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Friday, December 30, 2016

In 2017 I Want To

In 2017 I want to live a better life and I have broke it down in a few categories of what I want to try to do:

Drink plenty of water.
Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured.
Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
Play more games.
Read more books than you did in last year.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Sleep for 7 hours.
Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day and smile

Live my life not to compare myself to others. There is now way to know what their journey has been
Try to not have negative thoughts or things I can not control rather I will strive to invest energy into the here and now
Don't do to much and keep in mind limits
Try not to take myself so seriously since no one else seems to
I am my grandmothers child but I will try not to waste my time or energy on gossip
I try to dream more while awake
I will not covet what my neighbor has and remember I already have all that I need.
The moments of past will stay in the past and I will not remind those in my life about mistakes they made in my life. 
My grandmother always said hate is a bad word and something we should never do I will keep that fact in mind
The past is the past and I will strive to accept it so that my present and future can be happy
I am the only one that is in charge of my happiness and destiny
Learn to dance through life as I follow the steps and learn the lessons. Stumbling blocks simply need to be danced around so I will pick up my feet as the problem fades away.
Dont worry about crows feet, smile and laugh more
Agree to disagree more often winning every argument is not something we need.

remember to call members of the family often, daily in fact
remember to forgive for He forgave us so we should forgive others
The young keep us alive and happy so remember to spend time with those over the age of 70 and children as well
Make it a goal to make 3 people smile every day
It does not really matter what others think about oneself as it is not their business

Strive to do the right thing
If it is not useful, beautiful or joyful then it is not needed
God heals everything
Every situation can and most likely will change no matter if it is good or bad
Every day get out of bed,  dress up and get out there because the best is yet to come
Every morning upon wakening thank God
We have been created to be happy so why not simply be happy

5 Minute Organizing

Have you ever wondered what you can do in 5 minutes?? I have an obsession with time and numbers so I often pay attention to how much time it takes me to do things. I thought you might find it interesting as well. One of the excuses used a lot about getting organized is there is not enough time or have you ever heard "when I get time I will..."

So I dare you to time your self for 5 minutes and try: 

Making your bed 

Cleaning old leftovers out of the refrigerator 

Emptying the dishwasher 

Sweeping one room 

Folding a basket of laundry 

Cleaning out your purse 

Doing 5 minutes of dinner prep such as chopping an onion 

Wiping down your bathroom counter and mirror 

Emptying the trash cans and take out the garbage 

If you are like me you may not have hours to do things you need to do but you may have 5 minutes or so. Always have a small project available to work on in your purse or in the car. Waiting time seems to be empty time but with a pen and paper you can plan supper or other plans you need to make. Keep a magazine that you want to look through or clip coupons while waiting in the car or at appointments. 

Talking on the phone to friends or family is something that I do often but while chatting on the phone I am also busy cleaning house or doing something else that can easily be done. 

Use your 5 minute timer and see what you can get done. Perhaps this is the trick you have been looking for Not only a time filler but a way to help you get clean and organized as well.

Win The Battle of Chores

Tired of having battles with your children to get them to do their chores?? Perhaps this tip will help you cut that battle a bit. Make the work of chores into a game. Find a printable game / chore sheet here. Then:

Decide how much each chore is worth.
Choose an allowance with a corresponding point value.
Set a time frame.Weekly? Monthly? 
Upon completion of a chore, check it off the list

The earn your allowance checklist will make chores fun and easy. The game tool helps parents and kids alike. The reward system allows kids to earn points by doing chores or homework. Parents get help around the house with out a fight as well as no homework battles. After the points are earned kids are rewarded with allowance. The checklist will help keep things tidy and fun for all. 

Maple Mustard Ham Steak

I married a meat lover ladies and you all know what that means. He loves to have meat in every meal and sometimes he only wants meat. Well, this time of year ham is his favorite and I love to find new and easy ways to dress it up. Check out this Ham with a mustard style topping

1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 ham steak (1 lb.)

PREHEAT grill to medium heat. Mix mustard, syrup and vinegar in small bowl; set aside.
GRILL ham steak 3 min. on each side. Brush with 1/4 cup of the mustard mixture; cook 1 to 2 min. more on each side or until heated through.
SERVE with the remaining mustard mixture.

