Lasagna Soup


I really like making lasagna from scratch, but it's so time consuming I rarely actually get to do it.  It finally got cold around here and it looks like it's going to stay that way, so I decided some soup was in order.  I've had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for quite a while now, so I decided to give it a go.  I was suspect though -- I thought that there was no way a soup could actually taste like lasagna.   I was wrong.  It really does taste like lasagna.  Don't believe me?  Give it a try.  You'll be surprise.  Bonus --  it is about a million times easier and faster to make than making a lasagna from scratch. 

Slightly adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

What you need to make the soup:
1 1/2 Pounds Sausage 
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
6 Oz Tomato Paste
28 Oz Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
6 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp Dried Basil
1/2 Pound Rigatoni Noodles
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese (for garnishing)

What you do to make the soup:
1.  In a large pot, cook the sausage for about 5 minutes on medium heat, breaking it up as you cook. 

2.  Add the onions to the sausage and continue cooking (stirring occasionally)  for about 5 minutes, or until the sausage is completely cooked.  Drain excess grease if necessary. 

3.  Add the garlic powder, oregano, red pepper, and tomato paste.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

4.  Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with the juices), chicken broth, and basil. 

5.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

6.  While the soup is boiling/simmering, cook the rigatoni noodles according to direction and make the ricotta cheese mixture (below).  Drain and fully rinse the noodles.

What you need to make the ricotta cheese mixture:
1. 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2. 1/4 Cup shredded Asiago Cheese
3. 1/4 Cup shredded Romano Cheese
4. 1/4 Tsp Salt
5. 1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
6. 1 1/2 Tsp Dried Basil

What you do to make the ricotta cheese mixture:
1. Mix everything together. (Really. That's it.)

To Serve:

Place a couple of spoonfuls of rigatoni noodles in the bottom of a bowl. Top the noodles with a couple of ladlefuls of lasagna soup. Garnish with shredded mozzarella. Add a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture on the very top. Serve immediately.

This is goes great with a crunchy piece of garlic bread.



Alice Springs Chicken


My favorite dish (maybe also the only one I've ever ordered) from Outback Steakhouse is the Alice Springs Chicken.  I've looked online several times in the past and have been unable to find a copy cat recipe.  Until I found this one.  Super excited to finally find a recipe, I gave it a go and was not disappointed. It was pretty easy to make and, although this is not Outback's exact recipe, it comes pretty darn close.  Close enough that I'll be making it again.  I'm not even going to try to tweak it to make it closer to Outback's -- it's that close. 

Slightly Adapted From:  The Finer Things In Life

What You Will Need:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
Seasoning Salt to Taste
6 Slices of Bacon, cut in half
1/4 Cup Mustard
1/3 Cup Honey
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise 
2 Tsps Onion Powder
1 Cup Fresh White Button Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cups Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

Here's What You Do:
1.  Sprinkle season salt on the chicken breasts and rub in well.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

2.  While the chicken is in the refrigerator, cook your bacon (I baked mine).  Save the bacon grease. 

3.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

4.  Saute the chicken in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes per side (until browned).  As you cook each piece of chicken, place the cooked chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

5.  In a bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayo, and onion powder.  Apply this mixture to each chicken breast. 

6.  Place a layer of mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese on each chicken breast. 

7.  Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes, or the cheese is melted and the chicken is completely cooked through.   

8.  Serve the chicken with the remaining honey mustard sauce that you made in step 5. 

I served my Alice Springs Chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.   It was delicious!



Breakfast Pizza


Sometimes, I have leftover pizza for breakfast.  Sometimes, I have leftover breakfast for dinner.  Pizza and breakfast food are two of my favorite things.  The only logical thing to do, then, is to marry the two together, right?  Right.  And, that is exactly what I did.  You can thank me later.

What you need:
1 Pizza Dough*
1 Can of Sausage Gravy
1/2 Lb. cooked breakfast meat of your choosing (I used bacon)
6 Eggs, scrambled
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Any veggie toppings you want on your pizza ( I added mushrooms)

*I make my own pizza dough using a recipe that I haven't been authorized to share.  You can always pick up a pre-made crust at the store or you can buy a can of pizza dough just like a can of biscuits and cook the dough yourself.

What you need to do:
1.  Cook and drain your breakfast meat and scramble your eggs.

2.  Preheat your oven according to the directions on your pizza dough.  Prepare your pizza dough and lay it out on your baking stone or pizza pan, but do not bake the dough.

3.  Spread a generous amount of sausage gravy on top of your cooked pizza crust (as if it were pizza sauce).

4.  Sprinkle your cooked breakfast meat on top of the sausage gravy.

5.  Sprinkle scrambled eggs on top of the sausage gravy and meat.

6.  Sprinkle any veggie toppings on top of the other toppings.

7.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the pizza.

8.  Bake according to pizza dough directions.