Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Food Challenge

Recently Pam over at "Helmet or Heels"  issued a Fall Food Challenge:

Quote:  " I thought I’d throw out a challenge to see what Fall food you like too "

While during the Summer we try to eat lighter, Winter time turns our thoughts to things like: Shepard's Pie, Pulled Pork, Spare Ribs or something like this

We had left over Lasagne Noodles from the weekend so I decided to prepare this for dinner.   I picked up a few tins of tomato sauce and a package of lean, ground beef.   I am  an improviser so I just go with the flow and add what I like.    I bought just under 2 lbs of the ground beef .   Brand of tomato sauce is not important, I usually just buy what is on sale or most economic for the size

I love onions so I used my Cuisinart and to cut them into micro pieces.   I first cut both ends of the onion and then removed the outer peel, then cut into smaller sizes before putting into my Cuisinart

I added a splash of oil and cooked the onions a bit on low heat

I am not the cook in our family.  I am more of a baker as that was my hobby many years ago.  It would surprise many to know that all these appliances are mine and I was the one who purchased them.  That is my Kitchen Aid Mixer and beside that is my bread maker.  Yes, I also make bread and cinnamon buns from scratch and my specialty was Cream Puffs in my previous life before I decided to go riding on Saturdays, rather than staying in the kitchen

Eventually the onions were ready to receive the lean, ground beef

I kept the heat on medium and kept mixing constantly to make sure it didn't burn on the bottom

I also love tomatoes but I only had one so that's all I used.  I cut it into small cubes

It looked like my ground beef was cooked so it was time to add the tomato sauce

After the sauce was brought up to temperature, I added a second tin

then it was time to add my diced tomatoes .   Now comes the good part, I get to taste test . . .

We decided a long time ago to not use so much salt, but I did add some Garlic granules

I mentioned before that I am not the cook in the family so I didn't know where our larger pans are and all I could find was this small one, so it had to do.  I started to ladle some sauce into the bottom

Then I started to layer my creation with lasagne noodles, alternating with sauce 

Soon enough I had a few layers of lasagne noodles sandwiched with my beef tomato sauce, and I still had sauce left over for lunch

I didn't have any mozzarella so I grated some other cheese that we had in the fridge.

Here is my lasagne, cheese on top ready to go back into the oven.   325° for about 20 minutes, time enough to melt the cheese on top and warm up the filling

Here we are putting my lasagne into our new gas oven

I set the temp for 325°F and the timer for 20 minutes and just wait for the buzzer

I took today off work and Mrs Skoot arrived home just in time.  Here is what it looks like right out of the oven

Here we are all plated up, ready to have our dinner

I've already had two helpings and we hardly put a dent into the lasagne pan.   We will have enough for another dinner and lunch.


Lasagne noodles, amount depending on no of layers
2 tins  tomato sauce  
1/2  onion
2 tomatoes, diced (optional)
1-1/2-2 lbs lean ground beef
a small pile of mozzarella cheese, topping
season to taste


  1. Replies
    1. Erik:

      Unfortunately, not as good as Nancy's beef vegetable soup. Nor your high school tidbits, but thank you

  2. ooooooooooooooh geez whats this all this amazing looking food around here...

    1. Ms M:

      Get out your pots & pans, a recipe book and we can try them soon. We are all getting good ideas here

  3. Looks Yummy!
    I'm jealous of the gas cookstove. We had a gas stove all of 4 months at a rental many years ago, and I've wanted one again ever since. Perhaps when the kitchen gets remodeled...someday. :)

    1. Kari:

      We have always wanted a Gas stove. Fifteen years ago when we had to put on a new roof we had vents added as the "code" calls for the gas stove to be vented directly outside. When we bought our home the first thing we did was to get rid of the Oil furnace and put in a gas one, along with a gas hot water heater. We also installed a gas fireplace insert. So all these years we were set up for the gas but never bought a new stove, that is until our old 1941 Moffat electic packed it in, then the search was on for which one. We are very happy with it. Instant heat and instant off, very good for cooking.

      We've had it for a few months now, so techinically not new but we only made our first roast in it for Cdn Thanksgiving.