Stuffed Jalapeno Treats

These spicy peppers are sure to please your heat loving guest.

2 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked, drained
1/2 cup chopped tomato
2 Tbsp. Slivered Almonds
2 Tbsp. raisins
1 cup  Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
12 medium jalapeno peppers

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Heat dressing in medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add meat, tomatoes, almonds and raisins; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; drain excess liquid. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese; set aside.
CUT each pepper in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Place peppers on foil-covered baking sheet. Fill each with about 1 Tbsp. of the meat mixture.
BAKE 10 minutes; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

New Years Eve Food

Easy Peasy Pizza Dip

8 oz sour cream
8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce
pepperoni (optional...I did not add it)
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Mix sour cream and cream cheese, put in pie plate, then add pizza sauce (I used a little more than 1/2 cup), and pepperoni. Bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add mozzarella and bake for an additional 5 minutes until melted. Serve with crackers (I like wheat thins), chunks of bread, etc. 

Cranberry Meatballs
(Easy, but not incredibly fast or cheap)

Meatballs (frozen if you want this to be easy!)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. of brown sugar
1 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in saucepan (I use the crockpot), add meatballs, and heat thoroughly.

Easy Fantasy Fudge 
(Easy, Fastish, and fairly cheap)

3/4 cups of butter
3 cups of sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 oz)
1 pkg (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow creme (7 oz)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Lightly grease 13x9 pan. Mix butter, sugar, and milk in heavy 2 1/2-3 qt sauce pan. Bring to a full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients mixing well. Pour into prepared pan. Cool at room temperature and cut into squares. Yield 3 lbs.

Pretzel Treats
(Easy, fast, and cheapish)

Square or twist pretzels
One bag of Rolo's 

Preheat oven to 250°. Lay out pretzels on baking sheet. Top each with a piece of candy. Bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and top with one M&M (push it down a bit). Let cool.

Enjoy! So, now it is your turn...anyone?? What wil you be serving up and snacking on

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Soups on with a tasty veggie soup

When I was a kid I often found things funny. One of those things was that my grand-mother often had soup and sandwich for supper. Now days I agree that soup and sandwich is a tasty and well approved meal. At my childhood home, my mother would make a meal of meat and potato and we would all enjoy. This was far different than meals that my grandmother would serve. For tonight though I share with you a tasty soup recipe that may have been on my grandmothers table. 

For the soup 
-Soup bone {If you can't find just soup bones at the store, try beef shanks or even beef ribs. Really any cut of meat that has the bone in it and minimal meat. The bone is what gives the soup that hearty, beefy flavor. Our grocery store will usually put a little sticker on the package saying "Great for soups". Note: Don't use ox-tail. It tastes a}
-8 oz. can of tomato sauce
-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
-an onion 
-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-1/2 teaspoon Season All
-1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
-1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash
-3-4 cans of assorted vegetables {I like to use corn, peas, and green beans but feel free to customize the soup to your own preference.We also save any leftover vegetables from our dinners and freeze them, then add them to the soup. I usually have a special container in the freezer for such a purpose and if there is a small helping remaining at the end of dinner, I just put it in. This was my grandmother's secret to making a great soup. Waste not, want not.}
-2-3 potatoes
-1 cup of sliced carrots

For the dumplings
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg
- splash of milk 

1.  Place the soup bones in the crock pot. Cut your onion into large chunks and put in with the meat.

2. Open the can of tomato sauce and the can of diced tomatoes and add both in the crock pot. Fill the empty can of diced tomatoes with water and pour it in.

3. Next, add your spices: Worcestershire, pepper, Season All, and Mrs. Dash. Turn your crock pot on low.

4. Since you have the cutting board out from cutting up the onions, go ahead and dice up your potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces. You can store them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator until you need to add them to the soup.

5. Let the meat cook for about 5 hours before adding your veggies. It is better to wait to add the vegetables so they don't get overly mushy. Nobody likes soggy vegetables. Add the canned vegetables along with the liquid they come in. If you have any frozen, saved veggies, add those too. Drain your carrots and potatoes and throw them in too (don't actually throw them...unless you have better aim than I do).

