Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Lasagna with Meat Sauce

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

When making Lasagna with meat sauce you can add cooked ground beef or cooked ground Italian sausage or cooked turkey-sausage to the sauce for a great tasting lasagna.

To make Lasagna with Meat Sauce, start by reviewing my Spinach Lasagna video below:

Skip adding the spinach!

You could leave it in but there are there are a lot of strong flavors competing with one another!

Mix together the cooked meat with the jar of spaghetti sauce and start assembling your lasagna – just like in the video!

Remember the meat must get cooked completely and the fat drained off before adding it to the sauce.

You can make your sauce from scratch by using my Pasta Sauce with Turkey Italian Sausage (shown below) and use it in place of the store bought jar of spaghetti sauce.

When you are assembling your lasagna, the layering of all the ingredients can get confusing.

Just remember to start with about ¾ cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then the order is:

  1. Pasta, sauce, cheeses
  2. Pasta, sauce, cheeses and
  3. Pasta, sauce, cheeses!

Enjoy!

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9 Hot and Cold Dips for Every Occasion

posted in Appetizers and Snacks by Kathy Maister

Dips are a party delight that everyone seems to love. There are all kinds of dip options to match your taste or diet, and many can be made in advance.

Of course, dip needs something to stick to or sit on, and the choices here are also numerous – chips, crackers, veggies, bread sticks, or toasted pita bread, to give just some of the possibilities.

startcooking.com’s Vegetable and Dip Platter video, is a great starting point to learn how to cut vegetables for a party dip platter.

Cold Dips Recipes and Ideas

  1. Shrimp: If you’re looking to keep things healthy and tasty, this recipe can’t be beat. Low-fat cottage cheese substitutes for sour cream, which is usually used in most dips. You can indulge and be kind to your heart.
  2. Onion Dip and Spinach Dip: These classic dips are fabulous for reasons beyond the fact that they are just delicious. They can be made 2 or 3 days in advance of your festivities, and will just get better as they sit in your fridge. On party day they just need to be spooned into serving dishes and enjoyed!
  3. Black Bean: It’s healthy and it’s scrumptious! On a pita or a tortilla chip, this dip is guaranteed to get your party started. Don’t be afraid to spice this one up with a good dose of cayenne pepper.
  4. Guacamole: Be sure to use fresh ripe avocados. If your avocados are really firm, put them in a paper bag with a Granny Smith apple and in just a day or two they should be perfect!http://startcooking.com/public/IMG_4828.JPG
  5. 7 Layer Dip: This dip includes layers of bean dip, avocado, seasoned sour cream, olives, tomatoes, green onions and cheese. Plan to have lots of tortilla chips on hand because guests will want to get to the bottom of it!

Hot Dips Recipes and Ideas

  1. Artichoke: This hot dip could easily be the BIG hit at your next party! It’s rich, creamy and smooth with just the right amount of tangy zip from the canned artichokes. Even people who say they don’t like artichokes, LOVE this dip!http://startcooking.com/public/IMG_0597.JPG
  2. The Best Hot Spinach Dip Ever! Ramona Woo and my sister Marie Woolf, both of Greenville, South Carolina, have figured out the perfect balance of ingredients to make this version of spinach dip a real winner!
  3. Easy Cheesy Salsa Dip: Microwave 16 ounces of shredded Nacho-style cheese and 8 ounces of your favorite salsa together in a microwave-safe bowl on High for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir, and return to High for 3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve corn chips—of course!
  4. Crab Rangoon Bites are easy, delicious and very elegant.  If you are using canned crab meat, be sure to pick through it with your fingers to make sure there are no shells!

Sweet Dips Recipes and Ideas

Keep in mind that dips can be sweet as well as savory.  Fruit Dip made with macaroons can be served in a bowl.

Or—for a really spectacular presentation—cut a whole pineapple in half lengthwise, scoop out the fruit and use the shell for your fruit dip!

Another sweet dip option is my Nutella Dip.

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Quick Tip:

If you simply have zero time to make a dip, you still have options. These days, your supermarket has interesting choices that can work in a pinch and still delight your guests. Hummus is popular and comes in interesting flavors — my favorites are red pepper or roasted garlic. You’ll typically find it in the veggie section of the store. Some companies are also making fresh onion dips . But at the end of the day, a simple Mexican salsa with tortilla chips works well, too.

Just be sure to take store-bought dips out of their original packaging and put them in an attractive bowl. Sometimes, presentation is the key to making store-bought taste a bit better.

Heck, you might even fool a few guests, too!

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Washing Knives

posted in Knives by Kathy Maister

I wash my large knives by hand, with a soapy sponge.

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Always keep the blade pointed away from you.

I do not recommend putting large knives in the dishwasher.   Small paring knives, with the point down, are fine in the dishwasher, as long as they don’t have a wooden handle. (Wooden handles and dishwashers don’t mix.)

Large knives in the dishwasher are an accident waiting to happen. They could nick or chip dishes and glassware as well as the dishwashing rack itself. (Once the dishwasher rack gets nicked it may well start to rust. Those racks are REALLY expensive to replace.)

If you wash your dishes in a dishpan of soapy water DO NOT toss the dirty knives in as well! Having to retrieve those knives without being able to see where you’re groping is a really scary thought!

Dry off knives with a soft dish towel or paper towel. Remember – with the blade always pointed away from you.

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Be sure to check out my video on Three Good Knives!

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