Ravioli Lasagna

People always associate Italian food with easy pasta dishes but that’s not always the case. Some Italian food can be a bit more complex. Making sauce from scratch, or layering the perfect Lasagna. I have had the privilege of assisting in the creating of true lasagna, but I have never tried is myself.

I don’t know why I get intimidated by it, but I do. Something about boiling the noodles, keeping them from sticking and layering everything in the perfect ratio. I just get it all built up in my head and think, “Nope, I can’t do it, nope, nope, nope.” My boyfriend however LOVES ravioli and lasagna. So my go to is always ravioli, EASY PEASY, but never lasagna. Until I found this recipe.

The Lazy Girls Ravioli Lasagna is supposed to almost trick people into thinking that the lasagna is the noodles, but I knew that my boyfriend would want the ravioli loud and proud. So that’s what I did.

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 60 min
Total: 90 min

Ingredients

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • 24oz marinara sauce
  • 1-1/2lbs frozen normal sized ravioli
  • 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, seasoning with the garlic salt and pepper, until no longer pink.
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  3. Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish.
  4. Add 1/3 the frozen ravioli, it’s ok if they’re on top of each other a bit
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  5. Then layer the ground beef, sauce, and cheese.
  6. Repeat layers two more times.
  7. Cover with a sheet of non-stick sprayed foil then bake for 1 hour.
  8. Remove foil, I added even MORE cheese, then bake for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
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Garlic Parmesan Knots

There are a few things that while I cooking I always try to make. 1 is a fabulous a drink. The other is these garlic knots.

I found this recipe on Six Sisters Stuff about 2 years ago and I have been perfecting my technique ever since. Now, virtually every time I make Italian food, I pop these little guys into the oven with it. You can find the recipe here and my modified one below. ENJOY!

PS To my cfers, each knot is roughly 5g of fat if you cut the biscuits in half not in thirds

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total: 15 min
Ingredients:
1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, I sometimes use the bigger one
1/4 cup olive oil
3 heaping tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
garlic salt, I don’t really know how much, I do a few pinches
1 teaspoon oregano if I have it, but it’s not mandatory
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Directions:
Cut each biscuit into halves, I like them big.
Roll each piece into roughly a 3-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients
Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet.
I like to drizzle a bit of the mixture on the raw dough.
Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Drizzle more of the mixture, or toss in the bowl.
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DONE!
Really, it’s that easy. They are the perfect, and always come out great. Now, I like a decent amount of garlic and cheese, so my ratio is a bit different than the original but I’ve never had a complaint. The original also says to cut into thirds, but I dig them big, easier to collect all the pasta gravy, YUM!
Next time you’re in need of a last minute side, give these a whirl!
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Baked Chicken Fajitas

So this is my first cooking post. Each week I try to cook something new with my boyfriend and I thought maybe I would share my kitchen adventures. My cooking is multi-purpose however. I try to be healthy, but due to taking medication for Cystic Fibrosis, Kalydeco, I need to get a certain amount of fat as well, so that will also be noted in my posts.

This week we decided on Mexican. I found the original recipe on Six Sisters. I have followed them on Pinterest and made a ton of their recipes. I change them a little and force them on my friends and family.

So! Baked chicken fajitas. I know when you think fajitas, you think in a pan on the stove, but no no my friend, this was easy peasy into the oven.

The site said it would take 15 min to prep, 25 min to cook, and would serve 6….wellllll….some of that was true.

For my CFers: There is 5g of Fat in a cup of chicken breast, combine that with some refried beans and extra cheese and you’re golden for Kalydeco 🙂

You can head to their site for the recipe I started with, but here’s mine:

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total: 50 min

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips (I’ll cube it next time)
  • 3 small buffalo tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 packets low sodium ortega fajita seasoning
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Grease a 13X9 baking dish
  3. Cut all ingredients
  4. Put chicken strips in a large bowl with 1/2 packet of seasoning and oil, I found this easier to coat the chicken.
  5. I slowly added the veggies and more seasoning. Handful of Veg, sprinkle of seasoning
  6. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes
  7. Add cheese to top
  8. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked
  9. I added more cheese as soon as it came out of the oven
  10. Spoon to serve!

**Cheese lovers tip, when you heat up your tortillas, add a bit of cheese in a strip down the center where you place the chicken. Love me some extra cheese!

We made beans and corn as sides. So I used a bit more of everything, and between the two of us we ate about 3/4 of the pan. Apparently we eat a lot. I won’t lie, our tortillas were stuffed, but damn was it good.

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time flies on kalydeco

Well, it’s been 1 year on the wonder drug and I have to say it’s been quite a ride.

My journey on Kalydeco started pretty rough. The insurance battle was rather minimal but once I was approved all hell broke loose in my body. First, was the insane cough, every night, all day. Then was the acne all over my face. Next came my runny nose and some feminine issues (I’ve posted about it previously). It was as if my body was going through some crazy detox and I couldn’t make it stop.

After months that felt like years of trying to get everything together and numerous specialist visits, I slowly began to feel a bit closer to myself. I still get lots of sinus headaches, and I still cough. But my cough is more like clearing my throat than hacking up my lungs.

I sometimes forget to take my pill, mostly when I’m out living and didn’t put one in my purse, but I try to be good about it, and I can definitely tell a difference if I’ve missed one. I cough more and the headaches are excruciatingly worse.

While I understand that Kalydeco is not the perfect solution, I have come leaps and bounds from where I once was. Kalydeco has made me feel relatively normal. I no longer have to walk away from friends, out of parties, from dinner tables or out of work because I’m coughing.