6. Let the soup cook (crock?) for another 3-4 hours.

7. Right before you are ready to serve the soup, make the dumplings. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and egg.

8. Add the milk until the mixture holds together and is slightly sticky. If you add too much milk, just sprinkle in some flour until the consistency is right.

9. Remove enough liquid from the soup to fill a pot. This is where you will cook your dumplings. Put on the stove and heat.

10. Once the soup in the pot is boiling, start making your dumplings! Get a metal spoon and dip it in the hot soup first. This helps the dumplings from sticking to the spoon.Take small spoonfuls of dumplings and dunk them in the boiling soup.

 11. Allow the dumplings to cook. The dumplings are done when they float to the top.

 12. Pour the dumplings and soup juice back into the crock pot.

 13. Serve...yummy!!

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a little bird told me

Memory from Long Ago

As I sit back and reflect I recall an aunt of mine who lived in a small tiny little house. You see, her father had been hurt terribly when black Tuesday that started the great depression struck. They were rather wealthy and lost everything and her own father jumped from a tall building to his death. So she grew up rather humble and frugal and never really had a lot because she did not want a lot.

Her home was rather simple and as I recall her kitchen it was as well. There were no modern appliances or fancy gadgets. She lived without electricity and enjoyed her simple life. I loved to visit with my parents as it always seemed homey. Her home was one I was never afraid to visit and I always had a great time. The cook stove was gas, her heat source was as well. Candles and kerosene lamps were used to light the home so it was pretty dim within those walls.

In the living room sat an old frumpy comfortable couch and chair adorned with quilts that she had made. Her kitchen had a small table that hosted 4 wooden chairs. Her cupboards were open faced and hosted glass dishes of decades ago. The cook stove was rather large in size and always seemed to warm the entire home. A pump outside the kitchen door stood ready when water was needed for cooking or bathing.

Often when we visited the aroma coming from the kitchen was delightful. Next to the kitchen door stood a table of her treasures. They were simple nick knacks but meant the world to her. To a small girl they were treasures as well. The memories of her and this house will always hopefully be present in my mind. I recall sitting many times with her on that frumpy old couch having a talk as she used to call it.

Thank you for visiting with us today and reading about a memory of a favorite relative. Do you have stories to share?? Please leave a comment and let me know

Pepper Pot Soup with recipe

Early America was hard living and it was no different for the Continental Army. The battles for the newly formed country of the U.S.A were hard but very much needed. It was the Revolutionary War that would win freedom for all those that wanted it. The winter of 1777-1778 was brutal for the soldiers of Valley Forge. It was on December 29th 1777 George Washington requested that the army's chef prepare a meal that would boost the morale of the soldiers and warm them as well. So the chef rounded up some peppercorn, small bits of meat, tripe and other ingredients and called it a pepper pot soup. This soup is also known as the Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup The meal was loved by all and has been thought of as "the soup that won the war"
Today try out this Stuffed Pepper Soup , perhaps not quite the soup that won the war but one that might win some praise from your family

1 lb lean ground beef 
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion chopped (1 cup)
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (a little over 1/2 of a medium)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5) can beef broth
2 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 cup uncooked long grain white or brown rice (I've tried and like both)
Cheddar or mozzarella cheese, for serving (optional)

In a large pot heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat, once hot add beef to pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally while breaking up beef, until browned. Drain beef and pour onto a plate lined with paper towels, set aside.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in pot then add onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and saute 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth and add parsley, basil, oregano and cooked beef, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a light boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
While soup simmers, prepare rice according to directions listed on package, then once soup is done simmering stir in desired amount of cooked rice into soup*. Serve warm topped with optional cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.
*For a thinner soup don't add all of the rice and for a thicker heartier soup add it all. Also, if you plan on having it for leftovers the next day then don't add the rice to the pot of soup, just add it to each individual bowl, then reserve the rice in a separate container in refrigerator to add to the soup the next day (otherwise it would turn into mush).
Recipe Source: inspired by this recipe on allrecipes

Time Is Running Out ..... Til The New Year

The many days of the 2016 have sped by and here we are on the 29th of December. With only 2 days left of the year what you may begin to look over the year and remember what you did and what you wanted to do. For me this year has went quite fast and while the truth remained that 

Thirty days hath September, 
April, June, and November; 
Of twenty-eight there is but one, 
And all the rest have thirty-one. 

