One thing you must know about me is that I am all about convenience, especially after working all day and then coming home to cook. I think it is fair to say I do 95% of the cooking which I don't mind because I have grown to love it. Now that Emily is here and I'd like to spend as much time with her as possible, my crockpot and I are a match made in culinary heaven. I love the idea of taking a bunch of ingredients, dumping them in the crockpot, setting the time and temperature and coming home to a cooked meal. However, I am also the ultimate worry wart and the thought of leaving a household appliance going all day with no one home except the dog terrifies me for one reason: Cody does not have opposable thumbs! (Insert me holding up my hands and waggling my thumbs for effect here).
But that will all change now that Emily's daycare will be done in our home by my mother-in-law. So with this in mind I have started branching out into the world of cooking with my crockpot and I am very excited for the first installment of my "Obsessed with my Crockpot" series with this recipe.
Quick sidenote: I know full well the crockpot can be a bitch to clean, which is another reason I used to avoid using it. That is until I discovered Reynolds Crockpot Liners. It was like the skies opened up and the angels sang. You simply line your crockpot with one of these little bad boys and when you are done cooking you lift the bag out and throw it away. I mean really, does it get any easier than that? These things will change your life, I promise.
So anyway...my first recipe comes courtesy of Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry, and her appearance on the Oprah show to promote her new cookbook. I'm not even sure what possessed me to have Oprah on that day as I am not typically a big follower. I was about to change the channel when she said two little words: Crockpot Lasagna. Lasagna has always scared me and I've never mustered up the courage to try it. When Jessica said the noodles didn't need to be pre-cooked I was sold.
As a rule I look for recipes with as few ingredients as possible and I always take shortcuts if I can. For example, I bought the cans of tomatoes that were already seasoned with oregano (and basil, because you can't have too many yummy spices in an Italian dish). I also used a tablespoon of minced garlic instead of messing around with chopping cloves of garlic-Emily will only sit patiently in her bouncy seat for so long! Other than that I followed the directions as stated and found the noodles to be tender right around 3.5 hours.
I am fortunate enough that James does appreciate all of the cooking I do and I honestly appreciate when he is honest with me about whether he likes something or not. Usually he rates things as either "make again" or "do not make again". Simple enough. But for the sake of my blog I've asked him to rate the dishes I make on a 5 star scale.
-A for being fairly easy and having few ingredients
-prep time: 10-15 minutes to throw together the sauce and cheese mix
-total time: just under 4 hours
-servings: I think this would be enough for 4 people. We ate just the lasagna but you could easily also serve a nice salad. A big plus for us was having enough for leftovers for both of us for lunch the next day.
-James has requested I cut back on the spinach and perhaps make a meat sauce next time
-James rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars, "make again"