Slow Cooker Sausage Lasagna

I have to tell you that having a slow cooker is the best thing ever – besides my Mangle!  You do a little prep, throw it into the slow cooker, walk away for 6 or so hours, and come back to DINNER!  It is so nice after a day at work or hours spent on a sports field to know that dinner is ready and waiting for you at home.

The hardest part of having a slow cooker is finding good recipes. My husband and I buy every cookbook we find for the slow cooker, but they may only have one or two recipes we like.  I am going to share with you our favorites, hopefully once a month or so, as we take this blog journey.

My husband is taking one of our sons to camp and my other son and I will be picking him up tonight right at dinner time – Father’s Day Night!  It will be a mad dash to make dinner when we get in from the airport – so I thought to avoid all that – I am making Martha Stewart’s Slow-Cooker Sausage Lasagna

 

I am timing it to be ready when we walk in the door, have a green salad prepared in the fridge and throw a fresh baguette into the oven to warm.  I also made just the mousse from an earlier post, Chocolate Tart Bake Off, for dessert. My husband and youngest son love mousse!  I think it will be a simple, easy and delicious Father’s Day meal.

What is a Mangle?

Yes, I have a Mangle.  A lot of people asked me what it was when they saw it listed on my Who is Ridgely? post.  It is a very large iron made of a cylinder thats core heats up and rotates as you feed your linens through it – resulting in beautifully ironed linens.  I use it for pillow cases, flat sheets, duvet covers, table cloths, napkins, etc.  My husband gave it to me for Christmas about 5 years ago.  I must admit I wasn’t so excited Christmas morning when I opened it because I could not believe he spent WHAT?!? on an IRON, but deep down I really wanted it and now I can not imagine life without it.  I use it every week and it is one of the most useful presents I have ever received.  It is kind of fun to sit there ironing away watching a TV show.  And it sure does make ironing 24 napkins and 2 table cloths for Thanksgiving a breeze – not to mention the 18 pillow cases we change every week!

I have a Miele Rotary Iron similar to the one pictured above from Williams-Sonoma

 

 Here is what I mangled today.
 
I keep a spray bottle handy to dampen the item before I iron it.
Place the item on the cylinder – when you press the foot pedal the top comes down and holds the linen in place rotating it away from you.  I guide it through with a little bit of tension. (see first picture above)

 

 

Viola! Ironed pillow cases and bandanas.

This took me about 20 minutes.  Imagine how long that would have taken with a regular iron?!?

June 2011 Book Club

For June’s Book Club, we met at Terri’s house for dinner. Linda brought a delicious cheese board for an appetizer – with dried apricots and grapes. For dinner Terri ordered a variety of sandwiches with a cold pasta salad and big green salad. She also put out chips – YUM!  It was a perfect dinner after such a hot humid day! And guess what Claudia brought for dessert??  Drum roll ….

 

I have to say out of 12 members only 4 were able to read the book. We probalby should not have had two 600 page books back to back. Not to mention, May and June are very busy months for us – sports and year end activities for our combined 33 kids!  It worked out just fine, the non-readers got to catch up while the readers had a book discussion.For June we read The Pursuit of Happiness: A Novel by Douglas Kennedy.

the pursuit of happiness

It is a long book but a really fast read.  We all really enjoyed it and had a very good discussion (I can not tell you what we said, I might spoil the book for you).  I have to thank Claudia, she did a great job picking the book and she brought a chocolate dessert!  It was a win/win!
 book club check list Loved1

Ridgely’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was in high school my sister and I had a small catering company during the summers with a Cordon Bleu Cook named Rosie.  We called it “Cooks Night Out.”  Can you believe it?!?  I found the old “Calling Card” we used to drum up business!

During that time I came up with a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is our families favorite.  The cookies are paper thin and filled with soft chocolate chips. It is hard to eat only one!

Ridgely's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ridgely's Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (a bit more than ¾ cups) of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) of sugar, 14 tablespoons (a bit more than ¾ cups) of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 eggs in an electric mixer.
  2. Melt 3 sticks (1½ cups) of butter, in a microwaveable dish, slowly in the microwave. I use a pyrex so I can pour the melted butter.
  3. Pour the melted butter into your creamed sugar mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl combine 1¾ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it into the creamed sugar mixture slowly. You don't want flour flying all over the place.
  5. When the flour is all mixed in - add 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop the batter onto a cookie sheet using two teaspoons or a small scooper, as seen here. I space them as seen below. THEY SPREAD, SO GIVE THEM ROOM. II use a silpat - but you can also use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You will need to replace the parchment with each batch.
  7. I like a lot of chocolate chips in my cookies - so I usually add more chips as I use up the batter.
  8. In my oven they bake for exactly 12 minutes.
  9. Once removed from the oven, let them rest for a minute or two, to set, before you put them on a wire rack to cool
Notes
The batter really spreads - so be sure to give them room on the cookie sheet

PS.  Let me know if you make the cookies – I would love to know how you liked them.

May 2011 Book Club

I love my book club! It is a great group of 12 women – combined we have 33 children! We all live in the same town and have very busy lives.  We have carved out one night a month to meet, eat, drink and discuss the monthly book.  The host is in charge of making dinner and picking the book for the next month. The previous months host brings dessert and the next months host brings the appetizers. It works perfectly! We all get to try each others cooking and share recipes.  If you have read my earlier posts you will know that I try to coerce the dessert maker to bring something chocolate!

Lets get to the book. For May we read The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

 

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A little side story – Two weeks before book club was to meet, I went to visit my grandmothers for the weekend and I left the book by mistake.  It was on loan from the library and had to be returned when my mother delivered it back to me. I had barely scratched the 600 pages and book club was a week away!  I had to get back on the list for another copy. Lets just say there are a few rules in our book club (Ahem.. I am the book club leader..) and you can NOT show up unless you have read the book. Well, what can I say??  I am a stickler for rules. Luckily, I got another copy and was able to speed read the rest of the book.It was unanimous – we all loved the book! It was a fun discussion and a very good choice. Thank you Colleen!  And for those of you interested, Colleen made a delicious ice cream pie for dessert – not 100% chocolate, but just enough!

book club check list Loved1

Other titles we have read and I have enjoyed:

Who is Ridgely?

        Here are 10 things about me. I hope you enjoy learning more about me.

 

1. I am obsessed with twitter. Please follow me @RidgelysRadar
2. I love to read books and I am in a book club.  I will be sharing our books good or bad
3. I have a little problem – I love shoes! I own these YSL ‘Tribute’ patent leather sandals
4. I love Dark Chocolate. My friends and family know fruit desserts are a waste on me!
5. I mangle our pillowcases every week (yes, I own a mangle just like this one).  There is nothing like
crisp ironed linens.6. The Hidden Mickey! I love Disney World! What else can I say?
7. Capri, Italy is my favorite place to visit. I have two copies of this clock in my house.
8. I own a sewing machine. One day I hope to be able to make a piece of clothing from a pattern
9. My favorite color is blue
10. I am an owner and partner at Paul Wilmot Communications, a fashion public relations company.