Those 363 days have traveled quite speedily and there are many things that we did do and more that we did not get done. With only 2 more days to go we can either scramble to finish what we wanted in 2016 or get ready to do more in 2017. 

Perhaps it is not the goal to make new goals for 2017 but to create plans for a new year that you can reach for. Is it this year that you want to stop smoking, save money, make more money, retire or lose weight?? Many of us simply want to have a year that is as good as 2016 and many of us would also love a better year. For even good things can be made better. 

Start now by making a list of goals. Put it on paper where it is black and white or perhaps write them on your blog, your journal on a piece of paper that you hang on your bathroom mirror or fridge where you see it daily. Placing your dreams your plans somewhere where you see it everyday will help you strive to reach them. Make the goal a concrete plan the amount you want to save or the number of pounds you want to lose. 

Blogs are the best place to do a bit of research. The authors of these blogs may have had the same goal as you. How did they go about it, what were the plans they made, what were the downfalls. Research a bit of what to do and success at doing it may just make your fight a bit easier.

Do not put off what you can start today. Start with a fresh start and keep your nose to the grind stone. Make your goal possible. Keep faith in your goal and picture in your mind what it is that where you want to reach. 

Share your goal and plans with others Are there any out reach groups you can join where others are striving to reach the same goal?? With the advances of social media finding others with the same goal is easier than ever. 

Snack Time: Monster Bites

My kid brother always adored monster cookies and I said I have made them for him many times before. When I found this pillsbury recipe for Monster snack bites I thought what a great treat and perfect size for a bit of a bite I hope you enjoy. 

3 cups Cheerios™ cereal
1 cup tiny pretzel twists, coarsely broken (about 24 pretzels)
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 bag (10 oz) miniature marshmallows (about 5 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup M&M's™ chocolate candies

Line 13 x 9-inch pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix cereal, pretzels and peanuts; set aside.

In 3-quart saucepan, heat marshmallows and butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Remove from heat.

Immediately pour marshmallow mixture over cereal mixture in bowl; stir until evenly coated. Stir in candies. Using hands lightly greased with butter or cooking spray, press mixture evenly in pan. Let stand about 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into 10 rows by 7 rows. Store covered at room temperature up to 5 days

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idea box

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Starbucks Giveaway

If you are like me and like a cup of warm when its cold outside you should head over and enter this great giveaway.  The blog is hosting a giveaway where a $200 starbucks gift card will be awarded to a lucky person.

Peanut Butter Mice recipe

1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. peanut halves
2 tbsp. M&M miniature baking bits
4 tsp. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
shoestring licorice cut into 2" pieces

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar.
2. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
5. Roll the dough into 1" balls. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets.
6. Pinch each ball at one end to taper. Insert two peanut halves in center of each ball for ears.
7. Add one M&M baking bit for the nose and two chocolate chips for eyes.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set.
9. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
10. Gently insert one licorice piece into each warm cookie for a tail.
Yield: about 5 dozen

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winter blues

Bit of Trivia you may not have known About The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is recited when saluting the Flag of the U.S. It was composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887 It was revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 before being adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942. The pledge was changed to include "Under God" in 1954.

The pledge is recited in opening sessions of Congress as well as other government meetings. Schools commonly recite the pledge at the beginning of the day. The pledged should be said while standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove any non religious headdress with their right hand and then place the right hand over the heart. Those in uniform should remain silent, face the flag and salute the flag military style. Those who belong to the Armed Forces not in uniform and veterans may render the military salute in the manner provided for persons in uniform

The pledge as we know it today was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy. Bellamy was a baptist minister and the cousin of socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. A previous version of the pledge had been written by George Balch. Balch a veteran of the Civil War who later worked for the New York Board of Education created the original pledge. The original flag began 

We give our heads and hearts to God and our country one country, one language, one flag

Balch wanted to teach our children, all of our children, to be loyal to the U.S. He wanted every school and classroom to have a flag to say the pledge to. Balch's pledge was stated by the Daughters of the American Revolution until the 1910's. 

