too, they’re tricky little buggers. After 20-30 minutes, or after the soupy-ness is gone, you should have a pan looking like a dish of lasagna blew up in it. Yay! Once all the soup is gone you can turn off the heat and serve right away. This also freezes very well, like all pasta. Anything lasagna shaped doesn’t really last long around Justin though. This is how I served it, nothing fancy. I actually usually serve any type of pasta with home made garlic bread (sooooo good, sooooo fatty) but I forgot to buy the stuff for it…or my subconscious kept me from buying it and making the weekend a huge pitfall for this whole diet thing. One other thing missing from the picture there was the delicious Mike’s Hard Lemonade (light, haha), which was my drink of choice last night.
So there you have it! I make a mean lasagna, but it literally takes about 2-3 hours because I go all out. And really, cooking all Sunday isn’t in the schedule for awhile, unfortunately. I’ve really been getting into fish lately, and I love salmon, so that might be the next thing I show here. I have some time tomorrow too, so I might be making another big batch of stroganoff, yum!
Anyway, I’m happy researching different places to go on our mini-moon in September to practice for our all-out honeymoon in January. Aren’t we lucky? We get to celebrate getting married twice 😉

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