Charger Clip

Oh, how I love Pinterest. Let me count the ways - 41 boards, 599 pins, 133 likes. I held off of joining Pinterest, but I'm so happy that I finally did. There are so many great ideas, recipes, crafts, and organization tricks. Like this one from DIY Home Sweet Home.  Use a big clip (I don't know what they are called...) to hold the end of a phone charger, and clip it to the place where the cell phone can lay.

Remember to unplug your charger when finished or the charger will continue to pull energy - this is a bit of savings on your power bill.

Lasagna Cups

I'm traveling for work this week, and it happens to be the week that my dad is visiting from Michigan. He's staying until the end of February, but this week it will be him and my husband alone w/out a cook. So, I decided to use up my mega carton of Ricotta cheese and make some lasagna for freezing - to feed my men lunches and dinner. With half of the ricotta cheese I had enough to make 12 lasagna cups and two 9 x 9 lasagnas for freezing.

The recipe for Lasagna Cups is from Lauren's Latest, and I consider it a success. I did some things differently from Lauren's recipe, and all worked out fine. So, that means that this recipe is tested and approved - even for someone like me who is a clumsy cook!

From Lauren's Latest - mine looked the same :)

I did not use Lauren's recommendation of cooking creme cheese, again, because I had TONS of ricotta.  I also sauteed a whole carton of white mushrooms (cleaned and chopped up) in butter until the mushrooms cooked down. Then I added some onion seasoning. I like to put the sauteed mushrooms in my ricotta cheese mixture. It's really good.

I cooked the lasagna noodles, and per Lauren's advice, let them cool on a greased baking sheet. This is a great idea because I hadn't figured out how to get the cooked noodles to not stick to a surface. Thanks, Lauren :) Then, I folded each in half and followed her instructions to put each noodle in and around the muffin tin. She had a jumbo tin, and I had a regular sized so that's why I folded my noodles in half - they would have been too tall to fit. Squares of parchment paper go in first, under the noodle. Next time, I'll remember to also spray the muffin tin with oil spray...

I also cooked up 1 lb. of ground venison (in the winter we always use venison instead of beef). Then I added one full jar of spaghetti sauce and let it simmer together for a while. Also I added basil and oregano. I think about 1 tb. Lauren has a great recipe for a sauce but I used what I had on hand. A little extra sauce is put on the bottom of the cups, then a square of lasagna noodle (I cut from the remnants I had), and then I layered with a scoop of ricotta mixture, then meat sauce, and then another noodle. My ice cream scooper portioned the scoops out perfectly ;)

From the remnants of noodles, I cut squares to top the cups. Then, I topped with more sauce and then a large pinch of Parmesan cheese.

They cooked at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. My dad tried them and said they were good. I had one as well, and really liked them. I think these are good for portioning. With a nice salad and two cups, that would be a good sized meal.

My cups now wait in the freezer to be lunches for my husband this week :)

Dollar Store Dishtowel Apron

I really liked the idea of picking up a $1 dishtowel from the Dollar Store and making an apron. I am a very messy cook (I try not to be, to no avail) so the thought of having an apron made of towel was appealing. Throw it in the wash with towels and be done. The inspiration for this project is from Simple Simon & Company .  Below is the model apron they made. Very cute -
I see now that I made my apon to be longer horizontally (above, seems to be longer vertically). I'm short and "hippy" so my end product will work fine for me.

The red fabric for the sashing is from a pajama shirt I bought this week from Marshall's. I really liked the dog fabric that made the pj pants, but didn't necessarily like the heavy pajama top - so I cut it up.  I think the pooches are cute. 

I will definitely make this again. I agree with the original poster that this is a quick, easy, and great gift. I like that the apron can get used and dirty and be thrown in with the wash. I also like this other idea from Then She Made, and I'll try it, too.