    2. I had the old fashioned electric range with the heating coils, I liked it. I move into a new home and got to pick out appliances, picked a glass cook top electric.... HATED it! I'll try to always have a gas stove from now on. Modern ones are so nice. Electric ignition, no pilot light.

    3. Erik:

      Our old stove had those circular heating coils too. They are replaceable elements. Our gas stove is like yours, electronic ignition with no pilot light. The oven door on our old stove didn't close right and you wasted a lot of heat out the sides. Our new one has the dual oven. You could also bake a pie in the lower drawer, or use it as a plate warmer

  4. No ricotta! I know it adds calories but I love the flavor. Since you like tofu, you should try it in place of the hamburger. Get a block, freeze it and when it thaws, it crumbles. The texture is completely different and is very similar to ground meat.

    1. Richard:

      You are right about adding ricotta, cottage cheese, or a humungous amount of mozzarella cheese BUT, I improvise and use what I have. Also we don't need all those extra calories. The intention was not to make lasagne, I was going to just make spaghetti with meat sauce, but then I noticed at the last moment we had left over, unused lasagne noodles in the fridge so I changed my plan.

      Most often we don't follow recipes. We just look at our "on hand" ingredients and go from there. We are not fussy eaters and when we shop we buy by price and what is on sale. Good Idea about the Tofu, "I love Tofu" and always have.

    2. Tofu doesn't have any taste! It might crumble like beef, but it sure won't taste like it! ha. However, for the vegetarians on here, it is an alternative.....:-)

    3. Pat:

      I often buy ToFu just by itself, or with vegetables down at Yaohan Centre in Richmond. You should try the food court one day when you are in town

  5. Crumbed tofu mixed with spinach makes a tasty addition in lasagna, but your looks like yummy comfort food too.

    Silly question - when you have been married as long as you and Mrs. Skoot - wouldn't you have "our" appliances as opposed to mine and hers?

    1. Trobairitz:

      Tofu with spinach sounds good too. I just needed a larger, deeper pan for more layers.

      I guess you are right with my bad choice of words, but she never uses these appliances. I also have a manual cappuccino maker and a burr grinder and I only use this once a year during Christmas. Baking was my hobby and these were the tools I used, but there is no segregation of "mine or yours", they are there for anyone to use.

      I'll have to search for OUR older recipes which I altered for use with OUR Cuisinart, to allow for the making of simple lemon cakes in one mixing bowl. You've got me thinking about baking again now that Winter is here

    2. I was thinking spinach and some basil and oregano and perhaps some cayenne or red crushed pepper. Just a bit though. Wouldn't want to blow the back of your head off! haha.....

    3. Pat:

      we prepare simple meals, just depends upon what is in our fridge. I was already home and I had already gone to the SuperStore and Safeway, and because of the rain I just didn't feel like going out again

    4. I was just teasing you about your verbiage Bob. It is all in good fun. The girls only tease you cuz they like you.

    5. Trobairitz:

      I know, but everything we have is OURS. It's just that when she needs baking done, I have to do it. Same for cookie exchanges.

      I am not so much a cook as a person who makes desserts. I even had to change the lights in our kitchen because they were not bright enough, then I bought those kitchen appliances to make things easier. I am usually the one who goes to the kitchen accessory stores and drool over KitchenAid's or Cuisinarts . . .

  6. Well now, this just clinches it - you have to find a way to stop by Mississauga on your trip East, so I can put you to work in our kitchen. See Summer Saga collection Also, you and I were in Hawaii near each other last year. Pictures are there too.

    1. Ed:

      we were so close in Hawai'i. We went up to the Mauni Lani area to meet friends at that restaurant with the Train, waterfalls and canal. Maybe we even passed each other. We like to stay in Kona area.

      Nice kitchen remodel too

  7. Replies
    1. Katy:

      I am always hungry, I can't stop but I need to shed a few pounds, somehow (Sigh)

  8. I'm there with you Bob. I rarely use a recipe except for breads, which as you know need to be quite precise with respect to quantities. The best meals are the "let's see what's in the fridge" kind imo.

    1. Canajun:

      You know how it is. We look at our leftovers and then figure out how we can make it look like a new meal. Also if you make more, you can save some for another meal, or have something for lunch

      I've tried to make bread manually but it is too time consuming. The bread maker saves a lot of frustration, and you can also set the timer to have it ready in the morning.