Sunday, April 11, 2010

Layered Pasta Dish (Lisa's ideal title)

Ah, the wonders of pasta. So easy to make. Easy enough, in fact, that we figured we'd show you how it's done. We have faith in you.

The basic steps to cooking pasta are as follows:
  1. Acquire or make the noodles
  2. Boil the noodles
  3. Drain the noodles
  4. Eat the noodles
However, we figured we'd mix this last step up due to inspiration from Camille and a few others...

Actually, we'll still perform step four, just as a new number. Proceed to below:

Layered Pasta Dish (AKA lasagna)
1 package of lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 lb mozzarella (grated)
1 lb. ground beef
15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
16 oz. bottle of tomato sauce
spices (Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, etc.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook the noodles al dente (not too soft).
  3. Brown the ground beef and add spices as desired.
  4. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to the ground beef.
  5. Layer the ingredients as follows, ending with pasta then mozzarella:
    1. Pasta
    2. Meat/sauce
    3. Cheese
    4. Pasta...
  6. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Remove. Serve. Eat. Enjoy. Leave a comment on our blog.

I feel like a carnivore: our feast at Tucanos Brazilian Grill

On our honeymoon, and kind of in honor of my birthday, we had a late lunch at Tucanos Brazilian Grill in Provo (there are also locations in Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Boise). I say in honor of my birthday because as of recently, I am a member of Club Tucanos, which means they send me a birthday card and I have my entire birthday month to go and have a free meal (with purchase of a meal of equal value).

To be frank (which is weird, 'cause really, I'm Lisa), I love Tucanos. Thomas took me there last September, and it's quite an experience.

The restaurant itself is fairly big and has really high ceilings so it seems very open. Both times I've been there, we've been seated in this room sort of to the side, with many windows.

The waitstaff is attentive. They tell you about their Brazilian lemonades - and so far I haven't been able to turn those down! They have various fruit flavors; I like the guava.

Then they explain how the restaurant works: servers come around with meat. There is a little wooden cylinder (about the size of a toilet paper tube) on every table, divided into three sections. The end sections are red and green, and the center is yellow. When the green end is up, the servers will stop at your table and give you some meat. When the red end is up, they won't. Apparently, when it's on its side, they'll bring you the bill.

We began at the salad bar - which has the biggest selection of tasty delicacies I've seen in a salad bar. There's green salad, there's pasta salad, there's fruit salad, there are quail eggs, there's sushi, there's soup, there's rice, there are rolls, .... and so on. It's tempting - and it would be easy - to fill up on what's there!!

Needless to say, we both filled up on a lot of meat and other good stuff. We were even too full for dessert (last time, though, we tried the Torre Chocolate - a large slice of a multi-layered chocolate cake. Oh man. That was so good. We ended up bringing most of it home).

Anyway, it's a place we highly recommend. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny if you want to try it out at dinnertime. And do come hungry. Really.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

A yummy breakfast idea

For our honeymoon, Thomas and I planned for several meals we wanted to make together. The first one we tried out was something I had been looking forward to ever since he first mentioned it a while back: bacon-wrapped eggs! (I love bacon, as you may recall...)

The process is fairly simple and the result is delicious. If you're at all curious, try it out. You'll like it!

Bacon-wrapped Eggs

a few strips of bacon
the same number of eggs
some cooking spray
a muffin pan

  1. Start by frying your bacon. You'll want to cook it pretty thoroughly, but not to the point that it becomes crispy - it has to maintain some flexibility to fit into the muffin pan.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375* F. Spray the muffin pan with some cooking spray.
  3. Once your bacon is ready, drain it for a moment on some paper towels and let it cool until you can handle it without burning your fingers. 
  4. Use one slice of bacon per muffin well (you don't need to fill the whole pan) and arrange it so it follows the circumference of the well.
  5. Crack an egg into each well that has a slice of bacon around it. 
  6. Put your pan into the oven; it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for them to be ready. Take them out when the egg white is no longer clear and the yolk is to your liking.
  7. Enjoy! I found it easiest to eat them with my hands. Well, I used my hands to bring them to my mouth, that is. 
(don't forget to make your meal well-balanced - we had a bagel and some fruit cocktail and a glass of milk with our bacon-wrapped eggs!)