For the people who are more into the pft function, I already had great percentages and was averaging 96-98%. So there hasn’t been much of a difference there. But sometimes the numbers don’t reflect the true story, and for me Kalydeco has been more than a change in my numbers, it’s been a change in my world.

6 months on Kalydeco

If you know me or have read any of my past blogs, I have Cystic Fibrosis. I am officially at 6 months on the amazing little blue pill, KALYDECO.

Kalydeco is a new wonder drug in the cystic fibrosis community that has helped to extend the life expectancies for those with the specific genotypes it treats. I fell into this category.

I will now warn you that this post could get a bit graphic but I feel like I need to be open for any other CF patients who might be having issues. So click off if that may concern you.

So Kalydeco. So much has changed sine the wonder drug.

  • I no longer cough at night
  • My cough now is really just clearing my throat
  • I now have acne that is being controlled by ketoconozole rinse and cream
  • I experience discharge pretty regularly
  • I had excessive sweating begin, and ended up getting botox for it
  • Sinus pain and pressure now only occurs sporadically and typically with weather changes
  • I no longer use breathing treatments or inhalers
  • Dr has said I can try stopping singulair in the fall
  • My breathing went up to 96%, and my little itty bitty airways up to 114%!!!!!

I have a few new go to foods too

  • 100 calorie almond packs are still my favorite
  • protein packs, which are by lunchables or something like that
  • peanut butter
  • i keep chocolate covered pretzels on hand all of the time too
  • smart pop popcorn
  • stacy’s pita chips, sometimes with hummus

Obviously, lots of ups but I’ve definitely had some side effects due to Kalydeco, nothing that I can’t manage through though.

1 lil essay

The requirements for my essay were to write about what keeps you continuing to go to school when life gets in the way.

You can go here to read the article->http://www.theblueandgold.com/2015/02/26/continuing-studies-student-wins-free-course/

Or read the essay below.

Tick, tick, tick… That is the sound of our biological clock counting down the years, hours and second that you have left to make something of your life. What are you doing with it? It’s the same question everyone is asked upon graduating high school, and again after college. Most people don’t feel the urgency. That ticking clock is just an undertone in the symphony that is our lives. What if you weren’t so certain you had the time to figure it out? The average person starts with seventy-nine years on their clock. When I was two, the doctor told my mom that I had just fifteen.

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. My body produces a thick mucus that clogs the lungs and blocks the pancreas as well as other organs. My risk for acquiring a fatal lung infection is eminent but thanks to advancements in the treatment of the disease, my clock has been wound back to thirty-eight years. This incredible gift of time has not been lost on me. I’m tremendously grateful for every second and the sense of hope and opportunity that comes with it but that does nothing to muffle the steady march of those clock hands that so desperately want to catch me.

I was eight when I first heard them coming; those hands stomping so persistent and precise. That’s when I fully understood what was happening and the risks that were included with this life threatening disease. As sincerely as an eight year old could, I promised myself that my illness would stop me from nothing. As I got older that ticking grew louder and I sought to make good on that promise. At eighteen, I moved out to Los Angeles and worked on movies, I traveled through Europe and drove across this amazing country that we live in, not once, but twice. I traveled through Australia, dove the Great Barrier Reef, climbed Notre Dame and swam with sharks. I’ve skydived, surfed, and have even joined the Backstreet Boys on stage.

At twenty-three, I decided I wanted to be a radiologic technologist. The x-ray department was the only place I didn’t hate when I was hospitalized and healthcare has always had a special place in my life. I placed my suitcases back into my closet and I began to look at schools. I chose to pursue a degree in Radiologic Science at Cooper University Hospital. I graduated three years later, and even though I could still hear the incessant pounding of my clock, I finally started to feel like an average girl. I had a good job and an incredible life. Eventually, I woke to a thundering drone, more deafening than before. This time, however, the clock wasn’t instructing me to see more, it was commanding me to do more.

Again, I decided to listen to that clock and enrolled at Widener University in pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree in Allied Health. As of right now, I have completed four of my necessary twelve classes and I have already enrolled in my next four courses for the spring 2015 semester. Today, my life includes taking a full course load online here at Widener University and working two jobs so I can afford to finish my degree.

Every morning I wake up I can still hear the sound of that unrelenting clock, like a never ending metronome. It ensures that I push myself harder every day. I work to the best of my ability each day with my patients and coworkers. I strive to maintain my relationships with friends and family. I do everything possible to excel at my classwork. Most importantly, though, I battle my imaginary clock. I fight to stay healthy and keep my illness at bay so that I can continue to live the life I want. Some may consider me lucky, but I didn’t get here by accident; I accomplished these things because I knew what I wanted and I work hard every day. With each passing second I will continue to push, to succeed, and ultimately defeat Cystic Fibrosis and that uncompromising tick-tick-tick.

I’ve been published!

A few months ago I got an e-mail about a scholarship through my school for one free class during the spring semester. After a lot of procrastination I finally sat down to write it not really thinking that anything was going to happen, but figuring, what have I got to lose.

On Christmas Eve, I sat down to open my mail. I had received a letter from Widener University. Thinking it was probably a bill I pushed it to the bottom of the pile and figured I’d get to it.

Turns out, I probably should have opened it sooner. I won the scholarship! My essay was chosen to receive a free class, and it has since been published on the Blue & Gold site. It also allowed me to be invited into an honors society, specifically because of my grades, and my win.

I can’t even explain how excited I was, go look at it here

http://www.theblueandgold.com/2015/02/26/continuing-studies-student-wins-free-course/

Or if you can wait, read the actual essay in my next post!