Friday, March 16, 2012

On the Subject of Yeast

On a visit with her new grandchild, my MIL brought their breadmaker.  They hadn't used it in more than a year, so they gave it to us!  She also brought a bag of whole grain wheat, an unopened jar of yeast and cooking oil (ie. all the leftover breadmaking ingredients they had). 

I'm very excited!  I have made bread before, but I've always had to do it the long way by hand.  Now that I have a little one, I think it'll be nice to make bread by dumping ingredients in the machine & forgetting about it for a few hours.  I've already made a loaf of whole wheat bread (which is pretty much gone except for one heel, so there's no photos).

If anyone has any good recipes that can be adapted to a bread machine, let me know!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Official - I'm a Parent!

February 18, 2012 was a pretty monumental day in our household - our new daughter Esmeralda Marie arrived.

My cousin-in-law, who is a pretty awesome photographer, came by about 6 days later and took some photos.  You can see a few of them on her blog.

It's all crazy and new and I'm really glad that I stocked the freezer with muffins, cookies, lasagna, chili and other meals before she decided to show up.  It's made things a lot easier.

 Speaking of chili, here's a way to use up leftover chili (since I always make too much chili, I use this a lot).

Chili Lasagna (or Chili Lasagna Casserole, depending on how you want to play this out).

Aside from a bunch of leftover chili, you'll need the following.
One package of oven-ready lasagna noodles (or the regular kind of you're up to boiling them first, but I'm lazy)
A bunch of shredded cheese - whatever kind floats your boat.  I like a lot of cheese, so I use at least half a package of the pre-shredded stuff.
Any additional veggies you want to throw in.  Since I'm vegetarian, my chili is already pretty full of vegetables and I don't usually bother adding more.
Any or all of the following to garnish: sour cream, guacamole, tortilla chips, diced green onion

If you're doing this like a proper lasagna, layer everything in your baking dish like you would for a regular lasagna, using the chili in place of tomato sauce.  If you're doing it like a casserole, break up your noodles into chunks, and mix them with the chili and cheese in your casserole dish, making sure to leave enough cheese to do a layer on top.

Bake in the oven at about 350F for about an hour (or follow the package directions for the noodles).  Make sure to remove the lid/foil and bake for an extra 15 minutes so the top layer of cheese gets all melty and awesome.

When it's done, serve it up and garnish it with your choice of toppings. 

Now I'm going to run, as I have a wee baby who'll be waking up soon expecting her next meal.  I hope you enjoy!