The pledge that Bellamy created was to be quick and to the point. The pledge can be recited in 15 seconds. Francis Bellamy worked closely with the schools to create the pledge. The pledge was first used in public schools on October 12th 1892. First used during the Columbus Day observance in Chicago Illinois

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Card Playing Day

Ever played a game of old maid or spades?? Well then you have enjoyed a past time that many have before. Today the past time of playing cards is celebrated. December 28th a.k.a Card Playing Day  

The variety of card games is vast and within each card game the rules of the game may vary as well. There are also card games that are spin offs of other card games. Some board games may even be considered card games when they use cards to promote the game and play a main role in the game. 

A few things about cards no matter the game are always the same. To start with cards are always identical in size and shape with 2 sides. Each card has a face and a back. The face has the number or picture and these may vary with every deck of cards. 

Card games were introduced during the Tang Dynasty China. The leaf game was created in the 19th century and was common to the Mahjong game. Mahjong was played with three suited money playing card decks. Another early game played with tiles but originally played with cards is Rummikub. 
Card games reached Europeans in the 14th century. The deck of 52 cards came about during this time. The suits of cards were swords, polo sticks, cups and coins. Cards ranked from king, governor, second governor and then ten to one. Today cards appear in 4 suits hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. The rank of cards changed as well with king, queen, jack and ten to one with the one being an Ace. 

Cards also were used in other entertaining ways. Italy was the birth place of Italy. The deck included 14 cards in each suit. A deck of Tarot cards have cards 1 - 10 then follows with valet (jack), chevalier (knight) dame (queen) and Roi (king) The deck also includes a fool or excuse card. In early days tarot cards were used for playing games. Now tarot cards are used more by the occult and for fortune telling.

Our family often plays card games new years eve if your family does then you will be able to share some trivia as well.

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Perfect cup of Hot Chocolate

Christmas is over and here in Southern Illinois we all know that the hardest and coldest part of the winter normally comes in January and February. So we need to be ready and learning how to make a perfect cup of hot chocolate will get us started

Recipe for Perfect Hot Chocolate

Step 1:
Open kitchen cabinet and throw away ALL packets of hot cocoa mix! Compost them, shred them—just get rid of them!

Step 2:
Gather ingredients (and an adorable helper). You'll need:
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tbsp malted milk powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup your favorite semisweet chocolate chips
Step 3:
In a saucepan, combine almond milk, half-and-half, malted milk powder, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to low.

Step 4 (the most important step, so pay attention!):
Slowly add the cocoa  powder by straining it through a sifter (I use silicon spoon to press the powder through). This not only prevents clumping, but it also gives my favorite hot beverage a richer flavor. Stir until completely dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted. 

Step 5:
Pour into mugs, filling each cup halfway (leave room for whipped topping!).

Step 6:
Add marshmallows or fresh whipped cream.
Don't forget a pinch of cinnamon!

Step 7:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Blue Bird

A fairly common bird here in southern Illinois is the blue bird. Beauty is in the eye and this bird sports some beauty in its wings. 
The Last Word of the Blue Bird
by Robert frost 

As I went out a Crow
In a low voice said, "Oh,
I was looking for you.
How do you do?
I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)
That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.
He just had to fly!
But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for the skunk tracks
In the snow with an ax-
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing."

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inspire me monday

Easy No Fuss Lasagna

pkg. (19 oz.) Johnsonville® Italian Hot Sausage links
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta  or cottage cheese
1  egg
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
8  lasagna noodles
4 cups (16 oz.) mozzarella cheese, shredded
 Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)
 black olives, sliced (optional)
Pan-fry or broil sausage according to package directions.
Cut sausage in half lengthwise; cut into 1/4-in. slices.
In a large skillet, combine the sausage, spaghetti sauce and water.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes 
In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, parsley and oregano.
Spread one third of the sauce mixture over the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
Layer with half of the noodles and half the ricotta cheese mixture.
Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese.
Top with a third of the sauce.
Layer with the remaining noodles, ricotta cheese mixture and mozzarella cheese.
Top with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black olives if desired.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Remove lasagna from the fridge 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, uncovered, at 350˚ for about 1 hour or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly.
Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
 source : johnsonville

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